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5/27/2005
A RESPONSE TO MR. COLE
CATEGORY: Blogging

John Cole was kind enough to respond to my sometimes overheated diatribe accusing him of unfair criticism of Hugh Hewitt and other conservative bloggers. And while I won’t pick apart Mr. Cole’s defense on a line-by-line basis, I’d like to respond to one point he made regarding a treason accusation.

I want to make it clear that I had no intention of accusing John Cole of treason. The problem, as I see now, is poor paragraph construction. In other words, lousy writing.

And in his desire to do what he thinks is best for our military, it appears to me that Cole has unconsciously adopted some of the themes and talking points used by people who actually do hate the military, who lovingly dote on each and every casualty, who oppose the military’s efforts in recruiting and retention, and who by word, by thought, and by deed seek to have the United States military defeated on the field of battle.

We used to call this treason. In this day and age, these sentiments get you invited to the best cocktail parties, has the MSM hang on your every word, and procures the lickspittle a book contract. And these are the people espousing these sentiments who agree with Mr. Cole?

John Cole served this country for many years in the military. His love for the institution and for our country comes through loud and clear on many an article Mr. Cole has written about the war. He was, I believe, one of the first bloggers to take the Pentagon to task for the lack of armour on vehicles. If I in any way impugned his honor, I apologize.

That being said, I was trying to point out that while John may be animated by a spirit of patriotism, the themes and talking points he has used to bash conservativest are similar to those used by people who are driven by ideology, by hate and loathing of the President, and yes, by hatred of the United States of America, to attack our war effort and undermine the US armed forces in the process.

These people are dead serious. They are well funded, extremely well organized, have attractive, articulate spokespeople, and are determined to succeed. They attack recruiting efforts for the military on campus and even on city streets in front of recruting offices. They seek to destroy the morale of active duty military personnel by encouraging them to go absent without leave. They facilitate the escape of deserters.

The actions I’ve documented above are, by any rational definition, treasonous. We are in a war for our survival. To have private citizens deliberately trying to undermine the morale of the military in time of war cannot be excused. I’m sorry that my clumsy writing didn’t make absolutely clear that Mr. Cole’s motives are different from those who seek, for whatever reason, to undermine our war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One more note…Jay Rosen links to my article and says that I’m accusing Mr. Cole of “defecting” from the conservative side. Looking back through the piece, I see this:

After all, I look at his defection as temporary, a momentary fever brought about by a confluence of events that have disturbed many, including myself. And although it was never his intention, Mr. Cole’s attacks have resonated on the left side of the Shadow Media and given conservative critics plenty of unnecessary ammunition.

I think I make it pretty clear there that my half-jestful reference to “defection” was not a serious accusation. Chalk it up to more bad writing.

Besides, the liberals would never have you, John. You usually make too much sense.

By: Rick Moran at 3:41 am
7 Responses to “A RESPONSE TO MR. COLE”
  1. 1
    fizzle Said:
    10:01 am 

    If “aid and comfort” is to be expanded to the point of protesting the military’s own efforts to keep enrollment low (by way of considering one’s sexual preferences), then the word ‘treason’ no longer means anything.

  2. 2
    Nash Said:
    10:08 am 

    yes, by hatred of the United States of America, to attack our war effort and undermine the US armed forces in the process.

    Says you. It’s simply not true that there are very many Americans who, disagreeing with you about the need for the Iraq invasion and about how the way the war, once begun, has been handled, feel anything but love and pride for our country. The fact is, *you* equate disagreement with *your* opinion as hatred for American, but that’s illogical. You don’t want to understand this, I think, but it is a simple fact that someone can disagree with you on this and still love this country at least as much as you do.

    And the idea of this not supporting the US military is a dodge. As I said in your earlier thread, I do not see any less support of our troops by progressives than by conservatives. Certainly in my world, it’s not true and I simply don’t see how my thoughts are unusual amongst progressives. You want us to be traitors because we dont’ agree with you, but your wanting it to be so doesn’t make it so. Again, as I said in your earlier thread, there are millions of progressives who support the “war effort”, meaning the troops and the need to do things well and get things right because we are there and no amount of magic wand waving is going to change that. Not having wanted to get into this war does not equal not supporting the war effort. I understand that you need to conflate the two, but you simply can’t get *me* and millions of others to feel anything but an overall pride for this country and our troops. Contrary to what you argue, there are very few Americans who want this country to fail in this effort, now that we are in it. But you need to say that we hate America. So there is a big disconnect between reality and what you want to see, because disagreement with you equals treason, lack of troop support and hate for America.

    BTW, I see you are a Drake grad. I think that’s cool–I have an uncle who taught journalism there for years.

  3. 3
    J. Caesar Said:
    12:24 pm 

    That being said, I was trying to point out that while John may be animated by a spirit of patriotism, the themes and talking points he has used to bash conservativest are similar to those used by people who are driven by ideology, by hate and loathing of the President, and yes, by hatred of the United States of America, to attack our war effort and undermine the US armed forces in the process.

    I see where your problem lies. You assume that everyone who disagrees with the President, with his policies hates America and is driven by ideology.

    I know for one I am not driven by ideology. Rather my concern is driven by observations that came from years of watching the Republican party from the inside lose track of the message of Sen. Goldwater and later President Reagan.

    John Cole today is where I was back in 1998 or so, finally starting to see the forest for the trees, expressing deep concern and now being ridiculed by people who used to praise him and claiming he’s espousing an anti-American ideology.

    Your problem is that you don’t listen. None of us, even some of the most extreme liberals hate America. What we hate is what America has become.

    What we want is to return to the belief that America is that Shining City on the Hill. The Beacon of Light for others to follow.

    By claiming we are ideologues you are projecting. Only someone who is blinded by ideology could possibly support President Bush and still claim to be a Republican.

  4. 4
    Nash Said:
    12:44 pm 

    But then again, there are people such as J. Caesar who can go way over the top with their rhetoric. Most progressives would not agree with the statement “What we hate is what America has become.” Most progressives would never presume to tell a Republican that “only someone who is blinded by ideology could possibly support President Bush and still claim to be a Republican.” Most of us don’t have the gall to tell someone else what they are allowed to believe and call themselves.

    But, this is instructive, because you can see that just because one person says what J. Caesar says, it doesn’t mean everyone to the left of you agrees with him. He may not be able to distinguish between the issues and the people, but most of us can. So, again, don’t paint us with a cartoon broadbrush.

  5. 5
    bigair9 Said:
    1:19 pm 

    Here Are some quotes from shameless democRAT politicians:

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” — From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

    “This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.” — From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

    “Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities” — From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002

    “Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.” — Madeline Albright, 1998

    “(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983″ — National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

    “Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement.” — Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability.” — Robert Byrd, October 2002

    “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.” — Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

    “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

    “I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons…I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.” — Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

    “Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.” — Tom Daschle in 1998

    “Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal.” — John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

    “The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” — John Edwards,
    Oct 10, 2002

    “I share the administration’s goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction.” — Dick Gephardt in September of 2002

    “Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, 2002

    “We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.” — Bob Graham, December 2002

    “Saddam Hussein is not the only deranged dictator who is willing to deprive his people in order to acquire weapons of mass destruction.” — Jim Jeffords, October 8, 2002

    “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” — Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

    “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.” — Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

    “I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” — John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

    “The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation.” — John Kerry, October 9, 2002

    “(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. …And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War.” — John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003

    “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.” — Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002

    “Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” — Joe Lieberman, August, 2002

    “Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq’s denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq’s claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction.” — Patty Murray, October 9, 2002

    “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

    “Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production.” — Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998

    “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources — something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.” — John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

    “Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.” — John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

    “Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration’s policy towards Iraq, I don’t think there can be any question about Saddam’s conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts.” — Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002

  6. 6
    Rick Moran Said:
    10:45 am 

    Any liberal who doesn’t believe that there’s a large number of your ideological brethren out there who do not devoutly wish for an American defeat ON THE BATTLEFIELD then you’re even more ignorant than you’ve shown yourselves here to be.

    I could give a shit if you protest the war. I care if you’re intent is to have the United States suffer a humiliating military defeat. The fact that you can’t see the extraordinarily dangerous consequences of such a course of action only proves that in addition to being disloyal, you’re an idiot.

  7. 7
    Roy Hegge Said:
    3:13 pm 

    I see a lot of discussion here about winning and losing. I submit that our problem with Iraq has nothing to do with winning or losing. We should be asking if we want to play in this game and what the responsible courses of action would be. IMHO, we are involved in a course of action that is immoral and by many accounts illegal. I disagree with those that say well, we are in this war now and we cannot change that so lets ‘win’ it or as CP put it “We broke it so it’s up to us to fix it”. The US should remove all US troops from Iraq as quickly as possible. You can call it losing or call it winning, I don’t care. Will there be a civil war in Iraq if we get out? Maybe, but Americans won’t be dying in it and American money won’t be spent waging it (hopefully). Leave Iraq (and its oil) to the Iraqis and if they want a democracy, they will have it and we will do business with them, and if they want another tyrant, they can have that too. And if this is the best course of action for America to take, then those Americans who use lawful means (such as legally denying military recruiters access to kids at high schools)are hardly traitors, but perhaps patriots of the highest degree, more deserving of the Medal of Honor than George Tenet.

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