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Friday, August 20, 2004

Funniest line I've heard today

From USA Today:

"Any time there's a debate about Vietnam, we win," Kerry spokesman David Wade contends.


Posted by Beldar at 04:53 PM in Humor, Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Funniest line I've heard today and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) rob made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 5:22:40 PM | Permalink

Mr. Wade truly does not understand the deep current of anger towards the left elites bringing up Vietnam has engenderd. Especially since the historians essentially have been saying for a decade or more that we won on the battlefield, only to lose because of the traitors at home. Most Americans would not have brought any of it up, but when they see Kerry -- one of the chief anti-war traitors -- attempt to use his brief military service as the centerpiece of campaign, the hypocrisy is staggering.

There is, then, a parallel to post-WWI Germany that is not inappropriate, except that here the man trading on his service is also one of the chief wielders of the knife of the Dolchstoss! Ironic, isn't it.

(2) Chris made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 6:01:35 PM | Permalink

Uh oh, it's getting real.


Time to put up or shut up. Or put up, then get told to shut up.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 7:58:07 PM | Permalink

Chris, if I didn't know better, I'd think you were making a joke.

Let me put it to you this way: If the degree of coordination and direction between the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign and the SwiftVets is enough to get the SwiftVets in trouble, then George Soros and the folks at MoveOn are going to prison for a long, long time.

The key language from section 527 is so vague that, in my opinion, it's probably incapable of enforcement by or against anyone. It's precisely this which has let all the "uncoordinated" anti-Bush 527 groups (like but by no means limited to MoveOn) outspend all of the anti-Kerry 527 groups in a ratio of about 95-to-5.

In my humble opinion — and I thought it so inconsequential an event that I haven't bothered to blog about it separately — the Kerry FEC complaint is something done so that outraged members of the farthest left can have something to shake their fists over and say "Hurrah!" about, and so that Kerry's surrogates in the media can report the complaint as if it's a finding. But I challenge you find find, and link to, one even half-way respected legal authority or commentator from the right or the left who thinks that substantively, it's anything but a joke.

(4) Joshua Chamberlain made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 8:36:56 PM | Permalink

Beldar, if you don't blog on the FEC suit, who will? Reynolds is supposed to be an expert in this kind of thing, and he's not really talking about the details of what would need to be established and how.

(5) Jim Bender made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 9:04:52 PM | Permalink

The only way that John Kerry wins a debate about Viet Nam is by having his surrogates shout down John O'Neil, Michele Malkin, and their friends.

John Kerry can't afford to have his stories fact-checked, as they apparently can't stand the scrutiny. The real story about the PCF-3 mining was an eye-opener. That was even more damning than the "Christmas in Cambodia" tall tale.


Jim Bender




(6) Roger L . Simon made the following comment | Aug 20, 2004 9:35:55 PM | Permalink

Oh, man are you bad! I don't know I'm going to let you post on my blog anymore. Guilt by association, you know. I could get in trouble.:)

(7) LazyMF made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 12:31:57 AM | Permalink

rob, what historians say we won Vietnam on the battlefield and lost because of the traitors at home. I'm curious.

(8) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 12:59:50 AM | Permalink

Joshua, I really don't have anything more to say about the FEC complaint. For once, WaPo, "election experts," and "even some Kerry aides" agree with me:

The Kerry campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission yesterday, hoping to force the group to pull its ad attacking the candidate's service in Vietnam. But election experts — and even some Kerry aides — concede it is highly unlikely the commission will intervene.

Lazy, I'd drop the loaded term "traitors," but as an amateur historian, I'd agree that our military was undefeated in Vietnam, and kept the North Vietnamese from their goal of overrunning the country, until antiwar activists here in America (plus the post-Watergate convulsions) not only succeeded in pulling out our own military forces, but also destroyed the political willpower to continue supporting the anti-communist South Vietnamese government — as a direct result of which the North Vietnamese finally achieved their goal, slaughtered tens of thousands, imprisoned hundreds of thousands, triggered millions of refuges, etc. Phrased that way, I think many professional historians, and perhaps even you, would agree.

(9) LazyMF made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 1:07:12 PM | Permalink


I don't expect anyone that reads this blog to actaully concede to any point I make, but here are my two cents:

There is no specific consensus on why we lost the Vietnam War. However, the analysis by you and Rob is too simplistic.

Most agree that where the US encountered the NVA in battlefield situations, we prevailed; even the Tet Offensive was a tactical loss for the North Vietnamese. It is also generally agreed that we were unable to control VC guerillas and that our bombing campaigns on the Ho Chi Minh trail and in North Vietnam were ineffective.

There essentially was no organized South Vietnamese government to support long before Watergate - just a series of tin-pot dictator wannabes that looked after the interests of their own families and crime syndicates above those of their people and the US - leaders like Saddam Hussein. Without US involvement, the country probably would have been overrun by 1966.

The Kennedy administration recognized it was an unwinnable war. After LBJ took office, he announced to McNamara that he sat idly by while listening to the Kennedy cabinet determine the war was unwinnable. LBJ told Mcnamara he disagreed and that his administration would have a change of course and pursue the war because it was a very necessary conflict in Cold War terms. Nixon inherited that war.

IMO, the real flaw in Vietnam was made by another Democtratic administration - Truman's. The French were booted out of Vietnam by Japanese imperialist forces in the 1930s. The US sponsored and aided Ho Chi Minh and his nationalist movement in their military struggle against the Japanese during WWII, which was effective. After the war, instead of recognizing the nationalistic freedom fighters that were Ho Chi Minh's people, the Truman administration essentially told France they were welcome to go back in to re-colonize Vietnam. The Truman administration rationalized this gift as a need to appease France, so as to make them feel like they "won" something in WWII. After France came back in, Ho Chi Minh recognized the Americans were not going to help the Vietnamese control their own country, so he turned to the China/Russia conflict to maximize his interests and to fuel his movement, which then became communist.

There, I've pinned the failure in Vietnam on the flawed foreign policies of 2 Democratic presidential icons and on French appeasement, but I don't expect any agreement here. It will probably be argued that I have overlooked the power of the "red menace" and not sufficiently placed the blame on long-haired, dirty American protestors.


(10) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 1:37:55 PM | Permalink

Lazy, I actually agree with just about everything you just wrote. I think, though, that where we're missing each other is with the concept of "winning" or "losing" the war. I view "losing the war" as having occurred when the North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon in 1975; and while the causal chain which allowed that to occur certainly stretched back to Truman, the proximate cause of that event was the pull-out of American military forces and the failure to supply the remaining South Vietnamese government and military with either materiel or air support.

When you say "losing the war," I think you're really meaning "failing to create and maintain a liberal democratic government and bring peace and security to South Vietnam." I'd agree that we never got remotely close to achieving that more ambitious goal. If we'd prevented the North Vietnamese overrun in 1975, it's possible that by now South Vietnam might be something like South Korea or Taiwan or, less optimistically, Thailand. Instead, it turned into a tragedy almost as brutal as Cambodia.

I really don't think we disagree on all that much in our respective views of the Vietnam War. And I certainly credit you for not engaging in the "it was all evil America's fault" mentality that characterized, for example, John Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony on that war.

(11) LazyMF made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 2:26:21 PM | Permalink

Beldar, we can agree to agree.

Now, go focus on the press release coming from the Chicago Tribune editor.

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