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September 17, 2004

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TM

From Thursdays ABC NOTE:

Today, Kerry speaks to the National Guard Association that received President Bush with overwhelming applause on Tuesday. And it's a sucker's bet that a large amount of the Kerry coverage today will focus on comparing the reception Kerry gets today with President Bush's.

Except at the AP.

mikem

Great news! So, why the sarcastic "reliably fair and balanced NY Times" remark? Seriously, what did I miss. Or were you NOT being sarcastic?

Thanks for reporting on this. I don't have the stomach for reading the Times or watching Kerry events (I'm a vet).

TM

So, why the sarcastic "reliably fair and balanced NY Times" remark?

Well, even the lefty Times could see the truth - what is wrong with the AP?

Here is the WaPo:

The 3,500 National Guardsmen at the conference in Las Vegas gave Bush seven standing ovations, but Kerry received polite -- but only occasionally enthusiastic -- applause. Kerry's biggest applause lines occurred when he talked about new benefits for those who serve in the National Guard.

Crank

Now, wasn't the talking point just yesterday that Bush was confusing state militias with the Guard?

Maybe I missed something, but isn't this Kerry reference doing the same thing?

I come from a state with a great tradition of service and a great understanding of who you are. You can’t live in the shadow of Bunker Hill, Lexington Green, the Bridge at Concord, and not know the meaning of Minutemen and citizen service to country.

For more than three centuries, as you know better than anyone, our National Guard has stood on the frontlines of freedom. The Guard fought in that first great revolution, and has defended our country ever since, here in America and around the world.

Somebody tell Josh Marshall!

bederest

I am a retired active-duty Navy Seabee. I have nothing but praise for the Guard/Reserve; these folks share their lives and famalies with two careers, civilian and military -- and do so in the in an unflinching manner.
I find it astounding that Senator Kerry goes about the country -- denigrating the National Guard as a refuge for those who want an easy way out, but yet comes to the conference "praising" those same members!
Just another example of his propensity to have it "both ways".
I often wonder how much damage he is doing to his campaign -- because there're literally millions of present and former Guard members who must be offended by this tactic -- yet he has the balls to show up at their convention!?
Who "doesn't get it", me, us, or him?

Sam Hutcheson

I find it astounding that Senator Kerry goes about the country -- denigrating the National Guard as a refuge for those who want an easy way out, but yet comes to the conference "praising" those same members!

Perhaps he says this because it is true? In 1968, the National Guard was a means of avoiding active service. In 2004, it is not. Some 30+ years has changed the nature of what it means to be in the NG.

Is that really so hard?

Sergio

The APplause Wire: between the "boos" story and the "equal applause" story, AP has shown itself once again incapable of even basic fair journalism. But the alternative wire service, Reuters, is even worse. What can be done? Does UPI compete with them? AP is far more insulated from criticism than CBS because it is part of what appears to be a functioning duopoly.

MEC2

Anyone catching video of the Kerry speech to the Guard would know it had the raucous spontaneity of a defensive driving class. I've rarely seen more people with blank glares, as if herded together to await colonoscopy exams from 1st year residents.

AP's description is charitable to say the least...

TM

Some 30+ years has changed the nature of what it means to be in the NG.

Is that really so hard?

Just as thirty years ago our military operated in the manner of Ghengis Khan, and now they are all heros. None of this is hard.

Tim

Sam, apparently it is too hard for you. You have it exactly wrong, and bederest has it exactly right.

Until recently (approximately the end of the Cold War), the U.S. had a "fight two and a half wars" strategy - i.e., maintain the capability to fight two large and one small war at the same time. The Guard and Reserves were integral to this strategy.

So, while it might be ever so convenient for you to forget this point, but when GW joined the Air National Guard we were only six years removed from the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bush's unit's mission was to fly interceptor missions from possible attacks from Cuba. And, while it is easy (or convenient) to discount the threat of such attacks in light of history, as Pearl Harbor before and 9/11 since have shown, the perception that we are safe, or that our enemies will not attack is but a foolish dream. Our defense strategies are predicated upon enemy capabilities and potential threats, not on trying to decipher intent.

So, joining the Guard in ’68 as now entailed risk of active service – maybe significantly less so, but risk nonetheless – and those joining the Guard and Reserves knew that then, and know it now. Kerry’s attack on GW for joining the Guard completely denigrates that risk, and is yet one more example why he is completely, totally and absolutely unfit for command.

Bruce

In 1968, the National Guard was a means of avoiding active service.

Training 2 years full time, flying hundreds of hours in one of the more dangerous fighters at the time and flying NORAD missions where you might be called upon to carry nukes against waves of Russian bombers is not avoiding active service.

On the other hand, joining the Navy to avoid being drafted by the army ...

JorgXMcKie

And, of course, this goes back to Kerry's statement on the Don Imus show that "I couldn't be more clear." That's the problem. He's being as clear as it is possible for him to be. About as clear as spoiled milk. The only people who can understand what he means (Imus said he sure couldn't, and he's a Kerry supporter) are deconstructionists like John Micah Marshall and Atrios, who long ago bought into the Clintonian "It depends on what the meaning of _is_ is." Since Kerry is pretty much on all sides of everything and no word is used in its ordinary meaning, he clearly means anything you want him to mean.

Glad to clear this all up for you.

TM

"Let me make one thing perfectly clear..."

No, that was Dan Rather. Or someone.

Maggie

The Jim Lehrer news hour broadcast clips from both Bush's and Kerry's national guard speeches. During the Kerry clips, they frequently panned to the audience which just sat there staring at him. They showed a few people pointedly walking out. They may have edited out the applause lines, but at least when Kerry was talking about how Bush was lying to them about Iraq he was met with a cold and hostile-looking audience.

The Bush clip, by contrast, showed Bush being interrupted frequently by applause.

Chopper-seven

If you served in any branch of the Armed forces, be that Coast Guard, Reserve or Deathcon One and got your Honorable, even if your duty was peeling potatoes and opening cans of tomatoes foe the pot roast. Your good with me. Period. Anybody who attacks anothers style of service or branch is whiney ass.

I served in th USAF from 74-79. All the Captains I knew then were in danger of being RIFTed.

Dexter Westbrook

You're kvetching about about one phrase that's part of a 1,200-word story. Glad you think you're being taken seriously.

Randy

In 1968, the National Guard was NOT a means of avoiding active service.

Air National Guard units began to be mobilized during President Bush’s last semester at Yale. Bush signed up for the ANG on May 27, 1968 just a few months after President Johnson mobilized 11 Air National Guard squadrons on January 27, 1968, and just two weeks after two more tactical groups were mobilized on May 13.

The Army National Guard was also mobilized in 1968. Ninety-seven National Guardsmen are listed as dying in Vietnam.

See http://thewall-usa.com/stats/; http://www.ngb.army.mil/; http://www.ang.af.mil/

RandMan

So, joining the Guard in ’68 as now entailed risk of active service – maybe significantly less so, but risk nonetheless – and those joining the Guard and Reserves knew that then, and know it now. Kerry’s attack on GW for joining the Guard completely denigrates that risk, and is yet one more example why he is completely, totally and absolutely unfit for command.

What Tim said. Preach it brother. Can I get a witness?

Big Dog
You're kvetching about about one phrase that's part of a 1,200-word story. Glad you think you're being taken seriously.
I didn't realize that lies were measured by how much of a news story they took up.
tootrue

Amen, brother RandMan.

Buster

Want another contrast? On August 30, during an interview, Bush said that Kerry WAS a hero, and that his (Bush's) and Kerry's service wasn't equivalent, because Kerry did his service "in harms' way" and "I did not".

Bush isn't ducking, but how's THAT for taking the high road?

Gotta love the man!

mikem

"Want another contrast?"
You know, he really does have class.

I am still dumbfounded by the Dems choice of Kerry as their candidate. There is not a veteran alive who does not recognize the hypocrisy of Kerry's "Band of Brothers" posture at the convention. Sure, some will vote for him because they are party loyalists or other reasons, but I bet Bush gets the overwhelming military vote (active and former). I wonder what the numbers are currently for their votes.

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