Swift Boat Commander Breaks 35 Year Silence, Backs Kerry

A fellow swift boat commander whose boat was involved in the same battle where Kerry won his Silver Star says that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are full of crap.


Oh, the conservatives will try to claim that the guy is obviously biased (he became a journalist for the Chicago Tribune after the war), but at what point who are people going to believe? Guys who were there that day, who won medals, who took fire from the enemy, and who were wounded for it? Or a group being funded by the Bush campaign?

This kind of shit pisses me off to no end. How the fuck can Republicans with a straight face claim that they’re the party of the military when they’re willing to completely shit all over guys who served their country honorably and bravely. Meanwhile, their standard bearer was a fucking cokehead who couldn’t even be bothered to show up to the cushy National Guard post that his family connections got him.

Whoa whoa whoa! Are you impugning the military record of the President of the United States? How dare you stoop so low! Traitor!

It’s time to send the Swift Boat Vets and all those who supported thier lies back into their gutters.

Shame on you for attacking the honor and credibility of the actions of men who did their duty for our country.

Shame on you for not having the courage to fight this battle on the moral ground of your arguments, but instead attacking other men’s bravery.

Shame on you for allying yourselves with desperate greedy men and their dishonor.

People that support Kerry will believe the former while people that support Bush will continue to believe the latter.

This is sad but true. It seems that now it is harder than ever to convice people from either side that their side is capable of doing wrong. No matter how much evdience you have to support that claim. I’ve always considered myself as a right leaning moderate, and have been registered as an Independent since I was old enough to vote. Yet people I know are surprised when I say that I will vote for Kerry.

The first words out of their mouth are usually, “But you’re a conservative!” Is it so hard to understand that I vote for people and not parties? That even though I have conservative leanings, the tactics of the Bush campaign, not to mention most of the administrations policies sicken me to the point that not only will I not vote for him, but I will actively work towards his defeat? I just don’t know anymore.

The more people I talk to that consider themselves politically active the more I’m coming to realize that the majority of them, from both sides, get their information from one or two sources and never question them. Worse than that, they find ‘news’ sources that appeal to their stance instead of news sources that strive to be impartial.

Meanwhile the rest of America will probably continue not to care.

Er, ranted a bit there. Sorry Woolen, didn’t mean to dump in your thread.

Well, I tend to take the approach towards my news sources that if what they end up telling me gives me information that proves to be accurate then I’m willing to extend some benefit of the doubt. My main sources are the BBC, PBS’s News Hour, New York Times and the Washington Post but I also like Salon’s, admittedly biased, coverage as well. These are mainstream sources, aside from Salon, that usually do good reporting (aside from dropping the ball on Iraq - but even then I was reading the inside stories that didn’t get front page coverage so I knew about the deep skepticism towards Bush’s Iraq agenda in the intelligence community).

If the information I’m getting tends out to be useful and allows me to form conclusions that bear fruit then I’m sticking with it. It’s folks that read any old thing and then don’t learn when the ‘facts’ they get turn out to be false that I don’t understand. And mostly, it seems to me, these kinds of people are on the political right. I remember a recent survey done by Annenburg or somebody which showed that the least accurately informed people were those who depended on Fox for coverage. That leads me to believe that all coverage is not created equal.

I tend to agree with that Brian. Believe me, it’s more than annoying that people that are on my ‘side’ are more and more so badly informed. Even worse, having to correct them and agree with the LIEberal DEMONcrats is getting to be too much to bear. :wink:

It just saddens me that people are so willing to let others think for them, and that the majority of people just don’t care one way or another.

Edit: One of these days spelling and I will meet and get along.

Rucker- Uh, you know the Post, NYT, and BBC are all pretty liberal, right?

The centrist sources in the US are the national stuff. Time, etc.

As usual, you missed the point, Ben.

I think think it’s amusing that in between his proudly talking about how he carefully selected his sources he doesn’t seem to get that he’s got a bunch of liberal sources.

Koontz was right about him, he really seems to think the reason conservatives are conservatives is because they simply haven’t been exposed to the holy enlightenment of the liberal blogosphere.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure the point was “Them conservatives sure ain’t as smart as us liberals!”

I don’t have any idea about who is who and what is what in P&R, so forgive me if I miss out on all of the little personal tidbits that might make it easier for me to understand what the hell people are talking about when they say something, but it would seem logical to me to say here are my sources, here is who I like to read, and if their articles turn out to be accurate, then all is good. If they turn out to be inaccurate, then they get dropped from the list.

What liberal or conservative has to do with anything I’m not sure. Fair reporting is fair reporting, even if that isn’t a very normal occurance now. Do I think it’s funny that he only gets one side of the story? Yeah. That doesn’t paint a broad picture of the spectrum, no matter how accurate the stories may be.

That said, facts or facts, and if you can wade through the partisan bullshit on either side (which is why I questioned what you were saying, I didn’t see why politics was brought into fact-finding) and come out on top with the facts, then you’re good to go.

Last I checked, along with the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Washington Post are the papers of record. That conservatives don’t necessarily see a percentage in good reporting that makes them look bad is, however, something I understand.

If you want to talk about editorial pages that’s something else entirely. The Wall Street Journal is absolutely conservative (to the point of whacko when they start talking about how the poor aren’t taxed enough for example), The Post tends toward liberal but they did endorse the Iraq war and seemed delighted to go after Clinton when they had the chance, and The New York times is unapologetically liberal for the most part. All of these papers also publish op-ed pieces by folks of every political stripe which tends to lend more balance as well.

The BBC is considered mainstream by European standards and, frankly, the reporting I got there during the buildup to the Iraq war and, now, during it is far better than most broadcast media websites in the U.S…

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that folks who predicted this Iraqi clusterfuck were people reading the better reporting.

The mainstream(by which I mean centrist) news sources in the US are Newsweek or shit like that.

The BBC is not centrist by US standards, which is what we were discussing. We want to throw around different contexts and this becomes utterly pointless, a Holocaust denial pamphlet is centrist by Neo-Nazi compound standards, etc.

Liberals predicted Iraq would turn out poorly because it was a war started by a Republican President. The end. Liberals predict conservative things will turn out poorly and conservatives predict liberal things will turn out poorly.
Whichever side ends up being right trumpets how smart they are and we all go on to the next thing.

So I’m expected to believe it’s just a weird cosmic fluke that magically all the good reporting=agrees with what you want to be true?

If only life were so simple the things you seem to believe might make sense.

I supported Bush in going into Afghanistan. I did think there would be complications and fallout but that didn’t really dissuade me from accepting what had to be done. And some might argue was left undone by the distraction in Iraq.

I didn’t support Iraq because I never felt I’d seen any conclusive connections between Hussein and Al Qaida. And I really had my doubts about a stockpile of WMD that could pose any threat to the U.S. though I certainly thought we’d find something more than we actually found. These were conclusions I came to based on the reporting I read along with some of the better coverage and interviews on TV. I’d say being skeptical is part of being a voter in a democracy so when it comes to issues of war and peace I tend to be very skeptical.

The nature of this Administration and the blundering and overarching rhetoric, and awesomely wrongheaded foreign policies, of this President didn’t do much to contribute to my desire to trust them - and essentially that’s what the meat of the argument came down to. “We have information we may or may not be sharing but this guy is a real threat. And while we’re at it screw the rest of the world because we’re America and we’re #1. Those punks will fall in line if they know what’s good for them.”

So my attitude was ‘prove it’. And they never did and still haven’t. However good reporting was revealing doubts in the intelligence community as well as the history of the neoconservatives who were driving a foriegn policy down our gullets under false pretenses. It was all out there to read: who they were and what their stated goals had been in the past. For a decade it had hinged, or unhinged, on Iraq. Does that sound like a response to a new threat or just whipping out an old agenda because it was convenient? And then there’s the oil and contractor issues and entanglements within this administration. And the religious right’s desire for a full-on crusade.

Yes, it seemed to me there were far more compelling and convincing motives for this particular administration to be going to war in Iraq than some unproven contentions they kept trotting out. Surely they must have had something better? Alot of people decided to believe they did. Whether due to a trusting and generous nature or a belief in flawed news sources beating Administration war drums, they decided to believe. And those people now are the ones feeling betrayed. At least the smart ones are.

So it wasn’t a kneejerk reaction on my part. If there had been anything that passed any kind of reasonable litmus test as proof that Iraq was an immediate threat to us and collaborating with Bin Ladin I’d have completely supported the war. As it was, I didn’t. And I chose not to trust the Bush administration’s word.

I still don’t understand the point you are making, Ben. Following your rules, we have to base bias on the US media which includes news sources which are incredibly partisan to conservative interests, so that anything which is comparitively centrist in universal terms is still liberal to you. Yet again you try to set ground rules which serve your argument.
I love how you claim that liberals are gleeful that American soldiers are dying because it helps their cause. At the time of the invasion almost everyone hoped that it would be succesful, even if it meant that Bush would benefit from it. I would still like to see things turn out alright in Iraq- even if it gets Bush reelected. Some things are more important than scoring political points, you know.

Sometimes – just sometimes – the truth FAVORS a partisan side, believe it or not, and DOESN’T lie in the middle! OMG NO WAY THAT’S CRAZY TALK!

Besides, it’s not like Bush is actually representing the conservative ideoology with his actions. Corollary to what I’ve stated above, the truth rarely favors idiotic assholes and their unqualified cronies.

(And no, glee is the last thing I feel when I hear about Americans dying. Anger at the administration that sent them to their deaths for little or no good cause is what I feel. At the end of the day, the troops are still heroes for doing their jobs and taking their orders as an effective and competent fighting force should; I don’t blame the gun but the finger on the trigger.)

Ben, as you correctly pointed out, politics in Europe is different to the US, and so making comparisons is problematic, so it confuses me how you can come to the conclusion that the BBC is left leaning, based on the current political incumbant in the US.

In the UK the government is Labour, which is our version of the Democrats in the US. Some of the most vocal critics of the government’s decision to invade Iraq were right wing. Andrew Gilligan, the BBC reporter who caused the scandal about the “sexed up” dossier which resulted in two BBC directors resigning, is famously right wing, loathing Labour and writing for right wing newspapers like the Telegraph and Mail. I wouldn’t take the fact that the BBC stuck with the correct stance that the war was built on bullshit as evidence that it is significantly left leaning.

The BBC is a real mixed bag, with different leanings on different issues, but mostly it seems to try and reflect the leanings of the British people. I think it gets labeled as liberal in the US because of its critical attitude towards Israel, but again this is confusing American politics with British. In Britain the BBC is painted by the far-right as being run by the Jewish lobby, and has had many prominent Jewish people running it, like Alan Yentob. The Jewish community in Britain, however, is often outspokenly critical of Israel, like Suzanne Goldberg of the Guardian, Labour MP Gerald Kaufman, and most of my Jewish friends.

Things aren’t so straight-forward, eh?

Doug- That’s what I said. Also, is there like a contract that requires you to complain about Bush in every post?

Brian- And there were a lot of liberals who opposed a war with Afganistan. Come on, you can’t believe that the liberal opposition to the war with Iraq was entirely born of a detailed examination of the facts.

Tim and Peter- Brian’s initial post and my response were both in the context of US news sources. Take it up with him.

And I didn’t claim that liberals were gleeful about American soldiers dying. Next time you want to try and put words in my mouth, at least try a bit harder. My post is on the same goddamn page, Pete.

Brian- And there were a lot of liberals who opposed a war with Afganistan. Come on, you can’t believe that the liberal opposition to the war with Iraq was entirely born of a detailed examination of the facts.

And you can’t possibly believe that conservative support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were entirely the result of detailed examinations of the fact.

There are people on both sides which simply put forth partisan rhetoric to support/not support Iraq and Afghanistan. I for one supported the utter destruction of the Taliban. I did not support a “war” in Iraq because I don’t believe we had any real reason to attack that country, well no more than we have reason to attack a half dozen other countries which actually DO have WMDs and actually DO represent a real threat to us.

If you believe that all, or even a significant part of the anti-War movement was borne of politics, then I have to say I pity you. Some of us resisted being hoodwinked in the first place, and now pretty much everybody that isn’t a Bush crony is conceding that Iraq was either a bad idea, or we did it really, really, really badly.

And you can’t possibly believe that conservative support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were entirely the result of detailed examinations of the fact.

Did you even read my posts, Euri?

I know it’s easier to argue with me when you guys can pretend I’m George Bush’s biggest fan and think Iraq is a huge success(we all know how much this forum is in love with the ad hominem), but those things aren’t true. I’m simply remarking on the degree of partisanship in American politics. [/quote]

Ben, your remark about the partisanship in American politics sucks balls. Not only are you making absurd generalizations, they’re also scarily post-modern absurd generalizations.
I’m expected to believe that everybody’s view on the war in Iraq was already predetermined by their underlying political alignment?
Wait, I think I can see why you think American politics is so partisan - according to your crazy-ass theory, it can’t be anything else.