Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Walt Whitman/Max Cleland/Kerry and McCain

(P1) Poetical

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."
(Walt Whitman)

(P2) Philosophical

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.

(P3) Political

...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.

Please Post Your Comments Here about any of the above and/or Read the Comments of Others. You can sign in as "blogger" or "other" but add your name to your text. Or email me at We need your feedback.


Edward Coletti said...

Today, the following was posted to my Oct. 19th piece featuring Oprah, Randi Rhodes, etc. Sometimes readers scroll to the end of the series of postings and add their comment. That makes it a bit more difficult to be read than if they comment on the current post. Any way, here's that comment and mine will follow:

You might want to include articles on the right of issues rather than only the far left. I think the extremes on both sides, while loud, don't attract much of a readership or following.


As you will note, this was filed Anonymously. I have asked that you always include your name somewhere. I've chosen to include the comment anyway since I can respond. Simply put, I do sometimes share the thoughtful remarks of conservative commentators like Charles Krauthammer. The fact that I generally am much more to the "left" is because I simply Am. Why would I try to be "balanced and fair." That would be self-alienating and about as hypocritical as Fox News. I love this country and attempt to serve it by making it a better place politically, philosophically, spiritually, and poetically.

And, by the way, the readership is damned impressive. Take a look at the comments. Keep reading and commenting. I will always give space to my critics. I like the dialogue. See the comments of Paul and my interchanges with him. BUT, to insure the inclusion of your responses, ALWAYS include your name. Thank you.

Ed Hagan said...

Have you seen the Off to War series on the Discovery Times Channel? I want to cry when I see the hardship they are going through. I support our troops and despise the Bush clan.

What drives me crazy is that this war seems right out of the Vietnam playbook. Why aren't the old combat vets from Vietnam going over strategy and tactics to give some new slants on handling this event.

One thing that has bothered me since Desert Storm:

George H and mow George W have used the "Reserves" to fight all recent wars. Why? I think the underlying reason is due to a truly perverted reasoning. I think that because George W was ridiculed for being a "weekend warrior" before he got elected governor of Texas his father tried to find a way to elevate GW's image at a patriotic member of the reserves.

I believe GH Cheney, and other cronies along with GW have committed despicable acts by deliberately shipping reservists rather than active duty troops to the first line of battle, putting them in harms way, just to deliver American blood by the barrel labeled "Reserve 2004, 2005 and 2006. A way of washing GW with the soap of patriotism. GW I'm sure has convinced himself that he is one of the troops and a vet. Sending the reserves to war is the only way all reservists, no matter when or where they served are elevated to this new American patriot status, even those weekend warriors of the Viet Nam Era flying occasionally in Alabama. I am disgusted with all those children of the rich and politically connected back then that slipped out of harm's way and now so righteously cloak themselves in the American flag. Now when those guys were their uniform they can feel a bit prouder, braver, that they served when called. It's totally disgusting and perverted. GW will never be in the same category as today's reservists. I hope they (reservists of today) acknowledge that he was and never will be ONE OF THEM, no matter what his DD-214 says. I know I will never accept him as one of my peers. I just hope there is a Hell after all this so there is a place for the Bush clan to rot in their riches for eternity as they cheat each other.