A worthy cause for Congress

Here’s the mission:

UNIFY ALL PRO-VICTORY REPUBLICAN IRAQ VETERANS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS IN 2008

Whether Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, we all shared a common goal in Iraq: victory. As Republican candidates for Congress we share a vision for America’s future, her security, and that of future generations. We are unified in our commitment to relieve the Democrats of their command of Congress.

Voters want to restore leadership and honor back to Washington. Who better to accomplish that mission than our generation of warriors?

All veterans whose service to the United States brought them first to Iraq and now to a run for the House as pro-victory Republicans are welcome to become part of Iraq Veterans For Congress.

United we are capable of sending to Congress a squad-size element of Iraq vets to keep us on offense in the War on Terror and counter calls for defeat.

In short, unification of all Republican Iraq Veterans will be a powerful force multiplier. By joining forces we will generate crucial nationwide grassroots support while sharing ideas and strategies.

If you’re interested in making this a “mission accomplished,” go here and help out in the main way that counts: money, although your enthusiasm and moral support will undoubtedly count too, and count a lot.

There are a lot of vets to choose from — maybe some in your district. I, of course, am represented by Lynn Woolsey, whose only virtue is that she’s ineffectual.

Hat tip: Democracy Project

UPDATE: I’ve switched to a new server, so you can feel free to look around here or check out my new site, which not only has the old stuff, but also will move forward into the future with all my new material.

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The failed Democratic anti-Surge

I’m not giving away anything by quoting here the concluding paragraph from Noemie Emery’s long and fascinating article about the Democrats’ desperate and, at the moment, unsuccessful anti-Surge efforts in the last year.  If you read only this paragraph, good as it is, you’ll have missed all of the really interesting stuff:

As they took control of Congress at the start of 2007, the Democrats vowed this would be a year of historic importance, and it seems they were prescient: Seldom before in the annals of governance have so many politicians fought so long and so hard to completely screw up a winning strategy being waged on their country’s behalf. Some cruelly define this as treacherous conduct, but this is imprecise and unkind. They tried, it is true, to do serious damage, but were compromised in the event by their chronic incompetence, as well as by being too above-board and open to try to do things on the sly. A stab in the back as a concept was wholly beyond their capacities. This was not a stab in the back that works via guile and subterfuge. It was 41 different stabs in the front, that always fell far short of serious damage, unless you count the damage they did to their own reputations (the approval ratings for Congress are now in the twenties). It was the Stab in the Front, the Surge-against-the-Surge, the Pickett’s Charge of the Great War on Terror. It was a year to remember, that will live in the annals of fecklessness. It was historical. It was hysterical. It was the Stab that Failed.

Ending earmarks

Earmarks are ugly. Even described in assiduously neutral government language they sound like nasty end runs around review and fairness:

Earmarks are funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents the merit-based or competitive allocation process, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to properly manage funds. Congress includes earmarks in appropriation bills – the annual spending bills that Congress enacts to allocate discretionary spending – and also in authorization bills.

In other words, they are pork. And they keep going and going in Congress because they’re part of the back scratching that is an integral part of Congressional functioning: “If you turn a blind eye to the pork that I hope will get me re-elected, I’ll turn a blind eye to the pork that you hope will get you re-elected.” It’s a great circular system if you’re in Congress, and it benefits those jurisdictions that have Congress people exceptionally adept at the pork process, but it’s a bad deal for everyone else.

If you’re getting fed up with this pork — and I know this applies to you regardless of your position on the political spectrum — here’s a petition that you can sign to make your voice heard in Congress.

Another Bush victory

For a lame duck President, Bush is still adept at getting what he wants:

The White House said it expects Michael Mukasey to be sworn in as attorney general Friday after the Senate confirmed the retired judge Thursday night.

Michael Mukasey will begin meeting with Justice Department staff right away, the White House says.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Mukasey likely will be sworn in Friday afternoon in a low-key ceremony. A public event may occur next week when President Bush returns from Texas, Fratto said.

“He will begin meeting with staff right away and getting to work,” Fratto said of Mukasey.

The Senate late Thursday approved Mukasey’s nomination for attorney general by a 53-40 vote despite controversy over his refusal to brand the terror interrogation technique of waterboarding as torture.

Harry Reid is doing some game playing to force the DREAM Act through Congress

I’ve got to run to a couple of meetings this morning, but wanted to alert you to the fact that Harry Reid is trying to get a cloture vote (that is, he’s trying to shut down debate) on the DREAM Act tomorrow.  The DREAM Act is the one that mandate in-state tuition at State Colleges and University for illegal aliens, something denied to the legal kids from the state next door.  (A cost I’ve experienced personally, since I payed full out of state tuition for the very great privilege of attending a superb public law school.)  In addition, once a state’s tax payers have funded the illegal alien’s dream to get the type of college education denied to legal residents and citizens, they get a green card.  Whoopee!

If you think this is a bad idea, contact your senator.  Michelle Malkin has all the details and information I left out.  You can use the service at Numbers USA to make your protests known and easy.

The MSM’s Rush Limbaugh horror story

Both the MSM and Democratic Senators are trying to co-opt the Rush Limbaugh letter story for Democratic ends. It’s worthwhile taking a step back, to the beginning of the entire affair, to understand just how egregiously they are undermining truth to create a new, Progressive reality for the American people. (I guess this is another example of what’s meant by the “reality based community.”)

It all began on the Rush Limbaugh show, on September 26. In the first call of the morning, Rush engaged with a caller who identified himself as a Republican, but insisted that the Democrats had the right idea with their demand that the US immediately withdraw from Iraq. The very next caller, a self-identified US serviceman, agreed with Rush that an untimely retreat from Iraq would be disastrous. It was in the context of this pro-military phone call that the “phony soldier” reference came up:

CALLER: Hi, Rush. Thanks for taking my call.

RUSH: You bet.

CALLER: I have a retort to Mike in Chicago, because I am serving in the American military, in the Army. I’ve been serving for 14 years, very proudly.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I’m one of the few that joined the Army to serve my country, I’m proud to say, not for the money or anything like that. What I would like to retort to is that, what these people don’t understand, is if we pull out of Iraq right now, which is not possible because of all the stuff that’s over there, it would take us at least a year to pull everything back out of Iraq, then Iraq itself would collapse and we’d have to go right back over there within a year or so.

RUSH: There’s a lot more than that that they don’t understand. The next guy that calls here I’m going to ask them, “What is the imperative of pulling out? What’s in it for the United States to pull out?” I don’t think they have an answer for that other than, “When’s he going to bring the troops home? Keep the troops safe,” whatever.

CALLER: Yeah.

RUSH: It’s not possible intellectually to follow these people.

CALLER: No, it’s not. And what’s really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

RUSH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER: Phony soldiers. If you talk to any real soldier and they’re proud to serve, they want to be over in Iraq, they understand their sacrifice and they’re willing to sacrifice for the country.

RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.

CALLER: A lot of people.

RUSH: You know where you’re going these days, the last four years, if you sign up. The odds are you’re going there or Afghanistan, or somewhere.

The topic didn’t end there, though. After a very short interplay regarding WMDs, Rush then returned to his “phony soldier” comment by explicitly defining what he meant by the term:

Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth. Now, he was a “corporal.” I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn’t his Purple Heart; it wasn’t his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way: “We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque.”

Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse Macbeth isn’t an Army Ranger, never was. He isn’t a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven’t even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven’t heard much about it. This doesn’t fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don’t look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth’s lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can’t find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.

In other words, both at the time he used the phrase “phony soldiers” and within seconds of having used that phrase, Rush made it patently clear that he was talking about people who are genuine phonies: either they were never in the military at all, or they’ve lied about their service, either for pecuniary or political gain. (There’s also a class of soldier that seems to have enlisted, not to serve, but to achieve a secondary goal, such as jump-starting a fiction writing career or positioning himself to more strongly make a political protest.)

As to those people, he was saying that many of them push themselves forward, or are propped up by anti-War activists, as examples of soldiers who are opposed to the War. To the extent that they either are not soldiers at all, or they have lied about their records, or they have lied about what’s going on in Iraq, they are phonies and, in Rush’s view (as in mine), their “absolute moral authority” (just to quote M. Dowd) should be discounted.

To put it another way, Rush both said and implied that, when it comes to anti-War talk, the speaker’s identity and honesty have to be taken into account to determine the validity of his opinion. He did not say the opposite, which would be that the nature of the opinion should be used to disparage or invalidate the speaker.

Rush’s comment about the skepticism that should be accorded statements by phony soldiers — fakers who were never soldiers at all or who lie about their careers — would have vanished into the ether had it not been for the fact that the Democrats and Progressives, both in Congress and on the street, were smarting from the fallout created by MoveOn.org’s crass “General Betray-us” ad. If you’re an ordinary person, if you or someone associated with you, makes a gross error such as that ad, you apologize. However, if you’re a political narcissist, in which case an apology is not part of your mental landscape, you go on the attack. And that’s precisely what the Progressive crowd did.

The vehicle used for the attack was the Soros-connected, Hillary-founded Media Matters. As an interesting aside, Media Matters denies Hillary’s involvement in its founding. It’s unclear whether Hillary or Media Matters is lying. I’m not sure divining the truth actually matters, though. The nature of their statements — hers, trying to curry an association with Media Matters, and Media Matter’s, trying to keep some distance to avoid charges of partisanship — gives you as much information as the truth itself would.

By taking Rush’s comments out of context, Media Matters put Rush on the front page of all sorts of MSM vehicles (TV and print), with the claim that Rush was calling all American troops phonies. You’ve read the transcript, above, and you know about the genuinely phony soldiers who have shown up in this war (as they have in every war, although they haven’t normally been embraced by one of the major political parties). Keeping that in mind, read now what Media Matters wrote:

During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq “phony soldiers.”

As I noted above in the bold-print text, Media Matters is completely inverting what Rush said. He never said that soldiers who advocate withdrawal from Iraq are phonies. He said that the anti-War crowd is relying on a lot of real phonies to front for them as they call for unilateral withdrawal. Again: Rush both said and implied that, when it comes to anti-War talk, the speaker’s identity and honesty have to be taken into account to determine the validity of his opinion. He did not say the opposite, which would be that the nature of the opinion should be used to disparage or invalidate the speaker.

In the same post, Media Matters included much of the transcript from Rush’s show, but conveniently left out the bit in which he went on to explain precisely what he meant by phony soldiers. Media Matters created the political equivalent of a bad movie review. You know, those reviews that have much redacted quotations, such as “It blew my mind….” with the deleted material, in fact, stating that “It blew my mind what a rotten movie this was.” That kind of thing.

Democrats in Congress got very excited, something that has bewildered me. Their subsequent conduct indicated that they were oblivious to the fact that everyone knows Rush is a staunch support of American troops — anti-War, pro-War, service person, you name it, they all know that Rush supports the troops and the war effort. (Distinguishing himself, in this regard, from Democrats who have routinely denigrated both the troops and the war effort. Some good quotations are here, although that post leaves out some of the juiciest bits from such lovelies as Jack Murtha.)

Convinced that they had a “gotcha” moment, in which Rush had exposed his true colors as a rabid anti-military fanatic, 41 Democratic Senators, including Democratic Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, tried to get him fired from his job. Under Harry Reid’s leadership, they signed off on a letter to Clear Channel Communications, Inc., in which they stated in relevant part as follows:

‘Although Americans of goodwill debate the merits of this war, we can all agree that those who serve with such great courage deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. That is why Rush Limbaugh’s recent characterization of troops who oppose the war as “phony soldiers” is such an outrage.

‘Our troops are fighting and dying to bring to others the freedoms that many take for granted. It is unconscionable that Mr. Limbaugh would criticize them for exercising the fundamentally American right to free speech. Mr. Limbaugh has made outrageous remarks before, but this affront to our soldiers is beyond the pale.

***

We call on you to publicly repudiate these comments that call into question their service and sacrifice and to ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments.’

Some might wish to characterize this as simply a group of 41 people exercising their right to free speech, something that should not be curtailed just because they’re Senators. However, the letter represents something much more significant than that. Keep in mind that Clear Channel Communications takes to the airwaves courtesy of a license issued by the FCC. The FCC is an agency that Congress created and that is “directly responsible to Congress.” In other words, the same people that currently control the agency that grants to Clear Channel the license to broadcast wrote a letter to Clear Channel with an implicit threat that it must act against its wayward employee business partner or else. It’s not direct government censorship, but it has the ugly smell of indirect government censorship.

To its great credit, Clear Channel politely gave these 41 United States Senators the finger. Rush, brilliantly, went one step further. He put the letter up for auction, with a promise that 100% of the proceeds would go to the Marine Corp – Law Enforcement Foundation. The auction web page describes the foundation as follows: “Scholarship assistance to children of Marines and Federal law enforcement personnel whose parent dies on duty.” (There’s also a link that takes you to a page where you can find an address for the MC-LEF’s own web page. ) In addition to promising to turn all auction proceeds over to the MC-LEF, Rush made one other promise: he’d match the winning bid with his own donation to the MC-LEF. He then challenged the 41 signing Senators, many of whom (including Hillary and Reid) are millionaires, to do the same.

The MSM and the Democrats assiduously ignored the story until something happened: the letter sold to philanthropist (and Rush fan) Betty Brown Casey for $2,100,100.00. And that’s where things got interesting. The first sign that history was being rewritten in light of Rush’s fantastic publicity triumph (and nose-thumbing) was when Harry Reid issued a statement implying that it was thanks to him and his cronies that large sums of money were going to charity:

This week, Rush Limbaugh put the original copy of that letter up for auction on e-bay. Mr. President, we didn’t have time, or we could have gotten every senator to sign that letter. But he put the letter up for auction on e-bay and I think very, very constructively, left the proceeds of that it go to the Marine Corps law enforcements foundation. That provides scholarship assistance to marines and federal law enforcement personnel whose parents fall in the line of duty. What could be a more worthwhile cause? I think it’s really good that this money on e-bay is going to be raised for this purpose. …

Never did we think that this letter would bring money of this nature.

In other words, as history is being rewritten, Harry and his cronies wrote a threatening letter to a licensed communications company, not for purposes of censorship and political gain, but as a publicity stunt. (Significantly, neither Harry nor his compatriots are so enamored of the good that they did that they, personally, are donating any money, of course.)

A reader at Captain’s Quarters put his finger on the fact that the auction and Reid’s response put in a nutshell the whole difference between Progressives and Conservatives:

The conservative thinks of a free-market way of raising private funds to aid a worthwhile causes and backs his commitment with his own money.

The liberal asks other people to donate funds, doesn’t donate any of his own money, and tries to take credit for the generosity of others.

I wish I’d been smart enough to say that.

Aside from serving as a paradigm about Progressives and Republicans, this whole thing revealed, once again, the MSM’s difficulty in confronting perfidious behavior on the Democratic/Progressive side, or applauding laudable behavior on the Republican/Conservative side. Immediately after the MSM finally picked up the story, the Confederate Yankee noticed something interesting about the coverage: as did Reid, it spins it as a Democratic-inspired charitable donation. The paper of record (that would be the New York Times, which is clearly intent upon creating a version of the record) went even further, getting everything wrong in the very first sentence:

After Rush Limbaugh referred to Iraq war veterans critical of the war as “phony soldiers,” he received a letter of complaint signed by 41 Democratic senators.

As you know, because I demonstrated above using original sources, Rush did not refer to those Iraq veterans who are critical of the war as “phony soldiers.” Instead, he referred to phony soldiers as phony soldiers, with the warning that their criticisms of the war should be viewed in light of their base phoniness. As you also know, Rush did not receive a letter of complaint from 41 Democratic Senators. His boss partner, a company that holds a federal broadcasting licensing issued by an agency answerable to those 41 Senators received a letter demanding that it chastise him (a letter that implicitly hinted “or you’ll lose your license”).

So, to recap. Rush issued a warning against taking too seriously the anti-War comments emanating from honest to God phony soldiers (if you’ll pardon the oxymoron). A Soros-affiliated, Hillary-founded, anti-Conservative group twisted that language to accuse Rush of saying that all soldiers who oppose the war are phonies. Democratic Senators smarting from the backlash of people offended by a repugnant political ad wrote a manifestly threatening letter to Rush’s employer business partner. Rush put the letter up for auction, with the proceeds to go to charity, and with a promise to make a matching donation to that charity. He also invited the millionaires club in the Senate to join in. The letter sold for over $2 million, at which point the Senators did not join in, but they did try to take credit for the donation, a position the MSM echoed. The MSM also resolutely tried to perpetuate the original canard against Rush.

In other words, it’s business as usual in the Progressive fantasy land where Democratic politics and liberal media meet. It would be an amusing fairy tale were it not for the fact that myriad Americans who are not tuned-in know about the fable only through the liberal gate keeping media and naively believe that this fantasy is, in fact, political reality. So this isn’t a fairy-tale at all, it’s something of a horror story.

UPDATE: For more New York Times mendacity, check out this post at Sweetness & Light, demonstrating how the New York Times messed with history to clean up Hillary’s Chinatown problem. (H/t American Thinker.)

UPDATE II: Just today, yet another truly phony soldier, this time a story about a rather loony guy intent on self-aggrandizement. I wouldn’t buy a used car from the man, nor would I believe him to have moral authority when it came to opining about the War.

UPDATE III: Two comments came in that correct my misunderstanding about Rush’s relationship to Clear Channel. They’re important comments (and amusing), so they deserve to be up here, in the post. First, from mamapajamas:

And one thing that really made me laugh about this was that Rush is NOT an “employee” of Clear Channel, and CC could not have “punished” him in any way even if they’d wanted to. They’d have had endless lawsuits.

Rush outright OWNS the EIB Network. I can recall during the stem cell research thing with the Michael J Fox ad Rush responding to demands that he be fired with the comment that he was considering firing himself and rehiring himself at a higher salary. He is responsible to no one but himself.

The relationship between EIB and Clear Channel is more like computer hardware (the Clear Channel radio stations) and software (the EIB Network). They are equal PARTNERS. The computer doesn’t work without the software, the software doesn’t work without a computer. They’re two different components with equal power bound together by contracts.

And Clear Channel is making tons of money from the Rush show. They weren’t about to kill the goose that laid the golden egg! LOL!

And then, in response, from JJ:

Yes, Mama makes a good point that I was going to make: Clear Channel is in fact not Rush’s “boss” in any sense of the word. They are partners, and they are in fact somewhat unequal partners: Rush owns 100% of his product., and essentially self-syndicates.

All this proves is that Harry Reid is genuinely as stupid as he looks, and most of the democrats in the senate seem to have self-selected as being not much better.

I have no idea who votes for these people…

Giving aid and comfort to the enemy today and yesterday

During any other war, the following list that Vasko Kohlmayer complied would show treasonous conduct. In this War, it’s politics as usual:

• They have repeatedly conceded defeat in Iraq with Harry Reid claiming ‘this war is lost;’
• They purposefully downplay any and all American military successes;
• They have sought to portray our troops as violent and brutal thugs;
• Jack Murtha accused our soldiers of being cold-blooded murderers while John Kerry alleged they terrorize women and children at night;
• Dick Durbin compared our military personnel to Nazis and Pol Pot’s henchmen;
• The have sought to paint our military commanders as stooges of a manipulative president (the Petraeus hearings);
• They have called our Commander-in-Chief ‘stupid,’ ‘loser,’ ‘incompetent;’
• They seek to extend constitutional protections to foreign terrorists and enemy combatants;
• They have outed and obstructed an important eavesdropping program designed to monitor terrorists’ phone calls and e-mails;
• They are trying to eliminate crucial components of the Patriot Act;
• They have repeatedly leaked classified information;
• They lobby for the release of most Guantanamo Bay detainees most of whom are dangerous terrorists;
• They have sought to destroy the reputation of the American military by making scandals out of minor incidents (Abu Ghraib);
• They have portrayed America’s main terrorist detention facility (Guantanamo Bay) as a torture chamber even though it is the most supervised and inspected prison in the history of warfare;
• By manufacturing bogus scandals they have seriously damaged their country’s reputation in a time of war;
• They have forced the resignation of an effective defense secretary (Donald Rumsfeld) and a number of other administration officials committed to winning this war;
• They visit and praise America’s enemies even those responsible for the deaths of American troops (Nancy Pelosi in Syria);
• Dennis Kucinich called the Iraq war ‘wrong’ and ‘immoral’ in the presence of Bashar Assad, the head of the Syrian regime that is a sponsor of terrorism
• They want to run and cut from the battlefield in the middle of a war.

You can read here the rest of what Kohlmayer has to say.  (H/t:  American Thinker.)

We live in a topsy-turvy world.

In a somewhat similar vein, because it involves dealing with the enemy — although I’m thinking of dealings, not during the war, but once victory is achieved — I have to comment on something that flashed through my head yesterday as I was watching Ken Burns’ The War (which I’ve been slowing getting through, courtesy of TiVo).   One of the guys interviewed was a Marine pilot during the War, and for that, he gets kudos forever.  However, the things he said during the show make him sound as if, in the here and now, he’s a kind of ordinary anti-War Democrat.  Since I haven’t walked a mile in his battle tested shoes, I’m loath to criticize his viewpoint, but I can and will criticize something stupid he said.

Speaking of the enemy, he said that, by 1944, word was getting out about the atrocities the enemies were committing.  He added, though, that he wasn’t rushing to blame them, because he always wondered what Americans would do under similar circumstances.  A little “stupid bomb” popped off in my head, because we don’t need to wonder, we know.

During World War II, when it came to the Japanese taking over a territory, official policy (not the aberrant behavior of individual troops) resulted in the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan death march, and the civilian concentration camps in which tens of thousands of civilians were tortured and died.  (No link for that last.  I grew up hearing those stories from my mother, who survived the camps.)

During World War II, when it came to the Germans taking over a territory, official policy (not the aberrant behavior of individual troops) resulted in the Death Camps, which not only wiped out 6 million Jews, but sought to enslave and/or destroy whole populations of Gypsies, Poles, Communists, Homosexuals and other “undesirables.”  That doesn’t even count the horrors the Nazis visited on civilian populations without the bother of a death camp.  Mass graves still reveal themselves today outside of forgotten villages once under Nazi control.

During World War II, when it came to the Russians taking over a territory, official policy (not the behavior of the much tried Red Army troops, behavior that was indescribably cruel, but perhaps understandable after what the Germans did to the Russians) was to turn the territory into one giant Communist prison.

During World War II, when it came to the Americans taking over a territory, official policy was the Marshall Plan.   And you can’t downplay American humanity in this regard by saying that the Americans hadn’t suffered the way the Russians had, for example, so they were going to be softer and kinder to their defeated enemies.  To begin with, when the Japanese and Germans engaged in their inhuman conduct, they were on the ascendant in their wars, and hadn’t suffered either.  This was their standard M.O., and not the results of soldiers pushed to the brink.  And to end with, the Americans had suffered terribly.  The Marines and Navy in the Pacific, the Army in Europe, and the Air Force all over, had suffered unimaginably.  But at the end of it all, our goal, the American policy carried out by American troops, was to build up the countries taken in war, not to engage in the wholesale slaughter and enslavement of the civilians.  (The same holds true, by the way, for the Brits.)

And so I’ll say here and now that American and British values, at least as they played out during their peak during WWII, were better than other values.  They’re still better, although most Britains, and many Americans (notably House Democrats) seem to have forgotten that fact.  You won’t hear any moral relativism from me.  When American values are good, they’re the best.