Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Couple of things

- Wow. Paul Broun is too conservative for my tastes, but he sure knows how to put together an intelligent, coherent and mature counterpoint to someone as nutty as Jim Whitehead. If the conservatives in District 10 - the ones who wouldn't ever consider backing James Marlow - would look at Broun and then Whitehead, they'd flock to the former.

- Rep. Ben Harbin (R-Evans), the guy who controls the Georgia General Assembly's purse strings and, at the last minute, raised a big stink about Athens-Clarke County getting some exploratory money for the Naval Supply School, picked up a DUI early Sunday morning.

- It's about a week or so old, but Adrian put together a brief, yet good piece on the discussion about cyclists obeying traffic laws. Part of the reason that angers me so much is that I strongly advocate for things like bike lanes or multi-use pathways. When a handful of people act so foolishly and, by default, unnecessarily make everyone else angry at all the law-abiding cyclists, it's incredibly frustrating to me.

- ... Says the man who landed a military jet on an aircraft carrier with a banner that read 'Mission Accomplished.'

- Folks have been talking a lot about the immigration bill that was recently announced, in which both Georgia senators worked with a pair of Democrats in Sen. Ted Kennedy and Sen. Ken Salazar to put together the closest thing to a humane, yet tough bill possible. Does it have some flaws in it? Well, of course, but I think they're ultimately minor ones. But this is compromise at its finest, despite the opposition of many Republicans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not for nothing, but the folks on board that ship had, in fact, accomplished their mission, performing bravely and well.

I'm proud to honor them, as was their Commander in Chief.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Not disagreeing with you.

Just saying, landing on an aircraft carrier ... there's definitely some theatrics going on there.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Ned said...

Shouldn't the banner have read "This specific ship and crew's current mission accomplished....stay tuned for further deployment?"

Because at the time, I think they were trying to tell us the war was over and we had won.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the time, the President correctly stated that much hard work remained to be done. You can read the transcript if you care to; you will not find any reference to the war being won. Any misconceptions are strictly your own, and should take responsibility for them instead of trying to assign blame to others.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Well, now, wait a minute ...

I'm honestly not trying to put words into the president's mouth, but that's a unique, clever and fairly disingenious spin you're putting on this whole thing.

It's our fault for the mismanagement of the aftermath of the initial invasion? Because we, in your eyes, misinterpreted one singular speech ... which, forgive me, did state that the combat operations were over?


2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans, major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

"Have ended" and "have prevailed" look like past tense to me.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Dude, what are you even arguing for now (assuming it's the same anonymous poster)?

Judging by the text of the speech, the president declared battle operations over. Arguably, that wasn't completely true as our troops are bravely fighting a combination of secretarian fighters, al-Qaida terrorists and Baathist loyalists.

And even if we're discussing something is minor as the language used here, how does that dispute the fact that Republicans and Democrats, military and non-military consider the war's effort largely mismanaged by the administration?

4:55 PM  
Blogger Polusplagchnos said...

I think the second anonymous commentator was only saying that the misconception you, Johnathan et al., have about what the President said on the aircraft carrier Lincoln with the large "Mission Accomplished" banner is wrong. Anonymous-second isn't coming out and blaming you for the mismanagement of the war, but just saying that you need to own up to your own misinterpretation of what "Mission Accomplished" and the speech mean.

Anonymous-third appears to be someone else, whose point is that, during the speech, Bush used the present perfect tense, which indicates that, at the time Bush gave the speech, he believed the mission was over and the success carried into the time of the speech. A-third should also point out that, in the speech, which A-second directed us to, Bush also didn't just say that major combat operations are over, but he also said:

"In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment — yet it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage — your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other — made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free.

"Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision, and speed, and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history. You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces."

Now, again, 'was carried out' can indicate a terminal state for the operations being carried out, or it can refer to operations having been carried out and still continuing. Nevertheless, Bush is clear that he wasn't referring to, say, initial landings and rapid advances, or specific missions in destroying the Iraqi regime. He was, instead, referring to the entire Operation.

So, at the time, Bush believed that there was still hard work to be done in securing and rebuilding Iraq, but the Operation was now in the past, having been victorious, and Iraq was therefore free.

Perhaps A-second can speak about whether Iraq is still free or not.

12:53 AM  

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