Friday, December 28, 2007

Burnt by the truth about Max Cleland

Burnt Orange Report defends one who slanders our military by slandering one who defends our military. More illiberal illogic.

In response to an attack on Ann Coulter as "unpatriotic" (isn't that what liberals are always accusing Americans of doing?) for pointing out facts inconvenient to the Democratic Party's misuse of Max Cleland who -- though all who serve deserve honor and gratitude -- has slandered unapologetically our military:
When will you denounce John Kerry for his "anti-American, anti-soldier, hateful, malicious and untrue statements"? When will you demand of him "a huge apology for the vitriolic hatred [he] spew[ed]" against our servicemen in Vietnam?

If you believe Kerry, was not Cleland a murderous, raping butcher along the lines of Genghis Khan?

You can't have it both ways (unless you're an irrational, craven hypocrite).

As for Max Cleland, how can you call "great" someone who accused falsely our Marines in Iraq of murder? Was he not "spewing anti-American, anti-soldier, hateful, malicious and untrue statements" about our military while they're in harm's way? Are they not "great men" for defending us and our rights against those whose god and prophet command them to "kill the unbelievers wherever you find them" (Qur'an 9:5)?
Here's an excellent rebuttal by Mark Harden:
Coulter pretty much blows away the misrepresentations of her column here.

Back in 1997, before he was hijacked as the Dem's Disabled Vietnam Vet poster boy, the media was more honest about what actually happened to Cleland:

Jill Zuckman in a lengthy piece for The Boston Globe Sunday magazine on Aug. 3, 1997:
"Finally, the battle at Khe Sanh was over. Cleland, 25 years old, and two members of his team were now ordered to set up a radio relay station at the division assembly area, 15 miles away. The three gathered antennas, radios and a generator and made the 15-minute helicopter trip east. After unloading the equipment, Cleland climbed back into the helicopter for the ride back. But at the last minute, he decided to stay and have a beer with some friends. As the helicopter was lifting off, he shouted to the pilot that he was staying behind and jumped several feet to the ground.

"Cleland hunched over to avoid the whirring blades and ran. Turning to face the helicopter, he caught sight of a grenade on the ground where the chopper had perched. It must be mine, he thought, moving toward it. He reached for it with his right arm just as it exploded, slamming him back and irreparably altering his plans for a bright, shining future."
Ann Coulter sums up the Left's problem succinctly:
Sadly for them, dozens and dozens of newspapers have already printed the truth. Liberals simply can't grasp the problem Lexis-Nexis poses to their incessant lying. They ought to stick to their specialty — hysterical overreaction. The truth is not their forte.
Here are more of Ms. Coulter's remarks on Cleland:
"He told the pilot he was going to stay awhile. Maybe have a few beers with friends. ... Then Cleland looked down and saw a grenade. Where'd that come from? He walked toward it, bent down, and crossed the line between before and after." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 5, 1999)

"(Cleland) didn't step on a land mine. He wasn't wounded in a firefight. He couldn't blame the Viet Cong or friendly fire. The Silver Star and Bronze Star medals he received only embarrassed him. He was no hero. He blew himself up." (The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 24, 1999)

"Cleland was no war hero, but his sacrifice was great. ... Democratic Senate candidate Max Cleland is a victim of war, not a casualty of combat. He lost three limbs on a long-forgotten hill near Khe Sanh because of some American's mistake ..." (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sept. 29, 1996)

The story started to change only last year when the Democrats began citing Cleland's lost Senate seat as proof that Republicans hate war heroes. Indeed, until the myth of Republicans attacking Cleland for his lack of "patriotism" became central to the Democrats' narrative against George Bush, Cleland spoke only honorably and humbly about his accident. "How did I become a war hero?" he said to The Boston Globe reporter in 1997. "Simple. The grenade went off."

Cleland even admitted that, but for his accident, he would have "probably been some frustrated history teacher, teaching American government at some junior college." (OK, I got that wrong: I said he'd probably be a pharmacist.)

Cleland's true heroism came after the war, when he went on to build a productive life for himself. That is a story of inspiration and courage. He shouldn't let the Democrats tarnish an admirable life by "sexing up" his record in order to better attack George Bush.