Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 29, 2004
I watched “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal” last Sunday. It is a documentary by Red, White, and Blue Productions, narrated by Carlton Sherwood.
Two quick points:
1. Roberta Leguizamon at FrontPageMagazine beat me to the punch with this review.
2. The coverage of this documentary has been miniscule. Aside from Roberta Leguizamon’s review and a few words on a few radio talk shows, it has received no noticeable attention.
A clarification: Americans talk about “the Viet Nam war” as though America’s war in Viet Nam was the only one. To me, the more accurate term is “America’s war in Viet Nam”. During the period from 1940 to 1977, there were four wars in Viet Nam, one with Japan, one with France, one with the U. S., and one with Communist China. If you count Viet Nam’s invasion of Cambodia, that makes five. Five wars in thirty-seven years is a lot. So, when someone talks about “the Viet Nam war”, I want to ask which one they mean. Also, “Viet Nam” is the proper spelling, not “Vietnam”.
While “Stolen Valor: Wounds That Never Heal” is presented as a documentary, it’s tone and presentation are dramatic. The producers want the audience to understand the strong emotions related to this subject matter. Music is overlaid on every scene to add feeling. Whether the music is effective depends entirely on the person viewing the documentary. For me, it was a distraction. The words of the people appearing in the documentary had far greater emotional impact than the mood music.
One difficulty with the documentary is that no Vietnamese are presented to give their side of the story. No members of the Viet Nam Veterans against the War (V. V. A. W.) or the Kerry campaign are presented, either. Whether or not these people were interviewed, however, doesn’t change the fact that the audience is required to take the testimony of the people who are presented on faith. The audience will never have material evidence confirming the former POW’s (prisoners of war) claims.
The documentary presents the former POW’s as they relate their experiences and talk about their feelings concerning their captivity and torture, and what they think John Kerry’s role was in the anti-war movement and how it affected them. The POW’s understanding of the connection between their maltreatment at the hands of the Communist Vietnamese and John Kerry’s anti-war activities is the focus of this documentary.
A clear assertion of the documentary is that the anti-war movement in America during the Viet Nam war encouraged the Communist Vietnamese to inflict more punishment--sometimes fatal--on American POW’s.
One anti-war organization that made a mark during the early 1970’s was the Viet Nam Veterans against the War (V. V. A. W.). One of their members was John F. Kerry, now Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States. In 1971, Kerry testified before Congress about the “Winter Soldier” investigations conducted by the V. V. A. W. to obtain accusations of atrocities and crimes committed by American soldiers in Viet Nam. As it turns out, most of the stories about American atrocities and crimes were false, given by young men seeking attention, most of whom had never set foot in Viet Nam, and many of whom never served in the armed forces. The “Winter Soldier” investigation was nothing more than organized rumor-mongering with little attention paid to the validity of the stories.
One point that galls the POW’s is that they endured years of torture to avoid saying the things that John Kerry said. The Communists evaded their obligations to the Geneva Convention by claiming that America’s war efforts were illegal and that captured Americans were not prisoners of war, but were instead mere criminals. The Communists argued that they were entitled to torture, starve, and even summarily execute American servicemen because they were common criminals.
John Kerry and the V. V. A. W. repeated the Communists’ claims that American soldier were mere criminals. This seemed to come as something of a surprise to the Communists. According to the POW’s, the prison administrators were thrilled with Kerry’s public testimony and used to often against the POW’s. Everything that Kerry said re-enforced the claims of the Communists. Kerry’s testimony before Congress encouraged the North Vietnamese torturers to torture more and harder.
A thought about Kerry’s “Winter Soldier” testimony: Not only did Kerry characterize American servicemen in Viet Nam as depraved, soulless barbarians, but in doing so, he denounced the United States of America. America had produced such people, and then turned them loose in Viet Nam. The obvious peculiarity of Kerry’s testimony is that he repeated what the Communists had been saying since 1965 without adding anything new. Kerry used the statements of the Communists to confirm his assertions, and the Communists, believing that Kerry’s efforts were independent of their own, used his statements to confirm their own assertions. In this manner, lies told one side were used to affirm the truth of lies told by the other, even though no actual evidence was ever presented. This is how propaganda works. If enough people say it, it must be true.
According to Kerry, Americans slaughtered two million South Vietnamese civilians from 1964 to 1970. And yet, during that period and the thirty-four years since, neither the United Nations nor the Communist Vietnamese have produced a single mass grave to demonstrate alleged American slaughter of civilians. We can therefore conclude either that the massacres never happened, or that the Vietnamese Communists are covering up evidence of American atrocities, or that the Americans sent all the bodies into outer space.
It should also be noted that in 1971, when Kerry gave his testimony before Congress, everyone in the military knew that the Vietnamese Communists were torturing American POW’s. It was common knowledge that the barbarity of the Communists was their policy. The anti-war movement’s point of view on this (including Jane Fonda and John F. Kerry, currently Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States) is that American POW’s deserved what they got. This is the point of the “Wounds That Never Heal” part of the title. John Kerry, by his association with the V. V. A. W. and the radical anti-American elements of the anti-war movement, assented that American POW’s deserved to be tortured.
One question arises during this documentary: If Lt. John Kerry saw atrocities being committed, why didn’t he fulfill his obligation under military law and intervene to stop the atrocities? The answer is that he never witnessed nor participated in any atrocities. Any stories he tells about committing atrocities himself are pure fantasy on his part.
The narrator poses the following question regarding the POW’s captivity: “Were John Kerry and his fellow anti-war activists responsible for lengthening their imprisonment, and in doing so, causing deaths of men who might otherwise have survived?”
The answer from the POW’s is a resounding “Yes!” on both counts. In their opinion, the anti-war movement in America encouraged the Communist North Vietnamese government to continue the war and hold onto American POW’s as bargaining chips for two more years.
One POW who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor says that Kerry “committed an act of treason...” To be clear, under American law, John F. Kerry did not commit treason. He encouraged the enemy with his words and deeds; he did not give them money, arms, ammunition, or shelter. He did not wear their uniform and fight alongside their soldiers. The point is, however, that to the POW’s, John Kerry’s betrayal of them felt like treason. To the POW’s, John Kerry clearly sided with the enemy.
The documentary holds Kerry responsible for the image of the American soldier as depraved, heartless killers. I disagree. Kerry told the lie; Americans believed it. The American people are responsible for their own bigotry against veterans. Bigotry against America’s veterans is shameful. However, if the election of Bill Clinton to two terms as President of the United States is any indication, Americans have little capacity for self-examination that might result in shame.
The narrator makes the following statements toward the end of the documentary. They don’t require comment:
Veterans feel “betrayed and unjustly accused” by John Kerry. They feel that Kerry “dishonored their sacrifice, and robbed them of their heritage, their place in history.” “They want John Kerry to be finally accountable for the disgrace, the harm he inflicted on an entire generation of good soldiers.” “They want the truth.”
Pros of the documentary:
The firsthand testimony of American POW’s makes “Stolen Valor: Wounds That Never Heal” a historic documentary. It is history as told by the people who lived through the events. It is well paced, and it holds your interest.
The dramatic music was unnecessary and distracting. The testimony of the POW’s and their wives was riveting. Unrehearsed comments are always more interesting to me than scripted statements. For those who may be repulsed by horrible events, this documentary may be difficult to watch. There are no interviews with Communist Vietnamese to corroborate the Americans’ testimony. This is understandable since the Communist government of Viet Nam does not allow Vietnamese citizens to talk freely with the press.
1. American POW’s are convinced that the anti-war movement encouraged the Communist Vietnamese to continue the war for two more years.
2. John Kerry, as a member of the radical anti-American V. V. A. W. bears some responsibility for injuries suffered by American POW’s at the hands of the Communists.
3. Veterans of America’s war in Viet Nam are fighting for their honor and their place in history. The candidacy of John Kerry for President of the United States, and his assertion that he served his country honorably, has inflamed the anger of these veterans. Kerry assumes for himself the title of honorable veteran, while disparaging his fellow veterans as depraved murderers.
4. Veterans of America’s war in Viet Nam deserve the same honor as veterans of all of America’s other wars. The barbarians in America’s war in Viet Nam were the Communists. As a matter of policy, the Communists obliterated villages, slaughtered the people and livestock, tortured captives, and cut off people’s heads and stuck them on poles to terrify the locals. The American people don’t seem a bit interested in learning about these atrocities.
5. The election will be over in November. After thirty-three years, America’s Viet Nam era veterans are entitled to have their stolen honor restored. They served honorably and well. They have been falsely accused. It is now time for them to take their place alongside all of America’s other veterans as liberators and defenders of liberty.
6. If you’re sitting in the comfort of your home reading this without a single worry that the police will kick in your door and drag you away for your political views, thank America’s veterans.
Buy this DVD immediately and add it to your collection. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from the people who were actually there.
Guy L. Evans
Friday, September 24, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 24, 2004
When negotiating from a position of weakness, it is best to avoid confrontation. When negotiating from a position of strength, it is best is threaten confrontation.
Democrats behave as though they are always negotiating from a position of weakness. When America is strong, they seek to weaken our nation so that they can return to their position of weakness. The purpose of this is unclear. It is also relatively new. Franklin Roosevelt sought to strengthen America to face the challenge of fascism. Truman and Kennedy continued to strengthen America against the threat of Communism. It was not until Johnson that the Democrats started the doctrine of weakening America. Carter took this to its extreme, and Clinton effectively gutted the U. S. armed forces.
The strategy, apparently, was to convince our enemies that we were too weak to threaten them; therefore, they had reason to continue to take an adversarial position. This makes as much sense as demonstrating that you don’t have a gun when you’re being robbed at knifepoint. The Democrats bought into the propaganda that Communist countries were not aggressive, that they were only responding to American aggression. Anyone with half a brain knows that this is a lie, but no one ever accused the Democrats of having half a brain.
What I conclude from the Democrats’ strategy of always assuming a position of weakness is that they don’t really believe that America is worth defending. Democrats are more concerned with their self-image than they are with America’s future. They’re afraid of being accused of racism and imperialism.
Democrats in modern times seem to be fixated on the idea that the plight of victims is an uplifting cause, and that the victim’s point of view is the only legitimate point of view. Therefore, they have adopted the victim’s mentality of blaming, accusing, complaining, and demanding.
The Kerry’s, who have so much money that it’s impossible to image that they could have anything to complain about, are emblematic of this mentality; they complain about everything. Neither of them actually suffered to earn the money they now lavish on themselves. In their minds, the Kerry’s want to empathize with victims of racism, exploitation, and bigotry even though they themselves have never suffered any of these things. They are so removed from the realities of poverty, hunger, and discrimination that they have no idea the kinds of problems people actually face. Instead, they strive to maintain an image of sympathy. The image is more important than the substance, and any evidence or arguments that jeopardize that image must be avoided. In the end, they just look like whining, self-indulgent hypocrites.
Continuing to negotiate from weakness, even when you have the opportunity to negotiate from strength, is the height of foolishness. Wanting to remain weak is incredible. The weakness of weakness is that it encourages your opponents to fight harder. Showing weakness causes your opponents to imagine that victory is possible. You can’t intimidate anyone with conciliation, and pretending to be friends with people who are dedicated to your destruction will most likely result in your destruction.
As the Democrats are slowly coming to understand, the Republicans continue to win wars and elections because the Republicans continue to negotiate from a position of strength. They continue to convince America’s opponents that victory is impossible, and that there is no point in getting their hopes up. Walk softly and carry a big stick, or walk loudly and carry a big stick. Who cares? Just carry a big stick.
Guy L. Evans
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 21, 2004
Richard Cohen has a nice article in the New York Daily News. Mr. Cohen is an obvious Democrat, but not a lunatic. Please read his article.
The most interesting comments he makes are:
A recent Pew poll found, for instance, that 51% of Democrats agreed with the proposition that "U.S. wrongdoing" contributed to the attacks of 9/11. (Only 17% of Republicans agreed.)
Those are astounding numbers, an indictment not really of America (for what?) but of those people who compulsively blame their own country for the faults of others. You can believe that America's support of Israel and the stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia played a role in the 9/11 attacks, but the term Pew used was "wrongdoing." In this respect, these people and Bin Laden are in agreement.
This leads me to believe that the real motivation for the Bush-haters is that they are America-haters, and that Bush stands for a positive vision of America. Hating Bush equals hating America and American “wrongdoing”. To these people, Bush is the personification of American “wrongdoing”.
To the America-haters, I repeat, the borders are open; you’re free to go. Pick a better country. Have a good life. Buh bye, now.
America-haters hate America because of what they believe is a history of American “wrongdoing”. Among America’s history of “wrongdoing” is the era of slavery. The British ended slavery in the Empire with a series of votes in Parliament in the 1820’s. The Americans had to fight a terrible war. But, fight a war they did, and slavery was ended as a result. By the way, in case you weren’t aware of it, slavery was officially nullified in the U. S. Constitution by the 13th and 14th Amendments, both ratified by 1868. That means that slavery has been outlawed for 136 years. Condemning America for the “wrongdoing” of slavery in 2004 is like condemning doctors for the “wrongdoing” of using leeches. If slavery is American “wrongdoing”, then what are the emancipation and the amendments to the Constitution that ended slavery?
Another example of supposed American “wrongdoing” was the war in Viet Nam. This is pure Soviet propaganda. The U. S. was trying to prevent the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia. Fighting the war was not wrong, and the methods we used were not wrong. The only “wrongdoing” America committed in Viet Nam was opposing an ally of the Soviet Union.
I hear America-haters condemn the U. S. for having so few people and for possessing so much wealth relative to the rest of the world. To them, this is more evidence of American “wrongdoing”. They say that it’s wrong that Americans should be so well off when so many other people are suffering. If American wealth relative to world poverty is “wrongdoing”, then what is American charity to these same suffering people? America is the most generous country in the world.
The supposition is that America succeeds at the expense of other nations. The supposition is absurd. For example, the people of Arabia would still be living in poverty if not for America’s disproportionate consumption of oil. But what else do Arabs have to sell? Sand? Camels? Without American consumers dutifully shuttling their children to seemingly endless sporting events, people in oil exporting countries would still be living in the economic Middle Ages.
If you want to talk about “wrongdoing”, let’s look at some of our foreign friends. Japanese culture is profoundly racist. Moslem culture debases and oppresses women. Women are still burned alive in parts of India. The Chinese government routinely jails laborers who protest unsafe working conditions. The Saudi government confiscates Bibles and imprisons Christians for practicing their faith.
To condemn America for “wrongdoing” without providing specific examples is absurd and unjust. In her long history, America, like every other country, is certainly guilty of “wrongdoing”. But, for better or for worse, America is still the best country on Earth, and getting better.
Socrates said that nothing is to be preferred before justice. Without freedom, there can be no assurance of justice. America is the only country in history that recognizes and defends individual liberty.
So, Richard Cohen makes some good points, the most positive of which, I think, is that there is no reason to hate Bush, and by implication, no reason to hate America. Finally, America-haters, by condemning America, don’t you by implication also condemn yourselves?
Guy L. Evans
Saturday, September 18, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 18, 2004
The left has decided that facts don’t matter if they don’t come from the proper source. To them, it isn’t what you know; it’s who you trust. To them, any fact uttered by any person who is not properly enlightened simply cannot be trusted. If I said, “I voted for Bush in 2000, and two plus two equals four”, their fist impulse would be to deny that 2 + 2 = 4. Failing that, they would question my “real” motives. They would find it impossible to understand how I could have voted for Bush in 2000 and ever say anything that is demonstrably true.
Why would he say that? What is he up to? Why would the Republicans release that information at this time? There’s something going on around here, and what it is ain’t exactly clear.
Well, lefties and Bush-haters, I’m not up to anything. I was recently reviewing quotes by Aristotle, and it seems that invincible ignorance has been a problem for thousands of years. He noted that people of strong passions cannot be reasoned with, that they are moved only by appeals to their feelings. This seems to be the case with the Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party.
They all FEEL that Bush is a terrible person. They only trust other people who also FEEL that Bush is Hitler. If you don’t share their FEELINGS, then you can’t be trusted.
Don’t get me wrong. Feelings are important. They are vital. After all, feelings are essential to human experience. We feel long before we learn to speak. Feelings don’t require education. They are natural, unavoidable, and usually accurate. They are common to all people. And above all, feelings--especially passionate feelings--can be trusted because feelings are always genuine.
Or are they?
Passionate feelings of distrust, anger, resentment, and frustration are common to people with paranoid tendencies. Party affiliation is no indicator of who has paranoid tendencies. Paranoid tendencies are common among people who have suffered abuse and neglect, and have treated their symptoms with self-indulgence. People who have been abused tend to un-learn trust in other people. They develop a reflexive aversion to trust and to intimacy. This leads to feelings of paranoia. They learn to trust only what they can immediately control, things that reliably give them pleasure such as food, alcohol, electronic entertainment, sex, and drugs.
The paranoia that these people feel is exaggerated by constantly reliving unresolved past injuries, and by fantasies of future catastrophes that are strikingly similar to past injuries. People with paranoid tendencies project their unresolved grief and anger onto the present and the future. For people like this, feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger are an unconscious, uncontrollable primitive cry to acknowledge, accept, and resolve past injuries. They want to heal. Such feelings are not related to current events, but are projected onto current events. These feelings and passions are not genuinely related to current experiences, and therefore cannot be trusted.
Many people who hold passionate hatred for President Bush seem to fall into this category. To find out if passionate hatred of President Bush is genuine, replace the figure of Bush with the figure of someone else, then test your feelings. For the genuinely paranoid, it wouldn’t matter who the President is. If he’s not one of the enlightened people, they are going to have identical feelings of hatred. They are more interested in identifying a common focus for their passions than in who the target actually is. Bush-haters of today showed the same paranoid hysteria toward Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush, Sr. as they now show toward Bush, Jr., even though these are all very different men. Bush-haters of today also showed similar hysteria toward Johnson and Humphrey, both Democrats.
The passion of most Bush-haters far exceeds their actual experience. They seem to want to join a group of like-mined people who share their feelings. They derive a sense of safety from knowing that other people feel the same way they do. However, paranoids confirming each other’s paranoia serves only to misdirect them away from the actual source of their anxiety. It is more like a mutual flattery society in which they reaffirm each other’s enlightenment by affirming that only the truly enlightened understand why passionate hatred of President Bush is correct. Their particular enlightenment compels and justifies passionate hatred, and passionate hatred is seen as evidence of an enlightened political view.
Paranoia is always internal, never external. It is a sense that something is wrong even when there appears to be no identifiable source. People who are habitually paranoid can be anxious about anything. Their reasoning goes that if they feel anxious, then there must be something to feel anxious about. There is. However, they block the actual event or events that caused the very real fear. They block these experiences because they don’t know how to resolve them. The problem for them is that the FEELINGS won’t go away until the events are successfully resolved.
Feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger are certainly real. However, displacing them onto unrelated causes only exaggerates those feelings. They will remain until the events that generated them are resolved.
By the way, the way to resolve feelings of past abuses is to accept your feelings. Ask and answer these questions in this order:
1. What happened? Don’t exaggerate, and don’t leave out critical information.
2. How do you feel about it? Label your feelings, and express them verbally.
3. What do you want? Verbally express what you want. Be realistic.
Re-learning trust is the most important undertaking people who have un-learned trust will face. Get professional help. Expect it to take years. But, start right away, because it’s worth it.
Hate Bush all you want. But, if your abusive parents are the cause of anxiety, rage, frustration, panic attacks, and an enduring sense of gloom, voting for Kerry won’t help you.
As to reasoning with people of strong passions, I think the only moral course is to adopt a position of infinite patience, and to diligently pursue your line of reasoning. You never know when someone will “get it”, and when they do, you may never know how grateful they are to you for having instructed them.
Guy L. Evans
Friday, September 17, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 17, 2004
Bush-haters are an interesting bunch, interesting in the sense that epidemics are interesting. One bright young Bush-hater postulated last year before a Democratic Party nominee had emerged from the pack that he will vote for anyone the Democrats nominate, even a “stinky monkey” would be better than Bush.
Hence, the “stinky monkey” test.
What are the characteristics of a stinky monkey?
What are the assets of a stinky monkey?
What are the determents?
How does John Kerry compare to a stinky monkey?
A stinky monkey is harmless, and therefore is unable to betray his country and his fellow veterans as John F. Kerry did in 1971 through 1973. A stinky monkey will never ally himself with enemies of the United States (unless they feed him, see 4. above). John Kerry allied himself with America’s enemies in 1971, and they didn’t even have to feed him.
A stinky monkey is incapable of poor judgment because he is incapable of any judgment at all. Kerry has profoundly poor judgment on profoundly critical matters, for example, offering to sell nuclear fuel to Iran in exchange for a promise from Iran not to use that fuel to build a bomb that would be used to obliterate Israel. (I’m serious. That’s what he said.)
John F. Kerry smells better than a stinky monkey. (I have no first hand experience of this. I base my conclusion on visual evidence only. No one in the immediate vicinity of Kerry appears to be uncomfortable with his odor.)
Kerry isn’t as cute as a stinky monkey. (Clinton certainly demonstrated the cute can take you a long way in life.) But, as far as looks go, I consider it a wash.
A stinky monkey has very little intellect, and therefore has little capacity to drift off into a rich fantasy life, daydreaming about being a character in a movie. John Kerry seems to think that he is a character in Apocalypse Now (1979). (It should be noted that while Kerry’s official campaign has retracted his “Christmas in Cambodia” lie--you know, the one that was “seared, seared” into his memory--Kerry himself has not.)
In the office of President, a stinky monkey would be fairly harmless if not utterly useless. John Kerry, on the other hand, has the potential to cause untold destruction.
So, from all available evidence, a stinky monkey would have been a better choice than John Kerry for the Democrats. A stinky monkey would have been slightly less repulsive. A stinky monkey would have none of Kerry’s liabilities (lying, blaming, boring, homely, weird, etc.). He would, however, possess John Kerry’s primary asset: He’s not Bush. The “I’m not Bush” slogan can be applied to everyone who isn’t Bush. Not being Bush is nothing unique to Kerry.
It’s not too late, Democrats. If you hurry, you can replace Kerry with a stinky monkey.
The choice, however, is not between Bush and a stinky monkey. The choice is between Bush (for the sake of argument, let’s concede that the left is correct on all counts--selected, not elected; stole the election; lied to take us to war; rushed to war; no WMD in Iraq; blah, blah, blah) and a completely incoherent, unreliable, back stabbing, out-of-touch-with-reality, living-in-his-own-bizarre-fantasy-world John Kerry. John Kerry has demonstrated only one thing that he is really, really good at: Finding people to blame for his screw-ups.
Bush knows the difference between DEALING WITH threats and ELIMINATING them. Kerry wants to DEAL WITH threats to America. Bush wants to ELIMINATE them. Be honest. How do you handle threats in your own life? Do you try to contain them, or do you try to eliminate them? If someone threatens to shoot you, do you give him money, apologize, agonize that he may have a valid reason for threatening you, and hope he won’t come back to threaten you again, or do you call the cops and have him hauled off to jail? People who think that Saddam Hussein was not a threat to America, or that Iran and North Korea are not threats are profoundly deluded and unable to comprehend their own self-interest.
The choice for Bush-haters can be illustrated as follows: A 1956 Volkswagen sedan or a pair of roller skates. You hate Volkswagens. You can’t stand them. You would rather slash your wrists. But, when the weather’s bad, the 1956 Volkswagen sedan is all that stands between you and the rain.
The choice in November is clear. Right now, Bush is the only thing standing between Michael Moore and al Qaeda. Moslem fanatics are a greater threat to all of us than what happened in the election of 2000.
The most damning evidence to me that Kerry is out of touch with reality is his comment that if (“IF”) America is attacked, he will retaliate. Hello, stupid! America was attacked on September 11, 2001. Where were you? The choice is retaliation AFTER another attack (Kerry), or preventing future attacks (Bush). Retaliate? Retaliate this, you bozo!
A stinky monkey would have been a better candidate for the Democrats than John F. “Christmas in Cambodia” Kerry. After Clinton the draft dodger and Gore the liar extraordinaire, the Democrats offer the American voters John Kerry, back stabber, turncoat, betrayer, blamer, liar, flip-flopper, cry-baby, boring, bizarre, and above all, self proclaimed hero of a war he calls “a mistake” and “the biggest nothing in history”...
...but definitely NOT stinky.
Guy L. Evans
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
The following is an e-mail I sent to Swift Boat Vets for Truth. You can contact them at Latch@SwiftVets.com.
September 16, 2004
It appears that your campaign against John Kerry is having the desired effect.
I’m not a psychologist, however, it seems to me that Kerry maintains a self-image of infallibility, invincibility, and of being unique and special. In other words, he may have a condition called “narcissistic personality disorder”.
If this is true, then any attacks on his self-image of infallibility and invincibility will elicit a reflexive, compulsive response. He will be compelled to “get even”. Efforts to get even with his attackers will divert his attention and resources away from his political campaign and into a personal contest that, even if he wins it, cannot benefit him in any way other than to reassure him of his own self-image.
I think that’s what Kerry’s entire Presidential campaign is all about, his self-image. It’s not about America, taxes, healthcare, education, or anything that involves anyone other than John Kerry.
Whether you intended it or not, by questioning his image of infallibility and invincibility, you have done more in a few months to harm John Kerry than all his political opponents combined over the last thirty years.
So far, so good. Keep it up. It’s not over yet.
Guy L. Evans
P. S. I have linked your site at my blog, onedestination.blogspot.com. Both my readers support your efforts.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 14, 2004
Jonah Goldberg of the National Review Online writes in his article Goodbye to All That: Dan Rather goes the way of the dinosaurs.
“The folks at Powerline compare the willingnessThe principle term here is “invulnerable”, and the comparison with the suicide bombers and Dan Rather is that they both believe themselves to be invulnerable.
of Dan Rather to chase a partisan hit job into the land of fiction to the
revolution of suicide bombing. The sudden willingness, indeed eagerness,
of terrorists to die with their victims changed the whole paradigm of national
security. Similarly, Rather was willing to destroy himself in pursuit of a
partisan attack. It’s an okay analogy, but it misses a crucial
point. Dan Rather didn’t think he was going to blow himself up. He
believed he was invulnerable.”
The Moslem bombers think that Islam makes them immune to death and to the consequences of their acts. They think that their religion absolves them of culpability for ambushing defenseless people. The normal restraints of self-preservation, compassion for the innocent, and shame are removed by the Moslems’ belief that Allah will make it right in the end somehow. The Moslem bombers have never been held accountable for their actions, and they therefore believe that they are invulnerable.
Dan Rather has a similar problem. He has been insulated within his cocoon at CBS for so many decades, never having been held accountable for his actions, that he has come to believe that he truly is invulnerable. Now that he is exposed to criticism, he maintains his illusion of invulnerability even while suffering massive hemorrhaging of his reputation. He is bleeding out, yet all he can think to do is stand his ground and impugn the motives of his critics.
Dan Rather will never accept responsibility for perpetrating a fraud on the American people. I predict that he will not resign; he will be fired. He will have dozens of people to blame for his downfall, the same way Bill Clinton blamed dozens of people for his downfall. Dan Rather, like Bill Clinton, can never afford to admit wrongdoing. His image of invulnerability is a valuable asset to him. His image is all he has to sell.
Dan Rather is suffering from a lack of critical self-examination. Critical self-examination is the defining characteristic of Western Civilization, and has been responsible for the survival and expansion of Western Civilization for five thousand years. Cultures that prohibit critical self-examination--cultures like Islam, CBS, and the Democratic Party--will continue to make decisions that result in their downfall. This is called folly. The illusion of invulnerability is folly.
The fundamental rule of self-interest is determining whether your behavior will help you or hurt you. People who habitually engage in self-destructive behavior, and who habitually blame others--other people, nature, God--for the consequences when things go wrong are nearly impossible to help. They can’t be taught to stop the cycle of self-destruction and accusation because their self-image of invulnerability is more valuable to them than money, love, or truth. The illusion of invulnerability is a powerful intoxicant.
The world will give you all the trouble you can handle. You don’t need to make more for yourself. To help you decide what actions to take, simply memorize this rule: If it doesn’t help, don’t do it. Just a little advice from your old Uncle Guy.
Guy L. Evans
Monday, September 13, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 13, 2004
Terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology. Terrorism is a type of surprise attack. The targets are physical and psychological. The physical targets are engines of prosperity and security. The psychological targets are our trust in institutions of government.
The ideologies that promote surprise attacks and indiscriminate slaughter must be defeated. Currently, most of those ideologies are Moslem. Nazism, as an analogy, is the most murderous ideology of modern times. While Communism has killed more people, Nazism incorporates indiscriminate slaughter and aggressive wars against all non-Nazis as doctrine. In order to prevent Nazis from implementing their doctrine, we must prevent Nazis from taking power. The most efficient way to prevent Nazis from taking power is to reduce their numbers to the point that they are too weak to challenge the status quo. The most efficient way to reduce their numbers is to educate people about the errors and dangers of Nazism, in other words, to defeat the ideology in the minds of people considering adopting Nazism.
The first priority is to establish and maintain order. Institutions of government must gain the trust of the governed. People will trust government more easily when they feel safe. People trust those who provide safety and stability.
The second is to establish and maintain education. Education requires order, peace, and stability. The institutions of education must gain the trust of their students, and trust is most easily attained in a stable environment.
Defeating the ideology of indiscriminate slaughter and aggressive war against non-Moslems will be difficult in parts of the world where order has not been established. Children who learn to survive by their wits in chaotic environments often consider themselves to be vastly more capable than they really are. They begin to think of themselves as infallible and invincible. It seems natural for such children to adopt ideologies of antipathy and self-indulgent slaughter.
The mythical “root cause” of the modern “terrorism” that we are supposed to be at war with is the abuse and neglect Moslem parents inflict on their children. Many Moslem children are physically and emotionally brutalized by their parents, their teachers, and their governments. They are raised to believe that they have no value in their own right, that they have no natural legitimacy. These children learn that they can never obtain legitimacy unless they adopt a xenophobic form of their religion. They learn to condemn to death all “impure” people, including other Moslems.
The key points of education that will ultimately defeat the “terrorists” is that all people have the right to live and that all people have the right to be heard. Until Moslems accept these self-evident truths, the war will continue until xenophobic Moslems no longer control any governments. Don’t think it can’t happen. We did it to the Nazis first, then the Soviets.
The way to defeat the “terrorists” is to teach them that the risks are too high and the rewards too small, and that their efforts to change the world will be ineffective. The other way to defeat “terrorism” is to kill the “terrorists” who are intent on committing suicide. Their goal is to kill themselves, and we should oblige them. When we kill them, we should communicate their deaths with unflinching realism. They claim that their strength is that they are not afraid to die. They need to learn that our strength is that we are not afraid to kill them. Ultimately, we have to reduce their numbers to the point that they are too weak to be a threat.
In an age where attackers can use nuclear and chemical weapons against massed civilians, one option that must be considered is genocide against Moslems. (This may not be possible as Moslems continue to slaughter each other at a rate far greater than all non-Moslems combined.) Moslems have already demonstrated in lands as diverse as Sudan and Indonesia that they are willing to commit genocide against non-Moslems, and that genocide (indiscriminate slaughter) is an acceptable policy to them. We didn’t need to commit genocide against the Germans in order to defeat Nazism, and we didn’t need to commit genocide against the Russians in order to defeat the Soviet Union. We may not need to commit genocide against Moslems, but we should not rule it out.
The question for us now is how do we convince Moslems to abandon aggressive wars against non-Moslems. The problem for us is that many strains of Islam teach that life isn’t worth living and that death is a reward in itself. Until we convince a billion fatalists that life really is worth living, we’re going to have to keep fighting.
Guy L. Evans
Friday, September 10, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
September 10, 2004
John Kerry’s pathology of betrayal is well known. He betrayed the United States by giving credibility to Soviet propaganda in 1971. He betrayed U. S. war veterans by accusing them of routinely committing war crimes and atrocities. He betrayed the trust of his fellow senators in 1986 by telling a whopping lie about being in Cambodia in 1968. He betrayed his fellow Democrats by continually lying to them about phony missions to Cambodia, and then expecting them to believe and support those lies. Now, John Kerry is joined by CBS News in betraying the trust of their fellow Democrats and the American people.
The document that CBS News has offered as evidence that George W. Bush evaded his obligations in the Texas Air National Guard has been demonstrated to be a forgery. The document is a fraud.
It isn’t surprising that proponents of John Kerry’s campaign for President would resort to fraud. I am curious about only one thing: How will rank and file Democrats respond to being asked to believe and support another obvious lie?
The lie that CBS News is telling is that George W. Bush evaded service in the National Guard. This is what Democrats want to hear. Are Democrats more interested in being told what they want to hear, or are they more interested in being told the truth, even when the truth is contrary to their deepest wishes?
Much will be said about this scandal in the coming days, and perhaps for years to come. The question now is will there be any movement within the Democratic Party to clean up the mess. Will anyone step forward to put an end to the lying, cheating, and obvious fraud that has become the standard operating procedure of the Democratic Party? Will any Democrat say that, as a Democrat, he is fed up with being constantly lied to by the Democratic Party and the pro-Democratic Party press?
To Democrats, I ask you: Have you no shame? To what level will your Party stoop before you stop supporting them? What crimes must your Party commit before you understand that they are simply using you?
Democrats face a contradiction. If their loyalty to their Party obligates them to participate in the kind of fraud CBS News has perpetrated this week, then they weaken America’s trust in them and the Democratic Party. If their loyalty leads them to actions that hurt the Democratic Party, then they risk weakening the very thing they claim to be supporting. What do Democrats think their mission is, destroying Bush at all costs, or supporting their Party even if it looks like they won’t win the election?
Apparently, Democrats have no concept of the future. The Democratic Party propagandists treat the United States of America the same way they treat the Democratic Party. They weaken from within the very nation they claim to be supporting. They betray the trust of fellow Americans for the sake of ultimately delivering America from the clutches of capitalism and the evil Republicans. They behave as though they can commit any fraud today because once they take control of the nation, it will all be worth it.
I still don’t understand the point of the continual lies, the continual denials, and the continual attacks on Bush. How does making Bush look like Hitler make Kerry qualified to be President? How does telling me how yucky grapefruit juice is make dog dudu smell good? Is it possible that no matter how bad Bush is, Kerry may be worse? Is that possible?
It is not only possible; it is necessary. It is unavoidable. It cannot be otherwise. Telling me how dishonest Bush is doesn’t persuade me that Kerry is honest. It is possible that they are both dishonest, and it is also possible that Kerry is more dishonest than Bush. If it is possible for the Democrats to convince me that Kerry is honest, why aren’t they doing it? If it is possible for the Democrats to demonstrate to me that Kerry will make a better President, why aren’t they doing it, instead of vilifying Bush? Don’t they think that if Kerry were any better than Bush, attacking Bush would be completely unnecessary? By attacking Bush, all the Democrats are really saying to me is, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Every time I hear a Democrat tell me how bad Bush is, I answer, “Yes. You’re absolutely right. Whatever you say. I won’t argue with you about any of it. But, Kerry’s worse.”
So, to me, those are my choices: Bad and worse. Right now, bad looks a hell of a lot better than worse. Bush has a record of defending the United States. John Kerry has a record of opposing weapons systems that we now use to great effect in our own defense. Bush wants to take the fight to the Moslem fascists. Kerry wants to wait for another attack on American soil before he asks France for permission to retaliate. No matter how villainous President Bush actually is, his plan offers me, my family, and my community a better chance of survival than Senator Kerry’s proposals of appeasement and retreat.
This is no time to let Democratic Party propagandists like CBS News distract you from the real threat: Al Qaeda is planning a nuclear attack on the United States of America. If we don’t kill them in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, they will kill us here in our homes while we sleep. They will kill and kill and kill. They have no demands to meet. They will not stop. They will never stop. You can’t buy them off. You can’t make them like you. Even if you surrender to them, they will slaughter you. You have no choice but to fight.
Vote Bush. Vote Republican. Stop the Moslem fascists. We can’t debate school funding and health care when we’re all dead.
Guy L. Evans
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Opinion © 2004, by Guy L. Evans
The following is a letter I sent via e-mail to Mackubin Thomas Owens, contributing editor at National Review Online, and professor of strategy and force planning at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His articles for NRO may be found here. I strongly encourage you to check them out.
September 1, 2004
I have read most of your articles on John Kerry and the Viet Nam veterans at NRO Online. Overall, very thought provoking. Here is one thought that has provoked me the most: Veterans as dysfunctional losers, the myth of the crazy vet.
The figment of the dysfunctional Viet Nam vet is thoroughly ingrained in American mythology. The myth suggests that Viet Nam vets should be avoided and pitied from a distance. It also suggests that they are beyond redemption. It lends validity to the assumption that those who avoided the war were wise for doing so because they could have ended up like “that”.
I don’t think that John Kerry and his buds at the V. V. A. W. invented the myth; they affirmed its validity in the minds of the public. Two questions arise:
1. What is the genesis of the crazy Viet Nam vet myth?
2. Why did the American people so willingly adopt the myth as reality, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding?
I have long believed that the myth of the drug-crazed, baby-killing Viet Nam vet permitted the public an escape for their own complicity in the loss of Viet Nam to the Communists. The myth helps the public believe that their cowardice and ignorance are actually courage and wisdom.
The myth also feeds the culture of opinionated ignorance, what I call chic suburban cynicism. People get to tell themselves that there’s no difference between the Soviet Union and the United States, that the government lies to us constantly, that all politicians are corrupt, that veterans are villains, that the police are villains, and so forth. People who are cynical about everything are free of the burden of actually having to think. The culture of cynicism turns the public away from faith in the institutions of self-government, and provides an opportunity for a radical minority to take control of government.
It is correct and worthwhile to point out to the American people that John Kerry sided with the Soviet Union, and that in doing so he contradicted other protesters of the war, notably Daniel Ellsberg, who, as you made clear, said that atrocities were extremely rare and that American forces took great pains to avoid such events. The question of why Kerry would openly contradict leaders of the anti-war movement may be answered by his need for attention. However, Kerry’s need for attention and his reckless disregard for the consequences of his actions is another matter for another time.
The question is why did the American people choose to believe Kerry’s account and to disbelieve Ellsberg’s account. Ellsberg had greater standing within the anti-war community, and Kerry was new to the movement, a mere pup. It might have been the Elvis effect. Elvis Presley sold black music to white audiences primarily because he was white. In those days, white audiences wouldn’t listen to black music, no matter how much they actually liked it, because it was black. But Elvis made it acceptable for white audiences to listen to black music because it was presented by an attractive white performer.
Did John Kerry do for Soviet propaganda what Elvis did for black music? You said that he did, and I agree. He put a white, all-American, boy-next-door face on the enemy, their words coming out of his mouth. But, that only made the message acceptable. The question still arises: Why did the American people so willingly consume the message?
The phenomenon of characterizing all Viet Nam vets as horrible villains is similar to the phenomenon of characterizing all black men as lazy. It permits the believer to elevate himself without actually knowing anything about the targets of his bigotry. It is self-flattery to the believer. He doesn’t actually have to do anything noteworthy to believe that he is still morally superior to the characters of the myth.
If people who believe the myths about Viet Nam vets actually compared their lives to the lives of the vets, they would have to admit some respect for the vets. The American people are happy to show the vets pity, just as long as they don’t have to show them respect.
All Viet Nam era veterans are entitled to legitimacy. They are entitled to unhindered integration into American society, culture, politics, and history. They don’t demand attention, admiration, or any other special status. They just want the lies to stop.
For example, you note that a total of 278 soldiers and marines were convicted of serious crimes against Vietnamese nationals. You also note that many atrocities were never reported. Okay, let’s do some math. Let’s take the 278, multiply it by 100 to get 27,800 atrocities. Round that up to 30,000 atrocities to be generous to the proponents of the “every veteran committed atrocities” argument. If the total number of prosecutable atrocities was more than one hundred times the actual number prosecuted, the total number of number of atrocities would be one percent (1.0 %) of the estimated number of military personnel who actually set foot in Viet Nam. You have to admit that the behavior of one percent of the Americans in country can hardly be considered routine or wide spread. If John Kerry was correct in 1971, then the total number of Vietnamese killed by Americans because of wide spread atrocities could easily have exceeded one million. Even if it’s 30,000, where are the bodies? Where are the graves? Where is the blood? Where is the evidence? Don’t you think the Communist government in Viet Nam would have made a spectacle of American atrocities by now if they had the evidence? Today, they are in control of the country, so why are they relying on the Senate testimony of young John Kerry to validate accusations of American war crimes? Where is their evidence?
We now know how much effort the Khmer Rouge took to kill over one million Cambodians. In fact, the killing went on night and day for years, and it was fairly well known that this was happening. Considering that Viet Nam was the first television war, and was covered by the American and international press very thoroughly, how did the press miss so much blood letting and destruction by American troops? And, why in 1971, did the press choose to dismiss their own reporting in favor of the unfounded comments of a hand full of radicals?
As to the matter of the mental condition of veterans, the evidence seems to indicate that those veterans who were psychologically messed up after the war were psychologically messed up before the war. The armed forces takes care to weed out emotionally unstable people before sending them off to stressful assignments, however, they don’t catch them all. Trauma can occur from any number of sources, and too many people have incorrectly attributed Viet Nam as the source of trauma that afflicts many veterans. Considering the abuse veterans suffered in the 1960’s and 1970’s, how much post traumatic stress disorder can be attributed to trauma suffered at the hands of the American public and the American media? How much trauma did veterans suffer from knowing that they were un-invited to the American table, that Americans considered the only good Viet Nam vet to be a dead Viet Nam vet, or that the next person you say “hello” to could go berserk and spit on you or punch you? How many vets concluded in their twenties that there was no one they could trust, and after thirty years haven’t had an open conversation with anyone, not even their own family? What kind of trauma do you suppose such isolation induces?
People in the media need to report more stories about veterans who were attacked, beaten, shot, stabbed, spit on, fired, divorced, and in many other ways attacked because of the propaganda of the anti-war movement. The media should get the story straight about the suicides among Viet Nam vets. What would you do if your friends and family turned against you, if you were portrayed as a threat to society, and if you couldn’t get a job or get married as a result of constant media bias? Many vets chose suicide. It was too much for them.
The media still spreads the mythology. Viet Nam vets who commit violent crimes are often identified as Viet Nam vets. Viet Nam vets who work for charities, save lives, start businesses, or teach are rarely identified as Viet Nam vets. When was the last time you heard the media identify a gun-toting robber as a Viet Nam vet? When was the last time you heard the media identify a surgeon, a lawyer, or even a journalist as a Viet Nam vet? The media most commonly identifies Viet Nam vets with violent crime, suicide, homelessness, and drug abuse. Why? To lend credibility to their unjustified bigotry against Viet Nam vets.
All in all, your articles bring insight to the matter, but they also raise some serious questions. You have a much wider audience than I can ever hope to have. Would you consider looking into some of the questions I have raised?
Mr. Owens, it’s time to expose the myth of the dysfunctional Viet Nam vet and allow those veterans to reclaim their honor and their legitimacy. John Kerry certainly owes veterans an apology for repeating Soviet propaganda to the American people, and the American press owes veterans an apology for refusing to investigate the accusations and then telling the truth. But most of all, the American people owe veterans an apology for believing that propaganda. People who tell lies are guilty. People who believe lies and then act on those lies are also culpable.
Guy L. Evans