52 years ago, The French fell. the Story and Backyard KIA's

If you look on the left side column of The Political Dogfight you'll see a piece written by the brilliant, ground level historian Bernard Fall on the Viet Nam war and the climatic battle that drove the French from the country.  He was killed in that goddamn war when the US was there. Just another jounalist like so many that have fallen in Iraq.

This is a very personal Diary

Just this morning I see that over 10%, over 10% of our KIA [Killed in Action] have come from my own Camp Pendleton Marine Base, just 15 miles down the road and I fear more will die. Only one, just one, insurgent war in the 20th Century has been won by an outside force according to President Clinton.

I wish I could remember the one that was....I don't. 10% of our battle casualties and most of them drank a beer and raised hell in some bar in San Clemente I've probably been in years ago when I more or less lived there with a girlfriend.

more on the flip

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Scott Ritter at the California Democratic Executive Board Meeting

Scott Ritter was the featured speaker at today's luncheon at the California Democratic Party's Executive Board Meeting in Manhattan Beach earlier today. I transcribed his speech fairly accurately, but please do not hold Scott Ritter accountable for any small factual errors in dates or syntax. Here it is:

I'm a registered Republican, an American and a very conservative person, but that's not the reason I'm here today. I'm here more importantly, because Art Torres invited me. The most important title of all is American. One of the brilliant ironies is being a conservative Republican and being on the same side as progressive Democrats.

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Wikileaks Iraq documents raise critical questions

The trove of Iraq war documents recently made public by Wikileaks underscores several important truths.

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Don’t Do Unto Others As They May Decide to Do Unto You

American Christians are quite vocal in the belief they’re oppressed, but it’s hard to feel their pain. They’re the overwhelming majority in this country. Virtually every member of every legislative body and every elected representative is Christian. Their lobbies are as potent as any on K St. The government funds them by not taxing them. They routinely work to defeat bills clear majorities want and that deprive citizens – sometimes other Christians – of their civil rights.

If that’s oppression, sign me up. It sounds like a sweet deal.

However, there are persecuted and oppressed Christians. For example, many countries with real zero tolerance for anything other than their God and prophet. They sometimes force Christians from their homes, turn them into refugees, or kill them.

Meanwhile, American Christians busy themselves with important issues like the proper etymology of Christmas v. Holiday. Living in their secure homes and working in their secure jobs they feel it’s their God-given right to rewrite history books, let pedophiles escape unpunished, or denigrate science because it doesn’t completely jibe with their Bible.

There’s no doubt the intolerance against Christians in countries like Iraq is awful. It’s the tyranny of the majority directed against the few. But except for the degree of modern persecution (the Christians don’t exactly have a bloodless history either), how is that any different from the tyranny of the American majority against the minority here?

I’m not a Christian and I’m sure there are many Christians who’d argue I have no right to an opinion about their religion. However, I’d point out that by the same logic, Christians have no right to an opinion about Islam or me or Druids. But, they never seem shy about exercising the same freedoms they seem unwilling to share with anyone other than themselves.

It is the Christian Sabbath, the last one before the holiest of Christian holy days. Whether you call it Christmas, the holidays, or Festivus, it seems like a good time for Christians, indeed everyone, regardless of religion or the lack thereof, to borrow the concepts of peace and harmony espoused in the Bible, the Quran, and most other religious texts in the world.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

Diaries

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