The Discreet Charm of the Neocongeoisie
When we last left John Podhoretz, who was hired by the New York Post as a favor to his parents so that he would move out of the basement, he was doing the happy dance because there were elections in the Iraq that he so dearly loves and has shed blood over. Okay. That was him popping a hemorrhoid when the torture at Abu Ghraib came to light, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care truly and deeply about something other than a nice hot sandwich with maybe a pickle on the side.
Anyway, reader Waldo from Australia took it upon himself to educate Midge and Norman’s kid since they did such a poor job of it. Apparently the finer points of etiquette were passed over too. Waldo sends along his email correspondence with the Pod-man.
Hereâ€™s some historical evidence that demonstrates how America doesnâ€™t learn from its mistakes. It also shows what an uninformed hack you are.
U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror
Peter Grose, Special to The New York Times September 4, 1967, p.2
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3– United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here
Pending more detailed reports, neither the State Department nor the White House would comment on the balloting or the victory of the military candidates, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, who was running for president, and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, the candidate for vice president A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President
Johnson’s policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February. The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays since November, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Deim was overthrown by a military junta. Few members of that junta are still around, most having been ousted or exiled in subsequent shifts of power. Significance Not Diminished
The fact that the backing of the electorate has gone to the generals who have been ruling South Vietnam for the last two years does not, in the Administration’s view, diminish the significance of the constitutional step that has been taken. The hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout, indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutional development, or by the Vietcong’s disruption of the balloting. American officials had hoped for an 80 per cent turnout. That was the figure in the election in September for the Constituent Assembly. Seventy-eight per cent of the registered voters went to the polls in elections for local officials last spring. Before the results of the presidential election started to come in, the American officials warned that the turnout might be less than 80 per cent because the polling place would be open for two or three hours less than in the election a year ago. The turnout of 83 per cent was a welcome surprise. The turnout in the 1964 United States Presidential election was 62 per cent Captured documents and interrogations indicated in the last week a serious concern among Vietcong leaders that a major effort would be required to render the election meaningless. This effort has not succeeded, judging from the reports from Saigon.
Reply -Yes, this is very suggestive– of absolutely nothing.
Perhaps this will illustrate my point a little better.
Billmon – 2/1/05
The Magic Ballot
Successful elections in Iraq are a blow to the forces of terror. In time, the defeat of terror in Iraq will set that nation on a course to lasting freedom, and will give hope to millions. And ultimately, a free, democratic Iraq will inspire reformers throughout the Middle East and make America more secure. â€“ White House Talking Points Elections in Iraq
In 1955, with the help of massive amounts of American military, political, and economic aid, the Government of the Republic of Vietnam was born. The following year, Ngo Dinh Diem, a staunchly anti-Communist figure from the South, won a dubious election that made him president of the GVN.-Richard K. Brigham Battlefield Vietnam: A Brief History
From the beginning, U.S. policy in South Vietnam was a conflict between realpolitik and democratic ideals. For the Johnson administration, the solution was to legitimize Washington’s choice of a leader after the fact with elections. But in the “demonstration elections” of 1967, the designated favorite, Nguyen Van Thieu, won a plurality of only 35 percent. The runner-up, Truong Dinh Dan, had promised to support a cease-fire with the North. Shortly after the elections, Thieu threw him in jail, sparking anti-government demonstrations in Saigon that nearly turned into riots.-Catharin Dalpino The Other Vietnam Syndrome
In October of 1971, South Vietnamese President Nguyen was re-elected. The United States had announced its acceptance of the non-contested election.-BBC War and Protest: the US in Vietnam
The war in Vietnam ended . . . as the government in Saigon announced its unconditional surrender to the Vietcong. The President, Duong Van Minh, who has been in office for just three days, made the announcement in a radio broadcast to the nation early this morning. He asked his forces to lay down their arms and called on the Vietcong to halt all hostilities.-BBC On This Day: April 30, 1975
Reply -Wow! Youza mean there waza a war in Vietnam? Gee!
I suddenly recalled Al Frankenâ€™s statement (in Outfoxed) â€“ â€˜with fundamentalism, thereâ€™s no discourse. Itâ€™s Iâ€™m right, youâ€™re wrong, thatâ€™s all.â€ Re-reading your mail made me realize that there is no logic that will sway you (or your ill-advised president) from your righteous beliefs, no matter how erroneous they are. How sad to see such a potentially fine democracy (America) thrown away by foolish ideologues.
Reply – Here’s the thing: I’m right and you’re wrong. Not because I’m a fundamentalist, but because I’m right and you’re wrong — and John Howard is right and you’re wrong, and Tony Blair is right and you’re wrong, and a whole lot of people in the world, including 8 mililon Iraqis, are right and you’re wrong — because, basically, WC, you’re just WRONG.
How clever of you to repeat over and over how wrong I am, when people are being murdered in an illegal war because of your president’s (and your) misbegotten ideas of what is right and wrong.
How clever you are to dismiss history, dismiss the protests of 12 million people, dismiss the 48% of your countrymen who voted against Bush and the war, to glibly sneer at the conventions that have held societies together for millennia by saying over and over ‘you’re wrong.’ War is wrong, John. Torture is wrong. Murdering women and children is not just wrong; it’s an obscenity, in the full meaning of the word. Incarcerating people indefinitely without charge is not just wrong; it defies the tenets of America’s Bill of Rights, a document sacred in America. Yet America did the same thing in Vietnam as they are in Iraq. Meaningless elections, backed up by ongoing butchery, for 20 years. And there were plenty of people like you then, crowing about how right America was, until She was eventually forced to turn tail and slink out of there, defeated. And do you know the funny thing John? Howard backed the Vietnam War as well, and still thinks it was right! Just as you’ll think you were right, when this war is lost. I just hope it doesn’t cost another 58,000 America lives, 500 Australian lives, and the millions of citizen casualties, as it did Vietnam.
Reply – You know what, WC? You’re an ass, an ignorant ass, an ill-informed ass, a nonsense-spouting ass, and a fool. Go piss up a rope.
At last! Just like the true spirit of compassionate conservatism, the true intellectualism of the right, the real John P. shows his true colours – by using Bill O’Reilly’s pathetic methods, bullying obscenity.
“Killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” – Albert Einstein –
“The January 30 elections in Iraq have nothing to do with democracy. To claim a free election can take place in Iraq is no different to asserting that the French, Yugoslav or Greek people could have elected a representative government in 1942 while living under the jackboot of Nazi rule. “- James Cogan: The Iraq election: a travesty of democracy
John, if you have nothing logical to say, don’t mail back
Needless to say. He didn’t…