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February 19, 2004
I've asked several subjective questions regarding the past, present, and future John Kerry on this Blog this week. Although over ten thousand visitors have read them, as yet none have been answered with valid support points for Kerry.
Another chance: I've tried to consolidate some of those questions here. I recognize that I'm coming from an anti-Kerry side, but I'd legitimately like to see these answered. To make it easier though, I'll also allow for folks to simply explain why they aren't important.
Any issues with Bush can be addressed in comments elsewhere on this blog. This is about Kerry. Likewise, I'd rather there be no "Kerry bashing" - just honest attempts to answer these questions on his behalf.
1) Kerry abandoned his command after 4 months in time of war. He did so under the rules that were in place at the time, so he broke no laws, only faith with those who depended on him. This is unexpected behavior from those in command. Can anyone defend this action in a leader? Would he do the same today?
2) Kerry was defeated in his first run for office. Was his subsequent abrupt change from "Kennedy style patriot" to virulent anti-war activist a shallow move, calculated to appeal to more voters? If not, what life-changing experience did he have that led to this conversion?
3) Did he actually believe the atrocity stories told by the false veterans in Jane Fonda's Winter Soldier group? Or did they fit his world view, so he didn't look too closely into them before repeating them before congress? Or is he just gullible?
4) Is the "flip-flop" issue 30 years old or is it ingrained into his personality? He's also flipped on Iraq, having been forced to recant his vote and dance to Dean's tune when Dean's was the message perceived to be desired by the Democratic Primary voters. Was he tricked into supporting the President originally, or was he tricked into supporting Dean? Or were his motives purely political, and we are left struggling to determine what Kerry's real position is. (His self-defense statements would seem to imply that he feels betrayed by Bush in that the President "had no plan". In other words - "tricked by Bush")
5) Has Kerry finally made up his mind that no one will fool him again?
6) What is the Kerry platform? (Both he and Miss America want "world peace", as do I.)
7) Is he the most extreme left candidate ever to be seriously considered for President of the United States of America? If not, who was?
8) The media wants to convince America that John Kerry represents a generation of Vietnam Veterans. Does he? Or does he represent a generation of draft dodgers who have found a veteran they can respect?
I believe that the military-related arguments above will be tabled under the weight of truth spoken by several generations of veterans all around this country. This may happen before Kerry secures the Democratic nomination. I also believe the media coverage will focus on the small minority of those who support Kerry, or at least attempt to portray some sort of one-to-one "deeply divided" ratio. Again, the truth will be available in VFW halls and military clubs around America.
Will America get the message?
These are subjective questions, but the answers matter, as we are discussing whether or not this man should have our support in his quest to be the most powerful man in the world.
And by the way, would Kerry abdicate that power to another group?
Comments are open. 112402
Posted by Greyhawk / February 19, 2004 8:04 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
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