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02/28/2003 Entry: "Profile in Courage: John Brady Kiesling"

"It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer."
U.S. Diplomat John Brady Kiesling, Letter of Resignation, to: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, ATHENS, Thursday 27 February 2003

Bravo!


Replies: 31 comments

What an incredibly brave and wonderful thing to do. He's at the top of my list for a Nobel Peace prize!

Posted by don price @ 03/04/2003 07:15 AM PST

A segment taken from Kiesling letter of resignation.
"Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson."
SADDAM HUSSEIN'S RESPECT FOR FORCE
AND NOT THE U.N. HAS CAUSED IRAQ TO DESTROY THEIR MISSILES. It took Bush's deployment of troops in the Middle East to accomplish this.

Posted by John Lietle @ 03/04/2003 01:58 PM PST

So the deployment of 200,000 US troops has scared Saddam into destroying a few missiles with a range of less than 200 miles. And the US is how far from Iraq? Damn, I feel safer already!

Posted by Jim L. @ 03/05/2003 12:18 PM PST

Good Job Mr. Kiesling

As for John Lietle, consider this:

George Bush Said "Saddam is addicted to weapons of mass description".

This from man who is never more the 20 feet from "the button". YES, there is *STILL* a man following your president everywhere he goes with the "football". Man -- that is just friggen nuts!!

Posted by L. Banack @ 03/05/2003 01:17 PM PST

Yes, there is a man carrying the 'football' around for George B.
He carried it for Bill C. also, and all presidents past, present, and future.
See the deal is this:
We have enemies that want us dead.
They do not want 'peace' with us, they want us DEAD.
Do you understand that?
Good, now let's get back to the football.
Why did the 'man' follow Bill C. around?
Because Bill C. had him do it. Bill C. did NOT tell that man to 'stand down' did he?
Why didn't Bill C. tell that 'man' to 'stand down'?
Because we have enemies that want us DEAD and our power (military, diplomatic, what ever) is what motivates folks to listen to us rather than try to outright kill us.
So when they stop listening, they must deal with the football, get it?
Lesson 1:
If your neighbor has a gun and will not relinquish it you have to maintain the equilibrium else you die, no matter how 'right' your cause, you will die if you let this neighbor posses a gun and you refuse to arm yourself. You become weak to that threat, you are vulnerable.
Have any of you ever felt vulnerable?
It stinks doesn't it.
And being vulnerable is NOT in Americas best interests right now.
Lesson 2:
If your neighbor uses a gun against another neighbor and you witness that you MUST take action. You MUST stop that neighbor at all costs, or you will be next.
So when Saddam gases his own people (it's a fact) and he gases his neighbors (ask the Iranians about VX gas....) and kills his politicians because they don't agree with him. He must be stopped.
He is a bad neighbor. And should be treated as such.

Posted by Darrell Gregg @ 03/05/2003 01:53 PM PST

Do you have an e-mail address for Mr. Kiesling? Many of us would like to write him personal letters of congratualtions.

Thank you very much.

Posted by Merle Allshouse @ 03/05/2003 06:12 PM PST

I, too, would like to write Mr Kiesling to thank him for his service to my country, for his integrity and courage to stand firm in his convictions and for giving me some great quotes to throw back at those who think I am a fool for promoting peace. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to contact Mr. Kiesling through email or regular post?

Posted by M. Botz @ 03/05/2003 07:25 PM PST

John Brady Kiesling comes from the school of diplomacy which gave Hitler Czechoslovakia and set the scene for the slaughter of over 50 million human beings during World War II. He would have fit very well on Neville Chamberlain's staff of appeasers who gave "us peace in our time". For a man who supposedly studied history and foreign affairs to come to his conclusions is no mystery when you read some of the terms that he uses. Americans are "systematically indocrinated" according to Mr. Kiesling and his leftist phase "occupied territories" when referring to Israel certainly exposes his own indocrination. I am however, very grateful for his resignation and only wish that he had done so many years ago. But, then he was undoubtedly watching his pension credits. With them in hand he then went for his fifteen minutes of fame as a conclusion to a medicore career and the use of a medicore mind. He is no longer in a position to give or sell secrets to enemies of this country since he will no longer have acess to serious information. He can now join the ranks of the "creeps in the streets" and be lauded by them for his heroism in doing his untmost to undermine the security and future of the country which employed him for so many years. No doubt he will write and attempt to get published a book about his "soul searching" as did another hero of traitors, Daniel Ellsberg. Goodby, Mr. Kiesling and good riddance.

Donald R. Melquist

Posted by Donald R. Melquist @ 03/05/2003 08:22 PM PST

In response to Darrell Gregg's statment "We have enemies that want us dead.
They do not want 'peace' with us, they want us DEAD.
Do you understand that?"

No Sir I do not understand that to be true and there in lies the main difference between the two sides of the debate. The well informed Anti-war people do not believe the President when he says Saddam represents a threat to America We do not believe Powell when he tries to pass a grad students 12 year old thesis paper off as a cutting egde inteligence report or when he shows pictures of milk trucks and tells us they are mobile weapons labs. We do not believe Rumsfield when he lies about selling WMD to Iraq. We do not believe Saddam gased the Kurds when the CIA, DIA and USAWC all concluded in independent investigations that it was Iranian gas the killed the kurds. I could go on and on but I think I've made my point.

You believe what our President is telling you and therefore the course of action we are about to embark on seems justified to you. I can understand that view in light of your trust in our Government. The thing I don't understand is how and why seemingly intelligent people believe our Government claims regarding Saddam and the state of terrorism in general. The only way to make sense of the official line is to to disregard facts and disregard commonsense.

We can speculate about the real reasons and motives for attacking Iraq but one thing is certian, It has nothing to do with America's security and it has nothing to do with fighting terrorism and as any true investigator of the attacks on 911 will tell you, Arab terrorists did not attack America on 911. Our enemies are not Arabs. Israeli finger prints are all over it.

Posted by David Coyne @ 03/06/2003 09:11 AM PST

In response to Donald R. Melquist.
With all due respect,Your comments reak of ignorance. Ignorance of history. Ignorane of politics. Ignorance of Jewish power in America and the world. Ignorance of Mr. Kiesling intent. Ignorance or Mr. Kiesling career. There is a clear lack of wisdom in your comments which reminds me of a Bill O'rielly talking points segment.

Posted by David Coyne @ 03/06/2003 09:27 AM PST

Mr. Coyne,

"Jewish power in America and the world" and certain other remarks are getting awfully close to the magenta zone of the Mayerson anti-Semitism tolerance scale. Please tone it down or take it outside. Thanks.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03/06/2003 09:55 AM PST

I also applaud the actions of John Brady Kiesling and his bold letter of resignation.The blather of Donald Melquist and his Flush Limbaugh drone/clone commentary is to be expected, however the outrageous and clearly anti-semetic statements by David Coyne
are even more distrubing!"Israeli fingerprints are all over it" really Mr. Coyne? If you have any facts to back that up please post.
Otherwise its time for your medication!

Posted by B. A. @ 03/06/2003 12:13 PM PST

In response to David Coyne's comments to my being ignorant of history and politics. Obiously, Mr Coyne has access to information that not only am I ignorant of, but the rest of the world has not heard of either .According to the well-informed and intelligent Mr. Coyne, the Arab terroists were not responsible for the 9/11 bombing . He seems to have access to information that even Osama bin Laden does not have since Osama himself praised the sucess of his operatives. Apparently the Arabs of the West Bank also have not heard of this information, since they were elated at the destruction of the World Trade Towers and it is rather difficult to imagine those people cheering the activities of anything done by the Isralis. Mr. Coyne berated my ignorance of history and politics. Since he belongs to a very select group of insiders who know the real facts to which I have not had access, I do not apologize for my ignorance since his information has been kept under cover from the rest of the world. His book when written should really be an eyeopener. As to BA posting his applause for the "bold and courageous" resignation of Mr. Kiesling. There is nothing courageous about someone quitting a job to draw an ample but undeserved government pension. Had he made his comments and done battle as part of his job and risked a job at an age where his pension would be in jeporady, his actions would have involved personal committment. As is, he is similar to a factory hand who wrecked machinery on his last day before heading for his retirement haven. In conclusion, I wish to thank Mr. Coyne for his comparing me to Bill O'Reilly and BA for his recognition of someone dicriminating enough to listen to Limbaugh. Along with many, many and growing millions of Americans who have a strong distaste for dictators of the right or the left, I also listen to Sean Hannity.

Posted by Donald R. Melquist @ 03/06/2003 01:22 PM PST

I just want to voice my support to mr. Kiesling's brave and bold resignation. As Mr. Powell seems to me -- and most Europeans/Scandinavians in general -- as the only voice of reason in an administration gone off the hinges in a futile attemt to prove to the world that it is indeed fighting a winnable war on terror, I really hope he will take notice of the content of the resignation.

For the first time I feel there is a real danger of the old alliance between Europe and USA could be in danger of collapsing.

Diplomacy is a fragile thing, and in spite of our many differences, we have a lot of common ground to base lasting peace on. Europe is expanding, and EU is in the proccess of adopting the first muslim states into it's union. At the same time, the NATO alliace has been unilatterally changed by the US from a defence treaty to a European based US controlled attack force.

The current adminitration has pulled out of the Kyoto agreement, the ABM treaty and is uniquely doing it's best to torpeedo a WHO tobacco advertising ban.

On more and more issues we see that the US is pulling out of international cooperation, and is less and less willing to compromize with old allies. The differences between our cultures are being made very clear to most of us. Diplomacy and mutual respect for the opionions of other countries are the safeguards against alienation.

Unfortunately, the current administration shows utter repulsion against any differences in opinions these days. As mr. Bush says, If you are not with us, you are against us. If indeed offered such an ultimatum, more and more of us must, however reluctantly, conclude that we are against you. At least until you have a regime change in the US.

Bush says the UN will make itself irrelevant if it does not obey US wishes. If the UN is irrelevant, most of the blame must be placed on the US sholders, since it has vetoed any resolutions concerning the Israeli occupation of palestinian territories. If you wonder why the Arab world hates the US, much of the answer can be found in the occupied territories. And by the way, the term "occupied territories", is not a makebelieve expression made up by anti-semittes, it is the term used by Israel itself to describe the piece of land it siezed while defending itself against an attempted invasion.

Israel had (and still has) the right to defend itself, but it should in all desency -- after 36 years -- start to comply with UN resolutions and pull out of the territories. Regardless of the reason for the current status, what Israel does have in reality today is a policy of apartheid. Within one country, you have two separate areas with two separate ecconomies. One prosperous, the other poor. One populated by israeli citizens, the other populated by arab refugees without any citizen status.

As long as the US allows and supports seggregation policies in Israel, there can be no peace in the middle east. When Bush promises changes in Israel after the Iraqi inavation, don't beleive him. Peace must first start where there is no peace. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Posted by Hans M. Dimmestøl @ 03/06/2003 04:04 PM PST

Colin Powell(with President's ok) has shown his sincere loyalty to the American public by releasing John Brady Kiesling detailed resignation letter. I would say,due to Kiesling's letter submission to the American public, Colin Powell should be given the title of a "true American hero".
What I would like know. Where were the detailed resignation letters of five State Department officials,from 1992 to 1994, quit out of frustration with the Clinton administration's Balkans policy?

Posted by John Lietle @ 03/06/2003 05:20 PM PST

It IS unfortunate that if Mr. Kiesling is so passionate in his opposition he chose now to leave his post. Typically, positions like his are meant to be more neutral so by simply speaking up, loudly, he may have generated a lot of interest in his take on things, particularly as the Ambassador to Greece which is historically linked to Turkey. I hope he does continue to speak his mind and offer strong opinions on our administration. As much as I respect every President for trying their best, it is obvious Mr. Bush is unclear on the worldwide ramifications an invasion of Iraq will generate. As a sidenote, it must be made clear that any action on our part is indeed an invansion...there is no "war" to be had with a country without weapons or man power. The little weaponry Iraq may be hiding will do little against the U.S.'s.
For those who care so deeply (suddenly) about Saddam's actions towards the Kurds why do we not invade Indonesia for it's treatment of the East Timorese (genocide)? What about the starvation of the North Koreans? Why were we not invading Sierra Leone during the diamond massacres? It is important to find out how our administration chooses a country to invade. It is important as Americans that we question the adminstrations motives. It is our obligation as citizens to aid our representatives in making the best choices and we can only make them with the best information. CNN and Bill Reilly will not be offering that to you. Look in many places, read many things and do what is right. Our country is supposed to be the cornerstone of freedom. Not just the mercenaries of the world.

Posted by susan @ 03/06/2003 09:11 PM PST

I am speechless.... John Lietle said it all in his last sentence -
"Where were the detailed resignation letters of five State Department officials,from 1992 to 1994, quit out of frustration with the Clinton administration's Balkans policy?." Bill C. has done more harm to this country then any other 10 Presidents combined - and you can pick the 10 Presidents. As for David Coyne's remark "Our enemies are not Arabs. Israeli finger prints are all over it." Man do you need to catch up on what is going on in the world.

I for one am very glad Kiesling quit. With Political Counselors like that who needs enemies.

Posted by RcC @ 03/06/2003 09:13 PM PST

Donald,
Good Lord man, I was able to nail you as a Flush Limbaugh drone/clone by just reading a very few sentences on your first post!!
And you just give yourself away be arguing just like Flush. If you read my post (right above yours)you will see i did NOT use the word courageous but just like Flush
you make up your own twist, then rail on about it! Then you state that you are a follower of the most right wing militaristic,jingoistic cave man logic"might makes right" extremist
putting out bad micro-myopic books today-Sean Hannity.With logic like this we can all enjoy being bunkered up in "Fortress America"
because the foundation of N.A.T.O.
and the U.N. are about to crumble and any American traveling abroad will be taking their own life in their hands as not only will we be hated by much of Europe(by the way their economy will be MUCH stronger than ours after we drop another 100 billion we can't pay for-unless we use some new found oil-if you know what I mean!)as well as the many new baby Osamas that will rise from this. But who really cares about global economic/sociologic ramifacations as long as we can sit here at home and read short sighted literature and listen to the dronings of Flush on the radio!! Because remember the good Lord helps those that take a great BIG helping for themselves-just ask Flush!
Also don't believe we will go in and out quickly because the real reason we are going in, aside from the oil, is to establish our new permanent military base-Camp Iraq.
Mark my words and God save us!!
Oh and by the way , just how were the Iraqis'/terrorists going to move weapons grade plutonium or plague loaded warheads into the U.S.borders? Maybe with the well developed Iraqi/Arab navy? Or perhaps they could use UPS (that would be one hell of a postage bill!)

Posted by B.A. @ 03/07/2003 02:13 PM PST

Q: How do George Bush and Colin Powell know that the Iraqis have weapons of mass destruction?

A: Because the Iraqis sent in their warranty cards.

Posted by Carl @ 03/07/2003 04:47 PM PST

I stumbled across this page while looking for some background biographical information about this hero of the leftist anti-American brigade, John Brady Kiesling. It was amusing but also sad to read this barrage of rant, cant and praise for an obscure bureaucrat totally unheard of until his resignation. I finally located a site that mentioned his actual job. He was the "political counsler" to the ambassodor to Greece. Wow. Now that is impressive. Even more important than Sean Penn declaring himself against violence. What a pitiful grasping at straws to glamorize the fifteen minutes of glory of one medicore, umimportant bureaucrat in a department with almost thirty thousand employees. What a sad group. Winston Churchill once said, "If you are not a socialist in your youth, you have no heart. If you remain one in your maturity, you have no head". I hope that most of the posters to this site are still youthful enough to learn, but suspect that most are gray-haired arthritic leftovers from the anti-Viet Nam days and are joyfully reliving their youth while nostalgicly recalling the wonderful days of, "LBJ, LBJ, How many boys did you kill today". For another quote, Mark Twain wrote, "A cat that sits on a hot stove will never sit on a hot stove again.But it will never sit on a cold stove either". Anti-Americans will be using the "quagmire" of Viet Nam a hundred years and twenty victories from now. Senator Dixon from Illinois stood on the senate floor with tears running down his cheeks forecasting the ten thousand body bags holding the young Americans killed in the forth coming Gulf War in 1990. More people were killed in a Rhode Island dance hall fire than were killed in combat during that battle, but facts mean absolutely nothing to a person of faith. In general this group puts me in mind of a delightful parady of a poem. "Under the spreading Chestnut tree, the village idiot sat. Amusing himself by abusing himself and catching the results in his hat". Enjoy yourself.

Posted by Donald R. Melquist @ 03/07/2003 11:46 PM PST

Iraq is irrelevant. Military equipment failures and human error will probably kill more US troops than the Iraqi army will. There is not right or wrong in John Brady Kiesling’s actions. Simply put, Mr. Kiesling left his job and a way of life out of his personal sense of patriotism. Is he a hero? No. Did he state his case for resignation eloquently? Yes. Do we have to subscribe to his opinions? No. Do we have to support his right to his opinions? You betcha!

Posted by Elizabeth Purkey @ 03/08/2003 07:39 AM PST

Donald,
Well it did'nt take long for you to return with more Flushthink incongruous ir-repartees! Either facts totally evade you or you must suffer from a severe case of selective thinking,a little further study and you would see Kiesling the "medicore unimportant
bureaucrat" (your spelling) actually has been a diplomat for 20 years and a civil servant to FOUR Presidents!! What socialism and your desperate attempts to equate any sound and reasonable fear of an Iraqi war with the Viet-Nam protests of the 60's are in fact, lost in your hat that you left under the chestnut tree.You then state that "more people were killed in a Rhode Island dance hall fire than were killed in combat during that battle,but FACTS mean absolutely nothing to a person of faith."
Well Donald, apparently you are one of Flushs' most faithful because 97 people died in Rhode Island,146 died in GULF WAR 1!! Just a minor detail to the thrust of your statement. So the next time you get through reading your Sean Hannity book through the wrong side of your binoculars you might want to get at least one FACT straight. Or is that necessary in the world of Flushthink?

Posted by B.A. @ 03/08/2003 12:03 PM PST

Attention BA. For contrast and because I did not check as carefully as I usually do, I admittedly and erroneously exaggerated the comparison between the combat deaths in the FIRST Gulf War and the dance hall fire in Rhode Island. But then, if you are going to be a stickler for the precise numbers, then for heavens sake and the sake of accuracy, use the precise numbers. The exact number of combat deaths in the Gulf War was 148, not the 146 that you cite, or did you mispell the number? As to the crumbling of NATO and the United Nations. NATO was formed to defend Europe against the USSR. In case you havn't been paying attention, the USSR no longer exists thanks to Ronald Reagan. The United Nations has as voting members,191 nations. 32 of whom have a smaller population than that of San Francisco. Nearly half of those 191 countries have less population than does New York City. A pretty silly operation. The League of Notians failed because it did absolutely nothing when Japan took over Manchuria or when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia. Knowing little of history beyond the advent of the Beetles is a common trait of today's anti-war, anti-America and rabid anti-Bush mob. The United Nations is following the same path set by the League of Nations. Churchill, who had been warning the world for years was belatedly put in charge but that delay cost the death of fifty million human beings. The United Nations has failed for the same reasons that it's predessor did. Inaction and hand wringing. To bemoan the loss of an ineffectual, incompetent organization of overpaid bureaucrats is like missing a wart. For Susan who mistakenly thinks that Mr. Kiesling was an ambassador. Not so, he was the Political Counsler which is another word for a sinecure. A place to put someone who needs a position but is not considered qualified for any place where he could do damage. Mr. Kiesling managed to accomplish his forte regardless. Some people just have talent.

Posted by Donald R. Melquist @ 03/08/2003 06:44 PM PST

Deep breath. Exhale.

Attention Donald:

There were not 11 years of weapons inspection nor were there 75K+ US Military personnel in Germany in 1938. Comparing Saddam to Hitler is just silly and usually I just have a good giggle, but this is going on in my blog, so I just have to say, you're silly and on the paranoid side of silly, too.

Oh, and because I lived and worked in Central Europe and Asia from 1992-96 (first Kolobrezg, then Prague, then Warsaw, and finished up in Almaty), I'm here to tell you that bastard Reagan had nothing to do with the break-up of the USSR. It was the worst thing that could have happened to Ronnie the Commie Killer. At least Bush I was willing to admit he was bummed he couldn't be a Cold War prez because it was so cool (and this clown was actually elected). If you can recall something outside your wacky idea of history, there was an oil slump around '90-91, gas was below a dollar a gallon. The USSR was keeping the lid on their mostly Muslim near abroad by funding/bribing it with oil money. When the USSR could no longer afford the buffer zone, Yelstin cut them loose against their will, Armenia and Georgia, perhaps not, but the rest would rather be under Moscow's wing, such as it was. When the coup in '91 failed, it was every man for himself, Yelstin came out top dog and compressed his concerns to what had been historically known, pre-1840, as Russia. It was, at the time, the most workable solution for him because the joint was falling apart at the seams (still is, actually).

And, frankly, having had to live around the new Russia's gangsters, pimps and cretins, juxtaposed against the grinding poverty the end of USSR brought down on the weakest members of it's society, I miss the USSR. It was keeping a lid on the worst aspects of a society that has never been free and has no idea what do with it but smash and grab, from the lowest street thug to the highest reaches of the government. The fact that bush likes former KGB guy Putin is deeply scary to me, but they say sociopaths can spot each other in a crowd, so I suppose this is not all that odd. Not being a sociopath, I wouldn't know.

I don't give the tiniest damn what or where John Brady Kiesling's job was at State, when someone at State speaks out against his masters, there is something terribly courageous and terribly true in that and in your efforts to believe that Big Daddy really is going to take care of you (yeah, sure, how's your 401K doing?), you can't see what's right in front of you:

YOU are being terrorized into submission by the bush junta. The bush junta is about to use the US military to murder innocent people in a weak and pathetic country the US military further destroyed 11 years ago because, like his daddy, bush and his junta cannot govern through consent and being at "war" is a way of ruling through fear.

Be it the "war" on Iraq or the "war" on drugs. The only decent war we had in the second half of the 20th century was the war on poverty and we didn't win that one either.

I realize I'm wasting my time with you, Donald, but, God help me, I'm just going to keep saying it over and over, to my last breath, because, hey, it's true.

Let me say it again: This is my blog and if you get one iota more hostile, I will bounce you. You want to froth and spew, get your own blog.

Dear God, let me go back to unpacking, please!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03/08/2003 07:57 PM PST

Although I do not agree much of what John Brady Kieling wrote in his resignation letter, I do give the man credit for expressing his true feelings for a better America. Kieling's letter did show a feeling for a better society.
The comments received from David Coyne, on the other hand, did not show a feeling for a better society but the very thing we are fighting to eliminate- HATRED.
Please give us hard facts and not bias opinion on why you think Jews and not Arabs are responsible for
911.

Posted by John Lietle @ 03/08/2003 09:33 PM PST

Ginger,
James Joyce would be envious jealous of your stream of consiousness blather. And your Marxist friends and acquaintances, mentors and students would be very pleased with your interest in free speech. Read back through some of the name calling and posting regarding my comments if you are looking for hostility. You aren't the slightest interested in discourse or ideas. And that is understandable. Your views and interpetations of facts and history do not come close to reality thus your "blog" is to apparently boost your ego and your faith in some very strange ideas that do not stand the test of questioning. Your recounting of the demise of the USSR is astonding in that you very probably believe every word. And you speak of wasting your time, wow. So kick me off your turf. That is how the leftists have operated for quite a few years.That is how they deal with anyone with a different opinion. Free speech only to those who agree. Shout down or bar any disagreements. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Dinesh D'Souza are just two of the many whose views are not allowed to be heard. I am proud to be with them and the loss of any appearnce here will hardly hurt my feelings. As I stated above, I disovered this site by sheer accident while trying to get some background data on Kiesling. Now I have background data on some of his fans. Interesting to a small extent. I have never been involved with one of this things before and doubt that I will again. Your side is going to lose and that fact explains why you despise talk radio and even the internet as much as you do. The Dan Rathers, Peter Jennings, and Judy Woodruffs no longer have a monopoly on the ear of the public. To watch them the evening of the 1994 election was a delight. They could barely contain their tears. Not only was their partisan view of the news exposed but they were completely wrong in their previous evaluations as are you. Adieu, my dear. Pleasant dreams.

Posted by Donald Melquist @ 03/08/2003 09:35 PM PST

I hope Donald gets his own blog someday so he can kick me out of it.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Dinesh D'Souza? I see D'Souza all over the place and even though I disagree with him, I read him. I thought Kirkpatrick had retired after she was Ambassador to the UN in the 80s. Please, no recommendations, I'm swamped as it is with reading, thank you.

A Marxist, moi? And all this time I thought I was just a life-long Dem, angry that her democracy was hijacked by a gang of millionaire thugs and trying to get the word out. Hm.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03/08/2003 10:16 PM PST

Now Ginger,

I would never kick you off of my blog. It is far too entertaining and educational to read your version of history. Not educational in increasing a person's knowledge of history but in the window it provides to the physchological meaanderings of the rabid anti-Bush contingent, which, although not nearly as large as they would seem from the attention given by the largely anti-Bush major media, still do loudly exist. They come from a variety of backgrounds and that is the interesting aspect. You for instance proclaim yourself a life-long Democrat. I presume that is akin to being a life-long Catholic, a life-long Buddhist or whatever a person is brought up to be. I was certainly raised as a Democrat on a small Minnesota farm without electricity, running water or plumbing. An outdoor toilet in a Minnsota winter is something that few of today's discussions of poverty have any comprehension of. My early eduacation was a Little House on the Prarie country school with eight grades in the same room. After my service time I majored in International Relations at the University of Minnesota and was Chairman of the University of Minnesota Students for Kennedy in 1960. The Democrat party of those years was a different thing entirely than the party of today. To stay with a group because that is the party of your ancestors doesn't say too much for independent thought. I did my anti-Viet Nam marches until my fellow demonstrators started cheering for the Viet Cong. I did civil rights marches for a color blind society until San Francisco State with it's demand for a Black Studies Program taught only by Blacks and attended only by Blacks. Far from being terrorized by Bush Inc., I have the courage to recognize facts and admitt error. My party, right or wrong is not my mantra. Facts are facts regardless of wishes and hopes. I certainly do not agree with all of the positions and actions of President Bush but I agree far more with him than I do with his opponents. I enjoy the discussion of politics with those who are familiar with history and are interested in the possibilites of the future. I have found that in general, many if not most of the left have a remarkable lack of knowledge as to very simple basics of World and American history. Quite appalling, really but then to a generation raised on television sound bites, it is understandable. Fortunately, I didn't encounter television until I was past the impressionable age. And Ginger, I did not call you a Marxist. I referred to your Marxist friends. I am sure that you have some. I know that I do, although they are somewhat rudderless at the present. As to the demise of the Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev gave Ronald Reagan credit or blame for the collapse of the USSR. He is not the final word of course but his is certainly more credible than most. One question, what in the hell is a blog? Also, I compliment you if you really have read Dinesh D'Souza even if you don't agree with him. Being willing to read opposing views is an indication of an open mind that is not generally associated with the left.

Posted by Donald R. Melquist @ 03/09/2003 06:34 AM PST

Thanks for specifying Mr. Keislings job position. I am interested in hearing the right's defense of this particular invasion vs. invading other badly run nations in the world. North Korea for example. For the record, it is patently untrue that those from the "left" do not know their history and do not read a range of thoughts. On the contrary, I feel I'm barraged with conservative ideology every day and am surprised when I'm able to continue to believe peaceful solutions exist. Our country's role is to use it's intelligence strength to bring about stability in unstable countries. I am not a pacifist but, I do not see the invasion of Iraq as a necessary one. I do not need to review WWI, II, Korean Conflict or Vietnam to know that a crazy leader posturing is not the same as an overt act of aggression. Sadam has not made an overt act towards the US and for that reason we cannot act aggressively. It is the harder thing to follow the rules especially the ones we made.

Posted by susan @ 03/09/2003 08:42 AM PST

Oh hi Donald. I thought you left.

The condescending parts of your email are why I could never survive as a cocktail waitress; too many umbrella drinks in too many laps. Maybe I'm just clumsy, I don't know.

The Left knows its history as well, if not better than most; we even knows how to interpret it like adults. Gorbachev gave Reagan credit after Gorbachev was out of power and needed all the friends he could get. Economics and then greed pulled the USSR apart. It you want me to bend over backwards to be fair, Reagan's military buildup in the 80s forced the USSR to do their own military buildup (which they could not afford in the first place, the oil slump was just the last straw) and this put tremendous strain on their economy and that's part of what pulled them apart. That is sent our deficit through the ceiling and nearly pulled us apart is something I feel most viewing history from the Right miss. Reagan did say, "It's amazing what can get done when nobody takes credit," or words to that effect, which, in my opinion, is a very creepy way of taking credit for something he never wanted. Without the anti-communist card, Reagan had very little to scare us with.

It is true that the victors write the histories, but when you're on the ground, you see it all a little differently.

Your marching for White equality in a Black studies program annoys me. Blacks are the only minority in the US that DIDN'T want to come here (source: Carlos Mencia). Let them have their programs; as it is, Whites skim off enough of the cream of their culture for their own uses. And I believe this because I read bell hooks, Cornel West and live way too close to Hollywood. Women studies, too, leave that one alone. You men want to study women, find one and actually listen to her for a few hours, that would be a start.

I have 2 Marxist friends, actually 1.5, because I'm better friends with the wife than the husband. I like them but, like the Greens and Libertarians, I think they are quaint and silly. The US is a country that used to run on enlightened self-interest. 60% for me 40% for the community or country because if we all don't live decently, none of us can live decently. For most of the richest in the country, those numbers are now at 100/0. I don't know about you, but this makes me sick.

I have a sub to the Economist although the European editors are more liberal, I read the Weekly Standard now and then, I subscribe to the Progressive for Molly Ivins and out of guilt, The Nation and Adbusters annoy me, I adore Dr. Krugman, I read all kinds of blogs, but most of all I take it all in and then think for myself. Shocking as this might be, it's gotten me from Los Angeles to Kazakhstan and back on my own wit and hard work.

Yes, I have read Dinesh D'Souza, I read him quite a lot when I had a sub to the Atlantic in the late 1980s. My problem with Dinesh D'Souza is that he envisions a world where there is no place for a single, female, full-time secretary, full-time artist like me. I can't agree with or support something I don't exist in. That's my problem with the Communitarians and most of the Right. I vote and pay taxes and live the way I see best and plan to continue to do so. Dinesh D'Souza has no message for me.

But I read all this rightwing stuff to keep an eye on where things might be going. You see on the Left, we're not only looking back, we're looking forward.

I agree with Susan, since the demise of the Fairness Act in broadcasting (Reagan again, don't get me started) we are bombarded with conservative ideology. Susan is nice, but I'm not: We are bombarded with rightwingnut, hate mongering like Rush Limbaugh and Laura Schlessinger. I know this because my boss listens to both religiously, but has the decency to turn them off when I have to work in her office during their shows.

And to get back on track, the invasion and occupation of Iraq is insane, cruel and unnecessary. It will put us on the wrong side of history. It is as insane, cruel and unnecessary as the invasion of Poland in 1939 and history will make us villains. Even those of us that are dissenting and protesting and carrying on in all ways will be lumped with the evil men who have temporarily destroyed our democracy.

Now, Donald, I have things to do today and work next week, so I can't answer any more essays here in the comments. You want to email me privately, there's a link on the main page and I'll get to answering as soon as I can. Blogs can be had at blogger.com and you can find out all about them there. If you get one, please let me know; I'll link to you and read it and post my Lefty thoughts in your comments section.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 03/09/2003 11:07 AM PST

Susan

Ginger is right, you are nice and I will try to reply in kind although my temperment is better suited to discoursing with Ginger, who, and I will take her word for it is not nice. Sorry, Ginger, couldn't resist. Back to Susan, first, you asked how the "right" justified invading Iraq rather than North Korea. I am a big nature fan, hence will use an anthropomorphic analolgy. Consider both Saddam and Kim Jong Il to be very poisonous snakes with the ability to kill you. Kim Jong Il is a rattlesnake who warns you of his potential ability to harm by saying with his rattle, watch out, don't mess with me. Doesn't make him any less venomous but you know where he is. Saddam is a camouflaged viper hiding in the grass looking for a victim. Much more dangerous. He is right now in the process of destroying missiles that just last week, he told Dan Rather, Hans Blix and the world that he didn't have. Believe him at your peril. But, it really is beside the point, if tomorrow the Bush administration would direct it's efforts and the military toward Norh Korea, the anti-war people led by Ted Kennedy would without missing a stroke change their slogan to "No War on North Korea". It was politically correct to bomb the bejesus out of Serbia which had not a thing to do with us or have any impact on the world economy, but to do something that will affect this country benefically is a taboo. As to being bombarded with conservative commentary. Goodness Susan, talk radio, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal's editorial page and the small circulation Washington Times are the only conservative outlets in the country and they are mostly of very recent duration. All the major television networks, big city newsspapers, public television public radio, and Hollywood have been unabashedly and proudly Democrat for decades. The last Republican endorsed by the New York Times was Eisenhower in 1958. Your faith is pretty shaky if any disagreement is a threat. Finally, on a happier note for you. Don't worry about losing your faith. Faith is the last thing to go. Eye sight, use of limbs and sex drive may disappear but faith will stay, so be of good cheer. You won't change your mind but then you won't change mine either.

Posted by Donald R. Melquist @ 03/09/2003 02:56 PM PST

 

 

 

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