Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Education of Nir Rosen

Blogger David Adesnik, who knew Nir Rosen in elementary school here in the US, described him as "a scrawny kid who could draw just about anything if you have him a pen and paper." Adesnik also noted that Rosen "never had much respect for authority and once got suspended for a having a haircut that was more cut than hair."

Adesnik and Rosen went to different schools in the ninth grade and lost touch with each other until one day in Washington when, as Adesnik recounts, "a heavily-muscled man with short hair and a very attractive woman on his arm called out my name." It turned out to be Nir Rosen, his old classmate, who announced to Adesnik that he wanted to become an investigative journalist.

There are two ways to become a journalist. One way is to start as a cub reporter and work your way up through the ranks. The other way is to wait for a war to break out and then get to the frontlines as a freelancer and report from there, hoping your stories get picked up by mainstream media. Rosen chose the second approach and, while working as a bouncer in a Washington, D.C., nightclub, waited for the right foreign destination to explode, where he would then use his dissident views to help expose the myriad wrongs done around the world in the name of American imperialism.

His first opportunity came with the Balkans and the second in Iraq. "My friend is one of the most hardcore leftists I have ever met," Adesnik wrote in a later blog entry. "His mission in Baghdad is to document and expose the inner workings of American imperialism. This is the same guy who insisted that the United States bombed Kosovo in order to expand into the Balkan marketplace." Rosen was arrested in Serbia, an experience about which he wrote for the Salon online magazine: Ten Days in a Serbian Prison.

But it was the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003 that Nir Rosen had been waiting for. He flew into Baghdad on April 7 and by April 19 he had an article in Time Magazine. And thus began Nir Rosen's career and education in Iraq. Using an engaging smile, knowledge of Arabic picked up as an Israeli-American Jew who spent summers back in Israel, and what was coyly referred to as his "Middel Eastern appearance," he befriended countless Iraqis and created sources from among a variety of groups -- both Shia and Sunni -- with different ideas about the future of Iraq.

At first Rosen thought that the Shia and Sunnis would unite to remove the Coalition forces out of Iraq, as he explained to David Adesnik in the summer of 2004. But after a couple years of covering Iraq, he began to see that some kind of civil war was in fact inevitable.

In early 2006, he thought that the civil war had in fact begun right after the elections of 2005. By the late spring of 2006, however, he had revised the inception of the civil war to the day that Saddam's statue had been pulled down in Firdus Square, April 9, 2003. "It started when U.S. troops arrived in Baghdad," Rosen wrote for the Washington Post on May 28, 2006. "It began when Sunnis discovered what they had lost, and Shiites learned what they had gained. And the worst is yet to come."

Rosen has had a book published -- "In the Belly of the Green Bird" -- and has worked hard and taken many risks over the last couple years to create a career in journalism. He is also now married and, as I write this, his wife is about to give birth to their first child. One wonders to what extent Nir Rosen has had to temper his youthful dissident crusade when confronted with the messy reality of Iraq on the ground. Maybe one day he will write about that too.


On April 24, 2002, Nir Rosen had an article entitled "The Broken Home: Revisiting Israel" published in Alexander Cockburn's Counterpunch. It is an interesting read, especially given that Rosen's Jewish background would later in Iraq be "elided," as the postmodernists quip, and he would simply become a person of "Middle Eastern appearance" whose father was born in Iran. In this article, Rosen reveals that he considers religion "backward and absurd" and that as a child he had "dreamed of joining Israel's elitie special forces." The amount of dissembling he must have engaged in while reporting in Iraq is a little mind-boggling when one considers that Rosen had befriended many who would certainly have either killed him or sold his location to the highest bidder if they had been told the truth about his background. To me, this is just another interesting element to the education of Nir Rosen.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Iraqi MOJO!! Yeah, Baby!

Iraqi Mojo is a new Iraqi blogger on the scene, an American-Iraqi who has been putting up some very interesting posts and whose comments pages are the best I've found in a while.

If you've ever wanted to hear Iraqis really arguing with each other, engaging in debate point by point, and occasionally knocking heads, go over to Iraqi Mojo's place now and meet the verbal gang.

Commenter Exil - Iraqi / gilgamesh X adds the following remarks on the page for Iraqi Mojo's entry Saddam and Rumsfeld:

I don't generalize and I acccept, of course, exceptions. It's not so that I try to press every Arab / Muslim in this schedule. But it's true that the ME has changed into a cruel, xenophobic, immorale and undeveloping place. And that's not only the result of foreign influences or disturbances, this situation is built on the accordance of the people over there on these methods and attitudes (as seen on Arab T.V.). This situation in general represents the grassroot situation in special (like in families, towns, etc.)

Second, especially because of this xenophobic / antisemite behaviour (you can also change jew with american or european) I think provocation as starting process to revise these attitudes can only be done in the same way. Appealing to reason is useless, so what hurts, must also heal (especially if a so - called arab Iraqi tells so).

Here are just two other exemples of provocation as starting process ('punk politics'):

1. Kurt Cobain in his diary: "Am I gay ? No way, but I wish I would be, only to shock homophob people"

2. Al-Jawahiri (one of Iraq's greatest arabic-speaking poets) and al-Husri (Arab Nationalist and Director of Education) in Iraq, out of his memories:

"I [Husri] told him: First, I want to know your nationality.
He replied without hesitation: I am an Iranian.
I said. In that case we cannot appoint you.
He said: Why ? Don't we have Syrian and Lebanese teachers ?"

Anyway, every man and woman has prejudices, and racial or ethnic prejudices. But insisting on these prejudices or pressing people in it, or not revising the own prejudices, that's what a racist or fascist or totalitarian minded person is.
This is just a taste of the wide-ranging debates going on over at Iraqi Mojo's place. They also have talked about how many Arabs are worth one Jew and why it is necessary to kick all Palestinians out of Iraq (Ouch, Raed! That's gotta hurt!).


Sunday, November 05, 2006

John Kerry Speaks, The Soldiers Respond

Kerry Waghorn - Slate.com

John Kerry And The "Dumb Soldiers Of Iraq:" The Military Bloggers Respond - El Grande Roundup

U.S. Senator -- and past Presidential candidate -- John Forbes Kerry from Massachusetts, opened his mouth recently -- always a dangerous thing -- at a rally for California gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, and disparaged the intelligence of those serving in the American Military in Iraq:

"You know, education--if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq"

Certainly not the most brilliant or compelling statement ever uttered by a politican, and one that has generated a lot of rancor.

How much rancor?

Let's let the Military Bloggers -- those soldiers in Iraq and in the United States -- as well as supporters of the American Military have their say...

One of the The War Dogs -- a group of ex-Military men -- who served with John Kerry, basically tells us that JFK inhabits The Kerry Parallel Universe, LOL: Just got off the air with The Doug Guetzloe Report in Orlando,Florida. That's 1190 FM Fox News Station. We were discussing our favorite Idiot John Kerry and just what makes him tick. NOBODY KNOWS!!!! I served with him and still am not sure what motivates him when he does this kind of Crap to our Troops. It just goes to show just how out of touch with reality Jk is. I've said this many times that John Kerry lives in a world totally devoid of reality . As long as it makes sense to him he will say or do anything that comes to mind to help his self aggrandizing posture.How could anyone in his Right mind say and do such an idiotic thing as to call our troops uneducated. All we as a people can hope is that every single person with an ounce of common sense will take a look at what dribbles out of the Rat Hole Jk calls a mouth and understand that it is pure unadulterated drivel with no common sense involved.

The Humble Patriot, a member of the U.S. Air Force would like to give John Kerry the benefit of the doubt, but... I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt; perhaps the words came out wrong. If it was any other politician I would probably ignore such a statement. However, Senator Kerry made it clear in the early 70s that he doesn't mind slandering the troops for a little political gain.

He goes on to tell us who is behind that famous photo of soldiers in Iraq mocking Kerry's statement: (they) are members of the "Desert Bulls," 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard. The unit headquarters are in Bloomington, MN. 1 BCT deployed to Iraq in March 2006 for a 12-month stint. Stay safe, Desert Bulls!

The Miserable Donuts blog from a Citizen-Soldier in Afghanistan wants to know Kerry's grades: And your grades at Yale, sir?

So should I end up in Iraq next time I deploy, I guess I can just go ahead and shred my BA, MA and J.D.?

Diggs at 4 Mile Creek, an American Soldier currently serving in Iraq says:

Actually, in re-reading the statement, I'm not sure how anyone could take that to mean anything BUT a Senator pandering to a Lefty crowd who (like Senator Kerry obviously does) despise, or at least look down upon, those of us serving here. Even though he should know better, and may very well know better, he's bought into the Lefty meme that only those with no real future, join the services. He has taken a chance, in front of an appreciative Lefty crowd, to once again denigrate those of us who serve.

So senator, even though it will be a struggle, mental midget that I am, let me try to put two words together in response to your insult to all servicemembers past and present. I'll be as clear and concise as I can in my response so nothing at all gets lost in the translation.

Eat me.

(signed) A servicemember who has served in war a little bit longer than 4 months and who thinks that the servicemembers to my left and right deserve your thanks, not your scorn.

Retired Major Donald Sensing at One Hand Clapping urges Kerry to attend the funeral of Lance Cpl. Buerstetta and tell his parents that thewir son was too dumb: I dare you, Senator Kerry, to come to Lance Cpl. Buerstetta's funeral and tell that to his parents. Tell them that their son, high school graduate, college student, was just too uneducated and too stupid to avoid enlisting in an all-volunteer military. You tell them that, Senator, you inexecrable, miserable excuse of a public servant.

Heidi from Euphoric Reality exposes Kerry's hypocrisy: Let's not forget that, while a one year tour of duty was the minimum for most Vietnam veterans, John Kerry scooted out of Vietnam after only four months. I'm sorry, but I can't recite his famous three Purple Heart stories without laughing my head off. After all, John Kerry is the only known Swiftee who ever received a Purple Heart for a self-inflicted wound.

Once safely stateside again, Kerry shamed himself, his uniform, and his country with his Winter Soldier debacle - a grim trove of mis-characterizations, fraud, and outright lies. His disdain for the honorable service of others was as clear then as it is now. Thus the young John Kerry was only a foreshadowing of the fully-blown arrogant, lying creep he is today.

John Kerry is nothing if not consistent! Let's just say, once a cad dickhead, always a cad dickhead.

So, while there is a hue and cry surrounding John Kerry's off-the-cuff remarks today, I, for one, am glad that he has remained true to himself this way. In fact, I say give this guy a megaphone! He has only said what he has always believed. He won't apologize for being himself, and I wouldn't expect him to. He is what he is, people, and no amount of spin can change that. Maybe now, all Americans can finally file his hollow statements of support for the troops in the trash bin of history under the filename "JOHN KERRY HATES MILITARY PEOPLE." And then be done with it him for good.

Cpt. Chuck Ziegenfuss at From My Position... is a bit annoyed with John Kerry: I got better grades than he did in college (and I was really not trying, and I spent more nights drinking than studying, just ask Carren.) As a matter of fact, ALL of the officers in the military are college-educated, with the vast 99% carrying bachelors degrees, and well over 50% having advanced (and often multiple) degrees. As a military, we've not only destroyed our nations enemies (not much nuance used, I'm afraid) but we've also rebuilt them. (Or are there still genocides in bosnia and kosovo?)

Don't tapdance, pussnuts. You DID offend everyone who has ever worn a uniform, even your swifty shipmates think you're a shitheel. Your next morning tapdance, trying to shove what you said as a metaphor for the Bush administration, was almost as much shovelled shit as you spouted in your last campaign. We know you think of servicemen as servants, at best, and are far more likely to treat us the same way as the clintons did.

And your rebuttal was an even bigger insult: you treated us like idiots in that too...

Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis 2006 says Democrats Beware:

Am I sensitive about this? You bet!

A botched joke? Sure, but a botched joke in which a clever writer tried to communicate the usual Kerry ambiguity about the "grunts" and in which Kerry's delivery betrayed his real attitude? Probably. This is the man who told his friends from the cute little boats that he wasn't talking about them when he told the senate of the United States that the US infantry in Vietnam was the functional equivalent of Genghiz Khan's horde.

Don Imus tried today to give him the chance to make a really forthright repudiation of his mistake. He would not take the opportunity offered, and when Imus pointed out to him that the remark, error or not, was especially damaging to the Democratic Party because of his "previous remarks," Kerry insisted on saying that he just told the truth, as he had always told the truth, "as he had when he returned from South East Asia...." This is a reference to his slander of American soldiers' service in Vietnam. He was then the spokesman for the "Winter Soldier" crowd and then publicly made assertions about supposed atrocities in VN which he eventually admitted he had never observed personally. This is the same man who bought medals in a war surplus store so that he could take part in a "street theater" scene involving throwing away military medals while he carefully kept his own. Democrats! Beware! This man is poison for your chances.

Theprez98 a member of the U.S. Navy, posting at The Chronicles of Narmya , discusses the fallout to Kerry's comments:

The National Commander of The American Legion called on Sen. John Kerry to apologize for suggesting that American troops in Iraq are uneducated.

The mother of a Marine who was killed in Iraq spoke out Tuesday about the comments that Sen. John Kerry made about U.S. troops and education.

A Democratic Congressional candidate from Iowa is canceling a campaign event later this week with Senator John Kerry.

It appears John Kerry's going to be a lonely man, as several Democratic candidates are cancelling appearances with him.

Theprez98 goes on to say, he believed Kerry was actually trying to attack Bush instead of the soldiers: I'll be honest; I do believe that Kerry was trying to attack Bush, and not American soldiers. However, it was either very poorly written, or came out wrong. Either way, it really doesn't matter what Kerry thinks he meant, it only matters what people think he said. In this case, perception is reality. And with veterans groups and many others calling for apologies, John Kerry stuck his foot in his mouth.

Willy Shake at Unconsidered Trifles, a Navy Submariner is quoting Jonah Goldberg from The Corner

The problem is he [Kerry] has basically radiated himself with the isotope Asinine-90 and the only way the rest of his party can protect itself from radition poisoning is to sequester the guy in some lime-pit for 10,000 years until his asininity half-life deterioates to managable levels.

And quoting Victor Davis Hanson: This is not the first, but third, time he has denigrated soldiers in the middle of a war-and there is a systematic theme: John Kerry's assumed superior morality allows him to pass judgment from on high about supposedly lesser folk who become tools of a suspect military: thus we go from limb-loppers and Genghis' hordes to terrorists to dead-beats. The only constant is that the haughtiness is always delivered in the same sanctimonious, self-righteous, and patronizing tone.

As well as giving his own opinion of Kerry, of whom he says, sounds like an arrogant Brahmin Now, JFK can claim that he simply botched a "Bush is dumb" joke, but I don't think he want's to go down that path--because then it sounds like this arrogant Brahmin committed a Freudian slip & said what he was really thinking about our troops. After all, it's of a piece with things he's said before about our troops being 'terrorists'.

Dan, the Navy man in Iraq at The Desert Periscope, says that the troops in Iraq had already given up on John Kerry, so they didn't care all that much about his latest buffoonery: We are all amused at the back-and-forth of the political attacks as the election back home enters its final week. Today, of course, the topic of discussion was Senator Kerry's mangled dig at Bush that ended up sounding like he was calling the troops stupid. Not many troops cared that much… most had given up listening to Kerry back in 2004. Still, it was something to muse about over lunch.

Dad Manly, who may still be in Iraq calls out the Junior Senator from Massachusetts: Okay, Senator Winter Soldier. I'm an Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) III Veteran, enlisted, smart as hell and twice as angry. I'll lecture your sorry behind.

You are a disgrace. You offend the uniform you wore with such disdain, and you denigrate the service of your betters who have served in the military, without the dishonor you showed, during Vietnam, immediately thereafter, and in your complete dishonesty about your record then, and your votes as a US Senator related to Iraq.

We are not "stuck in Iraq." Don't want to take National Security seriously? That's your prerogative, but don't ask to represent me, in any fashion. Your party has chosen to abandon any responsibility for Iraq or the wider war on Terror, after voting time and again to approve of actions taken by this President you loath and insult.

You voted for it, before you voted against it. And now this. Even if you believe the idiocy that comes out of your mouth, do you have any idea what a moron you sound like? How much you manage to enrage your fellow veterans? If you can't buy a clue, keep your clueless hole shut. If not for our good, for your own.

My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy asks: How come John Kerry MUST love the military?

He served, ergo, he cannot possibly hate the military (CW). But Bill Christison, former CIA operative and 'truther' extraordinaire, is lauded for hating the CIA because as a former insider he has the dirt? They're fucking BARMY, over there on the left. I cannot find even a thread of intellectual consistency within their ravings.

Dr. Phat Tony, a veteran at Dr. Phat's Tony is a bit upset with John Kerry: On Halloween, all types of idiots and half wits come out from the woodwork and seem to be everywhere. Yup, that's right, John Kerry made an appearance at a left wing hippie college in California and gave a speech on education. But what he said was completely out of line. In a nutshell, he stressed the importance of education saying that if you take your classes seriously, and do your homework and make an effort to be smart, you will make something out of your life and if you don't you will get "stuck in Iraq."

I have more respect and admiration for the men and women who have the courage to serve our country than for anybody that has a degree. It takes a much bigger person to be willing to die for his country than it does to drink mocha lattes and show up to class for 4 years. What John Kerry said is a slap in the face to all the men and women who have served, and who are selflessly serving our county, as well as to their families. I have my big brother and a really good friend over there right now and they have made more of themselves than I ever can with a piece of paper saying I'm educated. I feel personally offended by what John Kerry said, as well as outraged as an American.

Air Force man Noble Eagle says Kerry is a piker compared to someone like Seymour Hersh: They say they support us, yet they insult us. John Kerry did it a few days ago. He basically called us dimwits. I suppose that's an improvement over the accusations he was making about his "band of brothers" in the early 70s. But these days, Kerry's a bush leaguer compared to some others. Via Drudge:

If Americans knew the full extent of U.S. criminal conduct, they would receive returning Iraqi veterans as they did Vietnam veterans, Hersh said.

"In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation," he said. "It isn't happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq."

Thank you Seymour Hersch.

John Deering - Slate.com

Soldier TJ in the U.S. Army in Iraq
sent Kerry an email: I am incensed about your remarks today concerning my and my fellow enlisted soldiers' intelligence. I also read your follow-up explanation that it was a failed joke - I hope you also do not believe the rest of the country as stupid as me, because I have a really hard time believing it was a joke after being able to view the speech (yes, in context) online.

I have a BA from Columbia University. Maybe you have heard of it. I would be willing any day of the week to put my French language skills up agaist yours. I also attended a certain private high school in Exeter, NH. Maybe you have heard of that one? I enlisted in the US Army after 9/11. Am I stupid?

I went to basic combat training with a guy who has a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. He is, literally, a rocket scientist. He also enlisted soldier in the US Army after 9/11. Is he stupid?

I currently work with another guy who has a Masters in Philosophy and was very close to finishing his dissertation for his PhD. He, by the way, is very liberal politically, but I would be willing to bet that in an exercise of debate, with him taking the other side, he would talk circles around you, or any of your 99 colleagues in Washington. He enlisted in the US Army after 9/11 out of patriotism. Is he stupid?

Frank Staheli, currently serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army tells us why Kerry said what he did: It doesn't surprise me in the least that John Kerry took a swipe a American servicemen and women recently. His experience in the military was one he'd rather forget. Almost every one of the men that John Kerry served with in Iraq felt that he was a poor excuse for a soldier. Very few if any of the Purple Hearts that he was awarded were deserved. He got out of there as fast as he could.

Army veteran Erik Holtan who served in Iraq was the first person to post the famous Jon Cary spoof photo on his blog and garnered a tremendous amount of media attention, as he tells us: OK, I have gotten calls from various outlets to interview me regarding the damn picture I put up yesterday. The New York Post, who wouldn't stop calling me last night, asked me my opinion, and then I gave it to them of what I thought of the picture. If you read the front page article in the NY Post, you may see that it might make me out to be a spokeperson for the Minnesota Army National Guard. I have been scolded by some as being out of line for speaking for the Minnesota National Guard. I DID NOT SPEAK FOR THE MINNESOTA NATIONAL GUARD!!!!!!!!! I SPECIFICALLY TOLD THE PEOPLE FROM ANY MEDIA OUTLET WHAT MY PERSONAL OPINION WAS, AND ONLY THAT I THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY!!!!!!!! ASIDE FROM THAT I TOLD THEM THAT IN THE MORNING(TODAY) I WOULD GET THEM THE CONTACT FOR OUR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE!!

All I put up was a picture of people speaking their mind from another media outlet.

To the press: I get that you are trying to get a message out, but go to the source, I need my job, and don't put words in my mouth or misconstrue your questions with my answers.

You can see I took the picture off and said I was NOT a spokeperson for the Guard!!!!!!

I was not forced to put this message out either, so how is that?


Captain Doug Traversa, currently serving in Afghanistan is punditing about troop morale and the Jon Cary banner: You may have heard that John Kerry put his foot in his mouth big time a couple of days ago. I do believe it was a slip of the tongue; no one could intentionally say something that stupid that wanted to get elected to anything. However, it may well have been a Freudian slip. In either case, a group of soldiers made a humorous banner... mocking his statement. The reason I bring it up is that I was watching the news (and I do get to see a lot of news here) and someone (I don't remember who) was arguing that the cleverness of the banner not only shows the intelligence of the troops, but shows that morale is high among all the troops, since they could be so clever and funny. Well, I would agree that is shows that THESE troops had good morale, but it is a big leap from that to saying all troops, or even most troops, have good morale. To claim that all the troops in Iraq (what about Afghanistan?) have high morale because of this rather clever and witty banner is as silly as saying, hmmm, if you don't study hard you'll get stuck in Iraq. Pundits go home.

Home Front Six, an Army wife is not happy at all with John Kerry demeaninjg her husband's and other soldiers' intelligence: Ok, lemme get this straight. You insult my husband for not being smart enough to avoid getting "stuck" in Iraq. And then you have the audacity to call ME "crazy" for seeing that comment as an insult? You're batting 1.000 right now Mister Kerry. I believe the old saying goes, "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool rather than open it and remove all doubt." Stupidity should be painful. People voted for this asshat? Good grief.

I hope McCain, Duncan Hunter, and the rest of the GOP and the military at large eat him alive. Let us see how quickly his allies jump to his defense - at least that will give you a clear picture of who truly supports and believes in our military and who does not. (some may not need the real-life example; for others it may come in handy)

American Soldier says: I don't see why Kerry is so bitter about the Iraq war. Yes it's in his political standing to disagree with Bush but he is taking quite the stance with his comments as of late. I like to consider myself an educated man. I gave up time in my life and made an educated decision to volunteer to go to Iraq. I methodically planned it out, discussed it and did it.

Some men I fought along side had their MBA and were still enlisted men. They chose that option fully knowing they could easily attain a commission. I fought with men who put their families and studies on hold because they wanted to be there for their fellow man.

John Kerry doesn't know about that camaraderie.

Sergeant Daniel at Random Thoughts Of Yet Another Military Member didnt believe Kerry's apology would be sincere: I could have believed him if he had apologized yesterday, but now it just looks like damage control for the Democrats. It's pretty bad when Hillary Clinton is calling for you to apologize and you take over 24 hrs to think about it, and please stop with the excuses, you should have said something to the effect "Sorry I fucked up, I hope you can all forgive me" not "I apologize to no one" or start passing the buck onto the Republican Smear machine or whatever you said.

W. Paisley, Naval Reservist at Instapinch found Kerry to be "crass" and his apology worse: Pretty crass for someone who pretends to have the market cornered on culture. What he followed with the next day was just about as stupid:

"I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did…"

Well, "Senator" (and that term was used as a pejorative rather than a title of honor), I served in war and have no problem calling you a complete and utter ass. Putting aside the rank and utter egotism and absolute obnoxious attitude this butthead has that leads him to think he is "important" at this particular time in history, it is a complete no-brainer why anyone with even the most miniscule iota of common sense will be eternally gratified and relieved that this man was not elected president 2 years ago. Making himself a focal point of attention to rally the Republican base in this election season is not, shall we say, the best of political instincts.

John Kerry…..like Howard Dean, the Democratic gift that keeps on giving!

Jake, who's training at the Special Operations Medical Training Center on Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. says he's no mental munchkin, contrary to Kerry's views: Speaking for myself, I received a college education at a public university in my home state on a full scholarship. Granted, my humble Conference USA school is by no means Ivy League, but I worked hard and earned a degree in Management Information Systems which is not an easy field. If I were born into a rich family, or blessed with being a super-genius like Stephen Hawkings, maybe I could've gotten into Yale. I guarantee you one thing- had I gotten in, I would have performed much better than Senator Kerry on my report cards. My degree program opened up an opportunity to work as an intern during my junior and senior year for a major defense contractor at one of NASA's space centers. Upon finishing my degree, instead of taking a generous job offer I decided to do some non-profit work instead of going right into the rat race. I was burned out from the treacherous meanderings of the cubicle jungle, and felt, in my heart, I was being called to Christian ministry at least for a few years. Then came September 11th. That changed everything. Even so, I finished my committment overseas, and tempered my desire to enlist immediately with prayer and above all- time. It was a thoroughly explored decision process to eventually join the Army. I joined a full two years post 9/11 with the same fervor I had on that tragic day. When I joined the Army I found people from all walks of life, as I expected. However, one thing I have yet to find is someone who says they joined because they had nothing else to do.

Semper Gratus! says John Kerry is just jealous This turd is just jealous 'cause W got better grades than him in college. W got to be a super-cool fighter pilot while the F'ing 'tard got to be Skipper of the Minnow.

Former Naval Fight officer Steve Ambrose found Kerry's comment to be astounding: There are times, many of late, that I find it truly fitting that the mascot of the Democratic party is a jackass. It is insulting, demeaning, and utterly disrespectful to imply that those who serve in our military are doing so because they were poor students. Our military is a volunteer force, many enlist as a means toward higher education. Virtually all officers are college grads and those that desire a career have no choice but to get an advanced degree.

Such a comment is absolutely astounding coming from the man who came so close to being the Commander-in-Chief of the most advanced fighting force in the world.

Beast 7, a veteran with 20 years experience as a Combat Engineeer points out the good qualities in American's soldiers as opposed to John Kerry: Generally speaking, soldiers are the best people I know. They have more drive, ambition, concern for their countrymen and world citizens, and embrace the concept of that a successful team has more value than a successful individual. Generation after generation have referred to our young soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines as the "best and brightest." Fact is, it takes a heck of a lot more gumption to enlist, complete training, and serve than it does to languish in community college for six years.

Personally, I enlisted with two years of college, and completed my Bachelor of Science degree within six years—while serving. I served in a variety of positions and units, and left each one better off than when I joined it—better trained, more efficient, more cohesive. After 22 years in office, can Senator Kerry say the same?

Sgt. Lori is still upset with John Kerry: I am still upset about Mr. John Kerry's comment. The thought has briefly crossed my mind to make a "I Luv Jon Carry" button. I have heard some people say that a big deal is being made about his comment, a proverbial mountain out of a molehill. Maybe. His comment showed me what he thinks of the military men and women. We chose the Military because we had no better choice.

Tadpole in Afghanistan derides Kerry, but wants politicians and right-wingers to join the fight in the Middle East: I should clarify the point I intended to make with my last message. I am no more or less a fan of John Kerry than I am of any other politician. The way I see it they are all professional liars. Why do you think so many of them are lawyers? What I do have a problem with is any war-hawk type person who is willing to wage war as long as they don't have to do it themselves. I am really sick of big talking Republican whackos and anyone who is willing to sacrifice civil liberty in trade for the illusion of security. I am particularly sick of those who are so eager to send in forces when they never served themselves, or when they ditched their obligation. You don't see too many politicians sons over here...

The fact is that John Kerry's original statement was incredibly stupid, simply because he made a statement that could be mis construed, regardless of it's actual intention (only Senator Kerry knows his intentions for certain). Any politician worth his salt should have learned how to avoid such statements. However, I do agree with the content of his response which I posted in my last post. I challenge all those who are so fucking eager to wage war to come on over here and join me and my friends. Many hands make short work, right?

The problem to me is that those hawks won't come to fight. They will continue to send those few of us who are actually brave enough to serve the greater good to go make whatever sacrifice may be called upon us to make... And so long as high-speed internet and cable T.V. is not interrupted no one will care...

Sack in Iraq, a National Guardsman, whose brigade participated in the famous Jon Cary photo, dismisses the Kerry apology:I guess Mr. Waffle decided to apologize, kind of. Here is what he said.

"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended," he added.

Man, this guy can't even apologize right. I regret that my words were misinterpreted? Not much of an apology in my book. I think he is saying that we in the military are too dumb to realize that he isn't really apologizing and is also saying that we weren't hip enough to get the joke. We get it John. Now go back to Massachusetts again please. The last 2 years have been nice without you.

Captain KJ, a 30 year-old female officer in the Air Force currently deployed in Baghdad feels somewhat sorry for JFK: Honestly, I don't know what to say. Everyone else has said it. But I do feel bad for Kerry, in a way–it would be horrid to have one's slips of the tongue broadcast all over the world and mocked so assiduously. However, I suppose anyone who's in politics these days has to have a thick skin, so I'm sure he can handle it. You won't see me running for office any time soon, though!

The Bow Ramp found Kerry's apology less than heartfelt: If you misconstrued my intelligence to the point that you could possibly have believed that your "apology" to our service members would be accepted.

That was the most sorry-assed, unbelievable, insincere, apology I've ever heard from anyone (except you)!

Here's a hint for 'ya Johnny boy. Statements don't live in a vacuum. What you posted on your web site might possibly be believable if the remarks you made the other day weren't part of a forty-year pattern of verbal assault against military personnel. I'm STILL waiting for an apology about your 1971 Congressional testimony. You know, the speech that likened me to Genghis Khan.

If someone gave me the opportunity to bitch-slap either you or Osama bin Laden, I'd have to think long and hard about that before deciding. At least Osama is straightforward about his beliefs.

Yes, indeed.

Saddam Hussein gets what he deserves

Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging MidEast.JPost

Saddam Guilty, Sentenced to Hang - WCSH-TV

Saddam To Get Death Sentence Sunday - Alaska Report

Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Death

Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Death - Washington Post Foreign Service November 5, 2006; 5:32 AM

Hussein was convicted of ordering the killings of 148 men and boys from the town of Dujail, about 35 miles north of Baghdad, following a failed assassination attempt against him there in 1982. Hussein's presidential convoy was passing through the town when it was shot at. In response, he and other top Iraqi officials at the time order the round-up of hundreds of people, and the town's buildings were razed and it's orchards destroyed.

Ten of the people executed were boys ranging in ages from 11 to 17 at the time of the incident. The government held them in jail until they were 18, then hanged them.

The verdict climaxed a 12-month trial, conducted by the Iraqi High Tribunal and backed by the U.S. government, that arose from one of many atrocities Hussein is accused of committing during 24 years of brutal, one-man rule.

[...]Sajjad Abdul Hussein Ali, a Shiite Turcoman in the northern city of Kirkuk who had three brothers executed by Hussein in the early 1980s, called the verdict "the final show, and a triumph for all the families that were victimized by the Saddam regime."

"Reconciliation will not succeed without executing him and putting an end to a dark, dirty period of our modern history, so that this will be a lesson to all dictators and tyrants," he said. "Let them know that killers shall be killed, and tyrants shall be severely punished by God."

[...]Hussein is currently on trial in a second case, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for the killings of as many as 100,000 Kurds, many with poison gas, in the co-called Anfal campaign in 1987 and 1988. If the appeals panel rules against him and upholds his death sentence in the Dujail, Hussein could be executed before the conclusion of the second trial.
If these judges find grounds to question the judgment, Saddam will face another trial. If not, the sentence imposed this weekend will stand and be carried out within 30 days. Saddam and his seven co-defendants were put on trial for the killing of 148 Shi’ites from Dujail.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gestures during a press conference after meeting tribal chiefs of Amarah province, flanked by unidentified tribal chiefs, in Baghdad Saturday Nov. 4, 2006. Iraq's prime minister on Saturday said the verdict in Saddam Hussein's first trial would be handed down on Sunday and that he hoped the former leader will be given "what he deserves." (AP Photo/Mahmoud Shehab, Pool)

Photo and more in dept article Iraq Urges Calm Ahead of Saddam Verdict - ABC news International
We are preparing to celebrate tomorrow if he is sentenced to death," said al-Haidari, who lost seven members of his family to Saddam's alleged collective punishment of the city.

"Today we will remain awake waiting hour after hour for the verdict" he said. "We hope he will be executed here, where he committed his crime."

"We warn anyone who intends to exploit this event that our response will be tough and severe," Brig. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, the Interior Ministry spokesmanKhalaf said.

Court ruling session against Saddam Hussein begins - Kuwait News Agency, Kuna

Saddam sentenced to hang
The Independant - AP
Saddam, wearing a dark grey suit and white shirt, initially refused to stand before judge Rauf Abdel Rahman as the verdict and sentence were read out. But he was brought to his feet by two bailiffs.

"You are servants of the occupiers, you are traitors," he said. "Life for us and death to our enemies, death to the enemies of the people.

"Long live this glorious nation and death to the enemies".

Judge Rahman said curtly to the court officials: "Take him out."

See also by the Independant The life and Times of Saddam Hussein

Saddam and his half brother to hang - International Herald Tribute

In Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, 1,000 people defied the curfew and carried pictures of the city's favorite son through the streets.

Some declared the court a product of the U.S. "occupation forces" and decried the verdict.

"By our souls, by our blood we sacrifice for you Saddam" and "Saddam your name shakes America."

People were celebrating in the streets of Dujail, a Tigris River city of 84,000, as the verdict was read. They burned pictures of their former tormentor.

Celebratory gunfire also rang out in Kurdish neighborhoods across the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, where taxi driver Khatab Ahmed sat on a mattress in his living room to watch trial coverage with his wife and six children.

"Thank God I lived to see the day when the criminals received their punishment," the 40-year-old exclaimed on hearing of Saddam's death sentence.

I have never been for the death penalty, but in the case of a mass murderer at the head of a nation, there is no punishment that could be more appropriate.
Finally true justice.

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