Re: Jed Babbin’s In Search of Murtha’s Army:
Jed’s article was great. I really enjoyed it and found it to be exactly in tune with what I’ve learned of Iraq. I am in a brigade combat team preparing to go to Iraq. I’ve been to Iraq on a leader’s recon. We did MOUT Training (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) at Camp Shelby, MS. We had native Mississippians, and native Iraqis, playing civilians on the battlefield (COBs). They were all great and provided realistic training. The Iraqis were great, and they contributed greatly to our training and greatly to our morale. They told us how much they owed us and how much they appreciated our mission and our goals, which are in line with theirs, a free and democratic Iraq.
Thank you, American Spectator staff, for what you do. After reading this one article on line, I’m motivated again. I can’t wait to get back to the desert. I know it will be hard, but at least I know there are a few in America who know what we are trying to do.
— Jeremy L. Griffith
CPT, TC, MN ARNG
Once again, one of TAS‘s finest writers, Jed Babbin, has nailed it! His revelations are nothing less than stunning, but they should only be stunning to those liars like John Murtha who have proclaimed that we have lost, or are losing, the war in Iraq. Those of us that shun the mainstream media know better. But it’s delightful to see information like that provided by Mr. Babbin in print. It counteracts the garbage trotted out constantly by the Dummycrats, particularly that doddering old fool, Murtha, a former Marine who should know better. Spare me the baloney that Murtha is a war hero, won this medal and that one, ya-de-ya-de-yah. Between his slide into senility and pushing the Party line, he receives no respect from me.
— James J. Bjaloncik
With all due respect to John Murtha because Mr. Murtha is indeed a genuine American hero, the only thing broken here is the Democratic Party. The party is in desperation mode and all they have left in their arsenal to fight is to do whatever they can to cause the U.S. to lose the war on terror (in particular in Iraq), thus neutralizing President Bush.
Take a good hard look at some of what the Democratic Party of today has to offer. What elixir do they have to offer the hard working, tax paying folks in this country? Well folks, here is the snake oil, magic elixir that the Democrats so desperately want us all to swallow.
1. In the future, America needs to beg France and Germany for permission to defend herself.
2. The U.S. military should be placed under the command of Kofi and the boys at the U.N.
3. Massive increases in the size of government.
4. Massive increases in taxes.
5. Government-run health care system.
6. Cradle to grave nanny state.
7. Same sex marriage.
8. The extrication of God from every institution in America.
9. No school prayers (unless of course it is to Karl Marx).
10. No ten commandments displayed anywhere in public.
11. Late term abortions.
12. No parental notification for minors having abortions.
13. Abortion on demand.
14. Decimation of the military
15. Race baiting.
And on and on we go with no end in sight. In my opinion, what we are seeing today is nothing less than utter hyperventilating, desperation on the part of a political party almost completely out of power and relegated to the scrap heap of history and on into irrelevance.
In any case, in the end, the snake oil, magic elixir that the Democratic Party wants to shove down our throats is not at all palatable and indeed has a tendency to activate the gag reflex. So folks, what’s left for the Democratic Party? Well I will tell you what’s left for the left. The party will do and say anything in order to bring down this president. I believe it’s called Machiavellianism. And in my opinion, the John Murtha show is just the latest weapon in the Democratic Party’s arsenal. And let’s not forget the left wing mainstream media contribution to the party’s effort. Anybody seen Senator Lieberman being interviewed and ga-ga’d over by the media?
So folks, the Democrats’ bottom line is we’re going to lose the war (they are praying) and Bush lied, so you need to give us our power back so we can shove our nasty tasting, snake oil, magic elixir down your throats. It’s their only chance for regaining power.
— Jim L
East Sandwich, Massachusetts
I agree with Jed Babbin’s assertion that we are winning in Iraq. All the evidence points to a slow but successful campaign against the “insurgents.” The major impediment is the party of cut-and-run. Babbin is — as usual — wrong on history. The British were not driven out of Iraq in the 1920s. They successfully put down a major revolt between 1920 and 1922. The Brits stayed till 1932 when the British Mandate — from the League of Nations — officially ended. I wish Babbin would get his history straight. After we are successful in Iraq, and after security is turned over to an Iraqi government and its forces, will Babbin then conclude that we were driven out of Iraq?
— Kenneth G.D. Allen, PhD
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
I think the Dems are so full of hate for Bush that they have no idea what is at stake for America. Sure, pull the troops out now, turn Iraq over to the terror groups, to kill all the ones who wanted freedom, and then with Iran and Syria helping, they would control the oil fields. With these funds they could buy Weapons of Mass Murder, and a lot of “friends” would be happy to supply their needs. How long would Israel last against these odds?
Then cut off our oil. We can’t drill in Alaska or the Gulf so we would be on our knees in no time. The Dems seem to want to help the terrorists much more than they want to help the U.S.A. When it comes to a push, can we depend on the Dems to help or would they be running for Canada crying Bush “didn’t protect us”. I for one am very ill-at-ease to have my freedom in the hands of the Dems. I know what to expect from the terrorists but the Dems, that is a horse of another color.
— Cliff Gerald
Satellite Beach, Florida
Good timely article and report on the war from Jed Babbin. My nephew is doing his second tour there in the 3rd I.D. and I’m happy to hear they will be coming home. He has a little girl who will be happy to see her daddy again. My sister (his mother) had a stroke last year just before he left for the war zone and his coming home will help in her recovery also. The Democrats have not done us any favors and I feel a few of them have crossed the line to treason. I blame Bush for some of the PR problems in that he is only now coming out strong in his defense of the war. The articles from Mr. Babbin will help tremendously because he has been on the ground in the war zone. Our army is stretched to their capacity and the problems some of the soldiers are having show that. That is nothing new in a continuing conflict as Jed Babbin has noted but in the past, we have had an influx of fresh recruits to take up the slack. Of course, in the past, that relied on the draft to take up the slack. In this war, we’re sending the women in along with the men while some of our “male patriots” are taking care of the kiddies back home. While the democrats wail and gnash their teeth, our warriors are making not only us more secure but they have brought a semblance of sanity and stability to an area not noted for it. Keep the insights and articles coming Jed. We need to hear from the front lines.
— Pete Chagnon
Re: J. Peter Freire’s An Astonishing Lack of Coulter:
I have long heard it said that modern conservatism is based on logic and quantifiable facts and liberalism is based on pure, raw emotion. Using Ann Coulter’s experience at the University of Connecticut, it appears that liberalism is further based on pure, raw juvenile — no, rather, infantile emotion. I hope her protesters don’t plan to give up their day jobs — if ever they get any.
— Warren Mowry
I found two things interesting in the Ann Coulter at UConn article:
a. The University…forbids harassment that has the effect of interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.”
If the University believes and enforces this statement, did they bother to police the event where Coulter spoke, to prevent her from being harassed? Could this be an example of selective enforcement?
b. I doubt that anyone forced any of the possibly “offended” students to attend. If one voluntarily attends an event where they can reasonably be expected to hear speech that they find offensive, can they really claim to be offended? Would a conservative student attending a liberal speaker’s event have a right to intimidate the speaker? Would he or she get away with it as they apparently did at Coulter’s speech?”
— Mike Storer
Oh well, we Connecticut taxpayers have just completed a $1 billion upgrade to UConn and for this we get our own Nutmeg version of a Connecticut band of Goebbels wannabes in Queen Anne’s Court. So much for diversity of thought. I could not help but notice that one of Ms. Coulter’s antagonists was an Eric Knudson, who was identified as a journalism/social welfare major. With such a delicate ear for limited perspectives, I dare say that Mr. Knudson has a bright future at a whole host of MSM outlets, starting let’s say, at CBS. Of course, with a social welfare component to his education, perhaps the fevered perspectives of justice at MoveOn, might just be the place for this young man to fulfill his potential. And to think, he didn’t even have to go to Columbia to develop this brand of journalistic ethics. A state education did the job quite nicely.
— A. DiPentima
The Freire coverage of Coulter’s abortive speech misses the point….The disruption is not about Coulter nearly so much as it is about disrespecting the greater number of people who came to hear her. They are not to be permitted access to things the left decides are not fitting for them. Nothing new.
— James Wilson
Re: Peter Freire on Ann Coulter: Hate speech means “speech I hate.”
— Bill Tucker
Brooklyn, New Yorker
Re: James G. Poulos’s Paxil Americana:
I’m so glad you can be so glib. I rather doubt you’ve been through a clinical depression. I have.
In the wake of 9/11, I lost my small bid at self-employment seeing that most of my clients were located near the World Trade Center. Besides the loss of life, many small businesses like mine were demolished and unable to pick up the pieces. We still had vendors and suppliers to pay. We still had family bills to address.
It was overwhelming, to say the least.
After about nine months, I was unable to function. I would sit down at my computer in the morning and do nothing but weep. I am a self disciplined person with good work and personal habits, but this had totally overwhelmed me. And in spite of the kindness of church members and strangers, there seemed to be no way out.
My doctor put me on a limited course of Paxil. She said that I needed to get my brain chemistry going right again. She recommended counseling (which I got from a licensed counselor affiliated with my church).
After three months, I was better, and after six months of counseling, I was able to start dealing with the messy fallout of not being able to keep my hard-earned business going and the piled up debt. I started negotiating with my creditors (something I absolutely could not face before) and got a job.
It took me four years to pay off my debts, but I did it. And I am now functional and bordering on being joyful once again. I have my moments.
I hope the author of this tripe never experiences what many of us went through when it seemed that EVERYTHING had been buried in the fall of those towers.
— Name withheld
Reading Mr. Poulos’ ignorant, biased rant against Paxil would have left me thinking that the Spectator is in cahoots with Scientologists, except for the fact that even those demented crazoids at least know how to spell serotonin correctly.
The story of the interaction of SSRI’s (Paxil is only one of many such drugs, with Prozac being the progenitor) with the human condition is a fascinating one, with many (dare I say it?) subtleties and nuances. A sober assessment of the pluses and minuses for the individual, with appropriate cautions about potential side effects would make useful reading. However, many such articles have already been written, and in any case, a lawyer with an impervious shell of hubris and self importance is hardly the person to write such an article.
I would like to point out that no medication is recommended for pregnant women when it is put on the market, because the necessary testing would be unethical. The only exception would be drugs intended to treat pregnancy or problems arising from pregnancy. Thanks to lawyers, there are damned few of those. Any drug should be consumed by pregnant women only with a doctor’s close supervision, until experience shows it to be relatively safe.
As to the list of side effects touted by Mr. Poulos, any effective medicine, and even ineffective ones, will be associated with a host of side effects. The list includes even the most unlikely, even if no causal relationship is known. To treat such a list as indicative of typical results is foolish, even though Hollywood and lawyers do so all the time.
Mr. Poulos views with apparent alarm the huge number of people who supposedly have a condition treatable with Paxil, according to the manufacturer. I don’t see why, even assuming Glaxo is not inflating the numbers for their own purposes.
To say that some people would benefit from a drug is not the same as saying their lives will end without it. I suspect that the large number of people taking these drugs suggests that there was an existing need that they meet better than the previous remedies (most notably, booze, a “drug” with a truly horrendous list of side effects, including fetal malformation). Any number of modern things bring with them a number of drawbacks that need to be considered before they are used, but nevertheless are used nearly ubiquitously, because they do a better job than what preceded them, or they open up possibilities that weren’t there before. I am uncertain why a person who deals with his inner demons is uniquely subject to ridicule from self appointed experts. There seem to be a lot of people who believe suffering is good for others and that feeling happy or even normal is a privilege that must be earned.
— Rick Skeean
I suppose the author of the Paxil article is a paragon of emotional and biochemical perfection. How wonderful it must be to have hit the chemical wiring lottery. I am so pleased to know that he is able to maneuver through life with no assistance from any therapeutic medication. How fine it must be to be so superior to the many of us who still exhibit the retro traits of fright and flight that served us so well millions of years ago when we needed those characteristics to survive in a hostile environment.
For anyone who has ever battled depression, free floating anxiety, or any number of crippling emotional disorders caused by chemical impulses not conducive to modern life the risk of one or more (and that risk is very tiny) symptoms associated with Paxil is easy to accept in order to live a life free of psychic pain. Modern medications bring with them some side affects; yes, even aspirin can be dangerous. When one is faced with crippling emotional responses to life’s situations, the choice to use Paxil to alleviate such misery is worth the long list of possible unintended results.
Poulos knows nothing about psychiatric illness and psychopharmacology. He’s fortunate he has no need for psychiatric help. I hope he’s not confusing the psychobabblers on Oprah with physicians (psychiatrists) who treat real disease and sometimes save lives. Stay healthy, Mr. Poulos, you rare specimen of fine mental health. You can have contempt for psychiatry now while you’re the picture of health but you better hope no one in your family becomes depressed or demented. Of course you won’t — you’re better than that.
A MOVIE THAT ISN’T SO
Re: David Holman’s Winter Soldiers Never Die:
This essay very certainly proves the truth of a remark attributed to Ronald Reagan: “Liberals aren’t really ignorant; they just know so much that isn’t so.” This movie is a propaganda piece worthy of Josef Goebbels and done for the same reason he made his movies: to rip at the fabric of American mores. To take over Germany in the complete sense the Nazis had to break down the population’s identification with societal mores and institutions.
This is what the radical left (Democrats) have been doing since the ’50s. They have not been without success either. Religion, which was the reason for America, has been moved from the public arena to backrooms. If you think I’m wrong, just ask yourself how many “Merry Christmas” greetings you’ve seen in your reading material or on television-almost none.) We have finally legalized murder. Remember that’s what got the concentration camps started: It became OK to kill the “defectives” who were initially mentally or physically disabled German children “for the good of the nation.” Now we have mothers screaming and violently advocating the right to murder unborn children and we’re moving towards euthanasia. The unborn and the elderly, that just leaves us in the middle who are safe for the time being anyway.
In order to form the perfectly controlled society envisioned by liberals, it is necessary to divorce us from our institutions. One of the two major assaults has been on Congress. The second and most important is to politicize the judicial system. They have done both. Poll after poll shows citizens have no faith in their government. Now the Democrat demagogues work on trying to make us hate our sons and daughters who offer their all in the service to our country. That is the purpose of this wretched movie. It is a lie from start to finish. It is the overwhelming kind of lie recommended by Goebbels. The lie so monstrous that is just has to be true because nobody could be base enough to make it up.
Beware of the smiling faces of Pelosi, Murtha, Kennedy and Kerry and their ilk. Listen to the near insane, spittle flecked, rantings of Howard Dean and Al Gore. Their words tell us that behind those foolish grins and vacuous smiles lie pure malice and hatred for all things American.
— Jay W. Molyneaux
Re: Paul Beston’s The Democrats’ Deadly Surrender Chorus:
In my never-ending quest to point out what some might call the Crisis of Credibility among the Democrat Spokesfolks, it has come to my notice, in re-viewing of Howard Dean is still working on perfecting the perfect ass he already is. On WOAI last week, when he advised the world that the U.S. cannot win the Iraq War, that was the only gaffe taken up by the media.
Dean went on to say “we lost 25,000 brave soldiers in Vietnam and I don’t want to go down that road again.” The statistics I read are: Battle Deaths: 47,393 — (Other deaths: 10,800) Broken down as to branch, it was Army: 30,929, Navy: 1,631, Marines: 13,085, Air Force: 1,741 and Coast Guard: 7. In none of these figures could Dean have come up with 25,000. And yet it went unremarked.
As to his “not wanting to go down that road again”, what road might that be? Traipsing to his Draft Board, back x-rays tucked under his arm — injuries sustained on ski slopes, preventing his answering his country’s call? I recall an article when he was campaigning in which he stated he looked at the kinds of guys standing in the long lines there and determined that he did not want be with “that kind”. So, back to the Bunny Slope for Howie — never to know what it was really like, much less the actual loss of life.
To think, this is what is running the DNC today! Who was it who said, “The only difference between this and the Titanic, is the Titanic had a band”?
— Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California
Re: TAS contributor Bill Croke:
I haven’t seen anything from Bill Croke in quite a while, and was wondering if he was mauled by a bear in his beloved Rocky Mountains. If not, please return him post haste.
Grand Rapids, Michigan