Red, White & Liberal by Alan Colmes - Read Online
Red, White & Liberal
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As one of the foremost liberal voices in television and radio today, Alan Colmes has long been braving the wilds of controversial issues and conservative slander. The host of the talk-radio show Fox News Live with Alan Colmes and cohost of Fox News Channel's hit debate show Hannity & Colmes, Colmes now offers this witty, passionate wake-up call to America.

Colmes takes on the fundamental question: How can we protect our nation without diminishing our liberties, and regain our place in the world as an example of democracy? Colmes urges Americans to see past the government's manipulation of the War on Terror to silence critics; the lies we've been force-fed about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the conservative smear campaign that has turned "liberal" into a four-letter word. From debunking the myth of the liberal media to exposing conservative hypocrisy, Colmes presents the issues with thoughtful, provocative arguments, hard facts and logic, and searing humor.

Certain to spark debate and cause readers to reevaluate and reaffirm their beliefs, Red, White & Liberal powerfully argues that despite our differences, we must extend our hands across party lines to find solutions, protect our shores, and preserve our freedoms.

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780062111982
List price: $9.99
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Red, White & Liberal - Alan Colmes

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Red, White & Liberal

I’m proud to be a liberal. In my spare time I hug trees. I’d rather hug a tree than embrace a tax cut we can’t afford. Ever try to hug a tax rebate check? Bark burn is so much more pleasant than paper cuts. I believe there is a role for government. So do conservatives, in spite of the fact that they love to shout about getting government off our backs. They love government, too. They just use government differently than liberals do. Conservatives want government to tell you what you can’t do. In fact, the Republican view of legislation is Just Say No. I am a liberal because I believe in what government can do as a force for good. I believe that, when used properly, government can create opportunity, equality, and equity. I agree with Ron Brown, the late Commerce secretary and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who stated, The common thread of Democratic history, from Thomas Jefferson to Bill Clinton, has been an abiding faith in the judgment of hardworking American families, and a commitment to helping the excluded, the disenfranchised and the poor strengthen our nation by earning themselves a piece of the American Dream. We remember that this great land was sculpted by immigrants and slaves, their children and grandchildren.

I Am Not a Party Animal

The more I learned about the Democratic Party and its rich history, the more I felt at home with its ideals. This is not to say I agree with every Democratic politician, policy position, or pronouncement. And I’m often more critical of my own party than of the opposition. When I’m critical of Democrats or liberals on Hannity & Colmes, it drives my fellow liberals crazy because they feel I should be an ideological cheerleader. This is not something I can do while maintaining my intellectual honesty. I’m not a Democrat because I love political organizations (I am a loner, not a joiner), and I don’t agree with much of the inside baseball that gets played within and between our American political parties. I’m a Democrat because the progressive ideas in which I fervently believe are closer to what the Democrats stand for than what the Republicans profess, and those two parties are the only viable infrastructures for electing candidates to office.

That being said, I heartily identify with the roots of the party. The party of the common man was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1792 to fight for the Bill of Rights and stand up to the elitist Federalists. In the next century, William Jennings Bryan, known as the Great Commoner, was considered the conscience of the nation. As a two-term congressman and three-time presidential nominee, Bryan fought for and won women’s suffrage, direct elections of senators, and a progressive income tax. As President Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of state and a peace advocate in the early part of the twentieth century, Bryan won the approval of thirty nations to agree to investigations of disputes before going to war. Wilson, that century’s first Democratic president, brought us the League of Nations, the Federal Reserve Board, and the first child and welfare laws. President Franklin Roosevelt brought our country out of the Great Depression with his New Deal, Works Progress Administration, and the creation of Social Security. President Harry Truman integrated the armed forces. President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps and brought a new optimism to America. President Lyndon Johnson’s administration heralded the civil rights movement with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. It was Johnson’s Great Society that declared war on poverty and created Medicare and Medicaid.

In short, Democrats don’t need to add the word compassionate to further define what they are: the notion is already built in to the philosophy. Liberals are the ones who have fought to move forward while conservatives have done what their name implies: conserve the past. That’s why I’m proud of the L word and what it represents. And that’s why I’m committed to fight for and uphold its ideals.

Liberal, Literally. Are You One?

The conservatives’ tactic of making the word liberal seem as though it should be one of the seven words you can’t say on the broadcast media has been brilliant. The word drips off the tongue, as though if it’s said too often, the speaker will have an aneurysm as it parts the lips. (Conservatives also love to use the diminutive lib to marginalize the left.) When Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was running for and then became leader of the House Democrats, the words San Francisco liberal were spit out of conservative mouths as though the pronouncers were trying to dispel toxic bile from their systems. The last time I checked, San Francisco is part of the very same America that conservatives claim to love so much. Or maybe they only love those parts of America that got colored red on the Bush/Gore maps of 2000. Sixties conservatives said, My country: Love it or leave it. I say: My country: Love it all or don’t love it at all.

Liberal is a very nice word. Say it a few times. Let it roll off the tongue. Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. Wait a minute … that’s Maria from West Side Story. Actually, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if liberals could embrace this word with the same kind of glee with which Maria embraced her beauty:

"I feel liberal, oh so liberal. I feel liberal and witty and bright And I pity those conservatives who think they’re right."

Honestly, doesn’t liberal sound nicer than conservative? Liberal has a lilt to it. Conservative has those hard sounds. And more syllables. Given what conserve means, does it make sense that conservatives would have more syllables than they really need?

Liberal is not, as some seem to believe, a word that must always be modified by the far-less-glamorous word scum. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language offers these definitions:

lib-er-al (liberel, librel) adj.


a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.

d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

So we’re not traditional. Sometimes we wear earrings, even if we’re male. Authoritarian dogmas tend to be fascist in nature, and fascism is on the right side of the political spectrum, not the left. Freedom from bigotry—now there’s something worth mocking! This isn’t to say that conservatives are bigoted, but we’ll get to that definition in a moment.

Reform, progress, tolerance. Is there a problem here? The right loves to accuse the left of intolerance of conservative ideas, and if you point out to conservatives that liberals are tolerant, they don’t want to hear it. Of course conservative tolerance for gays, the needy, and drug-dependent Americans is legendary, isn’t it? Oh, and liberals. They’re very tolerant of liberals. As for broad-minded, okay, hold the Clinton jokes.

Here’s the tolerance level of one Hannity & Colmes viewer who copied me on an e-mail he sent to Sean declaring that he would never be my friend because I am a liberal. He takes great issue with a passage in Sean’s book, Let Freedom Ring. (You’re welcome for the plug. It’s published by ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins.) This e-mail begins with the offending quote from Sean’s book:

From: bill k

Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 11:03 PM

To: Hannity; Colmes

Subject: Let Freedom Ring

I certainly don’t have any personal beef with my Fox News partner-in-crime, Alan Colmes, he is a great guy and a great American….

I can no longer take you seriously and will probably never finish your book…. Liberals are to be pitied or despised. This is far too serious to be reduced to a TV show.

Now, if that isn’t worrisome enough, here comes the really scary part, and I don’t think this guy is kidding:

I have no Liberal friends because I do not want to be their friend. I laid my life on the line for twenty years in the USAF defending the rights for Liberals to be stupid or subversive, which ever the case may be. I do not and will not ever consider them to be great Americans, and I will not lend credence to their destructive beliefs by saying they are.

Before I show you my reply to Mr. K, and his response to that, let me say a word about Sean Hannity. He is passionate in his beliefs, articulate, and persuasive. And I’m sure there are nights when he would rather be home with his beautiful wife and two darling children than on a stage somewhere debating a liberal. But Sean is also a great American who realizes that the great ongoing national debate as epitomized on Hannity & Colmes is integral to democracy. The give-and-take we offer nightly has caught on because people do want to see both sides of an argument, even if they strongly oppose one of them, or both of them.

From: Colmes

Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 12:18 PM

To: ‘bill k’

Subject: RE: Let Freedom Ring

It’s really a pity that you want to shut yourself off from a huge number of fellow Americans just because they don’t share your political beliefs. How do you know whether or not your doctor, dentist, dry cleaner, or grocer is liberal? If you needed emergency medical care would you make sure that the person giving you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was a conservative? Do you want only one political party in America like they had in communist Russia?

If you want a political litmus test for every person you know and actively shut yourself off from other points of view, you are really shutting out most of the world.


From: bill k

Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 12:42 PM

To: Colmes

Subject: RE: Let Freedom Ring

I usually don’t reply to stupid people who make ridiculous statements but for you I will. Yes I would gladly shut myself off from anyone who I know is a Liberal. I would never let a Liberal dentist or doctor treat me if I know they are a Liberal…. They are the enemy of the United States and I don’t have time to waste listening to their poppycock bullshit.

From: Colmes

Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 1:15 PM

To: ‘bill k’

Subject: RE: Let Freedom Ring


Let me know next time you’re in NY and I’ll buy you a beer.


Amazingly, Bill never took me up on that offer. And I’d even buy him a domestic brew. I hope that Mr. K realizes that there are many Americans on my side, Americans who want and need a voice to combat what they see as the rising tide of conservatism in America.

From: beth

Sent: Wednesday, February 05,2003 6:10 AM

To: colmes

Subject: Hang In There

Hi Alan—I know you have a tough job—but keep fighting for us liberals. We need a voice so badly. I pull for you every night.

Thanks. Beth

Beth, I’m there for you. And I’m there for Bill, too, whether he knows it or not.

It amazes me that some Americans can’t for the life of them believe that there is such a thing as a liberal in America. It is beyond their imagination that there are a lot of people who think differently than they do. Some of my favorite e-mail is from people who believe that what I do is an act, that I’m a conservative at heart. But, hey, you have to pay the bills, right?

From: Dan & Ellen S.

Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 9:57 PM

To: colmes

Subject: The Show

Come on Colmes. You have got to be a plant on the show to play the devils advocate. I have to admit that it is working. BUT, you either love to be hated or you a very very dumb. I do not believe that you are that dumb and therefore have concluded that you are a plant to be the opposite and maybe boost the ratings. I am right aren’t I?

Shhh, Mr. or Mrs. S. Please don’t tell anyone our little secret. And when you see me raise my left eyebrow, that’s a sign that I know I’m a conservative saying liberal things. It will be our little code.

I’m actually flattered when people are convinced that I’m a conservative just playing a liberal on TV. What they’re really saying is, I really like you, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how someone I like could be a liberal; therefore, you must be a conservative. I want you to know I’m on to your amusing game.

From: jami

Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 5:07 PM

To: colmes

Subject: (no subject)

dear mr colmes,

your secret is safe with me—you are a conservative at heart.


Smyrna, GA

Conservative, Literally. Are You One?

So what does conservative mean? Our friends at American Heritage have this to say:

con-ser-va-tive adj.

1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.

2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.

3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.


a. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.

b. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.

5. Conservative Of or belonging to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.

6. Conservative Of or adhering to Conservative Judaism.

7. Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources.

So conservatives like to retain the status quo, are generally opposed to change, and are into preserving things as they are. It’s the liberals who have traditionally fought for progress and advancement. Liberals realize that the world changes, that change can be for the good, and that legislation needs to keep pace with those changes. Conservatives wax poetic about the way things were. Liberals talk about where we are and where we’re going, and the way things could be in a better world. Conservatives have been successful in the marketing of bumper-sticker phrases that have sold well to their constituencies, but are really meaningless. You often hear conservatives talk about taking my country back. Back from whom, the American Indian? Whom do they think took their country? The people who fought for equal rights, for gender equality, for decent wages, and for living conditions for the poorest among us? The only ones who can literally and realistically take this country back are ones to whom it originally belonged: the Native Americans. I believe it was the comedian Steve Martin who once said of Ronald Reagan, He wants to make this country what it once was: a landmass filled with glaciers.

Conservatives have done a wonderful job appropriating words that have the same root as liberal and making them their own. According to Merriam-Webster, the word liberal has a rich background: "Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English l odan to grow, Greek eleutheros free." We’re free, we’re generous, and we like to grow. That doesn’t seem all that controversial. Liberty and liberal are cousins.

My friend and cohost wrote a book subtitled Winning the War of Liberty Over "Liberalism." (You’re welcome again for the plug. By the way, did I mention that it’s published by ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins?) But, wait! Since when does one preclude the other? Liberals have fought to give liberty to the poor, the sick, the homeless, and minorities. I contend that it was liberal ideas that liberated many in our society. I further contend that we have a long way to go. Liberate comes from liberal. Bush 43 wanted to liberate Iraq. I say, if you want to use a word that is an offspring of liberal to apply for your own nonliberal political ends, find your own words. I wish there were a word adoption agency. Anyone who wanted to use a word for his or her own agenda would have to go to this agency, fill out forms, and prove that the word in question would not be misappropriated. Linguistic social workers would visit homes, schools, and libraries to make sure that there is no misuse going on once a word is formally adopted. The punishment for malfeasance would be that conservatives would not only have to find their own words, but stick to them.

A Friendly Word to Right-Wing Extremists

Let me take this moment to disabuse some conservatives of some of the liberal stereotyping that is all too rampant in America today. I write this paragraph not to most conservatives, but to some on the right (and the left) who have no tolerance for the other side. I dedicate these words to those Americans:

I unabashedly love my country and my family. As for God, my view of Her is none of your business, but I love Him, too. Don’t you dare tell me that you are more patriotic than I, a better parent than I, a truer husband, a more loyal son, brother, friend, or any other category you wish to invoke with your smug anti-American comments. Yes, you are being anti-American if you think you are superior because of political party affiliation, because of religious affiliation, or because you think your views trump mine in any way. This is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are one nation, and it is you who want to divide us by attacking anyone who doesn’t share your narrow view of America. I have no obligation to worship your God, any more than you have to share my religious views. I am not obliged to blindly agree with a man just because he happens to be the president of the United States and the commander in chief of our armed forces. It is my right to speak as forcefully and as passionately about what I believe as you do. I am especially blessed to have a forum in both the print and broadcast media to do it, and I don’t for a second take that for granted. Wars have been fought and Americans have died so I can write this and you can read it, unworried by a knock at the door that would delete these words from my computer as I write them or rip this page from your hands as you read them. The brave men and women who made sacrifices didn’t do so to promote a political party or agenda. Some of them actually had Democrat registration cards in their wallets. And I don’t need to have served in the military to voice any opinion about war, peace, the government, or any other issue. You are not better than I because you are a conservative; you are not smarter than I because you speak louder; you are not specially placed in God’s firmament because you’re more pious. If you truly want to live up to the ideals our forefathers had in mind, if you sincerely care to embody the spirit of Jesus, Buddha, or Mohammed, stop hating and start loving. Love even when you don’t really feel it, even when you think you’re faking it. Soon, you won’t be faking it anymore, and you’ll be a better parent, a better friend, a better American, a better person.

From: Ronnie

Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 10:28 PM

To: Colmes

Subject: you

I just want you to know that I honestly hate you! I would never really do this, but, when you talk I fantasize about shooting you. I pretend I have a pistol in my hand and I shoot you all over. I pretend to shoot you in the head and in your torso. I despise you because of the way you think as evidenced by your line of questioning. If you died I would celebrate!

What Made Me Liberal?

I wonder if I’d grown up in a different time or in a different family whether I would have many of the views I have today. I had an iconoclastic mother who was critical of all politicians, regardless of party or ideology, and a father who was completely apolitical. My sister worked for many years as an assistant district attorney on Long Island, where we grew up. Although she’s solidly Republican, she’s not quite as far right as her husband, who each year serves up a healthy side of political debate with the Thanksgiving turkey. Sean Hannity likes to joke that all of the members of his family are conservative because there are no defective genes in his family. Although his family’s influence shaped his views considerably, my views had more to do with the events of the day as I became more interested in the world around me. Maybe Hannity versus Colmes is nurture versus nature.

The names and faces change as years go by, but the basic issues don’t. Americans are debating taxes, ways of dealing with poverty and medical care, family values, war and peace, just as we always have been. I would hope that regardless of the era in which God placed me, I would still stand for the values I believe in today. And I like to think I’m open to new views, and to reexamining my old ones on a regular basis. I don’t take my ideologies for granted. And sometimes, to paraphrase Mark Twain, I question whether I want to be part of a political party that would have me as a member. As you read on, perhaps you’ll reexamine some of your views, too, even if you already agree with what’s being said.

I can’t recall when I first thought of myself as a liberal. Coming of age during the Vietnam era, I became interested in government and politics when I, and many other Americans, discovered our elected officials were lying to us. On August 6, 1964, in the Gulf of Tonkin, the destroyers Maddox and C. Turner Joy were on patrol. The captain of the Maddox determined that his ship was under attack, and both ships began firing, with airpower added for support. The trouble is, there was no attack, just a misreading of instruments by a captain whose ship actually had been attacked two days earlier, and who soon acknowledged that nothing had probably happened on August 6, after all. James Stockdale, who many years later ran for vice president as Ross Perot’s running mate, was the pilot of a Crusader jet that did a reconnaissance flight over the Gulf of Tonkin that evening. When asked if there was an attack by the North Vietnamese, Stockdale said, Not a one. No boats, no wakes, no ricochets off boats, no boat impacts, no torpedo wakes—nothing but black sea and American firepower.

The Johnson administration, however, used this nonevent to escalate the war. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed the House 416 to 0 and the Senate 88 to 2, giving the president authority to take all necessary measures to repel armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression. This led to a much larger commitment of troops and resources and an ultimate death toll of 58,212 American lives. The escalation and the resulting deaths were all based on a lie.

I became further disillusioned upon learning about the My Lai massacre, which took place on March 16, 1968. American soldiers systematically killed hundreds of innocent Vietnamese, including infants and the elderly. Americans later found out that leaders of the U.S. military lied to us about troop strength, casualties, how well the war was going, and how chemicals used affected our fighting forces (lies that were repeated during successive wars).

We will forever debate this unjust and immoral war, and in spite of our political differences forever be grateful to those who sacrificed life and limb. Unfortunately, it was the poorest of the poor and those with the fewest connections who were shipped off to the rice paddies of Southeast Asia. Those with the most connections either avoided the draft entirely or were able to secure cushy spots stateside. Say, for example, you were from a political family, and you knew people who knew people. And let’s say those people, whom you knew, helped you get into the … oh, I don’t know, let’s just say, National Guard. That way, if you ever ran for office, you could always say you served, even if you were AWOL for a year and they couldn’t find you when it was medical exam time. Besides, when you’re young and irresponsible, you’re young and irresponsible, right?

Plus Ça Change, Plus C’est La Meme Chose

I stayed up nights worrying about being drafted, knowing I couldn’t support the war. I attended a meeting of conscientious objectors to see if that was a path I could take. Shortly thereafter, my number came up in the lottery that determined who would be sent to war, and it was high enough to keep me out of the service. Had that not been the case, I can’t say I wouldn’t have tried for C.O. status. Sometimes, we like to think we would have acted courageously had circumstances been different. Had I been drafted and asked to serve in Vietnam, would I have gone? And would that have been the courageous thing to do? Conventional wisdom might say yes, risking your life for your country when it asks you to, even if you don’t agree with what your country is trying to do, is heroic. During this time, some American boys made a very different and difficult decision and chose to flee to Canada. Odd as it sounds, I believe this might also be considered a heroic choice. In a way, it seems that leaving your homeland, going to a strange place with little money, no friends, and the condemnation of the majority of your fellow citizens because you strongly believe in a principle—that, to me, is heroic, too. This may anger conservatives who can’t imagine this as a heroic—even patriotic—choice, but I can’t deny that my romantic view of what might have been has me leaning this way. I have tremendous admiration for those who have defended and continue to defend this country, and for all in uniform who serve at the pleasure of our commander in chief. But I didn’t believe that the war in Vietnam had anything to do with defending our country, just as I didn’t believe that the war in Iraq had anything to do with defending our country. I trace my political roots to those days when we were warned that if we didn’t take over Vietnam, the Commies would be on the shores of San Francisco when Khrushchev predicted that they would bury you, us, under Communism.

I suppose my Vietnam-era views made me, in the parlance of the day, antiestablishment. I never consciously set out to be a liberal, but Vietnam opened my eyes to injustice. The men we sent to fight what I believed to be a political war were lied to. It took decades for our government to acknowledge the disfiguring and, in some cases, fatal effects of Agent Orange, just as we’re now discovering that Gulf War Syndrome has afflicted almost two hundred thousand of America’s finest. Gradually, I began to notice similar injustices and inequities elsewhere in our social structure. As I learned about history, I felt as though I was in sync with the great tradition of liberalism.

When your first impression of the powers that be is one of lying by both omission and commission, of promoting a caste system for the convenience of a politically motivated war, it really shapes how you view the world, and those who run it. And as I see history bizarrely replicating itself, it only reaffirms my pride in being a liberal. True, Bill Clinton lied. It was a white lie, something most of us do. And, yes, to repeat the mantra of the right, He lied under oath. But rarely does a lie under oath about sex wind up being prosecuted. I’m not excusing this behavior, but don’t tell me you’ve never told a white lie. In Clinton’s case, the lie was an attempt to protect his dignity and to save his family from embarrassment. He lied about a personal relationship, not about troop movements and death tolls. And for that they wanted to run him out of town because they couldn’t get him on anything else. Yet, we still have elected officials in the highest places telling us lies to promote political wars, hiding information that taxpayers should know, and advocating a society in which rich and poor are treated much differently by both the private sector and government policy. As the nineteenth-century French author Alphonse Karr said, The more things change, the more things remain the same.

And Now, From the People Who Brought You Vietnam …

Patriotism seems too often tied up with war, as though supporting a war proves love of country. During Vietnam we saw how those who supported the war were defined as patriots and those who didn’t were called anti-American. Now, it’s happening again. Standing up for what you believe when you know you’re not in the majority and when you know you will face likely ridicule for your views may be the most patriotic position. It’s easy to ride with the herd, but it takes more fortitude to buck the tide. Unlike during Vietnam, though, today’s government is marketing-savvy. White House chief of staff Andrew Card explained the timing of pushing for war with Iraq by saying, From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce new products in August.

The Bush 43 administration has been effective in engineering a PR campaign to push its idea of patriotism. Literally. The Pentagon pays the Rendon Group, a worldwide PR firm, $100,000 a month to make us look good abroad. On March 12, 2002, the Village Voice reported, During the Gulf War, Rendon furnished Kuwaiti citizens with American flags, and also boosted the CIA’s effort to oust Saddam Hussein from power, producing videos, radio skits mocking Hussein, and a traveling photo exhibit…. Rendon also worked closely with the Iraqi National Congress—they even crafted the anti-Hussein group’s name. The Pentagon hired Rendon without competitive bidding, which is how government contracts are usually awarded. Conservatives get bent out of shape about what they believe is misuse of taxpayer dollars going to help the poor. Here we have taxpayer dollars being used to sell war the way advertising dollars are spent on Madison Avenue. But why stop there? Why not use these time-tested techniques to sell whatever policy the government is trying to promote?

"The people of the Iraqi National Congress: They’re mmm … mmm good!"

"There’s ALWAYS room for missiles!"

"You’re in the Farsi generation."

"A defense contract is a terrible thing to waste."

"The death penalty: We take good things from life."

"American bombs, good to the last drop."

And what makes us think that terrorists won’t take a licking but, in the long term, keep on ticking?

Before her March 2001 appointment as spokesperson for the Department of Defense, Victoria Clarke, the former assistant secretary of Defense for public affairs, was the head of the Washington office of PR giant Hill and Knowlton. Charlotte Beers, formerly of the advertising agencies J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy and Mather, was named undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. Maybe the woman who once sold us Uncle Ben’s will be able to promote products like the extra long-range missile. Did we need a PR guru to tell us how bad Saddam was, that he kills Kurds dead?

The Real Threat to Our Military

As for the military, I don’t know that what I’m about to say here is a liberal position or a conservative position, but it is an American position. We ask men and women to put their lives on the line for our country; we send