And So It Goes

By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in | Comments (36) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Whatever one's views concerning the race for the Presidency, I would have thought it beyond dispute that John McCain served his country nobly and honorably while he was in the military. But appallingly, even that simple truth is being challenged by writers who value the slime and smear over any standards of honesty.

To wit:

The highest-voltage third rail of this presidential campaign may not be race, sex or age, but John McCain's military service.

McCain's campaign on Sunday issued a pair of outraged statements after retired general and Barack Obama supporter Wesley Clark said he didn't think that McCain's service as a fighter pilot and prisoner of war was relevant to running the country. Obama has consistently praised McCain's service, and called him "a genuine American hero."

But farther to the left -- and among some of McCain's conservative enemies as well -- harsher attacks are circulating. Critics have accused McCain of war crimes for bombing targets in Hanoi in the 1960s. A widely read liberal blog on Sunday accused McCain of "disloyalty" during his captivity in Vietnam for his coerced participation in propaganda films and interviews after he'd been tortured.

"A lot of people don't know ... that McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity," wrote Americablog.com's John Aravosis. "Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain's military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief?"

"Getting shot down, tortured and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience," Aravosis wrote in the blog post, titled "Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?"

This is, of course, sickening. If Aravosis went through even five minutes of the torture McCain went through for five and a half years, he would sell out his country, God, motherhood, apple pie and his closest relatives in a heartbeat just to make the physical pain subside a little. McCain, of course, was offered the chance to be freed before POWs who had been imprisoned longer . . . and refused.

But what does Aravosis know about any of this? His life has been one of creature comforts. He couldn't possibly understand the depth of sacrifice and heroism that McCain went through readily and bravely.

Of course, the Politico story also points out the attacks launched at McCain's service record by people like Senator John Rockefeller and Senator Tom Harkin. I think that I have the routine fairly well down; Democrats and their surrogates slime and smear and then the Obama campaign goes out and pronounces that they are displeased and that they, of course, are above this whole thing.

Andrew Sullivan--as fervent an Obama fan as any--labels these attacks as "swiftboating" and denounces them. The fact that the attacks are actually denounced offends the likes of Josh Marshall, who would be more than glad to see the slime and smear tactics continue unabated. The Obama campaign's decision to distance itself from these attacks also upset Mark Kleiman, who is fully in the throes of McCain Derangement and whose attack against McCain consists of trying to remind people that McCain was never an admiral in the United States Navy. As I have written before, coming from Kleiman--who never served at all--the hypocrisy of the attack is stunning beyond belief. I have to wonder how he writes his posts with a straight face.

Between Clark's vicious attacks, those of Rockefeller and Harkin and the netroots' own slime and smear campaign, I have to wonder what is going on. I thought that this was the year when all of the fundamentals were in favor of the Democrats taking back the White House. I am, of course, disgusted to see the attacks on McCain's service record but I am also surprised by the sense of desperation behind those attacks. It's almost as if the attackers don't think they have anything better to do or to discuss than ways to lie about John McCain's service to his country.


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And So It Goes 36 Comments (0 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Obama is cut from the same cloth; we heard his clinging remarks when he was behind closed doors. His campaign has good reason to avoid any town hall setting or anything else semi-spontaneous.

Obamabus will be a fat god at election's end, both from strategy and habit.

Or it would if I had one.

I think they're barking up the wrong tree on this, though these may be trial baloons?

What many people don't realize is that not only were individual soldiers tortured to make them do & say things, but also other soldiers were tortured to make another soldier say & do these kind of things. I'm not sure if this happened with McCain or not.

In any case, unless one has experienced true torture one should not flippantly dismiss someone who was a POW who was filmed making propaganda.

to the "reality based community" but I get a server error. Maybe that's why he has NO comments to his blogs. Maybe that makes him think he's so trenchant that his statements pierce the truth so effectively that nobody has anything to say.

Yeah, right. As it says on the headline, you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Find some facts, Mark Kleiman, and quit referencing yourself to justify your opinion (http://www.samefacts.com/archives/john_mccain_/2008/06/commander_in_chie...). And an opinion it is, without any understanding of military promotion. You seem to believe that just because McCain is the son and grandson of Admirals, he ought to have been one too. It doesn't work like that, if you would pay any attention. The military IS nearly as pure a meritocracy as you can find anywhere, as pure as you can get nowadays. Now, can the process be gamed? Sure - but it's extremely hard to do, by design. Is there some benefit to Academy grads and "legacies"? Yes, BUT ONLY IN THE MINDS OF SOME OF THE BOARD MEMBERS - and that is mediated by the others that don't care. I could go on about Navy selection boards and their criteria for selection, but the fact is, is there are many, many more Captains than there are Admirals. Some get selected, many don't. Quite a few retire before they even become eligible. There's NOTHING wrong with retiring as a full bird - you've commanded men. Many think after that, anything after that is just a letdown, even being an Admiral doesn't have the same thrill. Enough about that. The ignorant and uniformed putting forth this tripe just calls out for a response. Military service isn't just marking time and getting promoted. What if McCain WAS an Admiral? Would the line of attack be that he was promoted only because of his name and POW status? I think so. That would prepare the field for the very same arguments we are hearing now. Heads they win, tails we lose. The spin is dizzying.

FCCS(SW/AW) Jeff Weimer, USN

Cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? - Martin Luther King, Jr.

No Quarter has a snap shot of what was allowed on Obama's website. It is entitled, John McCain: War Criminal.

(Article: Bill Ayers Would be Proud)

http://noquarterusa.net/blog/author/ppower/

How your argument makes him less qualified than say, John "reporting for duty" Kerry, whom I strongly suspect you supported in 2004. I think he got out after only a couple years - as a Lieutenant.

If McCain declined the appointment, as has apparently been reported in the NYT, then your WHOLE ARGUMENT about lack of fitness due to non-promotion is frankly, empty. Maybe you should have kept your mouth shut in the first place, before inviting Pej to shut his.

Jeff Weimer

Cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? - Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. No sane person challenges John McCain's physical courage or devotion to country.

2. McCainiacs claim that his military service record proves that he has national security policy expertise his opponent lacks.

3. Gen. Clark correctly pointed out that this claim is false; none of his military assignments required him to make the sorts of decisions a President makes.

4. When his superiors in the Navy had a chance to give him such demanding assignments by promoting him to Rear Admiral, they declined to do so. Of course it's no disgrace to fail to achieve flag rank; who said it was? The question is whether McCain's service record proves he's ready to be Commander-in-Chief; surely the opinions of his superiors deserve our respectful attention on that point.

5. Pejman Yousufzadeh's resort to insult and misrepresentation betrays the weakness of his case, if not of his character and intellect. If he has the courage to defend his opinions, I challenge him to debate me on Bloggingheads.tv. Otherwise, I invite him to STFU.

Mark A.R. Kleiman

4. When his superiors in the Navy had a chance to give him such demanding assignments by promoting him to Rear Admiral, they declined to do so. Of course it's no disgrace to fail to achieve flag rank; who said it was? The question is whether McCain's service record proves he's ready to be Commander-in-Chief; surely the opinions of his superiors deserve our respectful attention on that point.

Wow ... a noted Lefty making noises about paying attention, "respectful attention" no less, to senior military officers' opinions. Now I've seen everything. They've come quite a long way from "General Betray-us" (quite a long time ago that was, eh?), haven't they?

One can ignore Kleiman's points 1, 2, 3 and definitely 5 and focus on the meat of his comment, which would be point 4, which I have helpfully excerpted for our examination above.

As one would expect, on the point Kleiman is making that John McCain's failure to reach flag rank constituting evidence that he was considered unfit for command by his superiors in the Navy, I really don't believe this is argument Kleiman is going to win.

I give my reasons below;

  1. Kleiman is apparently ignorant of the fact that a lack of decision-making "fitness" (the type of fitness Kleiman is hinting that McCain lacks) is far from the only reason why a deserving Navy Captain (or Colonel) would be denied a star. One very significant reason could be ... well, physical fitness.
         Not being able to lift your arms above your head and other infirmities acquired during five years under the tender care of the Left's beloved Uncle Ho tends to leave one with long term physical fitness issues. In case Kleiman didn't know, while senior and thus older officers are not expected to meet the physical fitness levels required of younger junior officers, they are still required to meet a certain standard of physical fitness as a condition of continued active duty.
         Second, John McCain did not have a sea-borne command on his record, which I'm certain Kleiman and his ilk would point to as "AHA!" evidence that the Navy's senior leadership thought he was a poor officer. But of course, this lack would be largely by dint of the fact that while he was being tortured by Jane Fonda's hero and lied on by John Kerry, McCain missed out on five years of assignments that tend to be a thumb on the scale when it comes to being picked for those career boosting postings.

  2. This one is actually funny. From the Right-Wing (even though 100% staffed, run and owned by liberal Democrats and liberal Democratic contributors) New York Times ...

    WASHINGTON - At a meeting in his Pentagon office in early 1981, Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman told Capt. John S. McCain III that he was about to attain his life ambition: becoming an admiral.

    McCain, already having made plans to retire from the Navy and enter politics, honorably (despite the boost in pension, prestige and electability of being an retired Admiral - rather than Captain) declined. i.e. Contra-Kleiman, McCain's superiors in the Navy were actually inclined to promote him to Rear Admiral, it was McCain who instead declined to accept the promotion and not fulfill its obligations.
         Which all in all, renders Kleiman's argument moot. Apparently, in the opinion of his superiors, McCain was fit for flag rank.
         In light of this, I wonder if Kleiman's position that the opinions of McCain's Navy superiors "deserv[ing] our respectful attention" still holds now that their opinion has been proven (by the Democratic Party's very own New York Times no less) to be the opposite of what he comfortably assumed it was.

Pejman Yousufzadeh's resort to insult and misrepresentation betrays the weakness of his case, if not of his character and intellect.

Heh. No counter-factual mistakes underpinning his case though. Which says a lot about the weakness of Kleiman's own case (and character, intellect et al), doesn't it?

If he has the courage to defend his opinions, I challenge him to debate me on Bloggingheads.tv.

NOTE: I'm not as smart as Pej. That's all one really needs to know to figure out how such a "debate" would turn out.

Otherwise, I invite him to STFU.

Character. Intellect.

Heh.

PS: On experience, I think John McCain serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee since 1987 should count for something, shouldn't it? That would be 21 years of having oversight responsibility over top command decisions - about 17 more years than Kleiman's endorsee for the Presidency - whose wealth of experience and decision-making capability (except when picking his Church, mentor, advisers, staff, etc.) requires no substantiation.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.



McCain for POTUS so the left can't ruin SCOTUS.

While it is not worth it I will make the following observation

"1. No sane person challenges John McCain's physical courage or devotion to country."

This is exactly what is being done. When your eyelids open and you learn to focus it will be obvious to you


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I mean ... who thinks Aravosis is sane anyway?


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777


The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

What do you intend to do if he doesn't STFU?

'Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a
delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted
by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds
forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick
up a turd by the clean end.'

As Martin said, I am entering as a welterweight, but it seems that is really all it takes to argue with you.

1) This is not being brought up by sane people. You included, apparently.

2) Strawman. No one is saying this. What we are saying he has military experience his opponent lacks, and character his opponent lacks, and has proven his worth and courage under the most adverse conditions (unless you consider a prep school in Hawaii adverse conditions). His national security policy expertise comes from actually working in the Senate on a multitude of issues, instead of running for President as soon as he hit the chamber door.

3) Again, we are talking about judgment and character. Wesley Clark has spent his life being propped up by left wing politicians after valorius service in Vietnam, and apparently thought exchanging hats with war criminals and ordering a bombing campaign while hiding out in NATO headquarters was PLENTY of reason to run for President.

4) Incredible. See Martin's comments on this. Are you trying to come off as a clown? Seriously?

5) Pejman nails it, completely and accurately, and your little post is like Bali trying to goad the United States into a war.

What you and your buddies have done is convince someone who has been bitterly against McCain to at least vote for him. Keep it up, and bumper stickers and money will be next.

I don't know whether Pejman will debate you, but if he does, it seems he better have a lot of tomato juice to bathe in afterwards.

And when we apply the same standard over on Obama, we see what?
What, in any aspect of Obama's life, shows him able to lead men and women in tough times?
What shows him capable of getting tough legislation passed?
What shows him able to stick to his agenda and push it through in the face of actual resistance?
What shows that Obama has been willing to take real risks, pay the price and keep on fighting?
Relying on Clark, who managed an air campaign against a poorly defended country based on what was proved to be false intelligence does not make him particularly qualified to critique, but you chose him, not me.

1. No sane person challenges John McCain's physical courage or devotion to country.

There had better be a ready supply of butterfly nets in Denver.

Since this is the sanity standard, no Republican can be accused of such this election because Obama never...well, did much outside of help himself and feed Obamabus.

I'd say that I was sorry that your blog doesn't get any hits, but it'd be a lie: I don't waste sympathy on chickenhawkers.

But please do write up something about how cowardly, fascist, delusional, yadda yadda we are: it amuses us.

Moe

PS: Personal message, from me: Not In Your Name, Kleiman.

Ever.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Personally, I figure that it's a waste of time - you probably had your Special Time within thirty seconds of posting your comment - but I care about his good opinion of me.

Guess you get to have your traffic spike after all.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

http://www.redstate.com/stories/elections/2008/sing_goddess_sing_of_the_...

"At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid." --Friedrich Nietzsche

How does being a prisoner of war qualify someone to be president? On the other hand, it doesn't disqualify one either, does it?

It is his conduct as a prisoner


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Because we'll be arguing this one 'til November.

According to "Worth the Fighting For" (Sen McCain's second memoir), after McCain was released from Hanoi and returned to the US, his detailer (military assignment maker) pressed him into taking an operational billet. Because he was still physically incapable of flying, McCain begged and pleaded well up the chain of command to have a year at the National War College (he was an O-4, and the war college billet was for O-5's) so that he could get his body back into shape. This request was granted, and through a lot of physical therapy, he was qualified to fly again --BARELY.

Although he does not say this in the book, I am sure that his tenuous flight status was a factor in his follow-on assignment as commander of a training vice sea-going squadron.

So besides the years as a POW, Sen McCain lost some extra time trying to get himself back in the cockpit. In my opinion, there's no way he could have made up for lost time to get on track for flag rank within the aviation community.

I just finished McCain's first book and now I'm reading "Worth the Fighting For." There are some keen foreign policy insights mixed in with the factual content of the "story." Anyway, I find your comments interesting.

moeursalen.blogspot.com

Thanks. Just a warning, there are some areas in the book that actually diminished my McCain enthusiasm. Overall, I thought it was good to read it.

Yes, the book does include his long, long record of foreign policy experience and his consistent philosophy on whether to support a president's call to arms.

All in all, I would recommend it as summer reading for HRC supporter-refugees. I think it would endear them more than anyone else to Sen. McCain.

So you ask what kind of experience John Aravosis has to criticize John McCain, right? Well, don't all those D.C. years as a gay rights activist qualify him to judge a man's combat record? And those scurrilous attacks he launched on the Vice-President's young daughter, Mary Cheney.... Doesn't that qualify as "sacrifice?" Aravosis is another of the little worms that crawl through Washington D.C. on their way to non-entity.

moeursalen.blogspot.com

[][Just] [w]here the [H]ell were you crackers[*] when Kerry's war record was [the one] being trashed[**]? Un[-]freakin[g] believable! I can[']t help but laugh, it[']s so funny. Your boy is being treated [just] the way [that] Kerry was, and you people are just furious! How terrible. How awful..[.] how can they do this, this is so UN[-]AMERICAN![***]

[paragraph break]

God, this is so funny!

[terpmaniac][****]

[*Apparently, racial epithets are all right to use when they're being used on (presumed) Caucasians. Remember, kids: Obama supporter.]

[**I must note that this concession is amusing, particularly since we're not conceding that Kerry's record was "trashed" in return.]

[***As I've noted in the past, I just correct the grammar.]

[****I imagine that putting the name first is a habit from whatever site linked to this one. - Moe Lane]

We hit the hive with a big rock again.

Hope is not a plan. Change is not always good.


"First you win the argument, then you win the vote." - MARGARET THATCHER.
So let's start winning the argument.

And the problem with that is ....

(1) Kerry drove a motorboat, led 2 sailors, was a flake, a joke, and a self-aggrandizing liar who committed treason by meeting with the enemy in Paris while a member of the military, and trashed the American military with lies in Senate hearings.

(2) John McCain led a squadron of A-4 Skyhawks, and suffered great abuse as a POW for 5 years, rather than betray his country.

And, you are calling me a cracker? You are a racist, even if you are a "cracker".

Impeach the 5 usurpers

Double standards and inconsistencies littered all over the election. should be interesting.

Check out this interview clip of a Dem Senator, Obama Supporter with Chris Matthews. The guy can't name one Obama senatorial accomplishment, although he can name what obama claims to represent- change and unity.
http://www.greenfaucet.com/hanlons-pub/obama-a-lightweight-nahhh

 
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