Madbob - An Angry American

Thoughts & rants concerning US & world events |

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Interpretation is in the Lies of the Beholder

Now ain’t this sweet. JFKerry – who served in ‘Nam, in case he hasn’t reminded you in the past 10 minutes – had finally released a large portion of his Navy records. Here are 2 articles on the subject, one from the NY Times (registration required – free), the other from the Washington Times.
(Editor’s note: Yeah, I know I’m lagging the news cycle, but time is so hard to find, and so very valuable...*sigh*)

This is the dilemma that Big Media has brought about – 2 stories on the same subject, with completely different interpretations. Who to believe? Neither, really. That’s why I’ve turned to the net, and the blogosphere in particular. The truth lies somewhere in between – that’s the dilemma.

My personal, right-leaning opinion is that the WaTimes story is more balanced. They include quotes that are favorable (or at least not unfavorable) to JFKerry, who served in ‘Nam. Like:

“’They don't quite jibe,’ said James W. Doran, national service director of the advocacy group American Veterans. But he did not fault Mr. Kerry.
‘Somebody up the command flowered it up," Mr. Doran said. "They just made it pretty for somebody's signature.’”

The NYT article gives the impression that everyone is satisfied with this data dump, and is silent on whether or not there are other records that have not yet been disclosed. Neither is true, but what’s so important about truth, when you’ve got a candidate to protect/promote. From the NYT:

“After balking Monday on a promise to release his full Navy record, Mr. Kerry posted more than 140 pages of documents on his campaign Web site, www.johnkerry.com, in a move that largely silenced critics on a part of his life that has been central to his presidential hopes.”

From the WaTimes:

“The military records that Sen. John Kerry posted on his Web site yesterday raise new questions about the actions he took to earn several prestigious war medals and whether he deserved them.”

Also from WaTimes:

“He also was surprised that Mr. Kerry never missed duty for the wounds that earned him Purple Hearts. Although Mr. Kerry has said one of the injuries caused him to lose two days of service, there is no evidence he ever lost time for any injuries.
"If he's got shrapnel in his buttocks, he's going to lose time," Mr. Waller said. "It would be impossible to have three wounds and never have a loss of time."
Though the campaign released more than 120 pages of Navy records yesterday, Mr. Kerry still refused to release medical records that more thoroughly describe the injuries.”


Both articles use quotes from one of JFKerry’s (he served in ‘Nam, ya know) former commanders in Viet Nam (and both quote from an earlier Boston Globe article, cuz the guy declined to comment/be interviewed). From the NYT:

“Even a commander who, 36 years after the fact, questioned a Purple Heart awarded to Mr. Kerry in 1968, recorded no reservations at the time. The officer, Grant W. Hibbard, a lieutenant commander during Mr. Kerry's five-month tour in Vietnam, told The Boston Globe last week that the wound for which Mr. Kerry won his first Purple Heart was no more than a small scratch.
But there was nothing negative about Mr. Kerry in an evaluation that Mr. Hibbard wrote two weeks after that incident.
For the most part, Mr. Hibbard wrote, Mr. Kerry was under his command for too short a time to evaluate him fully. Of 16 categories for rating, including professional knowledge, moral courage and loyalty, Mr. Hibbard checked "not observed" in 12. Mr. Hibbard gave Mr. Kerry the highest rating of "one of the top few" in three categories — initiative, cooperation and personal behavior. He gave Mr. Kerry the second-best rating, "above the majority," in military bearing.”

From the WaTimes:

“Mr. Hibbard declined requests yesterday to be interviewed by The Washington Times, but he told the Boston Globe that Mr. Kerry's injuries were too minor to qualify for a Purple Heart.
"He had a little scratch on his forearm, and he was holding a piece of shrapnel," Mr. Hibbard said. "People in the office were saying, 'I don't think we got any fire,' and there is a guy holding a little piece of shrapnel in his palm."
But Mr. Kerry persisted and, to his own "chagrin," Mr. Hibbard told the Globe, he dropped the matter.”

Again, it’s two different versions of the same story - who to believe? And again, my answer – neither, at least not completely. The actual, reported facts are out there, and we have the godsend of the internet to find them, if we so desire. Big Media, esp. of the left-leaning variety, would rather you didn’t.
posted by Madbob  # 7:45 PM

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Another attempt at restarting Comments

It woiks!! I've finally got Comments to work again! Now I can be certain that no one reads this... :p
posted by Madbob  # 7:31 PM

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Headlines in 12 April 04 Early Bird Supplement on IRAQ

As stated above, these are the first 32 articles in the Early Bird Supplement (as opposed to the main page). For the uninitiated, the Early Bird is a hyperlinked listing of the day’s top headlines that are of interest to US politicians and government employees released every day (used to be published hardcopy, back in the day). Or as the publishers (American Forces Information Service (AFIS)) of the Bird say, “A daily (duty days) concise compilation of the most current published news articles and commentary concerning the most significant defense and defense-related national security issues. Available by 0515 hrs.”

There has been talk of discontinuing this service by the current Admin, most likely because of the left-leaning slant that AFIS seems to have when selecting both the news source & the news story. I’m working on a ¼ year graphic on which newspapers make the main Bird page, with emphasis on those in the “Top Stories” section (which are the first six or so articles), for obvious reasons.

My point here is, if you were to judge the US effort in Iraq by these headlines (only 6-7 are neutral or positive), then you’d be convinced that the entire population of Iraq was in revolt against the US, and nearly every US & coalition serviceman & woman were dead. And this is what gets served up to the decision-makers within the Beltway. So without further ado, the headlines:

Turmoil In Iraq Jangles Nerves In Allied Capitals, And Bush Works To Shore Up Support
(New York Times)...Alan Cowell

U.S. Prepares A Prolonged Drive To Suppress The Uprisings In Iraq
(New York Times)...Thom Shanker

Series Of U.S. Fumbles Blamed For Turmoil In Postwar Iraq
(Washington Post)...Robin Wright

For One Fallujah Family, Harrowing Trek To Safety
(USA Today)...César G. Soriano

Fallujah Fighting Halts Briefly For Evacuation, Aid Convoy
(Washington Post)...Pamela Constable

Iraqis Unclear About Answers, But Clearly Weary Of War
(New York Times)...Christine Hauser

Iraqi Leaders, Insurgents Have Hope For Cease-Fire
(Los Angeles Times)...Nicholas Riccardi and Tony Perry

One Year Later, Fear Still Rules In Baghdad
(Philadelphia Inquirer)...Matthew Schofield

Fragile Truce Begins In Falluja, Halting Violence There
(New York Times)...Christine Hauser And Kirk Semple

Troop Reinforcements Are Gen. Abizaid's Call
(Tampa Tribune)...Richard Lardner

As Sun Rises On Easter, Marines Put Down Weapons For Prayer
(Los Angeles Times)...Tony Perry

Sadr's Name Suddenly Evokes Fear In Shiites' Holy City
(Philadelphia Inquirer)...Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Anti-U.S. Outrage Unites A Growing Iraqi Resistance
(New York Times)...Jeffrey Gettleman

No Easy Options
(Time)...Bill Powell

The Vietnam Question
(Newsweek)...Evan Thomas

Paying The Price
(U.S. News & World Report)...Kevin Whitelaw

'We Are Your Martyrs'
(Newsweek)...Babak Dehghanpisheh, Melinda Liu and Rod Nordland

New Thugs On The Block
(Time)...Johanna McGeary

Mean Street Turn Meaner
(U.S. News & World Report)...Ilana Ozernoy

Out Of The Nest
(National Journal)...James Kitfield

A Square, Sans Saddam, Security
(Los Angeles Times)...Nicholas Riccardi

Road To Anarchy
(Newsweek (web exclusive))...T. Trent Gegax

The Iraqi Intifada
(Newsweek (web exclusive))...Rod Nordland

Inside Washington
(National Journal)...Unattributed

Iraq's New Voice In Washington
(National Journal)...Corine Hegland

U.S. Troops Battle To Retake Cities
(Washington Post)...Karl Vick and Sewell Chan

Seething City Filled With Dread
(Washington Post)...Anthony Shadid

U.S. Targeted Fiery Cleric In Risky Move
(Washington Post)...Rajiv Chandrasekaran and Anthony Shadid

Support For Wanted Cleric Runs Deep
(Los Angeles Times)...Nicholas Riccardi

Fallouja Residents Call U.S. Tactics Oppressive
(Los Angeles Times)...Alissa J. Rubin

Veteran Killed By Iraq Mob Is Buried
(Los Angeles Times)...Associated Press

U.S. Losing Support Of Key Iraqis
(Los Angeles Times)...Alissa J. Rubin

posted by Madbob  # 12:10 PM

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

From Russia, for the Love of Gawd!!
(Via Instapundit)
The Democrats should read the following article - from the Moscow Times, of all sources.
I love the way the article begins, with a little jab at Sen. Ted "Hey, I still got my pants on!" Kennedy:

"It was Kennedy's older brother, John F. Kennedy, who dragged the United States into the Vietnam quagmire, and the senator should know better than to compare Vietnam and Iraq."

As the Prof quotes his contributing reader, "...it's interesting that a Russian military analyst notices differences that the American media keep glossing over."

posted by Madbob  # 10:01 AM

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Couple of quick hits:
Litigation vs. Gun Manufacturers – STOP THE INSANITY!! If the courts allow the gun manufacturers to be sued because they make a product that then kills people, do you know what will be next? If not sooner than later?

Auto manufacturers. That’s right, and why not? Not only are cars involved in many, many more deaths than handguns, cars – esp. sports cars - are specifically marketed to the people who then misuse the product, resulting in death & dismemberment.

Gun could be made safer, argue the gun-control advocates, via various safety locks/devices. Well, have you ever watched pro auto racing? Seen a massive NASCAR pileup, complete with cars doing multiple flips/rolls & bursting into flames? And then the driver walks away? All that technology that protects those drivers is available to car manufacturers – why isn’t the general public provided with these safety features?

I know, it’s a reeeeeDICKyouLess position to take, but it is exactly the same argument used against guns. Doesn’t pass the common sense test.

9/11 Commission Hearings – How come dick Clarke continues to get a free pass from Big Media? HE WAS THE GUY WHO SHOULD’VE BEEN FOCUSING ON AL Q, ever since the 1993 bombing of the US Embassies in Africa. He has 7-8 years to convince the Clinton Admin to take action, but nothing happened. You know why? Dick didn’t think al Q was anywhere NEAR important as cyber-terrorism. So he gets an 8 year pass, and Bush gets a failing mark for continuing the Clinton policy & not acting in the first 8 months in office. I could go on, but what’s the point? I just can’t fathom why the same people who are claiming Bush was remiss in not preemptively taking out UBL, are the same people who think Bush was wrong to preemptively take out Saddam.

Hhoooooo!!! - blood starting to boil, better stop now. And yes, I still haven’t fixed the comment function...

posted by Madbob  # 8:16 PM
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