Reader Mail

Casey’s Crowd

Bob Jr.'s strange backers. Also: Power vs. Principle. Jihad and fascism. The Vail letter. Plus much more.

9.18.06

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WHO'S UP FIRST?
Re: Jeffrey Lord's A Mighty Democrat Has Struck Out:

Jeffrey Lord's "A Mighty Democrat Has Struck Out" touches only briefly on the kind of anti-Semitic commentary (and 9/11 conspiracy theories worthy of the Jeff Rense Show along with occasional racism) that appears at MoveOn.org's Action Forum. Comments range from denouncing Joe Lieberman as "Jew Lieberman," accusing Jews of having divided loyalties between Israel and the United States, and even saying that Jews did something to deserve the Holocaust. The last garnered 9 out of 12 forum participants voting their approval.

Although MoveOn.org tried to disclaim responsibility for the postings, there is overwhelming evidence that the group was monitoring the forum and removing posts with which it disagreed well before the breaking scandal forced them to address the anti-Semitic ones. My own posting, "When the N word is used, a lady or gentleman leaves the room or turns her/his back as opposed to voting approval of the slur" was deleted very quickly while the anti-Semitic slurs to which this referred were allowed to stand.

Secondly, MoveOn.org lied to the Anti-Defamation League about removing (all) the slurs because "Nearly 3/4 of the entire Jewish population was exterminated. If you can't tell us why, We are stuck with logic and commonsense...By blaming Hitler you don't have to face the truth." Was online more than two weeks later.

Finally, one of MoveOn.org's own bulletins made the "divided loyalties" implication and cited a Counterpunch article that is even worse. Bob Casey can be MoveOn.org's friend or the friend of decent Americans who have no use for racism, anti-Semitism, and accusations
that the U.S. Government perpetrated the worst mass murder in our country's history, but he cannot be both.
-- William A. Levinson
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Bob Casey also supports homosexual adoption of children. He says he supports traditional marriage, but one has to question that with his strong support from MoveOn.org and the radical homosexual lobby. Once in D.C. Casey is guaranteed to move rapidly to the radical left.

As gas prices drop lets hope Rick and all GOP Senators see their chances of victory rise. Their states and the nation need real leaders to stand up to the pro-terrorist Democrats and the McCain Quislings.
-- Michael Tomlinson

Last time I checked Eli Pariser of MoveOn is Jewish.

I would find it hard for an Organization to be labeled anti-Semitic when their President is Jewish. I guess if you don't support the innocent genocide of non-Jews in all parts of the Mideast whether it is in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and of course IRAQ then you are anti-Semitic even if you are Jewish.

Oh, by the way I wonder if ole Quin will back away from his Iraq-Saddam-Osama stance now that the CIA and The U.S Senate reports indicate that there are NO CREDIBLE LINKS. Even Bush and Cheney admitted as much this past week in two separate interviews. Nuff said.
-- Scott Clopton

Latest poll I saw had Casey up 18 points. Dream on, Mr. Lord.
-- James Bozian

Good points, Mr. Lord. But Sen. Santorum unfortunately is still losing by a big margin, 8 points or so, and time is running out.
-- Peter Murphy
W. Sand Lake, New York

POWER AND PRINCIPLE
Re: Shawn Macomber's Save the Elephant:

That Sager interview sure was entertaining. Our Pillar of Principle (well, one principle at least -- small government) is offended that the grand old party has been co-opted by a bunch of power-hungry Evangelicals (AKA the "religious right"), who drifted in under the tutelage of Reagan and almost purely out of flight from moonbatism on the Left. The Reagan Coalition won elections and continues to win -- but that's not good enough for the saints of small government. They want to smash the coalition for the sake of a show of principle. Should we tell them that this means losing elections?
-- Jay Trott
Sherman, Connecticut

Shawn Macomber's interview of Ryan Sager about his new book provides an excellent summary of the self-destructive Republican Congress, giddy with its power and unable to spend taxpayer money fast enough. The fight over publicly identifying Congressional pork earmarks and the fact Congress even considers it an issue whether to inform the public about who funds pork and where the money gets channeled reveals how morally low Congress has sunk. It is insufficient just to identify future pork projects. Rather, Congress should return all the money it has taken from taxpayers, the way a thief has to give up his stolen stash. Rather than gloat about bringing in the cash, Congressional members should be ashamed of themselves for taking it from hard working Americans who face killer commutes to work and long hours for a fraction of the pay and none of the lavish benefits Congress bestows on itself, and who then face a pay check eviscerated by an out-of-control government.

Never in my life have I seen the level of anger and disgust in daily life and on talk radio by Republicans against Republican elected officials. The latest blow is the parade of talk show hosts invited to the White House, who sit in awed astonishment under the fantasy that their leaders like them, rather than merely use them to further their own political propaganda ends, and who then dutifully report to their conservative audience what a great job the government is doing. This is even more sickening than the parade of elected officials who pass through talk radio portals to get free publicity, while their lap-dog hosts sit in homage to them. As a conservative, I can only hope the Republicans go down big-time in the next election. They can then spend their free time getting real jobs, perhaps flipping hamburgers at McDonald's if an illegal alien doesn't take the job from them, or patrolling the border with the Minute Men, and then go home to fill out the stacks of government forms inflicted on the average peasant. Maybe then they'll have a little more compassion for the people they rule over.
-- Caroline Miranda
North Hollywood, California

BLAIR'S HOUSE
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Decoding the Tony Blair Enigma:

I too have mixed feelings on Tony Blair. In the end, I have to view him as a huge negative. While he has supported us in the Middle East, he has dismantled the UK's ability to ever support such a campaign again. British military planning and procurement has become so integrated with the EU, that they will never be able to support us again without French and German permission.

I can't look at the pathetic emasculated nanny-state the UK has become and think kind thoughts of Tony.
-- Chris B.
New Jersey

Hal G. P. Colebatch replies: I don't at all disagree with what you say. I have written on this many times. Unfortunately the present Conservative opposition under David Cameron looks no better. Let us pray for a new Churchill or Alfred the Great!

PSYCHOGENICS
Re: Michael Fumento's What World Trade Center Illness?:

"Our heroes deserve our compassion and help for their WTC-destruction-related illnesses, whether psychogenic or not." Indeed they do, as do non-responders who lived near the then-standing WTC who may also suffer from WTC-destruction-related illnesses.

For sure, the responders deserve better handling than Fumento delivered in his judgment of them and the public-health information about who may really be ill or have died from inhalation exposures of God-knows-what particles or gases, or combinations thereof, at Ground Zero.

That approximately 25 percent of the Ground Zero responders -- that is, one in four -- were involved in Mt. Sinai's study cannot be so blithely dismissed as "not a representative sample of responders," as he does. But since he raised the point, then why didn't he state what a representative sample would be, or what a well-designed epidemiological study would be?

Too, since he seems to write off the Mt. Sinai work because of insinuated biases, then why didn't he mention things such as responders who may have refused or still continue to refuse to participate, or missing or under-reported data or information, or other things that could show even more illness?

Oh, yes, what about responders that may have come from out-of-state who aren't even involved in the Mt. Sinai study?

But describing the responders who are ill and who did participate in the Mt. Sinai study as "by and large suffering from psychogenic illness"? That labeling of those responders gets him and many others off a bunch of uncomfortable hooks and out of some potentially undesirable explanations and conclusions.

One wonders: What real agenda has he? Regardless of his punchline that we should have compassion and assistance for the responders, given what he's published, I find a bit hollow his criticism of the news media for how they've reported all this. At least they've raised the public's awareness.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

I was listening to a local radio show here on 9/11/06. A man named David Griffith, who runs a salvage company here in town, worked extensively in the clean up of the WTC with a large crew from Greensboro, NC. The DJ asked if his men were suffering from the WTC cough and his reply was that none of his men were sick. He said he had most of his men wear respirators when they were able to while working but most of the time they were not wearing respirators. Makes you think, huh?
-- Sherry Mayer

LETTER PERFECT
Re: Quin Hillyer's A Clear Plan? Where? and Michael Tomlinson and C. Vail's letters (under "Taking Action") in Reader Mail's Peace Disturbances:

I hope and pray that someone will make certain that President Bush reads the letter from C. Vail in its entirety. MAGNIFICENT!!
-- Fred McCarthy
Indianapolis, Indiana

Well done, C. Vail. I've been writing the White House for over two years. Might as well spit into the wind. One of our chief problems in this effort is we have too many number one priorities and as a result conflicting goals. Kind of like the result you get when you let a committee make decisions, like the UN. Everything gets watered down. The end result pleases nobody typically. I have written at length of the need for the American people to have a "stake" in this effort. The bulk of our population has no stake in this fight and as a result doesn't feel connected to the effort or its outcome. Of course, one-sided reporting contributes to this and furthers the cause of our enemy.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

I wish to thank C. Vail of Glenolden, PA for his letter to El Presidente Bush. I also wish to thank the Spectator for including it in the "Letters" section. I would like to identify myself with and second the views and emotions stated in Mr. Vail's letter. I truly wish that I could express my thoughts as calmly and articulately. Unfortunately, I find myself getting so very angry over what I see as a pacifistic PC method of fighting this war, a PC method that I truly believe is costing us more of our finest young men and women than is necessary. I am very afraid that the Oval Office is spending too much time in worry over what the NY Times, Newsweek, and the Arab street will think of us, and too little time in effectively and successfully prosecuting this war, not on Terror, but on Islamic Jihad.

Thank you Mr. Vail, straight ahead, I have your back.
-- Ken Shreve

Mr. Tomlinson and the other two writers he cites (George Tobin and GnuCarSmell) are correct in their statements that the U.S. is winning in Iraq and, if given enough time, will persevere. The problem, however, is that Iraq is only part of a much larger war and must be viewed in that light.

From the standpoint of US security, Iraq was not invaded because it posed any immediate threat to interests within the continental United States. It was invaded because Saddam Hussein continually violated the provisions of the cease-fire that he agreed to at the end of the Gulf War. And the invasion was to serve as a warning to nations (North Korea, Iran, et al) that posed a much greater and more immediate threat to this country. It is the warning phase that is failing, largely due to a lack of definitive planning and perseverance at home.

The problem has become so bad, that, not only are Iran and North Korea openly defying the U.S. and her allies, but the Iraqi leadership has lost faith in the U.S. to remain in the country long enough to bolster the infant democracy that we have created. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is meeting with Iranian President Ahmadinejad simply because there is a strong indication that the U.S. will withdraw from Iraq, a la Vietnam, leaving the Iraqis to deal with an expansionistic Iran on their own. And that is a fight that they cannot win on their own. If we lose Iraq, we will have a much more difficult job ahead.

To win the larger war, a plan must be drafted and followed, as much as possible. Therein lies the problem, there is no discernible plan. Also, as noted by Mr. Tomlinson, the planning and execution of military operations should be left to the military. Other problems on the home-front need to be addressed. They include anti-war disinformation and propaganda, revelations of classified material in violation of U.S. law by persons within the government and the lack of knowledge concerning the true situation in Iraq and the WOT on the part of the public.

Militarily we will win in Iraq, if we do not bug out prematurely. But, without more direction displayed by the administration in this matter, we may still lose the war.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Michael, in all due respect to your service to this country, we don't have 9 years (or 6 more) to run this effort by some playbook. We ran all sorts of playbook experiments in our 12 years in Vietnam and not once did this Nation bring to bear the power at its disposal and employ that power against the primary antagonist. Not once. Vietnam was winnable in every sense of the word but our political leadership chose to change the meaning of winning to that of political stalemate and ultimate defeat. What previous UN effort might have set the example for that kind of game?

Given that War is an extension of politics (by other means) and the nature of Democracies in general, the political climate can and does change relatively frequent in the 9 years you suggest will be needed to defeat this insurgency. How many boys will come of age in those 9 years and join the insurgency to replace the minuscule losses they have suffered so far? Our experience in Vietnam, where we slaughtered them in large numbers was done over a very long period of time and our enemy absorbed the losses. We slaughtered the Japanese too on every island fortress they built. We did the same to their cities with conventional bombings but it wasn't until we wiped out two of their cities for no cost to us and no means for them to defend against that "fear" finally took hold. Fear is a powerful tool in warfare and our enemy (and their civilian supporters and shields) does not fear us. Why might that be?

We don't have time for textbook experiments. I understand the theories surrounding asymmetrical warfare. They don't work against committed fanatics. Kill enough fast enough and fear among their supporters and shields will do the rest. Regardless of warfare style, Grant would have gotten his hat handed to him by any competent Southern General with equal forces and resources. Doesn't take skill to frontal assault with 2-3 times the forces the defender has. The South had no chance to win a year earlier than when Grant took command. Even Lincoln understood he didn't have 9 years to put down the Southern "insurgency" regardless of the performance of his forces on the battlefield.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

THE "F" WORD
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Their Sound and Their Fury and E. David Litvak's letter (under "The Right Prescription") in Reader Mail's Peace Disturbances:

It is hard to believe that E. David Litvak has so recently been concerned with the misuse of the word fascist. Leftists have been misusing it since 1939 (when the Germans broke with the Soviet Union) to describe democratically elected Republicans with hardly ever a peep out of Democrats. Poor President Bush has been abused with the adjective countless times with nobody concerned about its meaning. In the leftist dictionary it means somebody who disagrees with you.

Does Mr. Litvak really believe that fascism is not anti-Semitic? We don't have too many examples of fascist governments but they all seemed to be anti-Semitic. Jews were rounded up and put in camps and murdered after all. Mr. Litvak seems to have the modern Democrat's view of inclusiveness (A bunch of people of all different kinds who are forced to think alike). Thanks but no thanks.

"Are they winning?" Mr. Litvak's example proves that the Germans and Japanese won WWII since Americans and others put up with hardships during the war. Mr. Litvak apparently now defines a hardship as having to check your luggage. Don't get me wrong I prefer offensive actions to defensive actions but only a very big crybaby could look at the effects of 9/11 on our lives and wail like Mr. Litvak.

A second definition of fascist is oppressive dictatorial control. This certainly could work for the Mullahs of Iran, the wannabees of al Qaeda, or Islamists that want to impose sharia law in the U. S. On top of this simple definition is a linking in thought from WWII era fascists to modern Islamists regarding Jews. Quotes from Hitler, relying on the same propaganda tools, teaching your young to hate Jews as inferior beings, and fantasizing about eradicating Jews are being practiced right now as they were in fascist Germany. I am satisfied with the use of the term Islamofascists to describe the subset of Muslims that use or approve of terror (Brown shirts) to get their way politically, who want to make all others (non-Muslims) second class citizens or worse, or have plans (in the Sudan today or in Turkey in the early 1900's they have put these plans into action) to eradicate millions of people. The parallels in the two movements invite the term.
-- Clifton Briner

Mr. Tyrrell gives one of the best definitions I've read about the left when writing, "It stems from the liberals' only unwavering political value, the political value that now stands alone at the heart of liberalism. That value is a misdemeanor in the criminal codes of most civilized countries. It is disturbance of the peace. Drop a liberal into a community where conventions have been established and where civility reigns and our liberal friend will find some triviality to protest."

There are a myriad of examples in our own imperfect country in which Mr. Tyrell's definition applies: fatty foods; refined sugar in food and drink; cell phone cancer scares; SUVs; classroom sizes, etc. And they still hold onto their old and tired issues like clean water and air or affirmative action disregarding decades of progress (and I thought they were progressives).

And what's worse is when they find some trivial nuisance to whine about they always propose massive "universal" and "comprehensive" solutions that require the entire population to observe. Let's face it -- they just crave absolute power. And what frightens me is that it's not for the sake of having the power but the fact they actually believe they are smarter than everyone else and if we just listened to their enlightened views utopia would spring eternal. What morons.

And these liberals actually have the audacity to say we conservatives had nothing left after the Soviet Union collapsed and without commies to hunt we'd wither and die.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

In regards to Mr. Litvak's letter under "The Right Prescription," it's nice to see someone else who recognizes that fascism, as used in today's vernacular, is nothing more than a term of abuse, and not intended to provide any real meaning in any discussion. As someone who has been on the receiving end of the accusation, my favorite response is to challenge the user to define the term and how it applies to me, and then sit back and watch them wither in the wind. It's quite entertaining and enlightening.

However, I must disagree with his definition as being "exclusive, secular, authoritarian and racist." More realistically, sans emotion, it's a system that requires strict socioeconomic control of the population via strong central governments, usually dictatorial. In that regard, it's VERY inclusive in that, like other forms of socialism, it requires that EVERYONE participate. It can accept no exceptions to the point where those that disagree can find themselves in concentration camps undergoing "rehabilitation" therapy. IF they're lucky…

I believe Mr. Litvak confuses the virulent Nazi strain of fascism in regards to racism with fascism in general. I don't believe the Italian form of fascism displayed similar tendencies, but I could be wrong.

Now if we can accept that the pertinent issue with fascism is absolute control, then I believe Islam fits the definition, especially in its advocacy of conformance to Sharia Law. Sharia seems to accept no non-conformance, since that act could get your head chopped off. One could argue that you can have a certain amount of "religious" freedom if you pay the dhimmi tax, however it still requires submittal on the political side. Notice all the political and religious freedom afforded to non-Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia.

It seems to be "inclusive" in the sense that "join or die" is inclusive: you don't end up with anyone being excluded if they're dead. In my humble opinion that equates to oppressive dictatorial rule, but I could be mistaken. Since Sharia applies to the religious AND political world (there doesn't appear to be a difference in Islam), I believe that calling it "fascistic" is indeed apt.
-- Karl F. Auerbach
Eden, Utah

I enjoyed your article about Liberalism and used it as part of my post today on my blog. I am a practicing New York Psychiatrist/Psychoanalyst, former liberal, now Neocon (for want of a more appropriate term), and wrote about the problem of liberalism having to do with their discomfort with aggression (especially their own aggression.) Although a blog post can't get too complex or technical, I do put together a few disparate sources by way of illustration. My post is "Liberalism and Aggression" and it includes this:

What joins all these stories is an antipathy and fear of aggression and its derivative, competition, which is the fundamental guiding force behind liberalism. (I am not addressing far left totalitarianism which has no problem with aggression and uses skillful rationalization to subvert more soft-hearted, and soft-minded, liberals to support their goals.) For many years, the goal of liberalism has been to minimize the impact of aggression in the world. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this goal but when one's fear of one's own aggression is kept out of awareness, it exacts a terrible price in its drive for expression.... Too many are willing to appease the violent in the hopes that they won't get mad at us. It all fits a pattern of discomfort with aggression and its overt expression, even in attenuated and sublimated ways (like normal competition) that has come dangerously close to disarming us as a people.

Managing and containing the aggressive drive is a prerequisite for civilization, yet when the civilized liberal becomes so frightened of his own aggression that he attempts to suppress every overt expression of aggression, even when it is appropriate and necessary for his survival, he invites greater and greater violence from those who are not similarly constrained. This is a lesson which tends to be forgotten during peace time and must be relearned periodically.


I blog anonymously because it is unusual for a Psychiatrist in New York to be relatively conservative, and perhaps not a wise career move to advertise the fact. In any event, I thought you might enjoy my take on the subject.

All the Best,
-- ShrinkWrapped

UNCOMPROMISING
Re: Jeremy Lott's Hold the Anvil:

Since I view as little of the legacy media as possible, I might have missed the grand opening of the John F. Kerry School of Counterterrorism. Professor Lott is busy collecting and presenting empirical data to support his Law of Diminishing Returns on Terrorism. In his scientific quest, he appears to minimize the human tragedy of even a single death in Seattle. In lockstep with the School's namesake, Professor Lott is content when terrorism is reduced to a "nuisance."

Let us consider my alternate theory for the relative calm since 9/11: The Law of Spontaneous Courage. To support this theory, I submit the acts of the first responders rushing into the burning towers to evacuate as many people as possible. One other example is the passengers of United 93 that refused to be led to the slaughter like so many sheep. These selfless acts may have prevented the deaths of many thousands more and, at least in my theory, demonstrated to these terrorist networks that there are still many of us with more than enough courage to defend our liberty and, by extension, Western Civilization.
-- Bob Staggs
Goshen, Kentucky

DISTANT DRUMS
Re: Bongo Don's letter (under "Anger Distribution") in Reader Mail's An Angry Scene and the "Little Drummer Boy" letters in Reader Mail's Peace Disturbances:

Because of computer troubles I couldn't read Bongo Dongo's tripe [right away]. The first two questions he asked were answered but he didn't want to see. I want to answer him what we know about freedom and rednecks.

My ancestors came to America via Northern Ireland (Ulster to you) from Scotland. I have traced my heritage to at least six clans so far, paternal and maternal. Why did they leave Scotland? Read about the Highland Clearance and you shall know. While in Northern Ireland they suffered religious persecution. They would hold their services in the fields and would eat blackberries and they became to be called black lips. But they would wear red neckerchiefs for identification and thus became known as rednecks. They not only suffered religious prosecution but Queen Ann didn't like them either. Why because if you know your Scottish history, the Scots always believed in freedom and always mistrusted any monarchy.

After 100 years in Northern Ireland not being Irish or Scottish and hated by the English they came to the colonies and became known as Scot-Irish. They came to Massachusetts but were kicked out for religious reasons, hence the state of New Hampshire. There were only two colonies that allowed religious freedom. Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. The colony of Pennsylvania took them in providing that they settled between the Indians and the settled parts of the state (Philadelphia ). They were joined with German immigrants. In time they moved down the Application Mountains. In Virginia they were told they could practice their religion and even build churches as long as they did it in the mountains and not the coast. They were not welcomed there.

The Scot-Irish welcomed most anyone and while they did fight the Native-Americans they also intermarried. You could read about that if you want to. These immigrants had fostered independence and many of their ideas and beliefs were included in the Constitution. As time marched on citizens from other countries came and were welcomed, I will say not always without bigotry showing up. We were not sectarian. Yes, we had our silly infighting but all in all they adopted to our way of life and we adopted much of their culture. Hence we really created a new race. One of many. True the Native-Americans and the Afro-Americans suffered, I will not deny that part of our history. We have taken steps to correct that. The citizens of The United States of America have created a new race. It made up of many colors, many religions and many cultures and political beliefs.

What do we know about freedom. We invented freedom that was never known in the world but many countries, in their own way, are adopting the basic principles of it. Today we have citizens whose heritage is from every country in the world and we blend into one. Many people, many cultures, many religions, one country -- the United States of America.
-- Thomas MacKay

One of my more idiotic countrymen has, yet again, caused consternation amongst your correspondents.

It is unfortunate, indeed, that in a country so closely linked to the U.S. such people even exist, far less feel compelled to vent their anti-American feelings in such a childish and illiberal way. I would suggest, in mitigation, that "Our Don" suffers from a similar antipathy to his own, native culture (hence his predilection for bongo drums -- rarely found amongst traditional Scottish instruments). In our country we are bombarded from an early age by the sub-Marxist dogmas which comprise Political Correctness (Racism, Sexism, Homophobia and, now, Islamophobia). The only way to get ahead is to pay, at least, lip service to these Leftist doctrines. Failure to do so will prove fatal to most non-manual career paths. It is no wonder, then, that some of our people have their world view distorted in such a manner .

I can only apologize to my American brethren for my countryman's outburst, while assuring them that, contrary to the assertions of some of your correspondents, Scottish soldiers are prominent in the U.K.'s contribution to the war on terror.
-- Alan Healy
Motherwell, Lanarkshire
Scotland

DNC QUESTION OF THE DAY
What foul loathsome pig slime did you cretins spring from?
-- W. Brown
Salt Lake City, Utah

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