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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Occupiers versus liberators

During Sen. Zell Miller's keynote address Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, I was struck by these lines (boldface mine throughout):

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.

And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.

Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.

Do you think Sen. Miller was exaggerating in his description of how today's Democratic leaders see America?  Well, just ask John Kerry and his Tour of Duty biographer Douglas Brinkley.  At page 306:

[W]hen a New York Times reporter asked [Kerry] how he had felt about being in Vietnam, he would reply:  "My mother was actually born in France and when we lived there I used to play in the old German bunkers outside my grandmother's house.  From listening to her stories, I got a vivid impression of what it was like to live in an occupied country, and when I went ashore in those [Vietnamese] villages, I realized that's exactly what I was in — an occupied country."

Or on page 278:

"I know that most of my friends felt absolutely absurd going up a river holding a loaded weapon that was supposed to be used against someone who had never really done anything to you and on whose land you were now trespassing," Kerry revealed.... The twenty-five-year-old had explored similar uneasy feelings in a letter he had written to his parents back on December 21, 1968.  Describing the pleasant scene of American soldiers and their Vietnamese girlfriends strolling down the streets of Vung Tau one sunny afternoon, he reflected on the crucial difference between occupiers and liberators of war-torn places.  "I asked myself what it would be like to be occupied by foreign troops — to have to bend to the desires of a people who could not be sensitive to the things that really counted in one's country," Kerry wrote.  He had been reflecting on Germany's occupation of France during World War II, he added, when "a thought came over me that I didn't like — I felt more like the German than the doughboy who came over to make the world safe for democracy and who rightfully had a star in his eye."

Sen. Miller, perhaps you can ask Sen. Kerry about these quotes on the floor of the Senate or in a committee hearing or something — if Sen. Kerry bothers to show up there again between now and the election.  He still seems to need some help figuring out whether he was one of the good guys or the bad guys when he was in Vietnam.

Posted by Beldar at 12:45 AM in Global War on Terror, Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 2, 2004 8:25:49 AM


(1) Birkel made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 4:07:45 AM | Permalink

Note to Self:

Don't piss off either Zell Miller or Beldar.

Whew! That was a stemwinder of the first order!
Good catch on the ToD quotes.

(2) Birkel made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 4:11:49 AM | Permalink

With a quick Google search, it seems the doughboys were from World War I.

Why did Kerry mention WWII?
More Brinkley laziness? Incompetence?

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 4:19:13 AM | Permalink

I suppose he could have been referring to the Pillsbury Doughboy — except Poppin' Fresh wasn't introduced until 1965. Maybe Kerry's under the impression that our doughboys occupied France from 1918 to 1939. Who knows?

(4) Andrew J. Lazarus made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 9:01:10 AM | Permalink

How many times as Pres. Bush referred to an occupation of Iraq? (Hint: answer is not zero. Try Google.)

(5) lyle made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 9:39:46 AM | Permalink

Kerry also said: "The invasion [of Grenada] represented a bully's show of force against a weak Third World nation."

Zell Miller knows today's Democratic leaders better than any of his critics. He has spent a career in their confidence, in public and behind closed doors. When he says "they see America as an occupier, not a liberator," he's not speculating, he's giving expert opinion.

(6) DocC made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 11:42:11 AM | Permalink

Lazarus: Pleae do not be ingenuious. Polls show that the Democrat rank and file sees our presence in Iraq as "occupiers" in the same sense that Kerry used the word in Beldar's post. "Occupiers" is negative. This is what Zell Miller objected to. Bush may use "occupied" in the sense that as LIBERATORS we are occupying the country, but the intent is to leave the country freer and better off. Islamofascists see us as "occupiers" in Iraq; so do the majority of Democrats attending the DNC. In WWII we occupied Germany, but we were LIBERATORS! Nazis undoubtedly would have charaterized our presence as "occupiers." Anti-American/military=occupier. Pro-American/military=liberator. Which do you choose? Michael Moore Democrats see the military as occupiers. Zell Miller,Joe Liebermann,Edward Koch see the military as liberators. Which Democrat are you?

(7) Chris made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 11:42:47 AM | Permalink

Running out of steam, are we, Beldar? This post may be one of the worst I've read from you.

Bush has on multiple occasions referred to our troops in IRAQ as "occupiers," as Wolf Blitzer noted last night on CNN.

(8) Polaris made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 11:51:32 AM | Permalink

When you have foriegn troops maintaining order and government in a country, then they are legally occupiers. They can also be liberators.

There is a distinct rhetorical difference here, Chris, and you know it. Everytime, the Dems have referred to occupation in the negative rhetorical sense, and many of us are not blind to that fact....or the fact it is an incorrect perception. Don't take my word....go ask the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who are there!


(9) Chris made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 12:00:10 PM | Permalink

Wow, Polaris, you've just made a fascinating linguistic discovery! Now run along and deduce its implications for Republican strategies.

(10) ed made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 1:31:30 PM | Permalink


So has anyone seen anything official on that story on NewsMax.com? Supposedly the USN is objecting to the Kerry's assertion that his Silver Star was awarded with the combat "V" and the awarding of 4 campaign stars.


(11) ed made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 1:35:37 PM | Permalink


"Wow, Polaris, you've just made a fascinating linguistic discovery! Now run along and deduce its implications for Republican strategies."

You mean the strategy of sitting back and watching Kerry self-destruct?

You're pro-Kerry there Chris. Why the problem with nuance all of a sudden?


(12) Al made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 1:38:38 PM | Permalink

Someone asked about Kerry's problem with the USN. Here's what I read, not sure where I found the link.


(13) John Rosenberg made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 2:55:14 PM | Permalink

Kerry on Occupied Iraq:

Speaking to the American Legion in Nashville yesterday,
Kerry said:

"The civilian leadership disbanded the Iraqi military completely so there was no internal structure to maintain order; chose consciously to put an American, instead of an international face on the occupation...." (Emphasis added)

(14) John Rosenberg made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 3:05:43 PM | Permalink

Bush on Occupied Iraq?

Yesterday, Mickey Kaus posted the following quote from Pres. Bush's April 14, 2004, press conference:

Finally, the attitude of the Iraqis toward the American people: it's an interesting question. They're really pleased we got rid of Saddam Hussein. And you can understand why. This is a guy who's a torturer, a killer, a maimer. There's mass graves. I mean he was a horrible individual that really shocked the country in many ways, shocked it into kind of a fear of making decisions toward liberty. That's what we've seen recently. Some citizens are fearful of stepping up. And they were happy -- they're not happy they're occupied. I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either.

Unlike Mickey, and probably Andy Lazarus (who commented above), I read this quote as confirming Zell Miller's point: people want to be liberated; they do not want to be occupied; thus the Iraqis, who are glad we are there, view us as liberators and not occupiers.

(15) Beldar made the following comment | Sep 2, 2004 4:26:18 PM | Permalink

Chris, I'm simply crushed. You've always been so supportive of my previous blogging!

Seriously, though, I feel like responding to this in a new post, rather than here in my comments. I feel a rant coming on.

(16) Gary B. made the following comment | Sep 5, 2004 4:45:10 AM | Permalink

Since Kerry doesn't seem to grasp the difference between an occupier and a liberator, he probably has no business commanding the US military forces. He might turn them all over to the UN to be tried for war crimes.

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