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(Back-dated, as all entries this past week have been.)

What do you all make of former senator Bob Dole's suggestion that John Kerry apologize for his 1971 testimony about alleged atrocities committed by the U.S. military in Vietnam?
"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, 'I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.'"

I ask because it seems to me (as it did to the person who pointed out Sen. Dole's remarks to me) that the challenge seems to be over the contrast between "these things are so bad, I [or we] did them" and "I am qualified to be Commander-in-Chief because I served with these distinctions", rather than over the accuracy of the testimony.

Lunch at Chipotle, whence the above conversation. The regular veggie tacos acksherly aren't bad if crunchy corn shell is your thing. I decided to challenge my putative lemon allergy again and put a whole wedge right into my soda refill. I think I'm winning.

Edit, 12:30 CDT Wed 25 Aug 2004: Power was out from 20:30 on Monday through 06:00 on Tuesday.

banazir was out from 23:00 through 07:30, with a few minutes' wakefulness when the power came back on. (Eight and a half hours of sleep?! What's the world coming to?)

I didn't see it coming until there was a tremendous thunderclap overhead, the lights went out, my notebook computers kicked over to battery power (and dropped offline), and the tornado siren sounded. It stayed on for 20 minutes, which is why I forgot to call anybody on my cell phone for a while. I was in the basement until about 21:20, and the tornado warning for southern Riley County lasted 10 minutes after that.

Tried to hibernate Numerramar and Earrame but only the former worked. I wonder if istari_ala lost power too. (Well, at least she's got a notebook computer. My desktops all went kaput along with the firewall and cable modem.) Around 22:00 I called miajesbar, then zengeneral and masaga to check on the flood warning for the city of Manhattan.

Power was on across the street. Wanted to go knock on the neighbors' door: "could I borrow a cup of internet?"


--
Banazir

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
spoothbrush
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:38 am (UTC)
There are two words that really should come up whenever the conflict between Kerry's serving with distinction, and Kerry's protest of war atrocities is brought up in this election.

Abu Ghraib.

Kerry shouldn't apologise for serving his country and then condemning wartime atrocities that occured during that conflict. Kerry should stand up and say "Yes, I proudly served my country, and served it well. But I have also faced the ugliness that occurs in times of war, and I stand against that needless cruelty. This spring, Americans were shocked to see pictures of the abuse that was allowed to take place in Abu Ghraib prison. Responsibility for that abuse does not belong solely to the young men and women who were seen in those photographs, but also to their commanders who allowed this to take place. The use of torture against Iraqi civilians, and Iraqi teenagers, does not help us to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. Rather, it puts our own sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who serve in Iraq in greater danger. I returned from Viet Nam and took a stand against the abuse of the Vietnamese people that occured during that conflict. As President, I will work to prevent any further use of cruelty, maltreatment, assault, or abuse of the Iraqi people."

Or, better, have a competent speechwriter, which I clearly am not, turn it into a soundbite.

He probably won't say it. But he could.
banazir
Aug. 25th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC)
Pledges
That's not half bad, actually.
I can think of a few soundbites, mostly centering on the last two sentences. (The thing about 7-12 second soundbites is that they have to follow the "inverted pyramid" form of newspaper articles to an extent, or they run the risk of truncation cf. Kerry's response on Chris Matthews' show.)

Now, the question is, what exactly should he be expected to do as CINC (1) in a preventative capacity; (2) to keep himself, the CoTJCoS, and the SoD (err) informed of abuse?

--
Banazir
gondhir
Aug. 25th, 2004 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Pledges
Now, the question is, what exactly should he be expected to do as CINC (1) in a preventative capacity; (2) to keep himself, the CoTJCoS, and the SoD (err) informed of abuse?

Not ask the Justice Department to create a memo declaring torture to be legal?

Not hide prisoners from the Red Cross?

Not arrest US citizens (or anyone else for that matter) and then hold them for years without a trial, access to counsel, or even notifying anyone that they're being detained?

Not hire people to conduct interrogations because you think they're outside of the law?

Just some ideas.
banazir
Aug. 25th, 2004 03:53 pm (UTC)
k, time for some uncharacteristic cynicism
Not ask the Justice Department to create a memo declaring torture to be legal?
I heard about this putative request, but what was the DoJ's response?

Not hide prisoners from the Red Cross?
Wlofcurse.

Not arrest US citizens (or anyone else for that matter) and then hold them for years without a trial, access to counsel, or even notifying anyone that they're being detained?
Which specific arrests are you referring to?
Domestic/civil dissidents or prisoners of conscience in wars?

Not hire people to conduct interrogations because you think they're outside of the law?
Again, which specific ones?

And now for the above-promised cynicism: what makes you believe that a president who was elected in part as a result of making the above pledges, who in fact kept such pledges, wouldn't have military commanders at various echelons willing to order torture and muddy the waters just to tar him (or her, though not in this election) with the same brush? I've been hearing a lot about the broad brushes used by antiwar protesters during and after Vietnam, and this led me to the above thought.

BTW, the reason I ask is that I very often hear "they [i.e., politicians] are all the same" or specifically that Bush and Kerry are "the same", "would behave the same", "would make the same choices". This is spoken with such an air of tautology that I find myself wondering whether it is an expectation of the individual candidate or the government at large.

--
Banazir
gondhir
Aug. 25th, 2004 04:54 pm (UTC)
Re: k, time for some uncharacteristic cynicism
I heard about this putative request, but what was the DoJ's response?
They said that torture might be OK sometimes and that international agreements against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations".

Not hide prisoners from the Red Cross?
Wlofcurse.

Of curse.


Not hire people to conduct interrogations because you think they're outside of the law?
Again, which specific ones?

You mean you honestly hadn't heard that there were private contractors conducting interrogations?

And now for the above-promised cynicism: what makes you believe that a president who was elected in part as a result of making the above pledges, who in fact kept such pledges, wouldn't have military commanders at various echelons willing to order torture and muddy the waters just to tar him (or her, though not in this election) with the same brush? I've been hearing a lot about the broad brushes used by antiwar protesters during and after Vietnam, and this led me to the above thought.
Um... are you suggesting that military commanders might be willing to commit/order "attrocities" (of whatever kind) simply in order to tarnish the image of the president while at the same time destroying their own?
gondhir
Aug. 25th, 2004 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: k, time for some uncharacteristic cynicism
I heard about this putative request, but what was the DoJ's response?
They said that torture might be OK sometimes and that international agreements against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations".

Not hide prisoners from the Red Cross?
Wlofcurse.
Of curse.

Hmm, I seem to have trasked up the hyperlinking here. The link for the first item is this and the link for the second is this.
banazir
Aug. 27th, 2004 12:00 am (UTC)
Got them
Interesting press conference.
I always wondered (not having watched enough of The West Wing) how they prioritized and how the really cut press conference deals.

--
Banazir
banazir
Aug. 26th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
Re: k, time for some uncharacteristic cynicism
They said that torture might be OK sometimes and that international agreements against torture "may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations".
Gah. Wrong.

Of curse.
Well, I meant "of curse people shouldn't do that".
What does Elizabeth Dole have to say about this?
Just curious.

You mean you honestly hadn't heard that there were private contractors conducting interrogations?
Gah, no.
I haven't heard a lot of things. Thanks for the links from the Washington Post, though.

Um... are you suggesting that military commanders might be willing to commit/order "attrocities" (of whatever kind) simply in order to tarnish the image of the president while at the same time destroying their own?
I'm saying that those who are willing to order "atrocities" (of whatever kind) are unlikely to care who the sitting president is, what his policies are, and what his campaign promises are. If they disagree with his foreign policies, so much the better, in the interest of political expediency. Or so they may think.

As for destruction of their own image - what exactly is the difference from the way it is now, when some questionable treatment of prisoners seems to be condoned? I suppose you could point out that the CINC are issuing different orders, but as far as the sitting president, he is rather a bit distinct in the chain of command, as far as accountability, qualifications, etc. go. See Sun Tzu on the general's strategy vs. the emperor's.

--
Banazir
zengeneral
Aug. 25th, 2004 11:57 am (UTC)
omm
hmmm, so... no electricity = sleep for the Jedi Hobbit…

interesting, 8.5 hours is an impressive # of sleeping hours…

... so, anyway, we lost power for a second which was odd because my UPS turned off… yeah, I don’t know why since it is a freaking UPS. However, I guess that is better than my computer frying.
banazir
Aug. 25th, 2004 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: omm
hmmm, so... no electricity = sleep for the Jedi Hobbit…
Don't you daaaaaaare! Don't even think it!
There are weapons possessed by the wizard that will trask even the likes of you, ogre prince...
Or I could just implement the Pillsbury Solution.

interesting, 8.5 hours is an impressive # of sleeping hours…
Like unto deeeeeeath!

... so, anyway, we lost power for a second which was odd because my UPS turned off… yeah, I don’t know why since it is a freaking UPS. However, I guess that is better than my computer frying.
UPS su><0rs r0><0rs, d00d.

--
Banazir
zengeneral
Aug. 25th, 2004 02:04 pm (UTC)
Re: omm
Don't you daaaaaaare! Don't even think it!
hmmm, I thought about it, but came to realize that for any of use in the cs profession that:
no sleep >= no electricity
and
no electricity -> slow painful death

Like unto deeeeeeath!
I like to think sleep is better than death...

UPS su><0rs r0><0rs, d00d.
yeah, I don't get it... it was a pure "wtf? mate" moment... I am thinking about getting a new UPS since mine must be broke. Going to have to order a new one since my computer has signifigant power utilization...



(btw, I have comment on the kerry stuff since I try to avoid politics since it gives me a head-ache... )

banazir
Aug. 25th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
hmmm, I thought about it
Doubletraskungoond crimethink!

but came to realize that for any of use in the cs profession that:
no sleep >= no electricity
and
no electricity -> slow painful death

What do you mean by >=?

I like to think sleep is better than death...
Marginally.
See title.

yeah, I don't get it... it was a pure "wtf? mate" moment... I am thinking about getting a new UPS since mine must be broke. Going to have to order a new one since my computer has signifigant power utilization...
Well, zen, take a nap... then backup zee powair!

(btw, I have comment on the kerry stuff since I try to avoid politics since it gives me a head-ache... )
Fair 'nuff. Not required.

--
Banazir
zengeneral
Aug. 25th, 2004 04:15 pm (UTC)
Re: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
Doubletraskungoond crimethink!
oh no, get out of my head!!

"What do you mean by >=?"
Betterness, it is better to go without sleep than without the juice...
banazir
Aug. 27th, 2004 12:03 am (UTC)
From IngSoc to KDDthink
oh no, get out of my head!!
zengeneral bellyfeel BNJ! Doubleplusgood.
Unbellyfeel BNJ, KDD bellypoke.

Betterness, it is better to go without sleep than without the juice...
Ah, thought so. Just don't lose track of that being a partial ordering.

--
Banazir
zengeneral
Aug. 27th, 2004 05:55 am (UTC)
Re: From IngSoc to KDDthink
zengeneral bellyfeel BNJ! Doubleplusgood.
Unbellyfeel BNJ, KDD bellypoke.


I really need to keep masaga quiet.
banazir
Aug. 27th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
The Monkey Knows Too Much
I really need to keep masaga quiet.
Aw, c'mon, 'tis fun!
Here, I'll spot you one for him:

masaga robolab monkeyteunce.
Doubleplusmonkeyteunceness videogetted, webpost masaga.

--
Banazir
prolog
Aug. 25th, 2004 12:53 pm (UTC)
Dole's right, but only if by "one day" he means "1971", and by "the next" he means 2004. 33 years is a long time indeed, and people change considerably.

(just my superficial analysis - I don't know nearly as much about American politics as I'd like)
banazir
Aug. 25th, 2004 01:08 pm (UTC)
Haven't changed in a hobbit's age
A lot of things happen in 33 years.

Want to know more about American politics? Both ends of the spectrum and a lot of sparkly rainbow colors in between are represented on my friends list. I would guess it's a little left-leaning compared to the USA at large, as am I, but some interesting dialogues get started. I'm willing to wager there will be something out of this thread (or at least I'm hoping ;)).

--
Banazir
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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