Here is a French philosopher who actually has something to say.
Turn your back on them for a few months, and you start getting emails asking if they can't please just go buy a little something...
Watch how he seems to float at the trot. That's the old warhorse blood in the Friesian. Goliath, from Ladyhawke, was one of that breed -- you can see the resemblance in how the colt moves. No doubt he's a beauty, or will be in a couple of years.
Not sure what they were thinking with their musical selection for that video, though.
Almost forgot: Happy Halloween.
Hope you got some treats.
From: "Boylan, Steven COL MNF-I CMD GRP CG PAO"
Sent: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:15 AM
Subject: Groveling Apology for Daring to Say Things You Disagree With (about A War That I Am Fighting) And Stipulation That Virtually Every Single Person Who Supports The War Is A Rabidly Right-Wing Partisan
The inspiring way in which you continually seize the moral high ground, nobly abjuring base ad hominid attacks and calmly employing facts and logic, has raised the tone of our discourse to such a rarified level that I now feel ashamed of my earlier communication with you. Who could face such a soaring example of the Left's oft stated belief in civility and respect for others without shrinking in shame?
The fact that a right-wing blogger spews serious accusations based on complete idiocy is ordinarily not worthy of comment. That happens virtually every day. That is what the right-wing blogosphere is, more or less; it is why it exists.
...I'm honestly interested in knowing: what else besides abject stupidity can explain this? I mean that as a serious question.
Largely as a result of your moral leadership, I'm writing to say I've had a change of heart. I now wish to confess my fault; my most grievous fault: indeed, my most manifold sins and wickedness against You and - with an humble and contrite heart - beg your forgiveness.
1. First, let me apologize for daring to voice an opinion at all. Not to put too fine a point on it, what the hell was I thinking? Looking back, I now realize this was way inappropriate.
Members of the armed forces should never presume the First Amendment rights they fight and die to defend apply to them; the Hatch Act and UCMJ notwithstanding. As every educated person knows, our fragile freedoms would evaporate in an instant if dangerous ideas lurking in the minds of rough, untutored military folk were allowed to compete in the marketplace of ideas with those voiced by their vastly superior civilian masters. When the subject is war, the danger becomes even clearer as the military are the undoubted subject matter experts possessing both professional expertise and first hand knowledge while civilians are, of necessity, far less well informed by virtue of their training, experience, and proximity to events. In such cases, it is absolutely vital that only those military members who voice sentiments critical of the armed forces and the war effort be allowed to speak their minds. Theirs are the only honest, authentic, and non-partisan voices. For reasons that should be obvious to any thinking progressive, it is vital to our national debate that they be allowed to Bravely Speak Truth to Power. Under no circumstances must they be Silenced!
Those who support illegal, immoral military occupations, on the other hand, are obviously rabidly right-wing partisan hacks who must be stifled for the good of the nation. Mr. Greenwald, (can I call you Mr. Greenwald?) I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing me the logical errors in my former way of thinking. Surely only abject stupidity can explain such egregious lapses in judgment.
2. Secondly, regarding my gross unprofessionalism, let me apologize for thinking it was in any way appropriate for me (as a career military Public Affairs Officer) to attempt to correct the record on matters of fact regarding the military or the war effort. Again, WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? This is not what Uncle Sam is paying me for. Enough said.
No, wait a minute. I am letting myself off too easily, aren't I?
I was (again) guilty of "abject stupidity" (not to mention gross partisanship) in accusing you of inaccuracy:
Most of Col. Boylan's claims of inaccuracy in what I wrote are grounded in his invention of "facts" that I did not assert. I never, for instance, said that Steve Schmidt (the Bush/Cheney P.R. flack and ex-Cheney "communications" aide) was currently on staff with the U.S. military in Iraq. Rather, I linked to an interview given to Hugh Hewitt by Mike Allen of The Politico, in which Allen reported that it was Schmidt who was sent to Iraq to improve the political efficacy of the U.S. military's war communications in Iraq...
In reviewing your exact words, I am at a complete lost to understand how I could have been so abjectly stupid as to think the words "the U.S. military in Iraq has become staffed with pure Republican political hacks" meant that Schmidt and Bergner were actually WORKING for the military, or that your statement that "these partisan and politically-motivated people" were "shaping U.S. military conduct" amounted to any kind of assertion on your part! Only a rabidly partisan political hack would make such an abjectly stupid error:
Throughout this year, the U.S. military in Iraq has become staffed with pure Republican political hacks -- including long-time Bush/Cheney P.R. hack Steve Schmidt and former White House aide Gen. Kevin Bergner. These are the most partisan and politically-motivated people around shaping U.S. military conduct. And it shows, as the Army's behavior in the Beauchamp case is exactly what one would expect from an increasingly politicized, Republican-controlled division of the right-wing noise machine.
Again, though anyone with even a passing familiarity with military assignments would surely know this, military aides cannot "choose" their jobs. We serve under both Democratic and Republican administrations (making the charge that a career military officer chosen by a MILITARY selection board to serve as a White House aide must be a "rabidly Republican partisan hack" highly debatable - what, pray tell, does that say about Clinton-era White House military aides?). But no doubt since you are a lawyer and a civilian, you know best. General Bergner was undoubtedly tainted by his tour in the White House and should have been cashiered immediately; perhaps taken out and shot for good measure. No doubt you would recommend exactly the same treatment for all former Clinton era aides since their loyalties are likewise suspect. It is best to be strictly non-partisan in these matters, don't you think?
3. Regarding the "increasing politicization of the military". Oh, you are so right, and the proof is in all these leaks that just keep on happening. Suspicious, aren't they?
I mean sure, there have been an awful lot of "leaks" of actual, classified (as in secret) information to the press. And oddly, you did not consider those leaks to be harmful, much less evidence of "politicization of the military" (or of the CIA) when they occurred. In fact, you were quite pleased and considered them a sign of a healthy democracy in which brave truth tellers are not "afraid" to come forward and break the law!
I must admit I am a bit confused on the point of exactly why you never seem to fulminate about "politicization" when opponents of the war illegally leak classified documents damaging to the administration or the war effort, but if non-classified information that conflicts with your preferred narrative is leaked, you immediately begin demanding investigations and accusing the military of malfeasance:
As the Beauchamp/TNR "story" demonstrates, the U.S. military is using the standard GOP/right-wing model for trying to shape the news in politically beneficial ways -- feeding supposedly secret and classified documents to Matt Drudge; using The Weekly Standard as its primary propaganda outlet, and working hand-in-hand with their apparent comrades in the most extremist precincts of the right-wing blogosphere. From the beginning, the U.S. military has refused to answer questions from the press, cut off The New Republic, cited classified and secrecy doctrines to suppress information, and all the while, worked secretly through selective leaks and back-channels with the most rabid right-wing partisans to shape the story in the most politicized way possible. Doesn't that merit at least some commentary?
The overt politicization of our military in Iraq -- working closely and in secret only with Drudge, The Weekly Standard and right-wing blogs -- seems at least as important as the monumental issue of what Franklin Foer knew and when he knew it.
So, when classified documents that harm the war effort are continually leaked to the media, is the U.S. military (perhaps that part of it that you all keep tell us is, any minute now, preparing to jump over to the DNC) "using the standard DNC/Left-wing model for trying to shape the news in politically beneficial ways?"
Amazing. Didn't think them fellers were that smart.
And then there's that whole PFC Beauchamp thing you keep going on about. Again, I remain a bit confused by why you don't smell a cover-up in the fact that the New Republic not only lied about the Army censoring Beauchamp but tried to pressure him into remaining silent so they could "control the story". That TNR wished to prevent Beauchamp from talking to anyone is corroborated by Foer himself:
Beauchamp, with the Army's encouragement, had agreed to talk to The Washington Post and Newsweek on Sept. 6, but canceled the interviews at the last minute at Foer's urging. Foer said yesterday that "given everything we have on the line, we have a right to have this exclusive line of communication with him."
Is Foer in league with those increasingly politicized scoundrels at CENTCOM and DoD too? What a rabidly right-wing partisan... the man is obviously in cahoots with the those Republican hacks at the administration. Good thing Foer (a completely disinterested and nonpartisan party if ever there was one) was able to keep Beauchamp from "leaking" the truth to the press, all while claiming the Army was trying to censor him against his will. We wouldn't want the corrupting influence of rabid political partisans with an agenda politicizing the military!
4. Finally, on the issue of the military's ongoing efforts to suppress bad news on the war:
Well, the proof is in the pudding, is it not? I mean, if there is one thing America has not seen much of during the past four years, it is bad news coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. This is what I'd consider prima facie evidence that the military's brutal attempts to intimidate the mainstream media have been an overwhelming success.
After all, the military are associated in the popular consciousness with guns and violence. Therefore, the mere act of verbally disputing any fact, opinion, or point of logic held by a civilian constitutes a veiled threat. It is all so obvious, isn't it?
The entire point is to terrify the recipient by reminding him a combat-addled, psychotic veteran may just show up on his doorstep when he least expects it and beat him senseless in some frenzied act of PTSD-induced rage... just like those Marines who suddenly snapped in the heat of cold blood from the stress of war and murdered innocent men, women and children at Haditha.
It's like Winter Soldier all over again: deja vu a grisly tale of repressed memories, the looming threat of imagined violence, and above all, the pseudo-intimidation:
The type of hostility, pseudo-intimidation, and stonewalling expressed by Col. Boylan here (in the emails of undisputed authenticity) is the type to which reporters are frequently subjected when they step out of line, particularly with war reporting. That is one reason why so few of them ever do.
And just survey the long list of media outlets and journalists which have been the target of swirling, right-wing lynch mob campaigns for perceived offenses in reporting about the war -- The Associated Press, Reuters, Eason Jordan, The New Republic, Ashleigh Banfield. There is a clear attempt to create strong disincentives for any journalist or commentator to do anything other than cheerlead loudly and deferentially.
Yes, there are few things in life more terrifying than pseudo-intimidation. Unless, of course, it's real intimidation. No doubt this explains why the number of combat embeds in Iraq has fallen, in a war the New York Times calls "worse by every conceivable measure" from a high of nearly 800 to fewer than 100 - all those brave truth tellers must have been ultra, ultra pseudo scared off.
In closing, Mr. Greenwald, let me say that you have opened my eyes to a new way of thinking. Previously my abjectly stupid prefrontal cortex would have been unable to grasp the near-perfect circular symmetry of your distinctive argumentation techniques. Luckily, right after I learned that Air America host Randi Rhodes had not, as her co-host had reported on air, been beaten up by conservatives I happened upon this mildly ironic comment at The Moderate Voice and suddenly you began to make perfect sense:
It’s not a huge leap to jump from viewing conservatives as those for whom ‘lying is second nature, if not first’, who make up the most corrupt Administration in history, who trash the Constitution and who stop at nothing to get their way to accusing them of committing violence. C’mon, if the GOP was willing to steal the 2000 and 2004 elections, beating up a woman who dares to speak truth to power is no big deal. Once you tell yourselves enough times that the right hates women, especially women with brains, it’s a small step to figuring they’re no longer satisfied with abusing women verbally. Since the right obviously isn’t happy limiting themselves to violating our civil rights on a daily basis, it makes sense that they’d turn to beating up their critics.
False story, but accurate… because every conservative is a potential mugger. If they haven’t yet turned to beating up their critics, it’s just a matter of time.
It's all about those progressive values: tolerance, open mindedness, the refuse to engage in ad hominem attacks, integrity. That's what makes you guys better than the Other.
And that's why I owe you an apology.
Steven A. Boylan
Colonel, US Army
Public Affairs Officer