Words From A Giant
"Of all nations the United States with veins full of poetical stuff most need poets and will doubtless have the greatest and use them the greatest. Their Presidents shall not be their common referee so much as their poets shall. Of all mankind the great poet is the equable man....He bestows on every object or quality its fit proportions neither more nor less. He is the arbiter of the diverse and he is the key. He is the equalizer of his age and land...he supplies what wants supplying and checks what wants checking. If peace is the routine out of him speaks the spirit of peace....If the time becomes slothful and heavy he knows how to arouse it...he can make every word he speaks draw blood."
Senator Max Cleland is the Answer to Our
Great American Hero #3 Quiz
Congratulations to Roy Fulton for being the first to identify Senator Cleland from the earlier November 8th photo. By the way, for some reason or other, that Nov. 8th posting fell off the blog for awhile. I'd strongly recommend that you take a look by scrolling down to Nov. 8 with Max Cleland's other picture and especially to read Poet Sharon Olds' wonderfully measured letter to Laura Bush as well as the painstakingly annotated piece about Voting Machines and who owns them.
Anyway, according to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia,
Joseph Maxwell Cleland (born August 1942) is a Democratic former US Senator from Georgia and critic of the Bush Administration. Cleland also served in the Vietnam War where he was awarded both the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for bravery in combat, including during the battle of Khe Sanh in 1967 where Cleland was severely wounded while attempting to pick up a grenade dropped by another soldier. He lost both legs and part of one arm in the accident.Cleland served for several years in the Georgia state legislature, and became an advocate for affairs relating to veterans. He was the administrator of the United States Veterans Administration under President Carter , a fellow Georgian, from 1977 to 1981. He then served 14 years as secretary of state of Georgia from1982 to 1996, working closely with his future Senate colleague, Zell Miller. Cleland ran for and was elected to the United States Senate in 1996. The Democratic nomination became available because of the retirement of Sam Nunn. He was defeated while running for a second term in 2002 by Saxby Chambliss.
During that election campaign, the Republicans smeared an authentic American hero and did so beyond belief. All this was directed at a man who fought, was a hero, and lost 3 limbs fighting for his country. The Vietnam War may well have been a horrible mistake and the product of lies, but Max Cleland, like so many, answered the challenge based upon the knowledge he then had. The shame inherent in smearing such a man reveals the current administration for what they are, shameless self-promoters who use the concept of patriotism to hide behind and to advance corrupt schemes. The cowardly smears certainly have not stopped our hero from becoming a very forceful advocate for national security, veterans' benefits, human rights, and truth in government.
...and while we're on the subject of real heros and my outrage over how they get smeared,
How about John Kerry and John McCain for starters.
When Silver Star and Purple Heart winning veteran John Kerry returned from Vietnam and turned anti-war protestor, he testified eloquently before the Senate Foreign Relations committee in April 1971 saying that
"We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" (Press this link to read complete Kerry text. I believe you'll be impressed)
My best educated guess, is that with that testimony, Kerry actually saved many American lives. He shortened many POW sentences. He saved Vietnamese lives as well. We'll never know how many lives John Kerry saved, but people who say that he was a "traitor" that he did not "support" the troops, this is a total lie or at best a total misapprehension. The troops were fighting in a war that virtually every historian and straight-thinking person realizes was a total mistake. Lyndon Johnson knew it was a mistake, but didn't know how to pull out. Richard Nixon didn't want to become the first American President "to lose a war." The Gulf of Tonkin lie resulted in me serving one year of my own life (1966-67) in Vietnam. Sure I volunteered. That's the same thing as our young men and women today volunteering for duty in Iraq based upon lie upon lie upon lie. The "support the troops" ploy is just that. The nonsequitor is that by supporting the troops, they will redeem the mess which George W. Bush has wrought. It also implies that by opposing this immoral mess, we are not supporting the troops. We are thus asked to buy the lie and keep our young people there for false reasons. It also denies the obvious fact that many fewer of them will die if they are not there.
Instead, the smears perpertrated by this administration, do not support our troops and veterans but instead smear our heros such as John McCain ( they actually called him "crazy"), John Kerry and Max Cleland. Support our troops by ending the support of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, and their ilk. These are people who never served but revel in dangerous adventure games of war which result in our young troops becoming daily cannon fodder.
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