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30 September 2006


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I do not understand how the United States has fallen so low that a man like this cannot swat aside like a gnat a man like George Allen.

I dropped my son off at the local train station recently and was walking home by myself at about 5AM when two young toughs came around the corner in my direction. There was no one else around and they were clearly interested in me. I felt a wave of fear travel up into my throat and kept walking toward them trying to keep calm. We passed each other and I kept walking. Nothing happened.

But I was scared.

When I compare an incident like that to what Webb went through, I am unable to make the jump. I would have been the soldier who was firing everything he had at the bunkers.

In any case, why are the United States so blind that they cannot see a good man like Webb?


Semper Fi !

"Every once in a while, you've got to do something hard, do something you're not comfortable with. A person needs a gut check." - Corporal Chad Ritchie, U.S.M.C.


The fact that he first tried to get the enemy to surrender -- in a war such as that -- says loads about Webb's character. He really doesn't belong in the U.S. Senate. Too degrading.

I also wonder what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were doing on 10 July 1969. Knocking back a Tequila shooter? Applying for a student deferment?


In any case, why are the United States so blind that they cannot see a good man like Webb?.

too many people don't pay attention. here are some reasons i can think of:

1] laziness. they don't want to pay attention. they are the ones who say 'there's no difference... it doesn't matter, they're all no good.' is there any better example that's not true than this virginia senate race? saying that is an excuse not to pay attention. or learn. or think. it's laziness.

2] overwhelmed. so many are stretched so thin. worried about their jobs. their bills. their family. their health. and more. the constant pressure saps the energy and time it takes to dig for good information... and the ability to be receptive to it. i'm sympathetic to this reason but it doesn't help.

and you could maybe add 3] failing news media. but would a thorough and incisive media be of any use to lazy or overwhelmed citizens?

here's something i haven't been able to get out of my mind since i first read it. apologies for not having a cite. i had a major hard drive meltdown in the spring and some files are still in backup limbo. i'll keep hunting, but for now, from memory....

in the 2004 election approximately half of those who voted followed the race closely and were committed to their choice [roughly 50% for kerry and 50% for bush]. the remaining 50% said they weren't paying much attention to the campaign and made up their minds in the final days. with a 64% turnout, that means this president was chosen according to how the 32% who didn't pay attention to the race 'decided' at the end. incredibly disheartening.

we need people like jim webb as senators. i hope enough people in virginia are paying attention.


Well, don't despair, the latest poll show Webb tied with Allen. I agree that if things were the way they are supposed to be, Webb would be a shoo-in. Maybe it is true we get the government we deserve! Am inclined to agree with poster that Webb is too good for the Senate. Didn't Mark Twain call Congress "America's only native criminal class."

The quote from Lance Cpl Chad Ritchie, is that the same one from Keezletown, Virginia? Was mentioned in a story about Fallujah by the New York Times, certainly the only time anyone from NYC has ever heard of Keezletown! My daughter went to elementary thru high school with him. He is a good kid. Didn't want to work at Wal Mart and live in his parents' basement so joined the Marines to get some direction and discipline in life. I would say it worked. Semper Fi!


A recent TV ad by Webb. Those inclined could help sponsor more air time.

And those who live in VA could volunteer to help out the campaign.

I believe Webb would make an excellent Senator specially when compared to Allen and have contributed to both his primary and current general election campaign.


This is must reading. It defines the role of torture in the Bush Administration.


I think that what is the most alarming about Dick and Don and George is their ability to take very, very little evidence (most of it just made up) and commit the treasure and population of an entire country to an enterprise based on that evidence.

They are poorly educated, ignorant, stupid idiots. They are not intelligent enough to do what the country has entrusted them to do.


I have reluctantly come to believe the old aphorism that we get the government we deserve.

Lt. Webb acted with honor as did most soldiers and marines. You don't kill a surrendering enemy and you sure as h*ll do not torture them.


if George Felix loses then the Comedians lose

One Jewish wit said
We"re not claiming him- we want a DNA test.

On discovering he was Jewish, Allen said no big deal, or words to that effect, "I had a ham sandwich for lunch."
True Story!

A very shallow man. All cowboy hat and no cattle. Good at stuffing deer heads in black people's mailboxes and then lying about it.

But Webb is a man of quality. Will he get elected? Who knows? I sure as hell wish I could vote for him. I'm going to send him money!

I can't say much for my state. We repeatedly elected Jesse Helms and now have Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr (NC-R) in the Senate for us.

I"m undecided about my congressman. Walter Jones (R-NC) has bucked the house leadership, introduced a resolution calling for a phased withdrawl from Irak, bucked the leadership on VA benefits. I have been tempted to vote straight Dem, but I think I"ll reward him.

Best Wishes

Best Wishes



The experience to date with the Bush/Cheney administration and the rubber-stamping by the Republican majority in Congress for some the most vile decisions calls for divided government, IMO. I think if there was ever a case for voting along party lines for Congress it is the election this Nov. Another 2 years of Bush & Cheney with a Republican-majority in Congress? - unthinkable! I have never voted along party lines and am a registered independent but this election for Congress I don't care about the candidate as long as they have a D next to their name.


Since it's clear that Webb is the real deal, I guess we can expect some desk soldier to start Swift-boating him. If Fox News has taught us anything, facts don't matter. Colonel, when you call America the "muffled zone," you are being way too diplomatic.



I was delighted to see Republican Congressman Walter Jones appeared at the Democratic Policy Committee of the US Senate last week where Generals John Batiste & Paul Eaton and Colonel Tom Hammes testified about Rumsfeld's incompetence. A large percentage of Jones' constituents are Marines, families of Marines, former Marines, or retired Marines. Jones understands.

My question is who are other Republican Congressmen in districts that contain large military communities? And what is their position on issues like VA benefits, phased withdrwal, Rumsfeld incompetence, armored HMMWVs, improved body armor (and not the phony Republican bills on armor), etc.




VoteVets has a TV ad on body armor running in several states including VA and MT.


Marty >"...The quote from Lance Cpl Chad Ritchie, is that the same one from Keezletown, Virginia? Was mentioned in a story about Fallujah by the New York Times...Semper Fi!"

Must be because that is where I got the quote from as I recall. It is just so representative of what the Marine experience is I just had to keep it.

Semper Fi indeed

Here`s another one :

"One universal fact of being in the Marine Corps is that no matter where we go in the world, we always end up in some random shitty place." - Cpl. Michael Stinetorf


The closest George Allen came to experiencing combat was during the filming of Ted Turner's epic, Gettyburg.


I so agree with the posters who say we need people like Jim Webb as our senators. I'm from CA so allas he cannot be my senator, but I am contributing money to his campaign and I urge others in secure blue states to do the same.


Irene: I don't know if it's that we don't pay attention. Bush & Co. are experts at playing with American values and American myths. We may be more powerful than the British Empire ever was, but we like to believe we're still shivering at Valley Forge. The dirty secret of our "national defense" is that we use the military to protect the oil lanes. And as the only remaining Superpower, how responsible are we for the current, sadi state of the world? We could ask, for example, "If we're so strong, why is the world--which we dominate--so screwed up?" Maybe that's why we prefer slogans like "They hate us for our freedom."


Webb would be well advised to permit that commendation to be broadcast in these last weeks prior to election day. I do not doubt he would resent it. But those Virginians who support his candidacy should, in this instance, ignore the candidate, and broadcast, to the best of their abilities and resources, this testament to the man, and his character.



Great William Pfaff OpEd just up at his website dated tomorrow. Here's a part of what arguably our best political commentator since H.L. Mencken has to say abour Afghanistan:

Now the Taliban are back. Why? For better or for worse this revivalist religious movement, which began in Pakistan and was promoted by Pakistani intelligence in the struggle over control of Afghanistan as the Russians left, remains a vital manifestation of Pathan identity.
The 23 million Pathans in Pakistan and Afghanistan are used to dominating southern Afghanistan and the Northwest Frontier region of Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf has just recognized an autonomous Pathan “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.” The Pathans have successfully resisted foreign control since before the time of Alexander the Great, and seem determined to continue. Why are the United States and NATO now at war with them?
Neither the overall Pathan community of 40 million people nor the Taliban movement itself are “terrorists.” The Taliban link with Osama ben Ladin was a matter of religious ideology. The Taliban are no threat to the United States, and their return to Afghanistan is a political phenomenon linked to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s failure to establish his authority much beyond Kabul, the resurgence of warlord power, and, in such conditions, revival of the opium poppy trade.
The Karzai government’s weakness is a problem for Pakistan, as Musharraf tried, with limited success, to explain in Washington and London last week. The United States has a legitimate interest in the success of the Karzai government, but this does not extend to fighting a new Afghan civil war on its behalf, against a Taliban movement possessing its own legitimacy inside the Pathan community -- itself likely to be around centuries after the United States and NATO have left Afghanistan.

http://www.williampfaff.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=162”>Link to Pfaff OpEd


So, did you see the op-ed piece Pirates of the Mediterranean in the NYT? About Rome's 9/11 and the fall of the Empire.


Thanks Leila a good read.

Just to add some trivia. Julius Casesar was or became Pompei's son-in-law but later rival in the triumvirate. The serious dictatorships started with Casesar's kinsman Marius and then Sulla in the Social Wars.

The origins of the Consular system is thought to have been copied from the judges system of Carthage. Two judges were sent from the mother city of Tyre and then later elected locally at Carthage.

After serving as consul, the ruler would rule a province the next year as proconsul.

Part of our system of misinformation is that democracy started in Greece, not so, The Greeks themselves admitted the phoenicians were their tutors in many things. The Thebans recognized Phoenician Cadmus as their founder. The very name "Europe" itself comes from "Europa" the phoencian mythological mother of the Cretans who themselves gave rise to Greek civilization.

"Carthage, like every other Phoenician city, was first governed by Suffets.

Later, it became an oligarchy. Punic inscriptions show that its heads of state were called SPΘM /ʃuftˤim/, meaning "judges." SPΘ /ʃufitˤ/ might originally have been the title of the city's governor, installed by the mother city of Tyre. Later, two judges were elected annually from among the most wealthy and influential families. This practice descended from the plutocratic oligarchies that limited the Suffet's power in the first Phoenician cities. These aristocratic families were represented in a supreme council that had a wide range of powers. However, it is not known whether the judges were elected by this council or by an assembly of the people. Judges appear to have exercised judicial and executive power, but not military. Although the city's administration was firmly controlled by oligarchs, democratic elements were to be found as well: Carthage had elected legislators, trade unions and town meetings. Polybius, in his History book 6, said that the Carthaginian public held more sway over the government than the people of Rome held over theirs. There was a system of checks and balances, as well as public accountability.

The Carthaginians appointed professional generals and admirals, who were separate from the civil government. The Tribes voted and appointed an agent to represent them in a governing council. There was also a council of elders with fairly strong powers but only as an advisory role to the younger council. There was also an assembly of nobles.

In Carthage's early history a body known as the Hundred and Four were created. The Hundred and Four were judges who oversaw the actions of Generals. The sentence many generals received from the Hundred and Four was crucifixion. "

Best Wishes


I would reward Walter Jones, he has seen the light and realizes he was played on Iraq. He has pictures of every casualty from his district (a lot, Ft. Bragg and Camp Lejeune are in his district) on his office walls and has either gone to the funeral or written a personal letter to the family of every casualty in his district.

Jim Duncan, R-Tenn, should also be rewarded, as he was against the Iraq fiasco from the beginning, as was Ron Paul, R-Texas. There are supposedly 6 Republicans who voted against it but I don't know who the others are.

I think Chris Shays, also a Republican from some New England state, "gets it" now. Most of the rest of the incumbants of both parties need to be turned out but they probably won't be.

I think the saying about absolute power corrupting absolutely is coming true with regard to the Republicans, they've got Congress, the Executive, the Supreme Court, much of the media, and it's time for a little divided government again.


Actually I know better b/c I knew the old Walter Jones (D-NC)who served forever. Last time I saw him was in a wheel chair at a democratic breakfast shortly before his death.

The present congressman is his son Walter, Jr. Jr. and different party. Junior has come a long ways from his days as a bumbling liquor salesman. He has shown great guts! I think I will vote for him. But it will be my only Repub vote.

My first Repub vote was for my college law professor for state court of Appeals. She lost but now sits on the 4th circuit. She is one tall good looking drink of water. She had served with Thomas and Anita Hill at the EEOC. If Thomas had had half a brain, he would've made a pass at her instead of Anita. I was very much smitten by her (I have always been attracted to brains). I am now a very happily married man (in case the wife reads this).

I had an ulterir motive for posting about the Carthaginian council of 104 that crucified malfeasant generals and admirals. Not suggesting that for Rummy. He was after all a fellow vet that did serve. But after a proper impeachment, trial and conviction for five deferrement chickenhawk Dead Eye Dick and AWOL POTUS, hmmmmm

Best Wishes

Michael Savoca

Professor Juan Cole (middle eastern studies Michigan U,… speaks Arabic) posted a blog on his website yesterday that supports the allegation by Mathews, above, and others who say we are using our forces to protect oil interests . This may or may not be a good policy, but if this is the policy then we ought to stop lying to the American people and our uniformed personnel. Juan Cole points out in the blog that we are supporting a tyrant in, oil rich, Uzbekistan who uses some of the most sickening methods of torture to get "information" in order to substantiate the Orwellian lies our administration is using to fool the American people. Some victims are lowered into boiling water until, in unimaginable agony, they will swear to anything. Loved one's have reclaimed bodies that clearly show their father, brother or husband was boioled like a lobster from the waist down. Professor Cole provides information available from the heroic efforts of a man named Craig Murray who was ambassador to Uzbekistan from Great Britain. Ambassador Murray tried to get his country to stop our two countries evil bargain with this tyrant. Mr. Murray was told to shut up. He refused bribes and withstood threats and finally was forced out for telling the truth to power. Because of comments I have read here at "Sic Semper Tyrannis", and at Cole's "informed Comment" I made a contribution to James Webb's campaign this morning. I can no longer limit myself to the affairs of my own state of Washington…the stakes are too high and the constitution is in peril. Everything I read about Mr. Webb tells me he is a man of the highest order of integrity.


State of denial: Watch '60 Minutes' full video or excerpts, some not seen on TV
State of denial

Journalist Bob Woodward believes the White House has not been honest with the American people about Iraq.
» Watch '60 Minutes' excerpts
Progress talk vs. reality
Hear Woodward interview Rumsfeld
See Woodward vs. White House '60 Minutes' video

Best Wishes

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