Angry words over an emotional issue

Ordinarily, Sunday’s news talk shows bore the hell out of me. Most of the time we get nothing but partisans from each side spouting carefully-rehearsed talking points in monotone.

Sunday’s Meet the Press, however, broke out of the ordinary with an incredible display of anger between opposing sides on the Iraq war, reflecting in large part the anger that has split this country because of a despotic President who send American men and women off to die for a war based on lies.

Freshman Democratic Sen. Jim Webb faced off against Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a fiery debate that showcased the difference between the anger that drives the majority of this nation and the lockstep ignorance of the GOP sycophants who still defend George W. Bush’s failed war in Iraq.

At times it seemed the two might come to blows. Webb had every reason to deck the obnoxious, sniveling Graham. I admire his control. I would have kicked Graham’s teeth down his lying throat.

Graham, as desperate as any Republican who must still try to find a way to defend the immoral and illegal actions of an out-of-control President, twisted the facts, manufactured the data and lied outright.

He claimed a carefully-staged ceremony of 600 American troops re-enlisting in Iraq was an indicator of overwhelming support of the war by rank and file soldiers when, in fact, re-enlistments are down across the board and more and more troops fight being sent back for fourth and fifth deployments in a war that cannot be won.

“I was in Baghdad on July the Fourth of this year,” Graham said. “We had the highest re-enlistment-the largest re-enlistment ceremony in a wartime environment known to our country.”

That’s because the military bundled re-enlistments over the past several months into one ceremony, a fact not mentioned in the Armed Service press release. The “ceremony” was a propaganda event that overlooked the drop in re-enlistments across all the military services along with the dramatic decrease in numbers of those joining the services for the first time.

The Army recently dropped its recruitment guidelines to allow convicted felons to serve, a move that has outraged those currently in uniform.

At another point, Graham said “I’m going to listen to this general (Petraeus), and I’m not going to let any politician take the place of the general.”

He repeated the phrase several times, ignoring the fact that it is a politician named George W. Bush who tells him, the generals and everyone else that “I run this war.”

Another exchange between the two:

SEN. WEBB: Less than half of the military believes that we should be in Iraq in the first place.

SEN. GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq? Have you ever been and talked to them? I’ve been seven times.

SEN. WEBB: You know, have you ever been to these—I’ve been—I’ve covered two wars as a correspondent…

SEN. GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq?

SEN. WEBB: I have been to Afghanistan as a journalist.

SEN. GRAHAM: Have you been to Iraq and—have you been to Iraq and talked to the soldiers?

SEN. WEBB: You know, you haven’t been to Iraq.

SEN. GRAHAM: I’ve been to—I’ve been there seven times.

SEN. WEBB: You know, you go see the dog and pony shows.

SEN. GRAHAM: I’ve been there as a reservist, I have been there and I’m going back in August.

SEN. WEBB: That’s what congressmen do. Yeah, I have, I have—I’ve been a member of the military when the senators come in.

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, all—listen, something we can agree on, we both admire the men and women in uniform. I don’t doubt your patriotism.

SEN. WEBB: Don’t put political words in their mouth.

SEN. GRAHAM: You know, my election…

SEN. WEBB: You do it—you’ve been doing it ever since I’ve been in Congress.

Graham is, and always has been, a slimy son-of-a-bitch, a dirtbag lawyer who tried to double dip as a military attorney while serving in Congress (a court forced him to give up one job or the other and he chose Congress).

In cases like this, I’ll trust the judgment of Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran who served as Secretary of the Navy and assistant secretary of defense. His son was deployed to Iraq, which gives him another source for what soldiers are saying and thinking, and he knows a hell of a lot more about combat than a deskbound former JAG lawyer.

After putting up with Graham’s tirades, Webb summed up the situation when he said:

“I’ll let (the American people) judge what you said.”

According to the polls, most already have.

19 Responses to "Angry words over an emotional issue"

  1. Elmo  July 18, 2007 at 9:57 am

    Graham epitomizes those Republicans who made up their own oath of office. Instead of promising to support and defend the Constitution, they replace the word “Constitution” with “Republican Party”. They are beneath contempt.

    Sadly, the Democrats aren’t significantly better when it comes to supporting and defending the Constitution. They lie down on the job and allow the Executive Branch to trample them down and grind them into mush.

  2. almandine  July 18, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    As Soon As… the Iraqi government – whoever that is – signs the law that allows Cheney’s energy buddies to divvy up the Iraqi oil profits… in the name of revenue distribution… the war will end. Til then, que sera.

  3. erika morgan  July 22, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    erika morgan
    I was thrilled to find this article. I usually try to watch “Meet the Press” at 6-am on a Sunday Morning. The speech seemed animated to me but my audio was cut completely off for just the hour of this program, once it got started. I receive my signal the old-fashioned way over the air as I haven’t a dish and am too far out for cable or fiber-optics. It really is a wonder to me what this interfering with real news has become in this country, it is exactly what they taught us in school, that the Russians were doing in the USSR. Thanks for providing some radio free America Voice we need it.

  4. jbaspen  July 19, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    Doug -

    I’m curious. I think it’s a fair statment that you’re not terribly impressed by many politicians these days. Would Senator Jim Webb be an exception to this assumption?

    Thanks! JBASPEN

  5. Helen Rainier  July 22, 2007 at 10:12 am

    Piping in a bit late here — however, I thoroughly enjoyed (albeit vicariously) watching Sen. Webb bitch slap the sniveling Graham. What especially infuriated me was Graham trying a big issue out of having been to Iraq — while Webb hasn’t. Lindsey, you puke, when you have gone to Iraq, you have had military security all around you. Unlike the honorable Senator Webb, you have had zip for actual ground combat experience. You are a f*cking JAG officer — not disparaging JAG attornies as they do important work — but when I was on active Army Reserve duty, the JAG units were generally looked upon as being more a “party” unit as opposed to units who had combat or combat support or combat service support missions. Bravo, Senator Webb for bitch slapping the idiot mealy-mouth Graham. He deserved every word you threw in his tanned face. BTW, Lindsey, your soft mushy voice grates on my nerves.

  6. LurkingFromTheLeft  July 22, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Today’s Meet The Press…

    …was SOOOOO boring after last week’s classic match and meeting of the minds and the mindless -

    …the only good part was David Brooks BEGINNING to show his brains are returning but I doubt it will last –

    …and HELEN – you really ought to try and say what/how you REALLY feel here –

    …holding back isn’t good for the blood pressure! -

    …keep it up! -

    LFTL

  7. Warren  July 21, 2007 at 12:03 am

    I can’t help but wonder what the debate was like in Nazi Germany leading to, and in the early stages, of WWII. I can imagine the same sorts of BS from a power-crazy government led by a megalomaniac, with a lot of jack boot licking from the likes of Graham.

  8. Billyking2007  July 16, 2007 at 10:42 am

    Graham is living in the past. Soon the past will return and it will all change again. He represents a very small % of people.

  9. sherry  July 17, 2007 at 12:20 am

    I regret debate has come to this, although there is something to be said for honest debate. Sometimes its ugly.
    That said, it sure was nice to watch Webb spank Graham’s hiney and hand it to him.

    sherry

  10. Donnat  July 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Now if the daycare generation would put down their Play Stations and go do some demonstrating, it will be even more like the 1960′s. Somehow I doubt even a draft will get them off the sofa.

    Donnat

  11. Wayne K Dolik  July 16, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    Excellent conclusion to your article Doug! I agree, let the people decide it.

  12. Carl Nemo  July 16, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks Doug for the spot-on indictment concerning Senator “flim-flam” Graham…!

    Your informational tidbit that the military, presumably the Army has lowered it’s recruiting requirements to include convicted felons is truly stunning. The reason being is that gangs and gang influence in the military have become incredibly pervasive and is a major problem for military law enforcement to confront. So by allowing felons to join this will only add to an already nightmarish problem. It would be interesting to know as to what level; i.e, class of felonies are allowed? I’m going to call our local recruiting offices for all branches to get more details and in short order will be contacting my reps once armed with some information. Thanks.

    Carl Nemo **==

  13. Carl Nemo  July 19, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    I thought I’d post some follow-up commentary to my research concerning the admittance of felons to the military. I talked to a recruiter in the Portland-Vancouver area that said it’s limited to Class C felonies and the “property” crime cannot exceed $500 dollars in theft or damages. When I asked about assault etc., all I got was hesitant silence.

    He said all penalties and fines must have been vacated and that the recruit is checked out thoroughly before being passed onto a higher board for final screening and approval. Needless to say I asked some very penetrating questions and noticed a hesitant pause etc. at certain points in the conversation. I asked them if the recruit was flagged at the boot-camp level so that training personnel would know these people are potential “duds”. He said they had a flag for them and that although no extra pressure was put on them above other recruits they were being watched for aberrative behavior etc.

    The next thing I asked is how pervasive gang influence had become in the military? Again, a somewhat hestitant reply. They claimed that the Marine Corp and the Navy were most plagued by this phenomenon due to their heavy presence in California. I didn’t mention this to the Marine Corp and Navy guys, but simply listened to their side of the story. I got a similar tale, but the impression they weren’t playing the game as explained by the Army recruiter.

    They said they are all following Federal guidelines and that it may vary from state to state as far as what’s considered a Class C felony, the seriousness etc.?!

    What I don’t like about this whole story is that once you let the camel get his nose under the tent, then next he’ll be in the tent with you, probably no different than someone’s housecat though…:)) Animals want comfort just as well as we! ;)

    The Nazi’s were shrewd and cunning doing the same thing in that they recruited many of the Deathhead SS, S.A. Stormtroopers, and other brutal thugs from prisons! They knew that these types would be very amenable to carrying out the Fuhrer’s orders in terms of rendering violent oppression over targeted civilian organisations and individuals. So to me this is a “decay” flag in terms of the quality that Bushco is seeking in the U.S. military. Between Blackwater’s “thug” mercs, and now Class C felons or worse in time, they’l have the perfect kettle of enforcement goons to round-up “we the people”…no?!

    I urge every citizen/patriot to get off their dead butts immediately if not sooner and demand that felons of any type are no longer admitted to the military. To also demand that Posse Commitatus 1878 be reaffirmed as part of our laws, and that a law drawn up that will prevent privately owned security/mercenary orgs such as Blackwater, Wackenhut et. al. to not be used for homeland security or to support martial law enforcement efforts. If “we the people” drag our butts on this one, then all I can say is every household will need a cyanide capsule dispenser to save themselves from the horrors that will unfold if dubya declares martial law before the end of his term. They’ve sown the wind and we shall surely reap the whirlwind if our system goes belly-up as function of their evil plans.

    I’ll post the duty links.

    http://www.conservativeusa.org/megalink.htm
    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

    Carl Nemo **==

  14. Gerald Sutliff  July 16, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Sure Senator Graham is a slimy, SOB but he’s not stupid. I can’t help wondering what’s his pay off? It makes no sense.

  15. gene  July 17, 2007 at 6:40 am

    “daycare generation would put down their playstations” finally someone who sees it the way I do. This nation continues its “dream land” mentally where anyone can “get rich” and still get “something for nothing”. Financial institutions in this nation have creative a credit bubble full of all kinds of slick scams that provide easy money for the masses. Hell, I get as much as 7 credit card offers in one dam day and constant offers to refi my home.

    Spending money created by (easy credit) has mesmerized the average Joe public into believing anything is possible because (he) can easily get the money to make his dreams come true.

    So what do we have now? A nation full of spending freaks who are in debt up to or passed their stupid (fat) asses, foreclosures and bankruptcies climbing into outerspace. Five thousand sq ft homes everywhere that run 2 or 3 airconditions, many with just 3 or 4 family members. Of course each family member has his or hers on car, big screen HDTV and a purse or wallet full of plastic.

    You really believe these brain dead idiots are concerned about the war in Iraq, think again. And then theirs my favorite crowd of US citizens, those that eat and eat and eat and eat. You will find them at the thousands of local troughs. You can’t miss them, some weighing as much or more than 400 pounds of disgusting fat. I ofter wonder how they can even wipe their (monstrous ass) after craping in a toilet, assuming they can find one big enough. Are they concerned about Iraq? Only if they can continue to gorge themselves with toxic food products everyday and even then what could they do having to drag all that disgusting tonage around. I could just imagine one of them carrying a protest sign in the hot sun.

    This nation is lost, period. It consist mostly of (fat) self-centered, clueless idiots seeking their next new toy, be it houses, cars, electronics or whatever. Only when the masses of disgusting fat asses are not able to continue this insanity will they stop and take notice (mabe).

  16. Electric Bill  July 17, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Great post. Graham is nothing but Bush’s bitch and I would have loved to see Webb kick his nasty ass. I admire Webb’s self-control. Every time I see JAG lawyer Graham lick Bush’s boots and grovel for him I almost lose my lunch. How can voters be so stupid as to send slime like that back to Congress time after time? No reflection on SC though. I live in Kentucky and look what we have in the US Senate. (Son of a) Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning, without a doubt the stupidest man in the US Senate. How do we stop this cycle? Maybe we should look to another Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, who said the tree of liberty is nourished by the blood of patriots and tyrants. Enough patriots have shed their blood, but there are plenty of tyrants left.

  17. kevns007  July 17, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    The entire Nation ought to rally behind and support the Democrat who runs against Graham in the next election. Too bad it wasn’t done after the slimy bastard slimed Clinton. Slime. What a perfect description of Lindsay Graham.

  18. SEAL  July 17, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    The guys in Iraq I’m talking to are calling this latest excursion “Operation Bullseye” and “Operation Target” because that’s what they are now. They can’t tell the good guys from the bad but the Iraqis don’t have that problem. All American troops are the bad guys. One guy said, “Everytime we kill one, 5 more jump up.”

    I asked why they couldn’t hold the areas they cleaned out? I was told that the Iraqis they leave in charge turn out to be full of insurgents. They take out the ones who aren’t and invite their buddies in. So, it’s back to square one.

    The thing that people like Graham don’t understand about this “war” is that every Iraqi is the enemy in one way or another. Some are agressive and some are passive, but they are all at war with us. They want us gone. They don’t feel safe with us there. we haven’t shown them that we can make anything secure and safe. Their lives were better under Saddam. He was in control of the country. Now, no one is in control. Another thing that scares them about us is the permanent facillities we build there. They know we plan to stay forever. That is the prime motivator to continue fighting us. They want to be a free and indepenent nation like everybody else in the region. Their view is that our plan is that they will be under the rule of a foreign occupier – US. They will never stop fighting us.

    So, there is only one solution for ending the war. Withdraw from the war. Stop attacking them. Pull back to the green zone and the bases, pull up a chair along the fence, breakout the popcorn and the beer, and watch the game. Start the sports betting on how many will die today and who will emerge as the ruler.

  19. kent shaw  July 18, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    As I’ve probably said a dozen times now, Americans need to imagine themselves in the place of the Iraqis under the thumb of an occupying force that has no respect for them whatsoever. If China had invaded and occupied the United States I’d be as much of an insurgent as any Iraqi, though I am no fan of G.W. Bush. Get real people. They all hate us because we are occupying their “homeland”.

    “Why do they hate us?”, “they” being anyone worldwide who hates us. Could it possibly be because of the militarist interventionist foreign policy conducted by the United States since the end of World War II? Could it be the dozens of dictatorships and monarchies we have supported over those years?

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