Trump’s Big Mouth Doing Real Damage Now

The day Donald Trump announced his candidacy I made the prediction that it would end in a major implosion and this just might be the start of it already. He’s now getting serious heat for attacking John McCain for being a POW in Vietnam after his plane was shot down.

Appearing on Saturday at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, the real estate mogul took his running feud with Arizona Sen. John McCain to a new level.

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“He’s not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

The remarks, which came after days of back-and-forth between McCain and Trump, were met with scattered boos.

Then he lied about it:

At a press availability following his remarks, Trump denied saying that McCain isn’t a war hero and said, “If somebody’s a prisoner, I consider them a war hero.”

He also continued his attacks on the Arizona senator, saying, “I think John McCain’s done very little for the veterans. I’m very disappointed in John McCain.”

And then he doubled down on it:

In a follow-up statement sent to reporters, Trump again declined to apologize, calling McCain “yet another all talk, no action politician who spends too much time on television and not enough time doing his job.”

Combine this with the fact that Trump is yet another chickenhawk:

Trump received four student deferments from military service between 1964 and 1968. In Ames, he told reporters another medical deferment he received after graduating was for a bone spur in his foot. When asked which foot, Trump told reporters to look up the records.

Yeah, if you dodged going to war, you really oughta shut the fuck up about a guy who spent six years being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton. You can disagree with him politically, of course, but when you go for that kind of cheap attack, you sound like a petulant 15 year old. Could this be the start of Trump’s implosion? You know this is going to play very, very badly among the Republican base.

This is the problem when you have a loudmouthed asshole firing blindly with no campaign advisers to tell him when to shut up or what to say. It was inevitable. And the race has only just begun.

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  • StevoR

    Only just began .. and we have over a year to go.

    And to think our political campaigns seem to go on forever here in Oz.

    Trump is certainly giving you and other comedians a lot of material,Ed Brayton . A glut of it even. Only problem is, political jokes do tend to get elected ..

  • Al Dente

    A lot of Republicans, particularly Republican veterans, don’t like some guy who never served a day in the military mouthing off about some veteran’s service.

  • https://www.facebook.com/oraclegeek Rob Wolfe

    I am unsure that this will actually hurt Trump. The folks that are supporting him already know that is a loudmouth asshole and many of them see McCain as a loser.

    If people take time to look at Trump on individual issues and embrace the obnoxiousness he exudes from every pore then he could win enough support to make things messy for other candidates. He is scandal proof in a way that other candidates just aren’t because nobody looks to him for moral leadership. Now this also puts a cap on this level on his level of support but you can get a long way in the primaries hovering around 20% in the polls when there are this many candidates.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Although, look at what the SWIFT boaters got away with. Not saying it’s exactly the same, but a lot of Republicans can drop their regard for the sacred in the blink of an eye when its politically convenient. Also not exactly the same, but Max Cleland Vietnam triple amputee vs chickenhawk Saxby Chamblis patriotism smear & Iraq, double amputee, Lt Col Tammy Duckworth versus chickenhawk Peter Roskam who accused her of failing to protect the country at our borders. All three of the veterans who were smeared lost those elections to Republican chickenhawks.

  • tfkreference

    I wonder how this will play with the “he’s only saying what we’re all thinking” crowd (e.g., Ted Cruz).

  • colnago80

    As stupid as Trump’s remarks were, there is a nugget of truth in the statement. Over the course of the wars the US has engaged in, thousands of personnel have been captured by the enemy as POWs. Certainly most of them were not war heroes as the term is usually understood, just unlucky.

    The most outrageous part of Trump’ s comments is an implication that McCain was something less then an airman doing his duty because he had the good luck to survive the crash of his aircraft and the bad luck to be captured by the enemy. The implication is that its OK to look down on all US personnel who have been captured by the enemy in all our wars, that somehow they were less then honorable.

  • Chiroptera

    My take-away on this is:

    State that you don’t consider a certain ex-POW a war hero? That’s unacceptable.

    Call Mexicans a bunch of rapists? Well, unfortunately choice of words, but within the bounds of acceptable political discourse.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I wish he’d attacked McCain for bombing civilian targets. Which he was. Fucking douchebag. They were blowing the fuck out of Haoi because there were, literally, no military targets ‘worth’ hitting at the time.

    Douchebags attacking douchebags: it’s the new republican party! It’s douchebags all the way down!

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    SLC1:

    Certainly most of them were not war heroes as the term is usually understood, just unlucky.

    You are not in any position to talk. Not even in the slightest.

  • daved

    While being captured or killed during a war does not automatically make someone a hero, McCain goes beyond this. While he was a POW, he declined to be released early as a propaganda stunt by the North Vietnamese. (McCain’s father was an admiral.)

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    The implication is that its OK to look down on all US personnel who have been captured by the enemy in all our wars, that somehow they were less then honorable.

    US military who were captured in wars of aggression are honorable: how?

  • dingojack

    What! You mean Col. Robert E.Hogan wasn’t a war hero?!?*

    :) Dingo

    ———

    * (I must sue CBS for the misleading title!)

  • Artor

    For once, I actually agree with Trump. In what way are we supposed to imagine that McCain was ever some kind of hero?

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Artor : Maybe in that he was tortured and still refused early release because of other prisoners still suffering?

    IOW. he cared about other people and sacrificed himself for their sake?

    Even if he couldn’t tell the difference betwixt planetarium and overhead projectors, McCan is a rela life hero verus ego Trump the (chosen) hairpiece.

  • dingojack

    OMG!! You are so right!

    Trumpet has had to endure inheriting a shit load of cash, deferring four times for military service, running at least four businesses into the ground, sweet-heart deals with contractors, huge tax-breaks from the government, multiple bankruptcies, and a number of marriages… What a god-damned hero!

    What did McCain ever do? Spend four years getting tortured – Pfft, not even comparable!!

    @@

    Dingo

    ———

    Perhaps McCain ain’t a ‘hero’ in any absolute sense, but relatively

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    US military who were captured in wars of aggression are honorable: how?

    A little too simplistic. I don’t believe the US should have been there, but the North was the aggressor attacking the UN recognized Republic of (South) Vietnam and the US mission was to prevent the fall of the South to the North. Americans were not there to capture the North and create one government under the South.

    Seen in the context of the Cold War and many of the characters on the communist side, it takes a special kind of blindness to see this in the binary terms of aggressor and defender.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    add to 16,

    And I opposed the war and saw the reasonable possibility of facing the draft had I been just a little older. I knew enough, however, that I couldn’t honestly valorize the cause of the North.

  • StevoR

    Maybe Trump reckons McCain should’ve committed seppuku instead of being captured?

    Maybe Trump should’ve done the same long ago had he any shame or self-awareness or was anything but a joke? (Oh & also followed bushido.)

    Maybe – no wait, there’s no maybe at all’bout this – neither man is fit to be POTUS in any way at all despite each characters various, well, character.

  • StevoR

    Define “hero”, Trumpster?

  • caseloweraz

    In addition to the incidents Dr X mentions above, there was the scurrilous attack on McCain carried out on behalf of the Bush Campaign in the 2000 South Carolina primary. Anonymously-sourced materials were distributed charging that McCain’s adopted black child was really his illegitimate son, and alleging that McCain was a homosexual, a traitor, and mentally unstable. Although McCain won some later primaries, that was the end of his chances.

    You can read more about it here:

    http://modern-us-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_2000_republican_primary

    But you’ll have to plug the URL into the Wayback Machine.

    Bottom line: I also doubt that these latest remarks will spell the end of Trump’s effort.

  • frankgturner

    @ Rob Wolfe #3

    I once heard it said that with a million dollars worth of add space even Gumby would have a decent showing.

    .

    I often think that what Trump represents here is the sharp divide between ideologies when it comes to the current Republican party. Between immigration, same sex marraige, abortion, gun control, health care, religious freedom, etc there seems to be such differences between candidates and personal beliefs that no candidate can seem to court the whole of conservative voters. Trump may just represent the idea that you have to take an extreme position on SOMETHING in the Republican party and piss of some of your potential constituency with extremists like the Tea partiers (among others) around.

  • Trebuchet

    Sorry, too lazy to look it up just now: Have ANY of the R candidates actually served in the military? Or even have children who have?

  • StevoR

    @ ^ caseloweraz : So .. wait a sec?

    McCain was supposedly a homo(!) but also had fathered a child with a n urban..er bleck lass (presumbly a mannish looking one?) and this was consistent and plausible ..how ‘zactly? They could a at least called him bisexual – and still WTF and why should anyone care?

    (Aside I guess from informed consent and knowledge of both partners and okay but still.)

  • StevoR

    @22. Trebuchet :

    See :

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/04/few-2016-presidential-candidates-have-military-experience-does-that-matter/

    ..a few potential candidates that have (served in the military – ed) : Republicans Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jim Webb.

    FWIW.

  • daved

    Have ANY of the R candidates actually served in the military? Or even have children who have?

    Perry and Graham have both served, though neither is a combat veteran.

  • frankgturner

    @ Trebuchet #22

    Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry. And small children have better intellectual capacity than Rick Perry.

  • laurentweppe

    As stupid as Trump’s remarks were, there is a nugget of truth in the statement. Over the course of the wars the US has engaged in, thousands of personnel have been captured by the enemy as POWs. Certainly most of them were not war heroes as the term is usually understood, just unlucky.

    You know, that reminds me of a conference by Lucie Aubrac I went when I was in middle-school (meeting former resistants used to be part of the french History curriculum, until said resistants became too old to criss-cross France meeting kids), and she said, more or less “You’re not a hero simply because you survived a war with a few nasty scars: you merely outlived the heroes who died in your stead

    Of course, given her history, Aubrac could afford to be so bluntly dismissive about the “War Hero” cliché.

    ***

    All three of the veterans who were smeared lost those elections to Republican chickenhawks.

    Not surprising if you ask me. Fetichizing the military is little more than a way to disguise one’s contempt for its actual enlistees. People who vote for a party whose leadership perceive the troops as replaceable cogs are not going to change their voting pattern when one of the aforementioned cog gets uppity.

  • StevoR

    @23. Okay so I get “beards” and all, natch, but for McCain who was already married to a white woman?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McCain#Growing_family

    Seriously?

  • StevoR

    Not that there’s anything wrong in the least with marrying a black woman if your’e white and she loves ya and wants that too :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvn8xQIfzmU

    but in context, politically appearance~wise if you’re after a “beard” for elections sake?

  • frankgturner

    @ laurentweppe #27

    I have often pointed out that politics is about what is popular, not about what is right. Too many people suffer from the argument ad popularum fallacy and the military is “popular” among conservatives based on idealized visions of what it entails. Trump and Aubrac are basically getting at the same thing, just because you are popular because of what you did on the military does not mean that you are a hero, just an idealized version of yourself when people think of you as a hero.

    .

    It seems, as caseloweraz mentions in # 20, that Republicans are fact checking and trying to tear down fallacies on each other rather than just suffer from said fallacies. Perhaps fact checking and actually reading documents rather than just believing in idealized versions of said documents (e.g.: the Bible, combat records) is what is causing conservativism of religion and politics to erode.

  • StevoR

    O’curse Lindsey Graham is a sissy not macho (alledgebly and who knows) ho-man and so he does’nt count and Rick Perry well he’s already forgotten it – Ooops!

    So that just leaves the Democrat(ic) party man Jim (not the Webb telescope creator) guy..

  • coragyps

    I saw a quote in a New York Times article about the Iowa conference from some woman concerned that Mr Trump might not really be a “born-again Christian.” You think, lady? Really?

  • dingojack

    Most people who get awards for heroism say (approximately) the same thing:

    ‘I’m not a hero. I was there, something had to be done, (it was my job), so I did it’.

    Heroism is something, it seems, exhibited by other people.

    Dingo

  • frankgturner

    @ Everyone

    I wonder if, given the number of different Republican candidates running in the potential primaries, the Democratic party will have a gold mine of dirt on them. With them releasing dirt on each other to try to knock each other down, Trump’s mouth doing damage to the party might just be the tip of the iceberg.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ frankgturner : Because elections should be decided on “dirt” just like the Romans and whose toga had the least mud flung at it ..

    Becoz heaven forfend anyone take power becoz they were bets able to govern well and intelligently and do the best for the nation and planet more generally .. However mucky their metaphorical toga may be..

  • raven

    There is a grain of truth to the McCain and his black baby lies.

    The McCains do have a black kid. An adopted one.

    Who isn’t really black but Bangladeshi. And is a daughter, not a son.

    And all this means is…what? Nothing much. It’s more a small point in his favor than anything. Some homeless kids need a family.

    It takes a Republican racist to make an adopted daughter into some sort of heinious failing.

    John McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh introduced

    www. telegraph. co.uk › … › John McCain

    Sep 3, 2008 – John McCain’s adopted Bangladeshi daughter has appeared at the Republican party convention.

  • colnago80

    Re Dr. X @ #4

    Ms. Duckworth did lose in a Congressional race in a decidedly red district (Henry Hyde was the longtime representative from that district). She ran again 6 years later in a less red district and won.

  • raven

    I saw a quote in a New York Times article about the Iowa conference from some woman concerned that Mr Trump might not really be a “born-again Christian.” You think, lady? Really?

    Trump has already claimed to be a wild eyed religious fanatic. A Presbyterian. The main US group tends to moderate. But the other 10 or so splinter groups tend towards fundie Calvinist.

    Trump could be a born again fundie kook in a heartbeat. He really doesn’t care what he says. An attack on Darwin and evolution, claiming science and geology are satan’s toys, and mentioning Jade Helm 15 and the Space Reptiles and you are automaticallly a member of the Oogedy Boogedy xians.

  • StevoR

    @33. dingojack : Yep! Being a “hero” is just like being a “messiah”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krb2OdQksMc&list=PL4A119B37EDE10A15

    Only a true messiah /hero denies his divinity / messiahness! (Four minute mark.)

  • colnago80

    Re Trebuchet @ #22

    Interestingly enough, in 2008, Palin, Biden, and McCain all had sons serving in Iraq. Neville Obama’s 2 children were too young.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Colbnnago : Who? I thought Obama’s first name was Barack – a Hebrew word btw.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barak_(given_name)

    “Lightning”

  • StevoR

    Colnago80 sorry. Typo. :-(

    Also I don’t think the second (Saddam) Iraq war should have happened and I think formpast comemnst that you agree that it shouldn’t have either.

  • StevoR

    Yeah?

  • frankgturner

    @ SteveoR #35

    I am not saying it is right to do that. It should be about who governs the best, but it isn’t. To paraphrase Dennis Miller, it doesn’t matter of you are running for class president or the POTUS, it’s a popularity contest.

  • StevoR

    Although Saddam Hussein , evil late dictator of now disintergrated ex–nation has to at least share equal blame for it – a fact a lot keep overlooking.

    If Saddam hadn’t kept up his bluff or had fled into exile when he had the opportunity to do so as he was offered, well, how different history might be.

    Also if the neo-cons, Cheney and Bush II had thought and acted differently, well, ditto.

  • StevoR

    @44. frankgturner : Yup. Therein lies the problem.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    the North was the aggressor attacking the UN recognized Republic of (South) Vietnam

    I just sprained my eyeballs I rolled them so hard.

    Look, if you have a bunch of conflict going on, you can point to one spot on the time-line and say “They’re the aggressor!” — look at Kursk in WWII – the Russians attacked Germany! OMG!

    Way to ignore the US’ long-term role in propping up French colonialism, dividing and conquering Vietnam to make it harder for China to gain power, arming the French, etc. Yeah, dumbass, the aggression started when the north invaded the US puppet government in the south. Or did it start when the US decided to play lethal power-politics in its “sphere of influence” (politician for: because we can)? It’s utterly beyond fucking stupid to say the US wasn’t the aggressor in Vietnam. Basically you have Mike Tyson beating the shit out of someone and saying “Well, he looked at me funny, he attacked me first.” Apparently you need remedial strategy lessons: the purpose of an outpost is to force you opponent to attack it, thereby localizing their forces. Never mind that that was the French strategy at Dien Bien Phu (which the US considered supporting with nuclear weapons, all non-aggressively-like)

    The fact is that pilots like McCain were complaining about bombing North Vietnam because there wasn’t anything worth hitting. They were thrilled as fuck to be able to bomb a city full of people, which is why McCain begged for the job. Tortured? Yeah, when you capture the war criminal who’s flying over your city dropping fucktonnes of high explosive at random, it’s pretty hard to feel loving kindness toward them.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Dingojack@#33:

    Most people who get awards for heroism say (approximately) the same thing:

    ‘I’m not a hero. I was there, something had to be done, (it was my job), so I did it’.

    A lot of concentration camp guards said similar things. It’s a very very fine line and depends entirely what interests you’re serving and why.

  • StevoR

    I wonder if the POTUS ever contemplates the fact that he has a Hebrew first / “christian” name, a muslim middle name and an African surname.

    I don’t think it means anything really but still. It is kinda odd and interesting in a symbolic puzzling way.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    This is a pretty fair description of the McCain shootdown:

    http://www.pythiapress.com/wartales/McCain-Shootdown.htm

    A bunch of Vietnamese shooting at American planes trying to drop a torrent of bombs on one of their cities. Fucking aggressive, those Vietnamese. Bombing their civilians’ll take the stuffing right out of them – just like it did in the Germany of someone’s imagination.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    Marcus,

    Sorry for the tone in my initial comment, but none of what you say actually undoes the simplistic moral binary you proposed. Again, there was a wider context, and neither government could claim real legitimacy at that point. And the North Vietnamese did plenty of atrocious things to innocent villagers in the South, waging a campaign of terror against bystanders, which hardly confers legitimacy or casts them in the role of victims of aggression.

  • StevoR

    @ marcus Ranum : Well aren’t you the fucken charmer.

    Where do you live again?

    You really have no empathy for the people from your nation who fought ostensibly for your sake among others?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urtiyp-G6jY

    Vietnam vets. I’m not one. I have a fuck of a lot of respect for those who were.

    Even if that war among others was wrong. The people who went out and put their lives on the line deserve better.

    I have a friend in the military. I reckon a lot of others reading this do too.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    The sad fact about wars is that many can’t be neatly characterized as white hat/black hat conflicts. Vietnam was one such war.

  • colnago80

    Re StevoR @ #52

    Ranum lives in central Pennsylvania.

    By the way, North Vietnam is just lucky that we didn’t use nuclear weapons against them.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    colnago80,

    Ms. Duckworth did lose in a Congressional race in a decidedly red district (Henry Hyde was the longtime representative from that district). She ran again 6 years later in a less red district and won.

    I know. I followed both elections. My point was that Republican chickenhawks who impugn the patriotism of veterans who sacrificed greatly don’t necessarily pay a electoral price for it. In fact, I don’t recall any Republicans being upset about the sleazy ads Roskam was running on Chicago TV in the days before the election.

  • conway

    Seems the only war heroes Trump supports fought for the Confederacy.

  • lafe

    I’m new here, but I’m not really sure how much this will hurt Trump. Over at the cesspit of Free Republic, they are agreeing and celebrating that Trump is telling it like it is and slamming the candidates that are bashing Trump.. Free Republic and the like is the Republican base and I don’t see many falling away.

  • caseloweraz

    I see I wrongly remembered McCain’s adopted child as a son when she’s actually a daughter. Sorry about that.

  • kenn

    You seriously think this hurts Trump with the GOP base? Take a look at his Facebook page and get back to us. The base HATES McCain and always has.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    saying, “I think John McCain’s done very little for the veterans…”

    Setting aside the question of McCain’s military service, what has he, as a political leader, done for veterans? My impressions is not a lot, because that would cost money. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • daved

    By the way, North Vietnam is just lucky that we didn’t use nuclear weapons against them.

    Oh, please. Using nukes against a 10th rate power that posed no existential threat to the US? Man, you are just dying to use nukes on someone, aren’t you, bunkie?

  • Hoosier X

    A lot of Republicans, particularly Republican veterans, don’t like some guy who never served a day in the military mouthing off about some veteran’s service.

    Like remember when the Republican veterans spoke out against the Swift Boaters and the chickenhawk conservative commentators when they smeared John Kerry’s service.

    Oh … wait.

  • Hoosier X

    Neville Obama? That makes no sense. Is it supposed to be funny or clever or something?

    Please explain.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    ‘Not a war hero’: Trump won’t apologise for McCain gaffe

    Well this is a nice conundrum. Today’s conservatives generally consider it a sign of weakness to admit error and apologise.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    It’s not just John McCain who is feeling the heat of Trump’s runaway mouth.

    Donald Trump calls Penn Jillette a ‘goofball atheist’

    Las Vegas celebrity magician Penn Jillette is in Trump territory — New York City — performing on Broadway, and Trump finds it … well, this is what he tweeted early this morning.

    O loved firing goofball atheist Penn @pennjillette on The Apprentice. He never had a chance. Wrote letter to me begging for forgiveness.

    – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2015

    I hear @pennjillette show on Broadway is terrible. Not surprised, boring guy (Penn). Without The Apprentice, show would have died long ago.

    – Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2015

    In text messages today to the Las Vegas Sun’s John Katsilometes, Jillette responded: “I’ve always liked Trump for having no filter. I’m embarrassed to say I even like this. He’s never seen our show, and I think that matters.”

  • frankgturner

    @ Reginald Selkirk #64

    If during a a Republican convention a cloud opened up to reveal a face that looked like a combination Charlton Heston and George Burns with a long white beard and his hand came down from the sky and in a deep voice that sounded like a combination of James Earl Jones and John Cleese announced that the candidate was wrong, even if it were recorded and witnessed from the entire membership and then some of the convention, they would consider it weakness to even consider the possibility of being wrong.

    .

    It’s a simple situation, if it pleases your constituency and serves your current purpose, military service is a good thing. If it pleases them and serves your purpose, it’s a bad thing.

    .

    When you’ve formed your conclusions before listening to the evidence, what is the point of evidence? I picture a Republican candidate right now doing his best Mr Mackey impression saying, “military service is bad, you shouldn’t do military service, mmmkay? No, no, military service is good, you should do military service McKay?”.

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • daved

    Neville Obama? That makes no sense. Is it supposed to be funny or clever or something?

    Please explain.

    To colnago80, any action towards Iran other than nuking the entire country into radioactive glass is equivalent to Neville Chamberlain’s actions towards Hitler’s Germany.

  • Al Dente

    Some years ago I was talking to an aged hippy who said: “I went to the main cultural event of the ’60s, Woodstock.” I replied: “I went to the other cultural event happening at the same time, Vietnam.”

    I was 19 years old, naive and clueless when I arrived in country. I didn’t know then why the US was fighting in Vietnam. I was told that the South Vietnamese were a freedom-loving people who wanted their independence and the Communist North Vietnamese were invading. I discovered that the South Vietnamese lower classes didn’t want us there (who wants to be working in the field and have a fire fight erupt around them?) and the elites were quite corrupt. It became obvious that none of the sides (there were more than two) were wearing white hats.

    There’s an interesting quote in Harry Summers’ book On Strategy. Summers was an American colonel who, at the end of the war, was involved with the negotiations about American POWs. He recounts part of a conversation he had with a North Vietnamese colonel:

    Col. Summers: “You know you never defeated us on the field of battle.”

    Col. Tran: “This is probably true. It is also irrelevant.”

    I don’t know and frankly don’t care who started the war. I do know who won.

  • whheydt

    Re: Al Dente @ #2…

    I’m not a Republican (neither am I a Democrat…I’m independent), but I think Trump is out of line. The issue isn’t hero/non-hero. It’s that McCain served, did his job and came up short on the luck of the draw. I know Trump got past Viet Nam with student and medical deferments (which foot, Donald?). Since I haven’t yet seen any quotes from Trump from the Viet Nam War period, I don’t know if he is a “classic” chickenhawk, though he is certainly acting like one now.

    The Republicans seem to have a problem that way…all for war so long as they–personally–aren’t the one being shot at, with a few exceptions. Bush, Sr, (WW2 rather than Viet Nam) I respect. I don’t agree with him, but I respect him. I do laugh whenever I see him described as a “fighter pilot”, though. Clue time guys…a TBM is a torpedo bomber, *not* a fighter. Don’t go by the seating arrangements. To be fair to Bush, Sr., flying a TBM in combat was probably more dangerous than flying a fighter since one had to fly quite low, rather slowly, and in a straight line towards an enemy ship that was–undoubtedly–shooting at you.

    Bush, Jr….finessed his way away from Viet Nam by joining the Texas Air National Guard. We’ve all seen data on how well he did at that “job”. He was all for the war, so long as his personal ass wasn’t on the line. Classic chickenhawk.

    Cheney…another chickenhawk.

    On the Democratic side… Clinton. Against the war and quite up front about taking advantage of the Rhodes Scholarship to NOT go. He may have been (and likely still is) something of a sleazeball, but he is honest about that period.

  • colnago80

    Re daved @ #68

    That is a considerable exaggeration of my position. The half dozen 5 megaton bombs I have proposed would be used against Iran’s nuclear facilities, not targeting the civilian population.

  • colnago80

    Re whheydt @ #70

    Bush pere was also shot down.

  • colnago80

    Re whheydt @ #70

    I would also point out that Bush fils also joined the Texas National Guard by being advanced over some 130 applicants who were ahead of him on the list.

  • whheydt

    Re: SteveR @ #49…

    This went around a good many years ago:

    The most common given name in the world is “Mohammed”.

    The most common family name in the world is “Wong”.

    Therefore, the archetypical human is….Mohammed Wong.

  • whheydt

    Re: colnago80 @ #73…

    I did say “finessed”. Perhaps my statement would have been plainer if I had said “finagled”.

  • Randomfactor

    Bush pere was also shot down

    He survived, his crew not so much.

    McCain’s dad was certainly an admiral. Without that, I doubt he’d have been in that cockpit to be shot down after losing multiple aircraft previously, and nearly losing another due to his “clowning.”

  • laurentweppe

    To colnago80, any action towards Iran other than nuking the entire country into radioactive glass is equivalent to Neville Chamberlain’s actions towards Hitler’s Germany.

    To SLC/Colnago, anything but murderous intent toward brown skinned people is tantamount to capitulation. He adheres to the Lanister school of political thought: “Everyone who isn’t US is an enemy” (and enemies must be either slaughtered or beaten into submission).

  • Lofty

    Crappyoldbicycle80 @ 71

    That is a considerable exaggeration of my position. The half dozen 5 megaton bombs I have proposed would be used against Iran’s nuclear facilities, not targeting the civilian population.

    Won’t hurt the general population in any way at all, eh?

  • lorn

    In my experience it is just about impossible to be too cynical. Kick out all the stops and diligently try to reach the high notes … and you might be just about cynical enough.

    I suspect Trump is playing a part. He is the one candidate that is, by virtue of his independent wealth, ego, and prior performances, immune to the smearing of his public image no mater what he might say. He is an independently wealthy court jester and as such is given special dispensation that makes him largely immune to consequences.

    So why would he pick a fight with McCain? At first I thought it was a move to boost McCain’s reputation. Is McCain running for president? He is known to be running to be reelected as senator, but president? Perhaps.

    Laying that aside for now I strongly suspect that Trumps anti-military rhetoric is an attempt by the GOP leadership to expiate their souls for Swiftboating Kerry.

    Trump says mean things about McCain and the rest of the GOP candidates can dramatically come forth and protect McCain and veterans. None of them, except McCain, who offered an unenthusiastic defense, said much about the smearing of Kerry at the time. The GOP front runners rhetorically taking Trump to the mat seems to be designed as balm to their damaged reputation caused by their treatment of Kerry and their systematic abandonment of veterans. The combination of jingoism and opportunistic chauvinism sits cross-wise against their defunding of veteran services and smearing of select veterans when it was politically expedient. The contradiction has not gone unnoticed by the leadership of the military.

    Which tells me that the selected heir apparent for president will, until some other criteria becomes more important, be a veteran. McCain fits the bill. As does Lindsey Graham, and Rick Perry. With so many running, and rumors of still more to declare, it is impossible to do a comprehensive scan of the field to find those who have served.

    A staged play with Trump slandering a veteran and the GOP roundly thrashing him for it could be seen as a declaration that the GOP will ‘never again’ Swiftboat anyone. This would serve to reassure Webb. Bolstering one of the GOP candidates with a military background and Hillary’s opponent … what’s not to love for the die-hard Republican.

  • Holms

    #71 War Crimes Advocate colnago80

    That is a considerable exaggeration of my position. The half dozen 5 megaton bombs I have proposed would be used against Iran’s nuclear facilities, not targeting the civilian population.

    So… still a war crime with millions of deaths. K. Moron, you seem to think a nuclear reactor is entirely automated, with no assiciated civilians.

  • frankgturner

    @ Holm #80

    I have been hesitant to comment on that, but what about nuclear fallout? Wouldn’t that hit potential civilians?

    .

    @ lorn #79

    It’s a load of crap as they would happily swiftboat a Veteran again if he/she were a liberal. Conservatives want it both ways and can’t have their cake and eat it too. I’m sure that you see that.

  • Anri

    Holms @ 80:

    So… still a war crime with millions of deaths. K. Moron, you seem to think a nuclear reactor is entirely automated, with no assiciated civilians.

    When pressed about an actual number of casualties, colnago80’s reply was “Who cares?”

    Certain Types Of People apparently just aren’t important enough to bother with in colnago80’s estimation.

  • colnago80

    Re Anri @ #82

    Just call me a follower of Arthur “bomber” Harris.

    Re Lofty @ #78

    Well, my bicycle is certainly old (built in 1981) but crappy, I think not. It’s a museum piece. A 2015 model Colnago would run several thousand dollars new.

  • otrame

    The Germans bombed the shit out of civilian populations in the first part of the war in an attempt to get Britain to give up. They didn’t. When asked why he thought it would do any good to bomb German civilians, Harris said it was because the British were a superior people. So he bombed the shit out of the German civilians. It didn’t make them quit either.

    The truth is that no strategic bombing campaign in history has ever accomplished its stated goal, including the strategic bombing of Hanoi.

    As for using nuclear weapons in Iraq, why would you bother? Tactical bombing with conventional weapons will do the job nicely without all that radiation. But of course colnago80 doesn’t care about that. He doesn’t live downwind, and those that do aren’t important anyway. And it would be so much FUN.

  • jws1

    Yes, but what is its value post-apocalypse?

  • jws1

    Also, you’re evil. I hope bad things happen to you.

  • colnago80

    Re otrame @ #84

    I would entirely agree that bombing civilian targets with conventional bombs is not only a waste of ordinance but a waste of pilot’s. All too much of the strategic bombing in WW2 was directed against civilian targets (see Dresden which had few if any military targets). One of the reasons why Great Britain liked to bomb civilian targets was that the military targets were too heavily defended and losses of bombers and pilots were unacceptable.

    I assume that otrame meant Iran, not Iraq.

  • laurentweppe

    When asked why he thought it would do any good to bomb German civilians, Harris said it was because the British were a superior people. So he bombed the shit out of the German civilians. It didn’t make them quit either.

    The Historian Margaret MacMillan has an interesting theory about this: according to her, the bombing of German cities was not a strategic decision but a political one motivated not by the idea that it would mak the war end sooner, but that it would make postwar Germany easier to manage. Churchill, among other allied higher-ups had seen the german population turn the “stab-in-the-back” story into an article of faith.

    Claiming that Germany lost because Liberals, Communists, Jews, Pacifists, etc… sabotaged the German war effort and that Germany would totally have won if the civilians had allowed the proud german military to outbadass the franco-british troops… was of course complete bullshit: the central powers were utterly exhausted by the end of the war, their economy in shamble and Italy had just broken the austrian military and was ready to invade Vienna and from here Germany proper through its undefended southern regions, buuuuuuut it had proven to be a powerful balm for the badly bruised german collective ego.

    The massive bombing was therefore, according the MacMillan, a way to make the german civilian population feel that their military was outmatched by the allied powers and very far from having to power to defend them, much less win the war, so that the “we didn’t really lose” self-serving jingoistic bullshit that had been thoroughly exploited by demagogues would not work a second time.

  • sharonb

    So Trump is a sociopath, much beloved by the Republican base, who never admits error and doubles down when called on it? Got it.

    Hail Victory!

  • Holms

    #81 frankgturner

    I have been hesitant to comment on that, but what about nuclear fallout? Wouldn’t that hit potential civilians?

    Yes, which is another thing War Crimes Advocate colnago80 doesn’t give a shit about because it only hurts those brown skinned arab types.

    ___

    #83 War Crimes Advocate colnago80

    Just call me a follower of [a mass murderer].

    Are you aware that area bombing is less effective than hitting infrastructure? The war could have ended faster if he had chosen the better method, so you’re idolising someone that was not only murderous, but also hampered the war effort thanks to his insistence for the less effective tactic.

  • colnago80

    Re weppe @ #8

    I think that part the reasoning behind the demand of unconditional surrender by Britain and the US in WW2. In WW1, Germany was allowed to negotiate an armistice with negotiations on terms to follow. This allowed the German Nazi dictator to thunder in speech after speech before he seized power that the German Army were winning the war on the ground only to have the traitors in Berlin sell them out and quit the war. Guess what the ethnic background of most of the non-existent traitors was.

    Of course, the claim that the German Army was winning the war on the ground in 1918 was total piffle; au contraire, the German Army was in full retreat and people in the cities were being starved out by the naval blockade, which Wilson exacerbated by seeding the North Sea with millions of mines. As Goebbels said, when telling a lie, make it a big lie, tell it loudly, and tell it ofter and eventually people will come to believe it.

  • colnago80

    See my comment @ #87. Harris was right about strategic bombing, but wrong about the targets. As I said earlier on, the big reason why Harris took the tack that he did was because bombing military targets was too expensive in terms of planes shot down and pilots lost for the British, as those targets were more heavily defended. He should have listened to General Dowding who refused to expend fighter aircraft to defend London and other cities, having concluded that the losses fighter command would incur would detract from the effort to protect military targets and most importantly, the radar installations that allowed fighter command to get their planes in the air earlier to intercept German bombers. As someone said, London bleeds so Britain can live.

  • Synfandel

    Trump took a shot at atheists? Now that takes serious balls! He doesn’t care whom he offends.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    Can you imagine being press secretary for President Trump.

    It’s day 2 of the Trump presidency and you have to say this:

    “The president does not apologize for nuking Hawaii. What have those people done for us anyway? Bunch of surfer potheads. And look what happened to them at Pearl Harbor. They totally got blown away by those little Japanese people. Bunch of losers. We’re better off without them.”

  • dingojack

    Al Dente (#69) –

    Dear Col. Summers,

    those 58,307 Americans just happened to die of fright, heart-attacks, vehicle accidents and the like whilst visiting Vietnam as tourists, right?

    @@

    Dingo

    ———

    RE: nuclear weapons – recent modelling has indicated that even a small nuclear engagement can cause prolonged decreases in world-wide temperature and rainfall… but a decade or more of radiation, drought and starvation is a small price for killing us some niggers, right? @@

  • Al Dente

    dingojack @95

    Sorry but I don’t understand the point of your comment . Summers was essentially bragging that American military prowess was extremely good. His NVA counterpart agreed but pointed out the US still lost the war.