Up too late again.
Here's my latest read: World War IV: How it Started, What it Means, and Why We Have to Win. Fascinating stuff, very educational. Excellent articulation of the Bush Doctrine. I especially appreciate it because Podhoretz is a reformed Liberal, like me.
Between that and too-frequent excursions into the blogosphere, I am getting something of an education on the history of the last 40 or so years in this country. Very top-level, of course -- the big trends, important events, etc. Except with respect to the Kerry/Swift Vets controversy... I now can argue persuasively minute details of the Bronze Star incident. And why, exactly, does Kerry have three Silver Star citations, with two conflicting stories? And why is that Silver Star listed with a combat "V", when Silver Stars are never issued with a "V" because the only reason you get a Silver Star for valor in battle.
Personally, I can't wait until the timeline catches up with Kerry meeting with VC Communists in Paris - our enemies, you understand? - while still an officer in the Naval Reserve. He was a non-drilling officer at the time, that's clear, but it's also clear that he was still in the Reserve when he went over there. From what I've read, that's definite no-no (that is, treason).
I'm not focussing on my own life right now because I'm so deep in this. Two things keep my wheels spinning and me going nowhere: 1) the Kerry campaign keeps doing ridiculous things, like that stunt with sending Cleland and Rassman down to Crawford today to deliver a letter to President Bush (wtf?!) and 2) the mainstream press continues to carry Kerry's water, even after the Kerry campaign has conceded on 2 important allegations made by the Swifties. The first being, of course, that Kerry was never in Cambodia around Christmas of 1968, despite the memory being "seared - seared" into his consciousness, and the second being that his first Purple Heart may have been awarded for an unintentionally self-inflicted wound.
Now, that first Purple Heart: it's uniformly reported that Kerry himself applied for it, which I thought just wasn't done? What's the deal with that? It was a bandaid over some anti-biotic ointment, and Kerry's then-CO refused to put him up for the medal at the time the wound occurred. So Kerry bided his time and brought it up later with another CO, one who wasn't there and who would rely on Kerry's version of events. Doesn't suprise me in the least that Kerry won't release any of the records pertaining to the application for the first Purple Heart, because he knows like the rest of us that he was, at best, fudging.
At any rate, now the AP is jumping all over John O'Neill's recorded conversation with Nixon in which he says "I was in Cambodia, I was on the border," as proof that the entire Swifty effort is a tissue of lies, because previously O'Neill had stated that the Swift boats weren't in Cambodia. Except when the AP reports it, they completely leave out important details like the river that Kerry was on was not near the Cambodian border, and that O'Neill and Kerry didn't serve at the same time, and O'Neill's service near the Cambodian border (on a different river than Kerry's swift boat operated on) was at a later time, when the US had begun operations in Cambodia.
The whole thing just makes me want to puke, really. I have to stop obsessing about all these little details because they are, essentially, meaningless. Every time you look at this story, it grows a new head -- there are so many different Kerry spins out there, the possibility for analysis is endless. And yet the mainstream media is not doing any of it, and precious little is being reported, other than the fact that Bob Perry donated $200K and Ben Ginsburg gave them some legal advice, and Merrie Spaeth worked on ads in a previous Bush campaign, and somehow that's compelling evidence of coordination with the Bush campaign, because of course Bush is behind this whole thing!
Mmmmkay. Right. Next...