Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm in ur aina ... 

...spahking ur wahine ...

No, that's not a picture of a wahine. That's the picture I took at my dad's house, visiting my home town of Kaneohe, Hawaii. (Actually, the house is in Kahaluu, just north). As a kid I divided my time between Kaneohe and Kailua.

Kaneohe is developing slowly, Kailua has been transformed from a little country town into almost a resort area. It feels like Honolulu there now. Kaneohe still feels like windward Oahu.

The photo doesn't do justice to the view. It's good to be home.

I always wonder why I ever left. Until I check real estate prices.


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Friday, October 26, 2007

Countercolumn Flashback 
I wrote this back in 2005, but had forgotten about it until today.

I was having a conversation with my Dad about Al Anbar and the recent positive news coming from most of Iraq. Or lack of news, anyway. And I said that my assessment was that the recent progress wasn't due so much from the additional troops in the surge as it was with the way they were being employed.

Under the old management, American troops didn't live in the communities they operated in. They quartered in large FOBs across town, and "commuted to work." Too much was done mounted, and you had units that had "Death Before Dismount" posted on signs around the FOB and on their vehicles.

This was a bad habit. Yes, the 3rd ACR was a terrific unit, and still is. But it would have been even better had it organized and trained itself to operate dismounted as much as possible as soon as the mass maneuvering phase of the war was over.

Counterinsurgencies have always been won by dismounts, engaging directly with the decisive point of any insurgent fight: The population itself.

You cannot engage a population from inside a humvee. You are safer, in the long run, foregoing the limited protection the vehicles give you, and focusing on the enemy where he lives and breathes -- among the local population.

Under Petraeus, however, we've pushed the battalions out into the communities, with scores of smaller company and platoon-sized elements integrating intimately with their communities. Talking to people. Getting to know the community. Buying soda and ice and food in their stores. Making connections.

Petraeus understood the value of making those connections. Sanchez, for some reason, seemed like he did not. Or if he did, he was unwilling to take the short-term tactical risk that a smaller outpost could be overrun and annihilated. I thought Abizaid was promising, but ultimately, he didn't make the leap to the counterinsurgency way of thinking, either.

Petraeus made the change; Admiral Fallon backed him up, and so did Gates. Well done.

The new tactic of fusing into the community sucked the oxygen the insurgent needed from the urban landscape, and forced him to redeploy where he had fewer friends. As a result, he is getting rolled up as a population increasingly alienated by his wanton cruelty rats out his operatives, denies him safe haven.

That's why I'm sort of proud of this entry, from June of 2005:

Look: You will NEVER be able to defeat everything the enemy throws at you. There's been an armor/projectile contest going on ever since Zog the Caveman tried to club someone through a buffalo hide. The defense always loses in the end.

There will NEVER be an armored humvee kit that can defeat a triple-stacked mine, because a properly emplaced triple-stack will simply remove the vehicle and the driver from the county.

Ditto with a good shaped charge from a 155. Look, the 155 has a lethal radius of hundreds of meters. Slapping some extra sheet metal on the side of a humvee is not going to defeat a 155 blast from the side of the road 10 feet away.

But it CAN defeat a frag grenade, a 60mm mortar shell, and all manner of home-made improvised explosive devices. It can defeat small-arms fire, and thereby make a combined-arms attack much less inviting to the enemy.

You will never have a perfectly surviveable system. And you cannot turn Humvees into tanks. You will bankrupt the country.

No one ever gave a tip to me when I was buttoned up. I never had an interaction with an Iraqi in an armored Humvee with the doors closed and the windows up. (We didn't have grenade screens in those days. Heck, most of my Humvees had CANVAS doors, if they had doors at all.!)

Part of the solution is going to lie not in making our vehicles invincible. You CAN'T make it invincible to a triple stacked anti-tank mine.

So don't even try.

Rather, the real solution to defeating this measure is not going to lie with the vehicles at all, but outside them.


Get into the communities. Leverage Iraqi contacts.

Yes, we're doing that already, as much as we can. But these knuckledragging trogs in Congress are focusing on the wrong things. And the ignorant press is dragging us along with them, and damaging the war effort, by pulling us into a defensive mentality.

The insurgency will not be defeated by putting an extra armor on our vehicles. The insurgency will be defeated by dismounts. Dismounts out there engaging with the Iraqi people and collecting real-time intelligence.

And THAT is the effort the Media should focus on. THAT is the effort that Congress should focus on.

Where is all the heat forcing colonels to jump through their asses to develop HUMINT? There isn't much. All anyone wants to hear about is armor this, and armor that.

Fuck the armor. Get out and clobber the enemy, and let HIS sorry ass wish he had more armor.

Get back on offense. Close with and destroy the enemy.

I think I was grasping the issue, even then. And so did Petraeus. (I didn't want to say 'I told you so' until I found it in my own writing from over 2 years ago.)

Also, here back during the very first week of this blog's existence, I wrote,

The war on terrorism, I believe, does not stop with the war on Al Qaeda or even with a war on state sponsors of terrorism such as Saddam Hussein. The war on terrorism, properly viewed, is a war on an ideology--the ideology of radical Islamism.

I'm trying to sort through in my mind how past ideological wars have been won. Communism was defeated, ultimately, on its own turf, when its own people rejected it throughout Eastern Europe.

Naziism, and its racist core belief system, was only defeated and discredited when the joint efforts of Americans and Slavs annihilated its armies of "supermen," and yanked the flag down over Berlin.

Japanese Imperialism, same idea.

I'm searching my mind for similar parallels in history--where ideologies have clashed in mortal struggles--struggles that transcended politics, rulers, borders, ethnicities, and for ways those struggles throughout history have been won or lost.

The monotheists vs. the pagans in the Old Testament?

A study of the growth of Christianity in a Pagan Europe in the early centuries of the C.E.?

Other ideas? What are the best historical parallels? Use the link in the upper right hand corner of the site to email me!!!

My short answer: We don't have the combat power to defeat radical Islamism in the same way we defeated Nazi Germany. Radical Islamism thrives on being the underdog. But I think it can be defeated in the same way that Communism was defeated: wallop it with Satellite TV, Fax machines, and the internet age, push it until it eats its own young, and force it to deny reality until it is thoroughly discredited with its own people on its own turf.

Overall, I am gratified that the very earliest posts still seem to have stood the test of time, and I think I grasped the essence of the war, how it would end, and what broad policies would eventually bring success.

Splash, out


Splash, out


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Zero casualties in Al Anbar last week 
Last week, for the first time since 2003, there were zero military casualties, either U.S. or Iraqi, in al Anbar.

That development is absolutely huge. If a MLB pitcher threw 50 consecutive scoreless innings, closing in on Orel Herscheiser's record, the networks would be all over it.

What happened in Al Anbar last week is every bit as statistically anomalous as a pitcher throwing that many consecutive scoreless innings against pro batters.

Unfortunately, it appears that only Fox News is noticing.

Splash, out


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Weapons Cache Captured 
Someone ratted out on some moojies, and so US troops bagged a weapons cache with 120 fully-assembled explosively-formed projectiles, with the copper plates for 120 more.

If they caught the guy who lived at the house, and he's not a uniformed serviceman entitled to CAT III Geneva Convention protection status (I doubt he is), then I have no particular problem with waterboarding his ass and working the chain of possession all the way back to Teheran.

Maybe we can get some corroborating information via satellite or aerial imagery and finally put the screws to Teheran, so even the fucktards of the left can't deny their involvement in supporting anti-American insurgents in Iraq.

Well done to CPT Jason Rosenstrauch and the men of Co. B, 1/2 CAV.

Hat tip: The irrepressable Ace, with more here.

Splash, out



New verb: "Calvinize" 
Calvanize. v. to unite people of every stripe by your arrogance and stupidity.

Credit goes to "Mama73," a commenter at Don Surber's fine establishment.

Best new sniglet I've seen in a long time.

Yeah, Calvin made an ass of himself. But he seems to have seen the error of his ways, which puts him well ahead of Franklin Foer. And me, as well. (I don't know what I'm wrong about yet, but I'm sure I'll find out eventually, and like everyone, can use all the forgiveness I can get.)

Maybe McClatchy needs to pull this guy out. He's probably rendered himself useless over there for a while, and he's still risking his life. It's not worth seeing him killed for his crappy sourcing - which is only going to get worse now that he's alienated every English-speaker in the country.

So it's time for him to go back to reporting on high school baseball games in Sacramento.

I do want to give a shout out to Len Vaughn Lehman, though - a Knight Ridder man who covered the 1-124th in Ramadi in the summer of 2003, and a damn fine reporter who has my respect. Honestly, they're not all like that.

Ditto Christian Caryl, of Newsweek. Here's a pint to ya, wherever you are

Splash, out



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Backlash: The New York Times Savages New Faludi Book 
Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

The Times didn't see fit to cover Lt. Michael Murphy's Medal of Honor. But they found room in the paper for their reliably liberal reviewer to tear Faludi a new asshole for her (apparent) abortion of a book.

I'll leave it to Kakutani, who wastes no time in cutting to the bone in her fin her first paragraph:

This, sadly, is the sort of tendentious, self-important, sloppily reasoned book that gives feminism a bad name.

Then again, feminist writers have been able to get away with anything, thanks to the kind of muddleheaded intellectual slobs that make up most of the commenters on Feministing.

With “The Terror Dream,” Susan Faludi has taken the momentous subject of 9/11 and come to the conclusion that it led to ... an assault on the freedom and independence of American women. In the wake of 9/11, she argues, the great American cultural machine churned out a myth meant to “restore the image of an America invulnerable to attack” — “the illusion of a mythic America where women needed men’s protection and men succeeded in providing it.”

Well, it wasn't protection so much as women needed someone around who could open the pickle jar.

This girl-in-need-of-rescue paradigm, Ms. Faludi argues, dates back to frontier-days captivity narratives, which recounted the ordeals of settlers captured by Indians. She further contends that these narratives embodied the notion of shame (a “largely male burden, the result of recurring attacks in which the captivity of women and children served to spotlight male protective failures”), and that to counter this humiliation, there evolved redemption tales in which a maiden, taken against her will by “savages,” is rescued by a brawny white man.

This “mass dream,” Ms. Faludi goes on, “conceals the shaming memory, as it was meant to, but can’t expel it”: “The humiliating residue still circulates in our cultural bloodstream, awaiting provocation to bring it to the surface. And with each provocation, we salve our insecurities by invoking the same consoling formula of heroic men saving threatened women — even in provocations that have involved few women and no female captives, like the Revolutionary-era kidnapping of American sailors on the Barbary Coast. Or the terrorist attack on 9/11.”

Funny she should mention this. I was sitting in a communist beer hall/cafe in Miami, hanging out with a good friend of mine who says she'd love to live under Castro, and two college English profs, and talking about schools of literary criticism.

Look, I needed the money, ok!?!?!?!?!!?

Anyway, one of them said that he was a postmodernist, but not a deconstructionist NTTATWWT, and I let slip that I considered myself to be an archetypalist critic, if I had to pigeonhole myself. Like many who came before me, back into the earliest, embryonic stages of our cultural memory.

Long story.

Anyway, Faludi takes a page out of the archetypal critic's book here, which is surprising, because I figured archetypal criticism was one of the last vestiges of conservatism in literary criticism. But here is a liberal, applying an archetypal model on the explanation of history.

Of course, being a liberal, Faludi is therefore stupid, and makes a hash of the attempt. Being an archetypal critic doesn't mean you get to deliberately ignore evidence that doesn't fit your model, a cardinal intellectual sin for which Faludi is eviscerated by the Times.

(I much prefer Rebecca Onion's take on the female captivity narrative. But she never got back to me on that lunch date request.

Closing paragraph from Kakutani:

Not only are many of these assertions highly debatable in themselves, but Ms. Faludi’s overarching thesis in this book rings false too. In fact, her suggestion that the 9/11 attacks catalyzed the same fears and narrative impulses as those unleashed by our frontier ancestors’ “original war on terror,” leading to a muffling of feminist voices and a veneration of “the virtues of nesting,” runs smack up against her own “Backlash,” which suggested that similar assaults on women’s independence were being unleashed in the 1980s — a time not of war or threat but a decade that witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the coming end of the cold war.

Such errors of logic are typical of this ill-conceived and poorly executed book — a book that stands as one of the more nonsensical volumes yet published about the aftermath of 9/11.

I can't wait to read the response at Feministing!

Better put some ice on that, Susan.

Oops...was I being repressive? Soooooooory.

Newsbusters excoriates the Times for being so lovingly fellative (cunnilinguative?) during the hype phase of the book, having already devoted some 9 thousand words and several articles to Faludi's "splendid provocation" of a book that apparently no one had read yet, assuming the book reviewer gets the advances in the galley phase.

Why? How is this possible? Simple: Feminists and liberals can get away with intellectual and logical murder and the Times and their enablers will provide reliable cover.

Conservatives need to have 30 extra IQ points to get the same breaks that dumbass liberals with tired, predictable, and provably false ideas get.

If I were a liberal, the Democrats would have invited me to give the stupid Democratic Response to the Presidential Radio Address in 2004.

Shows how dumb they are.

Splash, out


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Phony Soldier, Redux 
A twitwad KosKid is calling Lt. Pete Hegseth, head of Veterans for Freedom, a "Phonied Up Soldier" demonstrates an appalling ignorance of all things military, and going after the man's wife for good measure.

As the kid on the old Fat Albert cartoon used to say: "No class."

He's even a bit much for some of the commenters at DailyKos.

Hat tip: Blackfive

Splash, out



Countercolumn News Ticker 
America-haters rally to save homes from fires ...

Dick Cheney accused of personally whipping up Santa Ana winds ...

Bin Ladin Urges Iraq Insurgents To Unite (To Save Homes In Malibu) ...
"These people are our most reliable allies! ...

Ventura Residents Tired of Malibu's Shit Anyway ...

SPECIAL REPORT: Malibu Burns: Could it happen in America?

Panda gnaws Chinese boy's legs to bone ...

30 minutes later, feels hungry all over again ...

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Headline: "Violence In Iraq Drops Sharply: Ministry" 
Pantera, Nickelback, and Nine Inch Nails could not be reached for comment.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Violence in Iraq has dropped by 70 percent since the end of June, when U.S. forces completed their build-up of 30,000 extra troops to stabilize the war-torn country, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry released the new figures as bomb blasts in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul killed five people and six gunmen died in clashes with police in the holy Shi'ite city of Kerbala south of the Iraqi capital.

Washington began dispatching reinforcements to Iraq in February to try to buy Iraq's feuding political leaders time to reach a political accommodation to end violence between majority Shi'ites and minority Sunni Arabs that has killed tens of thousands and forced millions from their homes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fragging is Rare in Iraq and Afghanistan 
So the Associated Press breathlessly reports.

American troops killed their own commanders so often during the Vietnam War that the crime earned its own name - "fragging."

But since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has charged only one soldier with killing his commanding officer, a dramatic turnabout that most experts attribute to the all-volunteer military.

And some argue the case of Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez shouldn't even be considered fragging, since his motive was unclear.

I think the reduction in fragging incidents is due to a combination of events, including the transition to an all-volunteer military, the fact that there are so very few liberals in the officer corps, and the "twelve captains'" transition out of active service.

Seriously - our officer corps is stronger, better and more professional now than it was then. Indeed, it's better than it has EVER been, in the history of this republic.
Our NCO corps is likewise better than it has ever been. We just don't have "shake 'n bake" NCOs anymore like we had in Viet Nam. And we don't have "90-day wonder" lieutenants.

Lieutenant Calley could not have made it to the battlefield as an officer in today's Army.

And with one notable exception (the JAG corps), we also haven't been letting liberal stupidity turn the Army into a social engineering project, like we did with McNamara's 100,000.

In 1966, [Johnson's Secretary of Defense Robert] McNamara initiated the "Moron Corps," as they were piteously nicknamed by other soldiers. Billed as a Great Society program, McNamara's Project 100,000 lowered military enlistment requirements to recruit 100,000 men per year with marginal minds and bodies. Recruiters swept through urban ghettos and southern hill country, taking some youths with I.Q.s below what is considered legally retarded.

In all, 354,000 volunteered for Project 100,000. The minimum passing score on the armed forces qualification test had been 31 out of 100. Under McNamara's Project 100,000, those who scored as low as 10 were taken if they lived in a designated "poverty area." In 1969, out of 120 Marine Corps volunteers from Oakland, California, nearly 90 percent scored under 31; more than 70 percent were black or Mexican. Overall, 41 percent of Project 100,000 volunteers were black, compared to 12 percent of the rest of the armed forces. Touted as providing "rehabilitation," remedial education, and an escape from poverty, the program offered a one-way ticket to Vietnam, where these men fought and died in disproportionate numbers. The much-advertised skills were seldom taught.

McNamara called these men the "subterranean poor," as if they lived in caves. In a way they did; their squalid ghettos and Appalachian hill towns were unseen by affluent America. All the better for McNamara and his president Lyndon Johnson. Unmentioned in Project 100,000's lofty sounding goals was the fact that - as protest became the number-one course of study at America's universities - the men of the "Moron Corps" provided the necessary cannon fodder to help evade the political horror of dropping student deferments or calling up the reserves, which were sanctuaries for the lily-white.

Officials denied that the members of the "Moron Corps" were dying in higher numbers, but the irrefutable statistics embraced by mathematical whiz kid McNamara tell another story. Forty percent of Project 100,000 men were trained for combat, compared with 25 percent of general service. In one 1969 sampling of Project 100,000, the Department of Defense put the attrition-by-death rate at 1.1 percent. By contrast, the overall rate for Vietnam era veterans was only 0.6 percent.

"I think McNamara should be shot," said Herb DeBose, a black first lieutenant in Vietnam, who later worked with incarcerated veterans. "I saw him when he resigned from the World Bank, crying about the poor children of the world. But if he did not cry at all for any of those men he took in under Project 100,000 then he really doesn't know what crying is all about. Many under me weren't even on a fifth-grade level.... I found out they could not read .. no skills before, no skills after. The army was supposed to teach them a trade in something - only they didn't."

Of course, the dorks in the drive-by media don't have the institutional history knowledge to figure this out.

The problems in the military in the late 60s and early 70s -- which included not only fragging, but also rampant drug use and racial tensions that made barracks into low-intensity conflict zones well into the Carter years -- can be laid squarely at the feet of liberal stupidity, in the guise of the "Great Society."

Forrest Gump was a good fictional character.

But you don't want Forrest Gump responsible for guarding your flank.

Splash, out


Via Memeorandum

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Funeral Services Industry in Iraq Falls on Hard Times 
UPDATE: Link Fixed.

Let's do our best to make great news sound bad.

That, no shit, is the line taken by the McClatchy News Service today.

Today's current crop of pseudojournos is absolutely beyond all parody.

Splash, out


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Who you gonna believe? Me? 
Or your lyin' eyes???

A hush fell over the crowd as Sen. Barack Obama crossed the field, his white shirt glowing in the sun, waves of cornstalks rustling behind him.

Splash, out


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Great Movie Monologues 
Jaws. Robert Shaw. USS Indianapolis.

Flat affect. Just a touch of madness in his eyes. Perfectly concieved, paced and delivered.

"Anyway. We delivered the bomb. (schlurp)"


Meryl Yourish: Hype doesn't get you a Nobel Prize for Economics. 
Maybe not.

Apparently, though, it gets you the Peace Prize.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ben Peeler 
So last week I got in a couple of tunes and undefined jams with a very fine guitarist and lap steel player (and fellow David Lindley acolyte) Ben Peeler.

Click "play" for some nice picking. Particularly Maria Elena, which is very Lindley.

He spent much of the past year touring with Shakira's band. Seriously, the man can play.


Karl Rove, you magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOK!!!!!

No, I'm not laughing at Randi. I still hope she's ok and makes a quick recovery. My mom fell for no apparent reason on a Walmart sidewalk a few months ago and broke her hip. I don't wish that on ANYONE.

Instead, I'm laughing at Miss "Woman's Intuition" and everyone else who blamed the "attack" on right wing operatives trying to silence Rhodes "by any means neccessary." No evidence required. No facts need apply.


Now, I wonder what all those creeps who made callous jokes about Bush hurting himself choking on a pretzel would say if I DID make light of Randi's injuries?

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Countercolumn News Ticker 
Quagmire: Randi Rhodes Mugged in NYC ...

Jack Murtha Pins Randi Rhodes Mugging on Marines ...

Boys And Girls Clubs of America: "No Comment ..."

Emails Pour In From Dozens ...

Rhodes Is First Mugging Victim In New York EVAR EVAR EVAR!!!1111!!111!

OJ Out On Bail ...
Judge: "It's not like Mr. White Ford Bronco is a flight risk or anything ..."
Whereabouts unknown on night of Rhodes mugging ...

Randi Rhodes ID'd As Nicole Brown Simpson's Real Killer ...

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They say the biggest conservatives are liberals who've been mugged. 
We'll see.

[Air America talk show host] Randi Rhodes was mugged on Sunday night on 39th Street and Park Ave, nearby her Manhattan apartment, while she was walking her dog Simon.

According to Air America Radio late night host Jon Elliott, Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week. At of late Monday night we have not able to locate any press accounts of the attack and nothing has been posted on the AAR website.

Several liberal blogs, including the Randi Rhodes Message Board and Democratic Underground have logged numerous posts on the Rhodes mugging with most of the posters expressing concern about the condition of the popular lib talker.

Morning talk host, Lionel filled in for Rhodes on Monday, but did not say anything about why she wasn’t on hand to do her show. The Randi Rhodes board reports that Sam Seder, who does a Sunday afternoon show for AAR, will be filling on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Elliott was extremely agitated when he reported on the incident. He opened his show by saying "it is with sadness that tonight I inform you that my Air America colleague Randi Rhodes was assaulted last night while walking her dog near her New York City home."

Pointing out that Rhodes was wearing a jogging suit and displayed no purse or jewelry, Elliott speculated that "this does not appear to me to be a standard grab the money and run mugging."

"Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own," he asked. "Are we threatening them. Are they afraid that we're winning. Are they trying to silence intimidate us."

Some of blog posters also expressed concerns that the attack on Rhodes was hate crime. Other posters warned that we need more facts before any judgements are made.

According to Elliott, Rhodes was resting in her New York City apartment and was not hospitalized.

I blame the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

At any rate, all my prayers for a speedy recovery for Randi, a sister South Floridian, and and for her quick return to the air waves.

I also hope the creep who attacked her is arrested, prosecuted vigorously, and goes away for a long, long time to come, with scant hope for early release or furloughs.

Which is more than Randi can say for her liberal colleagues and her dozens upon dozens of listeners.

Splash, out


P.S., in what apparently passes for reasoning among the half-wits at Air America, the morning host simultaneously on the widening gap between rich and poor and a deliberate hit that came as a result of the hate talk coming from "Fox Noise" espousing both contradictory theories within thirty seconds, while at the same time rejecting the need for actual evidence to reach a conclusion. "Call it 'a woman's intuition," she said - no doubt referring to the same innate, instinctive sense that helped Hillary steer universal health care through Congress in 1994, and helped Randi avoid her attacker.

Oh, wait...

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Countercolumn News Ticker 
U.S. Military Credits Iran with Victory over Al Qaeda in Iraq ...

Gillette Revises Earnings Downward, Citing Depressed Sales in Burma ...

Medal of Honor Incident Sparks Inquiry Into Cell Phone Coverage in US ...

"How come he gets coverage in Grumblefuck, Afghanistan, but I can't make a call from my Grandma's house in Arcadia, California?" asked frustrated milblogger ...

Bush Appoints "Literaturacy Zar" ...

Secretary Rice Pledges to Reduce Gap Between Rich and Poor and Front Teeth. ...

Brzezinsky argues for Palestinian Right of Return, Puppies that never die, Flying pigs ...
"Just give 'em the whole shebang!" says former Carter official ...

Coulter Drives Wedge Between America's Most Obnoxious Christians, Dumbest Jews ...

Florida Boot Camp Teen Dies in "Worst Case of Assisted Suicide in Memory" ...
Boot camp nurse credits Dr. Mengele for inspiration in her defense ...

NY Times Blames Non-coverage of Long Island SEAL's Medal of Honor on "Whiteness, Lack of Mitigating Gender Issues ..."

Democrats Claim Only One In Ten Reduced Body Counts Attributable to Al Qaeda Defeat ...

Iraq War Upgraded from 'Nightmare' to 'Quagmire' status ...

Area Masochist: "Tase me, bro!!!!"
Area sadists refuse ...
Area masochist gets off on refusal ...

Army/Navy Goods Retailers Report Medal Shortages as Phony Soldiers Plan Convention ...

Coming Soon on Countercolumn: How to keep blog readers in suspense ...

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Friday, October 12, 2007

NY Times is AWOL on the Medal of Honor Story 
No mention whatsoever of Lt. Murphy's heroism or his Medal of Honor in the print version of the New York Times today - at least in the "A" section.

Jus' sayin.

The Times did run the AP version of the story on their Web site, but you had to search for it. It had zero home page visibility.

Further, compare and contrast this story, featured on the front page of today's times, with the story that, apparently, WASN'T fit to print.

Message: A welfare bum in Japan is worthy of the New York Times' sympathetic and prominent coverage. An American warrior gives his life in the service of his country and his men, and receives the Medal of Honor, is not.

If anything encapsulates the dysfunction at the New York Times, it's this.

Splash, out


More from me on this theme here.

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The headline reads: 9 Children Killed in U.S. Raid in Iraq 
You have to read the story to get to the bit about 19 Al Qaeda terrorist fucks getting the greasing they so richly deserve in the same operation.

In fact, unless you read the story, you wouldn't realize that there were actually two attacks: The first attack caught Al Qaeda in isolation and killed four. About 14-16 more fled the attack and sought to take shelter among women and children.

It was then that they were killed by the followup strike.

The blood of these women and children is on the terrorists hands. Not on ours.

Splash, out


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Medal of Honor 
The Medal of Honor has been awarded to Lt. Michael Murphy, USN.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A fun run. In Ramadi. 
I shit thee not.

Hat tip: LTC D (Thanks, sir!!!!)

Rollin' up the wire in Ramadi 
A video with a foot patrol in Ramadi. Courtesy of Michael Totten.

Via memeorandum


Two Great Religious Traditions... 
...Separated by a common language.

NEW YORK Appearing on Donny Deutsch's CNBC show, "The Big Idea," on Monday night, columnist/author Ann Coulter suggested that the U.S. would be a better place if there weren't any Jewish people and that they had "perfected" themselves into -- Christians.

It led Deutsch to suggest that surely he couldn't mean that, and when she insisted she did, he said this sounded "anti-Semitic."

Asked by Deutsch regarding whether she wanted to be like "the head of Iran" and "wipe Israel off the Earth," Coulter stated: "No, we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. ... That's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament."

The actual transcript, too long to post here, is at the link.

My take:

Coulter is right - at least within her own frame of reference. But is heard very differently within the Church than outside of it.

The word "perfected" means something very different to a Christian than it does to someone who is not a Christian - something more akin to "made perfect" in the sense of washed away of sin.

Jews don't think in these terms - that's a very New Testament, Pauline way of expressing it.

The concept, to a Christian, is rooted not in superiority, but in the acknowledgement of inferiority. The Christian cannot be made perfect on his or her own merits, but depends on the grace made possible by the sacrifice of Christ. We are so unworthy, according to Christian belief, that ONLY this grace makes salvation possible, and ONLY this grace allows for perfection.

The Christian ear hears, "We need the grace of the Lord because we, like the Jews and the Muslims and everybody else, can never live up to the exacting standards of Mosaic law. There is no one righteous. No, not one. All fall short of the glory of God."

The Jewish ear hears, "Hey! We're better than you heathens. So convert or die."

I'm reminded of the funny gaffe when Rev. Falwell was quoted in a news story as having said that Christians need to practice "assault ministry."

No. Falwell said that Christians need to practice "a salt ministry."

This is a term of art within Christianity and is not well understood outside of it, but it's a shorthand way of expressing a complicated idea. Same with the term "perfected." Christians who are educated in Christian apologetics, and who understand the shorthand and jargon of Christianity, will understand it. Most others won't. Coulter either forgot her audience, or didn't forget it but enjoys getting a rise out of them.

I suspect the latter is more likely for her - at least once she got into the conversation. But this is not evidence of antisemitism.

All Christians believe that Christianity is the fulfillment of Jewish faith and prophecy. Or at least will be at the Second Coming (and there's lots of quibble room on that one!).

But is this evidence of antisemitism?


Splash, out


UPDATE: A Google search on the phrase "perfected in Christ" turns up more than 22,000 hits. Remove the quotes and you get 885,000 hits. A search on the term "Made perfect" and "Christ" together turns up more than 334,000 hits. The search on "made perfect" and "faith in Jesus" turns up over 29,000 hits. "Perfect in grace" yields over 29,000 hits. And a search on the phrase "be ye perfect," turns up 17,800 hits.

Really - Editor and Publisher has no idea about the shark they're jumping.

2nd UPDATE: Wikipedia has this on the long-standing concept of Christian Perfection.
No, dumbasses, it has nothing to do with looking down Christian noses at Jews.

3rd UPDATE: For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
--Hebrews 10:14

I guess liberal knuckleheads don't know how to use a concordance.

Here's everywhere the phrase "made perfect" appears in the King James version:

Hbr 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hbr 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hbr 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Hbr 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

Jam 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

1Jo 4:17 ¶ Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Obviously, Coulter was tapping into a very well established concept - one which is thoroughly understood within the Church.

You know, I'm tired of liberals pretending to superior intelligence, because time after time, they establish themselves as uncultured, poorly-read, semiliterate hacks.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Success on the Syrian Border 
The London Telegraph breaks the Omerta-like code of silence on good news from Iraq as the rennaissance in Al Anbar becomes impossible to ignore.

In a town tucked tight against the Syrian border, US Marines pass softly along a darkened street as the crack of contact rings out. Instead of a panicked rush for cover, the leader of the patrol turns to cheer.

The familiar sound was not from the barrel of gun but the baize of an upstairs pool hall.

A transformation has swept western Iraq that allows Marines to walk through areas that a year ago were judged lost to radical Islam control and hear nothing more aggressive than a late-night game of pool.

Relationships have been built by a softly-softly approach by American troops

Behind the shutters the Sunni Muslim residents of the province are enjoying the dividends of driving out al-Qa'eda fighters who had imposed an oppressive Taliban-style regime.

The popular uprising against al-Qa'eda by residents of Anbar Province turned former enemies into American allies earlier this year. The result was a dramatic restoration of stability across Iraq's Sunni heartland. Husaybah bears the scars of the "terrorist" years - 2004 and 2005 - when al-Qa'eda and its local allies controlled the town.

Buildings stand half destroyed, roads remain torn up and almost half its population has fled. Much of the physical damage was inflicted in Operation Iron Curtain last year when Marine companies fought building by building to retake the town. Amid the ruins, relationships have been built by a softly-softly approach by American troops.

Footpatrols are hailed with cries of Salaam (Peace) and Habibi (Friend) in streets that were in no-go zones for the coalition a year ago. A ten-man unit of US Marines passes nightly along Husaybah's market street and zig-zags down alleys into residential areas. As they walk out, the sounds of a town reviving fill the air.

ABC Leak Costs Us Valuable Intelligence Asset 
This hurts.

UPDATE: But read this from My Pet Jawa

Al Qaeda's Internet communications system has suddenly gone dark to American intelligence after the leak of Osama bin Laden's September 11 speech inadvertently disclosed the fact that we had penetrated the enemy's system.

The intelligence blunder started with what appeared at the time as an American intelligence victory, namely that the federal government had intercepted, a full four days before it was to be aired, a video of Osama bin Laden's first appearance in three years in a video address marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. On the morning of September 7, the Web site of ABC News posted excerpts from the speech.

But the disclosure from ABC and later other news organizations tipped off Qaeda's internal security division that the organization's Internet communications system, known among American intelligence analysts as Obelisk, was compromised. This network of Web sites serves not only as the distribution system for the videos produced by Al Qaeda's production company, As-Sahab, but also as the equivalent of a corporate intranet, dealing with such mundane matters as expense reporting and clerical memos to mid- and lower-level Qaeda operatives throughout the world.

The article implies that the leak came from within the government, but I don't think that's neccessarily the case. ABC could have obtained the video on their own.

Information that seems mundane to an ill-informed journalist is frequently invaluable to the intelligence analyst. Expense reports are huge. You can combine knowledge of bank transfers of amount X in such a country on such a date with data mining transfer records to produce a list of suspects. Cross reference that with other data, such as arrest records, passport records, etc., and phone records and you can begin to build a picture.

We may have lost a big chunk of that.

We also lost a big chunk of the "chatter" that we've used to uncover seventeen of the last five Al Qaeda attacks.

Federal Law makes it a crime to possess or publish classified signal information. I'm not holding my breath for a prosecution. Families of future victims of terror could go after ABC for contributory negligence, though, using the fact that ABC seems to have violated the law to bolster their case.

Thank God ABC wasn't hanging around the Pacific Fleet right before the Battle of Midway.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Idiotic Comment 
Here's one from Think Progress:

Go f*ck yourself, you whining ass. The comment is the point of the story: Republicans are cowardly scum that will stoop as low as they can to gain political profit from injured children.

From a guy who calls himself "lefty patriot."

That's like "Jumbo Shrimp" and "Aunt Jemima Light!"


Jewish Center in San Jose Vandalized. Again. 
I'm Gonna Git You, Sukkah!!!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

The New York Times at its very best 
Jeffrey Getelman publishes a harrowing account of the plight of women in the Congo, who are facing a nightmare of sexual violence both at the hands of militias and government troops.

With haunting photos by Hazel Thompson.

Bravo to both journos. More like this please.

Naturally, it doesn't even make the radar screen at Feministing. Those navel-gazers would rather mobilize opinion against Elizabeth Hasselback than real rape.

Splash, out.

If American Troops Walked On Water ... 
The headlines the next day would read "Soldiers Can't Swim."


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Big Army Pisses on Reserve Component Troops 
There's just no other way to frame this.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (NBC) -- When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President Bush's surge.

1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have earned under the GI bill.

"It's pretty much a slap in the face," Anderson said. "I think it was a scheme to save money, personally. I think it was a leadership failure by the senior Washington leadership... once again failing the soldiers."

Anderson's orders, and the orders of 1,161 other Minnesota guard members, were written for 729 days.

Had they been written for 730 days, just one day more, the soldiers would receive those benefits to pay for school.

"Which would be allowing the soldiers an extra $500 to $800 a month," Anderson said.

The Pentagon bureaucrats who amended their orders knew exactly what they were doing, and why. How do I know? Because they routinely pull this shit on shorter tours, too: Orders to temporary assignments are routinely cut for 179 days, because at 180 days, the government has to spring for money to fund a PCS - a Permanent Change of Station. Short of 180 days, the tour is considered Temporary Duty, or TDY.

Reserve component soldiers on ADSW tours (Active Duty, Special Work) are frequently put on a series of 179-day tours, with short breaks in between, to avoid this.

When I took my commissioning oath as an officer, I swore to defend our constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and that I took this obligation freely, without any mental reservation, or purpose of evasion.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that that "purpose of evasion" clause work both ways, when it comes to our reserve component warriors returning from a 22-month long tour.

The warriors should have overruled the bean-counters on this one.

Scratch that. The warriors should have wrong the bean-counters' necks.

You watch what the replacement cost is going to be as we recruit, bonus and train new soldiers to replace the ones that say "f-ck the Army" and quit after that slap in the face.

I'll guarantee you it's going to be more than the difference between Active Duty and Reserve Component GI Bill for this unit.

Splash, out


Bring forth the comfy chair!!! 
So the guys who were interrogators of German rocket scientists, generals, and high-level Nazis like Rudolf Hess don't think too much of our current crop of interrogators.

When about two dozen veterans got together yesterday for the first time since the 1940s, many of the proud men lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects.

Back then, they and their commanders wrestled with the morality of bugging prisoners' cells with listening devices. They felt bad about censoring letters. They took prisoners out for steak dinners to soften them up. They played games with them.

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

First of all, I don't think they're in a position to know what information we get or don't get from whom.

They're also forgetting that in interrogating German generals, scientists, and high-level officials, they are dealing with an entirely different psychology than a radical Muslim fundamentalist with a sixth grade education.

With the former, given enough time, you could grease them up enough with appeals to intelligence. They are naturally going to want to impress the interrogator with how smart they are. (Did you notice the first guy quoted in the story was an MIT physicist? Golly...you think a rocket scientist might have something in common with an MIT physicist right off the bat?)

Such is not the case with many detainees in the current war. If appealing to their candlepower and getting them an ego boost by allowing them to show off their intelligence is ineffective, or just not an option available to them, then options start running out.

I also think these people - and the news media - vastly underestimate how often these "soft" approaches are actually used.

Not everybody get waterboarded as soon as they issue the orange jump suit.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Barking Moonbat Update 
Remember Linda Quiquivix? She's the barking moonbat who jilted her progressive Jewish boyfriend because he refused to be "enlightened" by her regarding the evil that is the modern state of Israel.

Well, you may be interested to know that she just got arrested for assaulting a government official with a deadly weapon.

She was released on $3,000 bond.

Can you imagine dating this woman?

Splash, out


(Thanks to an alert reader)

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Wesley Clark 
UPDATE: OMG!!!! I've been Insta-lanched!!

(Liberal character assassination and gentle but misguided warnings about the UCMJ to commence in 3...2...1...)

Now that former General Wesley Clark is trying to reassert himself on the public stage, I think it's worthwhile to take a brief look at the man.

Like Westmoreland, by all accounts he was a stellar junior officer, and had tremendous success at his middle management jobs as Battalion Commander, etc.

But remember, after Kosovo, he was all but relieved of his command by President Clinton, who made him an offer he couldn't refuse:

Retire three months early.

Anyone who didn't see that as a public rebuke just short of the level of firing MacArthur just wasn't paying attention.

I mean, despite what the half-wits at Counterpunch, the Kerry campaign, and Paul Begala said, even the SAINTED General Shinseki served out his full term!

You can also ask those who knew him, like former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Shelton:

"I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote."

No wonder he gets along so well with the Media Matters crowd: Birds of a feather flock together.

Update II: The Castle of Argghhh! has an insider's view of Clark's tenure during the Kosovo campaign:

Having seen Wes' conduct of the war in Kosovo (as the senior USAF officer attached to V Corps in Albania) up close, the Shelton characterization didn't surprise me.

For the blue suiters, especially the planners in the CAOC at Vicenza, there seemed to be great deal of pressure to introduce an Army aviation unit into the conflict when the latter clearly wasn't ready and their contribution would have had little effect on the fight. The same thing was happening, sort of, with the Corps' MLRS batteries.

That's not to say the Apaches and their crews weren't capable...it just didn't make sense to roll them into the equation given the ROE limitations, the targets, the intel available and the AH-64's capabilities and vulnerabilities. Again, the 11 AVN Rgmt is chock full of great Americans, with balls the size of pickle jars, flying awesome aircraft but sometimes you gotta square peg and a round hole and it doesn't pay to needlessly pound away--it wastes assets and can really screw things up.

Honestly, I agree. Helicopters get downed too often and too easily to use them in a conflict where you cannot get a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) to the site of a crash pronto. Trying to force helicopters into the Kosovo fight over ground we were not willing to physically occupy was a really f'd up course of action from a risk/reward perspective.

Splash, out


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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"The Five Things I Saw That Made Me Support The War 
From Marco Martinez, a former gang warrior turned real warrior for the USMC.

I was honored to have been given the opportunity to fight in Iraq on our country’s behalf. And it was that experience—and five things I saw firsthand—that illustrate the foolishness of those who would equate American military power to that used by thugs and tyrants.

1. Mass Graves

I was part of a group that was tasked with guarding Saddam’s mass graves. And let me tell you something: anyone who could look straight down into those huge holes at the skeletons and remains and see what that monster did to 300,000 of his own people would have no doubt that we did the right thing in removing him from power. Saddam’s henchmen would tie two people together, some with babies in their arms, stand them at the crater’s edge, and then shoot one of the people in the head, relying on the weight of the dead body to drag them both into the hole. This would save on rounds and also ensure that both people died, one from a gunshot, the other by being buried alive.

Read the whole thing.

You can order his new book here.


Senator Harkin... 
...Phony soldier

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Harry Reid, on Senate floor, calls Rush "unpatriotic" 
I now declare open season on using the same term to describe unpatriotic liberals.

Paint them with it. Brand them with it. It's time to carve the scarlet letter "U" on "Unpatriotic" Reid's head. On Unpatriotic Kerry. On Unpatriotic Boxer, Unpatriotic Murtha, and Unpatriotic Durbin.

I felt restrained until now. "Don't question their patriotism" my ass.

Unless some grownups on the Democrat side publicly excoriate Reid, then let the battle be joined on which side of the aisle is more respectful and supportive of our military. Let the battle be joined.

I guarantee you that Unpatriotic Reid won't like the results.

Splash, out



It's not like the Air Force is a military organization 
Some Unionized Air Force Reserve technicians, who are drilling AF reserve members as a condition of employment, are threatening a slowdown over being required to wear uniforms while working as technicians during the week.

The Air Force Reserve may be an unrivaled wingman to the active duty force, but it's also a conflicted one right now, with air reserve technicians angry over a new policy mandating daily uniform wear on the job.

And that's prompted some to increasingly talk like the union members many are.

Bristling at the new regs, some reservists intend to pressure the Air Force into scrubbing the new uniform policy - a demand that could have a ripple effect on Air Force missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Stop volunteering for Air Expeditionary Force rotations" is the call rebel Air Force reservists are making.

"We've got to do something to get their attention," said Master Sgt. Jerry Merrill, a KC-135 crew chief at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., and vice president of local 3854 of the American Federation of Government Employees.

I never understood the whole Reserve and Guard technician idea. If you need the staff, they should be AGRs, and that's it. Problem solved.

Otherwise you get stupidity like this. There's more stupidity and headaches on the pay side, as well.

I have an attention getting measure, for Master Sgt. Jerry Merrill: He just won't like it: A general discharge from the Reserves over conflict of interest.

Calls for "boycotts" of deployments by military reservists come perilously close to sedition. And any reduction in airlift as a result of inadequate maintenance staffing directly affects the war effort and quality of life issues for soldiers, marines, and corpsmen on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I can quibble with the efficacy of the uniform requirement - but that's the commander's call.

I don't imagine Ronald Reagan would stand for this.

Splash, out


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More on the Phony Soldiers Flap 
Alex of Army of Dude responds:

Dude, I'm pretty bewildered by what it seems like reasonable people have said about this thing.

You ain't the only one, brother!

Have you read the transcript that Rush himself provided? Or listened to the original broadcast and not his two-day-later explanation on what he really said?

Yes. And yes.

It's so obvious that it's painful.

Of course it's painful. It's always painful when the facts aren't on your side.

His defense was that he was talking about that one asshole who claimed to be a Ranger, that he was the 'phony' soldier,


not anyone else.


But plurality is a killer.

Wrong again.

Listen closely to the caller who claims to be a Republican and against the war, and he chides him hard, calling him a liar(!).

Fair game. Both on your part, and on Rush's.

Then the next guy said the media doesn't talk to "real" soldiers who, if they're real, support the war. He is stating pretty matter-of-factly that if you don't support the war then you don't support the mission and hence, you're not a soldier at heart.

Wrong. He said nothing of the sort. But even if he did, what does that have to do with Rush? That's the caller talking, not Rush. The closest he came to expressing the view you distort came AFTER Rush made the 'phony soldiers' remark.

Rush can backpedal all he wants, but he agreed with the sentiment of the caller.

So do I. What of it? Agreeing with the sentiment of the caller is not the same thing as referring to soldiers who serve overseas and do their duty while holding private reservations about the war as 'phony.'

And Rush said nothing which could even remotely be characterized as that.

And it's getting a little silly that people think I'm on anti-Rush crusade on the behalf of the boogeymen liberal media, but the truth is, I don't care what he said the day before, and I don't care what he has to say tomorrow.

That is perhaps true. But it is also irrelevant. You will be considered according to your actual words, and not by some distortion or guesswork about what you must have meant by them.

I'm also not assuming the worst about your own motivations or leaping to allegations of bad faith.

I think it would be wise for you to afford others the same courtesy.

I'll continue to not pay attention to him until he says something stupid again.

Set your egg timer.

To say I was duped by anyone is pretty ignorant.

Duped is as duped does. You either bought into Media Matters' lies, or you came up with them yourself.

Whatever your bias is (to the war, Rush, etc), you'll hear what you hear and take it into different contexts.

As another commenter writes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But nobody is entitled to their own facts.

I happen to hear it like I said I did, and that goes for a lot of people I know who had no knowledge of the controversy (I played back the audio from the first caller to the 'phony soldiers' discussion, it's all very up front).

Abraham Lincoln used to go around telling a joke: "How many legs does a dog have if you call a tail a leg? Well, the answer is four! Why? Because calling a tail a leg doesn't MAKE it a leg!"

There's simply no reasonable way to stretch the transcript to assume that Rush referred to reluctant warriors as "phony soldiers."

None at all.

That MAY have been caller number two's sentiment (I doubt it, but you cannot rule it out from his words on the transcript). But there is no reasonable way you can apply that meaning to Rush's "phony soldier" comment. The bit about if you talk to any real soldier and they're proud to serve, etc., did not come up until AFTER the "phony soldier" remark.

Further, in case it was unclear, Rush DID mention a phony soldier BY NAME: Jesse Macbeth, to give an example of the kind of person he was talking about.

You write that the plural is a killer. That's nonsense. That would ONLY be damaging to Rush if Jesse was the ONLY one. But Jesse was only one of many. To name names: James Massey, Amorita Randall, and Micah Wright to name a few off the top of my head. There have been others. And those are only the ones who have been outed.

It's unsettling that this is turning into a partisan debate.

No it's not. What's unsettling is that a sizeable portion of our media is so functionally illiterate that it's a debate at all.

What was originally at issue was the use of phony soldiers as a rhetorical device on the left. That issue was as legit then as it is now, and of course it's a partisan debate, because it seems to be exclusively partisans on the left who are relying on phony soldiers.

How can you contest what someone said?

I'm not contesting what anyone said. I'm contesting your own inaccurate and desperate distortion of it.

Liberals want an easy target to bitch about,

They don't care. They bitch no matter what.

conservatives want to parade him as a martyr.


Both sides are full of douchebags.

There are douchebags in every populace. Welcome to the world.

In this case, though, the douchebaggery is on the left.

I'm just simply who he was talking about.

No, you're not.

If you think you are, then put on your close reading hat and point it out,specifically, in the text, attributable to Rush.

Splash, out


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