Three grandfathers, one war.

On this Veterans Day, I remember the soldiers in my family that came before me.  They all fought in WWII.  The war took a different toll from each of them.

My mother's father.
My mother's stepfather.
My father's father.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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How big a deal is Obama's international trip? Discuss

Barack Obama is going on a big international trip next week where he'll speak with foreign leaders, talk to public audiences, and get huge press coverage there and at home.

But how big a deal is it?  McCain went to Europe, Israel and Iraq and it wasn't all that huge.

I think Obama's trip will be a bigger deal and so do the networks.  They're sending some of their top folks who will be interviewing Obama along the way.  According to The Page and the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, "NBC's Brian Williams, ABC's Charlie Gibson and CBS' Katie Couric will meet up with Obama on his swing through Europe and the Middle East next week."

"Sources in both television and politics confirmed that the Williams, Gibson and Couric interviews will be parceled out on successive nights in different countries. That means the Obama camp will have drawn the anchors halfway around the world by offering access. (Correspondents could have done the interviews instead, but a certain competitiveness sets in once one or two anchors agree to go."
http://thepage.time.com/2008/07/16/netwo rk-anchors-pack-their-bags/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/07/16/AR2008071600758_ pf.html

What do you think?  Might this have a big effect on the race?  Is it a sign of media savvy or too much risk-taking on behalf of the Obama campaign?

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BREAKING: McCain in Europe

John McCain made an unscheduled trip to East Germany, ahead of Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Europe.

Speaking to reporters, McCain said this:

I plan on visiting the Berlin Wall and discuss freedom with the Communist guards that are not allowing freedom to spread over the border. I also plan on visiting West Germany and having discussion with President Helmut Kohl.

A McCain spokesman also reiterated that he plans on visting the Soviet Union and plans on meeting with President Yeltsin either in Leningrad or Stalingrad. After the Soviet trip, McCain plans to continue his European tour

We hope to convince the republics of Slovenia and Croatia that secession from Yugoslavia is not in the best interest of the world and that America will not recognize their independence

When reporters informed McCain that they are already independent, in the U.N., Slovenia was in the EU and NATO, and Croatia is on membership path, McCain clarified:

I mispoke. What I meant was that we will be discussing avoiding independence of Bosnia  to avoid a minor conflict that might be triggered in that region.

Other stops for McCain include Constantinople, Zaire in Africa, Burma, Kurdistan, and the newly independent nation of Quebec.

McCain advisors state:

We hope that this tour shows that we are serious about foreign policy and we will strive to keep America safe.

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Snipergate Just took a Turn for the Worst UPDATED

I posted this last week, but now I realise why, as a European actively involved in campaigning against Serb ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide, I felt so strongly about her lie. Christopher Hitchens has made it clear. It's not only that Hillary recklessly padded her CV, and refused to account for it in any coherent way. It's much bigger than this. He has now shown, as I always heard and suspected, that Hillary was the brake on Bill when he initially wanted to intervene and hammer the heavy Serb guns to stop the massacre of innocent civilians. That she should use this war, the same war she helped to prolong, to enhance her credentials, is really deeply shameful.

The Hitch's piece is here

http://www.slate.com/id/2187780/

My original diary below

Oh and I should have realised I would get lots of 'What did you Brits do?' comments. Since I've already explained umpteen times how pusillanimous the British government were, and how I and many others really welcomed US military intervention here, I'll refer you to the previous answers I gave

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/28/132411/775#readmore

Update [2008-3-31 18:12:56 by brit]: Despite the two instances cited by Hitchens, and because no one seems to trust him or the Bedell Smith book, or Roger Cohen's article, I have also found TWO contemporaneous accounts of Hillary dissuading Bill from intervening in 1993 in Elizabeth Drew's book ON THE EDGE and Richard Reeves, RUNNING IN PLACE. This is not just spin

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Why snipergate matters: a European Perspective

Update [2008-3-31 16:11:10 by brit]: This has just got worse. Christopher Hitchens has just posted an article in the Slate to prove what I always suspected. It was Hillary, who as reported then, was against early intervention because she'd read The Ghosts of War, and convinaced Bill that Bosnia was an ancient tribal quagmire

http://www.slate.com/id/2187780/

Bosnia is now coming back to haunt the Clintons, and so it should. Though both America, and the Clintons, are loved in Bosnia for finally forcing intervention after the Srebrenica massacre of 2005, the whole Tuzla Tale media outrage has made me revisit my feelings about the Clintons and American foreign policy in the 1990s

Let me be totally frank. In the end it took the US to silence the Serb guns which had encircled the civilian populations of Bosnia for three years. For Europeans of my generation, the final and effective use of US military power totally changed our mindset about US foreign policy. Through the post Vietnam years, especially in Latin America, myself and fellow left wingers had seen American power as mainly pernicious. Bosnia changed all that. We finally saw the use of military force for humanitarian reasons. The US showed Europeans how ineffective they were at policing their own continent.

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Diaries

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