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Left Smears The American Legion

This story from Editor & Publisher about the American Legion's vow to stand against people Cindy Sheehan is being hyped by the likes of Markos Zuniga and Oliver Willis:

NEW YORK The American Legion, which has 2.7 million members, has declared war on antiwar protesters, and the media could be next. Speaking at its national convention in Honolulu, the group's national commander called for an end to all "public protests" and "media events" against the war, even though they are protected by the Bill of Rights.

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu.

The delegates voted to use whatever means necessary to "ensure the united backing of the American people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism."

Wow. From that article it certainly seems as though the American Legion will be actively trying to stop anti-war protests (which are protected by the Bill of Rights, the author of the story assures us), but as is usually case it seems as though the reporting of this initiative by the veteran's group doesn't really match what they're actually saying.

Here's the expanded comments made by Commander Cadmus:

"For many of us, the visions of Jane Fonda glibly spouting anti-American messages with the North Vietnamese and protesters denouncing our own forces four decades ago is forever etched in our memories," Cadmus said. "We must never let that happen again. I assure you, The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom loving peoples."

The measure recognizes that the global war on terrorism is as deadly as any war
in which the United States has been previously engaged and that the President and Congress did authorize military actions in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

"No one respects the right to protest more than one who has fought for it, but we hope that Americans will present their views in correspondence to their elected officials rather than by public media events guaranteed to be picked up and used as tools of encouragement by our enemies," Cadmus said. "It would be tragic if the freedoms our veterans fought so valiantly to protect would be used against their successors today as they battle terrorists bent on our destruction."

Read the whole thing.

Basically, the American Legion promising to "stand against" the anti-war protesters. Is that really so bad? They're not promising to violate anybody's free speech rights, they're just promising to respond with protests and words of their own. There's no mention of "ending" anybody's "public protest" or "media event" as is indicated in the article.

And that's how this democracy thing is supposed to work, isn't it? How is it that Cindy Sheehan can stand down in Crawford for weeks on end and scream about our President being a "murderer," yet when the American Legion responds with a call to "stand against" that sort of vicious rhetoric they get blasted by the media the day after the make their announcement? Blasted in an extremely misleading and smearing matter, no less.

Why do these anti-war leftists always think they have a monopoly on dissent? And why must anyone attempting to dissent against the anti-war establishment contend with not only the anti-war advocates themselves but a media that is sympathetic to those anti-war causes as well?

(via Flickertail Journal)

By Rob Port of Say Anything.


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Comments (72)

And of course, as any good ... (Below threshold)
Sean:

And of course, as any good Lefty probably doesn't know, the First Amendment only applies to government restriction of speech - not restrictions imposed by private citizens.

I stand proudly with the Am... (Below threshold)
BurbankErnie:

I stand proudly with the American Legion on this one.

God Bless W and God Bless the USA

Are our troops so weak-will... (Below threshold)
Just John:

Are our troops so weak-willed that they would become demoralized by protestors?

The American Legion are not... (Below threshold)
Hesiod:

The American Legion are nothing but Brownshirts. They just declared war on dissent, the fascist fuckers.


Just John, weakwilled...abs... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Just John, weakwilled...absolutely not. However, that does not mean they might not be put in more harms way by giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Our protestors are giving aiding the causes of our enemey yet they never ever fail to criticize the actions of the enemy. WE have never executed a more restrained military action. Yet, did any lefty moonbat at all critize the beheading of Nick Berg or Daniel Pearl? Did any lefty moonbat criticize Arafish and his PA minions over the actions of their subordinates when they butchered innocent civilians? Nope. Those damned protestors are unpatriotic and in my opinion disloyal Americans.

And of course, as any g... (Below threshold)
Hesiod:

And of course, as any good Lefty probably doesn't know, the First Amendment only applies to government restriction of speech - not restrictions imposed by private citizens.

Good. So when I tell the cooks, latrine diggers and other REMFS who couldn;t get into the VFW to shut their fucking fascist pie holes, nobody will complain, right?

Hey, dipshits, Do you assho... (Below threshold)
Hesiod:

Hey, dipshits, Do you asshoes even know what "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" means?

Peaceful and democratic criticism of a war that is being badly managed by the White House doesn't count.

Nobody is shipping arms over there. Or giving them valuable intelligence information.

So shut the fuck up you fascist assholes.

Actually a casual glance at... (Below threshold)
Jason:

Actually a casual glance at the American Legion's own website reveals that they "vowed to use whatever means necessary to ensure the united support of the American people for our troops and the global war on terrorism".

The only question is if they mean "any means necessary" in the rhetorical sense (in other words, they don't really mean it), or if they mean it in, say, the Unabomber sense. I suppose only time will tell.

And calling us names like "... (Below threshold)

And calling us names like "dipshit" and "brownshirt" is ever so effective at bringing us around to your point of view. Really makes us want to re-examine our beliefs.

When they say they're willi... (Below threshold)

When they say they're willing to use any means necessary they are threatening the left with the strongest weapon ever used, one that will surely crush them. Truth. The left has never understood it, never faced it, can't survive it's effect and damn sure never spoken it. It scares the crap out of them.

Hesiod,Guy, please s... (Below threshold)
Rick:

Hesiod,
Guy, please stop whacking that little thing on the keyboard with your eyes closed. After you work out this particular days frustrations with women and workplace failure, you won't believe what the little guy typed and then signed your name to. Makes you look like a total douchebag. Bitter as the day is long. Poor little guy.
I'll bet you're doing it left-handed too.
Fucking wanker.

Lets see. The terrorists w... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Lets see. The terrorists want to see us tuck tail and run from Iraq. The Lefties want to hand that to them with a smile on their faces. I call that giving them aid, comfort, and their objective.

More important is whether t... (Below threshold)
Jason:

More important is whether this American Legion statement violates any federal terrorism laws. Remember, it doesn't even really matter what they "say they mean" at a later date, it's a question of what the interpretation was from those at whom it was dedicated.

Clearly more than a few are seeing this as a threat of violence to acheive a political goal, and it very probably does qualify. If they aren't at least approached by the justice Department on this, I think it's perfectly fair to ask "why not?"

I deleted my first response... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I deleted my first response to hesiod, the dickweed who would like to tell veterans to "shut their fucking fascist pie holes". hesiod is beneath contempt and not worth elevating my blood pressure over. However, if the little piece of shit is still out there, I would just like to suggest that he find a good group of veterans - maybe some recent Iraq or Afghanistan returnees - and tell them in person to "shut their fucking fascist pie holes". Put your money where your mouth is, dick. And by the way, FOAD.

Incidentally, I agree... if... (Below threshold)
Jason:

Incidentally, I agree... if there's one thing the administration has never actually tried against war protesters, its truth.

That probably bears further examination, at least they could focus group it.

If the moonats can reason t... (Below threshold)

If the moonats can reason that Cindy Sheehan has moral authority then VFW members must have an even higher moral authority. Having served in a war to protect the right of Sheehan and parasitic little moonbats to protest certainly gives the VFW the right to suggest that the war protesters STFU.

Don't be bothered by little... (Below threshold)
Schwa?:

Don't be bothered by little Hesiod. He believes his potty mouth equates to intelligent commentary. A poor, sad victim of our public school system. Next thing he will start doing is call you a chickenhawk if you haven't served in the military or turn around and call you a fascist if you have served. Tortured logic for a tortured petty soul.

Wallow in your anger, Hesiod. It suits you.

"Why do these anti-war left... (Below threshold)
Lin:

"Why do these anti-war leftists always think they have a monopoly on dissent?"

Because they are so intellegent that only they know the truth, only they know what is best of us and our country, and we are just dumb, ignorant and uninformed. That's why only they have the right to dissent and tell us what we should do. (It's for our own good, don't ya know?) /sarcasm off

WHO SAID THIS:"Mr.... (Below threshold)
NEILO60:

WHO SAID THIS:

"Mr. President, the United States Armed Forces should never be committed to wartime operations unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

That there be a clear statement by the President of why it is in our vital national interests to be engaged in hostilities;
Guidelines be established for the mission, including a clear exit strategy;

That there be support of the mission by the U.S. Congress and the American people;... "

HMM, THAT WOULD BE.... THE AMERICAN LEGION 1999 to PRES CLINTON RE OPERATION ALLIED FORCE...

FLIP FLOPPERS...

Jason Clearly more than... (Below threshold)
Lin:

Jason Clearly more than a few are seeing this as a threat of violence to acheive a political goal, and it very probably does qualify.

Only those on the left that are incapable of reading comprehension or those who see what they want to see, see it as a threat. Sounds like you qualify.

it's a question of what the interpretation was from those at whom it was dedicated.

So are you saying if the anti war protesters see this as a threat then it is a threat? If so that's a nice subjective way to determine if something or someone is a threat.

There's several libs who "threaten" us on this blog daily. We'd better get busy and start filing complaints or lawsuits.

And for the latest attempts... (Below threshold)
Dave:

And for the latest attempts to demoralize our troops from the anti-war left (from Drudge):

ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS TARGET WOUNDED AT ARMY HOSPITAL
Wed Aug 2005 24 21:20:05 ET

Anti-war protestors besieged wounded and disabled soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C, a new web report will claim!

CNSNews.com is planning to run an expose featuring interviews with both protestors and veterans, as well as shots of protest signs with slogans like “Maimed for a Lie.”

The conservative outlet will post video evidence of the wounded veterans being taunted by protesters, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Developing late...

Looks like somebody needs to "stand against" these jerks.

You're right, it's extremel... (Below threshold)
Jason:

You're right, it's extremely subjective, but according to the strict letter of the law, if the antiwar protesters see it as a threat it is considered to be one. Ironically, perhaps if the people who drafted this statement had bothered to read some of the complaints about the wording of the Patriot Act and other anti-terror laws they would've realized that they were treading in very uncertain legal waters.

"You're right, it's extr... (Below threshold)
Dave:

"You're right, it's extremely subjective, but according to the strict letter of the law, if the antiwar protesters see it as a threat it is considered to be one."

What a stupid thing to say. So if someone says to me, "Good morning." and I for some stupid reason take it as a threat, it is one? If I tell my boss, "I will do whatever it takes to get this project completed on time.", then I am advocating violence?

Get real.

LOL @ Hesiod! You poor thin... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

LOL @ Hesiod! You poor thing. Being a loser can get you so angry.

Did your daddy tell you that your weewee would grow each time you posted the word "fascist"? Awwww. At this rate you'll need to hold down Ctrl-V until you run out of disk space to get any visible results.

Poor widdle commie. Him needs him bwanket and him man-ee-fest-o. Awwww.

Dave: have a look at some o... (Below threshold)
Jason:

Dave: have a look at some of those laws... the qualification is "perceived as a threat", not "is reasonable perceived as a threat". You can honk a horn at an old woman crossing the street and if she thinks it's a threat it counts as terrorism... the law is asinine, but quite clear.

But in this case, put yourself in the protesters' shoes. You perceive the prowar crowd as violent, biggoted proto-nazis, then you hear a major prowar group start talking about silencing public protests "by any means necessary". It's not that big a stretch for them to picture firebombing antiwar rallies and herding dissidents into camps.

"It's not that big a str... (Below threshold)
Dave:

"It's not that big a stretch for them to picture firebombing antiwar rallies and herding dissidents into camps."

Maybe not if you live in Cuba or some Third World hell hole. But we do not and consequently I reject your attempt at logic as not coming up to acceptable standards. There is no reasonable presumption of the American Legion firebombing protests or herding protestors into camps - and even to suggest it marks you as a fool.

If there was the slightest ... (Below threshold)

If there was the slightest chance the gutless little turds of the left would get either a hangnail or a job as a result of their protests there would be no protests. They know they are in no danger from the people who have fought and are fighting for their right to protest.

The American Legion, throw ... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

The American Legion, throw firebombs and assault people? Someone here has never been to an American Legion/VFW post.

They might hurt you if your foot gets caught under the wheels of their Hoverrounds.

I'm not saying it's reasona... (Below threshold)
Jason:

I'm not saying it's reasonable to think they would... I for one am more than 99.9% sure the release was intended as pointless rhetoric and not an actual threat.

But look at a lot of the prowar people on this site, and their view of the stereotyped "antiwar" crowd. More than a few prowar people see anyone opposed to the war as a drug smoking hippie. It comes from the kind of people you see... most antiwar people that post on a prowar blog are assholes looking for a fight.

We do the same thing, trust me, and an antiwar site gets more than its share of letters from prowar assholes that explicitly threaten violence... that explicitly call for the state to round up all opposition and put them in camp... that threaten firebombings. You eventually start to see threats where none exist, and I know some antiwar people who, when presented with someone being prowar, immediately envision a pickup truck with a confederate flag and a banjo.

Seriously, all of the Ameri... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Seriously, all of the American Legion members I know were very brave men when they fought for our country and are the most ardent patriots today. They are the polar opposite of the firebombing anarchist dickheads they are being compared to here.

Sue: I agree, I was just tr... (Below threshold)
Jason:

Sue: I agree, I was just trying to make a point about how "the other side" in this arguement tends to view you. The American Legion person who supports the war because he thinks it's good for the country is no greater a firebombing threat than the Quaker who's religions convictions compel him to oppose the war. Wheelchaired vets is not what we generally think about when we hear prowar, and pious Quakers is not what you generally think about when you hear antiwar.

Understand about editor and... (Below threshold)

Understand about editor and publisher, Greg Mitchell who is in charge is hard left 60's leftover. You should see his stuff about World War II and dropping the bomb. I'm just waiting for his push for an apology.

First, this:Jas... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

First, this:

Jason's post (August 24, 2005 09:27 PM) - Clearly more than a few are seeing this as a threat of violence to acheive a political goal, and it very probably does qualify. If they aren't at least approached by the justice Department on this, I think it's perfectly fair to ask "why not?"

prefaced this:

Jason's post (August 24, 2005 10:18 PM) - But in this case, put yourself in the protesters' shoes. You perceive the prowar crowd as violent, biggoted proto-nazis, then you hear a major prowar group start talking about silencing public protests "by any means necessary". It's not that big a stretch for them to picture firebombing antiwar rallies and herding dissidents into camps.


Sounds like some pretty extensive calisthenics to me. By the same token, I guess if I walk by a chanting, sign-swinging, fist-pumping swarm of pink-shirted neo-commies who call me a mass murderer or war-monger, I'd be justifiably concerned and could pull out that same Pocket Patriot Act and have them arrested, or at least investigated, because I would perceive a threat. This all seems like a pretty twisted perversion of reality to me. That anyone would perceive the American Legion of endorsing violence against war protestors is ludicrous. What a moronic conclusion and unjustified smear by anyone who would adopt that position. I'm glad to see you moderated (or clarified) your position a bit as the thread progressed.

As far as Hesiod... extending his mythology. Utterly ignorable until s/he at least abandons the fascist fetish.

Mr. Port - you and the comm... (Below threshold)
NewEnglandDevil:

Mr. Port - you and the commenters have missed the GLARING admission from E&P.

American Legion Declares War on Protestors -- Media Next?

They inadvertently admit that the MSM are cheerleading for the protesters, and if not for the terrorists who murder civilians and freedom loving Iraqis, then they're certainly cheering for any kind of "stain" on Bush's record.

Long live the media - since they sometimes tell the truth in spite of themselves...

NED

I'd love to see some of Gre... (Below threshold)
Jason:

I'd love to see some of Greg's stuff on WW2 that you find so objectionable. The only recent stuff I was able to dig up seem to be harmless stories about the Truman Administration after the war keeping some reporters from covering the full extent of the damage done by the nuclear attacks. I'm assuming there's something older, because I'm sure you guys aren't calling him "hard left" for writing articles that come off critical of a Democrat President's draconian press restrictions.

The funny thing in all of t... (Below threshold)
Jason:

The funny thing in all of this is that whether you look at prowar or antiwar sites, both are quite certain that the MSM is on the other side.

Is this "Hesiod" the same a... (Below threshold)

Is this "Hesiod" the same assclown who Dr. Weevil used to get such a kick out of eviscerating on an almost daily basis? Man, I almost miss that Hesiod guy. O, Hesiod, where art thou?

Oh, and by the way, has anybody actually seen any member of the American Legion? They tend to be on the venerable side and not quite up to forcibly stifling the all-holy dissent even if they had the inclination to do so.

I agree, people should read... (Below threshold)
Jordan Lund:

I agree, people should read the whole thing... so why has the whole thing still not been posted:

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001020671

Resolution 3, which was passed unanimously by 4,000 delegates to the annual event, states: "The American Legion fully supports the president of the United States, the United States Congress and the men, women and leadership of our armed forces as they are engaged in the global war on terrorism and the troops who are engaged in protecting our values and way of life."

Cadmus advised: "Let's not repeat the mistakes of our past. I urge all Americans to rally around our armed forces and remember our fellow Americans who were viciously murdered on Sept. 11, 2001."

So the American Legion is apparently completely ignorant of the fact that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terrorism, that we've effectively stopped fighting the war on terrorism as our actions in Iraq are only increasing terrorism.

Oh, and Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

Do these people actually read? Have they heard of the 9/11 Commission Report?

Jordan Lund,The VF... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Jordan Lund,

The VFW often meets in intervals of two months or more. This particular speaker may not a get a chance mention 9/11 until late or after September. So he was remembering the victums of 9/11 and tieing that back to the war on terror with Iraq. And although you may ignore that Iraq was part of the terror problem before the Iraq War, you have to admit its a big part of terror now.

Sorry, I mean American Legi... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Sorry, I mean American Legion

So, this means I can stand ... (Below threshold)
tweeter:

So, this means I can stand outside the local Legion Post with a Nazi flag and give these a**holes a stiff-arm salute everytime I see them peek out? 'Cause that would be protected speech too, right?

As a standing member of The... (Below threshold)
LJD:

As a standing member of The Legion and VFW, I am truly saddened by some of the comments made here. Hopefully, they are not from Americans, rather some disgruntled Canadian or Frenchman...

Don't you see the irony of your attacks on those who have secured your right to free speech? Do yourself a favor and get an education. The liberal public school system has let you down.

If I were to EVER witness a "protestor" disresecting a fellow veteran with verbal attacks, distasteful signs, etc. I would absolutely lose my freakin mind. I would start with tearing the sign into pieces, and depending on the response, very likely continue with the whole patchouli wearing, unemployed, hairy M-F-er.

Read the whole thing, huh? ... (Below threshold)
Verchiel:

Read the whole thing, huh? This is what I found in the release on the American Legion's website:

"Delegates to the nation’s largest wartime veterans organization meeting here in national convention today vowed to use whatever means necessary to ensure the united support of the American people for our troops and the global war on terrorism."

I can't see how "using whatever means necessary" takes "actively trying to stop anti-war protests" off the table.

<a href="http://web.archive... (Below threshold)
Best:
tweeter wrote:... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

tweeter wrote:
So, this means I can stand outside the local Legion Post with a Nazi flag and give these a**holes a stiff-arm salute everytime I see them peek out? 'Cause that would be protected speech too, right?

Provided you follow all of the rules for peaceful protest, yes, it is protected speech.

The KKK and neo-Nazi skinheads do this all the time. So if that's who you feel most compatible with, go ahead and join up. I understand they're always looking for members, considering their lack of popularity in recent decades.

RE: LJD's post (August 25, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: LJD's post (August 25, 2005 07:49 AM)

If I were to EVER witness a "protestor" disresecting a fellow veteran with verbal attacks, distasteful signs, etc. I would absolutely lose my freakin mind. I would start with tearing the sign into pieces, and depending on the response, very likely continue with the whole patchouli wearing, unemployed, hairy M-F-er.

While I'm with you in spirit, I wouldn't necessarily join you in action. I would find the dissenting protest wholly offensive and you can bet words would be exchanged and probably with high volume. However, tearing the sign might get you a vandalism citation while a more personal, physical response (as a result of that proaction) might get you jailed. As a nation of laws and free speech, what you are advocating cannot be defended much as we might want to test those laws. If, as a society, we amend the laws to physically respond to "offensive" speech, then I might be there with you; I just don't think you'd like the place were such anarchy endorsed. It's antithetical to this country's founders and defenders. Surely you know this. You've fought for it.


RE: Verchiel's post (August 25, 2005 08:29 AM)

I can't see how "using whatever means necessary" takes "actively trying to stop anti-war protests" off the table.

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic so I'm taking a bit of a chance here. I'm assuming you are. With that premise, if your employer tells you to accomplish a certain goal "by any means necessary", do you automatically assume that if physical assault is required (and physically assaulting people is not in your job description) that you would do it? Common sense dictates that we can recognize practical and reasonable limits of behavior despite being given unqualified or inexact direction. I think the American Legion assumes that people won't be stupid, and you can bet they aren't setting some sort of proactive militant policy no matter how one might want to read that inference into their mission statements.

Jordan Lund wrote:<b... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Jordan Lund wrote:
So the American Legion is apparently completely ignorant of the fact that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terrorism, that we've effectively stopped fighting the war on terrorism as our actions in Iraq are only increasing terrorism.

Wrong.
Incorre ct.

Oh, and Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

Questionable.

Do these people actually read? Have they heard of the 9/11 Commission Report?

I'm sure they have, I'm not so sure they are "ignorant" enough to accept it as gospel.

LJD: Thanks for proving so ... (Below threshold)
Jason:

LJD: Thanks for proving so many of my points in such a short post.

Sue: A poorly sourced opinion piece in National Review doesn't prove a very dubious prospect...

Jason-This debate ... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Jason-

This debate is not about being "pro-war" or "anti-war" (whatever that means- another debate perhaps). This is about how we treat our veterans. Making coffins, referencing being "mainmed for Haliburton", as well as spitting in faces, and calling people "baby-killer" are not vaild ways to protest. They are deeply disrespectful attacks against those who have, whether they agreed with it or not, done their duty. I would think the party of "the people" would understand this.

If I have confirmed anything for you by saying that if some dirtbag asshat disrespected one of our combat veterans in such a way, a serious ass-whippin would ensue. BFD.

Free speech carries all of the consequences of your words. They need to learn how to express themselves in an inteeligent and respectful manner. Not like a bunch of crying babies on an acid trip.

Did you ever hear the phras... (Below threshold)
Jason:

Did you ever hear the phrase "two wrongs don't make a right"?

OK guys, we have an interes... (Below threshold)
Jason:

OK guys, we have an interesting quandry here now. We've got a whole bunch of people saying "the American Legion people would never use violence to stop protests" and actually ridiculing the very notion, and one guy claiming to be a member of the Legion and saying he would. Either:

a) He's not a real Legion member

or

b) You guys don't know the American Legion as well as you thought

So the American Legion are ... (Below threshold)
mike:

So the American Legion are just a harmless bunch of patriots? Anyone remember history? In 1919 the American Legion attacked an IWW office in Centralia. In the '30's they were involved in a plot to overthrow President Roosevelt. They really are a fascist organization.

RE: Jason's post (August 25... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Jason's post (August 25, 2005 12:23 PM)

Extrapolate away. To further LJD's follow-up, words can be of the fightin' kind and responding with physicality may or may not be justified despite the written law. The courts and a jury will decide. Odds are against the non-verbal retribution. Spittin' in the face would be considered an assault - a jury might very well (perhaps likely) let the spittee payback the spitter with no consequence.


RE: mike's post (August 25, 2005 12:32 PM)
So the American Legion are just a harmless bunch of patriots? ...They really are a fascist organization.

I'll trust your historical references but not your label. Are you saying that there has been no change in their structure or mission in 75 years? Isn't your data a bit dated? I guess, by extension, I would be correct in saying that the Democrats used to be strong on defense back in WWII and that conclusion could be drawn today. Well, we know that not to be true, so it's apparent that things change.

1.) Try reading the whole p... (Below threshold)
LJD:

1.) Try reading the whole post and what was actually said vs. what you infer...

2.) My comments in no way represent that of the official position of the Legion or VFW. I'm just a member with MY OWN opinions.

3.) It is truly sickening that you commie-fucks can so easily paint a label on a Veterans organization that has secured the quality of life you have today. Absolutley shameful.

4.) Let me reiterate: Say what you want, how you want. Keep disrespecting those who actually have some values. (No one takes name-calling and hysteria seriously anyway, so you're not really promoting your "Agenda" anyway) Cross the line, and sooner or later someone will give you a well-deserved smack. Free speech has consequences.

Just a matter of time before the Code Pink loonies are brought up on charges anyway.

Anonymous: I agree, spittin... (Below threshold)
Jason:

Anonymous: I agree, spitting at people is definately crossing the line (and not just a little either, that's flat out unacceptable in any situation). I'm not sure mentioning Halliburton fits in the category of "fightin words".

But actually, it's a good example to use, because according to the American Legion's own website they consider any public opposition to the war completely unacceptable. Read the article off their site, they're not just talking about assholes who go around harrassing vets in hospitals, they're talking about anyone who makes their opinion known in a public manner.

LJD: If you're a real prowa... (Below threshold)
Jason:

LJD: If you're a real prowar person, by all means, keep on talking... but only until your throat starts getting sore. If you're an antiwar person just trying to make prowar people look like ignorant rednecks, it's funny but not particularly helpful.

Everyone Else: Make a mental note of what this fellow says... 'free speech has consequences'... in other words, say something someone doesn't like and he's fine with them assaulting you. Sound like free speech to you?

Here's what we do: We sque... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Here's what we do: We squeeze the grease/oil out of every liberal protester's head. Refine it, and stick it in my gas guzzling SUV.


I get free gas and there are less liberals runnin' around...sounds like a win-win to me....

Jason: Yes, it doe... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Jason:

Yes, it does sound quite like free speech.

Let's review, shall we?

The First Amendment says that the government may not do anything to abridge one's freedom of speech. In reality, as oft-noted, this is not an absolute freedom even in the government context, since you do not have a right to shout "Fire!" in the proverbial crowded theater.

But more to the point, the Constitution says that the government cannot abridge free speech, but that is as far as it goes. It does not say that no one can keep you from speaking---your boss, for example, can certainly keep you from speaking for any of a variety of reasons, not least of which is that your workplace may have rules prohibiting certain types of speech.

Violate the workplace rule, for example, and you can be fired---a classic example of speech having consequences.

Or, to take a different example, if you are at a university, and you say something racist or sexist, you might find yourself being counseled, or even expelled. What happened to freedom of speech? Apparently, it can be curtailed by university authorities.

Be offensive enough, and the reality is that at some point you're likely to face a physical confrontation. Which may involve assault, or may involve being spat upon. You might ask some vets about the latter aspect.

Finally, something the Left needs to recognize is that the freedom of speech does not lead to a corollary of being right. In particular, dissent is neither more noble a form of speech, nor is it, in and of itself, any more accurate or correct.

You have a right to protest, but the fact that you are protesting neither makes you right, nor makes you noble, and most certainly does not insulate you from consequences of your protesting.

Judging by the latest state... (Below threshold)
mike:

Judging by the latest statement out of the American Legion, no, I don't think they've changed much. Tactics perhaps, but they still wrap themselves in the flag chanting "My country, right or wrong." Disagree and you're unpatriotic or worse, a subversive "commie."

By the way, I am a veteran and I want nothing to do with an organization like them.

1. You can't be expelled fr... (Below threshold)
Jason:

1. You can't be expelled from a public university for being a racist.

2. Free speech isn't about being right, it's about the right to say what you believe. You don't need a First Ammendment to write a cookbook.

3. Allowing a quasi-government organization (like, say, a large veterans' organization) to go around assaulting people for saying things critical of the government runs dangerous close to the sort of thing that happens in a lot of dictatorships. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who notices that, even if a lot of you don't want to admit it because you're either scared of being beat up or cowed into thinking it's somehow "necessary in these trying times".

If Saddam Hussein had had his dissidents killed by non-government organizations, would it have been acceptable to you guys? After all, he's not violating free speech then, right?


1.) You CAN be expelled fro... (Below threshold)
LJD:

1.) You CAN be expelled from a university for being an idiot.

2.) Your definition of free speech is about expressing one's beliefs. Where in that definition is there a provision for hysterical tantrums made in public?

3.) Who ever said the Legion was going around assaulting people? Really, stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

Of course, add some Nazi/Fascist/Saddam comparisons for good measure. Because you have nothing relevant to say. Which is exactly why these pitiful fools are "protesting". They are a failure of our public school system. They have no idea how to express themselves to facilitate change. They cannot write books or letters to their Congressman. They cannot write editorials, or organize events to educate the public about their platform. Only public tantrums. Maybe throwing salad dressing at some one will help?

Unlike them, I do not pick and choose the elements of the Bill of Rights which I support. Ironically enough, so many of these fools screaming about the Frist amendment, don't give a damn about the second.

They find it so easy to stand in the shoes of the Iraqi insurgent, or the Palestinian, yet so difficult to have compassion for the Veteran's family who grieves. It's a simple hypocrisy of values.

I find it interesting that ... (Below threshold)
mike:

I find it interesting that the grief of Cindy Sheehan is fair game for the right, and easily discounted. I guess the only grief that matters is that of the families who still support the invasion/occupation of Iraq.

Who's the real hypocrite LJD? The pain and loss of Iraqis or Palestinians doesn't matter? They aren't Americans, so they don't have real feelings...Don't you get it? This war was unneccessary, illegal and people continue to die. For what?

Thanks for confirming again why I never joined the American Legion.

WRT LJD's comments: you hea... (Below threshold)
Jason:

WRT LJD's comments: you heard it here first folks... any time someone says something you don't like you can declare it "not a real belief" (see his 2. comment) and then it's not covered by the First Ammendment.

We're making some legal history here.

I think the American Legion... (Below threshold)
matt t:

I think the American Legion smeared itself by comming down against public protest.

The Constitution doesn't just guarantee "free speech"; it guarantees a right to assembly.

It is intellectually immature to claim that anti war protester are helping the enemy. You guys on the right are still fighting the Peace movement of the Vietnam era. Think about this..when they find Al-Queada recruiting tapes, they find the words of Bush being used not Sheehan.

Jason wrote:<... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Jason wrote:
Sue: A poorly sourced opinion piece in National Review doesn't prove a very dubious prospect...

Interesting. You decided to ignore all of the other links. You also decided to ignore the fact that the main source for the National Review piece was the New York Times.

From the National Review article:
Today, the Times concedes that the Defense Intelligence Agency is in possession of a document showing that, in the mid-1990s, the Iraqi Intelligence Service reached out to what the newspaper euphemistically calls "Mr. bin Laden's organization" (more on that below) regarding the possibility of joint efforts against the Saudi regime, which was then hosting U.S. forces. To be clear, the document records that it was Iraq which initiated the contacts, and that bin Laden finally agreed to discuss cooperation only after having spurned previous overtures because he "had some reservations about being labeled an Iraqi operative[.]"

Let's see now, what options remain in the leftist debate handbook here?

If you choose "impugn the source" again, you'd be slagging the New York Times.

Looks like the only options left are... let me read here... wow, this handbook is almost too old to make out the words... "move the goalposts"... "ignore and change subject (see also non-sequiter and false dichotomy)"... "triangulate"... oh, and the last one... "ad hominem."

I need to replace this old dusty thing with one of those new decoder spinwheel jobbies.

Think about this..when t... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

Think about this..when they find Al-Queada recruiting tapes, they find the words of Bush being used not Sheehan.

That's not what your more intelligent friends have said.

<a href="http://wizbangblog... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Mike:

In the '30's they were involved in a plot to overthrow President Roosevelt. They really are a fascist organization.

I've never heard of this before, but the 1930's would be about the same time Sen. Robert Byrd (the Democrat's "conscience" in the Senate) was a Grand Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan...wouldn't it?

O.K., having read the threa... (Below threshold)
-S-:

O.K., having read the thread, it's clear that there are a few here who associate (and wrongly define) a "right of [sic] free speech" with a willful act, a privilege or lack of social restriction to acting whatever about whomever whenever, on a "just because" basis (which is why I describe "a willful act").

The Right To Free Speech is very well elaborated upon here by Lurking Observer just a few comments up (^^). That "Right" provides that a citizen can opine about the (U.S.) government without the (U.S.) government editing that criticism.

However, that "Right" begins and ends there. It does not extend to and throughout society as providing citizens a sanction to express whatever is possible, to act however based upon whatever is possible, it just means that you can express an opinion about the government without being arrested for the opinion (or otherwise 'edited' by the government).

But it does not mean that there is to be a lack of culpability for actions taken or the behaviors used in those expressions -- but is limited to the opinions themselves, as I understand it, in your relationship via those opinions with the government. You CAN express yourself but it does not mean that you are not responsible for the consequences of your expressions upon others. It does means that you can opine about the government, but it does not mean that you can assault others in the process or vandalise property or otherwise extend your expressions to include behaviors in the process that pose harms to others and not be held accountable for the consequences on various levels for your behavior/s (by others, by society, by anyone else).

Moreover, that "Right" doesn't extend to other relationships that a citizen has, and if that citizen is under oath or otherwise ethically obligated to refrain from expressing personal opinions about the government, they aren't protected by that Right from being sanctioned, losing a job, being demoted or many other efforts to penalize a violation of whatever standars one has an obligation to uphold and to observe -- at least, to what extent their expressions are within that "Right" is arguable.

And, excellent comments, Lurking Observer, the assumption all too often that "free speech" implies correct or superior or instructional or any accuracy even, is false. Speech is speech, a protest -- behavioral display relying on social theatrics -- is simply an act. In and of itself (or, themselves as to protest and speech), there is no inherent quality or assigned worth as to content.

The Right To Free Speech does not mean that citizens can do whatever they want to do, as aspects of "speech" or in communicating "speech" about anything, anyone, it just means you can express your opinion about your government and not be penalized for the opinions themselves by the government.

Least of all, The Right To Free Speech doesn't mean anyone can act irresponsibly and not be held accountable by others for the actions, or by the government. Some attempt to define "speech" as including a variety of behaviors and some have been successful in doing so but the intent of the Right as written is very straightforward and it is limited to speech in relationship to individual citizen opinion about the government. Not about other citizens, or causes, or whatever. And not an excuse or rationalization to riot, inflict harms, damage or defame (or any other extension of "speech" as it impacts others).

So you guys kind of follow ... (Below threshold)
Jason:

So you guys kind of follow the 1950's Soviet definition of free speech... say what you want, but be prepared for violent retributions once you do.


My last post in this thread... (Below threshold)
Jason:

My last post in this thread. You guys disappoint me... you really do.

For future reference, I'm neither a liberal, a leftist, or a "commie-fuck". I was a Young Republican for Christsakes. Hopefully in time you'll realize what assholes you're being, and ideally the people you choose to assault until that day will be a lot more forgiving than you are. I wouldn't count on it though.


"That's not what your mo... (Below threshold)
matt t:

"That's not what your more intelligent friends have said."

Nice try but I have to give you an F. First of all I was talking about recruitment tapes not Bin Laden PR fluff. Remember Bin Laden was speaking to us and not to his recruits.

And while Bin Laden used some of Moore's themes..the tapes I was referring to use actual quotes from Bush's speeches.

America today is no better ... (Below threshold)
JohnJohn:

America today is no better then the Nazis of yesterday...
It's all a bunch of self centered self serving right wing me myself and I god and guns garbage. Hopefully for you, your precious expandable soldiers will always be ready to die for any "noble" because your retard, thick as a brick president asks for... because most of the rest of you Americans are a bunch of lazy obese drug addicts. Not exactly an example for any self respecting civilized society to follow. The world would indeed be a much better place without you...




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