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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Why are Republicans making a fuss over Kerry's military records? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Why are Republicans making a fuss over Kerry's military records?
msquared
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I have to go with FIJC on this one.

The fact is Kerry went and served. He was wounded. He was a front line guy.

Did he try and make it so he could come home early? Maybe, so what? I bet alot of guys were doing that. Did he work the system? Maybe, but I bet a lot of guys did that. He probably could have worked it more.

I think that this is a battle that does not need to be won.

msquared

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Wayward Son
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One thing seems certain to me, if the reports above are correct, Kerry did not try to self-inflict his two last wounds.

From what I saw, they were caused by shrapnel from explosive devices. Now, I may not be an expert on weapons, but I know that I'm smart enough not to try to get injured from an explosive. Too much of a risk of a piece flying into your head. If you're going to get hit, an accurately-placed bullet is the only way to go.

So if the wounds were caused by shrapnel ejected from an explosive device, they are almost doubtlessly legitimate. Or else he really isn't intelligent enough to be President. [Smile]

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Ron
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The original question was "why the republicans are making a fuss?" The answer is they are no better than democrats. The democrats threw out all kinds of innuendo (all of which were disproven by documentation and witnesses). This was before the democrats had a contender and so there could be no counter charges. Now that the democrats have had their run with Bush, the republicans are running with Kerry. Both were honorably discharged. One served in Vietnam, the other didn't. It doesn't matter where one served, just that they served.

Some say that military service is a requirement for respect from the military. Reagan was an extremely well respected man by the military, and he never served a tour anywhere.

Some say that service allows a certain right of deciding about some very important issues that may include war. Roosevelt and Lincoln both served during crisis. Jackson was a very good warrior, but a terrible president. Kennedy (regardless of his ghost writers abilities) was mediocre. Grant, was a terrible terrible president.

So can someone say that serving in the military alone is sufficient? No, but it makes for nice politics for the ignorant.

The answer remains the same. Democrats had their run, now republicans are taking theirs. For both sides its alot of sour grapes.

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WmLambert
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David Ricardo, you are retreading a lot of old ground we covered at length, before, when the attack on Bush's service in the Air National Guard was going on in high gear. The Kerry camp pushed that effort as far as they could, until the overwhelming stupidity of their assertions began to crystalize. No one - including Kerry wanted to go to Vietnam and get killed in a war that was questionable at best. McNamara many years later admitted the hypocrisy and politics that he allowed to happen. What we can all agree on is that our soldiers fought well and honorably, with none of the "atrocities" that Kerry lied about to Congress following the 1971 "Winter Soldiers Investigation." We can also agree that we had the war virtually won when we decisively defeated the North Vietnamese Army under the command of General Giap - who admitted the North Vietnamese were ready to surrender and sign a peace agreement after the Tet Offensive crushed his forces.

The bone of contention will always be that if not for Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda, and John Kerry misrepresenting the war, that we would not have seen a revived Viet Cong, willing to bet on U.S. insurgents at home, encouraged by KGB counter-espionage agents, winning their battles for them.

I did not want to go to war as an infrantryman, I tried to win a Congressional appointment to Annapolis knowing I'd at least enter the war as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps piloting a jet fighter. Kerry opted for the Navy. Clinton went via ROTC and the Rhodes scholarship program to extend his ROTC deferment until the draft lottery happened and he got a safe number whereupon he immediately quit and sent the famous letter to his sponsor, Colonel Holmes, boasting about how he "loathed the military." It is not in dispute that the war was unpopular. It is not in dispute that Kerry wanted no part of it - but made the best deal he could to stay out of the crosshairs.

It is also fair to praise him for his four months of In-Theater service - as it is also fair to note that his three purple hearts for minor scratches was a novel way of getting out, and was not a normal procedure. That his own sailors and chief questioned his injuries is also worth mentioning. If he'd just come out and said he was glad to get out it would've been fine. But he had to have it both ways.
quote:
Winter Soldier Investigation: From start to finish, the public took Dewey Canyon III at face value, not understanding they were watching a brilliant theater. Kerry, a Kennedy protégé with with-hot political aspirations, ascended center stage as both a war hero and as an antiwar hero throwing away his combat decorations. His speech, apparently off the cuff, was eloquent, impassioned.

But years later, after his election to the Senate, Kerry's medals turned up on the wall of his Capitol Hill office. When a reporter noticed them, Kerry admitted that the medals he had thrown that day were not his. And Kerry's emotional, from-the-heart speech had been carefully crafted by a speechwriter for Robert Kennedy named Adam Walinsky, who also tutored him on how to present it. TV reporters totally ignored another Vietnam veteran, Melville L. Stephens, a former aide to Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, chief of Navl Operations, who that same day urged the Senate not to abandon America's allies in South Vietnam. "Peace for us must not come at the cost of their lives," Stephen said in a speech he wrote himself.

When Kerry goes on in his campaign speeches about Vietnam - he neglects the 48,000 additional U.S. soldiers who died there after we had beaten General Giap. He neglects to mention that all the rhetoric about "baby killers" which resulted in soldiers returning from Vietnam getting spit at was his doing. He also neglects that all his rhetoric was wrong. he was duped by a number of liars and possible KGB disinformation specialists at the Winter Soldier Investigation who were proven not to even be veterans. He spun the lies into a political career for which he's never apologized. Even Jane Fonda apologized for getting it wrong - and she didn't testify before Congress making a name for herself.

The war was so miserable, that we gave amnesty to draft evaders who fled to Canada. It is not proper to beat up on anyone who was there at the time who tried to avoid the draft. We all did. But most of us can look back at how we behaved with satisfaction and personal honor left intact. Politicians who try to have it both ways should be labeled for what they are.

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FIJC
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quote:
"The answer remains the same. Democrats had their run, now republicans are taking theirs. For both sides its alot of sour grapes."
So why don't we move on?
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WmLambert
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FIJC, we don't just "move on" because the thrust of Kerry"s campaign has become to preen over his Vietnamese warrior days, while declaring everyone else is calling him "unpatriotic." He has made it the number one issue of his campaign, and as offpoint as it is, it should not be allowed to hold sway in the theater of public opinion.

If we could all focus on his plans for the economy, or for internationalizing our country, then we might progress faster, but he keeps pulling it down.

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Ron Lambert
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David, I am not running for office, so why do you ask if I volunteered to go to Vietnam?

Again you seem to be seeking recourse in personal attack, which is itself an unworthy form of debate, and is explicitly outlawed on this forum. It also an admission of defeat, when you turn from substantive debate to attacking a person.

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FIJC
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quote:
"FIJC, we don't just "move on" because the thrust of Kerry"s campaign has become to preen over his Vietnamese warrior days, while declaring everyone else is calling him "unpatriotic." He has made it the number one issue of his campaign, and as offpoint as it is, it should not be allowed to hold sway in the theater of public opinion."
Even if this were the case, dwelling on this still isn't accomplishing anything, is it?

quote:
"If we could all focus on his plans for the economy, or for internationalizing our country, then we might progress faster, but he keeps pulling it down."
Actually, I am sure that you can find his platform stances on his website. Also, I saw a campaign commercial the other night in which he illustrated some of his plans, but it didn't go in depth, like how he was planning to fund all of his proposals.
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Ron
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How do politicians make sure their programs are funded?

They make wild assumptions about the success of the programs while simultaneously assume those they tax will not move their money elsewhere to avoid those taxes. I wouldn't put too much faith in "how" the programs will be funded. Its generally unrealistic.

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FIJC
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quote:
"They make wild assumptions about the success of the programs while simultaneously assume those they tax will not move their money elsewhere to avoid those taxes. I wouldn't put too much faith in "how" the programs will be funded. Its generally unrealistic."
I wasn't defending or detracting from Kerry's proposals. What I was simply meaning to do was direct this partisan debate into more useful avenues than from what it currently is on this thread.

You're right, politicians do have to speculate on how their proposals will be funded, but it's generally a good idea to make some projections on how proposals are going to be funded, even if these are not concrete, rather than not. In fact, I submit that ideas on funding should come before a proposal is even made public. No semi-intelligent person would bother pitching an idea before a boss without first having thought about some ways it can be financed; it's simply a good business practice, and I don't see why we should expect any less from politicians.

quote:
"I wouldn't put too much faith in "how" the programs will be funded. Its generally unrealistic."
Some of the most important issues facing the electorate are how and for how long, can we continue to finance such programs as Social Security and Medicare. Not paying attention to how these programs can be funded, and in what various ways, is part of what has gotten us into the mess we are currently in. If the people and political leaders cannot think of "how" when facing our current budget problems, nothing will be solved. Asking "how" is the first step of solving any identified problem. If a politician does not have the ability to problem solve and ask "how," then they aren't fit to lead. Likewise, if the people are not willing to problem solve and first start at "how" then we truly do deserve to be in a budget crisis of massive proportions.

[ April 22, 2004, 07:46 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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D Pace
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Interestingly enough, the "atrocities" and "war crimes" complained of at Winter Soldier have been substantiated and admitted time and again (in spite of the authenticity problems of the actual Winter Soldier testimony).
Tiger Force Pulitzer
Tiger Force redux
more war crimes

War Crimes were committed in Vietnam by Americans. War Crimes were committed by Americans in Korea (No Gun Ri). McNamara, in the Fog of War, concedes that the firebombing of Tokyo at the end of WWII would be considered a war crime if we'd lost.
The existence of "free fire zones" in Viet Nam was against the rules of war and the Geneva Convention. free fire article

I thought all this was just universally accepted, (at least following the era of First Blood,) or rather the following points:
1. Viet Nam was a mistake.
2. American soldiers shouldn't have been personally vilified following VietNam.
3. Some US policies and practices in VietNam were "atrocious."
4. You can't fight and win a war with one arm tied behind your back (which I take to mean you advance and conquer with overwhelming force, not sit in place, defend and accumulate a body count)(the Powell Doctrine)
5. Lesson from Nuremberg, Vietnam, "Casualties of War," "Born on the Fourth of July," ha ha, whatever- It's patriotic to stand up when something wrong is happening and say - something wrong is happening.

I respect our combat soldiers in all our wars, and I disrespect people (like Bill Clinton) who chose to allow other people to go die in their place, and I don't think our involvement in Vietnam was a giant war crime, but bad things happened, and some of our policies there were on the level of "bad." I'm sickened at the thought of people calling every person who returned from Vietnam a baby killer, but I thought it was still generally "accepted" that bad substantiated things happened (see links above).

So-I still don't quite follow people freaking out at Kerry for saying atrocities were being committed in Vietnam and it messed many of the soldiers up.

edited to add free fire link

[ April 22, 2004, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: D Pace ]

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RickyB
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D Pace, your #1 is not generally accepted. I accept it, of course, but many, many conservatives do not. I know OSC does not, f'rinstnace. I bet quite a few people here do not.

Reactionism is amazing, ain't it? [Big Grin]

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Ron
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It may be the manner. Like tossing his medals and then later revealing they were someone elses medals. Perhaps the radical group with the innocuous "Vietnam Vetrans Against the Vietnam War" .

Some things are a result of the confusion of the times. But some things are also a reflection of the character during confusing times.

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Ron
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Was Vietnam a mistake, or was the manner in which Vietnam carried out a mistake?
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D Pace
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I guess that's my assumption: I think you can say, A)"Vietnam was a mistake," and by and large everybody in the room will nod and say, yup, yup.

I think if you say B)"The way Vietnam was carried out was a mistake," everybody will vigorously nod and say, yup.

Now I think that by and large the general statement has become accepted as is(my pulse on the people), so it's a little out of the ordinary in current popular wisdom for people to say, I believe A, but only so far as saying B.

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David Ricardo
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Ron Lambert, I am not trying to venture into ad homenim attacks. I am trying to understanding for your disgust and hatred for Lieutenant Kerry -- a man who fought in over a dozen combat missions, who won the Silver Star and the Bronze Star, and who saved the life of an Army Special Forces Lieutenant, and unofficially killed over twenty Viet Cong.

Army Special Forces Lieutenant Rassman (who happens to be a Republican) recounts the story better than I can:

quote:
Rassmann was 21 at the time, a Special Forces lieutenant in charge of a company of American and Chinese fighters. On that day, they traveled on a convoy of five patrol boats led by the 25-year-old Kerry, a Navy lieutenant -- and they were on the run, being chased down the Bay Hap River by enemy soldiers firing guns and rockets.

The group had already lost one soldier that day. As they sped down the river, one boat was blown out of the water, and then another. An explosion wounded Kerry in the arm and threw Rassmann into the river. Rassmann dove to the bottom to avoid being run over by the other boats. When he surfaced, he saw the convoy had gone ahead.

Viet Cong snipers fired at him, and Rassmann submerged over and over to avoid being hit. The bullets came from both banks, and Rassmann had nowhere to go. He began thinking his time had come, but the fifth time he came up for air, he saw the convoy had turned around. Kerry had ordered the boats back to pick up the man overboard.

Kerry’s boat, under heavy fire, sidled up to the struggling soldier.
Rassmann tried to scramble up a cargo net at the bow but was too exhausted to make it all the way. He clung to the net as bullets whizzed past him.

"Next thing I knew, John came out in the middle of all this," Rassmann says. "I couldn’t believe it. He was going to get killed. He ran to the edge, reached over with his good arm and pulled me over the lip."

Rassmann later recommended Kerry for the Silver Star and was upset when the Army instead awarded Kerry a Bronze star
with a "V" for valor. The medal citation described Kerry’s actions on the river that day.

You can read the relevant news article here:

http://www.detnews.com/2004/politics/0403/14/politics-90756.htm

That courageous John Kerry that Rassman dramatically describes does not seem to fit with the portrait of John Kerry that you wish to frame around Kerry.

I can only assume that your negative impression of Kerry stems from some disgust of Kerry's antiwar views.

In the spirit of learning why you despised Kerry's antiwar views, I wanted to understand from where you came. What better way to understand your fundamental philosophy than to ask why you did not volunteer to serve in Vietnam?

The decision to serve in Vietnam and the reason surrounding that decision to serve in Vietnam would give me (and everyone else) a better window into understanding the philosophy that undergirds your argument.

If you do not wish to disclose why you did not serve in Vietnam, that is up to you. You have a right to your privacy. On the other hand, if you shared with us your reasons for not serving in Vietnam, then we could understand your philosophical perspective better.

[ April 22, 2004, 09:24 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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FIJC
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quote:
"If you do not wish to disclose why you did not serve in Vietnam, that is up to you. You have a right to your privacy. On the other hand, if you shared with us your reasons for not serving in Vietnam, then we could understand your philosophical perspective better."
I don't think that this discussion needs to be personalized in such a manner either.
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RickyB
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Ron, here's something we can agree on - the whole medal tossing business was quite shameful, on Kerry's part. Either you want to do it or you don't. Muhammad Ali didn't toss someone else's gold medal into the Ohio [Big Grin]

But I still find it hilarious that y'all would attempt to equate Bush's walking away from his assigned duty with exactly how Kerry got a third purple heart (which, after all, was awarded him...not like he forged it).

Kinda like a pee-wee league reject arguing whether Wilt Chamberlain actually scored all of those 100 points in one game, or whether there was some obscure scoring error...

I'm exaggerating, somewhat, but that's the best I can come up with right now.

* ed for clarity

[ April 22, 2004, 09:16 PM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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Ron
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That is just it, Bush did not "walk away". That has long ago been disproven, except to those who will accept no proof as sufficient (like those who still think that a cocaine charge was covered up long after the author of that story was found to be without any credibility) or like those who believe the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" (difference only in degree) to be a historical document. Some people will never accept any proof.

So your point regarding Bush walking away form his post is false, there is no evidence of it.

I prefer to take the stance that if the military thought well enough of you to give you an honorable discharge, then it should be accepted as that, whether it be Bush or Kerry.

The rest is innuendo without substance, a segment in the gladitorial game of politics. Kerry is facing the same "prove the negative" charges that Bush faced.

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David Ricardo
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For the sake of disclosure, let me allow you to sneak a peak into my philosophical perspective on Kerry's military service:

If I were John Kerry in that story recounted by Rassman, I am not sure if I would have turned back the convoy to save Rassman after two other swiftboats had already been dispatched by enemy fire. Even more telling, I am sure I would not have left the cover of my swiftboat to lift up the struggling Rassman with my one good arm (the other arm already hit by shrapnel).

For doing something as heroic as that -- something that I doubt that I would have done or ever will do -- Kerry will always have my unflinching respect with regard to his military service. I might think he is a self-serving politician, but I do recognize that he had a major pair of cojones to do what he did back in Vietnam.

And because of that, I could not even comprehend quibbling over the severity of one of his wounds. To me, those Purple Hearts are just irrelevant. Kerry risked his life over and over again in hostile combat in one of the worst hellholes in the world (Mekong Delta). And he risked his own life to save the life of a stranger he didn't even know -- even though he was already wounded.

As for the Vietnam War and arguments about atrocities or its justifications, I do not blame any of the soldiers in Vietnam. I believe that some atrocities occurred, but I sympthasize with the men who served there even if they engaged in atrocities. War is hell. War beats the civilization out of the human spirit. To me, those men all deserve respect even if they had to do distasteful things.

Even if they fought for an unjust war, even if they partook in unjust actions, they served our country. And I would never presume to judge any of them.

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Ron
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So that makes Kerry good enough and wise enough to be president?

Allow me to share a World War I story

quote:
We swarmed out of our positions and raced across the fields toward a small farm. Shrapnel was bursting left and right of us while enemy bullets came whistling through the shrapnel .... Good God, I had barely any time to think .... The first of our men began to fall. The opposition turned their machine guns on us. We threw ourselves down and crawled forward through a ditch .... We kept on crawling until the ditch stopped, then we were in the open field again. We ran fifteen or twenty yards and came to a big pond. One after another we splashed into it, took cover, and caught our breath. But this was no place to lie still. So we dashed out double quick to a forest that lay about a hundred yards ahead. There we regrouped, but it looked like we had really been pared down. We were now led by a mere vice-sergeant .... We crawled on our bellies to the edge of the trees. Above us are howls and hisses, splintered tree trunks and branches flew around us. Shells explode at the edge of the forest and hurl clouds of stones, earth and sand into the air and tear the heaviest trees out by the roots. Everything is choked in a terrible yellow-green, stinking steam. We couldn't lie there forever. If we were going to be killed, it was better to die in the open....

Again we went forward. I jumped up and ran as fast as I could across meadows and turnip fields, jumping over ditches, wire, and hedges ....

There was a long trench in front of me and in an instant I jumped in and countless others round me did likewise .... under me were dead or wounded Englishmen .... The trenches on our left were still held by the enemy.... [so] an unbroken hail of iron was whistling over our trench.


This soldier, acted more heroically than most and was a good deal more conscientious. He carried out any and all assignments given him without question. He never abandoned a wounded comrade and never wavered in his bravery. He was cautious, sensible, resolute, and quite fearless. As one of his officers would state, he was "an exceedingly brave, effective, and conscientious soldier." On one occasion when the commander of his regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Engelhardt, stepped out of a woods to survey the situation, he was detected and enemy machine gunners opened up. the soldier and another leaped in front of the officer and pushed him into a ditch and shielded him with their bodies.

Certainly a brave man. One who would rise in politics to later lead a nation. He too won a medal. His name was Adolf Hitler.

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RickyB
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Ron, saying it over and over won't make your statements true. The records were released and the holes were discussed thoroughly, on these very pages even. Look it up. What I had to say about the evidence is there. I won't dig it up just to restate.

Had any regular soldier treated their guard duties so cavalierly, they would have faced some reprecussions. I know from reading that the guard back then was a joke, infinitely more so than it is nowadays, but still. Bush, being who he was, was allowed to skate. He showed up when he felt like it, sometimes didn't for months on end (two ays service recorded in a 6 month period, I believe), split when he felt like it to advance his career (like working on whatisface's campaign). Real sacrifice, lemme tell ya.

You want to call that military service, you go right ahead. Having done active military service myself (the real kind, where your ass belongs to the army from sun-up to sundown, actual enlistment, not some glorified reserve status) I can tell the difference, even if you can't.

Bush would not have been allowed anywhere near a taxpayer-funded flight school of he wasn't his daddy's boy. The least he could have done in return for that expensive privilege was keep his frat boy ass in decent enough shape not to flunk or have to shirk a physical.

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Murdok
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Ron - I would have still enlisted in the Navy. Why? Not because I was scared of going over to Nam, I wanted to see the world. I believed the old slogan, It's not just a Job, It's an Adventure. I really did. And it really was.

And regardless of what Kerry did, there is no proof of favorable treatment for getting in. the Navy always asked for Swift Boat crews...it was volunteer duty I seem to recall. The main fact here that can't be disputed is this:

Kerry was on a Swift Boat. He saw lots of combat. He served with distinction and showed an exceptional amount of courage, and he did his duty in a place where most of the well off or connected managed to get deferments or in the guard. He could have easliy pulled a Bill Clinton - he was certainly smart enough. But he did not.

He served his country.

I don't honestly think anyone in here can dispute that. And personally I don't care how he got there - He got there and did his duty above and beyond those chicken hawks that stayed home and avoided putting their lives on the line. People Like Cheney, Bush, Tom Delay and too many other leaders currently in congress and this administration who too easliy send our troops into wars that in hindsite would have been best avoided.

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RickyB
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Nice Ron. Having concluded that you have no chance equating the two men's military service, you now seek to degrade the very fact. "Courage? Don't mean a thing. Even a monster can have courage!"

Remind me again how conservatives are different because they really care about certain values? [Big Grin]

"We'll root-root-root for the home team..."

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Everard
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"Certainly a brave man. One who would rise in politics to later lead a nation. He too won a medal. His name was Adolf Hitler."

Right, because there are so many valid comparisons between Hitler and Kerry.

I mean, Hitler also came back from war and protested against that war... Oh wait, no he didn't.

And Kerry got thrown in jail for attempting to overthrow the government... oh wait, no he didn't.

Wait, what was the point of your argument again, Ron? Because, frankly, I don't think you have a valid point there. Ricky isn't saying he is supporting Kerry because he showed valour in war, and your point seems to be that if someone shows valour in war, and later runs for political office, they'll become one of the worst genocidal war mongering maniacs the world has ever seen.

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David Ricardo
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Ron, you are missing the point. I am not going to vote for Kerry based off his war record. I just don't see the political advantage of attacking Kerry's war record. If anything, the Republican attacks on Kerry's war record have made me even more appreciative of Kerry's bravery back in Vietnam (previously I had pushed Kerry's Vietnam record somewhere in the very boondocks of my brain).

When people vote in the polls this November, I doubt Vietnam will or should be a major issue. But if the Republicans keep hooting and hollering about Kerry's Vietnam service, then they would be forcing Vietnam service to become an issue at the polls. In that case, Kerry would definitely have the edge over Bush.

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Ron
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My father was in Vietnam, he refused to ask for a purple heart (was cited five times), because to him it was bebased and devalued by the many people who did recieve it for onworthy actions.

Times were different then and the military was different. My father by the way has several other medals which he keeps in private. He dislikes Bush and will probably vote for Kerry, but mainly because Kerry is a democrat, not because of Kerry's medals. How much does a man value these symbols if he is willing to throw them away (more so if they are someone elses). It reflects not only his feeling toward the medal itself, but to others who have recieved them. If he percieves them as cheap, he willingly throws them away, if he percieves them as being of value and representing sacrifice, then only his own sacrifice would be worthy of his dismissal, not someone elses.

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Ron
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Perhaps Everard and Ricky you need to look beyond your own partisan politics and ask yourself some important questions. If Vietnam doesn't matter, why is it that democrats (and it is Kerry who seems to bring it up often). Perhaps you two can tell me enough about the details regarding Kerry's life to make a comparison between Hitler and Kerry. The fact is you cannot. Nor can you make a detailed comparison between Bush and Hitler (though democrats have stated an equivalencey). What I am pointing out is that using medals in the past in no way qualifies you for the presidency (nor does it disqualify you).

Everard while you do seem to take things out of context I would want you to read all my posts to understand the position. Which you have missed. My position is simply that democrats and republicans both participate in false bravado. Democrats attacked Bush with no proof of malfeasence on his part, now republicans are doing the same. Goose and Gander.

To deflect this argument we have diehard democrats who want to change the focus to their war records in order to show some moral superiority (there isn't any between Kerry and Bush regarding thier service to their country).

Then we have the following statement:

quote:
For doing something as heroic as that -- something that I doubt that I would have done or ever will do -- Kerry will always have my unflinching respect with regard to his military service. I might think he is a self-serving politician, but I do recognize that he had a major pair of cojones to do what he did back in Vietnam.

One wonders, would Hitler also retain unflinching respect? I doubt it, but it reflects the blindness in the post.

quote:
Ron, saying it over and over won't make your statements true. The records were released and the holes were discussed thoroughly, on these very pages even. Look it up. What I had to say about the evidence is there. I won't dig it up just to restate.

Had any regular soldier treated their guard duties so cavalierly, they would have faced some reprecussions. I know from reading that the guard back then was a joke, infinitely more so than it is nowadays, but still. Bush, being who he was, was allowed to skate. He showed up when he felt like it, sometimes didn't for months on end (two ays service recorded in a 6 month period, I believe), split when he felt like it to advance his career (like working on whatisface's campaign). Real sacrifice, lemme tell ya.

Your wrong Ricky, witness have noted he was there and he even visited the dentist. In short you should look up "proving a negative". In the same manner you wish to look at "holes" that you imagine, people are looking at the "holes" in Kerry's purple heart.

Prove Kerry's wound is not self inflicted.

Prove that a doctor that signed the order wrote "Kerry's wound is not self inflicted"

Prove Kerry did not have sex with fourteen year old children in Vietnam at the local whorehouse.

Prove Kerry committed no war crimes" these are negatives that are almost impossible to prove.

But it reflects partisan blindness by those who do simply accept the fact that Kerry recieved a purple heart. I accept it, and I won't try and deflect the argument regarding the fact that he recieved the purple heart and was honorably discharged.

Just as I accept that Bush recieved an honorable discharge and that there is no proof he abandoned his post.

quote:
Nice Ron. Having concluded that you have no chance equating the two men's military service, you now seek to degrade the very fact. "Courage? Don't mean a thing. Even a monster can have courage!"

Remind me again how conservatives are different because they really care about certain values?


A non response with the idea of ridicule, is that what ornery is about? Or did you just forget it?
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RickyB
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Hey, if you play dumb long enough, eventually someone's gonna call you dumb, regardless of how impolite that may be.

Seriously, what was the point of that little ditty about hitler? Describe please, in your own words, the valid argument contained in that little contribution to the thread.

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RickyB
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Ron, if there were witnesses, where are they? Where are the accounts in mainstream press? None of them made it there? It's all a huge conspiracy?

Yeah, some of his days are accounted for with witnesses, long stretches aren't. instance after instance of pereferrential treatment isn't. Why he missed/faled a physical and was thus removed from flying eligibility isn't exaplined.

If there are witnesses, how come none of them picked up Gary Trudeau's money? They all so rich they sneeze at 10 grand? Even if it was for charity...

Show me such witnesses, referring specifically to the problematic periods.

quote:
Prove Kerry's wound is not self inflicted.

Prove that a doctor that signed the order wrote "Kerry's wound is not self inflicted"

Prove Kerry did not have sex with fourteen year old children in Vietnam at the local whorehouse.

Prove Kerry committed no war crimes" these are negatives that are almost impossible to prove

Well, someone already pointed out that you do not inflict shrapnel wounds on yourself. As for the doctor, that would be valid only if it were standard procedure for a dctor to write that.

As for the others, is there anyone claiming he did (have sex, commit crimes)? Just because you can think it up doesn't make it a topic. Are there such claims? If not, raising them is what is called muddying the water. Baseless innuendo. Malicious character assasination just for the sake of argument. Not nice.

As for "Abandoned his post" - he never had a post. He had some leisurely duties, the completion of which demanded little of his time and never at long stretches. There is ample evidence that he often took liberties with showing up (long stretches of time without nearly as many paid days as he was supposed to have).
The fact that his loafing had no negative consequence does not change the fact.

Either accept that GW Bush did no real military service, or judge his attendacnce record as you would the other guy's. If you pick option B, he wasn't a deserter but he sure did go AWOL a lot.

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Ron
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quote:
Hey, if you play dumb long enough, eventually someone's gonna call you dumb, regardless of how impolite that may be.

Seriously, what was the point of that little ditty about hitler? Describe please, in your own words, the valid argument contained in that little contribution to the thread.

Ridicule is the last vestige of those without ideas to debate.

Reread the post, I think most people do understand it, perhaps in your case more study is required.

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RickyB
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Thank you Sir may I have another!
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Ron
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I suppose it is true, extremists will only believe the dogma of their own gods.
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Koner
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The politicians are certainly playing a tit-for-tat game here. The democrats slammed Bush for his record so now that republicans are doing the same in return. Its a kids game. Kinda like the my dad can beat up your dad game that first graders play.

To me it isn't about anything other than this. Both Bush and Kerry have honorable discharges. That in and of itself is enough for me to say that the military, whether it was the US Navy or the Texas ANG, determined their service to be satisfactory. Unfortunately that isn't enough for the finger pointers and the media. The Bush bashers started this whole mess by questioning that document and claiming that Bush was AWOL. Now the Bush supporters have something to fire back at. Unfortunately they have decided to fire back by questioning whether or not John Kerry actually earned the medals that he received.

To me it is enough that John Kerry was awarded medals. So what if he was awarded medals for minor injuries. Thats the way the system works. I can accept that. To me that is not at all the issue. What bothers me is that he threw his medals away. Then he sat in front of Congress and lied in his testimony about his fellow sailors and soldiers who were still fighting in Vietnam. He accused them of being war criminals who raped and beheaded the Vietnamese people. He said that they were the likes of which hadn't been seen since Genghis Kahn. He turned his back on his shipmates and denounced them as criminals. He did it to further his personal political agenda and career. And now 30 years later in the hopes that everyone will have forgotten that he pulled out his medals and dusted them off and thrust them in the face of the country saying look here I'm a war hero.

I'm sorry he CANNOT have it both ways. Either he was a war criminal, as he claimed in 1971, or he was a war hero, as he claims in 2004. But he cannot have been both for the same actions simply because it serves his political career.

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Ron Lambert
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It is blatant slander to make any attempt to justify the "Winter Soldier Report" which has long since been proven to be wrong. This report formed most of the testimony of John Kerry before Congress after returning home from Vietnam, along with coaching by the Kennedys. It was all blatantly contrived propaganda intended to give support to the antiwar protest movement.

It is disingenous to claim that because there were a few war atrocities, that validates the Winter Soldier Report. The real issue is in the details. That report, and the rest of Kerry's treasonous diatribe before Congress, implied that atrocities and war crimes were the rule rather than the exception. It characterized American young men, all drafted from those we knew in our neighborhoods, schools, churches, and places of buisness, as being on a massive scale guilty of rape, torture, and baby-killing. This is a monstrous lie, and anyone here would try to lend the slightest credence to this slander should be acutely ashamed.

It was largely because of the Winter Soldier Report, a propagandistic fabrication not based on first hand accounts, and because of Kerry's perjured testimony before Congress, that mobs greeted returning Vietnam vets by hurling refuse at them, spitting at them, and yelling accusations that they were rapists, torturers, and baby-killers. The mobs believed this because this is what Kerry told them, on the streets in his radical antiwar protest group, and in Congress committing perjury repeating the Winter Soldier Report as if it were his own testimony.

Since then, many experts in psychology have said that this was one of the primary factors in producing what is called "the Vietnam syndrome" among Vietnam vets--because they were not given the welcome and affirmation all other American soliders have received when they returned home from the traumatizing experience of war, which would have enabled them to begin the healing process. Instead, they were denounced and vilified, because of Kerry's lies.

For this I will always regard Kerry as a truly evil villain, a monster who deserves to be in a federal penitentiary, not in the White House.

For the edification of those who keep trying to quote selectively chosen statements that seem to present Kerry as a war hero, ignoring those statements that are directly contrary, let me note again this statement that was part of a larger quote, earlier in this thread. Some might have missed it:
quote:
The issue of Kerry’s military records got a fresh infusion of interest and speculation recently when Kerry’s former commanding officer in Vietnam, Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard, questioned a Purple Heart that Kerry received.

A Purple Heart is awarded to a serviceman wounded by enemy fire in combat and who receives medical treatment for his wound.

Hibbard explained that he at first turned down the initial Purple Heart for the young Lt. j.g. Kerry because he had questions as to whether Kerry and his boat crew took enemy fire, and he noted that Kerry’s wound was minor - resembling a fingernail scrape.

"I've had thorns from a rose that were worse," according to Hibbard.

Kerry’s first Purple Heart adventure occurred just 24 hours into his tour of duty.

Kerry was later transferred to Coastal Division 11 at An Thoi in South Vietnam, where apparently Kerry successfully petitioned to have his Purple Heart request reconsidered.

Hibbard recalls getting paperwork from Kerry’s new outfit, asking for his approval, also recalling that he might have signed off on the award in a harried moment.

If so, “it was to my chagrin,” he recollected.

Here is the original source for the above:
Newsmax.com

The logical implication is that Kerry's wound may have been self-inflicted, or may have resulted from something incidental like bumping his arm. Was it an honorable thing to do to persevere in trying to be awarded a purple heart for a "wound" that looked like a fingernail scrape?

For those who contend so piously for showing respect for war heroes who win medals and purple hearts, what about the dishonor it pays to those who really suffered serious injury, losing limbs and almost their lives, for the same award to be given for scratches that required little more than a medicated bandaid?

Hibbard said that the first injury Kerry claimed he received came at a time when he was not even under enemy fire. Records state that the other two injuries resulted from pieces of shrapnel that scratched his skin. Considering the pattern of Kerry's deceitful behavior, what would keep him from picking up a small piece of shrapnel lying on the deck, and cutting himself with it, maybe even leaving it in to add to the effect?

The accounts of Kerry's bravery are contradicted by other reports that characterize him as reckless and irresponsible, and having to be restrained from shooting at non-hostiles. That man that Kerry jumped out of his boat to apprehend and seize his gun, had already been shot by the boat's machine gunner. That was not mentioned in the glowingly phrased reports that some have given here.

I deny that Kerry in any way ever deserved to be called a war hero. I deny that Kerry deserves to be called a decent human being. I am ashamed that Kerry is a human being.

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TomDavidson
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"That has long ago been disproven, except to those who will accept no proof as sufficient (like those who still think that a cocaine charge was covered up long after the author of that story was found to be without any credibility) or like those who believe the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'"

Ron, you've made a point -- several times in this thread alone -- of playing up whenever you've felt attacked or insulted. It's against the rules of the forum, you've said. You rail against having your words distorted or your intentions misrepresented.

Given that, will you concede that your statement above -- that the only people who believe Bush skipped out on part of his service are gullible fools and conspiracy theorists -- is at least as offensive and inaccurate?

------

RonL., would it be safe to call you a "Kerry-hater," based on what you believe to be a pattern of harmful lies and distortions?

[ April 23, 2004, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Ron Lambert
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Tom, thank you for asking before trying to apply a label to me. You asked: "RonL., would it be safe to call you a 'Kerry-hater,' based on what you believe to be a pattern of harmful lies and distortions?"

It would be simplistic. I hate what Kerry has done, and I hate the effect his villainy has had upon many people. I have revulsion for the kind of character he has manifested. I feel sorry for him personally.

I also feel that all these points about his villainous "pattern of harmful lies and distortions" speak very directly to the issue of his character, and that in turn is the single most important factor to consider in deciding who should be president of the United States.

Hence the relevance of bringing up all these issues involving Kerry's past words and behavior.

As for the comparisons others have made with Bush--I have no burden to exalt Bush, whom I voted against, but Bush has not tried to present himself as a war hero. Kerry has, as a selling point in his campaign, and Kerry's followers are the ones who for months tried to assail the president on his career in the Texas Air National Guard, as if that could somehow diffuse the reputation the president earned as a good leader for the way he led the nation in responding to the 9/11 attacks. That is the real political motivation for trying to make a mountain out of a molehill (that probably isn't even there) by trying to get everyone to believe there are "serious" discrepancies and questions about his military service.

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David Ricardo
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Ron Lambert, I guess you also have hatred and contempt for war heroes like David Hackworth then? Hackworth is perhaps the most decorated and respected living American war hero today, and he himself has testified over and over again to the atrocities that he witnessed in Vietnam.

quote:
David H. Hackworth, a retired colonel and much-decorated veteran of the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam who later became a journalist and author, said that he created the Tiger Force unit in 1965 to fight guerrillas using guerrilla tactics. Hackworth was not in command of the unit during the period covered by the Blade articles because he had rotated out of Vietnam.

"Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go," Hackworth said in a recent telephone interview. "It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted."

News article link: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2003/12/29/2003085635

Here is a list of Colonel Hackworth's awards and accomplishment just so you know that you are slandering a genuine war hero before you start spouting your hatred for antiwar Vietnam heroes:

quote:
ENTITLEMENTS OF COL. DAVID H. HACKWORTH
(U.S. ARMY, RETIRED)

AWARDS & DECORATIONS
COLONEL DAVID H. HACKWORTH
(U.S. ARMY, RETIRED)

Individual Decorations & Service Medals:

* Distinguished Service Cross (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
* Silver Star (with nine Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Legion of Merit (with three Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Distinguished Flying Cross
* Bronze Star Medal (with "V" Device & seven Oak Leaf Clusters)(Seven of the awards for heroism)
* Purple Heart (with seven Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Air Medal (with "V" Device & Numeral 34)(One for heroism and 33 for aerial achievement)
* Army Commendation Medal (w/ "V" Device & 3 Oak Leaf Clusters)
* Good Conduct Medal
* World War II Victory Medal
* Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany and Japan Clasps)
* National Defense Service Medal (with one Bronze Service Star)
* Korean Service Medal (with Service Stars for eight campaigns)
* Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
* Vietnam Service Medal (2 Silver Service Stars = 10 campaigns)
* Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Unit Awards:

* Presidential Unit Citation (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
* Valorous Unit Award (with one Oak Leaf Cluster)
* Meritorious Unit Commendation

Badges & Tabs:

* Combat Infantryman Badge (w/ one Star; representing 2 awards)
* Master Parachutist Badge
* Army General Staff Identification Badge

Foreign Awards:

* United Nations Service Medal (Korea)
* Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device (1960)
* Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with two Gold Stars)
* Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (with two Silver Stars)
* Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal (1st Class)
* Vietnam Staff Service Medal (1st Class)
* Vietnam Army Distinguished Service Order, 2d Class
* Vietnam Parachutist Badge (Master Level)
* Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
* Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation
* Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation (with three Palm oak leaf clusters)
* Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal, First Class Unit Citation (with one Palm oak leaf cluster)

World War II Merchant Marine Awards:

* Pacific War Zone Bar
* Victory Medal

Hackworth's Awards Link: http://www.hackworth.com/awards.html

David Hackworth continues to write brilliant pieces as a military columnist even today -- fighting for the welfare and the good of the average grunt in the military. Yet even he committed the "sin" of observing atrocities that he witnessed in Vietnam first=hand.

By the same logic that you despise John Kerry's antiwar statements, do you also despise David Hackworth for alleging that "Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go?"

[ April 23, 2004, 10:31 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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Ron Lambert
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He was obviously overstating. What his motive is for saying something that is not true is a matter of speculation. But his testimony is contradicted by many other people equally honored and respected, just as much in a position to know.

Notice this point in what you quoted: "he created the Tiger Force unit in 1965 to fight guerrillas using guerrilla tactics." Is it possible that the experience he had was not typical of regular Army units consisting of regular draftees? Change the word "guerrilla" to "terrorist," which is a reasonable synonym, and see what picture that presents: "he created the Tiger Force unit in 1965 to fight terrorists using terrorist tactics."

As I see it, you have a problem if you want to extoll Colonel Hackworth's stature as a heroic and honorable soldier, and claim that for that reason I must accept anything he testifies to. Can you see the problem for yourself?

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Everard
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Ron-
The problem is you degrade someone for saying something that MANY people who fought in vietnam have said... and if you're going to say it about one person, you have to say it about all of them.

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