Thursday, April 27, 2006

John Kerry's Faneuil Hall Speech: "Sacrificing lives on the altar of stubborn pride"

I heard today some audio clips from John Kerry's Faneuil Hall speech last Saturday, commemorating the 35th anniversary of his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which launched his political career. The same words I heard on the radio appeared in the Boston Globe's report:

It was the 35th anniversary of the day Kerry, as a young Navy veteran returning from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, famously asking, ''How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Kerry's case yesterday was much the same: that Americans have a duty to speak out against a war that is sacrificing lives on the ''altar of stubborn pride." (Emphasis added.)

In other words, American soldiers in Iraq are risking and losing their lives for nothing.

Let me say that again: In the view of Kerry and most liberals, American soldiers in Iraq are risking and losing their lives for nothing. When I make that statement to liberal acquaintances, they almost always become irate. I think that's because the point is at once so painfully obvious and so hard for them to admit. They angrily accuse me of questioning their patriotism.

No, I'm not. I'm simply calling on anti-war liberals to have the courage of their convictions. If they think the war is wrong, then American lives are being wasted "for a mistake," just as Kerry said back in 1971. Liberals ought simply to come right out and say that, and argue their point with some intellectual honesty. Instead, most of them are cowards and will not admit the logical conclusions that flow from their position.

Think about it: If the war is worth fighting, then our soldiers' deaths are tragic but meaningful, and the soldiers are heroes. If, however, the soldiers are dying only for "stubborn pride," then their loss is a meaningless travesty, not a tragedy; and the soldiers are victims, not heroes.

You can't have it both ways. Yes, you can be a patriot and a dove, but you can't "oppose the war and support the troops." The two positions are inherently inconsistent.

Many on the left think Kerry is at last taking a consistent position on the war; they applaud his apparent decision to be "the real John Kerry." Tom Bevan has a different view, one that I think sticks to the facts, and expresses the real reasons so many Americans are uncomfortable (to say the least) about Kerry's approach to defense policy. I'd call that approach consistent, all right-- consistently dovish, but not intellectually or morally honest.


Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

May Monsieur Kerry wrench his arm patting himself constantly on the back. So incredibly self-absorbed; so astoundingly wrong--again.

The discouraging thing is that there is such a large fawning audience for such pompous vacuousness.

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Thursday, April 27, 2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger nallcando said...

You need to go back and read the history of Vietnam. How can you write about your ideas on why the war in Iraq is wrong when you don't have a clue on the History of Vietnam or Iraq? If you did then maybe you would understand the one thing that both wars had in common that over 75% of Americans now see. That is, to protect Corporate interest! Vietnam was started by Eisenhower not to stop communism but to protect Global interest after World War two.

"The Eisenhower Administration developed and implemented policies in Southeast Asia that contributed directly to the massive American military involvement in Vietnam in the decade after Dwight Eisenhower left office. Working with the most recently declassified government records on U.S. policy in Vietnam in the 1950s, David L. Anderson asserts that the Eisenhower Administration was less successful in Vietnam than the revisionists suggests. "Trapped By Success" is the first systematic study of the entire eight years of the Eisenhower Administration's efforts to build a nation in South Vietnam in order to protect U.S. global interests. Proclaiming success, where, in fact, failure abounded, the Eisenhower Administration trapped itself and its successors into a commitment to the survival of its own frail creation in Indochina."

The war in Iraq was a war of choice by President Bush and Company! Not because Saddam attacked the US, not because he had weapons of mass destruction and Not because he was a bad man who gassed his own people and Certainty Not to bring Democracy to the Iraq. The main reason was; What's under the sand of Iraq and other countries in the middle east and that is OIL!
You have a misconceptions of what Patriotism is! My father fought in Korea and Vietnam both of those wars the Government tried to get out of paying for the health-care of the soldiers that fought them by saying it was an exercise and not a War. My father came home with out the fan fare that soldiers from WW1 and WW11 were afforded. Hell the Army didn't even show up for his prearranged military funeral. It was the Government that blamed our Soldiers and the media for the loss of the war. It was the US Government that turned the American people against our own soldiers. It was the American Government that stopped funding our very own Veteran's after Vietnam, so that many of them were living on the street Homeless.
It was John Kerry who was the lone, lost voice for the Vietnam Veterans. He stood there alone because most Senators and Congressmen were afraid to speak up. It would mean Political suicide for them. John Kerry spoke up about the abuses of Nixon's Government to our Veterans, he spoke up about the mismanagement of higher ups in the Military that lead to atrocities committed by our soldiers against innocent Vietnamese and Cambodians.
It is amazing to me how much the Iraqi war and the Vietnam war mirrors one another, right up to the mismanagement from higher ups and the atrocities done by our soldiers to innocent Iraqi citizens from lack of oversight from their officers. If the US is so interested in helping countries with democracy then it needs to start with its self.
Patriotism is standing up for the Constitutions. Patriotism is standing together to fight for liberty and Justice for all. It is what everyone of our soldiers pledges to do. Mean while at home we Americans allowed a Monster to lie us into a war, change the reason why we fight this war at least four time. We allowed this Government to change the Constitution and take away our freedoms so that you can feel safe. Tell me do you feel safe little coward?
We have allowed the underfunding of equipment and basic needs for the men and women who fight this war and suffer after. I defy you to show me one American who does not support our troops, whether he or she be for or against this war, except for the far right-wing religious nutters who seem to think this war is about Homosexuals and protest Military funerals.
The United States is arrogant in thinking that we are going to change the middle east from Thousands of years of Dictatorship, the English, French, Russian's all tried to change and rule the Middle East. None have succeeded and the US too will loose its war. You can not force with a jackboot Democracy on anyone. The very best that one could wish to happen, would be a Theocracy, for the Iraqis will never separate Church and State. This was one of the Main reasons we left England and started our own self ruled Country. In parting let me just say George Santayana Quote; Those who do not learn from History are doom to repeat it.
Here is more info about Vietnam,

The effort by the United States to prop up an anti-communist regime in Saigon had cost the lives of 50,000 U.S. military men, and it had accomplished nothing. Losses among the Vietnamese were greater. Among those fighting in Saigon's military, about 220,000 were killed. Those killed fighting on the side of the Communists are estimated to be between 650,000 and 1,000,000. Civilian deaths are estimated at around 4,000,000 - a lot of lives that would have been spared if nation-wide elections had been allowed in Vietnam in the late 1950s.

Postwar Opinions
In Vietnam, many who had fought on the side of the Viet Minh and Ho Chi Minh continued to see their struggle and sacrifice as having given their nation freedom to chose its own destiny. But some among them were dismayed by the move toward free enterprise and accommodation with the capitalistic global economy. They believed that the war had also been fought to preserve Vietnamese socialism, and they wondered whether their victory was being lost.

Some of the Vietnamese who had fought on the side of the Saigon regime and had fled to the United States saw themselves as having fought for freedom because they had fought against communism, and they described their loss of the war as having been abandoned by the United States. Twenty years of U.S. support, and eight years of intensive U.S. military firepower were not enough for them. The idea, as expressed President Johnson in 1964, that it was a war that the Vietnamese rather than "American boys" had to win was not acceptable to them. Neither was President Nixon's "Vietnamization" of the war.

Some Americans agreed with them. They believed that those fighting on the side of the Saigon regime were stabbed in the back by U.S. television, journalists, demonstrations and weak-kneed politicians. A few described help from the Soviet Union and China as having made the communist victory possible - without comparing the level of that support to the support that the United States gave to Saigon for more than a decade.

Some Americans also believed that what they saw of Vietnamese trying flee Vietnam with the Americans meant that the South Vietnamese in general appreciated what the United States was doing in Vietnam. Some others saw this as confusing the minority who sided with the United States with the majority of South Vietnamese. If the South Vietnamese had been overwhelmingly supportive of the regime in Saigon in its fight against the communists why, with all that firepower given them by the United States, could they not have won against the communists? What was the high rate of desertions among those drafted into Saigon's army about?

One of Saigon's wartime prime ministers, Nguyen Kao Ky, took an exceptional position among Vietnamese veterans living in the United States. He saw the roll of hearts and minds in Saigon's defeat. In his book How We Lost the War in Vietnam he described the U.S. role in Vietnam as "misguided" and naive concerning the opinions of the common Vietnamese.

Some Americans who were critical of their government promoting war in Vietnam believed that to liberate a people it is best to have most of them wanting your liberation. They believed that winning the war should never have become an issue because U.S. forces should not have been in Vietnam to begin with and tended to view U.S. involvement in Vietnam as a product of arrogance. Some other Americans wondered why the U.S. had been able to stop the Communists from taking over South Korea but could not stop North Vietnam from taking over South Vietnam. They believed in winning, the way teams won in sports, but with higher stakes in that friends, sons or brothers were killed in the battle. They believed that justice would have been served and that righteousness would have prevailed if the U.S. had applied whatever force and violence was necessary to win a "victory" in Vietnam. Victory alone, they believed, would given meaning to the sacrifice of the fallen. Americans with an opposing point of view were angered that so many had died from what they believed was a mistake and the increasing the deaths in no way would erase that mistake.

Other Lessons, and Dominoes
During the decades that followed the military triumph of the communist forces in Vietnam, the much feared spread of communism to other nations in the Far East did not happen. Thailand, Burma, Indonesia or the Philippines did not become felled communist dominos. A murderous communist force had taken power in power in Cambodia was largely the result of the turmoil spilling into Cambodia from Vietnam during the Vietnam war - including U.S. bombing there. But the Cambodian Communists (the Khmer Rouge) did not remain in power long. Neither did the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia in opposition to that communist force.

In the United States, lessons of the war became much talked about on television and radio. Not much talked about was one lesson that the U.S. military took from the war. This was the discarding of terror bombing, bombing as psychological warfare, as had been done in South Vietnam to discourage support for the Viet Cong.

Another lesson was drawn by the former U.S. commander in Vietnam, General Westmoreland. He mentioned that the U.S. war in Vietnam was the first major conflict "fought without censorship." Without censorship, he said, "things can get confused in the public mind." It was decided among some military strategists that the free-roaming journalism in places of military action should be replaced with restricted access for journalists and with military-led television briefings - as occurred during the Gulf War in 1991.

A third lesson that high-ranking military men often expressed was that no U.S. troops should be committed to battle without a clear goal, a feasible plan and public support.

Sunday, March 04, 2007 2:29:00 PM  

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