Tuesday, November 30, 2004

No More Vietnams

Yellowstone's burning, Yellowstone's burning,
Look ye yonder, look ye yonder,
Fire, fire; fire, fire;
And we CAN'T use water!

In 1988 a string of dry lightning storms swept over Camp Loll and up into Yellowstone. The Loll Staff, in our niavety and "ignorance", rushed into the forest to put out the fires. When we called the Forest Service for help, we were scolded. "Don't you know that fires are a natural part of the ecosystem!" "Fighting fires in the wilderness is a crime!!!" Two weeks later the same Forest Service was in camp training us to fight fires. They showed us the secrets of "shake and bake" fire shelters, and entreated us to report and to fight all fires. Meanwhile, up in Yellostone, the "let it burn policy" had engulfed America's greatest natural treasure in flames. My life and that of my grandchildren will pass before the devastation of that stupidity will scar over; it willnever heal. At the Fire Museum at Grant Village they will tell you the fire of '88 was good for the park - that Yellowstone is a natural system and needs to be let alone - they are lying. They are trying to cover their shame and stupidity, and after they pump their sunshine, you can drive up the road and see the destruction that once was Yellowstone. (Note: The Park Service has changed their policy, they have learned their lesson, but they have not learned to tell the truth.) The searing blasts of Islamic Fanaticism are crashing down on our truth parched nation. We are being told that fighting such fires is a crime.

Thank you Dannyboy2 - You suggested reading No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon. Where has this book been all my life? Where was this truth when the lightening bolts of relativism were crashing down on my beliefs about the war in Vietnam? Why didn't I know that a man I admired as much as I do Richard Nixon; a man I am proud to say I voted for, for President, and have long wished I could vote for again; had told the truth I needed to know? Richard Nixon provided the shield against the flames of fiction that sweep over our understanding of war! As recently as last fall a WSU professor tried to teach me that the U.S. was to blame for the genocide in Cambodia. As recently as this morning, I was shouted down by Mr. Brimhall in the coopy room. He claimed America was murdering innocents in foreign lands for nothing. When he could not answer my arguments he sent a blazing wall of vindictives in my direction but I was safe beneath my "tent of truth".

No More Vietnams should be a text book in every History and Political Scienc class in the country: reading it should be a duty. Many of you know I teach a class in Great Books. Among the purposes of the class is to encapsulate great literature into bite sized chunks for quick and easy consumption. The class also serves to entice and challenge deeper study and discussion. Knowing how busy you are - I will give a "Great Books Report" on No More Vietnams. I hope it will engender some vigorous discussion. If Nixon and I are wrong - please help me see that; if his words are true; we will all be better for hearing what Nixon had to say.

To make "taking it in" easier, I will provide a chapter by chapter presentation of the book here in the Agora. My wife got my copy of the book for $2 off e-bay. Sadly it is out of print!

No More Vietnams, Arbor House , New York, 1985

From the Dust Jacket:

"In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. No More Vietnams can mean we will not try again. I should mean we will not fail again.
-- from No More Vietnams
by Richard Nixon


1. "Vietnam has been the subject of over 1,200 books, thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, and scores of motion pictures and televison documentaries. The great majority of these efforts have portrayed one of the following conclusions as fact: [I have chosne 15 out of 22 given by Nixon]
*The Vietnam War was a civil war.
* Ho Chi Minh was a nationalist first and a Communist second and had the support of a majority of the people of Vietnam, North and South.
*The National Liberation Front was a revolutionary movement independent of North Vietnam.
*The Viet Cong won the hearts and minds of villagers through humanitarinan policies.
*The Geneva Declaration of 1954 leagally bound Diem's government and the United States to unify the two halves of Vietnam through elections.
*The agreements of 1962 "neutralizing" Laos prevented the widening of the war.
* Most American soldiers were addicted to drugs, guilt-ridden about their role in the war, and deliberately used cruel and inhumane tactics.
*American blacks constituted a disporportionate number of the combat casualities.
*The United States lost the war militarily.
*U.S. secret bombing in 1969 and ground attacks on the Communist bases in Cambodia in 1970 were responsible for bringing the Communists into power in Cambodia in1975.
*It was a calculated policy of the United States to bomb civilian targets in North Vietnam.
*The percentage of civilian deaths in the Veitnam War was higher than in other wars.
*The antiwar demonstrations in the United States shortened the war.
*The domino theory has been proved false.
*Life is better in Indochina now that the United States is gone.
All of these statements are false." (pgs 9 -10)

2. "Antiwar activists had proclaimed that therr would be no bloodbath in South Vietnam if the Communists won. But while the blood may no be on their hands, they cannot sleep comfortably at night as they think of the 600,000 Vietnamese who have drowned in the South China Sea attempting to excape Communist tyranny; of tens of thousands more imprisoned in "reeducation" camps, and of the unhappy lot of millions of others condemned to live under Communist rule." (pg 11)

3. "Even more tragic is what has happened in Cambodia, one of the fallen dominoes of Southeast Asia. When we withdrew our support from the anti-Communist Cambodian government in 1975, 7 million people lived in Cambodia, about the same number who live in Austria today. Three years later Pol Pot's new Communist government had murdered and starved to death over 2 million." (pgs 11 - 12)

4. They [U.S. antiwar circles] cannot bear to look in the mirror, because if they do, they will see who must share the blame; those who opposed the U.S. war effrot and in doing so gave support to theCambodian communists - who, once they came into power, pulled the triggers and dug the mass graves." (pg 12)

5. "Vietnam was a crucially important victory in the Soviet Union's war for control of the strategically critical Third World." (pg 12)

6. "Thus did our Vietnam defeat tarnish our ideals, weaken our spirit, cripple our will, and turn us into a military giant and a diplomatic dwarf in a world in which the steadfast exercise of American power was needed more than ever before." (pg 13)

7. "... when we could have kept South Vietnam afloat by keeping our commitment to provide military aid at a level commensurate with Soviet support of the North, Congress refused. The American people, by then exhausted, discouraged, and confused, tacitly accepted a congressional decision that led to a defeat for the United States for the first time in history." (pg 14)

8. " Those who began and exclated the war in Vietnam in the 1960s did not give the American people victories and did not effectively explain the justice of what we were fighting for." (pg 14)

9. "Those who parrot the slogan "No more Vietnams" in opposing American efforts to prevent Communist conquests [global terorism] in the Third World base their case on four articles of fiath:
*The war in Vietnam was immoral.
*The war in Vietnam was unwinnable.
*Diplomacy without force is the best answer to Communist "wars of national liberation." [terror]
*We were on the wrong side of history in Vietnam.
The time has come to debunk these myths." (pg 15)


Myth I: The Vietnam War was Immoral.

10. "Many who were seeing war for the first time were so shocked at what they saw that they said this war was immoral when they really meant that all war was terrible. (pg 160)

11. "Sadly, their voices were joined with those of others who did not like the war becasue they did not support its aim: resisting Communist aggression in South Vietnam ... It was not that the war was immoral, but rather that their pretensions to a higher morality dictated that the United States should lose and the Communists should win." (pg 16)

12. "While they [antiwar activists] could be charged with naivete for overlookintg Ho's murderous policies in North Vietnam, some deserve credit for condemning, however belatedly, the genocide in Cambodia. Certainly today the record is clear for all to see: A Communist peace kills more than an anti-Communist war." (pg 17)

Myth II: The Vietnam War was unwinnable.

13. "Defeat came only when the Congress, ignoring the specific terms of the peace agreement, refused to provide military aid to Saigon equal to what the Soviet Union provided for Hanoi." (pg 18)

14. "During Vietnam many decided that wars such as the one being waged against the North Vietnamese were unwinnable because victory by Communist revolutionaries was inevitable. They believed that a liberationist surge was sweeping the Third World and there was nothing the Western world could do, or should do, to stop it." (pgs 18 -19)

15. "Today it is one symptom of the Vietnam syndrome to the extent that it makes Americans ashamed of their power, guilty about being strong, and forgetful about the need to be willing to use their power to protect their freedom and the freedom of others." (pg 19)

Myth III: Diplomacy without force to back it up is the best answer to Communist "wars of national liberation." [Global Terorism]

16. "Some do not want the U.S. to help non-Communist governments because they think it would be better if the Communists took power. Others believe that the use of military power by the U.S. has become irrelevant in Third World conflicts becasue we used power so ineptly in Vietnam." (pg 19)

17. "As a result, in the post-Vietnam 1970s, while rhetoric about the limits of power and the promise of creative diplomacy clouded the American ploitical landscape, the Soviet Union and its proxies licked their chops and gobbled up South Yemen, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua, and the Ayatollah's mullahs plunged Iran into the Middle Ages. (pg 20)

18. "Any nation that decides the way to achieve peace is to use only peaceful means is a nation that will soon be a piece of another nation. (pg 20)

Myth IV: We were on the wrong side of history in Vietnam.

19. "During the Vietnam era, an astounding number of otherwise thoughtful people gave our side the white glove test while eagerly seeking to justify the far more brutal actions of the enemy ... A hue and cry was raised against the United States when an isolated incident of mass murder by American forces at My Lai was revealed; yet when the West learned of the massacre by Communist at Hue,were twenty-five times as many civilians as at My Lai died in what was anuything but an isolated incident, Amnesty International indulgently chalked the crime up to "the merciless tradition of the war" rather than to the merciless bestiality of the Viet Cong." (pg 21)

20. "... The Communist PR blitz, the intellectual dream machine that, ever since the Russian Revolution in 1917, has been tricking Western intellectuals into looking at slavery and seeing utopia, looking at aggression and conquest adn seeing liberaton, looking at ruthless murders and seeing "agrarian reformers," looking at idealized portraits of Ho Chi Minh gazing beneficently upon the children gathered around him and seeing a mythical national father figure rather than the brutal dictator he really was." (pgs 21-22)

21. "Examining the Vietnam experience ... teaches us that it is not wars such as Vietnam, but rather waging them ineffectively and losing, that leads inevitably to tragedy." (pg 23)

22. "The antiwar movement did not have a decisve effect on the outcome of the war from a military standpoint, but it has had a decisive impact on the political battles that have been waged ever since. The protesters' rioting and bombing, all undertaken in the name of peace, ended with our withdrawal from Southeast Asia. Most of the Physical damage has been repaired. The intellectual and psychological damage, however, still poisons our foreign policy debates. Ten years [thirty years] later the same distrotions about the war that made antiwar activists into heroes on the campuses are still accepted as fact on televison, in newspapers, and incollege classrooms. Before we can cure ourselves of theVietnam syndrome, we must purge our diet of the intellectual junk food that helped make us sick to begin with." (pg 23)


All these quotes are much stronger in context; I encourage you to read the entire book. I have tried and will continue to try to provide you with an overview of Nixon's arguments anhopefully stimulate your own.

Friday, November 26, 2004

When I Use a Word ...

"When I use a word . . . It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." These are Humpty Dumpty's words to Alice in Through the Looking Glass.

Hoping that you will continue to comment on our discussion of Vietnam under "Athena and Aris #3" I wanted to get some frustations off my chest.

Thucydides speaks of alloying the currency of the vocabulary - mixing base metal with the pure gold for the exchange of truth. He gives examples of words currupted: Justice used in place of vengence, recklessness presented as a pollution of courage, indecision tainted to mean open-mindedness.

Words are weapons - they can injure or inspire; they can manipulate our emotions. Emotion is the province of the Relativists. The "if it feels good do it" philosophy that calls forth the burning in the bosom that leads to Jehad.

There are at least four ways the Relativists use words as weapons. First, choosing the words that will frame the discussion, secondly twisting the meanings of words themselves, thirdly - using words to foist off lies, and finally declaring entire points of view off limits for discussion.

This fourth method is exemplified in placing all praise of our efforts in Vietnam and Iraq off limits. Such praise is called propaganda while any contrary points of view, no matter how false were and are defended as diversity of opinion, "a constitutional right"! Consider the different ways in which Mike Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" has been treated by the media, actually called a documentary, while the Swift Vets were routinely called liars without evidence to support such allegations, and the film "Stolen Honor" was keep off the air by threat of lawsuits and boycots.

One big example of choosing the words for discussion is the term "Pro-Choice". What a clever turn of the phrase which makes the killing, dismembering, and discarding of a defenseless human being into a "humanright".

Four other examples of misdefining terms relate to the election just past:

1. Lame Duck - The true definition of a "Lame Duck" is a person finishing out their term after losing an election. It is therefore impossible for George Bush to be a lame duck. Yet, there are those who want to call him such now or claim that after the 2006 election he will be one. This is intentional deception in a hope to challenge his legitimacy.

2. Gloating - any conservitive or Republican commenting on the outcome of the 2004 election.

3. Explanation - any Democrat or Relativist commenting on the causes or effects of the outcome of the 2004 election.

4. Moral/Value issues: Democrats claim these are gay marriage and stem cell research when in reality they are much more identified by most Americans as the lies of Mike Moore, the actions of Hip Hop, the behavior of Whoopi Goldberg, and the flip-flopping of John Kerry.

These are examples of the twisting, misrepresentation, and misuse of words used to discuss the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

1. Invasion and Occupation are used to describe the fight against the spread of Communism and the Liberation of Iraq by the US led coalition.

2. Iraqi Nationalism used to describe the terrorist fighting against US and UN forces in Vietnam and against the coalition of Iraqis, American, and other allies who have liberated Iraq from Saddam. This "nationalism" is then compared to American desire to defend the world against Communism and our nation from terrorism. Thus the Relativists equate American patriotism to acts of genocide, racism, class extermination, religious fanaticism, and ethnic cleansing.

3. Revolution and Rebel are used to describe the terrorist, who both in Vietnam and Iraq seek to impose their will through acts of violence and brutality. In Vietnam these murderers fought for power and domination supported and supplied by the USSR as weapons against Western interests. In Iraq these "rebels" are often not even Iraqis but foreign terrorists seeking to spread world-wide Islamic power and bent on the destruction of Israel and the West. The misuse of words equated and equates those who fight for freedom and justice with those who daily murdered and murder, and who sought or seek to destroy the hope and peace of the Vietnamese and the Iraqis.

Insurgent is a term used for terrorists who murder and kill innocents. The misuse of this term makes these killers sound like underdogs fighting against injustice.

Here are some more misnomers to consider: US imperialism, American colonialism, Blood for Oil, US arrogant foreign policy, unilateralism, UN Peace Keepers, (The guys who cut and run every time - rather than defending peace.) and religion confused with Fanatic Islamic Terrorism.

Fianlly here are some examples of overt lies cooked up in someone's head and repeated over and over again to give them credibility:

1. The melting of artic ice flows by "Global Warming."

2. 100 species a day becoming extinct due to tree cutting.

3. 100,000 civilian deaths caused by the US liberation of Iraq.

There are absolute truths which apply to all people. For these truths we use words: Liberty, Life, Justice, Truth, Justice, and Beauty. All these words are under attack by the obfuscations of the Relativists. As the language of discourse is corrupted, these noble ideas are hijacked by those who lead us to doubt our actions in Vietnam, and who attempt to confuse and confound our efforts in Iraq.

I think we need to give Humpty Dumpty a good push off the wall and not let Relativists take command of our words as they did during and after Vietnam.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Athena and Aries #3

Question #1 - Why has Vietnam become an analogy of the present war?

Answer #1 - Because our enemies within and without want a repeat of America's disastrous defeat in Vietnam. (Note: Afghanistan was the USSR's disastrous defeat.) America's Communist enemies saw the US damaged by the failure in Vietnam even as we saw the USSR destroyed by the conflict in Afghanistan. Although the USSR is gone, the US has plenty of enemies today who are hoping that Iraq will be a deadly "quagmire" that will sink America.

As a matter of self defence we must understand this and also -

Question #2 - Why did the US fail in Vietnam?

Answer #2 - I will begin by compiling a list of reasons as I see them. I am sure there are others. As these and other reasons are suggested and discussed I hope we can find the truth we need to know to defend America.

1. The Vietnamese Communists received enormous material support from other nations. In reality the War in Vietnam was a proxy battle between the Soviet Block and the West.

2. The Vietnamese Communists received enormous emotional support from worldwide propaganda, much of it generated and disseminated by western media sources.

3. Failure on the part of the US government to clearly define the purpose of the war to the rulers of America - the people. There was no pro-American "propaganda" to counter the flood of falsehoods and distortions.

4. Relativist intellectualism which could not discriminate between Democratic/Constitutional Capitalism and Totalitarian Communism. These muddled minds seized the universities, the media and pop culture.

5. Racism in at least two ways:

a) A struggle for civil liberties for minorities became confused, in the inequities of the draft, with the bigotry of segregation.

b) Prejudice against Asians - particularly South East Asians - which reduced the value of their lives and freedom in the eyes of many Americans who came to see the war as John Kerry described it, "the biggest nothing in history."

6. Politics:

a) Politicians, more interested in public opinion than in victory in war, abandoned the military and the war effort in order to garner votes.

b)Congress injected itself into tactics, calling bombings on and off and restricting targets. Legislators passed laws that made fighting for victory impossible for American troops and our Vietnamese allies. Our South Vietnamese allies were abandoned in the end by a congress eager to win votes from Americans.

7. Biased Media, unchallenged by any readily available oppositon press, choose to endlessly portray America as the villain in the "soap opera" production they cut, created, and pushed on the readers, listeners, and viewers of America.

8. The "Peace" movement, where celebrities and celebrity want-a-be's, such as John Kerry, misrepresented American service men, tainting the war in the minds of the masses for their own financial, political, and egotistical agendas. The commanding general of the North Vietnamese Army has said that the Communists could not have won without the support of the American anti-war movement.

9. Pop Culture - Rebellion, decadence, and drugs were made popular by the youth icons of the day. "Doing your own thing" became a code word for self indulgent rebellion.

10. The incredible brutality and violence which guerrilla terrorist enemies were willing to subject their victims. The use of children to deliver booby trapped explosives, mass slaughter of villages which the red hijacking of the struggle for independence allowed.

11. May Li Massacre - an actual atrocity that seemed to give credibility to the Communist and Relativist propaganda stream.

12. The clumsiness of the weaponry which inflated collateral damage and gave support to the claims of brutality leveled against US forces.

13. Corruption in the South Vietnamese government cost it its legitimacy in Vietnam and the US.

14. Lack of true support for the war in Europe and elsewhere. (Note: the support of our "allies" was luke warm at best. De Gaul's France was openly hostile. It was as if they feared we would succeed where they had failed.)

15. The drafted military for at least two reasons:

a) there was inequity and therefore injustice in draft requirements.

b) those afraid or unwilling to serve their country had no other way of staying out of the war than by forcing its end.

These challenges broke the American spirit and made it impossible for our nation to effectively and persistently prosecute the war. As a result we cut and ran and left Vietnam to the murder and slavery of Communism.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

One Man's Terrorist Is Another Man's Patriot, NOT!!

Moral equivalency is the oldest trick in the Relativist book. They say, "Yasser Arafat was like George Washington; one man's terrorist is another man's patriot; American soldiers killing Iraqies is the same as Al Qaida doing it. Who's to say who is right - who is wrong?" These statements and questions are lies told to confuse. The truth alone can light our way to justice.

When we discuss just war (Athena), we often consider World War II. The justice of the Allied cause seems so unassailable. Most are familiar with the atrocities of the Nazi death camps, but we should also recall that Germany was bent upon and perpertrated far more evil. More Slavic people than Jews died at the hands of the "master race", and the atrocities charted by the Third Reich would have washed into oblivon the deaths of all twelve million Jews slated for death in a sea of blood that would have covered the earth. We often forget; perhaps because of MacArthur; perhaps because of our own latent racism; that the Japanese killed as many people as Hitler. The massacre of Chinese and Koreans not only pushed into the millions, it too was only the beginning of the slaughter "The Rising Sun" would have lit had it not set in Edo Bay. The defeat of these monster states was the duty of all humanity. Yet there were "pacifists" even then, relativists ready to critique and condemn. The terrible means employed in WWII were not only justified by the ends achieved but by the overwhelming humanity demonstrated by "The Greatest Generation" even in the horror of war.

Now some relativists would have us believe that the outcome of WWII was moot; American victory no different than one by Germany or Japan - we were all fighting WAR. This is not true. The criminal and the policeman are not the same just because they both have guns! Nor are the Heroes who defend the same as the evil doers who attack. This is why discovering the justice of our efforts against Communism is an important starting point for considering the justice of the conflict in which we are now engageed. It is the CAUSE that must be just if we are to conquer. It is the fact that our warriors will be killing all kinds of people that must force us to predetermine the justice of our cause and proscribe the parameters of their actions.

War will be terrible - it should be. I am reminded of two Star Trek episodes. One from the first series - the one with Kirk and Spock. In it, the Enterprise comes across two planets that have been at "war" for centuries. They have removed all the "horror" from war. Everything is done in a computer game and at the end of the day the people whose sectors were electronically eliminated walk into vaporizers. The war goes on without other effect. Kirk and company soon start a real war to end the slaughter. A second show comes to mind from the Next Generation. In it the Enterprise comes across a planet where super warriors have been engineered to fight for the stay at home civilians. Once their usefulness had ended the warriors were locked up on a prison planet. Rodenberry and company are asking us to contemplate the justice of war and the things we ask our heroes to do for us.

War is hell, innocents die - sometimes tragically, some times heroically. It is the CAUSE we are fighting for we must consider to know if Athena or Aris lead us into battle. I find the line between warrior and civilian difficult to draw. Our enemies miscalculated when they thought they could defeat us with terror by attacking our people not our soliders. I am as big a "chicken hawk" as any that ever strutted his secure little barnyard under the blessed protection of his heroes, but I am every bit as much the enemy of terrorism as any solider. I will not go quietly into the night for my cause is just. When the last Marine is dead, Osama and his killers will have to deal with me. When the last policeman has been destroyed and the forces of evil have torn down the temple of Justice, then the Furies and I will be here to meet them.

If the relativists can convince us that there is no difference between our army and the terrorists, between our bombings and those of Arafat, between our cause and the cause of Fanatic Islam; then they will defeat us as they did our efforts in Vietnam. If our cause is just and we know it, then only by utterly destroying us can our enemies triumph.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Athena and Aries #2

Arguments are searches for truth. They need a starting point. I hope I can present a challenge that will let the "clash of ideas" begin.

The opponents of the War inIraq are seeking to summon the specters of Vietnam, demons we must exorcize with truth. In order to defend the Justice of the present war against global Islamic Terror, of which Iraq is a part, it is necessary to confront our nation's failure in Vietnam. Consider Milton's description of the War in Heaven. As Michael faces Satan each morning, the Devil grows in power and determination but the Archangel fights on. It may not always be possible to destroy evil but it must always be opposed.

Proposition: The Vietnam War was just.

In understanding the War in Vietnam consider these facts:

1. World wide domination was and is the stated goal of Communism.

2. Communism is evil. It must be forced on the defenceless like rape.

a) Communism is a lie, Marx a liar from the beginning; his claim that individuality and self motivation can be replaced by a "state of equal everyone" contradicts natural law. Man must work out his own salvation, it cannot be the "gift" of the devil. As Cicero explains, "one cannot force physical or mental equality on people and economic equality is not desirable. Equality can only mean equality before the law." Economic equality is not desirable because it destroys excellence.

b) Millions were killed in Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and elsewhere as totalitarian power was placed in the hands of Communists.

c) Millions more were killed and continue to be killed by Communists. That terror and mass murder are the only means to maintain Communism is empirical proof of both its failure and falseness.

d) Those people dominated by Communism did and do all they could and can to escape. Every Communist state, by necessity, becomes a prison. (Note the troop of Cuban Circus performers who claimed political asylum in Los Vegas this very week.) If so many pepole are willing to risk so much to escape Communism, is there any price to high to pay to prevent its spread or our domination by it?

e) In order to maintian power Communists must abrogate all human rights. For the preservation of their "people's states" the rights of life, liberty, and property are unjustly destroyed. Comunist sates have always been and always are totalitarian tyrannies. In a diablical twist of logic, civil and individual liberties and rights are called evil by the Communists. There is no free agency in the unjust grip of Communism; no free speech, no free assembly, no freedom of press or religion, no freedom of movement, no proetecton of the individual by law.

f) Communism cannot provided the economic equality and success it uses as justification for atrocities unequaled in the long and bloody history of evil. It is a lie from the begining!

g) Communism is a "perverse religion" used to secure power for the few who manipulated its lies; a false doctrine that empowers those who preach to deceive. Lenin, Stalin, Tito, Mao, Ho, Castro, Pow Pot, and Kim knew and know the falseness they preach. They did and do it for power. They would have used any tool that would have brought them glory!

3. To stop the spread of the demonic threat of Communism, free peoples had to fight and die. Kennan recognized the inherent flaws of Marx's lies and called for Containment. Truman realized that action needed to be taken and put forward the Truman Doctrine. To stop the spread of Communism, America rebuilt Europe after WWII through the Marshal Plan, we rebuilt Japan under MacArthur, America sent aid to Greece and Turkey, and American blood was spilt inKorea and Vietnam. To save the West, Ronald Reagan led America in a costly arms race and in the violent military struggles, covert and open, that turned back the spread of Communism in Latin America and elsewhere, unleashed by Jimmy Carter's folly. In these and countless other ways, America sacrificed in wars hot and cold; in battles lost and won. When the Berlin Wall came down, when the Iron Curtain collapsed, this blood and treasure was redeemed. Vietnam was one front in these terrible and regrettably ongoing sturggles. Vietnam was a lost battle - BUT ALWAYS A JUST ONE!!!

Please consider these arguements. I would like to continue a discussion on Athena and Aires by considering why we lost the battle of Vietnam. We must know why we left those people to suffer for decades under the monster of Communism. Understanding that failure may help us prevent its repetition in the terrible war we now must fight to survive. If we identify the forces within and without that precipitated defeat, we migh be able to recognize these demons when they are conjured to defeat us again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Athena and Aries

We must talk about war. An American Marine stands accused of shooting a wounded and unarmed terrorist. If he did, he was wrong! We do not know the details and I pray that he is innocent. That this man risks his life in the hell of Fallujah for me makes him my hero!! That our safety and joy require this hero be placed in a situation where he has to make this terrible choice, weighs heavily on all of us. I am grateful that I do not have to judge him. I caution those, who in their eagerness to score political points, are attacking him and our military.

I am directing the play A Few Good Men at the high school. (You can see it this Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night at 7:00 PM at Layton High's little theater.) At the end of the play, one of the attorneys demands a young Marine answer a question. "What are you supposed to fight for?" The answer, "Those who can't fight for themselves." We cannot become what we are justly fighting to destroy.

It is the justice of the War we must define and defend. This will need to be the subject of much consideration here in the Agora. To discuss this war reasonably we must set this Marine and his tragedy aside and consider the justice of the war itself. We must not condemn the whole of our military for the actions of one solider, nor the justice of this war because of unjust acts of an individual. We the People will vindicate our nation's actions by how we deal with our enemies and our warriors.

We will talk more about justice and war. For now we must keep the war separate from the individual actions of a warrior.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

How Sour Was Your Grape?

Here at "the high school" we're certain we're the best; "if WE lose, there is something wrong with the game! " Every defeat is splattered with sour grapes to mask the bitter taste. I'm not a sports fan, though I once rooted for the debate team. I was, however, looking forward to reading "HOW HE DID IT", the special Newsweek edition on the election. I was sure I would be reading a play-by-play on my favorite game of all time, but Newsweek is not on my team. Instead of finally presenting George Bush's successes, foreign and domestic; explaining how the voters recognized our nation's economic strength and the successes of the War on Terror; Newsweek published a "Greek Tragedy", the tale of Kerry the Good destroyed by Fate and Carl Rove.

In their battle to deliver fifteen points to Kerry, Newsweek has become so used to their spin that they can't feel it; they have drunk so long from the bitter cup, they cannot tast the sour grapes.

In Newsweek's "On Line Expert" section (pg 4), Jimmy Carter begins the spin and splatter. His paragraph makes three sour claims that are so fictional I conclude he is either either lying or senile.

1. "I don't remember any time in my lifetime when there was this much antagonism between the political parties." This from a man who clawed his way to power solely on the vitriol of Watergate? Where was Carter during the Clinton impeachment? Oh ya - In Korea pretending.

2. He then claims that "during slavery times . . . it [politics] didn't carry over to all the ancillary bills ..." NO comment - just teeth on edge.

3. He writes that there is a new development - negative advertising and implies that it was Bush that used it as " -- a very effective ploy, I might add. " Well, how about an example of this negative advertizing Jimmy? Are you talking Mike Moore, or moveon.org?

Carter's baseless blather would be laughable if it didn't foretell the theme of the entire magazine. Here are some "more pickings from the Newsweek sour grape vine."

Under Conventional Wisdom Watch (pg 9): (The section with the up and down arrows)

Up "BUSH - In another cliffhanger, 9/11 and "moral clarity" on things like gay marriage and abortion ultimately trumped Iraq and the economy." Not only a sour grape by a false claim. On page 19 Newsweek reports, Ohio which gave 140,000 more votes to Bush than Kerry, passed its "anti-gay-marriage" measure by only 302 votes. It would seem that 139, 698 fanatical Bushies were driven to the polls to defend gay marriage!

Down KERRY - As the numbers came in, it was as if Americans voted for him before they voted against him. But he showed class and grit in his run." This sounds like the Monday morning annoucement at my high school - when our team was "cheated out of victory" at the Friday game.

Up ROVE - "Base Strategy" pays off big, even if it turns the country into a battle zone, and validates smash-mouth politics for a generation. Thanks." I'm too puckered to speak!

Down DASCHLE - Minority leader loses his seat, victim of well-executed hit job by GOP. The Senate loses a decent man who may have stayed too long." So sad - I guess the people of his state should have been too dumb to notice all that obstructionism.

Here are some more telling tart ones from the remainder of the article. Again Newsweek can't even feel the spin. But I can taste it!

Pg 50 - "The capture of Saddam Hussein on Dec. 13 made Democrats despondent. Iraq was looking like a worthy cause after all: the violence seemed to be abating there." Yes, America's success brought despair to her enemies everywhere.

pg 56 - Newsweek defines the Republican base: "the vast Red State army of evangelicals; flag-waving small-t0wn and rural American Dreamers; '60s-hating. pro-death-penalty, anti-gay-marriage social conservatives; ..." Nice of Newsweek to tell us what we are!

Pg 64 - "Kerry would offer his solutions to the pressing problems of the day: getting the economy going again and restoring international faith in American foreign poloicy." Kerry never told us these things. He never once offered a plan - he just claimed to have them.

Pg 77 - "... at a fund-raiser in New York, he [Kerry] went on stage after some Hollywood stars had made vulgar jokes about the president and proclaimed, "Every single performer" in the program "conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country." Well that's what Kerry was hoping for; neither Kerry nor the media got what the majority of American voters did, just saying it doesn't make it true.

Pg 85 - "In his familiar role of Dr. Doom, the designated hit man, Vice President Cheney suggested, outrageously, that by voting for Kerry, Americans could be inviting another terrorist attack. Yet Bush and Cheney seemd to waltz away from their clumsy or embarrassing moments." What is so bogus here is that Cheney was right. Show these terrorist dogs weakness and they will attack. Kerry was weakness embodied and most American voters recognized this, why can't Newsweek.

Pgs 90 - 91 "The Swift Boat Ads - a first round charging that Kerry had lied to win his medals, then a second batch accusing him of betraying his mates by calling them war criminals - were misleading, but they were very effective. " Newsweek perpetuates the position that theSwift Vets were misleading but neither here nor anywhere do they give evidence to support this claim. That is because their claim isn't true. Although Newsweek may feel otherwise most voting Americans understand this inspite of the medias spin!

Pg 92 - "Douglas Brinkley, author of a wartime biography of Kerry, cautioned that Kerry's diary inculded mention of a meeting with some North Vietnamese terrorists in Paris. Edwards was flabbergasted. "Let me get this straight." the senator said. "He met with terrorists? Oh, that's good." Ya! It was good that we knew this and for this knowlege we can thank the honest and honorable Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - not Newsweek or the rest of the spinning media.

Pg 96 - "The story quickly turned from Bush's war record to Dan Rather's carelessness and overzealousness - even to the question of whether CBS had been secretly working with the Democrats to smear Bush ... the whole flap diverted attention away from questions, never entirely resolved, about whether Bush had skipped out on his guard service." First Dan Rather was a liar, secondly even after the Bush victory, Newsweek is still spinning not reporting.

Newsweek, and I might add the rest of the "old media", have spoken. Their team lost - something must be wrong and they will never see or report it otherwise. Copernicus explained that we cannot feel the movement of the earth because it is our natural state - we have become so used to it we are not aware. The media is so used to spinning they are not aware of what they are doing, not even when all they have to spin is sour grapes.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Guilty Pleasure

When I volunteered to become a high school debate coach I didn't know any more about Forensic Speaking that I do about Calculus. All I knew is that I wanted to be in a high school were the students had some light behind their eyes. At the interview the principal asked if I would coach debate. I told him, "I'll be the best debate coach you've ever had!" Four months later, after failing to find anyone else so foolish or desperate he hired me.

For two years our team showed up at every trounament. We were cannon fodder. Schools eagerly invited us to their tournaments; sure chances for their teams to stack up W's and entry fees without any threat. In the tab rooms other coaches lectured me on why they were so great. Sometimes I felt they could hardly restrain themselves from patting me on the head in pitty. I admit there were pleanty of tears on my pillow. But we were learning. By year three we had a good L. D. debater, a CX team or two, some kids willing to research Extemp, and a wonderful orator who actually won tournaments, and we knew we weren't dumb. At the 1988 region tournament Clearfield and Weber Highs tied for first. They were exultant. I noted our squad missed victory by two points. I knew that the next year we would win. We did, and the next and the next, and on and on; the dusty trophies crowd my classroom. I am grateful for the things I learned in debate, and appreciate the many fine coaches who are my friends. The greatest thing about being a coach is seeing the light of confidence and learning in the eyes of one's students, but once we started to win I discovered a "guilty pleasure". It was to see the disbelief, frustration, and even rage in the eyes of the coaches who were so sure their teams were better than ours and then lost to us. These were not the debate teachers I will always count my friends, but the ones who skeemed to stack the deck; that tried to recreate debate so they could win without work. Coaches to whom winning was their only validation in life. These were the coaches who mannipulated the tab room, and heaped scorn on our upstart team. These were coaches that believed their kids were better than mine. Coaches that never figuered out that if my kids were their kids they would have loved them too. It never occured to them that I enjoyd their attacks on me and mine. It was so much more fun to be the target of their excuses and the butt of their frustrations than of their pitty. What a laugh to see the disbelief in their eyes.

Now I savor the light in the eyes of our President and the majority of voters who elected him. I will take some guilty pleasure in the frustration, shock; even rage of our foes. For weeks they told us how good their candidates were. Exaulted in Kerry's "inevitable" victory and superior debate proformance, and now they squeel in unbelief at Bush's victory. The bumbling and over confident "coaches" of the loosing squad in this election include Mike Moore, Leon Panetta, James Carvill, Paul Begalla, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CNN, and especally the New York Times and CBS. I have enjoyed watching these disgruntled coaches, these arm chair quarterbacks, that called all the plays to their fanitcy victories, melt down. It is such fun to hear and read their recriminations. Below I can only share a few. I have no short hand to get lines off the T.V. but here are a few "drippings" from the melt down of the New York Times spin machine. I cherry picked their thoughts, but do give references if you what to read them in context.

NYT - November 4, 2004, from Maureen Dowd, OP-ED Columnist, THE RED ZONE

"The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance, and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel (sic)."

"W. ran a jihad in American so he can fight one in Iraq -drawing a devoted flock of evangelicals, of "values voters." as they call themselves, to the polls by opposing abortion, suffocation stem cell research, and supporting a constitutional amendment against gay marriage."

"Mr. Bush, whose administration drummed up fake evidence to trick us into war with Iraq, sticking our troops in an immoral position with no exit strategy, won on "moral issues."

"Just listen to Dick (Oh, lordy, is this cuckoo clock still vice president?) Cheney ..."

"Meanwhile, the blue puddle is comforting itself with the expectation that this loony bunch will fatally overreach, just as Newt Gingrich did in the 90's. But with this crowd, it's hard to imagine what would constitute overreaching. Invading France?"

NYT - November 5, 2004, from Andrei Cherny, Author of The Next Deal, WHY WE LOST:

"I ... [worked] for Al Gore and John Kerry ... That neither won is not primarily a commentary on them. Nor were their defeats really the result of ... mistakes, attacks and tactics ..."

"The overarching problem Democrats have today is the lack of a clear sense of what the party stands for."

"Democrats have a collection of policy positions that are sensible and right. John Kerry made them very clear. What we don't have ... a worldview that makes a thematic argument about where America is headed and where we want to take it."

NYT - November 5, 2004, from Tom Frank, author of What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, WHY THEY WON:

" Meanwhile, out in Red America, the right-wing populist revolt continues apace ..."

"... this long-running conservative revolt is rife with contradictions. It is an uprising of the common people whose long-term economic effect has been to shower riches upon the already wealthy and degrade the lives of the very people who are rising up ... It is a revolution that plans to overthrow the aristocrats by cutting their taxes."

"... culture wars ... a way for Republicans to speak on behalf of the forgotten man without causing any problems for their core big-business constituency."

" Against this militant, aggrieved, full-throated philosohy the Democrats chose to go with ... what? Their usual soft centrism, creating space for this constituency and that, taking care to antagonize no one, declining even to criticize the president ..."

"... Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. They must dust off their own majoritarian militancy instead of suppressing it; sharpen the distinctins between the parties instead of minimizing them; emphasize the contradictions of culture-war populism instead of ignoring them; and speak forthrightly about who gains and who loses from conservitive economic policy."

NYT - November 5, 2004, from Paul Krugman, OP-Ed Columnist, NO SURRENDER:

"President Bush isn't a conservative. He's a radical - the leader of a coaligion that deeply dislikes America as it is. Part of that coalition wants to tear down the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, eviscrating Social Security and, eventually, Medicare. Another part wants to break down the barriers between church and state."

"Without the fading but still potent aura of 9/11 ... he wouldn't have won at all. And future events will almost surely offer opportunities for a Democratic comeback ... The resurgence of Al Qaeda, the debacle in Iraq, the explosion of the budget deficit, and the failure to create jobs ... occured on Mr. Bush's watch. They were the consequences of bad policies made by people who let ideology trump reality."

"... Democrats are not going to get the support of people whose votes are motivated, above all, by their opposition to abortion and gay rights (and, in the background, opposition to minority rights)."

"But for the lingering aura of 9/11 they [Kerry/Edwards] would have won."

"They [Democrats] should keep the pressure on Mr. Bush when he makes terrible policy decissions, which he will."

NTY - November 7, 2004, from Maureen Dowd, OP-ED Columnist, ROVE'S REVENGE:

" Just how much did Karl Rove hate not being one of the cool guys in nigh school in the 60's [in Salt Lake]? Enough to hatch schemes to marshal the forces of darkness to take over the country?"

"The Boy Genius ... Helped [W.] get the second term he dearly wanted to surpass his father ... happy to crush the liberal elites inspired by Kennedy's New Frontier under the steamroller of 19th century family values."

"[The] White House's frontier is not a place of infinite progress and expansion, stretching society's boundaries, It doesn't battle primitivism; it courts primitivism. Instead of the New Frontier, Karl and W. offer the New Backtier."

"W's presidency rushes backward, stifling possibilities, stirring intolerance, confusing church with state, blowing off the world, replacing science with religion, and fact with faith. We're entiering another dark age, more creationist than cutting edge, more premodern than postmodern. Instead of leading American to an exciting new reality, the Bushies coccon in a scary, paranoid, regressive reality. Their new health care plan will probably be a return to leeches."

"They don't call to our better angels; they summon our nasty devils."

"Now they [the Bush conservitives] want to reshape the county on "moral" isues - though their morality seems to allow them to run a campaign full of blatant distortions and character assassination, and to mislead the public about the war."

There is one more not from the NYT. This morning on C-Span I heard Leon Panetta imply that the reason people voted for Bush is that they hate blacks and gays.

Every year the defeated coaches (Not all by any means, but enough to make it fun), would rationalize and blame. Every year they promised new strategies, miracles of justice, or new region boundries would topple our team; give us the defeat they all knew we deserved. Every year we won again. We beat Clearfield, Weber, Davis and Skyline. When they came into being we took North Ridge and Freemont. And every year we beat Bonneville High. No advisory gave me so much selfish pleasure as the coach from Bonneville High. I spent hours in coach's lounges listening to him recall his glory days on the Weber College debate team - they beat Harvard!!! He lectured me on the how's of debating, judging, and coaching. Each season he explained to me his new wonder program to assure victory. He accosted me, blood vessels about to pop, to accuse me of cheating and to shout to the auditorium filled with studnets, that I didn't know anything about debate. He dropped my teams whenever he judged them and sought to have my squad disqualified. Then season after season, he went down to bitter and angry defeat. It didn't get any better than that!

If the losers of this election knew how much pleasure they bring to the bright eyed winners by their virulent attacks on the REELECTED President or their melancholy bemoaning of the "stupidity, bigotry, and fanaticism" of the people that defated them, they would shut up and slink off to sulk in silence. Their eyes, red with rage, are such a hoot to behold. Not all relitivists have become jokes. John Kerry magnanimously admitted defeat, Carville has been quiet, even Clinton conciliatory. They are a lot more noble, but not near as much fun!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

At the Bottom of the Box

Pandora was the wife of Epimetheus, God of After Thought. He did not take precautions and Pandora ripped open his box. She let out all the evils bent on the destruction of man, but at the bottom of the box was HOPE. This campaign has been an ugly swarm of monsters, but there at the bottom of the box is HOPE!!! I think it will be OK to take some time here in the Agora, to reflect on and even to celebrate the HOPE of the election of 2004.

I will begin by prasing John Kerry. We all feared another Al Gore. I listened with dismay to John Edward's angry and divisive "concession" speech. Edwards was like an angry teenager whose team has lost the game calling his gang to gather behind the bleachers and "keep up the fight!" But John Kerry was noble in defeat. He, like Marie Antoinette, found his spark of inner greatness when everything else was lost. It will be ironic if Kerry's moment of greatness comes down to his concession speech. If John Kerry keeps his promise to support the War in Iraq, defeat may not be his only moment. I HOPE he will prove his words with actions.

I am proud of George Bush. He did not falter in his campaign. He has been the leader of our nation, not a candidate running for power. He did not blink at the attacks and misrepresentations that flew in his face. He was gracious in victory; offering HOPE to all Americans.

I am proud of the people of America. I admit I doubted; two Clinton victories had jaded me. The evil things that swarmed out of the box frightened me. I thank all those who worked so hard to fight these evils. How hard it must have been to defend our President as the beasts rushed at your faces. Thanks to those in California and Washington D.C. and in other places less sheltered than the Agora. Your courage was the "silver lining" in the dark cloud of attacks, the light of HOPE that always burned although buried. The HOPE was this , if the good people would vote they would choose the Good. America can now celebrate a sweeping victory of HOPE. President Bush amassed a clear majority in popular votes and a sizable lead in the Electoral College. Republicans now have greater strength in the House and Senate. The people made their choices because they have values; they recognize right and wrong. The relativists did not prevail; Daschle was dashed. Those who said that Americans would vote their pocket books, their fears, or their prejudices were mistaken. Those who counted on the ignorance of the people were defeated, those who questioned the wisdom of the people were given HOPE. This election was won on values not on personality; it was won by leadership not like ability. The people of our country did not want change - they wanted values; they can handle the truth. President Bush was reelected because of his succeses and because the people of America are smart enough to recognize them.

Although HOPE does "spring eternal", the evils from the box cannot be ignored. The clean wind of truth has swept them away, but we should not be too sure they have been dissolved. President Bush has reached out with HOPE to "all those who voted for his opponents." The opposition must reach out too. Democrats now must realize that Americans value values. They must now support American values to get votes, but will this support be false, a mask to cover their real intents. Democrats must be true to be trusted. Although John Kerry "did himself proud in defeat", the swarming vermin released from the box of this campaign still buzz with rage. We must look at those who were aligned against President Bush and observe them in defeat. Have they really changed to match America? Consider Mike Moore, whose lies inspire hate of America world wide and are quoted by Osama bin Laden. Note the foul mouthed Hollywood celebrities who mock and belittle without offering any constructive solutions to the problems they claim to see. Keep your eye on "moveon.org", Bill Clinton, and Pee Diddy who called for votes without offering anything for them. Watch Dan Rather who broadcast lies to influence the campaign, and George Scoros who pumped $17 million into misinformation. Don't forget Teddy Kennedy who called our President a liar on the floor of the Senate and never presented one credible bit of evidence to support his accusations. Remember the "traditional media" whose shared exit "polls" combined to try and influence the election while America was still voting. Be ever mindful of the French and Germans who took hundreds of millions of dollars of bribes from Saddam to thwart the liberation of Iraq. Keep your eyes on the UN, also bribed and corrupted, inject itself into American politics in order to increase its power. In the light of our present HOPE we must not be blinded to the harms that still swarm.

At this moment, while we gaze on beautiful HOPE, those who sought power by being enemies of President Bush are now crouching down in consultation. For the moment they are too worried about each other to do too much harm. There is even the HOPE that they might have learned the lesson of this election and will come to the aid of America. But we must watch them carefully. Let us see how they react to judges appointed to protect the values they now pay lip service to, let us see how they support the troops that are fighting for the freedom they now claim to adore, let us observe how they spend their money and the currency of their words in spreading the truth. I am curious to see how bipartisan Nancy P. will be when she is called to consult at the White House. I want to know if the Democrats are more interested in their own success in 2008 than they are in America's success in the four years till then.

I missunderestimated America - there was the beautiful HOPE at the bottom of the filthy box. Let's reflect on the lessons of this campaign, celebrate the goodness of America, and keep our eyes on the evils still swarming about the world. We must not live by "After Thought", but with HOPE in and determination to protect the future.