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OfflinePhred
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John Kerry -- war criminal
    #2526368 - 04/05/04 02:47 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

A question for those who would take their quest for "anybody but Bush" so far as to vote for John Kerry -- how is voting for a self-admitted war criminal morally preferable to voting for Ralph Nader or Gary Nolan?

From http://www.townhall.com/columnists/Armstrongwilliams/aw20040405.shtml

Senator John Kerry wants you to know that he participated in war crimes while serving in Vietnam.

Appearing on the Dick Cavett show in 1971, Kerry leaned toward the camera and offered this rousing confessional: "I did take part in free-fire zones, I did take part in harassment and interdiction fire, I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these acts, I find out later on, are contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg Principles, is in fact guilty."

The remarks proved a real crowd pleaser (nothing plays in politics like the first person confessional of a former sinner who has found the error of his ways). This was Kerry's chief tactic for launching his political career. Fresh back from the war, he embarked on a television tour where he confessed all manner of war crime and pleaded for redemption.

During a 1971 appearance on Meet the Press Kerry explained, "I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who. . .ordered us. . .are war criminals."

Other confessionals followed. Each stop resembled the other. His voice sinks as he recalls the horror of strangers being sent to kill strangers. Some intentionally graphic war stories follow. He confesses his own crimes. Note certain recurring phrases, "burning of villages," "atrocity," "war criminals." Intake of breath. Then the big finale. Kerry paints himself as an instrument of unjust leaders. Relief. . .Empathy. . .Cathartic cheers.

The great redemption tour of 1971 culminated with Kerry telling members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that his fellow Gi's had "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."

The images were intentionally vivid. They summed up the brutal and arbitrary nature of war. With heaps of pity and horror, Kerry distilled the confusion of war into an easily identifiable sound bite: "war crime." Along the way he impugned the honor of his fellow soldiers by summing them all up as "war criminals," thus encouraging savage personal attacks on soldiers returning home from Vietnam.

It did not matter. This was Kerry's aria, and he sang it with aplomb.

This is not to suggest that he lied (though some of Kerry's former comrades have done just that). It does however suggest that Kerry is unfit to serve as our president. After all, the Geneva conventions that Kerry was so fond of invoking require soldiers to report war crimes. This is common knowledge. The obligation to examine orders for legality, and the duty to disobey unlawful orders is made unmistakably made clear to all officers during their training. As a former Vietnam vet recalled , "This was hammered into us, and is the basis of individual culpability in war crimes cases. The individual, especially an officer, can not hide behind the 'instrument of policy' defense and claim that he is innocent, or blameless, but the policy is a war crime."

Yet that's precisely what Kerry spent the better part of 1971 doing. He claims to have participated in the arbitrary slaughter of innocent Vietnamese, but neatly shifts all blame for the massacre on to his superiors. I was just following orders, he confesses (Hmm, heard that before).

That message was a real crowd pleaser in the 70's and it's a tune he continues to tote to this day. When asked last month by CNN's Judy Woodruff whether he had accused his comrades of committing war crimes, Kerry shot back, "No, I was accusing American leaders of abandoning the troops. And if you read what I said, it is very clearly an indictment of leadership. I said to the Senate, where is the leadership of our country? And it's the leaders who are responsible, not the soldiers. I never said that."

That explanation doesn't hold water with the Vietnam vets I talked to. As one former vet put it: "It is hard for me to believe that during officer training for wartime that the requirements of the Geneva Conventions would have been glossed over or ignored. I think Kerry understood what war crimes were and what were not.

"It was irresponsible of him to sensationalize his case against the war by claiming widespread, in fact daily, observance and participation in acts that meet that definition. Furthermore, were those things committed he would have had the duty not to obey such orders or to initiate such orders himself. Rather than running for Congress in '72, he should have presented himself to a tribunal for trial if he truly thought this way."

I herewith suggest, it's not too late.

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pinky


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2526601 - 04/05/04 05:24 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

It sounds a lot like he's trying to imply that most of the soldiers in Vietnam were involved in these kinds of activites, that they were perfectly normal.

If that is the case, he's simply being honest.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2526846 - 04/05/04 10:12 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Every few years, it seems, there are revelations of war crimes in Vietnam. The most recent (that I've seen), and one of the most well-reported is here:
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031022/SRTIGERFORCE/110190169

It is hardly an indictment of his character that Kerry came out with these admissions in 1971.
Compare this to former Sen. Bob Kerrey, who used claims of being a vietnam war hero to further his career. More recently (2001), it was revealed that most of the people he killed in Vietnam were women and children. Though there wasn't a thorough investigation, some Vietnamese and one of the members of Kerrey's squad alleged that the killed women an children were rounded up ane executed. Bob Kerrey is now serving on the 9/11 commission. You can read about the media's coverage of this story here:
http://www.fair.org/extra/0108/kerrey.html

I will vote for John Kerry in spite of his Vietnam experience. After returning from Vietnam, he was an anti-Vietnam activist. The revelation you cite occurred in 1971. So, it's bad that he committed war crimes in Vietnam, good that he felt bad about it and came clean pretty quickly.

However, I think there should be a more thorough investigation of war crimes commited by US soldiers during the vietnam war. I don't really want to see Vietnam veterans pulled before a war crimes tribunal, but the US certainly seems a bit hypocritical to readily claim that our opponents commit war crimes while turning a blind eye to war criminals who are US citizens.


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2527064 - 04/05/04 11:52 AM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, that's right, let's punish those who do wrong and then have the courage to publicly admit it.

I have yet to hear Bush apologize for a single one of his many, many blunders. I have yet to hear him apologize for anything. I have yet to hear him apologize to the American people and to the families of those killed in 9/11 for allowing something like that to happen under his watch. I have yet to hear him apologize to the American people for sending us to war under false pretexts, squandering billions of taxpayer dollars and snuffing out the lives of over 600 American servicemen and women, to say nothing of thousands of Iraqis. I have yet to hear him apologize for the millions of jobs that have been lost during his time in office.

George W. Bush is an idiot, a weasel, and yes, a pussy who has never taken personal responsibility for anything he has ever done. Do you know what conservatives call people like that? "Welfare recipients." George W. Bush has been collecting $400,000 a year in welfare payments from the taxpayers of this country (to say nothing of the millions a year it takes to run the White House, Air Force One, etc.), and given us absolutely nothing of value in return. He has repeatedly failed and misled the American people. He deserves to be impeached, but since that'll never happen in a Republican-controlled congress, and since no third-party candidate has a snowball's chance in hell of winning, the only option is to vote for John Kerry, which is precisely what I'm going to do.

This is my country, and I and the rest of us who are tired of Bush's endless, nauseating bullshit are going to take it back. This has very little to do with ideology: I would have had no problem with somebody like McCain as President. But Bush is a raging jitstain and he has to go.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: EchoVortex]
    #2527210 - 04/05/04 01:02 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I would have had no problem with somebody like McCain as President.

God that would have rocked.


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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2528402 - 04/05/04 06:17 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

...and what about Colin Powell who participated in the suppression of inquiries into the Mai Lai massacre as well as other atrocities against civilians? Funny that you never mention that pinksharkmark.


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As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

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OfflinePhred
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: EchoVortex]
    #2529177 - 04/05/04 10:14 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

EchoVortex writes:

Yes, that's right, let's punish those...

Voting for Nader or Nolan is "punishing" Kerry? Okay then.

... who do wrong and then have the courage to publicly admit it.

Oh, so he apologized for being a war criminal? That makes it okay then.

I have yet to hear Bush apologize for a single one of his many, many blunders.
Quote:

"I did take part in free-fire zones, I did take part in harassment and interdiction fire, I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these acts, I find out later on, are contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg Principles, is in fact guilty."


So taking part in free fire zones, H&I fire, and torching hooches are "blunders"? Sleeping through the part of officer's training where they review Nuremberg, the Hague and the Geneva Convention and the laws of warfare is a "blunder"? Okay then.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Xochitl]
    #2529190 - 04/05/04 10:17 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Xochitl writes:

..and what about Colin Powell who participated in the suppression of inquiries into the Mai Lai massacre as well as other atrocities against civilians? Funny that you never mention that pinksharkmark.

Colin Powell is running for president? Holy crap! Does Bush know this? Look, here's my advice -- whatever you do, do not vote for Colin Powell for president.

pinky


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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2529202 - 04/05/04 10:19 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
EchoVortex writes:

Yes, that's right, let's punish those...

Voting for Nader or Nolan is "punishing" Kerry? Okay then.



No, it's throwing your vote away.

Quote:

... who do wrong and then have the courage to publicly admit it.

Oh, so he apologized for being a war criminal? That makes it okay then.



It's more than Bush has done.

Quote:

I have yet to hear Bush apologize for a single one of his many, many blunders.
Quote:

"I did take part in free-fire zones, I did take part in harassment and interdiction fire, I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these acts, I find out later on, are contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg Principles, is in fact guilty."


So taking part in free fire zones, H&I fire, and torching hooches are "blunders"? Sleeping through the part of officer's training where they review Nuremberg, the Hague and the Geneva Convention and the laws of warfare is a "blunder"? Okay then.



Those were common occurrences in the Vietnam War. Sure he should've followed the Geneva Convention, but he's at least acknowledged that he was wrong for doing those things. I'm still waiting for Bush to apologize to the families of the 9/11 victims.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: silversoul7]
    #2529324 - 04/05/04 10:45 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

silversoul7 writes:

No, it's throwing your vote away.

Ah. So you're okay with voting for a self-confessed war criminal, but not okay with voting your conscience? Interesting.

It's more than Bush has done.

So if Bush apologized for deposing Hussein, you'd stop ragging on him? Okay then.

And if anyone here can post a credible link of Kerry actually apologizing for his war crimes, I'd be pleased to check it out. Confessing them is not the same as apologizing for them.

Sure he should've followed the Geneva Convention, but he's at least acknowledged that he was wrong for doing those things.

He has? Where?

I'm still waiting for Bush to apologize to the families of the 9/11 victims.

For what?

pinky


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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2529343 - 04/05/04 10:48 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Colin Powell is running for president? Holy crap! Does Bush know this? Look, here's my advice -- whatever you do, do not vote for Colin Powell for president.




That's your response? :thumbdown: lame

The Bush administration is hardly just George W. Bush - it is an administration whose policies are practically guided by aides and cabinet members. As Secretary of State, Colin Powell is certainly a major driving force in the administration - a presense not to sneeze at and whose disgusting military and political career is not to be ignored.


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2529350 - 04/05/04 10:50 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
silversoul7 writes:

No, it's throwing your vote away.

Ah. So you're okay with voting for a self-confessed war criminal, but not okay with voting your conscience? Interesting.



If someone wants to vote their conscience, fine. I'm voting for a guy who can get the current asshole out of office.

Quote:

It's more than Bush has done.

So if Bush apologized for deposing Hussein, you'd stop ragging on him? Okay then.



No, I wouldn't stop ragging on him because there's plenty of other shit he's done. However, I would applaud him for making a step in the right direction.

Quote:

And if anyone here can post a credible link of Kerry actually apologizing for his war crimes, I'd be pleased to check it out. Confessing them is not the same as apologizing for them.



It was obviously done in a repentant manner. That's close enough to apologizing for me.

Quote:

Sure he should've followed the Geneva Convention, but he's at least acknowledged that he was wrong for doing those things.

He has? Where?



Ok, you got me there. Still, he obviously isn't proud of these things. It seems clear that doesn't think they were the right things to do.

Quote:

I'm still waiting for Bush to apologize to the families of the 9/11 victims.

For what?



I don't know. Maybe for sitting on his ass as not one, not two, but three planes attacked America? Maybe ignoring the strong warnings he recieved? Maybe ignoring terrorism in general up until 9/11?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Xochitl]
    #2529359 - 04/05/04 10:52 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Let's for the sake of argument pretend that Colin Powell, the current Secretary of State, is also a self-admitted war criminal. He isn't, but let's pretend he is for a few minutes.

How is having a self-admitted war criminal for a president worse than having one as SecState?

pinky


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Xochitl]
    #2529367 - 04/05/04 10:54 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Funny that you never mention the things that you never mention.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: silversoul7]
    #2529444 - 04/05/04 11:09 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

silversoul7 writes:

I'm voting for a guy who can get the current asshole out of office.

Ah. The patented luvdemshrooms strategy of "best of a bad choice", then. You must really think Bush is pretty bad if a self-admitted war criminal is your preference.

No, I wouldn't stop ragging on him because there's plenty of other shit he's done.

But -- to be consistent -- you would have to stop ragging on him about deposing Hussein, right?

It was obviously done in a repentant manner. That's close enough to apologizing for me.

Actually, reading the transcript, it's not "repentant" in the slightest. It is self-exculpating. "I did bad stuff, but I didn't know it was bad until later, when I finally heard about the rules of warfare and the Geneva Convention and stuff. So it's not my fault. It's the fault of the leaders." In other words, as Armstrong Williams notes, he was just following orders. Hmmm. Where have we heard that before?

Maybe for sitting on his ass as not one, not two, but three planes attacked America? Maybe ignoring the strong warnings he recieved? Maybe ignoring terrorism in general up until 9/11?

Oh. You mean for doing a Clinton.

Even Richard Clarke admits that all the standard measures in place couldn't have prevented 9/11.

Be honest, silversoul7. If Bush upon taking office had started grounding flights, searching Arabic-looking passengers, and shooting down planes who were out of radio contact and off course, people (you among them) would have been howling in outrage. And rightly so.

Hell, even today -- after 9/11 -- the Libbies are getting their panties in a knot whenever any hint of "profiling" occurs.

pinky


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2529467 - 04/05/04 11:14 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
silversoul7 writes:

I'm voting for a guy who can get the current asshole out of office.

Ah. The patented luvdemshrooms strategy of "best of a bad choice", then. You must really think Bush is pretty bad if a self-admitted war criminal is your preference.



Indeed I do. It's only a matter of a confessed war criminal versus an unrepentant war criminal.

Quote:

No, I wouldn't stop ragging on him because there's plenty of other shit he's done.

But -- to be consistent -- you would have to stop ragging on him about deposing Hussein, right?



Yes, and I probably would.

Quote:

It was obviously done in a repentant manner. That's close enough to apologizing for me.

Actually, reading the transcript, it's not "repentant" in the slightest. It is self-exculpating. "I did bad stuff, but I didn't know it was bad until later, when I finally heard about the rules of warfare and the Geneva Convention and stuff. So it's not my fault. It's the fault of the leaders." In other words, as Armstrong Williams notes, he was just following orders. Hmmm. Where have we heard that before?



Good point. At least he acknowledges that it was wrong, even if he does shift the blame a bit.

Quote:

Maybe for sitting on his ass as not one, not two, but three planes attacked America? Maybe ignoring the strong warnings he recieved? Maybe ignoring terrorism in general up until 9/11?

Oh. You mean for doing a Clinton.

Even Richard Clarke admits that all the standard measures in place couldn't have prevented 9/11.

Be honest, silversoul7. If Bush upon taking office had started grounding flights, searching Arabic-looking passengers, and shooting down planes who were out of radio contact and off course, people (you among them) would have been howling in outrage. And rightly so.



Of course. It didn't need to come to that to prevent 9/11.

Quote:

Hell, even today -- after 9/11 -- the Libbies are getting their panties in a knot whenever any hint of "profiling" occurs.



Because it's not necessary.


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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Phred]
    #2529518 - 04/05/04 11:23 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

I'm not sure if I agree with your premise, but I'll answer.

Powell launched his military/political career with total dishonesty and disgregard for evidence & first-person testimony. Perhaps he surpressed the Mai Lai massacre investigations in order to please his ideological higher-ups and to advance his career, or perhaps because he is simply just another thug in uniform who wholeheartedly agrees with invading countries for the sake of geopolitical strategy and US hegemony. His blind ambition and lack of any morality lead to the coverup of a massacre of over 300 unarmed men, women, children, and babies. This internal lack of morals and integrity can be seen throughout his career - take, as just two examples, his dishonest testimony to Congress regarding the Reagan administrations' Iran-Contra scandal and his false presentation to the United Nations last year regarding weapons of mass destruction.

Kerry, on the other hand, has seen dark days and has since had a long history of not always following the herd when it comes to the military-industrial complex and its proponents' warlust.

That is the difference pinksharkmark.


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: silversoul7]
    #2529532 - 04/05/04 11:26 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

It didn't need to come to that to prevent 9/11.

What pray tell would it have taken to prevent 9/11?

Because it's not necessary.

Most hijackings are commited by Arabs. Give me one good reason not to look more closely at Arab looking people than an old white lady.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2529552 - 04/05/04 11:30 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Baby_Hitler said:
It didn't need to come to that to prevent 9/11.

What pray tell would it have taken to prevent 9/11?



I don't know...maybe follow standard operating procedure when the planes went off-course?

Quote:

Because it's not necessary.

Most hijackings are commited by Arabs. Give me one good reason not to look more closely at Arab looking people than an old white lady.



What does this have to do with whether or not it's necessary?


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InvisibleXochitl
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Re: John Kerry -- war criminal [Re: Xochitl]
    #2529556 - 04/05/04 11:31 PM (12 years, 7 months ago)

wait, sorry - I was wrong about what I said about the Mai Lai massacre...

Over 500 (not 300) men, women, children, and babies were murdered in cold-blood and Colin Powell helped cover this up.

My bad.


--------------------
As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld 2/2/02 Pentagon


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Lil Shop Of Spores
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