Iraq is like Vietnam . . .

primarily in how it’s being presented by the media.

That’s not me saying it, it’s coming from respected military historian John Keegan, writing in the U.K.’s Telegraph[*1] :

The recent upsurge of violence in Iraq in no wayresembles the Tet offensive. At Tet, the Vietnamese new year, the NorthVietnamese People’s Army simultaneously attacked 40 cities and towns inSouth Vietnam, using 84,000 troops. Of those, the communists lost45,000 killed. No such losses have been recorded in Iraq at any placeor any time. The Tet offensive proved to be a military disaster for theVietnamese communists. It left them scarcely able to keep up theirlong-running, low-level war against the South Vietnamese government andthe American army.

Indeed, insofar as Tet was adefeat for the United States and for the South Vietnamese government,it was because the American media decided to represent it as such. Ithas become a cliché to say that Vietnam was a media war, but so it was.Much of the world media were hostile to American involvement from thestart, particularly in France, which had fought and lost its ownVietnam war in 1946-54. The defeat of Dien Bien Phu rankled with theFrench and there were few who wanted to see the Americans win wherethey had failed.

It was, however, the Americanrather than the foreign media who decided on the verdict. The Americanmedia had begun by supporting the war. As it dragged on, however,without any end in sight and with the promised military victoryconstantly postponed, American newspapers and — critically — theevening television programmes began to treat war news as a bad story.

Emphasis mine.

The main difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that with Iraq, the media were never really in support of the war.

New allegations against Senator Talent

With the recent revelation[*1] that Republican Senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania is a big Lord of the Rings fan, asks the question the entire Internet is afraid to ask:

Is Missouri Senator Jim Talent now, or has he ever been a Dungeons and Dragons[*2] player? He certainly looks like the kind of person who did, and very successfully, too.

Jim Talent: D&D geek?

My guess is that if indeed Jim “Seventh Level Elvish Cleric” Talent started with the first AD&D edition rather than the original three stapled, soft-cover books plus Greyhawk.

Claire “Do I look like someone you want to piss off?” McCaskill probably played Sorry[*3] . Or UNO[*4] . Or, possibly, Hungry, Hungry Hippos[*5] .

Claire McCaskill:
We are not amused

(Full disclosure: filbert did in fact play D&D for a number of years before he kicked the habit in favor of alcohol, basketball, computers, and blogging, but he retains a soft spot in his heart for Illuminati[*6] .)


Blue, Hello Kitty!

A match made in marketing . . . Blue meets Hello Kitty[*1] :

TOKYO | America’s favorite puzzle-solving dog, Blue, is gettingtogether with Hello Kitty, Japan’s most famous cat, in a partnershipannounced Wednesday.

Toys, clothes and stationery decorated with the floppy-eared bluecanine and the bubble-headed mouthless white kitten will arrive instores here in spring 2007, under a licensing deal between Sanrio Co. of Japan and U.S. licensing business Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products, the companies said.

More liberal understanding and tolerance

Dr. Helen Smith (wife of the redoubtable Instapundit) is a criminal psychologist–she notes a recent journal article[*1] which landed in her mailbox:

Getting back to the current regurgitation article on the same topic,Jost finds in his research that liberals scored higher on openness thanconservatives, what a surprise! “Results revealed that all six of theopenness facets were associated with liberalism rather thanconservatism: openness values (r=-.48), aesthetics (r=-.32), actions(r=-.27), ideas (r=-.24), feelings (r=-.24) and fantasy (r=-.19)” (American Psychologist,October 2006, pg. 663). So liberals are more open to ideas, feelings,and actions than conservatives. Dr.Jost, why not try this hypothesisout in the real world beyond the ivory tower? If you want to find outif liberals are open to new ideas, actions, and feelings, I challengeyou to do the following:

1) Post comments around on variouslefty blogs such as FireDogLake, The Daily Kos or Alicublog. Thesecomments should disagree with the view of the host or view of the blogor diary; for example, state that you support Israel at the Daily Kos,wonder if feminists who are against sexual harrassment should supportBill Clinton at FireDogLake, and/or politely stand up for colleagues atAlicublog who you feel have been treated unfairly just because theydisagree with the views of the host. Now, check back to evaluate scoresfor these paragons of openness for their ideas, actions and feelings.If your comments have been troll-scored by the Kossacks, deleted byJane Hamsher, or ridiculed by whoever runs the Alicublog, give anopenness score of zero. Negative bonus points if you are called a douche[*2] , told to stay in your place so as not to “assail your betters,[*3] ” or have a racial slur[*4] thrown your way.

Yes, the tolerance of the left is truly legendary.  Look no further than Columbia University[*5] , for instance.

ACORN is sooooo busted!

If you’re in Missouri, you know that the Democrats have a nice political machine going on over there in St. Louis. One of the big cogs in that machine is a group called ACORN. This group represents on its donation page as being a “charitable organization” but is in actuality a partisan political action organization. (OK, the national ACORN is a partisan outfit, but state ACORN chapters are technically non-partisan–and if you believe that’s how it really works, you’ll believe almost anything as long as it has “Bush Lied” attached to it. Which, sadly, seems to describe a large, vocal, and influential segment of Americans today.)

St. Louis’ Gateway Pundit links to a Democratic-leaning St. Louis blog, Pub Def[*1] , which is tearing the cover back on ACORN’s shady dealings. The deal: hire lower-income people to go out and shake the trees for Claire McCaskill votes.

Note to Democrats: This works a lot better if you actually pay those folks you hire to do your dubious Get-Out-The-Vote effort.

One big question: What are the links between ACORN, the Missouri Democratic Party, and the Claire McCaskill U.S. Senate campaign? Click on this link to see the Pub Def video[*2] , showing the unpaid ACORN workers saying that their get-out-the-vote campaign was called Project Victory 2006. As both Pub Def and Gateway Pundit note, this is (oddly enough) the same name under which the Missouri Democratic Party[*3] is running it’s “coordinated campaign effort:”

We are pleased to introduce Project Victory 2006, the MissouriDemocratic Party’s coordinated campaign effort for this election year!We are excited about this year’s campaign and expect that our fieldeffort will be incredibly strong and well-received. We are proud thatmore than 75 percent of the Project Victory’s staff members either arefrom Missouri or attended college in Missouri, and we expect this to bea tremendous asset.

There’s coordination, and then there’s Democratic coordination, which apparently includes not paying poor people that you’ve hired (by a “non-partisan” front group for a radically partisan national organization) to pound on doors campaigning for your candidates.

You can pick what part of this scandal offends you more–non-partisan groups engaged in blatant partisan political behavior, or the spectacle of Democrats telling poor people to get out the Democrat vote for money, and then stiffing them.

Oh, right, Mark Foley was a gay pedophile-wanna-be. Never mind. Meanwhile, how are those sweetheart real estate deals going, Senator Reid?[*4]

If you’re bound and determined to vote against the Republicans, you really should open your eyes to who you’ll be voting FOR.

Sentence of the day

From Reason Hit and Run[*1] :

Thanks in part to gerrymandering, the political map is clogged with safe districts that get filled by the nitwits who breath fire the hottest and stamp their feet the loudest.

Emphasis mine, just because I admire the truth and sheer artistry inherent in the sentence. It also associates the term ‘nitwits’ with politicians, which is always appropriate.

Update:  I’m pretty sure Reason H&R meant “stamp their feet” not “stamp their feed.”  I’ve thoughtfully edited the above quote to reflect this.

U.S. lawyer convicted for aiding terrorists

Lynne Stewart was convicted today[*1] :

Prosecutors said messages Stewart passed on forAbdel-Rahman could have ignited violence in Egypt. The sheikhwas convicted in 1995 of conspiring to attack U.S. targets in aplot prosecutors said included the 1993 World Trade Centerbombing.

Stewart, long a defender of the poor and unpopular, wassentenced by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattanfederal court. Her supporters rallied outside the courthousechanting and carrying banners.

The civil rights lawyer has defended her actions, sayingshe was only zealously representing her client.

Tagged as both heroine and radical leftist, Stewart is theonly U.S. lawyer to be indicted on terrorism charges. Someobservers said the case stemmed from Bush administrationefforts to discourage the defense of accused terrorists.

The two years and four months she was sentenced to by a Federal Judge sort of argues against “efforts to discourage the defense of accused terrorists.”  What she was convicted of was smuggling messages to and from Shiek Omar and his radical terrorists supporters.  Nothing political about that, except exhibiting an extreme hatred and contempt of Western civilization.