Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Note in Passing - Compare and Contrast

Flags across the world’s most powerful nation fly at half mast; America celebrates the life of President Gerald Ford in the soft sadness of his passing. Again and again I have heard variation on the following theme from the talking heads that people the media. “We thought he was wrong at the time, but now we see how his great courage enabled right action.” Gerald Ford picked up the burden of a wounded America, not for self aggrandizement or to feed his ambitions, but out of a sense of duty to the people he had served all his life. Ford was a warrior, a scholar, a law giver, and an Eagle Scout. By pardoning Richard Nixon he gave the malicious media the means to spin the mindless against him, but he healed the nation. Shorn of power and office, President Ford spent thirty more years in the service of America and passed in peace, respected by all, having made the world better by his life.

The trap door fell away, foul mouthed and bitter to the end, Saddam Hussein, dropped into hell with a snap of his neck. Hussein lived a life motivated by selfishness and ravenous ambition. He murdered millions, and caused misery to many millions more. He leaves behind a legacy of hate and division that could well ruin a country. Only courage and much sorrow will heal the scares his life inflected on the world. He too, in the end, was shorn of office and power, his life reduced to a putrid blight on justice and peace, his deeds inspiring only suffering and hate.

There could be no more striking proof of the difference between good and evil than the lives and deaths of these two men. Compare and contrast their lives in these words:

Courage – rage

Service – selfishness

Unifier – divider

Heal - hurt

Sacrifice – sieze

Honor – disdain

Peace – torment

Forgiveness – bitterness

Save – destroy

Justice – tyranny

Freedom – slavery

Righteousness – wickedness.

15 comments:

truth to power said...

Absolutely. Ford managed to be a uniter at a very divided time. He was not one of our greatest presidents, but he did the right thing at the right time. Surely much better than President Agnew would have done in the circumstances!

Lysis said...

Truth to Power;

We will never know weather Agnew would have been a good President or not, we do know that Ford was and the Jimmy Carter was a disaster, not only for America, but the world. Not only for his four miserable years in office– but with repercussions that all still suffer today. What Ford saved us from by replacing Agnew, we will never know, what he could have saved the world from had he been elected rather than Jimmy the C is history.

Anonymous said...

I especially liked Ford's NEGATVE appraisal of the war in Iraq as being a "BIG MISTAKE" and his comments about the incompetence and "pugnaceous" characteristics of his OWN administrative advisors, Rumsfeld and Cheney in the Bush administration.

However, instead of "rejoicing" a hypothetical Ford over Carter, let us regret that Ford could not have EARLIER, EARLIER, EARLIER and more actively DENOUNCED the FAILED IRAQI policies of the present administration -- why let it be know now after more than 3,000 U.S. deaths and Bush willing to hide the incompetence by drowning the failures in even MORE U.S. blood!!!!

truth to power said...

Why would a denuncation of Bush's policies by Ford have had any effect whatsoever? Only the anti-Bush crowd would have noticed. Ford has been politically irrelevant for a long time, and is widely seen as a RINO.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Flaccid;

The liar here is Bob Woodward. This past Sunday on *Face the Nation* on CBS,
*New York Daily New* reporter Tom DeFrank, the last person to interview Gerald Ford and who has interviewed Ford several times since Woodward, reveled it was not reasonable for Ford to have said the things Woodward is claiming. What Woodward has done is to take a comment about WMD linkage and tried to stretch it to apply to the whole war. Of course the media is complicit in this deception. Thank God we can hear the truth and reason for ourselves. Here is the way CBS reports the *Face the Nation* discussion. DeFrank’s comments on Fords support of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and the War in Iraq were in fact much stronger.

“Last week, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward said Ford told in 2004 that he was very opposed to the war in Iraq and that he thought it was unjustified. Woodward also said that Ford criticized former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney, who both worked for President Ford as young men.

"I was very surprised about it," DeFrank said. "Because I had four interviews with Gerald Ford after the war in Iraq began, '03, '04, '05, end in May of '06. And in every one of those interviews, he told me he supported the war in Iraq."

DeFrank, who covered Ford when he was president, said he saw him on Nov. 14. The only point where his reporting and Woodward's intersect is about weapons of mass destruction, DeFrank said.

"President Ford told me in May that he thought it was a big mistake for President Bush to have pegged the invasion of Iraq to the WMD issue," DeFrank said.

. . . DeFrank said Ford was supportive and defensive about Rumsfeld and Cheney . . .”

In fact DeFrank said Ford was always supportive or “Rummy”, and that he told him so with great emotion. So once again, Flaccid, you have hung your hat on disinformation, and brought that disinformation here to foist off on the rest of us. Once again you have been caught in your deception. Please try to learn from this, not only about the Woodward misinformation, but also on how to present evidence rather than making wild assertions without support.

The truth is that Ford never denounced the War in Iraq. He didn’t because, as he demonstrated during his Presidency, he has the courage to do what is hard but necessary to defend the nation, and now the world.

Anonymous said...

Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's TAPED,TAPED,TAPED interview with Gerald Ford had the President discussing his misgivings about the Iraq war and the role played in the run-up to the conflict by former aides Rumsfeld and Cheney.

Ford:
"I don't think I would have ordered the Iraq war"

Ford:
"I think Rumsfeld Cheney and the President made a BIG MISTAKE in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphsis on weapons of mass destruction. I'VE NEVER PUBLICLY SAID THAT I THOUGHT THEY MADE A MISTAKE, BUT I FELT VEY STRONGLY THAT IT WAS *AN ERROR*" (that is a direct quote, Lysis, from the TAPED, TAPED TAPED interview.

Ford adviser David Gergen said, "These are prety tough comments. And they were made, remember, a long time ago, 2004. Much earlier than the time when most of the country turned against the war. SO, I THINK THIS IS DAMAGING."

Even if DeFrank's interview(s) CLAIM Ford said something else at other times, if hardly makes Woodward or even Ford into LIARS as Lysis so recklessly accuses -- manufacturing FALSEHOODS by making unfounded and unsupported accusations is ALSO a particularly damaging form of LYING and DISHONESTY!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

Thank you for supporting the truth and my position with your direct quote from the TAPE.

"I think Rumsfeld Cheney and the President made a BIG MISTAKE in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphsis on weapons of mass destruction. I'VE NEVER PUBLICLY SAID THAT I THOUGHT THEY MADE A MISTAKE, BUT I FELT VEY STRONGLY THAT IT WAS *AN ERROR*"

It is exactly as I and Tom DeFrank have said. Ford was not criticizing the war, only the use of WMD as justification for it. In fact President Bush gave fourteen reasons for Liberating Iraq, WMD was only one. We have all benefited from the fact that Saddam did not develop the WMD he was planning to, and the other reasons still stand and can still be seen by referring to the RECORD here at the Agora.

Gergen admits that he “thinks” this might be damaging. It surely might be if the spin is not stopped by the truth.

Again, I demonstrate your errors, Flaccid, all you do is call names. Thank you for once more providing a clear demonstration of the difference between our positions and ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Other reported interviews with Ford that Lysis will LEAP to calling LIES because, Lysis prefers groundlessly disparaging character and assassinating personality ratherthan having to grapple with FACTS and TRUTH:

By Michael Beschloss
Newsweek Jan. 8, 2007

"As Ford grew older, he also increasingly moved to the center. He was privately critical of Bush's Iraq war and was also surprised by Cheney's growing hawkishness.

In September 1995, at the suggestion of NEWSWEEKS's then editor, the Late Maynard Parker, I (Beschloss) called on President Ford one afternoon in Beaver Creek for a conversation about his life and career. Our ground rules were that I would divulge nothing about our talk until after his death, which would allow him to speak MORE FREELY THAN NORMAL. Reminded of these, Ford replied in lawyerly fashion: "I accept."

In hindsight, what stands out most from our talk was Ford's frustration that the Republican Party had lurched so far to the right. -Direct Quote- "If I'd been elected in '76, he told me flatly, "the party wouldn't be as far right as it is at the present time ... I sure hope it comes back to the center." Ford went on to complain about the 1992 GOP convention in Houston, where Pat Buchanan -- who had challenged President George H.W. Bush for that year's party nomination -- demanded that conservatives "take back our culture."

Ford told me, -Direct Quote- "My wife and I are moderate Republicans. We felt unfomfortable at the last (1992) convention. And ... unless things change, we'll feel unfomfortable in the next one -- IF we go."

Ford lamented that George H.W.Bush had not reversed their party's rightward movement: "-Direct Quote- I was disappointed that George didn't fight a little harder against the hard right."

In Beaver Creek, Ford reminded me that he and Betty were "pro-choice." He criticized Bush Senior's public avowal that he had come to oppose abortion rights. "I know damn well that he and Barbara are pro-choice," Ford told me. "Why didn't they get up and say it? That really disappointed me more than anything."

Knowing that it was/is politically expeditious for Ford to say different things to different audiences for different reasons at different times. However, to give interviews then restrict publication of content until after death certainly weighs the opinions expressed THEREIN as being DEFINITIVE and MOST CANDID!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ford had never PUBLICLY said that the war was a mistake until AFTER his death -- then his posthumous interviews said it LOUD AND CLEAR.

It was Ford's opposition to the war in Iraq that made it NECESSARY to, first, not make it public at that time, but NECESSARY to make it public AFTER his death.

If Ford were reiterating a PRO-Iraqi war/Bush position he had "publicly" held all along, there would be no sense at all in ANNOUNCING to the WORLD the SAME,SAME,SAME position posthumously?!?!

Ford wanted his anti-Bush/Iraqi war feelings made PUBLIC AFTERWARDS -- It is just obvious!!!!

Ford's words MISTAKE and ERROR speak most convincingly from the grave -- please do not "mealy mouth" and "equivocate" upon what Ford clearly stated and what Ford wanted clearly known !!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

I pointed out that Woodward was lying by showing how he twisted the facts of his interview with Ford and how DeFrank was able to flatly contradict Woodward’s spin and explain now only how Woodward mislead, but what Ford really said. You then posted Ford’s own words and proved that DeFrank and I were right. I have not called any one a liar without proving that they were lying.


As for Ford’s comments at Beaver Creek; most of America turned to the right, thank God! I point to the election and reelection of Ronald Reagan, a truly great President, and far Right of Ford. America’s turn to the right enabled the defeat of Communism and saved our economy. Remember the “turn to the left” lead by Jimmy Carter spawned the spread of Communism, devastated the American economy, and sowed the seeds of Islamic terror Iranian style.

I am sorry that Ford and Betty were pro-death. (I am quite confident Gerald Ford has changed his mind by today.) I never said he was perfect. I said he did courageous and right things when he was president. However, Gerald Ford was no Ronald Reagan!!!

I celebrate Bush the first’s attempt to defend the lives of the unborn. Someday American will realize he was right too.

Being pro-choice is being pro-the-death of millions of Americans. Being pro-choice is tantamount to being pro-slavery, even worse. It amazes me that Flaccid can continually lament the death of soldiers in Iraq, (something which I also lament) but never be the least concerned about the million American babies that will be butchered this year and the next and the next, as they have been for approaching forty years now.

As for the “hard right” – if that means Reagan style conservatism - I rejoice that George One did not fight against it and hope it will soon once again be the guiding force in American Politics.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Once again you mealy mouth and spin Ford’s words for your own agenda’s support. Ford did not say what you and Woodward wanted him to, so now that he cannot challenge the misrepresentation Woodward twists his words. This gigantic deception is obvious to all, to pretend you don’t get it is demonstrated dishonesty.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Ford was using the Woodward/Beschloss "posthumous" interviews as his LEGACY wherein which he could be candid and straightforward in ways that he found he could not have been before. THAT is the way Ford wanted it, NOT the way Woodward/Beschloss chose or would have preferred, in order to subsequently be "dishonest" or "deceptive".
THAT scenario is a concoction born out of the malingering ooze of neocon paranoia.

On the other hand, I am gratified that "Eagle Scout Ford" found the Scout Oath to be an important part of his life AND HIS DEATH!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Fortunately Ford has a real legacy as a President and doesn’t need to play silly tricks to cook one up. That is Clinton and Carter’s game.

Again – Ford did not say what Woodward claimed he did. Anyone can read what Ford said in context and know exactly how he felt. That he thought it was a mistake to hang the war on WMD. We also know that it was the media not President Bush that hung the war on WMD. President Bush gave many reasons for the need to liberate Iraq, all of them valid and necessary to this day.

Ford did not want to be seen as not supporting the War because he did support it! What kind of yellow coward are you trying to paint him? As if he was afraid to speak the truth while he was alive. Your dishonest and spin through filth, but as usual, it sticks to you and in this case Woodward.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

some random thoughts on this posting...

1-I dont know Fords rationale for requesting the comments not be made until after he died. He must have had his reasons and I am sure he believed they were the right reasons. Maybe he didnt feel it was his place to second guess the current commander in chief and create an atmosphere of in-fighting. Maybe he was teaching us a lesson in roles and in national unity.

2-Interesting how quickly he goes from an enemy of the left to a hero of the left. There wasnt as much acknowledgement of his wisdom when he pardoned Nixon.

3-The 'he said-he said' phase is over. You see just how much play this whole thing has in the real world? It got about 4 seconds of the typical 15 seconds of fame before it played out. And maybe again...THAT was his intent.

4-So what if he DID disagree? let me ask the anon...have you ever heard Clinton refute his claims that Iraq had WMDs? have you ever demanded it? Have you ever called him a liar for it? Have you ever criticized him for attacking Iraq 8 times over 'lies'? have you heard Clinton come out and say Bush's claims that Iraq had WMDs were lies?

I suspect the answer to all those questions is no. But of course...the Anon hates Bush, therefore the hypocrisy of the Anon (and the left in general) continues.

LOTS of people disagree with lots of different things. peeople within the right, within the left, all over. Bush was given a scenario where the world leaders had for 8 years given Saddam a free pass. For 8 years Clinton and the others (including all the dems who claim Bush is a liar) stated clearly that Iraq had WMDs and was a threat. Bush inherited a situation where Iraq had refused 17 UN resolutions demanding compliance. SEVENTEEN. 17. And by golly...Bush decided there wouldnt be an 18th.

Iraq was attacked NOT because they POSESSED WMDs. I defy you to point to his speech where he declared that to be his reason. In point of fact, he cited Iraq's REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH UN RESOLUTIONS TO GIVE A FULL AND COMPLETE ACCOUNTING OF HIS WMDs. I know...I'm shouting...not very impressive.

But THATS the facts...refute them.

Oh...he also cited Iraqs ties to global terror (proven and undeniable) and Saddams practice of Genocide (Clintons ONLY justification for declaring war on Serbia) and that TOO is proven and undeniable.

And the left STILL has no answer as to how it should have been done or how they would do it.

BTW...why do you think there isnt a great surge of action towards impeachment proceedings? I can tell you...every one of the democrats that call Bush a liar will be called to testify as to why they gave statements during the Clinton years regarding Iraqs WMDs and then refuted them during the Bush administration. Every democrat statement regarding WMDs will be exposed. the dems wont push impeachment because all they really have to worry about is public image and they can manipulate that just fine with the media.