The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Jeff Martinek Letter 9/26/04

Dear Editor:
Colleen Crabb Cook was apparently trying out-Zell Zell Miller in the use of empty and outrageous rhetoric in attacking John Kerry’s defense record in these pages. Miller suggested at the Republican National Convention that a Kerry-led armed service would be left with nothing but "spit balls" to defend itself; Cook’s vivid imagination took that line of thought to its surreal conclusion when she wrote that "if Kerry should become our next president, our Army will be made of naked men running around with sticks and clubs."
Of course neither Miller nor Cook can defend such claims. The problem is that such indefensible images are meant to "stick" despite the fact that no one, not even the speakers themselves, takes them seriously.
While deliberate exaggeration to make a point is a normal part of all persuasive speech, there’s a point at which empty inflammatory rhetoric does irreparable damage to the credibility of those who use it. After all, if one had a solid case, backed up by clear and convincing facts, one would not have to resort to such blatantly unfair and irrational attacks.
As far as John Kerry’s votes a decade ago to cut certain defense programs, let me quote directly from George Bush senior’s 1992 State of the Union Address:
". . . we will shut down further production of the B-2 bombers. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles. . . . The Secretary of Defense recommended these cuts . . . ."
And who was Secretary of Defense under George Bush senior? Mr. Five Draft Deferments himself----Dick Cheney!


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