The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:59:00 PM | Permalink | |

Giuliani Rocks the House

What a night! I thought McCain was pretty good, particularly this passage:

Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents.And certainly not a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass gravesand prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls. Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.

The central security concern of our time is to keep such devastating weapons beyond the reach of terrorists who can't be dissuaded from using them by the threat of mutual destruction.We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times. By destroying his regime we gave hope to people long oppressed that if they have the courage to fight for it, they may live in peace and freedom.Most importantly, our efforts may encourage the people of a region that has never known peace or freedom or lasting stability that they may someday possess these rights. I believe as strongly today as ever, the mission was necessary, achievable and noble. For his determination to undertake it, and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration. As the President rightly reminds us, we are safer than we were on September 11th, but we're not yet safe. We are still closer to the beginning than the end of this fight.We need a leader with the experience to make the tough decisions and the resolve to stick with them; a leader who will keep us moving forward even if it is easier to rest.

But if last night was a preview of the candidates four years from now, I think the nod clearly has to go to Rudy Giuliani for what was a satisfying, rousing speech. The convention hall, and I'm sure whoever else was listening could not helped be moved by the words of the man who stood shoulder to shoulder with the President to preserve calm in the days following 9/11. It is clear that the Republicans are absolutely right in this convention to highlight the subject that it needs to be on: the war. There is no more important issue today, and it is going to take more than a salute, a "reporting for duty" one liner, and a Spielberg film to lead this country now. Some Highlights of Rudy's speech:

And I will always remember that moment as we escaped the building we were trapped in at 75 Barclay Street and realized that things outside might be even worse than they were inside the building. We did the best we could to communicate a message of calm and hope, as we stood on the pavement seeing a massive cloud rushing through the cavernous streets of lower Manhattan.

Our people were so brave in their response. At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, "Thank God George Bush is our President."

I said the exact same thing at the time, so this one liner resonated with me.

He continued later:

The President announced the Bush Doctrine when he said: "Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

And since September 11th President Bush has remained rock solid. It doesn't matter how he is demonized. It doesn't matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.

They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan. But like President Bush, they were optimists; leaders must be optimists. Their vision was beyond the present and set on a future of real peace and true freedom. Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.

President Bush has the courage of his convictions.

Like Don King, I just wanted to shout "AMEN, brother" (Actually, I think I did...)

And then there was this:

But it is important to see the contrast in approach between the two men; President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts, and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often even on important issues.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War. Later he said he actually supported the war.

Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for President, he voted for the war in Iraq.

And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.

He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he's pro-war. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position at least three or four more times.


John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combatting terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course. President Bush will not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over thirty years to stand up to terrorists, to dissuade us from what is necessary for our defense. (rousing cheers here...)

He will not let them set our agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead rather than follow. John Kerry's claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him, raises the risk that he would accommodate his position to their viewpoint.

Which is of course exactly what he would do. I am sure the media is talking about Bush's "attack machine" this morning, just as I am sure that most Americans who saw Giuliani's speech felt the same way I did: How refreshing... How great to have a man who will stand up here and speak from the heart and speak the truth, rather than the same tired talking points.

Based on this speech, I have to make Rudy the early favorite for '08. John Podhoretz had this to say about it in this morning's New York Post.
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 07:49:00 AM | Permalink | |

Anarchist warning for today

Lucianne pointed out this story running in today's NY Daily News. Heads up in New York!
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 06:30:00 AM | Permalink | |

Two in one day!

Gregory Djerejian has done it again: an excellent report of Iraqi PM Allawi speaking very candidly to France:

"The French, like all democratic countries, can't content themselves with adopting a passive position. The Americans, the British and other nations that are fighting in Iraq are not only fighting to protect Iraqis, they are fighting to protect their own countries.

The governments that decide to stay on the defensive will be the next targets of the terrorists. Terrorist attacks will occur in Paris, in Nice, in Cannes or in San Francisco. The time has come to act against terrorism, in the same fashion...that Europe fought Hitler. Every day, tens of people are killed in Iraq. They are not dying because we are going through a major national crisis, but because we have decided to combat evil. That's why the entire international community must assist us, as rapidly as possible, to improve the security of our country.

...the U.S. decided to disembark in Normandy, to eliminate Hitler. They suffered heavy losses to accomplish this objective. The same thing is happening today. People must assume their responsibilities. The decision to assist Iraq is courageous. Let me tell you that the French, despite all the noise they make--'We don't want war!'--will shortly have to fight the terrorists."

Wake up France. As these hostages have shown, you are in the crosshairs too. Get over yourselves and help us do what has to be done. You desist at your peril.

DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:35:00 AM | Permalink | |

George Will on preventing the unthinkable

If there is any issue that 9/11 ought to have brought to the public's awareness, it should be the dangers of nuclear terrorism. George Will gives us a sobering look at the consequences of not electing a President who will meet this threat head-on.
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:30:00 AM | Permalink | |

WWKD: What Would Kerry Do?

Gregory Djerejian has posted a lengthy and well-reasoned analysis on his blog The Belgravia Dispatch, which projects the positions John Kerry would be likely to take in the war against radical Islam if he were somehow elected President, based on statements and positions he has taken in the past. It isn't pretty...
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:25:00 AM | Permalink | |

Kerry/Edwards Making Appeasement-like Overtures to Iran

Speaking of a Kerry Administration and foreign policy, Hugh Hewitt has this take on the latest Washington Post story about how Kerry/Edwards would deal with the world headquarters of state-sponsored Islamic terror, Iran. One gets the impression that the mullahs can only be emboldened by this story:

Are the mullahs laughing today?

John Kerry has sent John Edwards out to offer the Iranian rulers a "great deal," according to the Washington Post: They get to have reactors while others supply the fuel, but only if they promise not to produce bombs. And if they don't sign on to pretending not to build nukes? "Heavy sanctions." Really. Do you suppose the mullahs are more intimidated by the prospect of Kerry-Edwards or of Bush-Cheney? Here are a couple of key graphs:

"Iran has insisted that it be allowed to produce nuclear fuel, which would give it access to weapons-grade material. Under Kerry's proposal, the Iranian fuel supply would be supervised and provided by other countries."

"Experts on Iran have long speculated that some sort of 'grand bargain' that would cover the nuclear programs, a lifting of sanctions and renewed relations with the United States would help solve the impasse between the two countries. But campaign aides later said Edwards was not suggesting an agreement that covered more than the nuclear programs. In the December speech, Kerry criticized Bush for failing to 'conduct a realistic, nonconfrontational policy with Iran.'"

"Experts?" Which experts? Madeline Albright and Sandy Berger?

Ooooh, I'll bet they are shaking in their boots over there in Tehran...

DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:20:00 AM | Permalink | |

TIME Reporting: BLATANT Bias

A salute to The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler for coming up with this week's nomination for mainstream smear of the week:

This TIME Magazine article redefines the dregs of incoherent journalism.

The Verdict on Abu Ghraib

Pressure mounts on Rumsfeld

A report released last week places a share of the responsibility for the mistreatment of inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison on the shoulders of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Though the report didn't single him out by name or call for his resignation, it concludes that a combination of too many prisoners and too few guards — as well as a confusing chain of command — generated a climate ripe for trouble that the Pentagon's leadership should have anticipated.

Look at that again. It starts with this:

A report released last week places a share of the responsibility for the mistreatment of inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison on the shoulders of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Then follows with:

Though the report didn't single him out by name or call for his resignation, it concludes…

So even though the report singles out Rumsfeld exactly as often as Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hoffa, and King Henry VIII, TIME thinks it still places the share of responsibility on Rumsfeld. Either the report referred to him by saying "The older gentleman with glasses who held lots of press conferences with Air Force General Dick Myers," or else TIME is exploring the frontiers of journalistic overreach. Is TIME so busy that they're having their news written by the people who normally write astrology columns, or was this one churned out by a reporter on a mescaline induced vision quest?

Is further comment even necessary here?
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:15:00 AM | Permalink | |

Domestic Terror also a threat in NYC

If there is a successful terrorist attack during the Republican Convention this week, do not automatically assume that the attack is coming from Al Queda: it appears that the Weather Underground has plans of its own.
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

What is going RIGHT in Iraq

Once again Arthur Chrenkoff gives us loads of detail on things that are going well in Iraq lately. And once again I ask: where is the mainstream media on this story? Does the American public not have an interest in what is going well there as well as what is not? Is it not germane that as far as the "big picture" is concerned there, we are exceeding expectations?
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:05:00 AM | Permalink | |

Why Bush is NOT discussing the Swift Vets story

Mickey Kaus points out the obvious: for Bush to tell the Swift Vets to quit running their anti-Kerry ads would be breaking Federal Election law. Bush is prohibited from any kind of "coordination" with the 527's. To tell a 527 not to run ads is still "coordination". The irony of the Democrat campaign complaining loudly that the President refuses to break the law is thick enough to cut with a knife.
DiscerningTexan, 8/31/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Monday, August 30, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

The media's hate fest begins

Nice column in this morning's NRO: Tim Graham notes that the negativity from the press has already started:

For Republicans, this is going to be a tough and nasty week to put up with TV news coverage. Just for starters, Tom Brokaw signed off the NBC Nightly News on Sunday by comparing the convention's slate of moderate speakers to a "con game."

Put on your wading boots. Or better yet, tune in to Fox.

DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 08:52:00 AM | Permalink | |

Kerry's daughters booed on MTV Music Awards

In a blatant attempt to politicize yet another "non-partisan" event, if not provide yet more free-of-charge television airtime for pro-Kerry forces, Viacom in its corporate wisdom trotted out John Kerry's daughters to speak during last night's MTV Video Music awards (this was my first hint that Kerry's daughters were such icons in the recording industry...). What Viacom didn't count on was the crowd in the theater booing and jeering the Kerry girls when they asked the crowd to please support their father.
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 08:00:00 AM | Permalink | |

Reliving the Sixties

Roger L. Simon reports from the streets of New York. Better him than me:

Cops were everywhere. It was fun talking to them. One of them said to me, "It's like fuggin' 9/11 never happened." His buddies seemed to agree.
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:25:00 AM | Permalink | |

Venezuala and Iran getting lovey-dovey

Our good friend in Venezuala, President Chavez (you remember, he's the one who stole an election, yet was "certified" by Jimmy Carter) is now cozying up to our even better friends in Iran. And I need an airbag...
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:20:00 AM | Permalink | |

CBO: The real impact of Bush's tax cuts

Seems there has been quite a bit of distortion over at Kerry HQ lately, not the least of which is over the top misinformation about the impact of Bush's tax cuts. Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:20:00 AM | Permalink | |

Setting the Record Straight

Last week the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran an op-ed from a Kerry defender that tried to turn the Swift Boat allegations into an attack against the Bush “smear machine”. The only problem is: neither Kerry nor the op-eds have successfully refuted the charges. Now two of the bloggers from Power Line, one of the early blogs to carry the Cambodia story, have written a response to the op-ed, and this has also been published by the Star-Tribune. In addition, the No Illusions blog has a good synopsis of this editorial page battle and its implications for mainstream media in general, entitled "A little vignette of major media in decline: The Minneapolis Star Tribune."

Interesting stuff, indeed.
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Laura Slams Critics of Bush’s 9/11 classroom actions

You have to love Laura Bush. She’s not a loose cannon like Teresa, but neither does she let things sit when she feels personal attacks on her husband are getting out of hand. In this interview with the New York Post, she opined about the Kerry camp’s criticism of the President continuing to read to children after he learned of the 9/11 attacks:

"I think that's a ridiculous allegation by John Kerry — it's absurd," Mrs. Bush told The Post. "And I think what my husband did was perfectly appropriate. I think it was the right thing to do in front of the children."

"I think it was the right thing to do in front of the press that were there. And while he was there for those seven short minutes, his staff was getting more information.

"They didn't have any more information than what [chief of staff] Andy Card had told him when he came into the room."

You go, girl!
DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:05:00 AM | Permalink | |

Mainstream media now onto Silver Star Irregularities

Last Sunday I posted a story detailing how some investigative journalists have found a mysterious “V” in the citation record for John Kerry’s Silver Star. Then on Wednesday I posted a follow-up story which found additional irregularities with the Silver Star citations (not the least of which--there were 3 separate citations, years apart, for the same medal; something that is unheard of in the military). Now it appears that the mainstream media has finally awakened to this story: the Chicago Sun-Times ran a story on this on Friday, and now the Washington Times has in its Op/Ed section a column about the mysterious “V” in Kerry’s record:

On Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a similar story by Thomas Lipscomb, who spoke to B.G. Burkett, author of "Stolen Valor" and recipient of the Army's highest award given to a civilian, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award. For his book, Mr. Burkett had to read thousands of military records to uncover phony claims of awards. "I've run across several claims for Silver Stars with combat 'V's, but they were all in fake records," he told Mr. Lipscomb.

Mr. and Mrs. Holzer bring up another interesting point. Over at, the Navy citation for Mr. Kerry's Silver Star does not mention the combat "V". It appears, then, that the Navy didn't mistakingly grant a "V" with Mr. Kerry's Silver Star. So, how did it get into Mr. Kerry's DD 214?

This is more serious than one would think. In Title 19, U.S. Code, Section 1001, the law states: "Whoever, in any manner within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the United States, knowingly and willfully ... makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both." As Mr. Lipscomb reports, a complaint filed by Mr. Burkett actually led to the sentencing of Navy Capt. Roger D. Edwards to 115 days in the brig for falsification of his records.

Mr. Kerry has yet another inconsistency to account for, and this one is by no means a question of foggy memories.

I think the Kerry campaign is under the impression if they just repeat the mantra “fear and smear” enough times, this story will go away. Dream on…

DiscerningTexan, 8/30/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Sunday, August 29, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 05:43:00 PM | Permalink | |

Holding the Cards

Mark Steyn can see that the President of the United States is a good poker player.
DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 01:00:00 AM | Permalink | |

Revolution: How the blogosphere forced big media to cover the Swift Vets allegations

This past month may go down in American history as the turning point of what was up until now the dominant form of news media in this country. Newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, along with their comrades in the electronic media (ABC, CBS, NBC, and later CNN) have long been the first choice for consumers who want to understand the world around them. Until now.

As talk radio and balanced networks like Fox have gained popularity, a better educated population is now beginning to see through the clearly discernable bias of "big media" and has searched for an alternative. With the advent of the internet, and especially the explosive growth of weblogs, suddenly thoughtful people who have been starved for news have taken it upon themselves to go find that news: on-line. This phenomenon has evolved to the point where bloggers are now getting to sensational news stories before the biased editors in mainstream media choose to run those stories. And the result is that big media is now outed for what it is: a cheerleading squad for liberal political viewpoints.

Fortunately for America, a majority of its citizens still do not subscribe to this viewpoint; a fact evidenced by the Kerry campaign attempting to portray itself as "hawks" in doves clothing. If the majority of Americans were pacifist socialists as is Kerry, he would find very little support. And the mainstream media has had to go out of its way this year to maintain the illusion.

This week's Weekly Standard has an article by Jonothan Last which describes the handstands and back flip contortions the media has resorted to in the last 30 days over the Swift Boat Vets allegations against Mr. Kerry:

On August 6, NBC also reported on the "harsh" ad, but only as a way of segueing into a segment on "527 groups," independent political organizations funded with soft money. On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann mentioned O'Neill's forthcoming Unfit for Command. Since it's published by the conservative house Regnery, Olbermann reported, "you now bring in the whole mystical right-wing conspiracy jazz." The night before, Olbermann had repeatedly referred to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as "Swift Boat Veterans for Bush."

But the big news on August 6 was that Regnery allowed people to download the "Christmas in Cambodia" section of O'Neill's book. While Olbermann and others were worrying about mystical jazz, the new media swung into action. Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds, Powerline, and other bloggers immediately began investigating the book's allegations. The blog JustOneMinute was the first to find the 1986 "seared--seared" speech in which Kerry described his memory of being in Cambodia in December 1968. On August 8, Reynolds took his digital camera to the University of Tennessee law library and photographed the section of the Congressional Record with the Kerry speech, further verifying the chapter's central claim. That same weekend, Al Hunt talked about the Swift boat ad on CNN's Capital Gang, calling it "some of the sleaziest lies I've ever seen in politics."

Over the next 11 days, an interesting dynamic took hold: Talk-radio and the blog world covered the Cambodia story obsessively. They reported on border crossings during Vietnam and the differences between Swift boats and PBRs. They also found two other instances of Kerry's talking about his Christmas in Cambodia. Spurred on by the blogs, Fox led the August 9 Special Report with a Carl Cameron story on Kerry's Cambodia discrepancy.

All the while, traditional print and broadcast media tried hard to ignore the story--even as Kerry officially changed his position on his presence in Cambodia. Then on August 19, Kerry went public with his counter assault against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and suddenly the story was news. The numbers are fairly striking: Before August 19, the New York Times and Washington Post had each mentioned Swift Boat Veterans for Truth just 8 times; the Los Angeles Times 7 times; the Boston Globe 4 times. The broadcast networks did far less. According to the indefatigable Media Research Center, before Kerry went public, ABC, CBS, and NBC together had done a total of 9 stories on the Swifties. For comparison, as of August 19 these networks had done 75 stories on the accusation that Bush had been AWOL from the National Guard.

But the blogosphere had already opened Pandora's Box. Now that Kerry was attacking Bush on the matter, the media had no choice but to cover the story:

After Kerry, the deluge. On August 24, the Washington Post ran three op-eds and an editorial on the Swifties; other papers expanded their coverage as well. But, curiously, they didn't try to play catch-up with the new media in ascertaining the veracity of the Swifties' claims. Instead, they pursued (or rather, repeated) the charge Kerry made: that Bush was behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. It was a touch surreal--as it would have been if Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe's criticism of Bush's National Guard record had prompted the media to investigate Terry McAuliffe.

But even here, it seemed their hearts weren't in it. In Time magazine, Joe Klein called the whole affair "incendiary nonsense." As the Los Angeles Times observed in an editorial, "Whether the Bush campaign is tied to the Swift boat campaign in the technical, legal sense that triggers the wrath of the campaign-spending reform law is not a very interesting question." As last week wore on, the coverage continued to ignore the specifics of the allegations against Kerry and began to concentrate on the dangers of the new media. In the New York Times, Alessandra Stanley warned that in the seedy world of cable news, "facts, half-truths and passionately tendentious opinions get tumbled together on screen like laundry in an industrial dryer--without the softeners of fact-checking or reflection." It is perhaps impolite to note that it took the Times nearly four months to catch up with the reporting Carl Cameron did in the beginning of May.

STILL, the baying of the Times and the rest of the old media is a sign of capitulation. Against their will, the best-funded and most prestigious journalists in America have been forced to cover a story they want no part of--or at the very least, they've been compelled to explain why they aren't covering it. How did this happen? Analyzing how the Swift boat veterans had injected their story into the mainstream media, Adam Nagourney blamed summer. The Swift boat ad buys, he wrote, had "become the subject of television news shows . . . because the advertisements and [Unfit for Command] were released in August, a slow month when news outlets are hungry for any kind of news."

But Nagourney has it exactly backwards: Even though it was August, network television and most cable news shows stayed away from the Swift boat story for as long as they possibly could.

No, it seemed the answer instead was that the mainstream media decidedly did not want the story to get out, and was now engaged in sabotaging the allegations at every opportunity. But the bloggers continued to dig and continued to post. And what we have now unearthed may have caused an earthquake for big media:

Instead, James O'Shea is right. An informal network--the new media--has arisen that has the power to push stories into the old media. The combination of talk radio, a publishing house, blogs, and Fox News has given conservatives a voice independent of the old media.

It's unclear which of these was most critical for bringing the Swift boat story out into the open. Without Unfit for Command, the story would never have had a focal point with readily checkable facts. Talk radio kept the story alive on a daily basis. The blogs served as fact-checkers vetting the story, at least some aspects of it, for credibility and chewing it over enough so that producers and editors who read the blogs could approach it without worrying they were being snookered by black-helicopter nuts. Despite all that, however, no other medium has the reach of television, which is still the only way to move a story from a relatively small audience of news-obsessives to the general public.

Yet the blogosphere has had a particular interest in taking credit for making the Swift boat story pop. Blogs from Instapundit to The Belmont Club to Powerline were reveling in the demise of the old media and heaping scorn upon professional journalists. "I have been both a lawyer/law professor for two decades and a television/radio/print journalist for 15 years of those 20," Hugh Hewitt blogged. "It takes a great deal more intelligence and discipline to be the former than to be the latter, which is why the former usually pays a lot more than the latter. It is no surprise to me, then, when lawyers/law professors like those at Powerline and Instapundit prove to be far more adept at exposing the 'Christmas-in-Cambodia' lie and other Kerry absurdities than old-school journalists."

John Hinderaker, one of the bloggers behind Powerline, summed up the mood of the blogosphere by comparing journalism with brain surgery: "A bunch of amateurs, no matter how smart and enthusiastic, could never outperform professional neurosurgeons, because they lack the specialized training and experience necessary for that field," he said. "But what qualifications, exactly, does it take to be a journalist? What can they do that we can't? Nothing."


DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 12:55:00 AM | Permalink | |

Jerusalem Post: Bush has earned Jews' support

An op-ed in the 8/26 Jerusalem Post, titled "Waffling and Sensitivity won't beat terror--Why George W. Bush has earned the support of American Jewry" may be hurting Democrats by eroding support among a constituency they formerly could rely upon. Increasingly American Jews are waking up to the fact that it is the Republican Party which is the most ardent supporter of Isreali interests:

Why should Jews want the re-election of George W. Bush? Let's start with the removal of Saddam Hussein, his resolve in fighting Islamic terrorists, his unequivocal support for Israel's government and people, his willingness to confront the appeasers of terror in the United Nations, and his steadfast commitment to the principle of prevention.

The case for George W. Bush is the case for a clear and consistent US foreign policy. In three and a half years, President Bush has done more for Israel than any other president in the last 50. And, unlike his opponent, he has never wavered, vacillated, or equivocated in his support.

For all practical purposes, national security and defense are among the few issues that truly fall under presidential power.

The endorsement of the Jerusalem Post could be a big factor in the erosion of the Jewish vote away from the Democrats, who have increasingly been visible in their support of Palestinian and pan-Arab causes.

DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Was Israel spying?

Allah weighs in on the latest "news" that an American employee of the Defense Department is under suspicion for supplying information to Israel. But questions still remain about this; it is not a cut and dried case of espionage: at least not from what we have seen thus far.
DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 12:06:00 AM | Permalink | |

Oliver North: Bring it on, John

Ollie North had a rifle platoon in Vietnem, and obviously John Kerry's words in a speech last week got his dander up:

"Of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: 'Bring it on.'" -- Sen. John Kerry

Dear John,

As usual, you have it wrong. You don't have a beef with President George Bush about your war record. He's been exceedingly generous about your military service. Your complaint is with the 2.5 million of us who served honorably in a war that ended 29 years ago and which you, not the president, made the centerpiece of this campaign.

I talk to a lot of vets, John, and this really isn't about your medals or how you got them. Like you, I have a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. I only have two Purple Hearts, though. I turned down the others so that I could stay with the Marines in my rifle platoon. But I think you might agree with me, though I've never heard you say it, that the officers always got more medals than they earned and the youngsters we led never got as many medals as they deserved.

This really isn't about how early you came home from that war, either, John. There have always been guys in every war who want to go home. There are also lots of guys, like those in my rifle platoon in Vietnam, who did a full 13 months in the field. And there are, thankfully, lots of young Americans today in Iraq and Afghanistan who volunteered to return to war because, as one of them told me in Ramadi a few weeks ago, "the job isn't finished."

Nor is this about whether you were in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968. Heck John, people get lost going on vacation. If you got lost, just say so. Your campaign has admitted that you now know that you really weren't in Cambodia that night and that Richard Nixon wasn't really president when you thought he was. Now would be a good time to explain to us how you could have all that bogus stuff "seared" into your memory -- especially since you want to have your finger on our nation's nuclear trigger.

But that's not really the problem, either. The trouble you're having, John, isn't about your medals or coming home early or getting lost -- or even Richard Nixon. The issue is what you did to us when you came home, John.
When you got home, you co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War and wrote "The New Soldier," which denounced those of us who served -- and were still serving -- on the battlefields of a thankless war. Worst of all, John, you then accused me -- and all of us who served in Vietnam -- of committing terrible crimes and atrocities.

On April 22, 1971, under oath, you told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that you had knowledge that American troops "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam." And you admitted on television that "yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed."

And for good measure you stated, "(America is) more guilty than any other body, of violations of (the) Geneva Conventions ... the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners."

Your "antiwar" statements and activities were painful for those of us carrying the scars of Vietnam and trying to move on with our lives. And for those who were still there, it was even more hurtful. But those who suffered the most from what you said and did were the hundreds of American prisoners of war being held by Hanoi. Here's what some of them endured because of you, John:

Capt. James Warner had already spent four years in Vietnamese custody when he was handed a copy of your testimony by his captors. Warner says that for his captors, your statements "were proof I deserved to be punished." He wasn't released until March 14, 1973.

Maj. Kenneth Cordier, an Air Force pilot who was in Vietnamese custody for 2,284 days, says his captors "repeated incessantly" your one-liner about being "the last man to die" for a lost cause. Cordier was released March 4, 1973.

Navy Lt. Paul Galanti says your accusations "were as demoralizing as solitary (confinement) ... and a prime reason the war dragged on." He remained in North Vietnamese hands until February 12, 1973.

John, did you think they would forget? When Tim Russert asked about your claim that you and others in Vietnam committed "atrocities," instead of standing by your sworn testimony, you confessed that your words "were a bit over the top." Does that mean you lied under oath? Or does it mean you are a war criminal? You can't have this one both ways, John. Either way, you're not fit to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, much less commander in chief.

One last thing, John. In 1988, Jane Fonda said: "I would like to say something ... to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm ... very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families."

Even Jane Fonda apologized. Will you, John?

DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 12:05:00 AM | Permalink | |

Adam Bellow escapes the left wing

Roger L. Simon links to a great story about an Upper West Side Jewish liberal who had an epiphany and now is a conservative warrior. As Simon puts it:

Although Adam is the son of we-all-know-who, his tale is not all that exceptional, which is why it is interesting and pertinent.

Stories like this one give me hope.

DiscerningTexan, 8/29/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Saturday, August 28, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 06:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

Feeling the heat...and it shows

Thomas Lifson over at the American Thinker has put together one of the best summaries I have read in some time on the real crisis in the Kerry campaign, and there have been a number of articles on this topic in recent days. The polls are starting to turn around for the President, a major hotspot has been calmed (for now) in Najaf, and the convention and 9/11 anniversary is just around the corner. There is definitely momentum in Bush's favor right now, and that isn't all:

The Kerry campaign is in crisis. Polling data is beginning to reflect a turn against his candidacy by the uncommitted and weakly-committed voters. The temptation for the campaigners is to blame the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth television commercials. But the real problem is much deeper, and relates at least as much to the candidate’s behavior, including his reaction to the commercials, as to the specifics of the commercials themselves.
Prior to running for President, John F. Kerry did not loom large in the public’s mind. His mediocre record in the Senate, where no major legislation bears his name despite a twenty year career, left him a blank slate as far as the national electorate was concerned. So he and his handlers understood that they were required to define his image in the public’s consciousness, before the Bush campaign had a chance to do so. Given his Senate voting record of opposing defense and intelligence spending and favoring tax increases, it must have seemed a wise choice to emphasize his much-decorated four months in Vietnam, in order to build an image as a brave warrior for the cause of America.

Kerry clearly knew prior to the Democratic Convention that there were risks in his warrior pose. But his experience in the realm of Massachusetts politics had taught him that he could override challenges to his record by waving the bloody shirt of his wartime decorations, or pulling status on his antagonists. Howie Carr, Boston Herald columnist and a radio talk show host syndicated in New England, has collected anecdotes over the years of Kerry bullying people with the question, “Do you know who I am?” in crowded restaurants, box office lines, and other situations where ordinary mortals are required to wait their turn.

Kerry had also been able to get away with prevarication for so many decades that he assumed he could continue to do so in the national arena. Despite having not a drop of Gaelic blood, he traded on his Irish-sounding name (actually, a corruption of Kohn) to attend St. Patrick’s Day events in South Boston, with no ill effects. His Christmas in Cambodia fantasy escaped challenge for decades, despite the obvious fact that his claim that President Nixon sent him there was easily falsified by reference to the inaugural date of his Presidency.

So, when the Swift Boat Vets challenge arrived on the scene, it was all too easy to fall back on the familiar tactic of ignoring it, in concert with the establishment media which pretended for over a week that it didn’t exist, trying to silence it via threatening letters to television stations, attacking the accusers, and finally claiming that it was unfair and disrespectful to his wartime brave service.

The problem for Kerry is that the public is now paying close attention. They are evaluating the character of the man who wants to be the next President, precisely because everyone knows that the next President is likely to face serious threats to our national welfare and even survival. The Clinton Presidency also heightened the appreciation of the importance of personal character.

Pretending that a threat doesn’t exist, denouncing it, claiming it is unfair, and trying to make it go away without directly confronting it, won’t work with al Qaeda. The public wants a strong leader who will take on and destroy those who would destroy us. John Kerry’s response to his political threat is exactly the wrong approach to use against a terror threat. He has defined himself negatively, in terms of the biggest issue facing Americans.

And now, with the Kerry campaign losing their collective cool and going all out to attempt to blame all of his problems on a non-existent Bush "smear campaign" (particularly after months and months of negative ads have been running by pro-Kerry 527's), Kerry is starting to appear positively "Gore-like" in his paranoia.

It is by no means over, however; we must continue to push and push hard. Kerry's history of prevarication coming to light helps, but this is still the most important election since any of us have been alive. We cannot let up, we must not falter now, when we are so close. And so the full court press continues. But, to say the least, things are looking up.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 07:20:00 AM | Permalink | |

Preview videos from "Stolen Honor"

As was noted here yesterday, a new TV documentary is coming out next month called "Stolen Honor", in which former POW's of the Hanoi Hilton will describe the torture they were subjected to, and how their will and position was undercut by John Kerry's testimony to the Senate in 1970-71. In advance of the release of this film, a website has been set up where selected video clips can be viewed. You can watch these videos here. Hat tip to Nikita Demosthenes for first posting these powerful clips.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 05:00:00 AM | Permalink | |

Girl, 16, hanged in Iran for disrespecting a mullah

This is what we are up against with the Iranian mullahs: a 16 year old girl was hanged just for talking with a "sharp tongue" to a mullah-judge. So he had her killed.

Iran is also funding Al Queda. Actively. They were also behind the al Sadr uprising in Iraq, and they have a relationship with Sistani also.

It is time that America faces up to the fact that Iran is going to have to be dealt with. Sometimes doing what must be done does not come in a politically expedient time.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 12:55:00 AM | Permalink | |

Why Kerry's lies then matter today

As Stanley Kurtz points out, the fabrications Kerry has built around his military service are a good indication of how he would wage the war against fundamentalist Islamic extremism now. So yes, Kerry's actions 30 years ago are relevant.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 12:15:00 AM | Permalink | |

Navy Admiral witnessed Kerry wound himself

In a blockbuster column, Robert Novak reports that a retired Rear Admiral in the Navy was on a Boston Whaler with John Kerry on December 2, 1968, and witnessed Kerry injuring himself with a grenade launcher. This is the minor injury that Kerry used to justify requesting his first of 3 Purple Hearts. The only problem is that Kerry was not under enemy fire on that day (which agrees with information in Kerry's own diary). We now know that Kerry falsified his report about the incident, and obtained a Purple Heart he was not entitled to under Navy regulations. Had this falsification not occurred, Kerry would never have been allowed to go home, only to betray those he left behind to fight, after only 4 months of service. This Admiral is a highly credible source, and this story cannot be welcome in the Kerry camp after all that has come out already about Kerry's serial untruthfulness.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Minnesota no "gimme" for Kerry this year

Thanks to Power Line for posting this from the liberal-leaning Minneapolis Star Tribune: it appears that John F. Kerry's attempt to identify with "the common man" is falling short. And they are none too excited about Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry (yes, that is her real name...), either. So you have JFK and MTTSFHK. Fun couple.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 12:05:00 AM | Permalink | |

Election reminder: Al Queda wants to kill 4 million Americans

It would be very easy to write off all of the hoopla surrounding the Swift Boat allegations as purely political, even though these Vietnam Vets have uncovered and brought to light obvious fabrications by Kerry. This is why it is so important to remember that choosing the right Commander in Chief this November may be the most critical decision that the electorate has made since 1864. And, as Paul Marshall argues in National Review Online, the consequences of getting it wrong are dire, indeed.
DiscerningTexan, 8/28/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Friday, August 27, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:30:00 PM | Permalink | |

Russian plane crash WAS a terror attack

Thanks to the Instapundit for this link.

This just in: it was Muslim extremists. Go figure...
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 08:21:00 AM | Permalink | |

Kerry's huge miscalculation on Vietnam

Mark Steyn lays it out for us that running on his Vietnam record was a huge mistake for the Kerry campaign, and one from which it may not be able to recover.
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 07:56:00 AM | Permalink | |

Mullahs to the Rescue.

No doubt about it, the big winners today were al Sadr, al Sistani, and the big loser was the Iraqi Provisional Government. What a cluster. They literally could have secured the mosque weeks ago if the Iraqi government had any cajones; instead Iran has now increased its standing as a major player in Iraqi politics. Well isn't that just great...

The press acted like it was V-J day or something, while meanwhile my reaction was more akin to Allahpundit's.
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 01:00:00 AM | Permalink | |

Another new Swift Boat Vets Ad...

This one addresses Kerry's Cambodian Holiday.
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:40:00 AM | Permalink | |

20 Debate Questions for Kerry

Peter Kirsanow lists for the readers of National Review Online twenty sensational questions to pose to John Kerry.
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:25:00 AM | Permalink | |

Yet ANOTHER version of the Purple Heart story...

Captain Ed points out that the Kerry campaign has tried to respond to the discrepancy between his own war diary and the after action report that led to his first Purple Heart. But it appears that in doing so, the Kerry campaign has created even more discrepancies requiring explanation. The old adage that covering up lies requires more and more lies of greater complexity definitely applies here.
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:20:00 AM | Permalink | |

The Media: Kerry's REAL Band of Brothers

Nice column in the Boston Globe from columnist Jeff Jacoby, in which he blisters big media for its sickeningly obvious electioneering for John Kerry. The quotes on this piece are absolutely priceless. The media had better hope there are enough lifeboats on the Titanic....
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:20:00 AM | Permalink | |

Coulter's laser beam zaps Chris Matthews

Ann Coulter's new column is out; this week she targets the media's disgraceful all-out effort to torpedo the revelations about John Kerry that 254 Swift Vets are trying to bring to the public's attention. Chris Matthews in particular is singled out as anything but a "journalist".
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Stolen Venezuelan election (continued)

Last Saturday I posted an article about the disgrace of having a former US President (Jimmy Carter) serve as an "observer" in the Venezuelan "re-election" of Hugh Chavez, the pro-Castro Communist, as President of Venezuela, when by all accounts Mr. Chavez was only "re-elected" as a result of massive voter fraud. Now FrontPage Magazine has more detail on this stolen election. If our own Presidential election were not such a big story here, we in the "new media" (Blogosphere) would be spending a lot more time on this travesty. It doesn't get any more rotten than this. And for Jimmah to add his blessing to it...
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:05:00 AM | Permalink | |

A look at one of the few Swift vets still with Kerry

Joe Bangert was up on stage with Kerry in Boston during the DNC. He has shared the stage with Kerry before...
DiscerningTexan, 8/27/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Thursday, August 26, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 05:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

Kerry DID write his own combat reports

According to a story today on CNSNews, John Kerry DID write the combat reports that led to his purple hearts and other decorations. Citing public record testimony to the Senate in 1971, Kerry wrote his own reports:

Kerry told the committee on April 22, 1971, "...I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission..." Kerry also said that many in the military had "a tendency to report what they want to report and see what they want to see." Kerry's comments about the battle reports came in response to a question from then Senator Stuart Symington (D- Mo.), who wondered about the accuracy of information from military sources.

According to the testimony, which is available in the Congressional Record, Sen. Symington asked Kerry, "Mr. Kerry, from your experience in Vietnam do you think it is possible for the President or Congress to get accurate and undistorted information through official military channels.[?] "Kerry responded, "I had direct experience with that. Senator, I had direct experience with that and I can recall often sending in the spot reports which we made after each mission; and including the GDA, gunfire damage assessments, in which we would say, maybe 15 sampans sunk or whatever it was. And I often read about my own missions in the Stars and Stripes and the very mission we had been on had been doubled in figures and tripled in figures.

This lends credence to the assertion by the Swift Boat Vets that Kerry embellished actual events with fictitious enemy fire and otherwise altered the facts in reports that led to his being awarded Purple Hearts and other decorations. It just gets uglier and uglier. Only Kerry himself can stop the bleeding, by signing the release of all his military records, as President Bush has already done. Why is the media not holding Kerry to the same standard that it demanded of Bush?
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 09:50:00 AM | Permalink | |

Reprehensible Dems try to smear Vets with sleaze

This one made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Captain Ed has found a plot to smear Swift Boat Veterans with any dirt they can dig up. Meanwhile Max Cleland went all the way to Crawford to ask President Bush to intervene with his 527 (which of course would be illegal), and "stop these negative smear attacks". Right.

A group of Democratic loyalists is compiling incriminating dossiers on the members of the veteran group - and they sent us a preview of what might be in store for Swift Boat activist James Zumwalt, son of illustrious Adm. Elmo Zumwalt - and it isn't pretty.

Zumwalt "attempted to kill himself with an overdose of prescription drugs," after the murder of his ex-wife's fiance, John Kowalczyk, according to the dossier, which is footnoted to news sources, and was "convicted of reckless driving after chasing Kowalczyk at a high speed on the highway."

You gotta ask yourself: is this really the slime you want running your country? The Captain concludes:

Well, well, well. Perhaps Max Cleland can stop off on his way to Crawford, TX and put a stop to the "fear and smear" tactics being used by the Democrats. This certainly convinces me that John Kerry has nothing to hide. Riiiiiiiight...

On the other hand, at least the Democrats have agreed in principle that medical records should be released as a basis for public debate in this presidential cycle. Bush released his, now Zumwalt's are out in the open -- so where are Kerry's? They must contain some pretty damaging information if the Democrats are willing to violate HIPAA laws in order to keep them secret.

Sign the 180, Senator. Be a man, take responsibility for having started this entire mess with the Democratic smear campaign back in February and April against President Bush, and sign the 180. If you can't do that, how can we trust you to ever act responsibly? (via Kerry Spot and CQ reader Jim L.)
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 01:00:00 AM | Permalink | |

That light at the end of the tunnel...

is a train, coming your way.
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 12:44:00 AM | Permalink | |

John Kerry’s Monica Moment

Andrew McCarthy offers us an interesting analogy on NRO to “I did not have sex with that woman”: he casts the revelations about Kerry’s Vietnam service as Kerry’s “Monica Moment”:

The faux episode is not, as Kerry's how-dare-you bluster would have it, immune from analysis and judgment because to weigh it would somehow impugn his military service or his patriotism — in fact, it would do neither. It is not immune any more than President Clinton's infamously self-righteous declamation was, as his apologists maintained, beyond consideration because it was "just about sex." Christmas in Cambodia, like the 1971 testimony, is worthy of exploration because it is a barometer of basic honesty, raising the specter of a core lack of conviction and authenticity — one embedded in character, not developed over time.

Therein lies the problem for Kerry. Americans did not form their lasting impression of Clinton's pathology until after he was already elected president. Removing a president is a much different proposition than choosing not to elect him in the first place. Clinton, in addition, had many things going for him that Kerry does not — while both men are highly intelligent, Clinton is charismatic, instantly likable, a tremendous communicator, and a politician whose opportunism (on welfare reform, a balanced budget, stiff anti-terror laws, etc.) could often connote a prudent pragmatism whereas, at this point, Kerry's (on Vietnam, Iraq, abortion, gay marriage, troop reduction, etc.) seems nakedly craven.
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 12:15:00 AM | Permalink | |

That 70's show....

WSJ makes a subtle and humorous point.
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 12:14:00 AM | Permalink | |

The New Media is here

Belmont Club has a well written piece up on how we in the Blogosphere are beating the pants off of the media elitists when it comes to not only getting the story, but looking at the story from all angles. Even at the New York Times, senior editors can see the storm clouds on the horizon:

Alison Mitchell, deputy national editor for The New York Times, points to the changing media landscape and its impact on what newspapers choose to cover. "I'm not sure that in an era of no-cable television we would even have looked into it," she said. ... James O'Shea, managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, agreed. But he said the critical approach may have been a bit late, considering that the Swift Boat Veterans ads came out two weeks ago. "I don't think there has been enough scrutiny until now," he said. "Prior to this, we weren't giving it enough attention." ...

"There are too many places for people to get information," O'Shea said. "I don't think newspapers can be the gatekeepers anymore -- to say this is wrong and we will ignore it. Now we have to say this is wrong, and here is why."

Also weighing in on the same subject is Hugh Hewitt on World Net Daily today. It is difficult after reading these not to be optimistic that it is only a matter of time until the inevitable collapse of the elitist “mainstream” media in the US:

The bloggers of the center-right who have exposed the Kerry Kurtz Chronicles over the past three weeks are much better craftsmen than their paid counterparts at the big papers. They found they key lie – Kerry's many and self-contradicting tales of daring-do across the Cambodian border and his use of those lies for political advancement – and researched it and exposed it while their paid brethren ignored the big story because it was inconvenient for their candidate's chances.

The willingness to push the story forward regardless of whom it injured used to be the mark of journalists at the big papers. It isn't any more. And for a long time to come, the complicity of the old media "reporters" in not reporting Kerry's lies will be an exhibit in the history of the collapse of credibility of America's media elite.

DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Lieutenants Bush and Campenni: ex-Guardsman comes forward

Front Page Magazine is running a story entitled "Bush and I were Lieutenants", in which Col. William Campenni recounts his days serving with Lt. George W. Bush in the Air National Guard. After all of the accusations that have been hurled at the President, the Democrats and their willing accomplices in big media are probably going to do their damndest to suppress or ignore this particular story, because the allegations are little more than Kerry campaign wishful thinking. Some excerpts:

It is quite frustrating to hear the daily cacophony from the left and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, et al., about Lt. Bush escaping his military responsibilities by hiding in the Texas ANG. In the Air Guard during the Vietnam War, you were always subject to call-up, as many Air National Guardsmen are finding out today. If the 111th FIS and Lt. Bush did not go to Vietnam, blame President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, not lowly Lt. Bush. They deliberately avoided use of the Guard and Reserves for domestic political calculations, knowing that a draftee only stirred up the concerns of one family, while a call-up got a whole community's attention.

The mission of the 147th Fighter Group and its subordinate 111th FIS, Texas ANG, and the airplane it possessed, the F-102, was air defense. It was focused on defending the continental United States from Soviet nuclear bombers. The F-102 could not drop bombs and would have been useless in Vietnam. A pilot program using ANG volunteer pilots in F-102s (called Palace Alert) was scrapped quickly after the airplane proved to be unsuitable to the war effort. Ironically, Lt. Bush did inquire about this program but was advised by an ANG supervisor (Maj. Maurice Udell, retired) that he did not have the desired experience (500 hours) at the time and that the program was winding down and not accepting more volunteers.

If you check the 111th FIS records of 1970-72 and any other ANG squadron, you will find other pilots excused for career obligations and conflicts. The Bush excusal in 1972 was further facilitated by a change in the unit's mission, from an operational fighter squadron to a training squadron with a new airplane, the F-101, which required that more pilots be available for full-time instructor duty rather than part-time traditional reservists with outside employment.

The winding down of the Vietnam War in 1971 provided a flood of exiting active-duty pilots for these instructor jobs, making part-timers like Lt. Bush and me somewhat superfluous. There was a huge glut of pilots in the Air Force in 1972, and with no cockpits available to put them in, many were shoved into nonflying desk jobs. Any pilot could have left the Air Force or the Air Guard with ease after 1972 before his commitment was up because there just wasn't room for all of them anymore.

Sadly, few of today's partisan pundits know anything about the environment of service in the Reserves in the 1970s. The image of a reservist at that time is of one who joined, went off for six months' basic training, then came back and drilled weekly or monthly at home, with two weeks of "summer camp." With the knowledge that Mr. Johnson and Mr. McNamara were not going to call out the Reserves, it did become a place of refuge for many wanting to avoid Vietnam.

There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to avoid the draft, and that was for those who wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending the next two years on active duty going through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year), survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout (up to three more months) before he was even deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure weren't getting out of duty being an Air Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100, you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding service? Yeah, tell that to those guys.

There is more (read the whole thing): the article pretty much completely dispels all of the Democrat accusations about Bush’s National Guard service. Unfortunately for them, the contrast with the infamous service record of one Lt. John F. Kerry remains more glaring than ever.
DiscerningTexan, 8/26/2004 12:08:00 AM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

That 70's show....

The WSJ makes a subtle and humorous point.
DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 08:51:00 PM | Permalink | |

Looks like the end is at hand in Najaf

From the sound of things, they will enter the shrine tonight. Good. The sooner the better...
DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 04:33:00 PM | Permalink | |

THE NEW SOLDIER - read it on line

In 1971 John Kerry authored a book entitled "The New Soldier". Rest assured that he does not want anyone reading it now. However now is your chance, if you hurry: The full contents of "The New Soldier" is up and running on this website. I would hurry before Kerry's lawyers step on each other trying to shut the site down: Kerry has refused to republish the book....

(note: you can save the pdf files to your computer just in case...)
DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 11:45:00 AM | Permalink | |

A Vet's review of "Tour of Duty"

Michelle Malkin shares a letter she received from a Vietnam Vet who had just read the John Kerry fluff book "Tour of Duty". It is a shame that everyone who plans on voting in the upcoming election will not have an opportunity to read this:

People don't get it. They point out how "suspicious" it is that the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" are "only now" coming out with their charges, as though they should have formed their organization to refute John Kerry when he was a twenty-six year old nobody. Kerry has made his service in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. He has only himself to blame that his service has been questioned. Michael Moore and Whoopie Goldberg spew their venom. The "" website carries the motto "Democracy in Action". The Swift Boat Veterans are supposed to shut up.

I served twelve months with the Mobile Riverine Force, in the Mekong Delta, during 1968 and 1969, manning automatic weapons on an Armored Troop Carrier. During the first three months of 1969, I operated in and around the little village of Ha Tien, at times, with Kerry's Coastal Division 11 Swift Boats. If one of the men I served with was running for President, I would be extremely proud. If there was any way I could support him for President, I would. The bonds that are formed in combat are special. They are strong. For the men that served in Kerry's unit to state that he is unfit for command cannot and should not be brushed off as "partisan politics." It is not a "Republican vs. Democrat", or "conservative vs. liberal" issue. They aren't doing it for money. It is personal. The Swift Boat Vets are men who came to know John Kerry in the crucible of war and saw things in John Kerry that are so disturbing, that they cannot sit quietly. They also saw and heard one of their own come back from Vietnam and trash the legacy of everyone who served honorably. John Kerry's lies of atrocities are largely responsible for the terrible reputation Vietnam veterans have lived with for their entire lives. He testified that we were murdering, raping and torturing, with the consent and direction of the entire chain of command. Now, John Kerry is angry that these 254 men dare to question him.

I haven't read "Unfit for Command", yet. I have read John Kerry's "Tour of Duty." He reminds me of a popular cartoon in Vietnam, the "Saigon Warrior". The "Saigon Warrior" cartoon figure had his helmet pushed down over his shaded eyes, ammunition belts crossing his puffed out chest, a sword in one hand and his M-16 in the other. He was a caricature.
If you served in Vietnam, you don't have to read "Unfit for Command" to question Kerry's record. His own book; "Tour of Duty" will do that. I will only point out a few things in his book that stood out, to me.

A photo caption in Kerry's book states; "A Swift boat convoy heading up the Bo De River." If Kerry had spent more than four months in Vietnam, he may have known the picture was actually a column of "PBR's" (Patrol Boat, River), not his swift boats.

The book often refers to his four month stint on the Swifts as Kerry's "second tour", since he had spent time on "the guided-missile frigate U.S.S. Gridley, aboard which he visited Vietnam for the first time in March 1968." He states in his book; "Every day that the Gridley patrolled the Gulf of Tonkin an enemy attack was remotely possible." The Gridley steamed in the Gulf of Tonkin, also known as "Yankee Station." I served on the U.S.S. Enterprise, in the Gulf of Tonkin. No self-respecting sailor who served "in-country" would have considered a tour at "Yankee Station" as a tour of duty in Vietnam, unless you were a Navy pilot.

A lot has been made of John Kerry volunteering for combat. On page 104 of his book, it reads; "John Kerry would be training in San Diego for what he thought would be purely coastal patrolling of Operation Market Time, whose objective was to establish a barrier along the coast of Vietnam to interdict the infiltration of insurgent supplies by sea."

On pages 171 and 172, Kerry describes the base for Coastal Division 11, at An Thoi. First, he described the beauty of An Thoi, which was a small village on Phu Quoc Island, good distance off the coast of Vietnam. "But to the U.S. servicemen who fought in the area and had some awareness of such ghastly guerrilla tactics as booby traps, underwater mines, and sniper nests, all An Thoi signified was danger." While I must admit the possibility that my boat crew may have been painfully ignorant and subjected ourselves to mindless risk, we viewed our occasional trips to An Thoi as the closest thing we could find to "R&R". We swam in the crystal clear waters near the village of An Thoi. We fished with percussion grenades and watched as the villagers swam out to scoop up the stunned fish. We drank and played on the beach, with the dogs that roamed the island, at night.

On page 176, he describes his Swift Boat; "Horne neglected to mention that that hull might not be able to stop a BB at a thousand yards." Even his strongest supports must admit he has a tendency to exaggerate.

On the same page he states; "For those boats stationed near the Mekong Delta, a fine source of entertainment presented itself: making hell-for-leather dashes up the Viet Cong infested rivers through "free fire zones", with guns blazing, mostly for kicks and to have something dramatic to write home about." Think about it. You are in "Viet Cong infested rivers." Would you risk low ammo to fire at nothing, "for kicks"? My boat was an armored troop carrier. We carried four .30cal machine guns, two .50cal machine guns, two 20mm cannons and a "Mark 19" grenade launcher. We kept our guns clean. We plugged the ends of the barrels with grease, so that moisture didn't get into the barrel. We kept plenty of ammunition on hand. We did not want to put ourselves at risk by running out of ammunition. We were not allowed to fire freely. During one operation, the last boat in our column was taking sniper fire. The boat captain requested permission to fire back. His request was denied. We could not fire at will, for fun and entertainment.

On page 179, there is a reference to an incident that occurred on October 14th. Page 181 begins with; "Only a few weeks later, Kerry, on a PCF-44 patrol, observed four troop battalions from the Ninth Infantry Division at Dong Tam and five Mobile Riverine Force squadrons staging an assault for the benefit of Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. "To facilitate putting on a good show, an area was picked out for the landing where the chance of guerilla contact was minimal." Kerry sneered. "Nothing was to mess up the show for the secretary of defense." I was with River Assault Squadron 13 during this time period. Melvin Laird was the secretary of defense from January 22, 1969 to January 29, 1973. At the high point, there were only four squadrons of the Mobile Riverine Force. The four squadrons were split into two larger groups; "Group Alpha" and "Group Bravo", in early summer, of 1968, spread out over different parts of the Mekong Delta. All four squadrons were never pulled together to put on a show for Melvin Laird.

Kerry renewed his decades old smearing of Viet Nam veterans, on page 211, describing Cobra gunship pilots; "Yet Kerry found himself troubled by the realization that some of these wild boys could kill innocent people from a distance and not be bothered by it. He was no pacifist - far from it- and understood that "accidental atrocities" were a part of war. But it disturbed him that even a few trigger happy American yahoos considered killing Vietnamese civilians a sport."

Page 218 relates that Kerry wrote in his notebook, from Sa Dec; ""Merry Christmas from the most inland market time unit." He meant to be clever and point out to his superiors the incongruity on a river canal not far from the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon." In truth, Sa Dec isn't near the Cambodian border. Look at a map. Second, hundreds of various types of Navy craft were all over the Mekong Delta, many in much worse places than Kerry. The "Saigon Warrior" would like everyone to think that he was the lone "Rambo", sitting in VC territory, all alone.

I hope that the whole truth comes out. I believe it will if people read "Tour of Duty", "Unfit for Command," and Kerry signs the "180" form which will allow the Navy to release all of his records, not just the ones he has selected.

Terry Sater
Eureka, MO

DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 12:14:00 AM | Permalink | |

Respect for those who served?

Outside the Beltway discusses Christopher Hitchens’ confusion on which veterans Kerry has reverence and respect for, and which ones he does not.
DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 12:12:00 AM | Permalink | |

USA Today's Bias is showing

Oh, That Liberal Media has an excellent example today for how media bias really works, subtlety and all.

DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Russian crashes: an opening for alliance?

It is too early to tell whether the nearly simultaneous passenger plane crashes in Russia were an act of terror, although one definitely gets the same feeling that we got when watching that second plate hit the World Trade Center. We do know that on the second plane a hijack signal was sent to ground control.

If it is indeed Islamist terror, perhaps this is a golden opportunity for the United States to make a case to the Russians that it is time for a new alliance. Russia's support for Iran's nuclear program to date has been problematic to US diplomats to say the least. Perhaps this tragedy, if it is indeed an act of terror, will drive home to President Putin the folly of supporting countries that are clearly behind state-sponsored Islamic terror. And then perhaps we can together get this Iranian thing under control.
DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 12:06:00 AM | Permalink | |

Vets to Kerry: Heroes don't shout

Following up his excellent column last week regarding the appropriate course for Najaf, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters today turned the crosshairs on John Kerry's military record. Speaking on behalf of Veterans who have had it with John Kerry, Peters does not treat Kerry with kid gloves. Some excerpts:

He'd been there. He may have done some stupid things himself, but atrocities were statistically very rare. Contrary to the myths cherished by film-makers, American troops behaved remarkably well under dreadful conditions.

John Kerry lied. Without remorse. To advance his budding political career. He tarnished the reputation of his comrades when the military was out of vogue.
Now, three decades later, camouflage is back in the fall fashion line-up. Suddenly, Kerry's proud of his service, portraying himself as a war hero.
But it doesn't work that way. You can't trash those who served in front of Congress and the American people, spend your senatorial career voting against our nation's security interests, then expect vets to love you when you abruptly change your tune.

Kerry might have won support had he apologized frankly for what he said in the early 1970s. But he no more disavowed his lies than he disclaimed the lies of Michael Moore.

Which brings us to problems two and three. John Kerry doesn't show a trace of integrity. Those constant flip-flops to suit the prevailing political winds are more troubling to military folks than many of the issues themselves. Integrity matters to those in uniform. You have to be able to depend on the guy in the next foxhole — or swift boat. Trust is more important than any technology.

And John Kerry just doesn't seem trustworthy.

Finally — and this is the one the pundits have trouble grasping, given the self-promoting nature of today's culture — real heroes don't call themselves heroes. Honorable soldiers or sailors don't brag. They let their deeds speak for themselves. Some of the most off-putting words any veteran can utter are "I'm a war hero."

Real heroes (and I've been honored to know some) never portray their service in grandiose terms, telling TV cameras that they're reporting for duty. Real heroes may be proud of the sacrifices they offered, but they don't shout for attention. This is so profoundly a part of the military code of behavior that it cannot be over-emphasized. The rule is that those who brag about being heroes usually aren't heroes at all. Bragging is for drunks at the end of the bar, not for real vets. And certainly not for anyone who wishes to trade on his service to become our commander-in-chief.

DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 12:02:00 AM | Permalink | |

Kerry's STRANGE Silver Star Citations

The more we find out about John Kerry’s military service, the weirder it gets. Today we find out that Kerry got three separate citations for the same Silver Star. But that isn’t the half of it. Check out Henry Mark and Erica Holzer’s latest bit of investigative journalism in today’s Front Page Magazine.
DiscerningTexan, 8/25/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Posted by Hello
DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 12:20:00 PM | Permalink | |

Kerry campaign coordinators caught meeting with 527 staffers?

Kudos to the site Slings and Arrows for some blockbuster news: they have actual photographs of three senior campaign advisors in the Kerry campaign in meetings with associates of one of the largest Democrat 527 coordinators. In one photograph, we have Stephanie Cutter (Kerry's Communications Director) and Debra DeShong (senior advisor and campaign spokesman for Kerry) meeting with staffers from "Emily's List", itself a 527 with over $4 million in contributions to date, and headed by The Media Fund's Ellen Malcolm. In the other photograph we have the same group meeting with Kerry campaign director Mary Beth Cahill. Both photos taken at Kerry HQ! Now I don't want to seem dense here, but is the Media Fund not one of the most heavily funded 527's in the Kerry campaign ($28 MILLION)? Is this not one of the Kerry "web of connections"?

The stench of hypocrisy on the media's coverage of this campaign is overwhelming: on the one hand we have the New York Times, spending all of what integrity it had remaining from the Jayson Blair affair on rushing out to defend Kerry by alleging a "web of connections" between the Bush campaign and the Swift Vets, with contributions of some $200,000, paltry in comparison with either Emily's List or The Media Fund. But yet they are ignoring staffers of one of the biggest Democrat 527's meeting with senior Kerry advisers at Kerry HQ? Just what country do we live in? Mexico? The former Soviet Union? Are we now to the point where news media can no longer be relied upon to give us objective news and let us make the decisions?

DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 08:37:00 AM | Permalink | |

The Mainstream! Welcome to the story!

The Discerning Texan would like to welcome certain representatives of big media to the story of the year in the 2004 election: the Swift Boats Vets expose of John Kerry. Although most of the big media outlets are still engaged in trying to spin the story in Kerry's favor, finally tough questions are being asked. An example occurs in ABC's "The Note", which asks:

"Did Kerry alone write the after-action reports for his medal citations?
How close was he to Cambodia on Christmas, 1968?
What will Doug Brinkley's article in the New York conclude?
Is Kerry reluctant to acknowledge performing a top-secret mission for the CIA because he doesn't want to be accused of revealing classified information?
Why doesn't Senator Kerry recall attending the Vietnam Veterans Against the War conference in Kansas City in November of 1971?
How much will his post Vietnam political activities be scrutinized by the media?
Is that fair game for the Bush campaign? (We get the sense that yes, it is, and yes, it will be.)."

Welcome, guys. The water has been just fine here for over two weeks now. But better late to the party than never...
DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 08:28:00 AM | Permalink | |

Kerry campaign from the UK perspective

The Brits always have a slightly more witty, yet unquestionably more delicious angle on things. The London Telegraph, and in particular Mark Steyn, can't believe what is coming out of the Kerry campaign:

According to Francis Harris in Saturday's Telegraph, allegations that John Kerry "lied about his Vietnam record" are "unravelling". Oh, I wouldn't say that. Right now, it looks like the sanity of the Kerry campaign and its pals in the media that's beginning to unravel.

Switch on the TV these days and you'll see John O'Neill, principal spokesman for the hundreds of Swift boat veterans who oppose their old comrade Kerry, talking calmly and patiently about the facts, citing chapter and verse and relevant footnotes, while some deranged interviewer is going berserk.

The other day it was CNN host James Carville, former skinhead-in-chief to Bill Clinton, yelling and howling all over O'Neill's answers before brushing him aside with, "I've got no use for this man."

Meanwhile, the grandees at the New York Times, having studiously ignored the story for two weeks, decided that, with the Kerry campaign all but paralysed by the issue, they'd have to sully their lily-white hands with the ghastly business and kill it themselves. Maureen Dowd, the paper's elderly schoolgirl columnist, dismissed the dissenting Swiftees as "creepy-crawly", "stomach-turning", "sleazoids".

And that is only the first few gets even better from there. In any case, it appears that people are seeing things the same way on both sides of the pond right now.

DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 12:12:00 AM | Permalink | |

Mayday! Mayday!

The Kerry campaign seems to be on a downward spiral to say the least. And, as usual, Captain Ed is there to put it into perspective. Captain's Quarters is becoming a daily visit for me. He concludes:

This could be over in two days if Kerry would sign the 180 and release his records, and if they clear him, it would give him tremendous credibility. Now, however, it may be too late as the Swiftvets have moved on to his post-war activities -- and Kerry's refusal to release his records signals even his supporters that he has something to hide. Under those circumstances, hunkering down and campaigning on issues would be the best strategy, but his refusal to do even that demonstrates not only his need to hide something, but his complete incompetence in doing so.

Lieberman's starting to look good now, don't you think?


DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

New Art form: the Chris Matthews verbal pummelling

Last week we got to witness Chris Matthews come completely unglued twice: first with "Unfit for Command" author John O'Neill, then later with columnist Michelle Malkin. Viewers tuned in, interested in what these newsmakers had to say; unfortunately for those viewers, the only person they got to listen to was the obnoxious, egomaniacal Matthews. Having witnessed these "interviews", it made it that much easier to recognize the target of Edward Cone's laser beam of a piece entitled "Don't Talk While I'm Interrupting".

Speaking of Matthews, Lucianne posted an article today from the New York Post which claims that word has gone out to prominent Republicans that Matthews is in the Kerry camp and is not to be trusted. So it appears he will be browbeating mostly Democrats now. C'est la vie!
DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 12:06:00 AM | Permalink | |

Kerry removes beaucoups documents from website

"Now you see it, now you don't" appears to be the new slogan over at the Kerry for President website. Thanks to Command Post for locating the following story:

The Kerry campaign removed a 20-page batch of documents yesterday from its website after The Boston Globe quoted a Navy officer who said the documents wrongly portrayed Kerry’s service. Edward Peck had said he — not Kerry — was the skipper of Navy boat No. 94 at a time when the Kerry campaign website credited the senator with serving on the boat. The website had described Kerry’s boat as being hit by rockets and said a crewmate was injured in an attack. But Peck said those events happened when he was the skipper. The campaign did not respond to a request to explain why the records were removed.

Probably a Republican "web of connections" at work...
DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 12:02:00 AM | Permalink | |

A marine over Najaf

Great column today by a Marine (and fellow Longhorn) flying support missions over Najaf. When you stack up men like this against opportunist hero wannabes like Kerry, well...
DiscerningTexan, 8/24/2004 12:00:00 AM | Permalink | |
Monday, August 23, 2004

Europe's Wake Up Call

As usual, Victor Davis Hanson gives us pure excellence this week. It is only a matter of time before Bush's move to reshuffle almost 70,000 troups out of Germany and Korea eventually has the needed impact on the European psyche. They need us way more than we need them.
DiscerningTexan, 8/23/2004 12:44:00 AM | Permalink | |

46,000 registered to vote in BOTH NY and Florida

The Command Post is linking to a story in the New York Daily News in which they have found some 46,000 voters who live in New York but vacation in Florida who are registered to vote in both states. (ps: they have your names, folks...) Also of note: 68% of the dually-registered voters are Democrats, only 12% are Republicans, and 16% did not identify a party.

Stay tuned on this one... (or should I say "let the litigation begin"?)
DiscerningTexan, 8/23/2004 12:12:00 AM | Permalink | |

Another glaring omission in the LA Times

You can always count on Paterico to blow the cover off of the LA Times' "objective" reporting.
DiscerningTexan, 8/23/2004 12:10:00 AM | Permalink | |

Mainstream gets around to Cambodia

On August 6, the story about John Kerry's repeated falsification of where he was in Christmas 1968 hit the blogosphere. Two weeks later, some of the big names in big media are finally getting around to covering this story.

First we have Michael Barone in US News.

Then we have John Leo in the same publication.

Is there a precedent in American history for the entire country being aware of a complete fabrication by a Presidential candidate, and repeated lies about the same story a full two weeks before the press finally decides to cover it? And isn't it high time the public begins to ask why?
DiscerningTexan, 8/23/2004 12:08:00 AM | Permalink | |