Yet, as the following E-Mail exchange with my brother-in-law Ken Newman illustrates, there is an impulse for harsh measures in our society at this time. I lament the authoritarian impulse he showed regarding the right of former Presidents to speak their minds regarding the war. Maybe some of the histrionic history professors weren't so far off the mark after all...
(in usual reverse order)
From: Marc Valdez, Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 2:14 PM, To: 'Newman, Ken', Subject: RE: Asia Minor Quagmire
Yes, but WHICH speaking engagements? What EXACTLY did Clinton and Carter SAY? I need names, dates, cities, countries, venues, guests, audience size, etc. Do you have links to news articles? I can hardly say much if I don't have the info., and I can hardly compare what they said to the French position.
Remember, Carter is responsible for what HE says, and the Iraqis are responsible for what THEY do. Dissent has a long and glorious tradition in democracies, and if the Iraqis somehow take heart from Carter's statements, a man who has not held office in 22 years, when faced with several hundred thousand apparently implacable troops at their door, that's an indictment of THEIR judgement, not Carter's. 'Giving encouragement' is too broad a term and can be construed in myriad ways. So if a tax cheat inflates his deductions, is he 'giving encouragement' to Hussein, because he deprives the U.S. government, and hence the military, of sustenance? Where do you draw the line?
There is little indication that Hussein would have reconsidered his options in response to world opinion, whether led by Carter, or anyone else. That's what's fun about being an absolute dictator - you don't have to listen to anyone's opinion. Iraqi state media have used demonstrations in the West to try to boost Iraqi morale, much as we use whatever support we get in Iraq (thus the inflated reports of a revolt in Basra when the war was just starting) to boost our morale, but much of that falls way short of 'giving encouragement' to the enemy - it certainly wouldn't pass a legal test. Do Carter or Clinton advocate people to take up arms against the U.S. government? If prominent Democrats or others miscalculate their opposition, and go too far, public opinion will finish off their influence - the virtue of a democracy.
The cartoon was of conservative bent, because it portrays the media as whiny, irresponsible children harassing a responsible adult (Rumsfeld). I can't imagine how you see it as having a liberal bent.
Most of the media I see these days are on Fox or MSNBC, and they don't seem to have the same bent as "peace" protesters. Conservative media, not liberal media.
In my understanding, most of the teach-in at Columbia was interesting and informative, but Professor de Genova had crossed the line. He will be rebuked or disciplined.
I thought it was Berthold who had decided to resign, not that he had been fired by UNM......
From: Newman, Ken [mailto:KNewman@pnm.com], Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 1:41 PM, To: Marc Valdez, Subject: RE: Asia Minor Quagmire
In their speaking engagements overseas they have taken to task the administration's position on the war. In other words, carter and klinton are french. This gave encouragement to those like the french and those like the iraqis.
No, that cartoon was of liberal bent. And, I'm glad you explained it because I didn't understand it. So, you admit that the media feels the same as the "peace" activists. I thought it was the "peace" protesters shouting at President Bush about his Vietnam war to be. Come to find out from you that you think it's the media shouting at President Bush about his Vietnam war to be. So the media and the "peace" protesters are one and the same.
You are a smart guy. I don't have to explain to you about the behavior of some very prominent democrats to those overseas who also condemn the Bush administration? Let's say Saddam would have reconsidered in the face of world opinion against him. However, here are carter and klinton telling Saddam that the world is for him to encourage him to think the world's condemnation of Bush will stop the destruction of Saddam's regime. So, how many lives did that cost?:
Next can o' worms. The "teach-in" at columbia university. What do you know about it? Here is a hint -- Professor Berthold, UNM, was fired, but not for his hate speech concerning the deaths at the Pentagon. Will the professors at columbia be fired or even rebuked for their advocating murdering of US citizens who happen to be in the armed forces.
From: Marc Valdez [mailto:MValdez@sierraresearch.com], Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 1:58 PM, To: Newman, Ken and others, Subject: RE: Asia Minor Quagmire
Gee, Ken, it's a joke! I thought you'd like the cartoon because of its conservative slant!
Sorry about labelling it "Asia Minor Quagmire." I had something in mind like 'A minor Quagmire in Asia' or 'a quagmire in Asia Minor' (except of course Iraq is not precisely IN Asia Minor, just next to it, just - never mind!) The quagmire being, of course, NOT the war in Iraq, but Rumsfeld's daily press briefings. But, you see, if you have to EXPLAIN humor, it ceases being funny!
You condemn Carter and Clinton on the war, but I haven't seen any quotes from them in the press, although I understand (from somewhere) that Carter is against the war. What, precisely, are you condemning? If Carter wants to be against the war, let him express his opinion - it's his right as an American citizen, whether or not Bush or anyone else 'appreciates' it, and it certainly ain't treason! It certainly costs no lives.
From: Newman, Ken [mailto:KNewman@pnm.com], Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 12:40 PM, To: Marc Valdez and others, Subject: RE: Asia Minor Quagmire
Don't see the humor. Maybe because it's an old joke. I suspect that the answer is "No". We will know by the time of the 2004 election whether the "Asia Minor Quagmire" is another Vietnam. We know that the un-peaceful "peace" activists would just love this to become George Bush's Vietnam and are willing, in their wild imaginations, to sacrifice our troops to that effort.
However, the cartoon does show that the media are out of step. Doubt that you changed any minds with the use of this stupid cartoon. Nope. We saw enough of this in the streets of ABQ.
I'd recommend fox news network.
It is at best a moral for former presidents to verbally attack and undermine a sitting president in the international forum during a time of war. This amounts to aiding enemies of our country. Iraqi leaders could actually think the war could be won on the streets of America. You can call it freedom of speech, but how many lives did it cost? I'm sure that carter would not have appreciated ford condemning carter during carter's efforts to free the hostages. No? But, I digress. We won't know until November of '04 whether carter and klinton were successful in their efforts. I hope the liberal establishment is unwinding. Imagine that. It happened to the Soviets. Could it happen to American liberals? Naw, that's my wild imagination.
Gerard, Vicki, Zane: Marc is my usually nutty brother-in-law. Lately, he has not been very funny.
From: Marc Valdez, Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 11:55 AM, To: 'Newman, Ken' and others; Subject: Asia Minor Quagmire
Cartoon link: Date 03/28/03