Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Decency in the Era of Indecency

The President’s statement on the grave news of Ted Kennedy’s health.

Laura and I are concerned to learn of our friend Senator Kennedy's diagnosis. Ted Kennedy is a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength, and powerful spirit. Our thoughts are with Senator Kennedy and his family during this difficult period. We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery.

Compare the foregoing statement with some daily Kos commentary on poor little old Nancy Reagan’s recent health problems.

Some guys are just too nice to be President.


Anonymous said...

Take a look on FreeRepublic and you'll find plenty of comments comparable to the daily Kos. There are plenty of stupid assholes on both sides of the aisle.

You would have rather had the president say "Good - about time God took out that SOB"?

vlad the impaler said...

Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

Anonymous said...

"Kennedy has been a player in literally every major progressive accomplishment of my life, usually a major player, quite often the leading player: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, Legal Services, the War on Poverty, environmental legislation, OSHA, bringing down Richard Nixon on the Watergate investigations, ending the Vietnam War, stopping military aid to the Contras in Central America, the Martin Luther King holiday, stopping Robert Bork, the increases in the minimum wage, Family and Medical Leave, National Service, Motor Voter Act, S-CHIP. His fingerprints are on all of that legislation, and more. And even where he failed, on universal health care and labor law reform and stopping the Iraq war and other battles, he fought the good fight with passion and heart and courage. I hope like hell his fight is not ending, that he does not go gentle into that good night, because we need his passion and heart and courage in these cautious, careful times all the more."

Posted at OpenLeft by Mike Lux. Reposted here by Spotlight.

Art A Layman said...


Well hell! Now you realize it. After eight damn years of the worst governing we've ever had and you discover Dumbya is too nice to be President.

You do realize that there are a whole raft of too ?s for Dumbya to be President.

KenRichards said...

"Hey, word down at division is you guys can't take this hill. What do you have to say about that? In fact Senator Kennedy insists you guys haven't got a chance at all."

Hamburger Hill

Senator Kennedy, much like Jane Fonda, is not well regarded by the military.

Anonymous said...

And now Richards wants to bring Jane Fonda into it. What's next you self important prick, you gonna start calling out people's Mothers? Scheeze what an asshole you are. I'm going to sign this Anonymous because I know how much you hate that - plus it'll give you the chance once again to lable someone who doesn't agree with you as lurking in the shadows, reading the Koran, a dirty Muslim, tree hugging, faggot, who can't be a man because he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as you.

vlad the impaler said...


I think both you and Sporer are missing the boat. Bush is not "too nice" to be President.

Reagan was nice. Bush is a pussy.

I'm going to pilot an Oldsmobile 88 submarine in Kennedy's honor today.

KenRichards said...

I can understand why Anon 6:03 is upset because the truth sometimes hurts and since liberal politicians (and their gutless hacks) have an aversion for the truth it seems to disproportionately haunt them.

Anyone not offended by Ted Kennedy’s mid battle commentary against American soldiers is worthy of a piano falling on their unpatriotic anti-American head. Since we don’t have an example of US Senator mocking American forces before that time it appears Teddy Kennedy stands alone on that achievement. It was truly an incredible statement and even if he was drunk when he uttered it (always a possibility just ask Mary Jo – oops, we can’t) we can’t excuse treason under any circumstance. I guess that explains why we don’t have record of any US Senator cheering for the Axis Powers during WWII battles. Truthfully, I doubt any would but if modern Democrats were serving in their place it is not out of the realm of possibility when we consider Senator Joe Liebermann’s Wall Street Journal Op Ed

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121132806884008847.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries and http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2019031/posts

KenRichards said...

Another daisy on drunk Teddy’s account is the alleged rape (liberals and feminists forgive anything if you vote right) by his nephew while he stood by and did -----NOTHING!

From http://www.usatoday.com/community/chat_03/2003-07-11-klein.htm , 'The Kennedy Curse': Author Edward Klein,

Birmingham, Alabama: Mr. Klein, what do you believe to be the worse story of ALL of the cursed Kennedy's, I mean the most hurting and longest lasting curse or death to overcome?

Edward Klein: I think the worst story concerns the alleged rape in 1991 in Palm Beach of Patricia Bowman by William Kennedy Smith. Patricia Bowman told her best friend that while she was being raped and shouting for help, that Sen. Ted Kennedy was nearby, watching, and did nothing. That, to me, is truly shocking. 00:05, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Anonymous said...

I agree with both Vlad and Ken and the boobs defending Kennedy should quit pretending he was a great man.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of Kennedy but thingslike the civil rights act of 1964, Family medical leave act, and the Martin Luther king act are clearly good things for the country. Only ignorant racists would be opposed to these things. Who in there right mind would thing that you can treat people differently just based on the color of there skin. It is appalling that anyone would even think that this day and age.

Anonymous said...

Also, I disagree and most often would go the complete opposite of Ted Kennedy. In civilized society, we do not wish harm upon someone simply because of their ideas or that we disagree with them. (remember Paul Wellstone people!) Ted Kennedy did a good job representing MA, but a horrible job representing America. He was one of the people who has changed and done more harm to the constitution than any other group or person. (maybe Aaron Burr) I still respect the man because he stood up for what he believed. He was not a flip flopper (would have been nice if he would have once or twice).

KenRichards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KenRichards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KenRichards said...

Normally I would not disparage someone in the hospital but for Ted Kennedy I had to make an exception because cheering for the enemy fighting our boys in battle is beyond belief. Defeatism, hypocrisy, theft, graft, and cowardice can be excused on some level but actually taking the side of those killing American service members is atrocious. Ted Kennedy did the equivalent of commiting a crime against a child and then getting sent to prison to discover everybody considers that to be the lowest level. Even murderers (and Teddy qualifies on that one too) are better people than one who harms children. Well, mocking our troops in the field while supporting the enemy is the lowest of the low for a far left liberal.

Also, Republicans have NEVER been the party of RACISM considering the Republican Party ended slavery. Ted Kennedy, like a broken watch, is occasionally correct and his support of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was alongside many more Republicans than Democrats considering Southern Democrats attempted a filibuster.

Art A Layman said...


Back to the blather again, I see.

Let me state that I have great admiration for our military. Much more for the actual troops than for the command faction, although leadership of any kind is never an easy task.

You state: Anyone not offended by Ted Kennedy’s mid battle commentary against American soldiers is worthy of a piano falling on their unpatriotic anti-American head.

Senator Kennedy's remarks, "both senseless and irresponsible to continue to send our young men to their deaths to capture hills and positions that have no relation to this conflict.", were made on May 20, 1969. "Hamburger Hill" was taken on May 20, 1969, after 10 days of attempting it. I can't find any time stamps of the two events but I have a different definition of mid battle.

The quote you posted is from the movie, "Hamburger Hill". One would think that your military education would have taught you that movies are not the best source for accuracy. Kennedy is not on record as ever having said that, you guys haven't got a chance at all.

His "senseless and irresponsible" comment was not directed at the troops it was directed at the command and Nixon. It would not seem he was inaccurate since we abandoned the hill two weeks later and the North Vietnamese returned to it in force two weeks after that.

In a Time magazine article on June 6, 1969 it was stated that. "There are U.S. officers who will privately admit that, given hindsight, Ap Bia should have been handled differently." Of course, US officers always have to state their criticisms privately.

Criticism is not treason. The freedom to criticize our government and/or our military is what you guys fight for. History is replete with military fiascos, both ours and many others. Failing to criticize can lead to repeats.

There may not be record of any other Senator criticizing military actions in time of war, although I have a hard time believing that, but history does inform us that there were many, vocal, criticisms emanating from the Continental Congress about General George Washington's handling of the Revolutionary War.

If you are going to speak "Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax" take off your political blinders and try using the education you attained.

Your last bit of tripe? Patricia Bowman told her best friend that while she was being raped and shouting for help, that Sen. Ted Kennedy was nearby, watching, and did nothing. Sound evidence upon which to rest your case. Though I am often unsure, it would seem you are brighter than that.

KenRichards said...

Well Art,

I never said it was up to court standards but I think reasonable people agree something bad happened to that girl and Ted Kennedy’s lifestyle was certainly came into question. Was she raped? I don’t know but it had a lot better chance of being true than the racially charged Duke LaCrosse case that had liberals desperate for justice. The double standard is unbelievable when it comes to Republican and Democrat accusations so it makes sense Art (and feminists) defend both Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

Kennedy's statement (and yes I admit it was from the Movie but it also is not in dispute that I am aware of) may or may not have been directed at the troops but what business is it of his to make statements against their abilities? How his statement could be construed as against the Nixon administration and MAC V and not against the soldiers is hard for me to imagine but I suppose it is possible in some warped, liberal way. It all depends what the definition of "IS" means yada yada yada. Word play gibberish is what it really means and Art's valiant attempt to gloss over Kennedy's near treasonous statement doesn't exonerate Kennedy in the slightest. The Revolutionary War is probably not valid for this discussion considering 50% of the population wanted to remain with the Crown and the same logic applies to secessionist politicians before, during and after the Civil War. The real test must be for wars after the Civil War and I can’t think of a single time a Senator spoke against troops in the field.

Ted Kennedy is quite simply one of the most Liberal of the Liberal and the "Heart and Soul" of the modern Democratic Party. He was instrumental in the far Left direction of the Party which began during the Vietnam War. His departure from the Senate will be good for the country. I pray for his health and I hope he lives many years - but not as a sitting Senator.

Anonymous said...

I recall someone else who used to post in here all the time that used movies as a basis for most everything he said or did. For seemingly everything there was a movie metaphor.......

It's right on the tip of my tongue, that fella's name. We all later (some later than others) came to the conclusion that he was insane.....

Mike was it?

No, I've got it, it was Mark Klein, M.D. that used to post "facts" in here based on movie bullshit he took as the truth.

Well, that solves that one.

KenRichards said...

I don't recall Dr. Demento posting that much about movies at all. I think he spent most of his time spewing financial advice and conspiracy theories if memory serves.

Nice try Anon 1:38 but why don't you come up with something to demonstrate Ted Kennedy was not unpatriotic? Scant pickings on that front is my guess.

Art A Layman said...


One could easily see why running around denying every word or phrase showing up in a movie or TV program and ascribed to them might be a full time job and thus is to be avoided. Beyond that we now have this invention (thanks Al) called the Internet and this software called "Google". Try using it and finding your quote in the real world.

Have you stopped beating your wife?

Now if you use the actual quote that I posted and that created the furor it should be clear, even to your demented thought process, that he was speaking of the military command, which was following the dictates of the Nixon administration.

Now if you can find the time could you lay me out a schedule of what time periods and what historical circumstances are applicable in your arguments. There is also very little from the Spanish-American War that was applicable to Vietnam, should we cast that aside too? History is history, kennie. When you state hasty generalizations, it is best if you know whether history is on your side or not. I doubt seriously if you have searched to see if your premise is true. You have a tendency to throw things out there and see if they fly.

The measure of any man is the sum total of all his accomplishments somewhat affected by his failings. All in all, Ted Kennedy has been an outstanding patriot for his country; instrumental in achieving many good things for both the Dems and the Reps and the country. Today's genetic medical history bill is the most recent example.

Your obsession with labels as the prime determinate of one's worth is not only boorish it presents an inability to analyze and make sound decisions. Attributes I would not expect in our military leadership, previous or not.

KenRichards said...

OK Artie,

I defy you to gather your facts(google it Rosie style) and show many anything, in the conventional sense, that can be considered patriotic from Ted Kennedy. His version of patriotic is to run away from trouble and blame the military in the process. Ever notice how Democrats visiting the war zone, the few who do, have embarrasing camera moments with the troops? There is a reason guys like Ted Kennedy stay away from here and it goes beyond cowardice. He doesn't like us and we don't like him and that, my friend, is a fact.

In the meantime, find some evidence to refute my claim he is anti-military.

vlad the impaler said...

All these news headlines should be changed to the following:

Tumor Has A Malignant Kennedy

I wonder if the tumor can swim.

RF said...


On your obviously 100% objective patriotism scale, how would you rate W's record?

Claire said...

The only bad thing the right can say about Ted Kennedy, in nearly 50 year's time, is Chappaquidic. Yes, it was a tragedy for which he was responsible. Yes, he got away with it. Ok, we agree. THEN he became a U.S. Senator and selflessly served his country and has been doing so with honor ever since.

George Bush has a drunk driving conviction. Laura Bush accidentally hit and killed a little girl years ago. Yet you don't see people still identifying them with those mistakes. Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty much what the GOP has been reduced to claire. They can't stand on substance and their policies have driven the country into the ground. What else have they got but personal attacks?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:16
The new GOP (Coburn, Flake, Henserling, and MCain)have something to offer. Most politician start out idealistic and leave their principals in a few years (look at the democrats in the 80's and 90's) the GOP is going thru the same transition. The new faces of the GOP will be people that will be solid stewards of taxpayer money (even opting to return it instead of trying to find new uses to spend it on) You will find a balanced tax system, probably a movement to a flat tax with a low income exemption. You will see strict interpretation of the constitution and re gression of homeland security in a few years. They will put personal safety of citizens first here and abroad. The challenge the new GOP will face is Immigration and Social conservatives. If these 2 groups continue with their all or nothing right now mentality the GOP will fail to exsist as a party and will be replaced within 25 years.

The questions people can ask is this:

Which party or leaders will put the security of our country first?

Which Party or leaders will put the financial security of our country first.

We need to stop looking at ourselves and look at what we want our country to be 5, 10 15, 20 years from not. We have massive problems that lay ahead we have 65 trillion dollar deficit in Medicaid/Medicare and a 12 trillion dollar deficit in social security.

When I look at the current candidates plans I prefferr McCains aproach of cutting wasteful spending Farm Program handouts, bridges to no where, subisidies to business and other handouts. Obamas plan is to increase on a graduated level the FICA payroll tax. I believe that if people say the true cost and true taxation of our government upon thier lives we would expect less and be more concerned as to where we are putting our money. Taxes realy do belong to us we own the government and we should expect accountability.

KenRichards said...

I think it is pretty well established Ted Kennedy was, is, and probably will be till the day he dies, a drunken playboy in his personal life. The WKS rape episode on his estate had a lot more merit than the Duke LaCrosse case but feminists stood with him.

His environmentalism which he uber preaches to us did not extend to his personal estate nor the windfarm just off his beach.

As far as President Bush goes the troops still love him and the same cannot be said for Kennedy.

vlad the impaler said...

The new GOP (Coburn, Flake, Henserling, and MCain)have something to offer.

Putting McCain in that group is laughable. Coburn is great! Read his book Breach of Trust. It will tell you everything you need to know about Newt. The GOP has nothing to offer except "We suck less than the Democrats."

The new faces of the GOP will be people that will be solid stewards of taxpayer money (even opting to return it instead of trying to find new uses to spend it on) You will find a balanced tax system, probably a movement to a flat tax with a low income exemption. You will see strict interpretation of the constitution and re gression of homeland security in a few years.

ROFLMAO! Republicans? Good stewards of taxpayer money? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. That was a good one!

Strict interpretation of the Constitution? What is this Constitution of which you speak? Politicians don't even TRY to justify anything under the constitution anymore. There will be NO cutting of programs or regression of Homeland Insecurity. The Imperial Federal Government has too much power. They are not going to give it up.

They had nearly 6 years to accomplish everything you said but the pissed the opportunity down their leg.

Art A Layman said...


Let us start with:

Patriot: one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

Now the fact that one's endeavors to love and support all that his country stands for does not fit into your personal priority schedule of what is most important does nothing to negate one's patriotism.

If you read closely his Hamburger Hill statement it should jump right out at you that he cares for the troops, the little people, the pawns in the great chess game of war. As you grow a little older, and hopefully wiser, you will understand that your most staunchest critics are not necessarily your enemies.

Senator Kennedy has expended years of energies in attempting to pass legislation that improves the plights of Americans at the lower end of the economic and social spectrum. That by your definition is "liberal" and therefore in your estimation deserves to be condemned on its face.

It is important to remember that neither your personal views nor those of most of the military does not a US consensus make. Adding sporie to the equation does nothing to tilt the scales in your favor.

I suppose Kennedy's favor for Jim Webb's new GI bill exemplifies his hatred of the military; his lack of concern for the guys on the front line who often make the ultimate sacrifice. Where would all the disabled coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan be, in their futures, were it not for the many legislative initiatives for the disabled that Kennedy championed, originated and managed to use his influence to pass.

Did not Kennedy lobby long and hard and successfully to keep the manufacture and delivery of armored Humvees flowing to Iraq? He voted against going to war in Iraq but he clearly is concerned for the welfare of the troops there.

He may be harsh and a tough taskmaster on the military brass. That does not make him anti-military. He knows, as do most of us, that war is hell and that the troops are like raw materials to be used to manufacture (achieve) successful objectives. Questioning the wisdom and necessity of some of those objectives is not unpatriotic, in fact it is the opposite.

On the factory floor if we make a mistake and lose some materials we have lost some money and time. In war if we make a mistake; men and women die. The money can be made up; the lives cannot.

Since in our democracy the military is answerable to civilian authority, all of our leaders have a responsibility to question and criticize military actions that appear or prove to be senseless.

Listen to the many honorariums from his fellow Senators. These are not platitudes expressed because one of their own has fallen victim to a life threatening disease. These are heartfelt praises for a man who they all know is a powerful ally and a friend to suggestions that improve the welfare of our country. When developing an idea to improve our country, Senators from both sides of the aisle seek approval and support from Senator Kennedy. He doesn't always agree and sign on but all of them are ecstatic when he does sign on for they know that their chances for passage have just increased tenfold.

I don't know why he has not visited Iraq/Afghanistan. Maybe it's because he knows that much of the military views him with disdain. There exists no logic or empirical evidence that he shares a comparable disdain. Your keen analytical/observational abilities in zeroing in on the discomfort of Dems visiting Iraq when in the middle of the troops might have more validity if we had a better sense of any objectivity on your part.

It should be fairly clear to even an amateur observer that few of our politicians can withstand a close scrutiny of their personal lives. Many of our greatest leaders, past and present, in their personal lives did not present as paragons of virtue. The best I can suggest to you is: "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

Your peevish rants make great fodder for blogging. As a valid evaluator of the human experience you fall far short of even amateur status.

I do not think, although an assumption on my part, that you want to be disparaging the inconsistencies of values, on the part of others.

KenRichards said...

It is not that I don't want to answer every laborious point you made but I really don't have the time today to do so. Plus, I think I will need a publisher in order to write a worthy response because if it is half as long as yours it will be a small book. As it stands my answer will still be a hefty ready just to answer key points.

Patriotism doesn't just mean standing for war but it certainly means avoiding anything that gives aid and comfort to the enemy and Teddy Kennedy has certainly done that many times. The GI Bill is worthy but 9 times out of 10 Democrats view the military as their own socialist experiment zone (see Pat Schroeder) and attempting to "bribe" military members on one hand while skewering 'em in the back with the other is a familiar Democratic tactic. Keep in mind; it isn’t the Republicans saying "NO" to anything for the troops.

Art A Layman said...


Is not the objective to outword your opponent? I write a lot, sorry.

Given that most any criticism of the military and its actions can be perceived as giving aid and comfort to the enemy, your assertion would shut off all criticism and also violate our rights, those our military purports to be preserving.

You are well aware that passing legislation in our harried two party system is a Kabuki Dance. As much as you conservatives love to exclaim it, a yea or nay vote is seldom indicative of favor or disfavor of the subject matter of the bill.

Your conspiratorial views seem more halluncinatory than factual.

Short enough?

KenRichards said...

You're getting better!

BTW - criticism against the military is not my definition of Aid and Comfort but sending clear signals to our enemies falls in the category. The North Vietnamese credited our media and our liberal politicians for their victory and Al Queda is not going to be any different.

Art A Layman said...


In the world of war analysts and historians, why would we accept an explanation from the North Vietnamese or from Al Quaeda as to their rationale of victory?

We don't want to talk with our enemies but we will give them full credence when they tell us why we lost.

Trust me, no matter what the outcome in Iraq, Al Qaeda will claim a victory.

KenRichards said...

Not if they are dead.

I was just watching a documentary on the Pacific War and it occurred to me the Japanese have great national shame for Pearl Harbor. They really go all out to apologize to America for that war which is ironic considering they lack comparable shame for Korea, China, and the Philippines. Could it be they respect us because we trounced them?

Art A Layman said...


Always a possibility but then there is that factor involving trade and the benefits they get from us. Might also have to do with our efforts in rebuilding their country.

The history of Japan and its neighbors pre-dates, by a long shot, any disagreements with the US. Those old histories die very hard.

Besides it's beginning to look like the whole of Asia is bent on burying us with our own game; economics.

If you really think we'll kill all the Al Qaeda folks; you just keep thinkin Butch.

Art A Layman said...


Always a possibility but then there is that factor involving trade and the benefits they get from us. Might also have to do with our efforts in rebuilding their country.

The history of Japan and its neighbors pre-dates, by a long shot, any disagreements with the US. Those old histories die very hard.

Besides it's beginning to look like the whole of Asia is bent on burying us with our own game; economics.

If you really think we'll kill all the Al Qaeda folks; you just keep thinkin Butch.

The Real Sporer said...

Art, yes the Japanese have a long history. No foreign power ever defeated them, until they met Uncle Sam and his sons-G.I. Joes.

Now, Art do you not believe that no country on Earth has a better idea of what an American boot up your ass really feels like than do the Japanese.

So, since we were willing to kill millions of Japanese the only reason we won't actually kill all of the Al Qaeda and other supporters is terrorism is the presence of the morally and historically failed politics of appeasement that Barack and rest of the lefties have been teaching our children since the 60s.

The Real Sporer said...

"any" country on Earth.

Art A Layman said...


You've got your head where the sun don't shine again.

Al Qaeda has cells all around the world, many in places we can't even get into. They don't play by our rules. I've mentioned before they don't play by our timetable either.

Now of course if we want to play the Japan card and nuke the whole rest of the world we might get most of them but even then some of them will probably get away. Like maybe those that might be in the US right now. And we're a long way from being ready to nuke the Middle East with their black gold.

The sixties didn't cause the decline of our country. That began in the eighties with Reagan.

KenRichards said...


We used the nuke option on Japan because it saved lives but we had them conventionally beat as well. There is no way we could've beat them if we had the current crop of Democrats in office though. Al Queda is both a concept and the fulfillment of Arab frustrations and not a government. We can still beat Al Queda as long as we don't flee from them in the places we fight them. The SUCCESSES in the War on Terror are ignored by Doom and Gloom Democrats who seem to pray for defeat whenever possible since it validates their claims the enemy was just too stong. Democrats care only for the comfort and social issues but ignore the ones that matter - like killing the enemy. And that, my friend, is where the rubber meets the road and why the vast majority of military members (Black, White, Asian, Hispanic) who do the fighting can't stand Democrats. Oh sure there are some in the military who like Democrats, but they care a lot less about killing the enemy and a lot more about "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and similar social/equal opportunity BS.

Art A Layman said...


You know. I always had the same respect for officers in the military that I had for any learned leaders of men in any other venue. You begin to test the wisdom of my intuition.

I know it must have pained you to have to modify your statement with "current crop" since our victories over Japan and Germany were accomplished by Democrats. While we're at it let's not forget WWI.

Your simplistic definitions of what Democrats think and especially your absurd categorization of those in the military that approve of Democrats as being only those that the military considers as aberrant are ludicrous on their face.

In the first place, those in the military are drilled over and over again in the discipline of structure; of command and authority and the necessity of following and adhering to that authority, without fail. This is not dissimilar to the conservative mindset so it is a logical fit.

Killing the enemy is the objective of war. At least killing enough of them to get them to acquiesce. Though difficult this works well when fighting another nation or government. When fighting an ideology, especially a radical one, it is much less successful. Resistance, of course, will be predicated on the resources of manpower and weaponry but many ideologies can muster up significant manpower and guerilla warfare does not always require sophisticated weaponry to inflict severe damage.

Even with all our killing of Al Qaeda in Iraq, we were not making great headway until the Iraqis themselves decided to engage the fight. Many of those killed in Iraq were innocents and sectarian factions having nothing to do with Al Qaeda.

We may, with the help of the Iraqis, who are best at telling the good guys from the bad guys, eradicate all the Al Qaeda in Iraq, at least at a given point in time, but we can never know for sure when or if they will stop coming as long as we are there. Given our knowledge of the Islamic mindset, of which we had much in the way of visual history, it would seem to me that the very first thing we should have done, once toppling Saddam, was to secure the borders of Iraq. The anti-American feelings of many radical Islamic followers should have suggested to those far removed from rocket science that sympathizers with their Arab brethern and those desiring a chance to kill Americans would pour into Iraq and commence their journey to the virgins. I don't believe to date we have secured the borders. You don't send a platoon to do a job requiring a division.

We actually provided Al Qaeda an easy battleground upon which they could kill Americans. They wouldn't have to invest years of planning and logistics to inflict damage. No passports and travel arrangements and meetings and secretly compiling of weapons was necessary. Merely cross the open border, with the help of friends, and with a modicum of organization, commence killing infidels while God is patiently waiting, condoms in hand.

The War on Terror will continue for eons against Islamic radicals. This will allow time for their unbelievable birth rates to keep a steady stream of adherrants coming. Since the countries in the Middle East offer little much in the way of prosperity for the increasing population, the pickings will be far from slim for a long time for the founders of Al Qaeda. Consider what will happen in the Middle East if we are successful in developing alternatives to oil and they lose all their opportunity for wealth.

We would be far better served by assigning our private military/security contracts to the Iraqi government and let them pay the private contractors to maintain security and train their military and get the American footprint out of there. Estimates are that we have more private security contractors in Iraq than troops and many of those are former military seeking higher pay so they are well equipped to train the Iraqi military and provide security for the hapless government. Our continued presence there is just slowly eroding our influence with both our allies and our enemies around the world. The erosion of our treasury is far from slow.

When the enemy seems to have an endless supply of manpower and that manpower holds life as much less valuable than our culture it is time to seek a better solution. A lesson we thought was learned in Vietnam.

We've got serious problems, "right here in River City" and this continued futility is draining resources sorely needed on the home front.

We can't even provide a fair and well deserved reward to our servicemen because it might cause many to leave the military and that could play havoc with our neverending redeployments back to Iraq.


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