Just a reminder, there will be no "Ad Hominem" attacks published here whether they are against me or someone else. Civility rules. If I break the rule, remind me.
Lately we have had a wave of such attacks delivered by a new group of the Harpies of the left, (seemingly a "task group" made up for Obamian defense of the "future"). These, apparently were attracted by my criticism of their "friend." Since the Harpies of the right also dislke me, I am feeling pretty good about myself.
I particularly relished (frissons everywhere) the little catlike remarks about my; age, fossilization (interestingly I have always thought of myself as a paleoconservative libertarian so that is acceptable), "background" (code maybe)?
If I missed one of these remarks and published it let me know and I will add you to the list. pl
They’re probably making a comparison to Rambo – after all, you were SF in Vietnam, and Rambo was SF in Vietnam which must be an ominous connection. Plus you were in “intelligence” and we all know what that means…. 🙂
While the title of this particular section covers the last sections comments to a T, especially with the Harpie picture, if you move your browser and insert the title versus turcopoplier and the rest you will note my concern that you may have met the edge…Which I doubt.
Now, please step out of line when the Green Wafer is passed.
CMOH recipient and military analyst, Col. Jack Jacobs was unsparing in his criticism of Sen. Obama’s ignorance of the military instrument and ponders why he has not attracted any military advisors who know what of they speak. He also states that acoording to what he knows, Sen. Obama was not speaking the truth regarding Afghanistan in a recent debate.
But last week, during his debate with Clinton, Obama tried speaking about substance when he mentioned the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he displayed an astounding ignorance of the military instrument. He said that an anonymous U.S. Army captain told him that his infantry platoon was split and sent to different areas of operations; that they were lacking vehicles; and that they had insufficient ammunition to fight.
Although problems do occur in combat situations to be sure, none of what Obama related makes any sense and is, according to people with whom I spoke, untrue. Units the size of platoons are not sent to separate theaters, ammunition has been plentiful, and an investigation indicates that the unit in question was missing only one of its Humvees, all to no peril of the unit.
No better than Bush?
Obama used the anecdote to demonstrate that the current president was not supporting the troops and to suggest that he would if elected. Given Obama’s ignorance of how ground combat operations are actually conducted, one expects that he’ll be no better at it than President Bush. Indeed, as bad as Bush’s Iraq strategy was for its first four years, Obama’s plan for rapid withdrawal is equally flawed and perhaps impossible to execute.
Politicians rely heavily, on almost every subject, on advisors to get them educated and keep them current. And nobody really expects Obama or Clinton or even McCain, who was a Navy aviator, to know anything about ground combat. But one does expect the candidate to employ advisors who know what they are talking about and to prevent their candidate from embarrassment.
While Obama has attracted money, notoriety and delegates, he has yet to attract military advisers who know what they are doing. If he doesn’t, and he becomes president, the United States won’t fare any better than it has for the past eight years.
You’re OK – for a fossil.
At the caucuses in Washington State, they sent a woman home in tears because she supported Senator Clinton. This lady has been a teacher and a Democrat for thirty years. They rubbed her nose in Watergate and Vince Foster. This from people who called themselves Democrats. And yes, I understand there may have been Republican crossovers there who were repeating Rove talking points and dumping on Clinton. But if that is so, why did not even one of the Obama supporters jump in and call them out on the slander?
Another point – Here in Washington, we had both a primary and a caucus, but the primary did not count. Obama won the caucuses 67% to 34%, yet only won the primary by 50% to 47%. He would have done a lot worse but tens of thousands of primary ballots were disqualified because many voters wrote on their ballots to protest the primary not counting.
Yet they complain and scream about one-man-one-vote. They need to get a clue. Caucuses are the only reason Obama is where he is. He would only have half of his delegates if all states had primaries. We do not need a nominee based on the preference of a few elite.
The Harpies are splitting the party.
I did not think I had broken that rule. Nor come even close to doing so.
Perhaps I was mistaken.
There’s blood on the walls all over the blogosphere; the flying monkeys of the extremes are certainly getting out of hand. I’ve heard if you ignore them they soon lose interest and stop nibbling your ears. This silly season must past. (“Paleoconservative libertarian” Ah, the good old days…)
It should be comforting to be attacked by both sides – probably confirms you’re far from fossilized yet.
I sort of agree with jonst in that the main goal is to get these fools (and the agents who they’ve inserted throughout the federal bureaucracy) out of power. If Obama’s the one who can do that, I’m for it. Same with Clinton, although I’m less sure she can win.
As a consistent reader of your blog, the whole Obama episode has been very revealing to me. I always thought the quality of your writings and ideas surpassed those of most of your commenters. I assumed you were a center-left blogger, but now you have stated yourself a paleoconservative libertarian things have become clear.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of your readers have lost respect simply because of your political stance. They are unable to separate information from the writer and are sorely disappointed that you are not a knee-jerk cheerleader of the unchecked popular democracy they love so much. Lucky for us there still is a constitution between them and our freedoms, although politicians of the right have proven themselves an enemy of that document as well.
Your service record and the fact that you are a paleoconservative libertarian make you a true American in the original sense. Unfortunately, I think people like yourself are disappearing, and people like myself who have moved here precisely because America’s foundation of individual liberty and limited government are dismayed to see this process happening. I don’t think these people have any idea of how bad it is out there. Europe and its mindset are a lot more oppressive and statist than her American fans seem to think, and those that think that America can somehow have big government and still be the dynamic force it has been in the past will be sorely disappointed.
If the theory that American government remained relatively small because of racial and cultural differences is correct, the current pattern of 1) large-scale immigration without assimilation and 2)an ever increasing welfare state will create some type of counter-reaction, although I don’t think this is the “change” voters have in mind.
The idea that somehow America can “change” and be “united” (who wants to be united? We are individuals pursuing our own goals. That’s the philosophy that made this country great! Live and let live), that politics is the solution, that one man is the solution, shows the level of deterioration that has taken place. America the illiterate, perhaps, but its young seem to be literate enough in the democratic utopianism spread by the generation of hippies populating our universities.
The stark contrast between a military sent overseas, still aware of the concept of citizenship and the constitution, and the democrat mindless hordes at home who think voting will lead them to riches, grant them the security of childhood and provide moral rapture is telling, and a sign of a deeper split within society that can never be resolved by politics alone. Only a unified cultural attitude towards politics and society, what it means to be a citizen, can keep America whole, and a mere politician can never change this.
Back to substance…
Guy Saperstein dissects Hillary and her foreign policy team. http://www.alternet.org/election08/77691/
1) “It is not clear where Hillary derives the foreign policy “experience” advantage she claims.”
2) “Since entering the U.S. Senate, Clinton has been one of the most hawkish of Democrats.”
3) The problem of Clinton’s poor instincts on foreign policy is compounded by the hawkish foreign policy advisors she has surrounded herself with, the most important of which are Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke, Lee Feinstein and Sandy Berger. Former Secretary of State Albright is the person of whom Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, once said, “She never met a military option she didn’t like. When I worked at Defense, she used to scare us.” Holbrooke has been described by pundits as, “The raging bull of U.S. diplomacy.” Apparently John Bolton types are far from unique to Republicans.
Saperstein concludes, “For those voters who want American foreign policy to continue to trend in the direction of muscularity and intervention, they have their candidate — Hillary Clinton. For those who want change in American foreign policy, who think American militarism and interventionism need to be scaled back, Obama, and his foreign policy advisors, appear ready to begin those changes.”
Yes, “the argument will be made that Obama is a threat to traditional American political life.” And the foreign policy/national security mafia will do their best to keep their good thing going. To do otherwise–to reduce militarism and interventionsim–how could that possibly be American?
I believe ‘background’ refers to.. er.. to your interest in the Civil War. Or something.
Me, I don’t complain about your skepticism (I’m pretty skeptical myself, though from the loony leftist’s posture rather than the classical conservative’s), but about the names you bring to bear. I mean, c’mon, Bill Kristol? Sheesh. The last word I needed to read about Bill Kristol’s ability to judge talent is at http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2008/02/mr-kristol-you.html
It’s precisely comments by folks like him, whom I consider so addlepated as to be useful contrarian indicators, that make me wonder whether I’m not too negative and skeptical about Obama’s essential and unambitious moderation.
Alas, you will probably be spending more time in this duty as the election cycle evolves into a debate between unelucidated anti-disentablishmentchangerism and insurgent undada dead-enderism.
Anyone want to wander outside those lines is just asking for it.
I have difficulty believing that Clinton and Obama supporters would become so hostile towards each other. I support Obama but many of my friends and my mother and daughter support Clinton. We are not bothered at all about the choices others make.
I’m from California and I’m probably considered left wing my anyone’s standards. I quess it is the desperation of the time that is causing people to become so hostile. Perhaps not all hostility is from a Democrat though, the right has been known to play a few games also.
“Were he wearing a uniform, you might even praise his ability to persuade.” This is indeed what I wrote.
How that translates to a “cheap shot” on Colonel Lang is difficult for me to fathom.
I’ll chalk it off to the Colonel just having a bad day. I will continue to read your exceptional site. A kick in the groin would not keep me away.
Are you hinting there is a “reptilian agenda”?
“Although problems do occur in combat situations to be sure, none of what Obama related makes any sense and is, according to people with whom I spoke, untrue.” Taters
“Army chief of staff Gen. George Casey, testifying on troop strain before the Senate Armed Forces Committee Tuesday, said there is “no reason to doubt” Sen. Barack Obama’s military shortage story during CNN’s debate in Austin, Texas, last week.”
You mean the Harpy picture? No. I would have used one of the sexy Harpy images available on the net but the flak I have taken over images of women influenced me. Thanks for reminding me. pl
I’m the daughter of a retired army intelligence officer, and you so often remind me of him. Being a fossil is a compliment.
Regarding Obama – he is extremely skeptical of him, but quite bemused my the mania of it.
Regarding “sketchy” sources, he says truth is so rare that he’ll take it whenever/from whomever it presents itself (sometimes quite “accidentally”)
Incidentally, aren’t intelligence types a bit like divorce attorneys and IRS auditors in that they never believe what is presented to them?
You are in good company Colonel. When the extremists on the right and the left dislike you, you must be doing something right!
Frankly, I’m satisfied with the current crop of candidates. Even though I’m leaning Obama at the moment, I could live with any one of them. I think we should all be thankful that certain other candidates did not make the cut and were eliminated.
Increasingly I’m less interested in the largely content-free silly season sniping going on in this current stage of the Presidential election. As a result, I’m becoming more interested in how the Senate and Congressional races may turn out. ISTM the office of the Presidency will continue to be overly-powerful as long as Congress remains weak. Expecting the executive – no matter who has the office – to act as a sort of enlightened despot and limit their own power is wishful thinking.
If one really wants “change” then ISTM it must really come from Congress. The Presidential candidate’s plans for health care, immigration, the future of Iraq, etc. don’t mean squat unless they can get those plans through Congress. I’m hoping that the American peoples’ desire for “change” this season will extend to Congress and get rid of some dead wood there. At some point along the way, Congress has changed from an institution dedicated to dealing with federal-level problems to one fixated on getting federal tax dollars back to their districts and states. It often appears as though all other issues are secondary to this core goal. Congress has become a giant income redistribution scheme and shirking its other duties to include even authorizations for war.
So, want change? Want an end to an executive running amok? Then get ye a better Congress.
“I would have used one of the sexy Harpy images available on the net but the flak I have taken over images of women influenced me.”
But, but, but, this way you deprive two constituencies of their gratifications: (1) those who are amused by such images (2) those who take umbrage.
[disclaimer] I am indifferent. Am thinking only in terms of greatest good for the greatest number and all that.
Say Pat, you have stated your opinion that McCain is too old, and that Obama is for children, but what is your opinion on Hillary? I don’t recall reading that here, unless I missed it. So why don’t you lay it out on the line what you think of her?
Thanks for your great site by the way, I recommend it to everyone I can.
The good ones never accept anything without proof. My wife says that I am more interested in the epistemology than anything else.
I said sometime ago that I favor HC in the current field. pl
I love your blog, but when you wrote, “Right now he is running as a demagogue appealing to the childishness that lurks just below the surface in American popular “culture.”
He could no more run the executinve branch successfully and enact a legislative program than an other slick talking novice politician.
“The Sitting Shiva Campaign.” Very good, David. I would prefer “The Drunken Irish Wake Campaign” but I share your sentiment. I surely do. pl
I fear you lapsed into incivility yourself. I have come to support Obama, and at age 59 with many years of political practice under my rather too large belt, I do not consider such support “childish.” I think we have a disagreement over foreign/military affairs, that’s all.
You should not be surprised that many might take your post as uncivil and ad hominen, whatever your intentions. It is not appropriate to respond to you in an uncivil manner, but it is understandable.
“I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool!” as the saying goes.
The Col. is dead on. Epistemology is the critical lynch pin of all learning, exploring and analysis in the area of knowledge. The contentof an intellectual or operational area can be learned, it is the “how do I know what I know and when do i know it that separates the wise from the rest.
There are very few blogs online with comments sections that have not devolved into groupthink, and this is one of them. Thanks for that.
I’m not surprised to read about nasty personal attacks by certain partisan commentors, especially concerning age. I’ve seen it elsewhere, directed at baby boomers in general. And at this point in the campaign, most HRC/BHO-related comments no longer appear to be about winning hearts and minds, they’re about sticking the other side’s nose in it. The Dem’s silly season online has become the horrible, bickering equivalent of a bitter old married couple. I personally can’t stand to be around it.
Godspeed and go forward sir. Let not the tyrany of small minds distract the pursuit of polite discourse lest we become like them and find our beliefs to be indefensible.
Thank you, Col., for keeping your site troll-free. It’s really pleasant to hear other folks’ opinions (as ridiculous as some of them may seem to me) presented in such a civil manner. God knows if I wanted to read the rantings of wingnuts and moonbats all the time, there are plenty of other sites to visit.
And, hey, jeff, I too am 59 and after much thought (and lists of pros and cons) I too decided to support Obama. Too bad such support seems to get us painted as “childish,” but whatever. After all, to paleoconservative libertarians all progressive rhetoric must sound the same—juvenile and overly emotional.
The brownshirty brattishness of the Obamanates will alienate voters they need to win in the general election, and, worse, set him up for ridicule.
Obama Nation Rules, Dude!
for the record:
that was potential (anticipatory), as opposed to actual, agitprop.
Col, we are not allowed to cheer for Obama while people in this blog boast about HRC?
Ironic, since we have been proven right while the others have been proven wrong in topics beyond the elections.
Harpies are girls by thew way.
I really checked out Obama and considered supporting him. When I found out as a state senator that either he did know or did not care that his constutents were freezing and without heat during a brutal Chicago winter (They were tenants of his indicted slumlord pal and financier Rezko) I realized I could never vote for this man.
I can sympathize with the paleoconservative-libratarian view point. I do wonder if the time for liberatarianism has past, given the rise of what Ron Paul would call corporate fascism. Is the liberatarian way even viable these days with the all the concentrations of influence? And does that doom us to a feedback loop of more/bigger government and more non-citizen influence?
As for the race, I do find a lot of people get totally exercised by HC – purely visceral reactions, for the most part. I’d be has happy with her as with Obama, I guess. But I think she could possibly put it in play for McCain or, if she wins in November, spend her presidency fighting against that same tide. Overall, I’m wrung out by the whole thing lately…given it started shortly after the midterms and given the problems that are coming.
You have two gifts, you write well and you try to see the world as it really is. Not a fossil, yet.
I am a War Baby; born just before my sister and all the other Baby Boomers. Bill and Hillary Clinton and George W Bush are prototypes of that self absorbed generation. John McCain is a member of the Silent Generation, the first to have a real chance at the Presidency. But, he is ancient to all generations that follow. Barack Obama is of a new younger generation. He has the same charismatic appeal as the first of the Greatest Generation to become President, JFK.
No doubt in the next nine months Barack Obama will be portrayed as Muslim, anti-American, BLACK, terrorist, Arab. The thing is if Hillary fails in her bid, the Baby Boomers will have no dog in the fight. The wedge politics of the Baby Boomers will fail if the X and Y Generations see these attacks as typical mind fucks of their parents and get out and vote for one of their own.
The fact of life is that the new generations never quite learn the lessons of the old. Vietnam has faded into the mists of time. Yet, in last weekends New York Times Magazine was an article on my old battalion; once again, fighting a war of attrition on the cheap in a valley on the other side of the world. The draftees are gone. Charlie Company has morphed into Chosen Company. But, peace will not return to that valley until the foreign invaders are gone.
All for nothing. All over again.
In re Harpies. You are right, the breasts (boobs) give it away.
OK. What are your two talents? pl
Wandering into thorny thickets has always been my metier so bear with me as I try to raise a question as to how we get to a place like Agitprop.
Frank Durkee’s comments re Epistemology “how do I know what I know and when do I know it. . .” caught my eye. I then wondered why more of us don’t think that way.
Given the requisite level of mental ability and the absence of cognitive pathology that would prevent the learning of this important skill, and the presence of appropriate levels of education, training and experience, which ought to increase the capacity for critical thinking, is it fair to assume that if someone engages in Agitprop behavior that they are somehow mentally impaired or haven’t been to school? The obvious answer is, ‘No.”
I’m specifically leaving out those folks for whom Agitprop is a conscious and deliberate means to a malevolent end, i.e., saying things whether personal or factual that aren’t true so as to get people into trouble.
Only a few of us Agitpropers fall into that category. Most of us are just camp followers; monkey see, monkey do. When we hear, read or experience something that resonates with us; something that is congruent with what we already believe or feel we tend to adopt it and argue for it uncritically, and sometimes, without regard for the facts.
The best, recent example of this that I can think of is the still widely held belief that ethanol is a good thing.
Farmers stopped planting wheat to grow corn in order to make ethanol. Now the price of wheat is over 10 dollars a bushel. And, the energy expended in producing ethanol makes it neither efficient as a way of reducing greenhouse gases nor cost-effective as a substitute for gasoline.
Assuming that these facts are true then why do we continue to feel good about ethanol? Primarily because we’re hooked. We’ve made a commitment to a point of view and we don’t like admitting to ourselves let alone anyone else that we’re wrong. It’s the old ‘cognitive dissonance’ problem.
Why do we do this? Is it just part of human nature? I think maybe it is.
Moreover, I think folks today (perhaps more than yesterday?) seem inclined (feel entitled?) to say whatever comes to mind because they don’t feel as obligated to anchor their thinking in the reality of the events around them as they use to. I like to think of it as the “collective excuse.” It’s everywhere so what does it matter; TV, politicians, used car salespeople, etc.
Folks have also been encouraged to show ‘freedom of thinking’ by breaking away from social conventions so as to demonstrate autonomy and independence. If we engage, however, in an uncritical pursuit of free thought we are at risk to cast ourselves adrift in our own blooming, buzzing sea of consciousness, no longer willing or able to detect whether the stimulus that engendered our speech had any basis in reality at all. We will have reached the point where we start talking before our minds are engaged.
If this sounds familiar, it should. It’s an underlying principle in psychology: That is, getting the person to monitor these precursors to action and to check out their validity before saying or doing something that is not in their best interest.
Too much monitoring can result in the excessive checking called obsessive compulsive behavior.
Not enough monitoring can result in something called “Impulse Disorder.”
Just saying whatever comes to mind because you like to flap your gums results in Agitprop.
Just a fact-drop: For a discussion on the story told by mr. Obama from AFghanistan, it got substantiated over at Phillip Carters site, intel-dump.com by several colonels. Mr. Obama can be accused of misinterpreting the story a little bit, but it was basically sound info.
Oh, those harpies, right and left, are a bunch of wussies. (Sorry, there is no other word for men afraid to fight).
Challenge them to a one on one fight, one they understand they can’t win, risking themselves, their loved ones, and their way of life, just like the people of Iraq, say.
Without someone else to do the heavy lifting, without a guaranteed win, without a sure out come and the mindless sense of security that comes with ignorance, the harpies fade away, and learn a new level of respect, real quick. American military and cultural dominance really bred a level of ignorant soft wuss, didn’t it?
The nosiest ones are the wimps at the top, really trying to prove their masculinity.
Men who know how to fight don’t treat others disrespectfully.