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US Military reacts to WMD Joke

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    I posted this in another thread, but i think it really merits its own. The circumstances of the responses are outlined at the top of the article. remember, these responses were received after a week that featured clarke's testimony, relentless media and liberal bashing of bush over the iraq war and 9/11, and the faux "controversy" over Bush's joke. admittedly, the responders are to a certain extent a self-selecting sample, readers of a conservative website, but the results here say alot about how our military views their commander-in-chief, his democratic challenger, and the WOT in general, and the Iraq campaign in particular. the results have got to be disquieting to a lot of folks in Berkeley, Dupont Circle, Brooklyn Heights, and the Upper West Side.

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110004883
    --
    AT WAR
    The Good Humor Man
    What do America's fighting men think of President Bush's WMD joke?

    Monday, March 29, 2004 11:40 a.m.

    (Editor's note: In response to our invitation in Friday's Best of the Web Today, we've thus far received e-mails from 101 readers who identified themselves as members of the U.S. armed forces, service members' relatives, veterans or military trainees. This is a selection of those e-mails. Of those who wrote, three expressed disapproval of President Bush's jokes at last Wednesday's Radio and Television Correspondents dinner; the other 98 approved. We've printed all three of the disapproving letters first so that they don't get lost amid all the others; the approving ones start here. In deference to the tradition that military personnel do not get involved with partisan politics, we've identified current members of the military by their initials only.)

    I am a "purple Kool-Aid"-drinking conservative. I support Operation Iraqi Freedom and I love President Bush. I also have an 18-year-old son who joined the Army last October. He is now at Bamburg Army Base in Germany waiting to join up with the First Infantry Division in Tikrit. I am not sorry he is going over there. I am concerned for his safety, but not worried.

    I did not like President Bush's joke about the WMDs. I thought it was insensitive to the dead and wounded soldiers and their grieving families. I pray to God for a successful conclusion of this operation.

    --David Lunde

    I am not an Iraq veteran, but I did spend 19 months in Vietnam as a Marine Corps lieutenant.

    I am an extremely strong supporter of President Bush's Iraq policy and generally support his other policies. I also feel John Kerry is totally unfit to be president, and is incapable of ever becoming fit. However, President Bush's actions at the correspondence dinner are very upsetting to me. He should not have acted as he did, and I feel this incident will mark the end of his chances for a second term.

    He, President Bush, is the one who constantly reminds us that we are at war, and then he goes and acts like a clever "frat boy" at some fancy black-tie dinner of Washington "elites." Not only were his words completely inappropriate in both timing and content, but in addition they were indicative of an individual who is way out of touch with the average American.

    I am very saddened by this, but the damage has been done and cannot be undone. I am afraid this may end up being Bush's version of the "Dean scream"; not as crude or obvious, but in the end equally devastating.

    So clueless, so appallingly stupid. How did his advisors let him act like that? How could he have thought those words and jokes were appropriate during wartime. Marines may have been dying in Iraq at the exact moment he was telling those "jokes"!

    A Democrat might be able to get away with a gaffe like that, but not a Republican. I fear a fatal political mistake has been made. Let us hope the matter passes quickly, otherwise he is finished.

    Bottom line: Wrong words, wrong time, wrong place--a bad, probably fatal, combination.

    --Finley Goslin Jr.

    While I'm not an active-duty member of the military, I am a college sophomore who has already completed the first part of Officer Candidate School (Platoon Leaders Class) in Quantico. While a registered independent, my politics are the lovechild of the National Review and the Wall Street Journal.

    Bush's self-deprecating humor was refreshing and funny.

    I've always believed that the administration was sincere in its intentions and beliefs concerning Iraq. We've seen clear benefits (e.g., Libya) as a direct result of the war. The lives of Iraqis, by their own account (assuming recent polls are accurate), are getting better and will continue to do so.

    That being said, the WMD crack was amazingly foolish.

    The situation seems roughly analogous to arresting an abusive father. However, the stated reason for the arrest and conviction of the father was his role as a major player in drug cartels. Dad gets put away for life even though it turns out he didn't even have a joint in his possession, though there were some hemp products in his house.

    Controversy erupts over this discovery and the police chief writes a Dennis Miller-style op-ed poking fun at himself for believing the silly drug allegations. The furor increases and the chief defends himself by saying, "C'mon, the guy was an abusive father."

    I'm a supporter of the Iraq war. I just can't find fault with a war that removed a tyrannical dictator at great cost to the liberator, who then installs democratic rule and departs.

    Bush could do significantly better than belittle a massive intelligence failure. Just as Bad Dad deserved the slammer, we should still be worried about how why the police thought he was the King of Coke. Similarly, Bush can't pretend he's manning the open mike at a local dive. A standup can make that crack, not the man whose international credibility rests on the validity of his intelligence claims.

    Of course it doesn't cheapen the sacrifice to admit that there are no WMDs. But there's a huge gulf between a sobering admission of failure and snide slides at a cocktail party.

    --Bill Goodwin

    I'm deployed in Baghdad right now, and I'm working directly with the hunt for WMD and other banned former regime programs. Frankly nobody here seems to have heard about the President's humorous routine. We're one of the few elements out here to have regular Internet connections at our place of work, and we check the news pretty regularly, but this seems to be a Beltway-insider story that hasn't gotten much attention. I didn't know about it until I read about it in Best of the Web.

    While I can't speak for everyone here, I had no problem with the routine. We certainly joke about the hunt for WMD (and especially the failure to find same) all the time. For example, we've posted on our bulletin board the record amount Iraqi con artists have demanded for alleged WMD (currently up to $6 million), amusing quotes from our sources ("I can get the information, but I need a car, a gun and also permission to shoot people please"), caption contests for particularly funny photos of sources and prisoners, and lots of inside jokes that would make no sense to anyone outside the organization.

    We joke about the WMD hunt not because we buy into the "BUSH LIED!!!!" conspiracy theories, but because normal people joke about their work. Speaking for myself--and I think many of my colleagues would agree--I was glad to see that the commander in chief also has a sense of humor and can joke about it. What bugs me are leaders who are constantly rigid and serious and don't pause and step back for a lighthearted moment now and then.

    --C.K.

    Greetings from Camp Wyatt, Iraq. I must say (and I speak for my peers here) that we'd all rather be home with our families. However, we see the need, and are excited to be working with the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people and forces we work with are excited to have us here and are working to make their country a better place.

    I am not offended that the president chose that topic to have a little fun with. I can't blame him. This was a long time coming, and Saddam Hussein is ultimately to blame. Those reporters and politicians who scoff at the President for his sense of humor are the same who have been making WMD the central theme in their prosecution of President Bush. So naturally they are angered by it.

    Regardless, the president made many arguments for removing Saddam Hussein from power. I don't recall him ever declaring war on the Iraqi people, only declaring that he would remove the tyrant from power. Mission accomplished. Everyone I know here, except for one-dyed-in-the-wool New York Democrat, is voting for President Bush. A vote for the haughty, French-looking, Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam, is ensuring that the U.S. military becomes an extension of the U.N. If that happens, I will get out, and so will many of my comrades.

    My comrades and I have just begun our year tour. We are National Guardsmen from North Carolina, New York, West Virginia, Illinois, Alaska and Ohio. Many of us are excited about the prospect of the coming year. Our view: We are away from home, make the best of it, help where we can, and leave a peaceful country.

    --J.P.

    I'm now approaching my sixth month of serving in Iraq. My first 40 days were spent at Baghdad International Airport. I was there when the president made his Thanksgiving surprise visit. I can say without a doubt, we have a great president who cares for his troops deeply.

    You nailed it with the "taking oneself to seriously" remark. This man is a class act and has great support amongst his troops. Further, I was fortunate enough to fly on one of the humanitarian missions to Iran. Upon landing, we were greeted by Iranians who made several comments. Among those were "We love President Bush" and "George Bush good!" I found this very encouraging.

    As I prepare to return to the greatest country in the world, I know what we did was right, whatever the reasons. I am proud to say I served a great country and a great president.

    --W.F.

    I served in Iraq, and it sucked. The dust storms that sandblasted your skin raw weren't fun. The heat was unbearable. We placed a thermometer in the sun in August, and it registered 157 degrees. At the same time, a thermometer in the shade read 137. Of course, for the most part, it was a dry heat, except I was in the South, and in late August and September, the wind would shift bringing moist air from the Persian Gulf. How about 120-plus and 90% humidity to brighten your day? Oh and the critters--rats, snakes, scorpions and my favorite, the camel spider. They live on the desert floor and have venom that numbs the poor camels they jump up on. After numbing the area, they chow down on the still-alive camel. The locals told me that its normal to see camels walking through the desert and their guts fall out because camel spiders eat their intestinal walls. The camel spiders also don't discriminate--people, camels, it's all the same to them. Did I mention the critters of the microscopic variety? Explosive doesn't do justice to the intestinal issues I encountered. Of course, I almost forgot the AK-47-wielding locals or the imported locals with explosives and rocket-propelled grenades.

    Yes sir, it truly sucked. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! If you could meet the sincerely grateful Iraqis that I helped liberate, you'd understand.

    To answer your question, do I care if the president makes a crack about WMDs? Not at all. Based on my experience, I'd be perfectly happy if the president's reason for going to war wasn't WMDs but rather that he was just having a bad day and wanted a piece of Saddam.

    --K.B., Army

    I myself served over 24 months in Southeast Asia, and every time I saw a USO show, especially Bob Hope, he made fun of things the same exact way that Bush did. Everyone laughed because made it easier to take. It was taken as intended as satirical humor.

    --Frank Amey

    I watched the president's "slide show," as he called it, on the Fox News Channel and found it very funny. My favorite was the picture of the president holding a handkerchief to his mouth as he spoke on the phone. His joke that he was pretending to be Kim Jong-Il calling John Kerry to offer his endorsement was hilarious!

    I did not find any of the President's jokes in bad taste. I actually thought his several jokes about looking for the WMDs in the Oval Office were effective at poking fun at the Democrats and the liberal media, because they are the ones who keep whining and complaining and suggesting that our commander in chief misled us about the reasons for going into Iraq. I believe that acting to eliminate the threat of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do.

    It is so refreshing to have a president who provides moral clarity and a sense of purpose, while remaining humble enough to publicly make fun of himself.

    --B.N., Army

    I am a veteran of the first Gulf War, and I now train and assist the soldiers in this one at Fort Hood. I think that the outrage over Bush's WMD jokes merely serves to cement the canard that WMDs were why we fought the war. They were not the reason. We invaded to enforce U.N. resolutions to prove that Iraq had no WMDs, by inspection and documentation. In a broader sense, we invaded to end Saddam's reign, and to establish a beachhead for democracy in the Middle East.

    Even the French and Kerry fully believed that Iraq had WMDs. They did not have to rely on Bush's speeches for their information, either. Most of the whining weenies who are claiming that Bush deceived them had access to the same information that he did, and they came to the same conclusions.

    I think it's outstanding that Bush can laugh at himself, his associates and his circumstances. It's a truism that it takes a big man to laugh at himself, and our president is such a man. I don't agree with all his decisions, but he does make decisions, and they are his; just ask him. It's very illuminating that Kerry can't even take a spill on a ski slope and not blame someone else for it. I think that he takes himself entirely too seriously, and I look forward to the day when he's one of the few that do.

    --P.R., Army Reserves

    I served in Kuwait (ultimately) in the first Gulf War, and my son is there for the second. I appreciate the president's remarks for the sense of humor that is so necessary for an understanding of how troops themselves must view their circumstances in the toughest of times, and it stands in such stark contrast to the professional Indignants who posture about the seriousness of issues about which they have little understanding, or which they are deliberately distorting at the cost of the morale of those troops who they claim to support.

    --Doug Dryden

    When I heard about the President's performance, I hunted down the video (viewable through this link and had a great laugh along with many of my colleagues. Of the half-dozen of us who saw it, all thought it was done in good fun. I particularly appreciated that the President did take the time to end on a somber, reflective note not focused on himself but on those in harm's way.

    --S.R., Navy

    II found the president's humor endearing and not offensive in the least. I served in Balad, Iraq, as part of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, V Corps. My opinion in no way reflects that of the U.S. Army.

    For my part, I "discovered" that the Iraqis had no WMD for two obvious reasons. One, they did not use any against me or other troops during my nine-month tour. Two, upon my frequent visits to local villages around Balad, I witnessed the awful sight of children drinking dirty water from puddles, parents hurtling rocks at terrified children. One young girl pleaded with me to give her sickly-looking baby my warm Pepsi. Of course, I did so immediately. Then an elderly woman snatched the Pepsi from the infant and drank it. At that point it occurred to me: The Iraqis were living in some prehistoric nightmare, and were themselves incapable of producing carving tools, let alone WMD.

    Today, we are no longer in the dark. More than 250,000 troops so far have lived and worked hand in hand with Iraqi men. There is widespread optimism among Iraqis about their future. Our work in rebuilding Iraq will convince the Arab world that America is not the evil empire. At the same time, our Army, by bravely committing itself to the task, is learning to fight terrorists. Other countries believe that if you do nothing, the terrorists will go away. We know better.

    President Bush's decision to go to Iraq was based on American uncertainty about the threat Saddam posed. Of all Arab leaders, Saddam was the most vocal about his plans to destroy us. Remember? It is unfortunate that the so-called progressive Democratic Party is so pessimistic and shortsighted about our monumental work in the Middle East.

    --E.K.

    I'm an Air Force officer who served in the invasion of Panama and both gulf wars. I loved Bush's jokes about not finding the WMDs. He is the best commander in chief I've served under in 20 years.

    And for the record, the Iraqi people ran out and thanked us for liberating them every time we went off post. I traveled all over the country April through July 2003.

    --D.E.

    Our son served in the Sunni Triangle, Balad and Samarra, in a mechanized infantry unit that came under fire frequently. I read the humor to my wife blind and asked her what she thought. She said it was hilarious. When I told her of the "outrage," she sighed and said, "Well, they were outraged by the aircraft carrier speech too."

    --Chuck Bevan

    As a member of the Army Reserve who served for a year in Iraq (490th Civil Affairs Battalion in the Ramadi and Fallujah areas) I've got no problem with the joke President Bush used with WMD as a back drop. The controversy surrounding this topic is the typical "liberal outrage" over something which is trivial at best. After serving in Iraq I believe based on my experiences and travels throughout the area that WMDs were present and were moved during the initial phases of the campaign.


    To understand this you must understand the risk the coalition took in western Iraq. Forces were not present in the region in any meaningful numbers until almost 30 days following the initiation of hostilities. The borders were wide open thus providing a perfect opportunity to get things over into Syria. It hasn't been proven yet, but eventually the facts will come out.

    In short, I've got no problem with the joke. We liberated one of the most repressed populations in the world. If we didn't find WMD, the goal and result was still worthwhile. It pains me to think of my comrades who will never enjoy another day in freedom, but at the same time they gave the downtrodden hope for the future. Also let's not lose sight of the primary reason we went to war with Iraq. The United States needed a permanent strategic location to threaten the other despotic terrorist0supporting regimes in the area. We have that now. The war in Iraq was one of many campaigns that will be fought in our war on terrorists.

    --W.N.

    I am a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. I served in Afghanistan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates while activated. My unit was deactivated just prior to the Iraq War. I have a brother who is in the air Force as well (active duty) and he just returned from Iraq. Though I cannot speak for all military members I can say that I thought that President Bush's remarks were absolutely hilarious. I haven't laughed that hard since the Howard Dean scream. I have not spoken with anyone thus far who has not felt the same way. I think that this is just another manufactured kerfuffle on behalf of the Democrats and media to make President Bush look bad. Incidentally, I thought the funniest picture was the one that President Bush posed when he found out that Howard Dean was not going to be the Democratic candidate.

    --R.R.

    Our son is career enlisted as specialist first class, 40th Combat Engineering Battalion, presently affixed to the First Armored Division, which is presently redeploying from Baghdad to Kuwait on the way back to Germany.

    We service families are generally offended by the left's actually patronizing our son's risks for their political purposes. They do not like the military, and generally think that people who join are losers who can't do anything else and are of lowbrow intelligence. They are consistently wrong but never in doubt. And they operate from a template disconnected from reality and they never update their template.

    Another aspect that is offensive is their referring to casualties as resulting from President Bush sending them into harm's way with a sense in their comments as if it were largely against their will or desire. This results from their "stuck in the '60s" mentality. One fact never enters their comments or the thinking behind them: My son volunteered for this fight and so did every single person over there, as well. That's something they simply can't comprehend.

    In summary, they are so disconnected from reality, their comments are self-serving and offensive.

    --Charles Brown

    I am an American Army officer with seven years of service, including time as an armor officer and JAG attorney. One thing my experience has taught me about soldiers is that a foxhole never lacks humor or a sense of irony, even in the worst of times.

    I have lost personal friends and professional acquaintances in Iraq. However, I still can find humor in events in the global war on terror. My friends and colleagues overseas find things to joke and laugh about, even as they wish for home. Mr. Bush's ability to lighten a serious mood with some humor is very soldierly. That Mr. Kerry cannot locate the humor in this situation demonstrates his inherent French-like haughtiness.

    While I do not believe the jokes by Mr. Bush were in poor taste, even if they had been in poor taste they would have been preferable an appearance on the Senate floor for the purpose of leveling false accusations of war crimes against American service members. Of course, if I had wasted my youth hanging out with Jane Fonda, I would probably be dour and humorless as well.

    --A.M.

    My 18-year-old son shipped off to Iraq just this past March 2. He is with the Second Battalion, Second Marines, Third Platoon. I found the president's remarks about as funny as they could be. It demonstrated a self-deprecating humor that is sorely missing in today's political climate. My son believes in what he is doing. He feels that he is making history with this cause, and I could not be prouder.

    --Ed Sims

    My cousin and best friend are in Iraq, proud of the fact that they have liberated the Iraqis from a tyrant and are part of the reconstruction. Bush can joke all he wants about WMDs. The troops who have liberated Iraq know three things: that Saddam had to go, WMD or not; that the world is better off without Saddam; and that President Bush respects them a lot more than Kerry ever did, or will.

    --Brian Grayson

    I wasn't in Iraq this time, though I'm still in the reserves. I was there for round one in 1991 as a chemical defense officer--let's just say I know from WMD and I'm voting for the President.

    You might note that I'm also a stand-up comic, and I know from funny. I thought he was hilarious.

    --K.S.

    As a former Marine, who fought Iraq the last time, I think the joke was very funny and showed the president's personality. If any of the things we Marines joked about were revealed to the common person, he would probably think we were crude and mean. For a Marine or soldier it is impossible not to laugh at what happens. Maybe it is nervous tension, but you feel better making light of bad situations.

    --Jeff Johnson

    "W" established his credibility long ago by having the guts to give the "go" order in Iraq after 9/11, by letting his commanders run the war instead of Beltway pollsters, by trapping aboard a carrier in the front seat, and by sneaking off (i.e., not a photo-op) for Thanksgiving in Iraq last fall. Gotta try and keep a sense of humor to be successful, whether you're struggling through boot camp or the commander in chief.

    --D.B., Naval Reserves

    I'm a reservist with the 2122nd Garrison Support Brigade at Ft. Lewis in Washington state. I've not been to Iraq, but some of my friends are/have/will. Without a doubt, Bush's humor is to his credit, and especially where WMDs are concerned, humor is Bush's perfect--maybe his only--shield against the partisan attacks that rain on him every day.

    Speaking as a member of the U.S. armed forces, I personally never cared if Iraq had WMDs. In 1991 we were wrong to not take the original Gulf War to its logical conclusion. Our mistake resulted in over a decade of unspeakable heinousness on the part of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and its Baathist power base. One wonders how different the Middle East, and indeed, the war on terror, would now be if Iraq had been democratized then. I spent the Clinton years wondering if any American leader would ever have the will to go back in and finish the mission. It made sense in 1991, and it makes sense in 2003-04. It has nothing to do with WMDs and everything to do with mass graves in the Iraqi sand, child prisons for the offspring of political and ethnic enemies, and a corrupt power machine that was every bit as nasty and vile as the Nazis, the Stalinist Communists, Khmer Rouge, et al.

    Perhaps some soldiers, focused entirely on their own well-being and their own short-term concerns, might feel the president was wrong to joke about a matter that has, for us in uniform, proved to be of life and death. But I would quote the military historian Victor Davis Hanson, who recently wrote these very accurate and appropriate words: "It is never wrong to be on the side of freedom-never." I think a great many American servicepeople believe 100% that they are on the side of freedom, and that all the hardship and struggle of Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror as a whole are necessary burdens to be carried and shared for those of us who believe in the freedom God granted all people.

    Good on the president for having the humility and the character to be able to poke fun at himself. For me, this makes him even more impressive as a leader, and if there is any shame to be had, it goes to the president's sworn civil enemies in the press, the Democratic Party and other divisions of the left. They claim their attacks are for the good of the soldiery. This is a bald lie, and they know it, and it's time someone started calling them on it. These people don't give a tinker's damn about anyone in uniform. They see us as Nazis and storm troopers and stupid, midget-minded pawns. Not much has changed since the '60s. They loathe us now as they loathed us then, during my father's generation, and the crocodile tears they cry for our fallen troops aren't worth the Kleenex that catches them.

    I pray that Bush earns a second term, in spite of it all.

    And I previously voted for Perot in 1992, Clinton in '96 and Gore in 2000. Sept. 11 changed me forever.

    --B.T.

    As a fighter pilot I learned humor was an essential tool in leadership. If I could demand it for all leaders I would. Try leading soldiers into combat with the personality of a flat rock. And yes, humor springs forth from tragedy as well. For all the obvious reasons.

    --Charles Erlinger Jr.

    I'm a Vietnam vet. The Democrats and Kerry should be disillusioned of their fantasy that our military and their commander in chief are going to have a "falling out." It is evident that President Bush loves them and that they love him. That is precisely why he can express humor about the WMD issue without it being taken as an insult to them. They know that he would never have deceived them into going into a war. (For the same reason, it is impossible for some to "joke" about racial issues, while a black leader can joke about such precisely because we know that he is not racist.)

    --Bruce Damon

    I've been serving in Iraq since April 2003. I am set to come home within the next week. You asked what my thoughts were on President Bush's "jokes" in his speech.

    I think it was appropriate and funny. I agree with you that a sense of humor is important in a leader. The liberal leadership has placed a great deal of weight on the WMD issue and can't stand to have their "sacred cow" lampooned. Yes, I have seen people die and I have seen the horrors of war. Yes, WMD was one of the issues that brought us to Iraq. I will not go into the long litany of other reasons we are here, as you are very familiar with them. But staying "on message" is just a liberal device to delegitimize the freedom we are providing to Iraq and the safety to ourselves.

    I applaud President Bush in his prosecution of the war on terrorism and his self-deprecating humor.

    --J.S., Army

    I'm active-duty officer in the U.S. Army, currently stationed in South Korea. I have many friends currently serving in Iraq, including one who was killed.

    In the military, having a sense of humor, and not taking yourself too seriously, is an essential character trait. Bush has enough character that he can make fun of himself, especially on an issue that I'm sure is both frustrating and infuriating.

    The Democrats' supposed outrage is a pitiful attempt at a political gotcha. It's sad to see a once-proud political party turn itself into a self-parodying, humorless whiner. Seems John Kerry is the perfect poster boy of this new direction within the party. (No place for a Zell Miller anymore.)

    If it came to a buddy I could trust during hardship, I'd rather be in a muddy foxhole with Bush eating a cold MRE than drinking a cold beer in the O-Club with Kerry.

    --J.C.

    I have a grandson just returned from Iraq (Fourth Infantry Division), and my nephew, an Army captain, was killed during Desert Storm in 1991. I am a veteran of both Korea and Vietnam. As to whether the president's joke was outrageous or funny, I opt for funny.

    President Lincoln, during periods when slaughter was terrible, often opened his cabinet meetings by reading Artemus Ward's humor. Challenged (à la Kerry), he responded that in the midst of so much carnage, he needed the release of laughter or he should be continuously in tears. Did that make him a president insensitive to the deaths of young men he had sent off to war? Of course not, it simply underscored the fact of his humanity.

    I believe that President Bush is a compassionate man who genuinely grieves over the loss of every American in Iraq, but as Lincoln understood--and as I understand--in war soldiers die, and the rest of us have to go on living.

    --Jack Kime

    I'm a Green Beret currently serving in Afghanistan. I thought the WMD joke was funny just from reading about it, and I bet it was better in person. Everyone I know here, especially in Special Forces, is thankful every day that we have George W. Bush as president. We have the advantage of ground truth in today's war zones, and that ground truth tells us every day that Bush's foreign policy is spot-on. And I bet I know more about foreign policy than any three dozen mainstream journalists. Since have an undergraduate degree in journalism (and was working on my master's before I was activated) my opinion of journalists is informed at least to that degree.

    --M.M.

    The president's self-deprecating humor is refreshing and certainly not resented by any soldier that I know here in Iraq. Soldiers in Iraq and those who have served in the global war on terrorism will vote for the President against the Frenchman Kerry, or anyone else the Dems put up, by 20 to 1. Those of us who are willing to defend this country appreciate having a President who has the chutzpah to be funny and not worry about a reaction from the tight-assed "offended by everything" liberals.

    --I.R., Army

    I am the battalion logistics officer, the S4, of the 1/181 Infantry (Light) here guarding the bad guys in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While the Armed Forces Network rarely shows clips of this sort, we did manage to catch President Bush's remarks about the "missing" weapons of mass destruction; we thought that it was hilarious, and gently self-deprecating.

    That's my opinion, at least, from my point of view in Camp America, Guantanamo Bay.

    --T.O.

    I thought the President's routine about the search for WMD was funny. On the other hand, I didn't find much to laugh about in Korea or Vietnam, both of which were begun under Democrats. I served in both, and I applaud Harry Truman for responding to the communist aggression. However, I deplore the way we forfeited that war. The Vietnam war was begun by Johnson on a pretext flimsier than WMD--the supposed attack on a U.S. Navy vessel. And I deplore the way we fought that war, declining not to take the fight to the enemy, and leaving our allies to the tender mercies of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese.

    --Harry Meinhardt
     
    #1 basso, Mar 30, 2004
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2004
  2. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    #2 RocketMan Tex, Mar 30, 2004
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  3. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    Hey is this true reactions or is this another one of those scams where the officers make up e-mails and statements of how glowing things are in Iraq and fax them to the media.
     
  4. bamaslammer

    bamaslammer Contributing Member

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    Ridiculous. They're already mad at us! Geez, they rammed airplanes into our buildings. That was not an act of love for sure. A "regime change" isn't going to make terrorist whackjobs any less so.
     
  5. Fegwu

    Fegwu Contributing Member

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    [Ditto]

    Americans and Westerners in general should go out more. I don't mean a trip to Hawaii or Fiji Island or Carribbean Islands or any exotic island for that matter. Posts like this one the Private shared with us atimes annoy me. It tells me that people in "West" don't know a lick about the real world. Routine things they see in Iraq really amaze them - like it is only in Iraq. If every dying and rogue nation in Africa (from where I originated from) is highlighted, America will have at least.........at least 3-5 "wars" going on in Africa. The bad thing is that many of these rogue nations is that they do well on disguising the real fate of Her citizens. The West does not care much abbout Africa either (most ly lip service) - and Africa as a continent is not a real world economic force either in terms of oil like the middle east.

    We should stop oooing and aaaing when we here certain human interest stories - I empathise but it is really no big deal. If we really want to be fair and honest, we should spread our blanket the world over to all in need with our great humanitarian arm. The point is that people are dying in Africa (for example) daily from severe poverty, terrorism, rogue/tyrant leaders, sham democracies, civil wars and yes....al qaeda.

    Lets relegate the Iraqi human interest stories (or propaganda) to the back and focus of securing an enduring peace there, and hopefully "finding" WMDs and leaving the place better than we met it.
     
  6. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    No it won't, but a regime change will bring about a willingness to work with the US in a war on terror from countries that are unwilling to work with us as long as Dubya is in the White House, and that would lessen our burden financially and militarily.
     
  7. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    is this all you can take from these comments? we shouldn't acentuate the positive since, really, the sacrifices of the members of our armed forces, the liberation of 50 million souls, is "really no big deal?" i don't know where where you're from, but you certainly live in an alternate reality.
     
  8. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    really pathetic, RMT, and frankly disgusting.
     
  9. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    Equally as disgusting and pathetic as some of the right-wing reactionary drivel/tripe you post.

    Don't like it? Deal with it.
     
  10. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    why don't you actually read the comments in the article- then see if you can honestly, accurately characterise them as "right-wing reactionary drivel."
     
  11. nyrocket

    nyrocket Member

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    Why don't you post it three or four more times and maybe some of us will change our minds?
     
  12. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

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    I believe RMT was referring to the blogs and National Review articles along with the urban legend emails you constantly post.
     
  13. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Too bad there are 500+ soldiers who couldn't be reached for comment...
     
  14. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    guilty on the NR stuff, but i think you've got me confused with giddyup on the emails, although they're no worse than the moveon emails coming from sam and others, and while we're on the subject of partisan blogs, i'm beginng to think rimrocker is really josh marshall's alter ego.
     
  15. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    too bad you're so blinded by bush hatred you can't recognize the sacrifice of our troops and their heartfelt respect for their commander-in-chief.
     
  16. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Too bad you're blinded by your hatred for all things not Bush that you can't recognize that 500+ soldiers aren't able to comment about Bush's tasteless joke about not being able to find the WMD he was so sure was there.

    But who knows, maybe you have a bigger sense of humor when you're dead.
     
  17. outlaw

    outlaw Member

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    AMY GOODMAN: This was your daughter who called you, who's a Staff Sergeant?

    JORGE MEDINA: Yes. Yes. She called me. She told me that, you know, she saw Mr. Bush joking about the weapons of mass destruction. And I think this is very distasteful for all of the families who lost a child or parent or relative in Iraq. You know, these men – are liars, bold-faced liars – and I believe that he doesn't care about the soldiers, and he doesn't care about the lives who are lost there. You know, I feel very upset with this man.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Mr. Medina, in talking with your daughter, what is your sense of the morale of the soldiers? I'm sure this is going to have a major impact on the troops in the field when they hear about the President's joking about what they're doing in Iraq?

    JORGE MEDINA: Yeah. I can -- my daughter, she can say nothing about that because she's in enemy territory. She has to -- she can't say anything because she's there. But my son Ivan, he was in the war, too. He was in Iraq. He got out of the military and he told me that the morale of the soldiers is going to be very, very low.

    AMY GOODMAN: In fact, Jorge Medina, we have your son, Ivan Medina, on the line with us. The twin brother of Irving Medina, who was killed in Iraq. Ivan, your response? We'll go to him in just a minute. Jorge, how did your son die?

    JORGE MEDINA: My son was in a convoy and the bomb exploded and shrapnel went into his head and I think he died ten hours after -- after that.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: In other words, both your son Irving, your daughter, and his – and Irving's twin brother, Ivan also served, right? We now have Ivan on the phone. Welcome to Democracy Now!, Ivan.

    IVAN MEDINA: Thank you.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Could we ask for your reaction to what you've heard about President Bush's jokes this week at the Correspondent's Dinner in Washington?

    IVAN MEDINA: President Bush chose to, what he has done is just taken a bad situation and made it worse. He has lied about the weapons of mass destruction, and to cover up his tracks he is trying to make jokes about it. It's a disgrace to any soldier, and it's definitely a disgrace to any family member that lost a loved one out there, because he's making fun of something that he supposedly decided to go to war to, and he can't even back up now his own story, so now he's trying to make fun of it, saying oh, maybe it's the best way. And It's wrong. It's wrong for the soldiers, we are not honoring the soldiers that way. We're making fun of why they died. It's just – it just shows that we need a new President and new Commander in Chief that will honor the soldiers, and that will care about what we do and why we go to war.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And Ivan, you served in Iraq? Could you tell us a little bit about your experience there?

    IVAN MEDINA: My experience is I left when President Bush said, "I gave them all the tools to go to war with Iraq." The bottom line is my experience was really horrible. I had a really different experience than many people really think. We barely got enough water and food to eat. We were running low on many things, and the President decided not to give all of the soldiers flak vests or bullet proof vests, only the soldiers that were up in the front lines, what he called the front lines were given those. He did not give us the tools to go to war with. He decided to go to war for other reasons than what he had said. And my question to the President – how you can guarantee that I did the right thing or how can you guarantee that my twin brother didn't die in vain? I know what the truth is, that no soldier died in vain. We fight for the American people. We fight for the freedoms. We fight to defend them, and of course, no soldiers died in vain, but the reason that we went to war are not the true reasons why we actually fought that war.

    AMY GOODMAN: Ivan Medina, and your father, Jorge Medina, we want to thank you very much for being with us. Ivan's twin brother, Irving Medina, died in Iraq on November 14 as they respond to the President's joking this week at a Correspondents' Dinner in Washington, about not being able to find weapons of mass destruction.

    http://foi.missouri.edu/polinfoprop/familyslain.html
     
  18. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    clearly you don't have one, or a sense of imagination, propriety, respect, evenhandedness, or anything other than bile and bitterness.
     
  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    LOL, what fake moveon email have I ever posted?

    I know I put up the one from the american progress or whatever, but that it is all cited and sourced to public records, such as the 9-11 commission report, etc.

    THe crappy urban legends we get from the right are demonstrably false and are rantings of uneducated morons. ("The Supreme Court is in the Capitol Building!" "Bush Covered it!" "Democratic congress gives social security to illegal alien felons!" )

    Why don't you identify one of these instances you are citing to insult me with please? And then we can compare the two and see if you are telling the truth or not.
     
  20. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    In this situation, you are correct. I supported the war in Iraq. I did so because I believed our President when he said that Iraq was an imminent threat, that they had ties to Al Qaeda, and that taking him down would be a big step in the war against those who murdered 3000 of my fellow citizens nearly three years ago.

    When someone lies to me and the rest of the world, and it leads to the unnecessary deaths of more than 500 of my fellow citizens, then yeah, you can call me bitter. Meanwhile, the man who was actually responsible for 9/11 is still out there.

    Seems like something we should all joke about...
     
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