JCC Exploiting War at Election Time: Pot calling the Kettle Black?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Obi-Ewan, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Democrats and Republicans alike have been known to use their military endeavors to promote themselves at election time, especially Presidential candidate. To wit:

    1. Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt (both Democrats) ran for re-election on the platform of having successfully kept us out of a European war. In subsequent terms, they both got us involved in said wars anyway.

    2. The Bay of Pigs invasion, though ultimately won of John F. Kennedy's failures, was originally engineered for partisan advantage. It was to have taken place in October of 1960, during the Eisenhower administration, and its quick success was meant to give Richard Nixon a last minute pre-election bump that Kennedy would be unable to match.

    3. Speaking of Richard Nixon, there is evidence that eight years later, he interfered with Lyndon Johnson's Paris Peace Talks in order to prolong the Vietnam War and use it as a campaign issue against Hubert Humphrey.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Peace_Accords#Claimed_sabotage_of_negotiations_by_Nixon_campaign

    4. Johnson himself won his re-election campaign, in part, because of his infamous "Daisy" ad, in which he suggested that Barry Goldwater would lead us into a nuclear war if elected.

    5. Though dismissed as a conspiracy theory at the time, and again ten years later, many key players are now coming forward to provide evidence that Ronald Reagan interfered with Jimmy Carter's negotiations to get the Iranian hostages released, promising Iran weapons in exchange for keep their hostages in custody until after election day. They were ultimately released on the day Reagan was inaugurated, and his supporters have claimed that it was Reagan's saber-rattling that accomplished what Carter could not. A laughable claim, as nobody can legally engage in foreign diplomacy unless sworn in as President, or acting directly on a sitting President's behalf, and a situation this delicate requires more than twelve hours to resolve.
    http://consortiumnews.com/2011/07/14/october-surprise-evidence-surfaces/
    http://wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com/2007/11/1980-october-surprise-anything-goes.html

    6. Though George H.W. Bush ultimately lost his re-election campaign in 1992, he did attempt to promote himself on the success of Desert Storm/Desert Shield.

    7. George W. Bush used 9/11 as a pretext for invading Iraq, which had not attacked us on 9/11 and possessed no WMDs. (At least, none that we hadn't already identified as useless a decade before.) In 2004, the success of Operation Iraqi Freedom (notwithstanding the insurgency), not to mention the executing of Saddam Hussein, were used to promote Bush's re-election campaign. He also used the attacks in the 2002 election, placing the vote on authorization to use military force shortly before the mid-term elections to pressure Democrats into voting for it, and then, accusing them of standing in his way anyway to help Republicans win seats that were up for grabs. Helicopters were regularly deployed to fly through New York just to remind everyone that there was a threat."Bush kept us safe since 9/11" was a constant campaign message, and certain ads, most notably attack ads on Max McClellan, all but accused him of being in league with Osama Bin Laden. 9/11 was also used to legitimize Bush's first term, suggesting that Al Gore would not possibly have been able to handle the situation as well as Bush did.

    8. John Kerry's military experience; and Bush's relative lack thereof; became issues as well. This led to the infamous "Swiftboating" campaign. For once, the roles of the parties were reversed, with the Democrat having more wartime military experience than the Republican, so many Vietnam War veterans were called in to attack Kerry's wartime experience, calling him to task for testifying about the war before Congress, and accusing him of fabricating the experiences that earned him his medals. This last part was done on the one hand by people who never served with Kerry; and therefore could not testify about actions they couldn't have witnessed; or people who did serve with Kerry and whose present testimony was in direct contradiction to their own official reports from decades earlier, which are now part of the Navy's official record.

    And now, most recently, it was Obama who gave the order that authorized the attack in which Osama Bin Laden was killed. Laying aside the conspiracy theories this has led to (Osama was unarmed; he's been dead for years; that wasn't really his body in the ocean; cover-up to prevent autopsy; hesitant President overruled by SecDef; etc.), Republicans (and some military veterans, who traditionally support Republicans) have now taken great umbrage at Obama using the event to promote his re-election.

    It turns out this is not the first time Obama and Romney have traded words over this issue. Back in 2008, Obama predicted his own subsequent actions, saying that "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will." This drew sharp criticism from Romney, who replied "I mean, in one week, he went from saying he's going to sit down, you know, for tea, with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies," Romney said during a GOP debate. "I mean, he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week....We don't say those things. We keep our options quiet. We do not go out and say to a nation which is working with us, where we have collaborated and they are our friend and we're trying to support Musharraf and strengthen him and his nation, that instead that we intend to go in there and potentially bring out a unilateral attack."

    This has been translated in campaign ads into the accusation that Romney would not have made the same decision Obama did to storm the compound. Obama is now being accused by Romney and Republicans in general of taking credit where it isn't due (for authorizing the attack, which Seals say they would have done anyway, even though they clearly didn't over a decade earlier when Bill Clinton was accused of letting Bin Laden slips through his fingers), of exploting the military for political gain, and of an unjustified accusation and personal slander against Romney--a rather ironic counterpart to point 7 from above.

    Is this a legitimate complaint on the Republican's part, or do they just not like that the shoe is now on the other foot?
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I think what we need to ask ourselves is WAR! GOOD GOD Y'ALL - WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
    Frank T. and Rogue_Ten like this.
  3. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    Psst. We have an election/politician thread that would cover this.

    War is pretty good for kicking Germans out of France. :)
    Last edited by Aytee-Aytee, Sep 9, 2012
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  4. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Yeah, I'm thinking of merging this into the Senate election thread, esp. considered the level of detail involved in the post. That alright with you, OP?
  5. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    And killing over 60 million people and displacing tens of millions more; and destroying most of the world's economy; and starting a 40-odd-year standoff between the two states who fared best from the war economically and politically; and precipitating the creation of a weapon that could kill virtually, if not literally, everything on the planet if fully employed in warfare. But yes, at least we got to maintain the territorial integrity of one nation-state (using mainly their colonial soldiers who didn't even get full recognition, yay!).

    I'm not saying WWII didn't have "good" effects, but those were incidental rather than natural or intended consequences of the worst war in history. And really, do we want to remember our achievements as "we developed this so we could kill more of the other guys"? The war-- any war-- should not be celebrated. It should be reviled.
    Last edited by Darth_Guy, Sep 9, 2012
    Frank T. likes this.
  6. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    OP before you allow this thread to be merged with the senate, know that the discussion will then be subject to fascist senate rules prohibiting brevity (widely known to be the soul of wit)
  7. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    Not a big fan of Clausewitz, are you? :p
  8. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Since it's not in the Senate yet...

    Even, counterpoint: Carthage must be destroyed.
    RC-1991 and Ramza like this.
  9. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Where exactly is the elections thread? I've gone through three pages and not found it. And if repliers can't stay on topic on this thread, what are its chances if merged into another?

    Let me re-iterate the subject of this thread:

    "Is this a legitimate complaint on the Republican's part, or do they just not like that the shoe is now on the other foot?"
  10. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I think it's a legitimate complaint, but for different reasons-- and they're being hypocrites anyway. I'm uncomfortable with anyone boasting "Hey, I killed that dude in a dubiously legal manner!" No matter how bad said dude was. I'm not sure if it's necessarily comparable to the other examples, since they vary in their intention, context, effect, etc. "I kept us out of war!" is very different than "I won that war!" and "I killed that guy!" is different than "That guy will get us all killed!"
    Last edited by Darth_Guy, Sep 9, 2012
  12. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I will just say I'm not sure we needed a review of an entire century's worth of war-related electioneering just to get to a question about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. As to that particular question, the Romney complaint is two-fold. One tries to portray Obama's decision as a no-brainer. That goes against the direct testimony of other principals involved, including our Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. It also is just not a very plausible premise. The incident pretty much wrecked US-Pakistan relations. Can anyone argue that would have been worth it if the operation had been a failure? The second part of his complaint is that it is unfair to use foreign policy as a cudgel against his opponent in this way. I think one can argue that it's inappropriate to question a rival's competence without any basis, so depending on how aggressively that's done, there's something of a point to be made. But there's nothing wrong with simply stating one's own accomplishments. Finally, yes the Republicans are of course being hypocrites, as far worse was done to Kerry during the exact same war with much less in the way of actual accomplishments from Bush.
  13. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    The Senate has nothing against brevity. We do, however, frown on "link-only" posts. And I concur with Jello that this would be better-served if merged with the election thread.
    Last edited by Jedi Merkurian, Sep 9, 2012
  14. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    you know you keep saying that but your modding styles imply otherwise
  15. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
  16. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I object to your resentment! I demand satisfaction!

    [IMG]
  17. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9

    Absolutely Nothin!
  18. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I used to believe that most Americans believed this, that people in this country knew better. Then George W. Bush came along.