Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reasoned Reviews Of The 43rd

Whilst checking out SisterToldjah's blog, I came across the following articles. As we wind down the last few days of the George W. Bush administration, we hear much about how the One will bring Eden back to the planet, after he erases all the evil and misery inflicted by the onerous Dubya. All the world will join together in song and love and understanding will flourish.

Adults, on the other hand, view the Bush presidency with more reasoned eyes and with intellectual honesty, judge his work based on reality, seeing both good and bad without naivete of the victims of BDS or the foggy perceptions of the Bush worshippers, of which I don't believe any ever existed.

So, I present from the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes' list of what he considers the ten best achievements of the Bush administration. This is followed by Rich Lowry, from National Review Online who lists what he feels are ten mistakes George made. The third is also from the Weekly Standard by two guys who work in Berlin named Patrick Keller and Dustin Dehez. Together they look at 3 big things he got right with his foreign policy.

All three represent a clear-headed look at the last eight years. The usual suspects will provide the bloviating about war crimes and corruption. Enjoy.

30 comments:

Democracy Lover said...

I think the fact that Bush is leaving office with a 22% approval rating, lower than any other President, is the ultimate review of his performance.

Even the lists of achievements and things he got right that you cite are merely lists of things he did that conform to the author's world view - in other words, when he agreed with me he was right. The "accomplishments" they ascribe to Bush will be listed in the history books as failures and mistakes.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I've been wondering if I could name one thing Bush has done that I was happy with. I came up with it - in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, he went out of his way to insist the "Islam" was not the enemy, but rather extremism in the guise of religious intolerance was. It is the one thing he did that made me proud of him.

Other than that, like the vast majority of Americans, I can't wait until I see his back for the last time. One long catastrophe. I don't even care if he goes away mad, as long as he goes away.

BTW, what is this BDS you keep harping on? It isn't possible that a reasonable human being, gazing upon the wreckage of our land, our institutions, our military, our economy, our reputation, even the various executive offices of our federal government might possibly consider this wreckage to be the fault of those in charge since January 20, 2001? Or is it all craziness. Are the vast majority of Americans so silly, vapid, ignorant, and blind to reality that we just don't understand all the benefits we have accrued from the cumulative effect of George W. Bush upon our country?

Democracy Lover said...

The greatest accomplishments of George W. Bush.

1. He allowed democracy to finally prevail in Latin America by not overthrowing Chavez, Morales, and other rules with broad popular support.

2. He demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that neo-conservatives are certifiably insane and should never be allowed near the levers of power again.

3. He clearly demonstrated that trickle-down, "free market" economis doesn't work.

4. His utter failure allowed the Democratic Party to gain control of both houses of Congress and the White House for the first time in 14 years.

5. He has overstretched the U.S. military and rendered it unable to continue imperialist wars overseas.

6. He has shown everyone everywhere that outsourcing is more expensive and less productive than government bureaucracy.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

About Democracy Lover's list. Number 1 is only true to the extent that Hugo Chavez survived an American supported coup. Having done so, he is now able to thumb his nose at us at will. Unlike Nixon, who at least managed to have Allende killed and set up the Condor network with the neo-fascists of Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, Bush can't even do Latin American imperialism well. Number 2 has always been true, but at least there is enough evidence for people to realize how nuts they are. "John Bolton" is all one needs to say. I would like to skip to Number 6, and mention outsourcing our security. Historically, embassy security has been the province of the United States Marine Corps. Depending on the country, up to a whole company of Marines can be assigned to protect an embassy compound.

Not Iraq.

No. In Iraq, where we have one of the largest embassy compounds of any country in the world anywhere, we are outsourcing our security to what amounts to mercenaries. Not just embassy security, but all sorts of security has been outsourced this way. One marvels that more conservatives haven't raised a hue and cry about this particular practice; God knows this particular liberal finds it outrageous.

As far as I'm concerned, conservatives can shout "Harry Truman!" all you want. History and historians will not be kind to Bush not because they are a bunch of purblind liberals; they will be unkind because the eight years of his Presidency have been an unmitigated disaster.

I forgot something in my own little reminiscence - New Orleans, R.I.P. 'Nuff said.

Marshall Art said...

DL,

Bush's approval rating is totally subjective and other polls put him at the mid 30s. Not good either, but again, subjective and based less on reality than perception. As you suggest, the achievements may indeed conform with the world view of the author, but I maintain that that worldview is far more objective than any liberal who posts here is capable of being.

As you should know, because it's been said over and over again, conservatives are not down with every move Bush has made. But to suggest that there are no accomplisments, or that there was nothing Bush did that was of benefit to our country or to the world is to expose one's self as narrow of mind and no friend of truth.

So let's look at your list:

1) Haven't followed enough his policies regarding Latin America to comment.

2) Has demonstrated no such thing as I doubt you have any clear understanding of what "neocon" believes or espouses. I think this is a common problem with the lunatic left and the term is only one of derision rather than one having any real meaning.

3) I'd be interested in hearing how you justify this silly statement. One mistake I've often pointed out in Bush's economic policies is his failure to cut or reduce spending, which would have enhanced the benefits of his tax cuts, which indeed raised revenues to the federal coffers.

4) Democratic control was attained as a result of failures within the party more than failures of Bush. Pants wetting related to the war was a part of it, liberal spending by Republican members of Congress, as well as a perception of corruption that was not entirely justified was the ultimate culprit.

5) There is limited capabilities regarding our military, but not as you'd like to believe. If lefty whining about war hasn't corrupted the national attitude regarding service, a draft would be in place and our military would be even stronger than it is. But even standing pat, it is a superior force comprised of superior citizens. Liberal notions of only losers and failures joining the military is propaganda from those who oppose Bush's clear understanding of the threats we face in the world.

6) I totally don't understand what the hell you're trying to say here.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

"It is the one thing he did that made me proud of him."

This is a statement that is symptomatic of BDS. You pretend you're giving him props for something, throwing a bone, as it were. But it is shallow. Here's more evidence of BDS:

"It isn't possible that a reasonable human being, gazing upon the wreckage of our land, our institutions, our military, our economy, our reputation, even the various executive offices of our federal government might possibly consider this wreckage to be the fault of those in charge since January 20, 2001?"

No such wreckage exists but in the minds of Bush-haters everywhere.

Here's more:

"the eight years of his Presidency have been an unmitigated disaster."

Such meaningless rhetoric is intended to imply the speaker has real insight or understanding, yet as evidenced by the links from this post, is totally looney.

Bubba said...

A leftist has more good things to say about Chavez than Bush, and even though Chavez has shut down TV stations that criticized him, the leftist calls himself Democracy Lover.

And Geoffrey here writes that he can't think of one thing Bush has done right -- not a new entitlement for prescription drugs for seniors, not the liberation of 50 million Afghanis and Iraqis, not even the tens of billions in aid to Africa that have earned the praise of both Bono and the UK Independent -- and yet he questions the existence of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Marshall, I have to believe that you're being snowed. These supposed progressives who keep commenting here can't really be this tone-deaf. You must be the victim of some elaborate parody, for reasons that remain unclear.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

No such wreckage exists?

How can you possibly type this with a clear conscience? Seriously, Marshall. Look around. The economy is on the brink of collapse. The military is a hollow shell; veteran care is a joke, especially in regards to mental health follow-up. Our diplomatic credibility is zero. Our executive branch departments, especially Justice, have been politicized to the point of being incapable of functioning. Even something as relatively inconsequential as science policy has been held captive by zealots who want no reference to real science to get in the way of their creationism, their anti-global warming beliefs, their pro-life agendas.

The sad thing is that I know you can type that sentence and believe it, because of my year and a half or so of exposure to you and your blog. We have a whole lot of heavy lifting to do to repair the multiple damages to our nation; most Americans see it, understand it, and look forward to it. Dead-enders such as yourself who refuse to see what is so clear to most everyone else will benefit, of course, but will make no sacrifice, pay no price, bear no burden.

Bubba - the prescription drug plan, like NCLB, is an unfunded mandate. As for "liberating" the Afghan and Iraqi people, I'm quite sure that all those dead Iraqis, Afghans, and American service personnel are grateful for our efforts. That and the on-going violence and anarchy in both countries is a wonderful testament to our "liberation".

The alternative universe of conservatives has not yet collapsed.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

"How can you possibly type this with a clear conscience?"

Because it's far closer to reality than your lefty rhetoric will ever be.

"The economy is on the brink of collapse."

Hardly, but the problems that exist have more to do with Dem interference than the failure of Bush to stop it. Get real. Yet, as Bush moved in a liberal fashion to deal with the situation, a move that Obama is preparing to copy, you still give him crap.

"The military is a hollow shell;"

Spoken like a true Bush-hater. Could we be more over the top in our rhetoric, Geoffrey? Which is it, a hollow shell or a military industrial complex?

"Our diplomatic credibility is zero."

With whom exactly? This particular gripe is my favorite. If you listen to the world community's version of Geoffrey, that might be true. But not so much if you listen to the leaders of allied nations.

"Our executive branch departments, especially Justice, have been politicized to the point of being incapable of functioning"

There's been considerable political maneuvering well before Bush's arrival, and then more merely because of it. To say it's because of Bush is more Bush-hatred.

"Even something as relatively inconsequential as science policy has been held captive by zealots who want no reference to real science to get in the way of their creationism, their anti-global warming beliefs, their pro-life agendas."

Another fave of mine. Chuckleheaded lefties love to pretend Bush let ideology interfere with science policy. Not so in the least. Bush defends life because both science and his faith support the positions he takes. We've had that debate before and you've yet to put forth any solid science to contradict the true understanding.

Bush never put creationism above other theories, but merely feels, like many do, that ID and even creationism has a place as alternative possibilities that deserve a mention along side other unproven theories. Yes. Unproven theories that are foisted upon kids a fact, when notable scientists hold other positions.

And of course, the man-made global warming nonsense is constantly being shown to be more political crapola and Bush's intelligent decision pass on Kyoto was absolutely a great move on his part. Losers disagree.

As to any heavy lifting, the left can't even understand the real causes of most problems. I find it laughable to believe they'll do more than cause further damage than what they've already done.

Here's more goofiness:

As for "liberating" the Afghan and Iraqi people, I'm quite sure that all those dead Iraqis, Afghans, and American service personnel are grateful for our efforts."

Fewer positions could be more idiotic, Geoffrey. The same can be said for all those Europeans who's lives were lost as we liberated them from Nazi oppression. The same could be said of all those who died as we liberated ourselves from British subjegation in the 1700's. The same could be said for all those who died to keep the nation together and end slavery in the 1800's. Freedom and liberty costs a heavy price, Geoffrey. How very much like a victim of BDS to play this card merely because of who it was that had the spine to act against the scum of the earth.

If anyone exists in an alternative universe, it is the nonsensically self-described "progressives". Conservatives live with their eyes wide open to reality and deal directly with it.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba,

Good to have you stop by. It could very well be that they are playing me. But a visit to their blogs suggests they actually believe what they say. As for me, I'll repeat for you what I said about them in the comments of the previous post:

"Indeed, I consider them mostly as wrong, misled, deluded and in need of patient understanding and correction."

It's a tough job, but...

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Denial is not just a river in Egypt, apparently.

As I say, Marshall, it's impossible to parody this kind of thing. You do it all on your own.

Bubba said...

Yep, Marshall, this has just gotta be a satire. Nobody actually invokes the cliche about denial and Egypt, in the belief that doing so is clever.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Wow, Bubba, I felt that one . . .

In all seriousness, how can anyone not look around America right now and not see our sorry state? How is it possible not to understand how wrecked everything is? It is the US Military that says it is a hollow shell, not some crazy military hating liberals. The entire world banking system teeters on the brink of collapse, yet you insist it isn't as bad as all that. George Bush was recently snubbed at a summit by every major world leader; I think that tells you who, exactly, thinks we have zero diplomatic credibility. The Taliban are poised to take over Afghanistan, the civil war in Iraq continues apace, and more of those horrid criminals at Guantanamo Bay Prison were released over the weekend, putting a lie to the idea that all of them are bent on world domination.

Current poll rankings for our outgoing President range from a low of 22% to a high of 34%; two thirds of the American people can't even find it in their hearts to offer him well-wishes as he exits the historical stage, at the most generous reading of these polls.

Yet, all of this is nothing more than simple Bush hatred.

That is what I mean by invoking that tired old cliche. One can continue to deny the reality we all live with, and will for some time to come, yet that doesn't make it any less real.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, I don't believe you can find many conservatives, if any, who would attribute all of Bush's low poll rankings to Bush Derangement Syndrome. In fact, most of us have our own list of reasons to be disappointed or infuriated at Bush: his unwillingness to communicate his agenda on a regular basis, his inability to veto bloated budgets from the GOP Congress, his support of bailouts for the auto industry, and I could go on.

Fiscal conservatives have been irritated at the phrase "compassionate conservatism," its statism, and its implicit swipe at unqualified conservatism for literally ten years, before Bush even won the GOP nomination in 2000. Hawks have either mistrusted Bush's nation-building altogether or rankled at his unwillingness to emphasize how difficult such an endeavor would be. And, alongside many Americans of all political stripes, social conservatives remain furious at the attempt to shove down our throats amnesty for illegal aliens.

We all have our complaints about Bush, but Jacobins like you verge into derangement, not only in denying the reality that there are some people who quite viciously hate Bush far beyond all reason, but in writing that his administration was an "unmitigated disaster."

Desperately trying to justify that ridiculous assertion, you routinely lie, first in describing the real world, and then in attributing the causes of the world's problems to the wrong people.

"New Orleans, R.I.P."?

The city has regained, according to various estimates, anywhere from half to two-thirds of its pre-Katrina population, and it's hosted events as large as a BCS title game. "R.I.P" is B.S.

And, "the civil war in Iraq continues apace"?

It does not, and it's quite arguable that there never was an Iraqi civil war. Iraq isn't perfectly tranquil, but conditions continue to improve. The surge has accomplished most of its goals, and Iraqi elections have prompted a higher voter turnout than you find in the U.S.

And, indeed, the financial sector is a mess, but that can hardly be laid at the feet of George W. Bush. The mortgage crisis was exacerbated by the government encouraging banks to issue bad loans that they would not have otherwise issued, and this encouragement came from the Democrats DESPITE Bush's efforts to get Congress to rein in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Derangement is as good an explanation as any for your behavior.

Marty said...

"it's quite arguable that there never was an Iraqi civil war."

Tell that to the troops who were caught in the middle of it Bubba, giving their blood to it, their families grieving because of it, and many, now home, sacrificing through the mental and physical disabilities caused by it.

Bubba said...

Right, Marty, because nothing less than a full-fledged civil war in Iraq would have led to American casualties.

Your comment is so imbecilic that it hardly needs a response, but since I am responding, I would add that I'm weary of your frequent, overwrought screeching. The blood of American soldiers is frankly too precious for your constant and irrational invocations of our military's sacrifices. There's no substitute for substance, and if you can't tone down the outrage enough to bother about producing any substance, I wish you wouldn't waste my time presenting vitriol as if you're actually making a point.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Bubba, Bubba - I do not lie when I merely repeat facts. Man up, take responsibility for the fact that, having been in charge for six of the past eight years, conservative politicians, using conservative policies, have quite simply screwed up everything. George W. Bush had a kind of reverse Midas Touch; rather than turning to gold whatever he touched, it collapsed in to a stinking pile of manure.

New Orleans has recovered? In which universe might that be? No civil war in Iraq? Oh, that's right, the Iraq that still embraces American troops as liberators, that through flowers at our feet.

The silly argument that Bush wasn't conservative enough would make sense if more conservatives were elected. It would be acceptable if John McCain had won the Presidency. Shoot, if George W. Bush had poll ranking above forty for the past two-and-a-half years - which he has not - I might buy it. Bereft of nothing but the pursuit of power for its own sake, conservative ideology is a hollow shell, and all the nonsensical talk about how wonderful the world is because of Bush is lost on people who actually are living with the wreckage, and look forward to repairing the damage the past eight years have done.

We love this country so much, we are quite willing to laugh at those who are so wedded to a discredited ideology they cannot see what is plain to the vast majority of us - our country is broken but not destroyed; facing hard times that will get worse, but will also get better; needing to actually accomplish stuff rather than put principle ahead of real people.

As another moderately liberal blogger said today, if you're not willing to join in, please be careful because the march the rest of us are on to make America truly great again may just trample you underfoot.

Marty said...

"Right, Marty, because nothing less than a full-fledged civil war in Iraq would have led to American casualties."

That is not what I said, nor did I imply it.

"Your comment is so imbecilic that it hardly needs a response"

Then why respond? I guess you can add the right's poster boy Michael Yon to your list of embecils. Although he now thinks the war is pretty much over, he did see with his own eyes our troops caught in the middle of a civil war, even though the Bushies refused to admit it: "Listen. Listen! Iraq is in a state of Civil War."

"The blood of American soldiers is frankly too precious for your constant and irrational invocations of our military's sacrifices."

Frankly the blood of American soldiers is too precious to be shed on a war for ill-gotten gain.

"I wish you wouldn't waste my time presenting vitriol as if you're actually making a point."

Hmm..you seem to be the one with the vitriol Bubba. Me...I've just held enough grieving mothers in my arms and looked into the eyes of enough tortured vets to feel only heartbreak.

Bubba said...

Marty, I didn't say Iraq definitely didn't endure a civil war: I said the point was arguable. To assert that Yon disagrees is to make a point that is worth considering, but your earlier refrain that American soldiers suffered casualties -- tragic as that fact is -- doesn't remotely address the question of whether Iraq is or was in a civil war.

If you were trying to make some other point, I ask you to explain what point you were trying to make.

And, Marty, when you continue to insist that Bush went to war for "ill-gotten gain", it's clear that you feel more than "only heartbreak."

You feel outrage as well, and probably outright hatred for Bush. Please don't deny the obvious.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, you repeatedly commit the fallacy of the excluded middle. I object to your nonsense about "New Orleans R.I.P.," but I don't suggest the city has fully recovered from Katrina. I object to the notion that "the civil war in Iraq continues apace," but that doesn't mean I think the Iraqis are throwing flowers at our feet.

There's a wide spectrum between a flatline and a clean bill of health. It's dishonest to pretend otherwise.

Speaking of dishonesty...

As another moderately liberal blogger said today, if you're not willing to join in, please be careful because the march the rest of us are on to make America truly great again may just trample you underfoot.

I don't know enough about drlobojo, but I know for certain that it's farcical for you to claim to be only moderately liberal.

And there's a word for the sentiment that he expressed and you reiterated, even if the sentiment is meant rhetorically.

That word is "fascist."

Marshall Art said...

The march the rest of you are on will likely send us over the cliff for good.

And that was a good catch of yours, Bubba, that Geoffrey will bring up a negative point as if it totally diminishes or contradicts anything positive. We say there is progress, and he hears, "It's perfect!" and then finds a negative anecdote to prove us wrong. Hey! How can it be perfect if, yada, yada, yada?

He also suffers from another symptom of BDS which states that a policy of a self-proclaimed conservative proves the policy is a conservative one. This is easily seen in the failures of a Republican Congress that drifted away from pure conservatism. To the Geoffrey's of the world, this indicates a failure of conservatism rather than a failure of those who claimed to be conservatives. A grand distinction if ever there was one.

But until we can bring understanding of these grand distinctions, as well as why it is better to be on one side of the divide than the other, these little talks are silly exercises. But then again, I never tire of correcting tiresome arguments.

Marty said...

"doesn't remotely address the question of whether Iraq is or was in a civil war."

Bubba, it may or may not have looked like civil war to someone who sat in their living room watching the sanitized media version. But to the troops - on the ground - in combat - outside the wire....I'm telling you...to them it felt like civil war. Yon backs it up.

"And, Marty, when you continue to insist that Bush went to war for "ill-gotten gain", it's clear that you feel more than "only heartbreak."

Frankly Bubba, I don't know why Bush went to war. But I know what it has become. See the film Iraq For Sale. You can watch it here.

"You feel outrage as well, and probably outright hatred for Bush."

Outrage...yes. We should all be outraged.

Every time another one is killed, every time another one comes home with that look in their eyes, I wonder how much longer this can go on? It's heartbreaking.

Hate....no.

Always On Watch said...

Marshall Art,
First, let me thank you for stopping by my web site. I hope that you'll feel free to visit again.

To Rich Lowry's list of 10 mistakes, I would add this: backing off from using the term "Islamofascism" when CAIR whined. Granted, I'm a bit, um, sensitive when it comes to kowtowing to CAIR.

In my view, lists of Presidents' achievements and failures are interesting to ponder. However, historical perspective often changes those lists. For example, both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were, for a time, credited with achieving great strides in negotiating a form of peace between factions in the Middle East, but time hasn't borne out what many touted as these Presidents' accomplishments.

At yesterday's inauguration of BHO, GWB was treated quite shabbily by the throng assembled. The boos, which were squelched as much as possible by the media's voice-overs and cutting of the mics, came from the throats of people who don't have much idea as to what serving as President really means. It is for good reason that our Presidents age so rapidly while in office. I certainly wouldn't want the job!

Marshall Art said...

AOW,

And thanks for your response. Welcome to you!

I agree with your addition. I've added another in a sequel post above and it's likely the biggest mistake of all.

All in all, however, history will be the best judge of both Bush's failures and achievements and both haters and supporters will likely stand corrected.

As for the hecklers, what do you expect? The left lacks class.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

You have a personal connection to the war. But the extent to which there was a civil war within Iraq, though mentioned by Yon, has been for the most part totally overhyped. At least Iraqi officials say as much. Neither the Sunnis nor the Mahdi-led Shiites got much mileage out their efforts and are now pretty much in the same book, if not totally on the same page.

As to the looks in the eyes of those who've returned, you're likely jaded by only looking at those who've suffered the worst. That makes your position understandable, but not the most objective or accurate. Every war has had it's detractors and every war it's unfortunate victims in uniform. To base success or righteousness of the war on such things is to choose the worst gauge possible. If our enemies chose to fight based on such things, it might be the only gauge necessary. We don't have that luxury.

AS to your link, you've offered it before and I admit I haven't taken a gander, though I had meant to. Save me some time and tell me if it's about oil. If it is, let me just say that I've always rejected that objection that says we shouldn't go to war over oil. Just as with water, oil is very important and affects the entire world economy. More importantly is the impact of letting a scumbag soak up profits from controlling such a vast reserve and what he would have done with those profits if he had not been deposed. That alone makes the war righteous and that's ignoring the shopping list of reasons why we went.

Bubba said...

It's been noted at NRO's Corner that the Left has always talked about a classless society. This isn't quite what we expected, is it?

Anonymous said...

I'm humored by the "criticisms" and critics of President Bush in this thread. I wish to add an observation and a humble opinion directed at no one in particular:

To offer that one can not name a single thing that President Bush did that they could be happy with speaks more about that person than President Bush.

In response to the nattering nabobs of negativism, I leave you with two quotes with respect to criticism and critics. The first from Elbert Hubbard:

"The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified and misunderstood. This is a part of the penalty for greatness, and every great man understands it; and understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure contumely without resentment."

I believe that President Bush has done this and will continue to do so as he lives.

The second from Bobby Knight:

"When I'm dead, and my activities on Earth have passed, I hope they bury me upside down so my critics can kiss my ass!"

I wish that I were clever enough to have come up with this gem myself.

Respectfully,
Joseph

Marty said...

"Save me some time and tell me if it's about oil."

No, it isn't about oil. Try to take some time to watch the whole film Marshall. I'd really like to hear your take on it.

"But the extent to which there was a civil war within Iraq, though mentioned by Yon, has been for the most part totally overhyped. At least Iraqi officials say as much."

Overhyped? Ask a combat veteran who was there if it was overhyped. You believe Iraqi officials over the troops who were in the middle of it?

"As to the looks in the eyes of those who've returned, you're likely jaded by only looking at those who've suffered the worst. That makes your position understandable, but not the most objective or accurate."

You may be right Marshall. But it's all I have to go on, since I've not yet met any troops who have been gungho after their multiple tours.

The VA Hospital and Vet Center is a good place to volunteer, by the way, if you are interested in helping them. A smile and handshake go a long way to help some of them get through the day.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

"No, it isn't about oil."

Thank goodness. I would not be able to sit through another such diatribe. But I'll get to yours soon. I certainly have the time right now.

As to the troops, it's neither a matter of them being gung ho. I doubt serious soldiers feel comfortable around such people even if they totall support the war. Gung ho soldiers are dangerous to the good guys.

I also doubt that there are too many who are not somehow scarred by the experience of combat. Indeed, some people never get over getting pushed around in school. So this also is a poor gauge. To go back a second and third time, geez, you gotta think your luck is less each time, and every confrontation your last. But so it goes with every war and every confrontation experienced by a soldier.

To expose yourself to only that, I say again that it is understandable that you feel as you do.

Marty said...

"But so it goes with every war and every confrontation experienced by a soldier."

That's true, however this war is a bit different as you will see if you watch Iraq For Sale. Another different factor is stop-loss, extentions, and multiple deployments. It used to be that you would do your tour and come home. That is no longer the case.

"To expose yourself to only that, I say again that it is understandable that you feel as you do."

Quite frankly I wish I had been exposed to a more positive side. It certainly isn't something I have sought out. I meet vets and active duty personnel in a variety of unexpected places. I have yet to meet one with a positive attitude toward Iraq.