Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The flipper video

In case you haven’t seen it, here is the Republican National Committee’s "Flipper" video on John Kerry’s position(s) on Iraq. I guess they are going to use it in an ad, perhaps adding more to it after tonight’s speech. I think it’s just over ten minutes. Well done. Worth seeing.

Discussions - 24 Comments


As someone said (perhaps on this site?) recently, the "flipper" message tends to undermine what’s really wrong with Kerry, which is that he’s an extreme liberal.

Voters already think of most politicians, however inaccurately, as flippers. Yes, it’s easy to sell them on the fact that Kerry is like this, too. And it does indeed provide a contrast with Bush, who is not seen as a flipper. But people who are negative enough about Bush to consider Kerry will want to believe the best of Kerry. Calling him a flipper isn’t enough. People will tend to think he considers both sides.

The undecideds and weak Kerry voters need to be HIT OVER THE HEAD. We must make abundantly clear to them that Kerry is OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM.

"Flipper" may be more comfortable for BC04 bureaucrats who want to remain friends with their Democratic social peers after the election. It may also be more comfortable for volunteers who are too timid, or ill-informed, or lacking in self-confidence to make an ideological case about Kerry.

But as so often in politics, the true path is the one of most resistance. The key to this election is nailing Kerry as a far-out liberal, which he is!

You know, after watching this ad, I must say, this may be an instance where tagging him as a flip-flopper and at the same time a liberal in other instances, may be successful. That was a powerful 11 minute advertisement, no matter how you slice it.

Paul

Honestly, he just looked as confused as the rest of congress was, as well as the American People during that time. John Kerry is in tune with the country, and thats more then I can say about the rest of you on this site. this is not going to help bush at all.

"John Kerry is in tune with the rest of the country." Well, at least with San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Boston - but I might not label the 50-year old former anti-war radicals and young metrosexuals who want to save the environment as the "rest of America."

It seems that a large percentage of Americans, not just Kerry, have changed their minds about this war. It has proved to be a dreadful an unnecessary endeavor. Offering conflicting thoughts while working through a period of uncertainty and eventually "flipping" on an issue is better than stubbornly sticking to an unjust war.

Joe, you haven’t been reading the blog you are posting on. A "large percentage" have not wavered. "Unjust"? by whose standards? Mr. Alt has clearly spelled out that that the mission is indeed "just"(as in justice being served). And our military has been, is, and will be successful. The action in Iraq is a lot of things, but "unjust" is not one of them. Unjust? Unjust? Good grief......

The war is unjust in that violates the agreement sovereign individuals have made amongst each other for the common defense. Our nation is founded on the principle that men are free and have come together so that a united front could deter and fight off threats to each man’s life, liberty, and property. To send a soldier into foreign lands to fight against a sovereign nation that poses no threat to that soldier’s nation is to put that soldier’s life in undue jeopardy. It is a violation of the purpose of government and the most basic rule of ethics: the preservation of life. All “elective” wars are unjust.

Joe-
You are characterizing the defense of the nation too simply. Lining the guns up at our borders in order to defend them is 18th century ideology. Ask the French about the Maginot line.

Soveriegn Nation?
"poses no threat"??

Your name isn’t really Joe, is it? Could you beeeeeeeeeeee...
Michael Moore?

Kevin wrote, "Lining the guns up at our borders in order to defend them is 18th century ideology."

I agree. The maneuver warfare advocated in the Marine Corps publication Warfighting seems much better. We need to be smart when we attack our enemies and destroy that which enables their warfighting capabilities – not just the front line troops.

Kevin wrote, “Soveriegn Nation? ‘poses no threat’??”

Yes, that is what I wrote. Do you have an opinion to the contrary?

Last time I checked, when we went to war with Iraq, It was a common perception that they posed a threat. I think that this video proves that nearly everyone, including John Kerry and John Edwards, believed that Iraq had the capability to produce WMD’s and that it was a strtegic advantage to take this capability away. While it may be true now that WMD’s were not found in Iraq (which does not, in my opinion, prove that there were none present at the onset of the war), I do believe that Iraq had the capability, which was dangerous enough.

On the contrary, I recall significant debate on whether the country was a threat. Gen Zinni didn’t think it was a threat, a group of ex-CIA officers publish a report saying it was not a threat, the REST OF THE WORLD did not think it was a threat. If it was so obvious that Iraq was a threat, then why has this war been in debate since it began? I don’t recall ever being convinced Iraq was a threat. THAT WAS THE DEBATE LEADING UP TO THE WAR!!!

Richard Clarke admitted that Bush came to him in an "intimindating" fashion on Sept 12 telling him to get intel on Iraq and Saddam.

The weapons inspectors could not find any weapons. Saddam admitted he did not have weapons. Funny that he is more honest than Bush. Do you all recall how we required Iraq to destroy some of their questionable missles right before the war? We demanded it, Iraq complied. Then we attacked!!

Haven’t you all looked at the "Project for the New American Century"?? Kristol, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld - all those loons - have wanted war in Iraq for a long time.

Paul [comment 3] is right: everyone was confused. Joe is right, too: Iraq was not a threat.

Our nation is founded on the principle that men are free and have come together so that a united front could deter and fight off threats to each man’s life, liberty, and property.

Yes, Joe, exactly. All of those Iraqis in mass graves in hundreds of thousands and their families would certainly agree with you that men should be free to determine their own destiny and government instituted to protect natural rights. It’s called government based upon the consent of the governed. And, the Iraqis have it now because of an "unjust" war.

And, I don’t know if you remember all of Saddam’s violations of the U.N. declarations. I don’t know if you remember how he restricted access to the weapons inspectors. I don’t know if you remember how Iraqis violated the treaty countless times and fired at American pilots, endangering their lives. I don’t know if you remember that the Middle East is filled with leaders who are thugs and dictators and base their government on retaining all the profits from oil and repressing the people. Does all of this make for an "unjust" war?

I guess all the countries that entered into the war with us didn’t believe Iraq was a threat. Great Britain, France, Russia, and the U.S. all had intelligence reports stating that Saddam was pursuing WMDs before the war, though only the U.S. and Britain were principled enough to act on this information, and that is a fact. Anyone that believes that Saddam is more honest that out President must have completely ignored the events of the last 25 years. Even putting the WMD issue aside, Iraq was still a threat. They clearly were harboring and supporting fudamental-islamic terrorists, providing these terroists with a place to operate, weapons, and even medical care in the case of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. While many would like to spread their "version of the truth" as to what happened leading up to the war in Iraq (Michael Moore, Howard Dean, ect.), there can be only one truth, and that is that the war in Iraq was just.

All of those Iraqis in mass graves in hundreds of thousands and their families would certainly agree with you that men should be free to determine their own destiny and government instituted to protect natural rights. Then they should determine it, not our military and our money.

While we are on the subject, have you seen evidence of the graves? Tony Blair says he hasn’t seen it yet. I wonder how many civilians we have killed in this war. Iraq Body Count estimates it between 11,000 and 13,000. Now that is a massive grave.


fired at American pilots You mean our pilots that flew about their soveriegn territory and bombed them for ten years?

completely ignored the events of the last 25 years Like when we gave Saddam weapons and support against Iran?

the Middle East is filled with leaders who are thugs and dictators and base their government on retaining all the profits from oil and repressing the people. Why should I die for that oil and those people? That goes back to my orignal point that this war is a violation of the purpose of government. Michael Moore makes a good point when he asks if you would sacrifice your child to get rid of Saddam. Bush decided to sacrifice the kids of 900+ American families.

Those who need information about Saddam’s legacy of mass graves need look no further than my first hand account here.

Joe, you’re actually denying that hundreds of thousands were tortured and killed under Saddam? You haven’t seen the graves - do you believe the U.S. put a man on the moon, or was that a stunt in New Mexico? Plus, if the number is "only" 13,000, are you that callous towards humanity to flippantly disregard it and not do anything about it? I’ve heard of people getting a lot more outraged about killing 13,000 chickens than you are about human life! Do you really think people living under a military dictatorship can do anything about mass murder? Would you say that about the Holocaust?

Did the soldiers die for oil? This reaches high levels of absurdity. Gas prices went up, if you didn’t notice. The U.S. is not getting the profits from the war, the Iraqi people finally are with new hospitals, roads, and schools.

And, the "no-fly zone" was established at the end of the last war,with UN support, when Saddam invaded a sovereign nation, spreading rape and murder, and threatening another sovereign nation. Or, was that justified too?

"Why should I die for ’those people?’" Well, it’s kind of funny how conservatives have won the mantle of caring about all human beings rather than just some narrow, self-interested, insular concern of only protecting Americans.

By the way, please elaborate on comment #7 because your purposes of a sovereign nation don’t exclude a foreign war (unless I don’t understand the nature of your social compact that you seem to be making up for all Americans) and define "unjust war." Is it in the Catholic just war tradition? Based upon the ideas of Michael Walzer? Or, did John Kerry say that fifty times last night and you agree but don’t know why?

Joe,Joe,Joe.
sigh*

"Joe" and the rest of you Michael Moorish conspriacists please spare us all of your righteous indignation about this war and the cost that it poses to us poor, helpless, soldier victims of a warmongering president. You are all so clearly out of touch with the reality that is Iraq. The absolute last straw is this continued and ridiculous claim that we’re in Iraq for oil. Oil? Are you serious? In the five months that I have been stationed in this oil-rich region of Iraq, I have NEVER once - not once - been ordered, prodded, or cajoled into guarding, patrolling, or observing any of the oil producing facilities that surround my area of operations. Please, you geo-politico/military geniuses, explain to my why that is. Surely, if I was here because of oil, my greedy, self-aggrandizing Commander-in-Chief would have seen fit to place my platoon’s combat power in a position to protect that all-important asset. Right? Is this enough evidence to convince you that oil is not and never has been the reason for this war? No. I’m sure it isn’t. Truth and reality are not topics that you from the left are too intimate with. And I’m sure you’ll just chalk me up as one of the misguided robots that compose the military that protects you.

As for mass graves? I’ve seen them. Entire villages destroyed by Saddam? I’ll send you pictures. Families that have lost loved ones to Saddam’s murder squads? I could give you a list. I’m terribly sorry that a Republican president that you did not vote for made a decision that you all cannot stomach - but THAT, my willfully ingorant friends, is one dreadful price of living in this Republic; and that very decision that you loathe was also supported by your Congress and those valiant politicians that you now blather over as the would-be saviors of the nation. Anyway, please spare me this partisan drivel of an "unjust" war purchased on the backs of the unwitting "children of 900+ Americans." You clearly have no knowledge of what you speak. "Joe", you seem to have some modicum of knowledge of the military and even ask why YOU should die. If you are in fact in the military then you should know better than to ask that question - unless, of course, the President, ala Saddam, forced you into military service.

LT Naum -good to see that you’re alive and well. I may not agree with some of your points, but your well articulated post showed more first hand knowledge than most of the others on the blog. Hope you can get back soon.

Frank-
What is there that the good LT has articulated that you may not agree with? I would repeat, if this ’blog serves no other purpose, there are posts here that give first hand knowledge regarding success of operations, proof of sound judgement, and examples of US armed forces performing at a high level.

LT-
I too wish you safety, and hope you are home soon.

A follow-up to this whole "unjust" war thesis. John Kerry claimed, not just admitted, that he committed WAR CRIMES (which has no statute of limitations by the way!). Now, Kerry is claiming to be a war hero and trumpeting his war service, but he also claimed to be a war criminal and thus has no right to call the war Bush is fighting an unjust war.

Mr. Gordon, a friendly enquiry. Are you asserting that since we do not have personal first-hand knowledge of the war-zone that we cannot express an opinion based upon an accumulation of different first-hand sources? Clearly, that may be the best way to acquire knowledge but even that may be jaded by world-view or bias or incomplete knowledge of everything that is going on. Historians do rely upon primary sources, but oftentimes upon others’ firsthand knowledge and then form an opinion/judgment. Reading/watching/listening to a variety of sources from CNN to FoxNews to PBS to AP to Robert Alt’s travels to informal groups seems to me a legitimate way to form an opinion and then express it.

I am very disappointed that none of you actually read my posts. Let me just correct all the odd things you wrote.

To Tony:

“Did the soldiers die for oil? This reaches high levels of absurdity.”

I wrote nothing of this, but I do agree that it is absurd. I hope it isn’t true.

“And, the "no-fly zone" was established at the end of the last war, with UN support, when Saddam invaded a sovereign nation, spreading rape and murder, and threatening another sovereign nation. Or, was that justified too?”

I really don’t know enough about why Saddam invaded Kuwait to determine if it was justified or not. I do know that it was an elective and therefore unjust war on our part.

“I’ve heard of people getting a lot more outraged about killing 13,000 chickens than you are about human life!”

Please reread my posts. I am very upset that we have killed thousands of civilians in Iraq.

“Well, it’s kind of funny how conservatives have won the mantle of caring about all human beings rather than just some narrow, self-interested, insular concern of only protecting Americans.”

I am a conservative, and the United States is more important to me than any other country. I’m sorry that you like Iraq better.

“please elaborate on comment #7”

Our government exists for Americans, not for Iraqis.

“Or, did John Kerry say that fifty times last night and you agree but don’t know why?”

I really don’t care for John Kerry, but I will vote for him because he is not Bush.

To the lieutenant:

“Oil? Are you serious?”

Are you serious? Do you really think I wrote something about oil? Can you really not read?

“that you from the left”

Seriously, learn to read. I never wrote that I am from the left. Can you not conceive a free-minded conservative who voted for Bush, likes tax cuts, opposes abortion, and thinks this war is unjust?

“I’ll send you pictures.”

I’ve seen them.

“And I’m sure you’ll just chalk me up as one of the misguided robots that compose the military that protects you.”

I have a few friends in the military that oppose the war. Try going to SEPs and TAPs – the auditoriums are full.

“I’m terribly sorry that a Republican president that you did not vote for…”

Unfortunately, I voted for him.

“also supported by your Congress”

That, too, is unfortunate.

“partisan drivel”

I am a Republican; though, I will not vote for Bush in November.

“an "unjust" war purchased on the backs of the unwitting "children of 900+ Americans." You clearly have no knowledge of what you speak.”

I do know that the oath pledged Americans to “defend the Constitution.” I do know that when Americans are dying and killing our President should not taunt the enemy with “Bring ‘em on!” I do know what it is like to deal with suicide attempts because he can’t get “their faces out [his] mind.”

Thanks, "Joe", for the lecture on learning to read. You should try it yourself. Start with your own posts. I’m sure it was your trained monkey that wrote, "Why should I die for oil ... ?". Right? Now, if that was not the message that you intended to convey, then you should probably learn to write. (What exactly, did you mean by "killing our President"? Commas are our friends.) But I digress, and apologize for stooping to the form of discourse that you have selected.

Your voter record and party registration was not evident from your comments - but again, I wasn’t speaking only to you. Your left-leaning bias, however, was clearly evident and I stand by any remarks that may, in your own estimation, pertain to you.

Any more petty insults and sophomoric suggestions on reading comprehension? As you can see, I’ve got them, too, if that’s what you’re looking for.

As for your "friends in the military who oppose the war," what’s your point? I don’t recall saying that they shouldn’t or couldn’t - but they ALL volunteered to serve and fight, kill, and possibly die, on the President’s order (that’s also in the oath). It is truly tragic that civilians die in war, and I feel - stronger than you might imagine - for your friend who struggles with what he’s seen and done. But this war (yes, the war in Iraq included) was not started by us, and it was our civilians that were dying first. You were the enemy’s target, after all. And Saddam has been a foreign enemy of your Constitution for many years.

Finally, if the President is not permitted to taunt, then allow me: Bring on the terrorists! I’d rather fight them here than back home. I’d venture a guess that you’d rather have me fight them here than have yourself fight them at home, too.

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