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Fighting Words

Operation Pushback commences, under the command of Gen. Jed Babbin. French cognac vs. American beer. Handy man comes out of the cold. Plus much more.

1.9.06

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NO MORE MESSRS. NICE GUYS
Re: Jed Babbin's Time to Push Back:

Amen. I couldn't agree more! I have posted a link to your excellent column at Polipundit.com.
-- Lorie Byrd

Fighting words by Mr. Babbin. We'll see how many journalists step up to the plate on this one! A good place to start in pushing back might be for someone to suggest that John Murtha release his military medical records so we can all see what got him his two Purple Hearts. (Another Hero Mystery.) I have read in only one place that Mr. Murtha shares the military modesty of John Kerry in this regard. Do we need a group comparable to the Swifties to ask this reasonable question? After all, Mr. Murtha has enjoyed wounded hero status for some years. Even to using it as his bona fides for making his irrational statements of late. If he was brain damaged or mentally impaired in some way in his service in Vietnam (not a disqualification for Congress), we could be more forgiving of his rantings.

Frankly, I never heard of John Murtha or his glorious service to his country until a few months ago. I follow politics fairly closely and I am not aware of any of John Murtha's contributions on the floor in Congress. Now, suddenly, an old coot who might otherwise be wearing his VFW cap in some Grange Hall if he weren't a congressman, spouts off in opposition to the war in Iraq, and he is an "expert" in the tactics of war. If everyone who served in any war is entitled to a congressional seat (and increasingly they view this as a qualification), then my brother, who served three tours in Vietnam should be riding the Political Gravy Train. This is as silly as Murtha's maunderings.

Perhaps we should change the campaign laws so that anyone using his service record as a political ace-in-the-hole should release his ENTIRE military record during his campaign. Then we'd finally know what kind of discharge John Kerry got -- if he runs again.
-- Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

Is this actually a real article? Or a spoof? "Dishonest and deranged rhetoric of the left"? "We have taken the high road too long"? This has to be a parody. Thanks for the laugh.
-- unsigned

I heard you, Friday, Jed, developing this theme on the air for HH. You've nailed it. A suggested theme is something like: Defend or Surrender? Republican or Democrat? I haven't got it yet, perhaps you can develop it. The Party of Defeat? Party of Surrender?

Keep up the great work.
-- Gary Stauffenberg

Great article, but I am very afraid our spineless Republicans do not have the will to stand up to these traitors in the Democrat party. They are too worried about being liked and "working" with the liberals. Bush has tried several times to get Teddy, the swimmer, Kennedy involved and what has that gotten him? If they don't start hitting back hard and soon the elections this year may not be pretty.
-- Elaine Kyle

I think Mr. Babbin is totally on-point in "Time to Fight Back" of the need to "push back" against the left. Unfortunately, Mr. Babbin's admonition of the need to "push back" does not go far enough.

At the American Thinker website, I just read of how the Republicans got "steamrolled by the left" in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. It seems that on issue after issue, the common sense of libertarian and conservative principles are being waylaid by the left, whether of the liberal or even more socialistic progressive variety.

Unfortunately, far too many Republicans want to "play nice" rather taking off the gloves as Mr. Babbin advocates.
-- Tim Wise
Arlington, Virginia

Great article, Mr. Babbin. It's high time to get busy. This morning, I sent this email to my two federal officeholders who will be running for re-election this coming November.

"Since you are running for office in 2006, I would very much appreciate an email response to the three questions below, because, in all honesty, any candidate who does not agree with me on matters of national security is not worthy of my vote, regardless of any other considerations:

"1. Do you support the idea that we should use all legal means necessary to find out what the terrorists are doing in their to attempt to kill our families, and any constitutionality questions about those legal means should be worked out behind closed doors with the advice and consent of the Congress?

"2. Do you support the idea that terrorists have inherent rights, even as they try to kill us?

"3. Do you support the idea that newspapers have the right to notify terrorists of programs that may interfere with those rights, regardless of the legality of that program?

"A simple 'Yes' or 'No' answer to each question will suffice."

I intend to send the email, and their answers, to my local newspapers when I get a response. If I don't get a response, I'll send that to the newspapers as well. It's time to smoke out the traitors, and reward the patriots.
-- unsigned

Splendid article. Can I question one phrase? It seems that every time someone writes a splendid article like this -- they feel obligated to say something to the effect of "Everyone has a Right to Speak Their Mind." Do they really? Especially if they are spouting lies? I am a 90-year-old lady and I do not believe people have the right to propound with lies. I am quite sure that they are lying and that they know that they are lying and I, myself, think that they should be challenged every time they lie.
-- Hester Nichols

You have nailed it. It is time for us (real conservatives) to start playing the hand we have been dealt. I find it truly amazing that the Democrats are either following Zawahari's pronouncements or vice versa. Not sure which!

I am fed up with obstruction at every turn. Today -- Schumer threatens filibuster of Alito already. What makes this even worse are the RINOs. We all know Chafee, Snowe, and Collins are Democrats who for some reason see the need to run as Republicans. What is more disturbing are the actions of weaklings like Graham, DeWine, Voinovich, Hagel, and Saint John McCain. Has anyone noticed that 100% of the Dems are in lockstep on the NSA Issue? Treason is a good thing! I'm more concerned about the RINOs who joined them. Come on Frist, do your job.
-- Ron LaCanne

Without a doubt, perhaps the best article I've seen on what conservatives and right-minded people should be doing. Good going, Jed!!! I've been saying for quite some time now that the liberal establishment and its media warriors are just as much a threat -- and in many ways an enemy -- to and of the United States. They do want the U.S. to lose the war on Iraq and the war on terror. And then they'll blame it all on the Republicans and President Bush. They want the U.S. to be lesser than China.

The Howard Deans, Barbara Boxers, Chuck Schumers, Ted Kennedys, Bob Schieffers, David Gregorys, Terry Morans, and on and on are even more scary than Osama himself.

We must take it to them and expose them to the American people for what they are: traitors and evildoers.

Thanks again, Jed.
-- John Dyslin
Streamwood, Illinois

So, Jed Babbin thinks "The [Iraq] war is being won"??? Please ask Mr. Babbin where he gets his drugs. Any time I want to get completely disconnected from reality, I'll take the same thing.
-- John A. deLaubenfels

There are few Murthas, thank God. Most anti-military jerks have never spent a day in the service. I speak from personal experience. I was drafted for two years in '66. Had I not been drafted, it is highly unlikely that I would have ever signed up. I am glad I was drafted. Only two years, but it gave me a lot of memories and a lot of them ain't bad. Most of these whiners hate Bush and the military, because they were never part of it. It's called "jealousy."
-- Martin N. Tirrell
Lisbon, New Hampshire

Jed Babbin is right! House Republicans should turn the ethics committee loose on John Murtha and his lobbyist brother. If we're going to "clean up" the lobbying "scandal" let's practice some bipartisanship. The time has come for Republicans to live by a new political creed -- politics is civil war without the bloodshed. Run up the black flag and take no prisoners. America's future is at stake.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

GOOD RIDDANCE, TOM
Re: The Prowler's The DeLay Sweepstakes:

Tom DeLay and his wife need to get real jobs, instead of getting bribed by corrupt lobbyists at the expense of the American taxpayer, who slaves away to keep him and his wife in comfort and power. He and his wife should work at Wal-Mart or fast food restaurants, where they can see for themselves the effort that goes into earning a living, only to see much of it taken away in taxes to fund pet projects and the interests that control Congress. DeLay should be forced to answer the phones of confused seniors trying to navigate through the new Medicare prescription plan, fill out regulatory paperwork inflicted on businesses and figure out the business, tax and health insurance forms that he and his fellow Congressmen have given the average person to do. A stint in the bureaucracies he and his ilk have created would be a sobering wake-up call to the power-hungry, ego-driven Congressmen, who should be ashamed of themselves as Republicans. At least now he'll have more time to devote to stopping the invasion of illegal aliens -- ha ha.
-- Caroline Miranda
North Hollywood, California

A lot, maybe most, of the commentators miss the point of this change. It seems to me, once again, that the Democrats have had their choice of the Republican leadership.
-- unsigned

GOOD AT FOOD
Re: Clifford D. May's The Seduction of Cognac:

What an enjoyable article! It is very much like the French to seduce inanimate objects (you don't drink cognac, you seduce it). Only the French would require foreplay for an alcoholic beverage. They are just so effete. That attitude is probably why the French have historically been so bad at so many things. Can't you just see two French soldiers at Ft. Carillon in the 18th century discussing the quality ("Quite lovely saltpeter from Spain") and origins of their gun powder and its "nose" ( "The charcoal is really quite evident") while being hacked to pieces by the Anglo-American hordes?

Or the French in World War II collapsing even faster than Hussein's regime when confronted by the German military. "You understand, mon ami, that we must not prejudge the Boche. They are really quite civilized. Oh, they may deport a gypsy or Jew from time to time and shoot some politicians. But is that so bad, n'est ce pas?

Let the French know in the U.S. we have our own national drink and it has its etiquette too. Pop the top on the can. Then pour heartily-down the middle of the throat or frosted glass- that golden liquid that goes so well with a huge hot-slathered with ketchup, laden with onions, covered in cheese and wrapped in bacon -- cheeseburger! Belch with gusto and repeat. Tell the French to breathe that air
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Wellington, Florida

Great article. However, I think I'd rather spend my money on Drambuie, or some other non-French after dinner drink. If you check any of the rantings of the French newspapers, they haven't earned our support of their products.
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

Clifford May describes the details of his cognac experience in a nuanced fashion that only a Kerry supporter could love. With his admission, "As someone who has taken up drinking -- moderately -- as part of my most recent mid-life crisis" he leaves the door open for advice from those of us who have kept at the hobby for all of our adult lives.

Specifically, get over yourself and your pageantry and crack open a delicious American beer, pound it down for all its thirst-quenching worth, and should time allow, have another. From a devoted imbiber and former barman who's sampled the cornucopia of spirits -- from Absinthe to Zima, from micro-brews to jello shots, I find that I'm currently focused right where I started -- good old American lagers.

To quote Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth in the 1986 classic Blue Velvet: "Heineken? **** that ****. Pabst Blue Ribbon!"
-- William H. Stewart
Boston, Massachusetts

WITHIN REASON
Re: J. Peter Freire's The F.C.:

While Mr. Freire's article is well written, it is not well reasoned. The ones responsible for the death of the Murphy girls is the Murphy girls. To try an extract a pound of flesh from someone who supplied orange juice is nothing short of ridiculous. I suggest that Mr. Freire discuss this with his very sane sounding mother.
-- James Kearney

J. Peter Freire replies:
I agree that the responsibility falls on the Murphy girls (more on the older than the younger, who should have had the instinct to protect her little sister than kill her). But I do not adhere to the worldview that says someone is strictly responsible for themselves and no one else. Even as the Murphy girls paid notice to the BYOB portion of their invitation, they still had their invitation. Nathaniel Berberian might not have been found legally responsible, but there's a higher responsibility he failed to observe -- he should have known better.

There's certainly something wrong with a 20-year-old inviting over two girls, one 15, one 17, to his parents' house so that they can be allowed to drink their own booze which he encourages with a mixer. Both have been raised in homes a little too permissive. And pound of flesh or no, I hope Berberian feels awful for his role.

DRAFT MIKE
Re: David Hogberg's A Pence for Your Thoughts:

If the Republicans don't wake up and start acting like a majority and conservative to boot, it will be hard to vote for them. I want smaller government, better border control, and people in Washington that are working for us and not the lobbyist. Term limits for both houses would be a start in the right direction.
-- Elaine Kyle

ROTTEN EUROPEAN FAMILY TREES
Re: John O'Sullivan's Patriots for Themselves and Bill Erdmann's letter (under "What Are Belgians Called?") in Reader Mail's Losing Patience:

Both John O'Sullivan "Patriots for Themselves" and reader Bill Erdmann may be surprised to learn that Hitler apparently did have a son. And that, in proof perhaps of Hannah Arendt's views on "the banality of evil," he didn't approach the true creepiness of Leon Degrelle, was merely a garden-variety loser. Werner Maser of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich "discovered" the pathetic offspring of Hitler and a French prostitute; I forget his name now, but he had been a low-level collaborator with the SS during WWII and Maser used to trot him out at various conferences. Mainly, it seems, to point at him and make some fun of him. (Which perhaps, given his record in WWII, was a well-deserved if minor league comeuppance.)

There is also the weird case, somewhat more in the spirit of Degrelle and his Rexist movement in WWII-era Belgium, of the Australian Jewish Defense League member named, I believe, Michael O'Hara, who actually sued in court to establish that he'd been born in Nazi Germany in 1944, whereas all available records indicated that he'd been born in Belfast in 1951.

There are also several longtime rumors that Hitler had a daughter; one of the maternal candidates there was a former nun who'd left the convent while in her early 20s over her well-documented sexual fixation (which by most accounts she brought to coition) on Hitler.
-- Richard Szathmary
Clifton, New Jersey

Regarding Paul Belien's A Throne in Brussels, John O'Sullivan's review of it, and Bill Erdmann's letter to the editor mentioning "Belgian perfidy," perhaps a little more perspective is appropriate.

O'Sullivan's review documents the dubious incarnation of Belgium from mutually antagonistic northern Flemish and southern French/Walloon regions in the early 19th century, not that dissimilar to the creation of Czechoslovakia from two regions unrelated by anything other than geographic adjacency and being formerly ruled by Vienna. But no mention is made of the territory excised from Germany and attached to Belgium at the end of World War I. Belgium is practically and legally a trilingual, not bilingual, country. Visit the northeast corner, south of the Maastricht "peninsula," and all the town names, all the street signs, and all the restaurant menus are auf Deutsch. When the Nazis took back what they regarded as German territory in May 1940, all those residents of military age served not as foreign volunteers but as "faithful" members of the Reich.

My Uncle Leon (Detrez, not Degrelle), on a visit of mine to my mother's childhood home, noted that staunchly Roman Catholic Flanders, early in the German occupation, was frequently treated to Sunday homilies exhorting parishioners to fight atheistic Bolshevism. Many of the young men who responded to those calls to "conscience" found themselves after the war, if they were among the few to survive, pariahs in their own country. But the reader would be mistaken to draw the impression that the Catholic clergy was forever blind to the evil incarnate that was National Socialism. My mother told me of the Sunday Mass at her church when one of the local SS officers, in full black uniform with SS runes, was denied Communion at the rail. Recall that this order had been propagated by Pope Pius XII, the man called by John Cornwell "Hitler's Pope." I suggest the priest that held back that wafer had one Hell of a lot more courage than the ones who cannot find the conscience or the wits to do the same to American "Catholics" who annually kill more young Americans than the total American deaths in all the wars of the blood drenched 20th century.

And in a curious coincidence, the party that O'Sullivan refers to but does not identify when he writes "the courts have outlawed the largest political party in Flanders," is Vlaams Blok, which all my Flemish relatives belong to!

The living memory of those who survived the Nazi occupation is close to extinguished. Not coincidentally, their experiences made them very conservative. The neutral pacifistic pre-war populations of Belgium, Holland, Denmark and Norway became enthusiastic post-war founding members of NATO. Their grandchildren today, thanks to the leftist dominance of academia and the media, have no sense of what made sense 60 years ago. And the Socialist extremes of today's Belgium that O'Sullivan observes are the core principles of the party that is the choice of nearly 50% of voting age Americans. A few years from now, O'Sullivan may be writing about events closer to home.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

THEY'RE WATCHING
Re: Lawrence Henry's Screwing It Up, One More Time:

First, let me say that I am the "unsigned" of the recent critical essay exchange (under "Blame Games") in Reader Mail's Real Friends and Enemies on the recent "Greatest Generation" debate. Some other good rebuttals to Lawrence Henry's article, all in all, but that's not the real point here.

Identity theft is a real threat and needs to be taken seriously. Feel free to sign me Handy in the future, but please don't do it in conjunction with my current location.

The advantage, if you're an innocent target of NSA surveillance is that, if you come up on the "radar screen," you may receive a visit from some "official." Under FISA if you are truly innocent, you have nothing to fear, but you might learn a little about your unintended "contacts." Some might not be as benign as they seem. The information could conceivably help in the War on Terror.

Rebecca Hagelin wrote a recent column about her hair-styling secrets and the NSA. She didn't really care if people knew that she streaked her hair, but she didn't go far enough. With her typical good humor she dismissed the threat. But, she forgot the upside. If some "agent" came to her house and asked her about her telephone or computer contacts, wouldn't she be better informed about her neighbors (trying to steal her beauty secrets) or other more nefarious folks who are waging war on us?

Enquiring minds usually want to know.
-- Handy

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