Monday, June 12, 2006

Handed Allen a Gun ... Yikes!

In glancing at the Virginia Political Blogs aggregator site I ran across a provocative post from Spank That Donkey that caught my eye -- “Webb just handed Allen a Gun in Kerry Endorsement.” It seems some folks can’t wait until the Democrats primary results come in to get into that lazy, hazy, crazy, summertime anything goes, swift-boating mood. Since Webb might lose tomorrow, this blogger had to go with what he/she had today:

“...Maybe a minute and a half TV spot, over dubbed with this audio, and a photo montage of a Kerry/Webb endorsement event ... might make this endorsement not so good an idea.”

To Spank That Donkey, I say this:

We know a lot about Sen. John Kerry’s service during the Vietnam War. The same goes for former Navy Secretary Jim Webb. It’s on the record. We know that presidential candidate Kerry then got “swift-boated,” ostensibly for his high-profile anti-war activities, which followed his Vietnam experience.

In order to do a thorough job, Kerry’s thoroughly honorable service as a volunteer in real swift boats was tarred by shameless propagandists who felt all was fair in their effort to defeat Kerry. Are Sen. George Allen‘s backers now poised to attempt to tar Jim Webb‘s service, too, should he win tomorrow? In order to undermine Webb’s legitimate credentials as a military expert, one who opposed invading Iraq, how far will Bush apologists go?

The post suggests that Webb’s association with Kerry will put a gun in Allen’s hand. OK. In which branch of the service did Allen serve during the Vietnam War? He's the right age to have served during that conflict. Like many who now talk tough, he chose to serve his country by going to college. That's fine but what does he know of war, or guns? What will Allen do with that firearm if he figures out how to load it? Perhaps you need a better metaphor.

My reaction to the thought of Bush administration yes-man George Allen with a loaded weapon is that it probably puts his own cowboy boots, and Republicans standing close to him, in a lot more danger than it does any Democrats.


Info_Tech_Guy said...

The chicken-hawks appear to be circling... But we're now bogged down in Iraq led there by a sometime national guardsmen and a cadre of advisors who likewise "had better things to do" than serve in 'Nam. We'll see if Jim Webb doesn't show some righteous anger if Allen or his surrogates attempt to misstate Jim Webb's record or slander him by association. I think Webb'll be more outspoken that Murtha or Cleland were.

Josh Chernila said...

I've got 20 bucks for anyone who can tell me how many interceptions George Allen threw on July 10, 1969, the day Jim Webb earned the Navy Cross.

spankthatdonkey said...

Mr Rea:
Common Ground, Thanks for making Rocky Horror the Midnight Movie at the Biograph... had a lot of fun there.

Not so common ground:
The point of my post was the irony that Webb would be so desperate for Lib voters that he would turn to Kerry. Imagine if this were a Pub primary and in comes a Lib "bogyeman" like "W", Gingrich, Delay etc. ya'll would freak.

The point is that Webb is associating with Kerry, who was not propagandized, as you put forth. The guy volunteered, but left Vietnam under questionable circumstances, and another reading of my post, you find that Webb himself takes Kerry to task for his Post Vietnam conduct.

I am no party "hack" just an observer as you, and "am posting it as I see it".

Please take the time to come over and look at other posts, where I question Webb's judgement on opposing the invasion of Iraq (as Hillary has even triangulated her vote). It was the correct geo political move, Syria, Libya, and Iran, not to mention Iraq itself have moved a decade in deeds that negotiations alone could not have acheived.

That is the problem Webb faces.. He was wrong on Iraq, and now he is gambling completely upon things going wrong there to unseat Allen.

I leave you with this.. why did Hillary Triangulate her vote??? Because Kerry and Al Gore gambled all on Iraq going badly... and they have lost their credibility (barring something unforseen), but Hillary was wise, took the middle, and has options....

alas, Webb has none.... and the Kerry card for the Dem nomination tomorrow... proves it.

F.T. Rea said...


When the movie theater to which you refer, the Biograph, opened in 1972 I was almost as opposed to the Vietnam War as it got. I was bitter. Thus, I held a fundraiser that first summer for George McGovern, and I gladly did some work for other Democrats in that time. But I was never was against the servicemen. Never. Like Kerry I was against a war America was losing, a quagmire sucking the trust and tenderness out of a generation.

When I joined the Navy in 1966, at 18, I believed my government, totally, about the justifications for the war, the provocations, etc. It never occurred to me the whole bloody business could have been a scam.

So, I happen to understand how it was then, to volunteer, only to feel bitter later. Fortunately, I didn’t go to Vietnam, but I have known lots of guys who did. Some are Republicans, others are Democrats, still others ignore politics. The Vietnam War Era vets I’ve known generally don’t trash other vets for their differences on that war. They say, in so many words, as long as you don’t lie about what you did, and you believed what you did was right, there’s no problem.

However, if you brag, if you say you were in specific places, and you weren’t, watch out!

The only veterans my age I’ve encountered, personally, who do trash other vets for their differences over the war, are hardcore ideologues -- people who have an agenda that isn’t about honor then. It’s strictly about power today and who has it.

Those 2004 swift-boat crazies who smeared John Kerry by questioning his service in Vietnam were way out of line. If they wanted to stay mad with him forever, because of his anti-war protests and testimony -- fine. But that other stuff, questioning his medals, etc., was disgusting. It put every medal awarded in that era into question.

Of course some medals were given out for little or nothing. Soldiers sometimes deliberately shot their own men, too, and sometimes they got away with it. That’s war. Nobody wants an investigation of bogus medals ... nobody. Lots of things happened no one wants to dwell on. That’s war, and that’s why we should do our best to avoid it.

But when guys who were never in the service at all question Kerry’s honor, for the sake of some cheap political zinger, that’s too much.

With invading Iraq, America has invited disaster. When someone suggests that Webb wants the war in Iraq to go wrong, to help his political career, that says a lot more them than it does Webb.

Thank you for commenting. If you scroll down to “Chasing Dignity,” that post links to a story I recently wrote that is set at the Biograph. It mentions “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

spankthatdonkey said...

I served as a Marine by the way :-)No medals beyond a good conduct and overseas ribbon.

This is post regarding why specifically I think the invasion of Iraq was necessary

and Thank You for your service btw, both of my parents were in the navy that is how they met.

Scott said...

On the other side of the coin, as a progressive, I was not that jazzed about Kerry's endorsement. I believe it sends the wrong message. Not only did Kerry support the decision to go to war in Iraq, he caved in to vote fraud in Ohio. Democrats like Kerry are losers- in more ways than one.

F.T. Rea said...


In the light of day, I must say my reaction to your post about Webb and Kerry probably had more to do with me than what you wrote. So what I wrote last night was maybe more of a general reaction to a line of thought, a line you seemed to be following.

Your actual words weren’t all that extreme.

John Kerry’s words as an anti-war activist in the early ‘70s seemed to me to have been spoken from the heart. Few who know much about what went on in Vietnam back in that time honestly dispute that atrocities were committed in the heat of war. The eternal argument has been over whether it was right for Kerry, as a returning servicemen, to speak of them.

Some saw, and still see, Kerry’s choice as a betrayal. I understand that, even as I disagree with that take. To me, Kerry was trying to prevent more men, his brethren, from coming home with too many nightmares to ever be whole again. Or, not coming home...

That for a war, escalated out of control by a bogus provocation -- a deliberate prevarication -- that had been lost.

Kerry’s stand took balls, whether you agreed/agree with him or not. To call him “misguided” is fair, to call him a “pansy” is ludicrous.

Today, I feel for those guys in Iraq, with their extended tours. If they come home, many of them will never be able to adjust to normal life again. Taxpayers will always have to support some, because they will be so troubled. If this war had been inevitable that would be one thing. When it’s WWII, you do what you have to and move on. As a war of choice, it’s another matter.

Now I don’t know how this conflict will play out. Like everyone else, I can only guess, while contemplating the unintended consequences that always follow great upheavals. However, I do not want anyone to suffer for one minute, American or Iraqi, just so I can smirk and say, “I told you so.”

To accuse Jim Webb of that, or perhaps John Murtha, is a darkly cynical ploy that questions their patriotism. Clearly, it speaks more to the squirming toad mindset of the accuser than the accused.

Thanks again for commenting. If you peruse SLANTblog, you’ll see that I don’t save my know-it-all criticism for the Republicans only.