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April 14, 2008

Politicizing The Medal of Honor?

Interesting charge:

I have to agree, this was not the Bush administration's finest hour. Say it after me: Thou shalt not exploit the granting of a Medal of Honor for political advantage.

That said, our lame-duck President is not out for partisan advantage so much as political capital to defend a policy that he genuinely believes to be in the national interest. But still.

Michael Monsoor was, above all, a warrior. Yet it seems we are to condemn his Commander in Chief for furthering the cause for which he unhesitatingly gave his life. It seems to have become fashionable among the smart set to criticize that which they little understand. To hear these critics, the White House can never do enough to counter the 24/7 antiwar barrage from the media; yet if they do take proactive steps to counter it (or even to recognize the heroic acts of our military) they are immediately accused, on no evidence that I am able to discern, of exploiting the sacrifices of our armed forces. Quite a conundrum; one suspects there is nothing that would satisfy their critics except offer our abject and unconditional surrender.

Even if he did do what Tigerhawk accuses him of, it is hardly bad counterterrorism strategy to recognize stories of extreme heroism, especially at critical junctures in our political history:

Sun Tzu ... observed that of the five fundamental factors affecting war, the first is moral influence: “that which causes the people to be in harmony with their leaders so that they will accompany them in life and unto death without fear of mortal peril.” Elsewhere he observes, “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” In effect, Sun Tzu is advocating psychological undermining of the enemy, a prescription still valid today.

What, precisely, is so wrong about highlighting an inspiring story like Monsoor's? Are military families supposed to be offended that it might shame our Congressional overlords into doing the right thing for once?

Speaking of suspicious political timing, has anyone Googled "veterans memorial vandalized" lately? Talk about the politicization of our military's sacrifices. And yet I don't see a single shred of outrage from Phillip Carter or anyone else in the mainstream media.

Why is that, do you think?

Is it, perhaps, for the very same reason that Dana Priest showed absolutely NO interest in the decades-old deplorable state of military medicine... until it gave her a handy weapon with which to beat the Bush administration about the head and shoulders? Convenient, the way that worked out.

Is it, perhaps, for the very same reason that the New York Times devoted God knows how many staff hours to chasing down conveniently self-confirming news reports of vets involved in violent crimes (how many time do they mention the former professions of other arrestees?) when they show absolutely no curiosity about the sudden rise in attacks on war memorials?

If the "stress and strain of combat" causes military vets to become violent and unpredictable, what, pray tell, is causing the sudden spike in ugly, violent attacks by ostensibly peaceful civilians mobilizing against the war?

Two teens have been charged with vandalism for allegedly opening fire -- with a paintball gun -- on the helicopter in Veterans Memorial Park last summer.
The cleanup cost for January's war memorial vandalism at Veteran's Memorial Park: a whopping $4,000, city officials say.

In a letter to the Kent County Circuit Court probation department, city attorneys said park staff managed to clean five granite markers featuring the names of fallen soldiers, but the graffiti paint still left a shadow.

Local Veteran Fed Up With Memorial Vandalism

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ― Vandals have hit the Veterans War Memorial at Sacramento's Capitol Park. Veterans say it is a recurring problem and now they're fighting back.

He spent 3 years serving in Vietnam, and now Ken Nelson spends his days taking care of those who didn't make it back.

"This is the second best memorial in the country," Nelson says.

Nearly every day, Nelson protects the more than 5,200 names at the Vietnam War Memorial. But often, while polishing the bronze statues, he finds himself picking up what vandals left behind.

"People sleeping, use it for a toilet, total disrespect, it kind of hurt me," he says.

Nelson says it's been going on for some time. People litter, deface the statues, climb the flag pole, and just yesterday, sprayed graffiti.

"They don't have appreciation for the sacrifice people made, you know these people died," says Stephen Holm, a visitor to the memorial.

Surveillance cameras look over the memorial, but Nelson says it's not enough. He's asked investigators to step in and keep a closer eye on visitors. The California Highway Patrol says it's listening.


medal_of_honor.jpg
Hoosiers react to monument vandalism

Wednesday seemed like a normal spring day at the Canal Walk. But for visitors to the Medal of Honor memorial, a dirty secret marred an otherwise beautiful place, where vandals did a lot of damage. Glass panels on the monument were smashed early Tuesday morning. Obscene words about President Bush and Gov. Daniels, along with peace symbols were spray-painted on canal walls.

"I don't get it. I don't get it at all," said Tammy Hickman, a visitor. "It's really an indication of how morally bankrupt people are who were involved in this," said State Police Officer Dave Bursten.
As early as 3.a.m. Wednesday, Indiana State Police patrolled the glass-walled memorial to war veterans, looking for signs of vandals other than the ones they so boldly left behind.

canal.jpgInvestigators hope surveillance video taken from nearby buildings can provide some information. "I would imagine it's kids playing around with nothing to do since it's spring break," said visitor Tim Gueisser. For Navy veteran Neil Blackwell, this crime is personal.
"I respect the flag and the United States," said Blackwell. "It's heartbreaking to see somebody doing something like this. It really is."
"We spend a lot of time here in the summer. It's a beautiful area. To have it marred by something like that," said Hickman.
Whether it was a way to get attention or a motive more politically motivated, the marks will soon be scrubbed away. But for visitors and veterans, the damage here is done.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial defaced

Many veterans in town were disappointed to learn last week that someone had vandalized the town's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, requiring the 15-month-old memorial to be sandblasted Wednesday.

"We know that in no way does this reflect how the community feels about our veterans," said Michael Burke, director of veteran services.

The lyrics of a 1970s protest song and a reference to Iraq were scrawled on the monument in the Park. "War, what is it good for, absolutely nothin'," was written in red marker along with a peace sign. The lyrics are from "War," a song that Motown soul singer Edwin Starr popularized in 1970.

Near the base of the memorial where the phrase "our cause is just" is etched, a vandal wrote "just like in Iraq."

The markings were made with some kind of felt marker, which soaked into the stone, Burke said yesterday. Methuen Monument is helping the town repair the memorial, which was dedicated May 29, 2006.

Question for the perpetually outraged: which do you think Michael Monsoor's shade (or his family) would have cause to find more "offensive"?

President Bush's supposedly 'suspicious' timing of his Medal of Honor ceremony, which at worst (quelle horreur!) might have the horrible effect of helping us win the war?

Martha Raddatz' touting the "surprising endorsements" of deployed US service members in uniform, despite the standing regulations forbidding such endorsements?

Or "peace" activists who "support the troops" by defacing memorials to American war dead? I find the reasoning unfathomable, to say the least.

But then I have found so many things in the last five years to be beyond my comprehension that this ought to come as no surprise. Politicizing his death?

I think not. I think it was recognized at the proper time. After all, on April 8th, these words were written:

Iraqi Journalist ‘Abd Al-Jabbar Al-’Atabi: Despite It All, April 9 is a National Holiday

In an April 9, 2008 article in Elaph, Iraqi journalist ‘Abd Al-Jabbar Al-’Atabi wrote: “Here is Baghdad, still smelling the odor of smoke, hearing the sounds of fright, seeing the tongues of flame, and tasting the bitterness of violence. And nonetheless, with our fingers we feel the face of hope - with the voices of the birds who have not left the city and still chirp and grow in number; with the winds that carry the pollen of the palm trees to the orchards to produce fresh dates; with the glimmer of the predawn, whose appearance gladdens the city’s residents and moves their spirit to rebuild and renew what has been destroyed…

“Yesterday - one day before the anniversary of April 9 [2003] - I spent the early morning hours devoting all my attention to what has been and what will be. I jumped up, eager to visit the places, to walk in the streets and on the sidewalks, allowing my gaze to take in what it may. Oddly enough, as I was doing so I found myself reciting a poem by Nazar Qabbani from 1962:

“Baghdad, oh rhythm of anklets and adornments,
“Oh store of lights and fragrances,
“Do not do me wrong, as you see the rebab in my hand.
“The desire is greater than my hand and my rebab.
“Before the sweet meeting you were my beloved,
“And my beloved you will remain after I leave.”

“I walked in the public street and observed the faces of the people I passed by - those sprawled on the sidewalks, selling goods, those who make their livelihood in the souks and the parking lots, and the beggars. I imagined them five years ago. I might not see a great change in their appearance, but there was something written in their facial features that showed that these people have their freedom to deal with things. As one of them said to me, no one comes and scatters their wares, or chases them away, or demands bribes. They come when they will and leave when they will.

“At the start of my journey I stopped by the newspaper seller to ask how he was after five years of change. He said: I will sum up what you ask in a few words. Despite everything that happened and is happening, I feel pride in the fact that the years of dictatorship are gone. There were no worse years than those, when we were afraid of our own shadows and our own children. I won’t claim that the situation now is ideal, but compared to the past, it is much better, without any comparison… Despite the sorrows I find in our present situation, I feel relieved. In the days [of the dictatorship] I didn’t feel optimistic. Now, I am optimistic about what is to come. What is happening now is passing; while it has gone on long, it will end - it could end in the twinkle of an eye.

“The residents of Baghdad, who recall the days from before April 9, 2003 and up to today - 1,727 days and nights, one after the other, together with all that has befallen and befalls their city - profess nothing but fidelity to it, even though it is engulfed in dangers. They reject those who say ‘Baghdad fell,’ and will answer you sternly if you say this, saying ‘it was the regime that fell’…

“I called a friend who lives in Sadr City and asked him how things were under the traffic ban in force now for a week. He said: I feel love, and then laughed, and continued: There are some things I fear, but I do not fear the coming days. People [here] are in a lamentable state and are afraid of evils that may befall them, but they are not despondent. They are awaiting a change for the better.

“Five years of Baghdad’s new life have passed… and there has been much talk of Baghdad. This is because it is not a city like other cities; it is exceptional, as is everything in it…

“You see that people, despite their proud grief, are talking about hope, and optimism, and the happiness to come. Despite the confusion, the anarchy, and the unconceivable occurrences, you hear the words: the breakthrough is at hand. They speak of the democracy that they had misunderstood, and they emphasize that these five years have taught them a lot and enriched their experience. They have come to know the true from the false and to distinguish between the good and the evil. You hear people saying: April 9 is a national holiday, despite the imported terrorism, or that concocted by the former regime, that came in its wake.”

Is it all worth it? You tell me.

From where I sit, Michael Monsoor could have no finer epitaph.

Posted by Cassandra at April 14, 2008 06:57 AM

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Comments

Surveillance cameras look over the memorial, but Nelson says it's not enough.

Ten years ago, we built a Vietnam veterans' memorial in a quiet corner of our county park. On On July 3rd, two years ago, thieves stole the service flags from their flagpoles. Last year, also on July 3rd, they -- or their ilk -- stole the flags, the medals encased in lucite and embedded in a granite boulder, and sprayed the place with red paint.

Got an e-gram from one of my fellow Viet-Vets before I left for this gig over here: "Your replacement on the ambush is now fully-trained."

Posted by: BillT at April 14, 2008 11:45 AM

I admit, I am of two minds on this subject, which I think revealed itself in the meandering, Andrew Sullivanish hanky-twisting nature of the post. I do see your point, but part of me wishes to recognize Monsoor's heroism in some pure way, unsullied by any apparent attempt to box up Congress on the day of the Petraeus testimony. That wish of mine may be silly, but then I suspect that there are degrees of politicization that would bother many military families. For example, if President Bush had made a big deal about a military hero the weekend before election day 2004, it would have been more clearly partisan, even if his re-election was also essential to sustaining the underlying policy. Would that have been distasteful? Perhaps so, although I also recognize that most military families would have been willing to be similarly "used" if it would have helped to keep John Kerry out of the White House.

On your side of it is this basic point that I have often made myself: The sustenance of national will is really the only thing that stands between the United States and its objectives in Iraq, and maintaining that will is in no small part the president's job (and one he has performed poorly, in my judgment). Recognizing heroism when it happens is an important part of that.

**Twist, twist, twist...*

Posted by: TigerHawk at April 14, 2008 11:50 AM

Tigerhawk is an intelligent guy I can respectfully disagree with. I think he is out to lunch on his estimation. Did Monsoor deserve the CMH or not? Well, yes he did. I know....Bushitler!

From Bush's deed shall you know his motivation? Give me a break. Bad call Tigger.

My home town, Sacramento, is not particularly radical moonbat, compared to the Bay Area. It is hard to tell who defaced the monument - they are scumbags. Either feral kids or nitwit lefties, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference despite the age. Public flogging has growing appeal.

Crime is endemic here. The other night I watched as three jerkoffs got into my truck camper shell, tripping the car alarm, and rifled it. I sat looking out the darkened window imgining the satisfaction of gunning them all down (briefly). I was a good sheep and sat in my house/bunker while I tripped the house alarm and called 911. The trash blew on down the road and the Sheriff's Deputy and I grumbled over it.

Posted by: Mark at April 14, 2008 11:58 AM

I think it would bother military families if he used footage from the medal of honor ceremony in a re-election ad.

That would be clearly beyond the pale because it involves personal gain.

Here, any possible connection is just too tenuous, and even if you allow the full connection you seem to want to draw, I can't see that it's a "use" Monsoor would find objectionable: i.e., one at all inconsistent with his life and service. But quite frankly I'm not even sure I'm willing to stipulate that. I've watched my husband try to set up a busy calendar before for one of his bosses and I can guaran-damn-tee you they're far less busy than the President of the United States. I think you're straining to see political opportunism here at what is very likely just coincidence.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 11:59 AM

Also, he's giving the BusHitler White House credit for a degree of political shrewdness they've shown little evidence of, to date, while simultaneously accusing Bush of an insensitivity to the feelings of military families that I would be stunned to believe (having watched the man interact with them on many occasions) he possesses. :p

The guy genuinely likes (and gets) military folks. And they like him right back. You can't fake that.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 12:01 PM

The guy genuinely likes (and gets) military folks. And they like him right back. You can't fake that.

That, perhaps, is the very best argument -- he has earned street cred with the military and therefore is able to pull off this sort of thing without looking like a disingenuous twit. At the risk of getting into trouble here, it is not too different from the ability of Bill Clinton -- before November 2007, at least -- to associate himself publicly with black leaders in ways that would have been cringeworthy if most other white politicians had done the same thing.

Posted by: TigerHawk at April 14, 2008 12:34 PM

I think it would be best for me not to say anything more on this subject.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 12:51 PM

"...and therefore is able to pull off this sort of thing without looking like a disingenuous twit."

Wow, I'm not quite sure what to say to that. "To pull off this sort of thing...", cause ya know, the MoH is just a little dangly thingy that the President can just order up when he feels the need to affirm his *street cred* to the masses -- oh, and better make damn sure to do it at the exact moment Congress is grilling General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. Cause, you know, he has soooo many open spaces in his itinerary....

Geez.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 14, 2008 12:56 PM

Political timing? No idea really... but I’m in agreement with Cass in that I suspect that it fell on the date/time it fell. As another commenter elsewhere said... (and I paraphrase) to have had any effect on the hearings (or to sway public perceptions of the testimony), it should have been scheduled a day or a few before the hearing. I further imagine that regardless of when the ceremony would have taken place ( long overdue in my opinion) the tighty-whitey brigade would have commenced with their (NOBODY expects the MSM Inquisition!) pucker-twist-moan-lamentation-gotta-peepee dance.

Regarding vandals… We apparently have a few of the bottom feeders in circulation around my neck of the woods lately. Vandals destroyed signs in the 2 year old Georgia National Cemetery in Cherokee County. This is located in the northern metro exurban region of Atlanta that the feral Marxist anarchist usually avoid. High concentration of Red Neckerson’s that don’t abide that nonsense up heah’. The individuals are getting up their nerve to move on the grave markers, I suppose.

So IMO cameras are not enough. Nope. Now surveillance with the capability to arrest on malicious destruction charges followed by the swift conviction and sentencing of a few months to be served in the hoosegow along with fines to cover the cost of repair and/or replacement of damaged property and a dose of public service restitution in the form of Cemetery grounds maintenance and funeral observations thrown in for good measure. Well that might be appropriate for a juvenile first offender. Now adults… I like the sound of a set of stocks in the court yards of the Courthouse/administration buildings of the county seat.

Posted by: bt_hangemhigh_hun at April 14, 2008 12:58 PM

"(NOBODY expects the MSM Inquisition)"

Oh great, another monitor covered in soda. Now about restitution, Mr. Hun......

Posted by: DL Sly at April 14, 2008 01:27 PM

HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Our three main weapons are LIES, INNUENDO, UNNAMED ANONYMOUS SOURCES and MISDIRECTION!!!

Posted by: The MSM Inquisition at April 14, 2008 01:35 PM

Four, our four main weapons are LIES, INNUENDO, UNNAMED ANONYMOUS SOURCES, MISDIRECTION... and RELATIVE EQUIVALENCE...

Posted by: bt_Ximinez_hun at April 14, 2008 01:48 PM

I've watched my husband try to set up a busy calendar before for one of his bosses and I can guaran-damn-tee you they're far less busy than the President of the United States. I think you're straining to see political opportunism here at what is very likely just coincidence

Coincidence??! You think that was a scheduling coincidence? LMaO. He's the freakin' president. Y'all can debate whether it's kosher to book a Medal of Honor ceremony on the same day the General was in town but don't emabrass your self by claiming it was a coincidence. Petraeus' had a date with Congress since the last time he testified.

Posted by: PabloNet at April 14, 2008 01:54 PM

You did not just bust out Sun Tzu on us, Cass. That's morally reprehensible! Don't you know that the chidlings must never be exposed to war?

But then I have found so many things in the last five years to be beyond my comprehension that this ought to come as no surprise.

Time to get back to the womyn's womb then. That will provide comprehynsion.

President Bush had made a big deal about a military hero the weekend before election day 2004, it would have been more clearly partisan,

Bush could have launched Fallujah II before the votes came in around November. But he launched it after the votes were confirmed.

Bush's problem is precisely that he doesn't play dirty politics, which makes him vulnerable to dirty politics. Which is not good for the rest of us.

Bill, here's hoping the ambush stomps them into the concrete.

Cass, if you pull out Sun Tzu the misogynist that executed women for disobeying orders, you're going to lose your womyn creds here, ya hear me?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 14, 2008 02:02 PM

You have obviously never tried to schedule something like this.

Hint: there are, actually, other factors (and other parties besides the just the President) involved. Like the parents, who have to travel. And then there is the paperwork. It's not as though there aren't several things which all have to come together to make something like this happen.

I don't give a rat's ass whether it was a coincidence or not, to be honest. What I will say is that where I come from when you make an accusation like that you ought to have a hell of a lot more to back it up than just circumstance. Everything in Washington doesn't come to a screeching halt just because there is testimony in Congress. There is all kinds of testimony in Congress all the time, and life goes on across town just the same.

Amazing as it may seem. As several people have observed, if this were being "timed for effect", then there really wasn't enough "time" for it TO TAKE EFFECT, since it was going on simultaneously, now was there? Kind of hard for the people it was supposed to "affect" to be affected by it when they were busy halfway across town.

Which makes the whole thing rather pointless, unless you just want to try and score cheap political points on your own side.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 02:05 PM

Bill, also, don't forget to hit those bandits with the planet. Bats and other blunt force instruments are not massive enough, if you ask me. Hitting them with the planet's gravity well is much better.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 14, 2008 02:06 PM

It wouldn't have mattered when Bush did the award ceremony. I can feature the taglines.

April 7th: "In an effort to derail tough Congressional opponents of the war..."

April 9th: "In an effort to downplay the bad news out of Iraq..."

Everything that the Bush administration does is always cast in this same light, so it really wouldn't have mattered. Bush would face the same charge regardless. It actually makes me laugh at how childish it is.

Posted by: Allen at April 14, 2008 02:06 PM

Bush's problem is precisely that he doesn't play dirty politics, which makes him vulnerable to dirty politics. Which is not good for the rest of us.

Exactly, Ymar.

And that's why I'm rapidly losing my temper and just need to STFU before I say something I really regret.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 02:07 PM

What I will say is that where I come from when you make an accusation like that you ought to have a hell of a lot more to back it up than just circumstance.

You need something more than idiocy and self-righteousness backing you up when making such accusations? Woah, that's news to me.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 14, 2008 02:08 PM

It actually makes me laugh at how childish it is.

Hey, when it works and crucifies your enemies, is it still childish?

Exactly, Ymar.

One of the benefits of reading psycho-analysts like Shrinkwrapped is that it makes it easier to compile psychological profiles of certain people that you have observed for long periods of time, like Bush. The danger to making profiles of anyone is in how you contaminate other people's motivations and behaviors with your own preconceptions. Psychoanalysts must themselves have a senior shrink psychoanalyze them since the danger of transfering your emotions to the subject and patient is very real and dangerous.

Shrink analyzes Obamanation

And that's why I'm rapidly losing my temper and just need to STFU before I say something I really regret.

So my solution to that is for you to compress your temper and anger into a tight ball in your womyn's womb. Eventually you will get a diamond out of there and be very happy, Cass.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 14, 2008 02:15 PM

And the latest update to the ongoing nekid woman in Cheney's sunglasses story seems to be an allegation that the person in the reflection is.. is...

Valerie Plame!!!

Rumor is that the Administration used this fishing summit as a ploy to divert attention away from the substantive testimony given by General Patraeus to the Congress earlier in the week.

Coincidence, this reporter thinks not!

Posted by: Jimmy Olsen - cub political distorter at April 14, 2008 02:22 PM

Also, you won't ever lose your temper the way I suggest you keep it.

there are, actually, other factors

Other factors than Pablo the Maestro deciding That Things Will Be When It Will Be? That's bullscheisse, Cass....

Also to Allen, there's that old phrase about if it is stupid and it works, is it still stupid which I should have included with the childe thing.

Chyldren are the future, and the future is something eminently destructible to the Left.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 14, 2008 02:24 PM

Ymar,

It only works with people who already hate the man. So, no it doesn't really work. Actually, the more they have been doing it the more people are starting to realize how much disdain journalists have for their audience and thus their sinking numbers.

When I first read this I burst out laughing. Bush was trying to upstage a bunch of gasbags? Yes I was all atwitter over waiting to hear the Senators' profound wisdom, when that damn Bush presented a MoH that pushed the Senators out of the limelight.

Posted by: Allen at April 14, 2008 04:11 PM

On that day, April 8th, the military servicemembers working in Iraq and Afghanistan did not stop doing their jobs because the gasbags in Congress were conducting their own version of the Inquisition. Nor should they but neither should the President.
I've met him and many of my friends have too. The care he takes with military families is palpable so to accuse him of using PO Monsoor's MOH ceremony for something more than what it was is silly. At least to me.

I took a break from watching the political theater on Capitol Hill to watch the ceremony. I watched him try to maintain control (barely)as the presentation went on. I didn't manage to do what he did and I was watching it on tv.
Discovered later that Monsoor's brothers in arms were in the back of the room and every single one of them was in tears. How could he be expected to react otherwise?

I think the MoH ceremony was a reminder to many that while gasbags like Biden, Hagel, Kennedy, Clinton, Boxer, etc...forget that this is really about people willing to lay down their lives for others, they're only willing to be disdainful and dismissive of the efforts. For political gain.
Talk about your contrasts...

Cass, this ranks up there with the best you've ever written.
thank you for doing what Admiral Mullen and other high ranking officials won't.
Taking folks to task for idiocy.
(not intended as a jab at TigerHawk..I just don't agree with him today)

Posted by: Semper Fi Wife at April 14, 2008 04:15 PM

Cass, many things over the last five years have been beyond my comprehension, too. And the common theme they all seem to have is hatred.

Where does it come from?

Why would someone deface a memorial? And what causes the underlying agreement with that hatred resulting in such actions being swept under the rug or excused?

The same implicit agreement with that hatred which results in accusations of political motivation where there is none? (Not referring to TigerHawk here. It's a general observation.)

Why do people find it so much easier to believe in hatred than in good? Is it a self-loathing which makes them feel more comfortable with evil than with good? Where does that self-loathing come from?

Certainly we all have our dark sides. Have done things we're not proud of. But to let that devolve into destructive self-loathing rather than striving for an ideal... no, submitting to that is beyond my comprehension.

Posted by: MaryAnn at April 14, 2008 05:12 PM

"Where does that self-loathing come from?"

It comes from years of being told they're "No.1!", to suddenly finding out they're really number two.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 14, 2008 05:24 PM

Is it all worth it?

You bet it is. Thanks for a wonderful article, and for the long quotation of the way things are in Iraq five years after the overthrow of the dictator.

Posted by: Perri Nelson at April 14, 2008 06:13 PM

I don't think it is self-loathing. It is loathing for a culture that they disdain and are not a part of. It's not white vs. black, or native Americans vs. Hispanic immigrants.

It's a generation of people living in anomie to the American patria (in it's most broad connotation, not just a patrimony of men), that loathes what these monuments symbolize. It's not personal (although if I was a vet, I don't think I could take it any other way), but it's the same animating characteristic found in:
1) Keith Olberman and MSNBC
2) Move-On-dot-Org
3) Code Pink
4) Jeremiah Wright

And on, and on, and on.....

It's not that they particularly loathe "America" (whatever that means to you), it's just that they loathe the symbols and the meaning behind those monuments. Because they want an alternate reality to the one we are saddled with.

Because as DL Sly sez, they really are number 2, in the scatological sense, that is. :)

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 14, 2008 06:17 PM

Thank you for reading, Perri.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 06:45 PM

I guess I can't understand the kind of person who, not believing in a thing himself, finds it necessary to tear at it, to sneer at and revile, to destroy and deface what others revere.

If you don't like something, fine. But why is it always those who rail on and on about oppression and mean spiritedness who can't seem to wait to sneer at and trample the rights of others?

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 06:49 PM

One of the benefits of reading psycho-analysts like Shrinkwrapped is that it makes it easier to compile psychological profiles of certain people that you have observed for long periods of time, like Bush.

Say, rather, that one of the serious hazards of reading psycho-analysts is that it makes you believe you can compile psychological profiles of people you've never met; based on "observations" limited to what you've seen in the media; according to underlying theories that are neither falsifiable nor really testable.

Lots of psychologists will tell you privately that they think Bush is a psychopath, or a sociopath, or demonstrating some pathology associated with being a recovering alcoholic, or something else besides. They've had fuller training in psychology than you, and the same opportunity to observe the president that you have. You'd read their ridiculous assertions as "bias," and you'd be right -- but you're biased too, in ways that are hard to see in yourself.

Psychology leaves them (and you) with the false belief that they have a scientific insight into his character. What you can know about him at this distance is limited. You can analyze his strategy; you can reason about his goals, methods, means and limits; but you can know very little about the content of his soul.

Posted by: Grim at April 14, 2008 07:08 PM

But doesn't the realization of being number 2 result in a kind of self-loathing?

Being reminded of that causes not, as one would think, an acknowledgement of and striving for the good.

But rather taking the perceived easier route of dragging others down to their level.

That way no introspection or change to self is necessary. The problem, i.e., the source of discomfort, lies elsewhere.

It's quite convenient, actually.

Posted by: MaryAnn at April 14, 2008 07:09 PM

Cass:

So I don't forget to say it, I echo Perri. The find from within Iraq was a gem. I'm glad you posted it.

Posted by: Grim at April 14, 2008 07:09 PM

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

But the thanks goes to Jules. He sent it to me - it just happened to fit perfectly with this. I am blessed in my friends. They are all far smarter than I am.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 14, 2008 07:26 PM

Psychology leaves them (and you) with the false belief that they have a scientific insight into his character.

My position is that you are prejudiced against psychology, Grim, since the only use you ever saw of it came from the Leftists that you mentioned.

You'd read their ridiculous assertions as "bias," and you'd be right -- but you're biased too, in ways that are hard to see in yourself.

No, I would read their ridiculous assertions as bad use of therapy and psychology. Just like people who make claims about the war being a failure are people that don't know much about war, either in the abstract or the real. Those that do know something yet refuse to support Petraeus, are using what they know incorrectly and/or maliciously.

I find it surprising that simply because bad people use a tool badly, like a firearm, that suddenly the tool, the firearm, is declared to be dysfunctional and full of malice, Grim.

Psychology, philosophy, science, and all the other abstract and non-abstract fields are all tools that human beings can make use of it. I do not accept your prejudicial view concerning psychology that it can only ever be used to mislead and create illusions about people.

Lots of psychologists will tell you privately that they think Bush is a psychopath

Lots of strategists and analysts will tell me that their way is the right way, whether they be retired soldiers, active soldiers, or what not. Doesn't mean I should simply discard strategy and analysis as a field unworthy of study and obtainable wisdom if they should be proven wrong.

Psychology leaves them (and you) with the false belief that they have a scientific insight into his character.

Human flaws and human nature is what leaves people with the false belief that they have an insight, scientific or not, into Bush's character. As for me, you have not said which part of my psyche profile concerning Bush you actually disagree with, Grim. It's not very fair to lump me in with the Leftists calling Bush a sociopath when I did not such thing, nor have I ever.

You can analyze his strategy; you can reason about his goals, methods, means and limits; but you can know very little about the content of his soul.

A man or a woman is known by their actions, not their words. In the case of Bush, we have the advantage of knowing both his words and his actions. They correlate in a fashion, after years of observation and certain experimental results like Iraq and 9/11, which any philosopher can use to create a fundamental set of principles, which can then be used to create a psychological profile of the individual in question.

The argument that you are using Grim, that just because some people can't do psyche profiles well and use their bias in place of the truth, that suddenly I must also be one or that psychology itself is suspect in some fundamental fashion, is a pretty weak argument, Grim.

Humanity itself is flawed, Grim. I know you know this. Should we stop being human just because it means having Leftists? Should people stop using and studying psychology just because some or even most psychologists are insane? Should people stop using guns to protect themselves and their families simply because of a Columbine or 10?

Your argument doesn't fit together logically.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 14, 2008 08:34 PM

If you will, in fact, read up on the Goldwater rule, you will see that the problem is one that responsible psychologists recognize -- attempting to "do" psychoanalysis on someone whom you haven't actually examined in person is unethical for precisely these reasons.

By all means you must form judgments, which you may do using the words and actions you do see of people. Nevertheless, psychology as such is a particularly misleading approach. As a methodology, it asserts that it is a form of science; but in fact, its basic models are untestable. I've written about this often enough that there is too much to say to repeat here; you can Google the subject at Grim's Hall if you want to see the full arguments.

I am not, as you say, "prejudiced" against psychology; prejudice means "pre-judgment," as for example judging a man as bad before you encounter him. I've been thinking and writing about psychology -- as a philosopher -- for some several years now. I do have a very firm judgment against it, but it is not prejudice.

Nor have I yet met a psychologist who cared to dispute the judgment at any length. I suspect they come to recognize the underlying flaws in the methodology, but uncomfortable though it makes them, they have based their lives on the thing. At some point, they are pot committed (as gamblers say). The best these people of good heart can do is hope to improve it with greater empiricism: but the flaw in it is more basic than that. It is not that it is not adequately empirical, for it has always only been empirical. It is that it is not science: and so more empiricism can't improve it. The only thing that could improve it would be to set the whole structure aside for one whose models of the mind were actually falsifiable. Yet no such model exists; we cannot even agree if there is actually a mind or just the experience of one (Google here "the hard problem" at the Hall).

Failing that, the only thing that could improve it would be to recognize that it is of a nature with other forms of divinatory magic, which seek to sense and (perhaps) control what cannot be actually be seen or measured: souls, minds, fate, qi. Recognized as that, it might even do some good, as Feng Shui can help some people assert control over their lives -- or, at least, believe they are doing so enough to bring themselves to greater functionality. Such a mission I don't object to at all. Helping people is always a good thing.

All that bothers me about it is that we ceed it so much authority, even in courts of law, as if it were more than it is: and we place faith in it, as you have done, that is not justified by its nature. Use a thing for what it is: if you want to read minds, consult an oracle; if you want to judge souls, consult a priest, who will give you some good advice on the human power to cast such judgments.

Posted by: Grim at April 14, 2008 09:17 PM

"Oh great, another monitor covered in soda. Now about restitution, Mr. Hun......"
Not knowing if I can meet your price after paying Caeser what I owed Rome this past week, I'll ask you D-Lord Sly, if you take plastic, as in poker chips? Pigs? Chickens? Free time on an indoor shooting range and beers afterwards? Used color SVGA 17" CRT monitors?
"All that bothers me about it is that we ceed it so much authority, even in courts of law, as if it were more than it is:"
Latter day inquisitors these psychoanalysts with their divine insight into the human mind,*spit* based upon WAG's derived from observations of other humans, since we're all the same. Hey! Didn't BO just say as much in San Francisco? Then again, as the man said, sometimes a cigar is just... a cigar.

Posted by: bthun at April 14, 2008 10:04 PM

I only take poker chips when I've won them fairly, and I have enough beef, pork and fowl in the freezer to feed a battalion of Marines. Now free time on a shooting range followed by good beer and comeraderie....can I bring my 7mm?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 14, 2008 10:23 PM

My thoughts if President Bush did, in fact, schedule the MoH to intentionally occur at the same time as General Petraeus' testimony before Congress?


Good. For. Him.


And not because of the political advantage it may have gained him. I don't give a rip about that. I'm glad he did it because it drew attention to an incredible ceremony honoring an incredible man who gave his life in service to his country. Had the ceremony happened on another day, would it even have made the news?

Would my neighbor - who has no clue about anything related to the Medal of Honor or Michael Monsoor - have learned of him and his sacrifice? No.

Would it have been one of the headlines read in my daughter's first grade class the next day, providing 22 six year olds the opportunity to learn about Michael Monsoor and what he did? No.


So, regardless of the President's motivations, I am glad it happened the way it did.

Posted by: Perpetually Perky at April 14, 2008 10:42 PM

"Now free time on a shooting range followed by good beer and comeraderie....can I bring my 7mm?"
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have something like 200 hours of range time credits built up at a local range. And if I recall correctly, somewhere in the neighborhood of a .460 Weatherby is the ballistic cutoff for that particular indoor range... So your 7mm (rem mag?) is just ducky. Although I have to confess that I usually only take sidearms to the indoor range. Rifles just feel better outdoors... Weird huh?

And that's an outstanding point Perp Perky.

Posted by: bthun at April 14, 2008 11:48 PM

"Although I have to confess that I usually only take sidearms to the indoor range. Rifles just feel better outdoors... Weird huh?"

I have to confess that I normally only ever shoot outdoors. The idea of an indoor range bothers me, probably for the same reason you prefer rifles out of doors. It doesn't feel right to shoot inside a building. :)

Of course, I could if it were a practical necessity; but I can think of a time I did encounter gunfire indoors, and on balance, an outdoor range is a better place for it.

Posted by: Grim at April 15, 2008 12:51 AM

To be honest, MH is the pistol man. I have a .38 snub at my bedside for intruder *discouragement*, but I'd rather shoot a rifle any day, any time, anywhere.
My 7mm - a gift from my Dad - is a Browning, btw.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 15, 2008 01:17 AM

And, fwiw, I agree about a preference for shooting outdoors. It's just that Coliformico isn't really "gun friendly" in that manner, so I take it where I can get it - so to speak.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at April 15, 2008 01:20 AM

"Of course, I could if it were a practical necessity; but I can think of a time I did encounter gunfire indoors, and on balance, an outdoor range is a better place for it."
Yup, the outdoors are better all around. But darned civilization moved into the area with lights, noise, and a desire to impose some sort of home-owner's association like mentality on the hillwilliam's... and my neighbors have been known to call the deputies at the sound of gunfire thinking they were hearing the beginning of the apocalypse.

So with the back pasture being no longer viable and the closest outdoor range being many, many miles further distant than the indoor range means that I practice with the sidearms at the indoor range. When I am able anyway.

This area used to be country [insert "Bear Claw" Chris Lapp mutterings here]. Yet another reason I'm considering moving to a more remote location, yet again. =8^\

Posted by: bthun at April 15, 2008 01:54 AM

on someone whom you haven't actually examined in person is unethical for precisely these reasons.

It is only unethical if you are trying to label them with some kind of psychological condition which have specific symptoms and effects listed in some huge psychology text. Talking about people's mental defenses like projection, denial, delusion, and what not, are very easily verified and does not need you to meet them in order to check the symptoms and what not.

This thing was covered in the link I gave for Shrinkwrapped's post, Grim. So I don't see why you are bringing up Goldwater.

Nevertheless, psychology as such is a particularly misleading approach.

"Psychology as such" I will have to take as meaning psychoanalyzing and labeling a person as having a specific clinical disorder is misleading. That, I'll take as face value, as Shrinkwrapped also covered and agreed with the same.

and we place faith in it, as you have done, that is not justified by its nature.

On what subject have I placed my faith in psychology, in whatever manner or fashion you define it as?

The basic psychological flaws of the human mind are on the same level as all the other flaws of the human body, spirit, and mind. For example, any individual's need to express aggression can become either destructive or constructive depending on society and the presences of other strengths/flaws in that individual. We know that an individual has a certain flaw when it is expressed in reality through personal actions, events, experiences first, second, or third hand, Grim.

This is not about reading minds. This is about judging character, judging a person's actions, and judging how likely or unlikely a person will fall prey to their own weaknesses.

You claim psychology cannot empirically or scientifically judge whether somebody has something psychological or not. I claim that this is the same thing as judging whether you can trust somebody or not. The human ability to make decisions is not scientific just because humans don't prefer to use inductive logic when making choices. But it doesn't need to be. The only thing that matters is whether a person is right or not. For that, you'd be better off using deductive logic and philosophical constructions. While psychology is more of an art than a science, this does not fundamentally change human behavior or the methods by which a human mind can analyze, predict, and catalogue the behavior of other humans.

All that bothers me about it is that we ceed it so much authority, even in courts of law

Are you saying John Kerry is not a narcissist, and a malignant narcissist at that? Or that if he is, this shouldn't be held against him legally when he has enough political power to affect many lives? Or is it your position that we can't tell who is a narcissist or not since the psychological condition is too subjective in your view.

as if it were more than it is

That's why I used the word prejudice, Grim. While I didn't know for sure how much study you gave the field of psychology, I do know that you came to a judgement and a hostile judgement at that. And that judgement was something along the lines that "psychology is xxx". I use the word more for its connotative meanings than its denotative. For example, you don't need to have prejudged psychology on the basis of ignorance or lack of study to be prejudiced: holding an unreasonable or hostile view towards the subject.

Your position should not be held as an axiomatic truth. For all intents and purposes, to me you have already pre-judged the subject since I wasn't around to make any counter-points when you brought this topic up here for consideration.

Use a thing for what it is
Things have more than one purpose, depending on how far you will allow free will to reach in philosophy.

And given the theories on ethics, there is a great demand to use certain parts of other philosophies in order to make your own better. This would constitute as using other people's philosophy, not for what the philosophy was, but for what you made it to be.

And as such, psychology can be used in this manner, in addition to similar fields as psychological warfare, propaganda, advertisement, politics, and so forth.

If we were to use a "thing for what it is", then businessmen would be denied the knowledge of Boyd's OODA loop simply because the OODA loop was for military purposes and that is what it was. That wasn't what it became though, if you applied it to other fields of endeavours.

That's the point in the end. Psychology can become more than it is and more than you think it is, Grim, but it requires people using it and not obeying artificial limitations that people have set because of a belief that the field itself has problems.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 15, 2008 03:14 AM


To Grim, I'll try to search for those articles you mentioned later.

Is it a self-loathing which makes them feel more comfortable with evil than with good?

When people are self-destructive, as are most followers of Leftist or Islamic Jihad ideology, then you tend to see certain expressions of that self-destructive behavior. They just don't keep it all inside. Or if they do, they eventually blow up like at Columbine and then go out by blowing themselves away as well. Unfortunately, self-destructive people often take more people than themselves down in the end.

Concerning "youths" that like vandalism, that is also a self-destructive behavior since it is a denial of society and the laws that allow members in society to cooperate and work to the benefit of all. The ultimate success of their actions only hurt themselves in the end, since it strips away society's ability to protect them from harm.

But, usually the belief that you can win or benefit and not get punished is enough to motivate many destructive actions.

It comes from years of being told they're "No.1!", to suddenly finding out they're really number two.

They're a little farther down the totem pole than "two", Sly.

I guess I can't understand the kind of person who, not believing in a thing himself, finds it necessary to tear at it, to sneer at and revile, to destroy and deface what others revere.

But why don't they believe in anything, Cass? They believe in something, but that thing is called the process of entropy. They believe the universe will become a better place if everything is distributed evenly. And to do that, they have to destroy the beliefs that created America, since those beliefs unbalanced the natural stasis of human suffering and misery.

Entropy works by naturally moving heat to cold places. After awhile, in a closed system, entropy does its job and the entire system becomes basically homogeneized. There is no "heat" nor "cold" anymore, since the entire system is now of one temperature. This is, essentially, what the Left sees as the ideal for humanity. The fact that it is literally impossible to get any kind of work in a closed system operating at ultimate entropy is not something they find to be a negative.

For example, car engines use the fact that heat wants to go to cold places to push those pistons during a combustion cycle. If you had a closed system that had all the heat energy distributed evenly instead of bunched up in an explosive form like fuel, you wouldn't be able to make anything combust. No combustion, no work. No work done, no car. No car, no car accidents.

The same applies to war. If nobody believes in something enough to fight and die for it, because all beliefs are equal and equivalent, Cass, then this should eliminate warfare. And when warfare is eliminated, so will hunger and misery as well. So long as people believe that some beliefs or things are better, meaning some things are hotter or colder, the work of the Left is still unfinished.

That way no introspection or change to self is necessary. The problem, i.e., the source of discomfort, lies elsewhere.

The institutional racism, such things like welfare and Jackson and Obama, are what usually keeps down blacks here in America by re-directing hate or grievances towards a safe source, whites or wars like Iraq, in order to prevent people from honestly doing some introspection and realizing that the problem is with them, not with other people.

The Palestinians themselves have been controlled using this technique for awhile now. They can blame everything on the Jews and thus don't need to accept any blame themselves. This lets people off the leash when it comes to fixing problems, cause obviously all the problems are the result of somebody else's mistakes and thus if we get rid of them, everything will be okay. Focusing your rage on somebody else and getting rid of them through violence is far easier on the psyche than trying to fix your personal problems. Our worst enemies are often ourselves, not somebody else.

But why is it always those who rail on and on about oppression and mean spiritedness who can't seem to wait to sneer at and trample the rights of others?

They rail on about oppression and mean spiritedness because that is how they deal with the guilt of knowing that they are the oppressors and the mean ones. It is a certain type of denial combined with projection their faults onto you. If the Left is mean and in favor of dictators, they will accuse you of being mean spirited and supporting Saddam, even though they are the ones supporting Syria, Saddam, Iran, etc.

There are other reasons, of course, but the above is the simplest and probably the most dependable in reality.

In some religious theological arguments, it has been said that those who feel the most self-righteousness are the least deserving of righteousness.

It is a kind of corrolary to how you are not worthy of power if you feel that you deserve having that power. Humility is not a guarantee of capability, but it is a guarantee that the person will at least try and make the best effort at being capable.

Someone arrogant like John Kerry could never backup, because he would never want to, his claims of competency or war hero status. So the people who talk about fighting oppression feel that they deserve victory and they deserve having dictators to fight against. It is often never about anybody except themselves. That kind of sense of entitlement, of course, does not lead to much actual work or productivity.

Take Afghanistan for example. I'll use Tink's words for this example.

***********
"So, where are the feminists while we're doing this fight? Same places they've always been - sitting somewhere safe yapping about stuff that doesn't matter while good men and women die to protect them."

Warning, I'm gonna rant and ramble.

They were yelling loud and clear in the late 90's..

Personal story here. I was involved with a group that researched content for a major ISP. During research on "Women's Rights" in 97 was when I first learned about the Taliban - the stonings, the total lack of medical care because women couldn't be seen or touched by a male not a member of their family - but women were no longer allowed to be doctors. Their husbands dead, the women weren't allowed to work, weren't allowed out of their homes without a male relative escort - yet they no longer had male relatives, so they either starved or became ghostly beggars. They weren't allowed to have an education..

If any of the "rules" were broken, they were beaten or worse, assassinated in the soccer stadium, with their children forced to watch.

I could go on and on and on..

This group of women I worked with was FURIOUS that "we" (The US) weren't doing anything. So we wrote letters, we "raised awareness" - we posted our research on the content screens of this major ISP, we joined forces with some actors wife (I can't remember who anymore - sorry, brain cramp)to send supplies and support in through aid agencies.

Then came 9/11 and a few days later my husbands Guard Unit was activated..

I started to get email and messages from these same women who I was still working with - women who knew my husband was on orders and we didn't know what was going to happen. Those emails had little notes about how it wasn't the "right time" to go to war.

Women who knew good and well what the Taliban had done to their "sisters" (as they called them) over the last few years...

It disgusted me, but everyone had a right to their opinion..right? But Oh Dopey me couldn't understand why these women who were so furious that "we weren't doing something", we're all of a sudden so against everything we had talked about over the years.****

The rest of her words are here. Link

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 15, 2008 03:30 AM

I used to read Tigerhawk's stuff, not any more. Once you jump the shark into conspiracy theory land there is no looking back. Free speech doesn't mean free of consequences. (I'm just one reader in the hive mind deployed to the AOR, so who cares what I think. Some people will never understand why we love our President, even with all his flaws)

Posted by: sluggo at April 15, 2008 04:05 AM

If nobody believes in something enough to fight and die for it, because all beliefs are equal and equivalent, Cass, then this should eliminate warfare.

Assuming that everyone on the planet suddenly turned as passive as a shelf fungus, that would be the logical result.

And when warfare is eliminated, so will hunger and misery as well.

Which is a non-sequitur. The same dispassionate unbelievers in warfare would have to be equally passionate (and complete) altruists, to the point where one would willingly starve so that another might eat. Which would logically lead to another voluntarily giving his own meal to the *first* starving altruist. And which would lead, inevitably, to the first meal-recipient rejecting that meal on the grounds that his benefactor would starve. So, even though there might be sufficient food for most, all the altruists would eventually starve to death -- resulting in an eminently peaceful world...

Posted by: BillT at April 15, 2008 07:30 AM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/15/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Posted by: David M at April 15, 2008 11:33 AM

"They're a little farther down the totem pole than "two", Sly."

Posted by: DL Sly at April 15, 2008 11:44 AM

Well, helk, where did the rest of the comment go?

"They're a little farther down the totem pole than 'two', Sly."

I was referring to the scatological sense - as Don so eloquently put it.

Posted by: DL Sly at April 15, 2008 04:18 PM

Assuming that everyone on the planet suddenly turned as passive as a shelf fungus, that would be the logical result.

Given the Left's love of eugenics and changing human nature, who knows, sometime in the future they may be able to create a race of passive shelf funguses to replace humanity. Wouldn't that be progress, Bill?

The same dispassionate unbelievers in warfare would have to be equally passionate (and complete) altruists

We all know that anti-war protestors have an elevated sense of their own righteousness and altruism, Bill. It doesn't have to be true in order to motivate them to believe as if it is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 15, 2008 05:29 PM

I commented on this at TH site. The story apparently started with Phil Carter at the Washington Post.

Phil Carter has just moved over to the Post from his own website. A website which was decidedly anti-Bush, and anti the way the war is/was being waged.

Posted by: davod at April 16, 2008 07:53 AM

PS:

Based upon the usual performance of Congress to Petraeus and Crocker, why on earth would Bush want to take the limelight away from the hearings.

If anything, he would have moved the MOH ceremony away from the date. It might have got better coverage (although I doubt this).

Posted by: davod at April 16, 2008 07:58 AM

It doesn't have to be true in order to motivate them to believe as if it is.

Crux. Matter.

Posted by: BillT at April 16, 2008 08:16 AM

Bush seems to be incapable of timing good news to coincide with proposals and initiatives in the same way that Clinton did. I mean, he accepted Rumsfield's resignation a week after the 2006 elections instead of a week before! If he had let Rummie resign before the elections the Republicans might not have been so badly destroyed at the ballot box. So I doubt that Bush timed that ceremony to put extra pressure on Congress.

The thing that gets my goat when it comes to the MOH is that seemingly the only way to get one in Iraq is to be KIA. Can't we have some living MOH recipients so they can be a living, serving testimony to heroism? Maybe induct at least one every month from Iraq and one from Afghanistan and two each in September, October, and November. I know there are living soldiers who deserve it in spades!

Posted by: Wolf Pangloss at April 16, 2008 01:13 PM

The thing that gets my goat when it comes to the MOH is that seemingly the only way to get one in Iraq is to be KIA.

The military had a quota system, theoretically adopted after Vietnam to get rid of medal hoggers like Kerry. In reality, medal hogs like Kerry will be the ones maxing the quota, the quota won't get rid of such folks and cheaters. It never has.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 17, 2008 02:26 AM

Has a quota, not had one.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 17, 2008 02:27 AM

In reality, medal hogs like Kerry will be the ones maxing the quota, the quota won't get rid of such folks and cheaters.

Heh. Remind me to tell you how that system worked during my SFOR jaunt, Ymar.

Posted by: BillT at April 17, 2008 07:01 AM

There is a very real reason why the MoH only seems to come postumuosly these days.

They're afraid that if they award the Medal to someone who is still alive, he might (in the future) commit some act that brings dishonor.

Remember the movie "Blackhawk Down"? The House Mouse who was such a fine coffee maker was based on a real soldier. SPC John Stebbins was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Mogadishu. In 2000, SSG Stebbins was convicted of child molestation, and sentanced to 30 years.

There is a deliberate decision NOT to allow this to happen to the Medal of Honor -- which is the reason why people like Captain (then Lieutenant) Brian Chontosh aren't going to ever receive the MoH. Google Chontosh. . . his conduct on 25 March 2003 read like a very bad Hollywood action script from the 1980's. He charged into an enemy trench system that treatened his men, and when he ran out of ammo, started grabbing weapons from teh enemy dead, one after another, and continuing his one-man assault, resulting in at least 20 enemy KIA, uncounted enemy WIA, and clearing 200 meters of trenchline. He received the Navy Star.

Posted by: Rick R. at April 17, 2008 02:08 PM

It isn't necessary to suggest that we Google the honorable Brian Chontosh. We wrote much of what arises in the suggested search.

Posted by: Grim at April 17, 2008 02:20 PM

I suppose quotas and worrying about media/public opinion based upon dishonored Medal of Honor winners is the price we pay for civilization. Though technically, if Congress or what not can award the MoH, they can also take that away, theoretically speaking. If , that is, people were worried more about honor rather than media perceptions and the shame that goes with bad things being spread by the media propaganda apparatus.

I wonder at what point that price becomes so high that civilization itself will become bankrupt trying to pay it. Such is only a symptom of the greater problem.

Nagging flea bites that, by themselves, don't do much harm, but when combined together creates total dysfunction in an army via disease and what not.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 17, 2008 03:01 PM

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