Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Soldier Looks at Tuesday

One of the right-wing blogs I visit on occasion went off the deep end after the election, and posted (approvingly) one of the most unhinged, horribly anti-American and just plain ugly posts from an anonymous alleged soldier about the fact that Americans went democratic on Tuesday.

After reading the ugly diatribe, I was curious about what a real, non-anonymous, patriotic soldier would have to say about Tuesday's results. I'm cutting and pasting most of his post (sue me for copyright violation, Jason!), because his writing deserves a broad and appreciative audience . . .
I'm sorry, but I haven't been able to stop smiling all day long. I'm in uniform, so I'm keeping it to myself, but I feel such an immense sense of pride, accomplishment, and relief all at once. Diana and I worked extremely hard over the past two years to make today a reality. That's not to say that this is our doing, just that we are among the vast numbers of progressives who put our entire hearts and souls into the belief that we could change things. I know that our contribution made a small difference in Missouri, and I couldn't be prouder. It has felt like Christmas morning all day long. I only wish I could be there to share it with Diana, my best friend and partner in crime, as well as all the great friends we've made in this journey over the past two years. I'm glad Diana can at least share this with them tonight. Thank you all for your friendship and hard work. Please raise an extra beer for me.

By the way..."Senator Claire McCaskill". How cool is that? There was an explosion here today, but it wasn't fireworks ... unfortunately. However, I am considering celebrating Afghan style (firing in the air), but even if I weren't kidding, I wouldn't do it b/c I have to account for these bullets.

Kidding aside, even if you're not happy with today's results, hopefully you can agree with me about one thing.

My state just elected its first woman Senator. The House of Representatives, for the first time in our history, is about to be lead by a woman. Today, I am especially proud to be an American fighting an enemy that would consider both of these developments an abomination.

But this was actually articulated better by a friend of mine after her promotion ceremony the other day. I asked her to send me the text of her remarks at the conclusion of the ceremony.

This is the part I wanted to share with you:

Serving here in Afghanistan fighting an enemy that would like nothing more than to keep me under a burka, to be seen and not heard, and to be deprived of any sort of education or social standing makes today's ceremony much more significant and reminds me of how lucky we truly are to be from countries that value all of their citizens regardless of gender.

I was very moved by that and I thought of it a lot today as I gleefully watched the returns.
If you don't visit Jason's blog regularly, you should.


Anonymous travelingal said...

Ugly diatribe? How can you accuse any of our soldiers of feeling like they are alone in this battle? Their commander in chief is who they report to and respect as well as we, the people, who they fight for. If you were several thousand miles away putting your life on the line for mine, wouldn't you be a little upset with people saying you can't win, you're a murderer, etc etc all they're fed via our media and "human rights" groups while they're one step away from an IED??

If I were them, I'd say take your volunteer army and stick it ... bring back the draft .. let's see how you like sending your sons and daughters half way across the friggin world to die for your freedom and by the way, no deferrment for college this time..get your ass in army green and take your turn.

And don't tell me the democrats are going to bring them back home tomorrow. Leading democrats told the President of Iraq (Kurdistan) right before the election that they weren't going to leave quickly.

War is ugly. But, don't start with beating up on our vets again the way they did the guys coming home from Viet Nam. Respect those who put their life on the line for you.

11/12/2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous T.Reason said...

Thank you, Travelingal. I’m sure you would agree that our troops must also be frustrated that all the good work they’re doing on our behalf is not reported. Why do I have to go to websites like “Operation Iraqi Children” to find success stories?

But Dan also mentions the success of women candidates. Just a few thoughts on that. Myrna Blyth has written an interesting article (appears on National Review Online) that addresses not only the increasing gender gap in voters, but also the fact that there are many more female candidates in the Democrat Party. Says Blyth:

“While there were a lot of women running in this election, too few of them were Republican women. Of the twelve women who ran for the Senate, eight were Democrats, and of the 139 women who ran for the House, 97 were Democrats. There will be a record 16 women senators in the new congress, but only five are Republicans. Democrats and their donors have spent years recruiting women to run. Republicans have just not done a good job that way either.”

Frankly, I’d never given the numbers much thought because I really don’t care about candidates’ genitalia. It is true that conservative women are harder to find. That in itself is a concern for me. Where are the Maggie Thatchers? And where are the women who are outraged by the treatment of “their sisters” in places like Afghanistan? As a woman, I’m troubled by what I do hear from the ladies.

Female candidates are sometimes bogged down by what I feel are frivolous issues –specifically, “women’s issues.” Well, damn it, how ‘bout addressing some basic human, genderless issues? If the issues are right and important, they should appeal to most anyone – regardless of gender, race, or religion. I don’t particularly want the government to be responsible for going into our schools and pulling Zingers out of vending machines. Ladies, how about taking on the responsibility yourselves and teach your children how and what to eat instead of depending on bureaucrats to monitor junk food for you?

The premise now is that men and women are different. They have different concerns about different issues, and different ways of looking at the world and making decisions. Their minds really do function differently. (I’m confused. I thought we were equal.)

An example is the race here in Nuevo Mexico between Heather Wilson (R) and Patsy Madrid (D). Five days have passed since the election and there’s no decision yet -- Patsy’s team is still mining for votes as I type this.

Patsy took a page from Nancy Pelosi’s playbook and ran as “a mother and a grandmother.” That’s very nice – she has ovaries – but why am I expected to vote for someone based on that? And as much as I love dogs – more than anything else in the world – I was not terribly impressed by Patsy’s decision, as we got closer to Election Day, to go before voters to announce: “Not only am I a mother and a grandmother, but I’m a dog lover, too!”

Fine. But where do you stand on the issues? What do you believe? What is your plan if elected? I still don’t know. Sure, we can say there are weak candidates on both sides. But as much as I would like to see more diversity in my party (a few more Libertarians would be a nice touch), I don’t want leaders to drum up token candidates based on gender, race, or religion. I’d rather have them look for the best qualified, regardless of the package. Can we please concentrate on that?

11/12/2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hell, yes, Travelingal - ugly, anti-American, and absurd.

How can I accuse any of our soldiers of feeling like they are alone in this battle? I don't! Where in the world did you come up with that? They're not alone, and I never said they are. You're making stuff up.

Their commander in chief is democratically elected, and support of the troops is not in any way, shape or form related to blind support of a failed president. If the author of that piece, or you, think that dissent from this administration's policies is equivalent to a lack of support for the troops, you've lost sight of logic.

The soldiers made a choice, and they are employed by the citizens of the United States. If the anonymous jerk who wrote that piece thinks I'm a "pussy" because I don't support Bush, or thinks that he would rather be a "pussy assed frenchman", and you think that is not an ugly diatribe - you've lost sight of good judgment.

America is a democracy. A majority of Americans think Bush is doing a lousy job. If the soldier doesn't think that Americans are entitled to hold their opinions, he or she really might be happier in a military dictatorship. He or she is not a true American.

11/12/2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

"Last night, while we watched the press conference with the President, there was utter discust, and the common feeling amongst us all that we soldiers are now the loneliest people on Earth."

The above is a quote from the story you referred to as ugly diatribe. That's where I got that statement from.

No doubt this election was about the war on Iraq. I don't happen to agree with it either, but I take serious issue with you referring to one of our troops as anti-American among other things just because he disagrees with your beliefs. So he used the word "pussy" big deal. I've seen a heck of a lot worse on this very site.

Happy Veterans Day!

11/12/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Tavelingal -

Minor point, but you're still wrong on the alone thing. You asked how I can accuse any of our soldiers of feeling like they are alone, and I assured you I did not. Then you respond by quoting the guy I'm criticizing? Does that make any sense?

But on to the bigger picture. This alleged soldier is a whiny punk, and that fact has nothing to do with the fact that he disagrees with me on the war. Lots of people disagree with me on the war, but it takes a special breed to say that he is ashamed to be an American, and that America is a country full of his enemies, and that this war is a little whim.

Just because he's a soldier doesn't mean that his hate-filled nonsense should be above criticism.

Happy belated Veterans Day to you, too!

11/12/2006 5:10 PM  
Anonymous T.Reason said...

Whoa! Is the war being fought here or in Iraq?

11/12/2006 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travelingal & Dan - Are you two married? 'Cause sometimes, you sound married.

Or is your mutual nitpickyness due to careers in the legal profession?

Just kidding.

"He or she is not a true American."

Sorry Dan. But I couldn't bring myself to say that about anyone wearing a uniform and putting themselves in Harm's Way.

That's assuming that the anonymous author actually is a soldier. Something I seriously doubt.

If he/she isn't a soldier, but merely pretending to be one to further a political agenda, then they should be shot where they stand. Not for their point of view...but for being a spineless, punk-ass bitch impersonating a Real Soldier.

11/12/2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

You're right, T Reason & XO - I should be using a less confrontational tone with Travelingal. I enjoy her opinions and perspective. But I still say the alleged soldier who is so disgusted with America because a huge majority disagrees with him is wayy off base.

11/13/2006 6:08 AM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I may have been a little out of line ..will try to tone it down.

When I read the post, I saw a young guy, probably 19-22, obviously feeling abandoned by the people he is risking his neck for. I know that's not the case. I know that the support for the troops is not drawn along party lines. I saw him as a misguided soul that is probably under tremendous stress. If he's not legit, well that's another whole story.

I hope his sword is mightier than his pen.

11/13/2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger antimedia said...

I waited until now to comment, because, had I commented previously, I would have said some really nasty things.

Here's my observations.

You question whether or not this is really a soldier, but you never question anonymous sources that say bad things about the administration. Why the double standard?

You call this soldier's comments "unhinged" and "horribly anti-American" and "just plain ugly". Yet I've never seen you criticize Dick Durbin for comparing our troops with Nazi stormtroopers. This soldier's feelings are just as legitimate as your friend's, and he has every right to express them in whatever terms he chooses to.

It's amazing to me that you can call his comments "anti-American" when you're the very one complaining that criticizing the President and the troops during a time of war and calling the terrorists "freedom fighters" is not un-American. Again, why the double standard?

So you "found" a "real, non-anonymous" soldier to comment. One whom you know personally and knew upfront is a "progressive" and would therefore juxtapose the comments of this soldier. On the one hand you attach great credibility to "your" soldier while questioning whether the other one is even in the military when you have no basis for doing so.

All I can say is you've placed your clear and unmistakable bias upfront so everyone can see it.

travelingual is right. This is a young soldier who is obviously embittered because he feels like all his and his buddies' sacrifices will now go for naught since the Democrats are falling all over themselves trying to get the troops out of Iraq.

Of course I did point out that this was his immediate reaction to the elections, but you chose to ignore that and assume that I "went off the deep end" somehow.

I'm at a loss, Dan, to understand how you think this country can ever rid itself of the present bitter partisanship when you condemn anything that doesn't fit your world view and praise everything that does.

In any case, you've reaffirmed my decision to ban you from commenting on my blog. You're not interested in dialog, only in demagogue.

11/14/2006 2:23 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anti-Media: Come on now - we both know you banned me because you got mad when I caught you making stuff up.

You forget that Durbin apologized for his comparison of what we are doing in Gitmo to other historical torturers. Even if he hadn't, I refuse to play your silly little game. Did you disavow Rush Limbaugh? Did you criticize Ann Coulter? Did I ever ask you to? Of course not - why would I? If you want to criticize something I write, go ahead, but don't expect me to apologize for people I've never even met.

Finally, you wonder how I "think this country can ever rid itself of the present bitter partisanship when you condemn anything that doesn't fit your world view and praise everything that does." That's simply not true - I acknowledged a couple comments ago that Travelingal often makes good points. You do, too, once in a while.

But don't come lecturing me on bitter partisanship. Let me quote from your words after the segment you pasted from the anonymous "soldier" - 3 days after the election, and plenty of time to collect your thoughts - "It's time for Americans to take a stand and tell the liberal liars who think appeasement works to SHUT UP. As Bill Whittle said recently (I'll be posting about that tonight or this weekend) show me one instance in all of recorded history where appeasement worked. You can't do it, because there aren't any. Yet the bozos with the dyed-pink and green hair and the peace signs, backed by the socialists who refuse to give up on their failed dream, still insist you can. It's time to shove the proof in their faces and make them put their money where their stupid mouths are. Go over to Iraq and negotiate with the criminals and see how far you get. Put up or shut up."

Anti-M, you're welcome to comment here any time you choose. You're even free to go off the deep end again. But don't expect me to allow you to do that over here without calling you on it. That's called dialogue.

11/14/2006 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya know, I am just amazed by this trend we've been seeing.

More and more of these rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, right-wing bloggers going nuclear with the Censorship bomb.

Don't get me wrong. I think a person's blog is sovereign territory...they can do whatever they want. That's kinda the idea.

But for Americans who consider themselves to be The Only Real Americans, to be so eager and quick to suppress free speech just blows me away.

They generally seem to support capital punishment while opposing abortion (a blatantly hypocritacal and unsupportable intellectual argument), condone torture, despise due process, can only agree with 1 out of 10 amendments in The Bill of Rights, want less government in the corporate boardrooms and much more government in your bedroom and think it's perfectly OK for our government to monitor and scrutinize every move we make, every conversation we have, everything we purchase and every organization we belong to.

What fucking (sorry Dan's mom) vision of America were THEY taught in school? I was never taught that America was founded to be a draconian, theocratic, Orwellian police state. I was taught that America was the sworn enemy of all those things.

That's why we fought all those wars.

I swear to you, these rabid right wingers who want to take away our Constitutional rights that generations of Americans have died to protect are a much bigger threat to us than the terrorists.

The terrorists will never be big enough, rich enough, powerful enough to invade America, overthrow our government and make us all wear birkas.

But the fear mongers can persuade people to give up their rights to "keep Americans safe".

It's a fucking (sorry Dan's mom) tragedy how uneducated, unaware, unenlightened and blissfully ignorant the populace has become.

Antimedia talked about appeasement never working. That's true. It doesn't work.

But you know what has worked over and over again? In Germany, Russia, N. Korea, China, Iran, Syria and Iraq?

The establishment of fascist or theocratic, totalitarian dictatorships who created a percieved (yet largely fictitious)external threat so heinous, so evil, so inhuman and so reprehensible that the population was willing to VOLUNTARILY surrender every personal freedom and hand over absolute power to anyone who promises to protect them.

That is exactly what has been happening for the past six years and it scares the living shit (sorry Dan's mom) out of me.

11/14/2006 6:45 PM  

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