08 September 2004

The start of another bad week for Kerry

[source, source]

Steve Pitkin never intended to speak at the Winter Soldier Investigation. He agreed to come to Detroit with John Kerry and Scott Camil in January of 1971 mostly to support his fellow veterans, but also to see David Crosby and Graham Nash perform and hopefully meet a few girls. He didn’t really have any place else to go.


On the second day of the conference, Pitkin was surrounded by a group of the event’s leaders, who said they needed more witnesses and wanted him to speak. Pitkin protested that he didn’t have anything to say. Kerry said, “Surely you had to have seen some of the atrocities.” Pitkin insisted that he hadn’t, and the group’s mood turned menacing. One of the other leaders leaned in and whispered, “It’s a long walk back to Baltimore.” Pitkin finally agreed to “testify.” The Winter Soldier leaders told Pitkin exactly what they wanted —- stories about rape, brutality, shooting prisoners, and racism. Kerry assured him that “the American people will be grateful for what you have to say.”


Steve Pitkin wants to apologize to Vietnam veterans for what he did and said at the Winter Soldier Investigation. “The VVAW found me during a difficult time in my life, and I let them use me to advance their political agenda. They pressured me to tell their lies, but that’s no excuse for what I did. I just want people to know the truth and to make amends as best I can. I’d hate to see the troops serving today have to go through what Vietnam veterans did.”

No wonder Senator Kerry wants to focus on his time in Vietnam and not his subsequent career. It’s worth reading the entire account.

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No conversation allowed


Bangledeshi journalist Salah Choudhury has been imprisoned in his home nation for nine months. His crime? Planning to attend a writers’ symposium in Israel last December, where he was to deliver a speech calling for greater Jewish-Muslim understanding.

Michael Freund at the Jerusalem Post has more, including action items at the end.

I think this demonstrates which side is concerned about the unsupportable illogic of its position.

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Watcher's Council recruiting

The Watcher’s Council is recruiting for a new member. This is a cooperative venture to highlight good posts inside and outside of the group via mutual links.

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NY Times -- we control the quotes

[source, source]

The wire services reported, in a quote printed in thousands of newspapers, that the captured Beslan terrorist said, “By Allah, I did not shoot.”

Today’s [New York] Times piece quotes him as saying, “By God, I did not shoot”—a translation that no other news organization has used.

In other words, the Times wanted so badly to leave Islam out of its Beslan feature that it altered the terrorist’s quote.

It’s not like the guy’s going to complain about the misquote, right?

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Playing our hand in Korea

[President] Bush is playing Korea perfectly. North Korea has played a very interesting game in the South. Korea might be the most racist society on earth. It is commonplace for interracial orphans to ‘die’ under State care. For centuries, Koreans used to kill any non-Korean who showed up there. North Korean operatives in the South encourage this kind of racism in the schools, unions and universities, and use it as a means of directing the hatred against Americans. The presence of two Koreas is taught in South Korean schools as not being the result of the Kims being loony, but instead as the effect of foreigners interfering in Korean affairs. If the evil Americans would just leave, everything would be all right.

Most Koreans don’t buy into this claptrap, but a significant minority of liberal arts majors, artsy-fartsy types, unskilled workers and other losers do.

The Bush Administration, on its own timetable, has made it clear that South Korean national security is primarily a South Korean affair. We are happy to help, and our economy would be affected by a conquest of the South by the North. However, the South Korean leadership is fully aware that we and the Japanese would muddle through.

You will note that the anti-American rhetoric there has gone way down in the last year or so.

So, why is announcing troop pull-outs now better than doing so a year ago?

Because in this way it doesn’t appear to be America fleeing a ‘popular revolt’ of students, pseudo-intellectuals, etc, which would lead to political disruption in South Korea. Because the move is not the product of American weakness and ‘imperial overstretch.’ Because it reflects the result of discussions with the South Koreans concerning a better, more effective, less internally disruptive means of defending the ROK, still achieving the same goal. Because it shows that we are treating South Korea as an ally, not a colony, in that we did not move precipitously and unilaterally.

The delay cost us very little, South Korean defense remains unchanged, America’s commitment to assist the defense of its East Asian friends remains in place, and the protestors have been made irrelevant. The move, and the prolonged discussion in the Korean media before it happened, forced a discussion of the true nature of North Korea, opening up the eyes of many average Koreans to the realities of life. It also panicked Korean Big Business, and they went into action with a ‘We Love America’ campaign.

Bart, from the Brothers Judd

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We'll decide what the story is

After resisting till the bitter end the Swiftboat Veterans’ story and then only covering the parts that supported Senator Kerry, Old Media in the form of CBS and Dan Rather is gearing up to promote a single sourced story about President Bush’s National Guard service. The single source is a major contributor to the Democratic Party, but clearly he’s more credible than the entire group of the SBVfT.

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