Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Moore Injustices


Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong in a country where a despicable slimebag such as Michael Moore is able to generate wealth through lies and distortions; and by means of mischaracterizing and deceiving those who end up in his propaganda films. And when he sat at the 2004 DNC next to Jimmy Carter in the Presidential box, that said just about everything you needed to know about the state that the Democratic Party now finds itself in.

Back in May, the story of Iraq war-veteran Peter Damon was making its rounds in the news (and in the leftside of the blogosphere, a prime candidate targeted for character assassination).

Another soldier, unfairly portrayed in Moore's crapumentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, was Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar, who was killed in Iraq late last month. He was one of the Marine recruiters in the film:


Jul 8, 11:07 PM EDT

Marine Recruiter in 'Fahrenheit' Mourned

By SHARON COHEN
AP National Writer


LAKE ORION, Mich. (AP) -- He was a stern-faced sniper - and a soft-hearted Marine who handed out candy to kids in Iraq. He was a warrior who wrote poetry about life and death.

He was featured in Michael Moore's antiwar documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11," portrayed as an overzealous Marine recruiter who targeted poor kids.

But Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar was far more complicated than that.

And it was that complicated man who died in Iraq in late June, as he served with some of the same men he had recruited years ago. It was that complex man who was buried Friday, by a family that honored his service but would never forget his humanity.



"He had a huge heart," says his widow, Leigha.

Plouhar was a Marine for 10 of his 30 years, but he had dreamed of joining the military ever since he was a little boy who liked to watch "M-A-S-H" on television and dress in fatigues and a camouflage shirt.

He entered the Corps straight out of high school, was trained as a sniper and traveled the world - Bosnia, Sudan and Israel. He had a ramrod posture and a fierce pride in his appearance: He once ironed his uniform and polished its brass buttons for two hours before allowing his mom to photograph him.

"He told me lots of times that he learned what could be accomplished .. if you put your heart and soul in it - and he put his heart and soul in the Marine Corps," says his father, also named Raymond. "He was gung-ho from the time he signed his name until the day he died."

His signature was a memorable one.

His birth certificate read Raymond James Byron Anthony Charles Plouhar - he was named after all his grandfathers. He followed a long family tradition of military service that included a grandfather who earned a Purple Heart in World War II and an older sister, Toni, who was in the Army.

Plouhar carried a Bible from his grandfather, Raymond, to Iraq. He kept it in his left shirt pocket next to his heart. Tucked inside was a photo of his wife and their two sons, Raymond, 9, and Michael, 5.

As devoted as he was to the Marines, Plouhar had a full life outside the military. He liked to hunt and camp, take canoe trips and fish with his boys.

He was known as a charmer, a good talker, a champion of the underdog (always defending and befriending kids picked on in school) and though he was trained to fight and kill, he preferred the role of peacemaker.

"He didn't like turmoil," recalls his mother, Cynthia. "He wanted everybody to be happy, to get along. ... He'd say 'Life's too short to sweat the small stuff.'"

As family members gathered last week in their lakefront home 30 miles north of Detroit, they lined the walls and windows with photo collages that tell Raymond Plouhar's life in chapters.

There's the grinning kid with the protruding ears (a coach once joked he looked like a Volkswagen with the doors open) proudly holding up the bass he caught.

There's the sturdy athlete grappling with an opponent around a wrestling circle and posing in the green-and-white football uniform of the Lake Orion Dragons.

There's the young man in love, sitting with high school sweetheart, Leigha, on his dad's Harley on their way to the prom, then years later, together again, he in Marine blue, she in white, on their wedding day.

Then there's the tough-minded Marine in helmet and combat gear - doling out candy from a plastic bag two months ago to schoolchildren in Iraq.

"He admired the Iraqi people," his father says. "He said, 'Dad, even though I can't understand a word they're saying, if we were back home ... we'd be buddies.'"

Plouhar was killed on June 26 by a roadside bomb in Anbar province in his second tour of duty in Iraq, weeks before he was to return home. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Plouhar's family says he had no qualms about returning to Iraq and he believed conditions had improved since his first tour in 2005.

"I never worried," Leigha says, "because ... in my head, he was indestructible and nothing could ever happen to him because he was so good at what he did."

His mother says her son preferred to be at the center of the action. In an undated entry in a blog on MySpace.com, Plouhar said "you can call me crazy" but he liked being in Iraq. "Someone has to do it plus I love what I do," he wrote.

Plouhar did step back from active duty for four years and worked as a recruiter in Flint so he could donate a kidney to his uncle.

It was as a recruiter that Plouhar was seen in Moore's award-winning "Fahrenheit 9/11." The segment shows Plouhar and another Marine in a mall parking lot in a depressed suburb of Flint; it suggests the two men were cynically hunting for poor teens to sign up, rather than go to a wealthy suburb where they'd likely be rejected.

Plouhar's father says his son told him he had been misled and believed he was being filmed for a documentary that would appear on the Discovery Channel. (Moore's office didn't return calls or e-mail messages seeking comment.)

"He cried when he found out what it really was," his father says. "He never dreamed that it was going to be something to slam the country, which he dearly loved."

The movie, to be precise, is primarily a criticism of the Bush administration's actions after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

And yet, the elder Plouhar also says he doesn't see anything wrong with his son's actions. "If you really watched just the part with my son in it," he asks, "how could you not say that he was standing tall and proud?"

His parents say they've seen only the segment featuring their son. Leigha Plouhar says her husband asked her not to watch the film - and she never has. Nor has Stephen Wandrie, his friend of 20 years, who says Plouhar was hurt by the film, but told him:

"'You know what? I know what I do is good for this country and every one of those people I'm recruiting - those guys are my brothers.' "

In the past month, the bloodshed that has become part of the daily life in Iraq seemed to edge closer and closer. He was shaken up in two explosions.

Two weeks before he died, his mother says, he called and she could hear the strain in his voice. But he tried to be reassuring. "He said, I'll be all right. I don't have much longer. ... I'm ready to come home. I'm ready."

And yet he seemed prepared for the possibility he wouldn't.

In a poem he sent to his family last year - a poem now enlarged to floor-to-ceiling size, and covering a wall of the Plouhar home - Plouhar said he knew he could die serving his country and was ready to make the sacrifice.

"I will leave my loved ones, my kids, my wife ...," he wrote. "Do not feel pity for me, for this is my choice. ... This is me. This is who I am. I am a Marine to the very end."

God rest your soul, Raymond Plouhar. Thank you for serving this great nation of ours where a vile stupahdist such as Michael Moore can have his disgusting lies and deceit exposed.


Hat tip: Patriotes

42 Comments:

Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Where you see Moore as the villain in this for defaming Plouhar, I see Moore and opponents of this war as being the ones truly advocating on behalf of our soldiers. We're the ones who don't want to see them killed in a questionaby legal war.

We love our country's military and want what's best for them. Recruiting them to a questionably legal invasion where they are being killed and maimed does not seem a loving or responsible position to us.

You will, of course, disagree. It's your right.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 9:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

You don't show love for our country's military by aiding and abetting the enemy.

God rest Raymond Plouhar's soul and God bless his loved ones.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Wonderful tribute!! May God comfort Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar's family. He was a wonderful man and a true American hero. Unlike the despicable Michael Moore!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. He truly exemplified what it means to be a Marine, in all the best ways!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

" You don't show love for our country's military by aiding and abetting the enemy."

Nor do we do so by allowing them to be involved in a questionably legal war, fair enough?

So, let's agree not to aid nor abet the enemy AND not get our military involved in a questionably legal war?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Oh Dan ... how is Michael Moore adovcating on the behalf of our soldiers when he goes overseas and puts down their Commander-in-Chief, their mission, and our country?

"Recruiting them to a questionably legal invasion" is something that confuses me. We don't recruit people to fight in a specific war, we recruit them to serve in the military. Not everyone in the military has served or will serve in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq was not illegal by US standards - once again, Clinton signed an Executive Order in 1998 allowing regime change. Iraq again and again refused to destroy all their WMD and they fired upon our aircraft again and again (an act of war) in the no-fly zone areas of the country in which the UK and we patrolled.

So no, you're not recruited to fight in Iraq but they can't promise you that you will not be deployed somewhere in the world. The US Military is in more than 100 countries around the world.

Aid and comfort to the enemy - that's what the NYT does everytime they leak an classified information, they call a "foundation" that the FBI is about to raid due to them giving funds to al-Qaida. It's what celebrities are doing when they go around the world dissing our country and its actions, it's what Michael Moore does every time he makes shit up against our country.

So we have Sgt. Plouhar being LIED to by Michael Moore or his camera crew ... he thought it was a Discovery Channel show and not for an anti-America movie. I'm ashamed to be from the same country as that fat pig is from.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 8:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I gave up attempting to reason with Dan for Lent and liked it so much I kept it up. ;)

Excellent post, Worsdsmith, as always. I second Mary "God rest Raymond Plouhar's soul and God bless his loved ones." It is certainly easy to tell who exactly truly loves this country and who doesn't.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And yet here we are, sharing the same space and still getting along the best we can, Miss Gayle.

"how is Michael Moore adovcating on the behalf of our soldiers when he goes overseas and puts down their Commander-in-Chief, their mission, and our country?"

Suppose you thought a president was committing war crimes. What would be the most patriotic, supportive thing you could do for the country and our troops?

This is where some of us are - or, if not sure that he's committing war crimes, we're at least questioning the legality of this war. If we truly think war crimes (an illegal invasion) might be taking place, even if you disagree, what else can we do but oppose Bush and try to stop him?

Thursday, July 13, 2006 5:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Skye said...

Dan,

Liberals such as michael moore claim to support the military, yet at every turn they accuse these same troops of being instruments of torture and wanton slaughter.

How can you say that you support someone yet despise EVERYTHING they stand for? Why type of support encourages soldiers to abandon the mission before it is completed, running away from an enemy that CHOSE to fight us?

This is not support, this is ABUSE.

Every time a libertard attempts to tell me they support the troops, but not the mission - I simply ask them to clarify which troops they support: al-queda or taliban?

Dan, you support michael moore and he supports the 'freedom fighters'. So tell me, is it al-queda or the taliban that you throw your suppport towards?


Is this an example of your pet NVDA agenda?

Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I'll ask it again:

IF WE THINK BUSH IS COMMITTING WAR CRIMES, what would you have us do?

I mean, wouldn't we be monsters if we sat back and let our leader commit war crimes? Yes or no?

Would a German citizen have been critized for you for "not supporting the troops because they oppose the mission?"

Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

You know it sounds like you think that they're committing war crimes but everyone who knows or at least as watched the History Channel knows that stuff happens in war. War isn't perfect. But who has the mass graves, Dan? Not the US Military. Who BEHEADS people? Not the US Military either.

Those are warcrimes. You know the United States government and military treats its prisoners real well compared to how other nations treats theirs AND how the terrorists fail to even respect the Geneva Convention, yet we're suppose to follow it when we question them?!? BS.

You know full well that if the tables were turn and an American soldier was being held by the terrorists ... they would be have their heads chopped off while it was on camera.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 1:57:00 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

What a beautiful tribute! I particularly like the closing words you chose:

"Do not feel pity for me, for this is my choice. ... This is me. This is who I am. I am a Marine to the very end."

God hold him in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Thanks to everyone who have commented.

I'll just address Dan's first comment:

Where you see Moore as the villain in this for defaming Plouhar, I see Moore and opponents of this war as being the ones truly advocating on behalf of our soldiers.


Dan, my primary grief in this post on Michael Moore, isn't his stance on the war. In this post, what I am expressing is a disgust with his deception and distortions, in order to get his message across; in how he exploits and misrepresents others. It is devious how he is able to "lie" in his films in such a way as to still be able to cover himself and say, "Well...I never actually said that." Yet, the way he juxtapositions scenes and such misleads the viewer into drawing untrue conclusions.

How can you not see the wrong in Michael Moore, when you read something like this:

Plouhar's father says his son told him he had been misled and believed he was being filmed for a documentary that would appear on the Discovery Channel. (Moore's office didn't return calls or e-mail messages seeking comment.)

"He cried when he found out what it really was," his father says. "He never dreamed that it was going to be something to slam the country, which he dearly loved."


????

Just how would you feel, Dan, if I interviewed you, giving you the impression that you were being interviewed for an anti-war documentary, and then when you actually view your scene in my film, you find out that I have misrepresented you in such a way, that it either appears like you are a complete nutcase, making people want war and not your kind of peace; or, I edit your footage in such a manner, that it appears you are actually pro-war as a means for achieving peace.

Can you understand, now, what the point of my post was?

It seems like 3/4's of the posts you comment in, you always sidetrack the actual topic, and steer it toward your pet peeve of NVDA, pacifism as answer, legal/illegal war.

And then we are back to circling the wagon of debate all over again, rehashing the same arguments.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 8:50:00 PM  
Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Moore is a f**ktard, regardless of one's opinion of the war, or Bush.
His work is mislieading at best, and traitorous at its worst.

And I'm not just talking about that 911 piece of crap.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 9:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Thanks for posting about Raymond Plouhar Wordsmith.

I wish he were here to answer the senseless screeds that Dan Trabue continues to litter your comments pages with.

One hardly knows where, or how to even begin answering such lunacy, such utter foolishness, such misquided nonsense.

I won't even try. Everyone else made the effort already and as you can see, the loon just keeps coming back to prove again how totally out to lunch and DANGEROUS his views are.

I will just remind your other readers that Dan and company have NEVER offered any practical, effective solution to any of the problems we face. The Trabues of the world would handcuff the only people that can and will do anything to stop the spread of evil.

The real crime against humanity is what Stalin called the "useful idiots" like Trabue who would handcuff those who are doing the very best they can to stop the evildoers.

Trabue is a fool!

Thursday, July 13, 2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dan,

As much as I always disagree with you, and as exasperating as I find you to be, at times, I apologize for any ad hominems that might be hurled your way from my other readers.

I think it commendable of you to frequent conservative blogs, trying to strike up a dialogue, rather than going on tears that accomplishes nothing except widen divisions and spew vitriol.

Mike's abrasive with low tolerance for wasting time responding to liberals and moonbats; but it's hard for me to fault him when I agree with him on just about everything. Even when there is rift among conservatives over such things as immigration, Harriet Mier, and the Dubai Ports deal, Mike and I are in alignment.


Jen, from whom I first heard this story, has an update.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Don't apologize on my behalf Wordsmith.

These are not issues of Right and Left. They are issues of Right and WRONG!

The Trabues of the world are WRONG and the results of their misguided foolishness has been the horrific deaths of tens of millions of people in the 20th Century.

The reason I have such low tolerance for his ilk is that these millions of tragic deaths were avoidable and ONLY, ONLY happened because fools like Trabue sucessfully inhibited the moral response necessary to defeat evil.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Thank you for your graciousness, WS, and I apologize if it seems I'm sidetracking. I'm not trying to, I'm trying to increase the understanding.

The point that I continue to try to make is that IF WE THINK BUSH IS COMMITTING WAR CRIMES, what would you have us do?

I UNDERSTAND that many of y'all DON'T think this invasion is illegal. But many others do question its legality and what else can we do but try various means to oppose it?

I mean, if we were folk who believed in violence as solution, we could strke up a civil war or try to violent means to stop it. We're trying other means.

What would you have us do?

And Mike, I love you too. I love the satire over at your place. I don't think most people get that you're spoofing "conservatism" by extending to ridiculous lengths to show how ugly things can be. Keep up the good work.

Friday, July 14, 2006 5:26:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Actually Mikey, I agree with you, ya know?

You said:

"They are issues of Right and WRONG!"

And I agree. War crimes are ALWAYS wrong and we ought not put up with it one bit.

Friday, July 14, 2006 6:39:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Dan,

Weren't you the one in 2 other posts of mine, that said "the end never justifies the means"? And yet it sounds like you're endorsing just that in your last two comments.

"What would you have us do?"

How about not distort the truth and use deceit to get your point across? If you have to resort to that, does that not cheapen and weaken your side?

So Michael Moore should use any means necessary, even if that largely entails the absence of reality and truth, to get his message across? How does that make any rational sense?

This is part of the dishonesty that I see when protestors hold up signs that show Iraqi babies supposedly killed by Coalition forces. Where were their signs when Saddam killed Iraqi babies on an ongoing basis for years? Where are their signs protesting the violence of the terrorists and insurgents? Can you not acknowledge that life for Iraqis would be better off without the insurgents blowing up civilians? Or do you honestly think their lives would improve should we just abandon the Iraqis to the Jihadists and former Baathists and Saddam loyalists?

I don't want to hear about "it was an illegal war". Address my question and deal with the fact that WE ARE THERE NOW. So what is the in the best interest of the Iraqis, whether we should have been there in the first place or not. What is best for the Iraqis and what is in the best interest of the United States, now that we are there?

The U.S. is not making life worse for the Iraqis. The terrorists are doing that. The Americans are helping the Iraqi security forces to protect and rebuild. What are the insurgents doing but creating misery, mayhem, and violence? What bright and noble future do they envision for Iraq? What is their rebuilding plan?

Friday, July 14, 2006 7:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"So Michael Moore should use any means necessary, even if that largely entails the absence of reality and truth, to get his message across?"

That's a fair complaint. I'll clarify my position to say that "The ends do not justify deadly/oppressive means." Will that help?

Moore, or anyone, shouldn't use "any means necessary," to stop war crimes or oppressive actions. That's what we're complaining about with Bush.

But, Moore using propagandizing is one idea. Myself, I'd prefer a little less demonization and propaganda, but it was an effort that I support mostly nonetheless.

I would disagree that his film represents a lack of "reality and truth." The military DOES in fact solicit in poorer neighborhoods - targetting them in fact, they DO make promises that sometimes go unkept (or so my military brother and friends tell me), the DON'T emphasize the questionable situations that sometimes soldiers find themselves in.

Where was there a lack of truth or reality in how he dealt with Sgt. Plouhar - in deceiving him to get the interview? Perhaps. But given the choice between that kind of deceit and the kind of killing that happens in invasions such as this, I'll take the deceit anytime, to get to the larger truth.

And so my point remains, I think you would (or at least HOPE you would) take some similar actions yourselves if you thought your president were committing war crimes.

Friday, July 14, 2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

"Where you see Moore as the villain in this for defaming Plouhar, I see Moore and opponents of this war as being the ones truly advocating on behalf of our soldiers."

As the wife of an active duty servicemember who served in Iraq and is leaving for Afghanistan in mere days, I find that belief offensive. Michael Moore does NOT support us - he never has. Just because he says he does doesn't make it so.

I can see that there are those who oppose the war and support the troops. It's a very hard stance to take. It requires shutting your pie-hole sometimes, because the people hurt by his stupidity induced comments are not Bush or any other Republicans - it's us.

If Michael Moore supported the troops, his book about the troops would have had OUR picture on it, not his. But it's all about him.

Just for the record, my husband volunteered for BOTH his deployments. He's been trying to get back over there for the past year. Ask yourself what could possibly make someone who has been there (and has a Bronze Star as a parting gift) feel so strongly about a cause that he pushed to go back and fight again rather than stay home in safety with his wife and four children like most of the anti-war protestors. Ask yourself what could possibly make a family so sure about a cause they would send Daddy/Husband twice proudly, not resentfully.

And ask yourself why our family is totally average when it comes to military families in this.

Then ask yourself if you believe in anything so strongly that you would volunteer to spend years of your children's lives in nasty situations while getting shot at and having people at home cry "war crimes" and "occupiers!" and "oppressors!" while claiming to actually be supporting you with their Orwellian doublespeak.

And if you can't find anything you believe in that strongly, maybe you are the one with a mission problem, not us.

Friday, July 14, 2006 3:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Moonbat aka Pekka said...

This ridiculous "commentary" from the left as well as from right is shaking off any resemblance of meaningfulness. Ann Coulter, however, has reached the hights that can be only classified as manifestation of underlying mental heatlh issues. Why is she considered as serious political commentator, escapes me totally?

Michael Moore, another hand, is a fairly good documentary maker who found a niche that he is willing and able to milk all it's worth. He has sprinkle of truth laced with tons of sensationalism and, yes, occasional lie. But hey, he's making a buck in a process, so, shouldn't that warm up your icy Conservative hearts? :)

Friday, July 14, 2006 3:31:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"I find that belief offensive."

I'm sorry you find it offensive. Doesn't mean that it isn't true though. And I appreciate your dedication to what you think is a good cause. I don't doubt your sincerity one bit.

But please, just answer this ONE question:

IF your child were recruited to participate in what you were convinced was an illegal invasion, would you support their going anyway and remain silent as war crimes were committed in order to "support" them, OR would you protest at the top of your lungs to stop a criminal presidency from committing war crimes?

Friday, July 14, 2006 3:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Here's the thing Dan... you aren't recruited to do anything. You volunteer to serve your country, therefore you go see a recruiter and then you start the enlistment procress. Recruiters don't starts off by saying: "FYI - if you are recruited you're going to Iraq," ... what they do is say that they can't promise that you won't get deployed. There's a difference.

War crimes?!? Dan - Saddam was the one committing the war crimes on a massive scale. Him and his scumbags of sons were.

Why didn't Clinton do more to the stop the war crimes being committed in the Serbian region? Somalia? Rwanda?

Friday, July 14, 2006 5:24:00 PM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

My eldest daughter will be enlisting upon her graduation from high school.

If she thought there was something illegal or immoral going on, she wouldn't. And if we thought there was something illegal or immoral going on, my husband would have gotten out the two times since 9/11 his committment was up. We call that "voting with your feet."

Like I said, it is possible to support the troops and not the war. It doesn't even require one to be quiet about their feelings about the war. It just requires them to actually watch what they say and when they say it. It's actually a lot more effective, too.

You didn't answer any of my questions, but I will answer yours. If my child was in the military and chose to stay in the military during a war I felt was wrong, I'd certainly re-examine my own beliefs to see if what I had was a knee-jerk reaction. If I still felt the same way, I would certainly not subject my child (who didn't agree with me and was the one putting their life on the line for their beliefs while I sat comfortably at home in my air conditioning eating fast food on demand) to either my rage filled diatribes in person, or recorded; nor would I run around wearing a pink shirt in front of them.

The people in the military are adults - perhaps those parents need to admit that and treat us as such. Adults make their own decisions and are responsible for their own decisions.

Michael Moore seems to run the gamut between military people being poor victims of an evil cabal who is forcing them into something beyond their control (as if the standard 4 year enlistment doesn't show that a choice was certainly made by many - and it was to stay the course) or warmongering criminals intent on pillaging innocents.

I have a sneaking suspicion Moore hasn't bothered to send any non-politically tinged CARE packages to servicemembers who love to get Cheezits and Chex Mix. That would be some support his millions could easily achieve. It might give him more credibility, too. I doubt he's sat at the bedside of the wounded at Walter Reed, much less done so without trying to make somebody who's already given up body parts feel worse.

And that makes it absolutely true that he doesn't support anything beyond making money and garnering fame for himself. And that is what makes it so offensive. Apparently, though, in todays world it is not what you actually do that matters, but just what you say.

Friday, July 14, 2006 6:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"nor would I run around wearing a pink shirt in front of them."

You would not do all you could do to stop what you thought were war crimes?! Gee...

Well, I would and do. Many of us believe that war crimes - even if they are done with the best of intentions - will only serve to undermine our country and make us less secure and endanger our military. Not to mention that war crimes are just wrong and un-American.

As to your questions of me, I'm sorry, I thought they were rhetorical. You asked:

"Ask yourself what could possibly make a family so sure about a cause they would send Daddy/Husband twice proudly, not resentfully?"

I'd suggest that it is the belief that violence can stop violence. The very generous but wrong-headed notion that they are willing to not only die for their country (which I am willing to do as well) but also kill for their country - even if they accidentally kill innocents (which I'm not willing to do).

And you asked:

"Then ask yourself if you believe in anything so strongly that you would volunteer to spend years of your children's lives...?"

My children would have to decide for themselves when they're adults. I would and do volunteer years - my very life - to important causes. I will not volunteer to kill when innocent people might be killed.

If you're a Christian, then Just War Theory and Jesus' teachings forbid you to. If you're not, then rationality and humanity will teach us that it is not wise nor does it make us safer to kill innocent people - even accidentally - in a country that was no threat to us.

Friday, July 14, 2006 7:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Jen said:

"you aren't recruited to do anything. You volunteer to serve your country, therefore you go see a recruiter and then you start the enlistment process."

Here's the thing, Jen, they DO in my neighborhood. The gov't requires our schools to give up the names of our teen aged children to the recruiters so they can place them on a mailing list and try to, well, recruit them.

One of my son's 15 year old buds at church has been approached regularly (he's african american and, I guess the assumption is, more desperate and more "recruitable") to coax him in to joining the army. Fortunately, he's learned better at our peace church and he tells them politely, "No thanks, I don't believe in war."

I understand fully that it is a decision made by the child and their family, but the point remains that they ARE recruited. At least in my neighborhood.

Friday, July 14, 2006 7:29:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Did I hit the wrong URL and land on "DefeatAmerica.Com?"

I was looking for Sparks from the Anvil, yet two thirds of this page is little more than one, LONG screed and an abetment of evil.

Not only that but the rantings of abettor Trabue get rather boring after he repeats his sensless goobledegook a couple dozen times.

P.S. AirforceWife: Thank you and your family for their service and sacrifice. We're proud of all of you, and that includes the ones left on the home front.

Friday, July 14, 2006 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

WTF Dan?!? It's a LAW! Do you know who else they give out children's information out to?!? Colleges, College Board, Loans and everything else under the sun.

And are blacks more recruitable? Probably not. Now I live in a rural state, Montana ... and 8 out of 10 Montanans are serving our country or have served our country. They chose ot enlist due to patriotism, education or just getting the hell out of Dodge.

Dan, no one wants war ... George Bush didn't want war. In fact, if you remember, several nations offered Saddam Hussein amnesty right before the war. Bush gave Saddam 24 hours, and guess what? The idiot chose not to leave the country. Not everyone in the military wants to go to war, but guess what, you're stupid to think you might not have to.

So you and this boy attend peace church? I commend you for even stepping into a house of worship but I don't think there is such a thing as a 'Peace Church' if you follow the teachings of God.

It says in the Old Testament that: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) in Hebrew, it means you cannot sit there and think about whose head it would be fun to blow off with a gun. Do you teach that God ordered His people (the Israelites) to go to war and destroy other nations (1 Samuel 15:3; Joshua 4:13)? Do you read about Babylon? Are you aware that God has given out various of examples of what crimes will earn you death (Exodus 21:12; 21:15; 22:19; Leviticus 20:11)?

Now let's say I agree with you and say this war is "illegal" does that mean you would be for war if it was legal? Is that sorta ... a contradiction?

I also assume you have read the Book of Ecclesiastes where it states: "A time for war and a time for peace."

Soldiers are highly respected in the Bible ... it's stated in the Book that when you go to war as a soldier you put on the armor of God. Men of God have gone to war in the bible. That nation of Israel had a standing army.

That why I question the actual validity of such a Church.

My cousin who serves in the Navy, went to the recruiter one day and started the papers .... his mother didn't find out until he was due to go to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). It's a personal choice, yes ... but he volunteered.

My brother volunteered. My cousin voluntered. My father's step-father volunteered to go to war in WWII and ended up getting his finger chopped off by the Japanese. I volunteered.

War should always be an option, always, especially since there are nut cases out there in this world that want to kill you, that boy, me and every other person who is against their belief system.

You're not recruited if your name appears on a list. You're just a name on a list.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:06:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Perhaps we're not talking about the same definition of "recruited"?

The dictionary has it both ways:

To enroll or seek to enroll. I'm talking about recruiting as in seeking to enroll. The military does that. As I said, I fully understand that the military doesn't automatically enroll folk, they seek to enroll.

Just to be clear that we're talking about the same definition.

As to your question of Peace Churches: There is a longstanding tradition of peace churches, beginning with the Early Church for the first ~250-300 years of its existence. Church members could not be and were not part of the military during that time.

After that, the pagan Constantine made Christianity the state religion and participation in the military became increasingly common.

The Quakers, Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, early Baptists and Nazarenes and many other churches have either been pacifist or leaned pacifist for hundreds of years. You're going to disqualify a lot of people from Church, Miss Jen, if you "question the actual validity" of such churches.

This is off-topic so I won't go in to biblical teachings and pacifism, but suffice to say, it sounds like you might want to read more on the topic:

1. one can't justify the huge military we have based on the Old Testament (in which God repeatedly orders the Israelites to not have an army, or only have a militia and to keep it small so as to trust in God), and

2. You really would have to twist the teachings of Jesus to work in the notion that it is okay for Jesus' followers to engage in killing their enemies.

Feel free to email me or start your own post or comment on mine sometime when the topic comes up if you'd like. I won't tie this post up further with it.

Finally, I never said anyone wants a war. I have said that a good number - maybe a majority of US citizens question the legality of this war, certainly a majority of folk around the world do. And so we will protest, we will question the man who led us into this invasion, we will try to bring him down.

It's ALL we can do if we suspect war crimes. Anything less and we'd be monsters.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

what an absolute ASS!

Saturday, July 15, 2006 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

It's actually not ALL you can do, it's all you can do and still enjoy the standard of living and perks that come from living in the US and having flush toilets and Starbucks.

As for the Quakers - thousands of settlers died while they were in control of Pennsylvania because they felt that it would soil them to support the settlers with a militia to keep them from being slaughtered by the natives. THey also didn't fight in the Revolution, but came up with sleights of hand that allowed them to funnel supplies to the Colonists while keeping their hands "pure." Quite frankly, the politization of the Quaker "non-violence" has been utterly hypocritical in the past.

Views of this war aside, something that a lot of people who claim pacifism seem to miss is that while it takes two sides to make a peace, it only takes one side to make a war. Ghandi advocated the Jews of Europe walk calmly into the gas chambers because their non-violence would save them. It did not. It only worked for Ghandi because he was agitating against the British Empire.

It didn't work in the Soviet Union (which my husband escaped with his mother under threat of Gulag in the 1970s) because the Soviet leaders had no compunctions shooting anyone who tried to disagree.

What I object to most is the seemingly overriding feeling that you are so much better and enlightened than we poor idiots who are willing to defend you.


Which is the last thing I will say on this, because although I know that I spend every day examining my beliefs and asking myself if it is worth it, I very much doubt that self examination or seeing the world through my eyes is something you are willing to even honestly attempt.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

"something that a lot of people who claim pacifism seem to miss is that while it takes two sides to make a peace"

Well, yes, sort of. But both sides don't need to be willing or even desiring to make a peace. Non-violent Direct Action is based NOT upon the hope that people will be good but rather upon the premise that people will act in their own perceived best interests.

And so, when the Contra Terrorists in Nicaragua (for instance) were killing and raping Nicaraguan villages in their efforts to overthrow the country, Witness for Peace correctly analyzed the situation and understood that the Contras were receiving their funding from the US and would not jeopardize that funding by killing US citizens, so WFP sent citizens (US, European, etc) to be "witnesses" in the endangered villages and the terrorism ceased. The Contras may not have wanted peace, but they wouldn't act against their own perceived best interests.

Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers," not the peace-hopers. You can strive to make peace where there is none and even where the "other side" isn't especially interested. It takes bravery, wisdom and imagination, and hasn't been tried very often. But where NVDA HAS been tried (S. Africa, Nicaragua, Civil Rights Movement, Gandhi's India, etc, etc), it has done fairly well.

And I apologize for repeating this (for all those who've heard me make this argument) but I don't know if Jen had seen this argument before.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Skye said...

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing



Well since we are quoting Bible Verses or Byrds Lyrics...


As for the myth of NVDA - try that with hamas, hizbollah and al-queda and find that all your best wishes for peace will end up on the business end of a dull knife.

NVDA can only hope to work when BOTH sides are non-violent. BTW - I wouldn't be so quick to claim South Africa or Nicaraqua (have YOU been there recently?) as a 'victory' for NVDA.

The civil rights movement victory came when Republican lawmakers trounced a filibuster attempt by a group of democrats.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Yes, as a matter of fact, I was in Nicaragua a three years ago. And I've friends who live there and others who have visited. Nica is in bad shape.

I didn't claim that NVDA was a win for the Sandinistas - under threat of further US invasion, the Nicaraguans felt compelled to vote against the Sandinistas. BUT, NVDA ended the violence towards the villagers and eventually led to the disbanding of the Contras.

So, you really can't claim that NVDA doesn't work except in cases where "both sides want peace" when I've just provided an example of how it clearly did when one side was not inclined towards peace.

Let's please accept reality for what it is and not discount it. Thanks.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Airforcewife, I know you said you don't really want to discuss this further and that's fine, but I am curious (and anyone else can feel free to field this) why you'd say:

"What I object to most is the seemingly overriding feeling that you are so much better and enlightened..."

Because I'm opposed to war crimes or because I'm in favor of us obeying our own laws, does that make me come across as self-righteous? Because I reject anyone's gracious offer to wage war on my behalf, does that make me self-righteous? I am curious.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 5:04:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I would disagree that his film represents a lack of "reality and truth."

And I disagree that it doesn't. It is filled with deceits and lies, through and through. And yes, I did see it when it came out. Absolutely vile and repulsive; the same feeling I get when I visit DU or listen to Air America.

The military DOES in fact solicit in poorer neighborhoods - targetting them in fact,

Dan, what do you make of this study, from the Heritage Foundation:

Middle-class youths, not the poor, are providing the bulk of wartime recruits to the armed forces, according to a new study by a conservative think tank.
The Heritage Foundation research paper found that a higher percentage of middle-class and upper-middle-class families have been providing enlistees for the war on Islamic militants since the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Researchers matched the ZIP codes of recruits over the past five years with federal government estimates of household incomes in those neighborhoods. Contrary to complaints from some liberal lawmakers and pundits, the data show that the poor are not shouldering the bulk of the military's need for new soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines.
The poorest neighborhoods provided 18 percent of recruits in prewar 1999 and 14.6 percent in 2003. By contrast, areas where household incomes ranged from $30,000 to $200,000 provided more than 85 percent.
"We found that recruits tend to come from middle-class areas, with disproportionately fewer from low-income areas," said the report, prepared by Tim Kane, an Air Force Academy graduate and economics scholar. "Overall, the income distribution of military enlistees is more similar to than different from the income distribution of the general population."
The debate was begun in 2002 by Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, as U.S. troops were fighting in Afghanistan and preparing for war in Iraq.
"A disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority groups make up the enlisted ranks of the military, while most privileged Americans are underrepresented or absent," Mr. Rangel wrote in the New York Times. The lawmaker called on the Bush administration to reinstate compulsory service.
Mr. Rangel's Washington office did not respond yesterday to the Heritage report.
The draft was discontinued in 1973, and the all-volunteer force eventually grew into what many national security officials see as the best-trained military force in history.


I've also heard it said that the military we have today is the best educated we've ever had.



Where was there a lack of truth or reality in how he dealt with Sgt. Plouhar - in deceiving him to get the interview? Perhaps.

Yes, most definitely. But also in painting military recruiters in the harshest possible light. That is dishonesty, no matter how you cut it. But that's because it's a PROPAGANDA film and political satire...not a documentary. I can't believe that you, Dan, won't just acknowledge it as a dishonest piece of work, simply because you agree with the message behind it. It is just a bag of distortions, lies, and deceits.


But given the choice between that kind of deceit and the kind of killing that happens in invasions such as this, I'll take the deceit anytime, to get to the larger truth.

So your pathway is a variation of one of the X-Files slogans used in at least the opening credits to one episode: "All lies lead to the truth"?

Saturday, July 15, 2006 6:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Skye said...

There is a universe of a difference between factions that might not be inclined toward peace to those that use death as their only 'diplomatic' course of action to achieve their agenda.

The principles of NVDA are wholly inadequate to handle the worldwide problem of islamofascism. It's akin to applying a splint to a patient's leg when their really suffering from a heart attack.

Sorry, your BARNEY-like scenario of world peace will only manage to kill more people than it saves.



------------------------------
So, you really can't claim that NVDA doesn't work except in cases where "both sides want peace" when I've just provided an example of how it clearly did when one side was not inclined towards peace.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 6:03:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

One of my son's 15 year old buds at church has been approached regularly (he's african american and, I guess the assumption is, more desperate and more "recruitable") to coax him in to joining the army.

Sometimes, you really shouldn't assume based upon leftist stereotypes and negative beliefs about the military.



Fortunately, he's learned better at our peace church and he tells them politely, "No thanks, I don't believe in war."

Sounds more like ignorance.

Joining the military is an honorable profession. In fact, I can't think, right now, of a more nobler profession. As Life of an Enlisted Man in the United States Army points out, "There seems to prevail the idea that to be a soldier...is to be in a position which is below that of the ordinary citizen."

That's a shame, really. Soldiers should be exalted not as killers and warmongers...but as defenders and protectors of our society and its ideals. For that kid to say "No thanks. I don't believe in war." shows a young man brought up to be unappreciative of those men and women throughout our nations history who have fought, sacrificed, and even died so that he could live in a society where he is free to say that and live out his life, smugly saying he doesn't believe in war...I really think AirForceWife said it brilliantly when she wrote:

something that a lot of people who claim pacifism seem to miss is that while it takes two sides to make a peace, it only takes one side to make a war.

Most of us don't want war. But what is the sane alternative to not fighting wars that need to be fought?

Yes...here we go again Dan, around the merry-go-round.

You might consider this a compliment or an insult, but I think you must be the Michael Berg of the blogosphere, Dan.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 6:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

You hit the nail right in the middle of it's head, Wordsmith!

Saturday, July 15, 2006 8:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much, that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it".
Dwight Eisenhower

"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies".
Moshe Dayan

This is the kind of drivel that these anti-American, Jew-haters have been spewing for ages. I bet, these loosers never had stomach to defend their countries with arms. :)

Sincerely,
Moonbat aka Pekka

Sunday, July 16, 2006 2:34:00 AM  

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