Just Jihad: May 2008: Archives

May 30, 2008

The Daily Show: Supporting The Troops Is Just A GOP Slogan genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Ever since 9/11, the GOP has made a habit of flaunting their support for our troops...while also accusing their adversaries of not doing so. Each time a Democrat criticized the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, questioned the merits of continuing the war, or voiced concerns with the huge costs to fund the war, their patriotism was questioned.

Times have apparently changed. The moment Democratic Senator Jim Webb submitted legislation to insure that support for the troops would include a much needed expansion of the educational benefits provided under the existing GI Bill, George Bush and John McCain are suddenly leading the opposition.

You see, the bottom line is political expediency. When supporting the troops can be exploited for partisan advantage, the GOP couldn't talk long enough and loud enough about their commitment to our troops. Now that support for our troops has been transformed into a tangible benefit, the president and his clone are both leading the charge to defeat the measure.

Truth be told, these current actions only reinforce the assertions of Scott McClellan, the president's former Press Secretary. McClellan, in his newly released book, tells us that this president frequently placed his focus on the partisan benefits of his actions. The fact that the troops were a pawn in his political arsenal seems to be clear at this juncture.

It's also increasingly evident that John McCain, the former straight-talking maverick, has opted to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. Our troops and the American public cannot afford four more years of supporting the political ambitions of men like George Bush...and his well-trained lap dog...John McCain.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, George Bush, GI Bill, Jim Webb, John McCain, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Daniel DiRito | May 30, 2008 | 11:24 AM | link | Comments (0)
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May 28, 2008

Oy Vey: Donuts, Dogma, & A Damn Scarf genre: Hip-Gnosis & Just Jihad

If you haven't figured out the topic of this posting from the above title, let me be the first to tell you that the right leaning blogosphere is in an uproar over a scarf worn by Rachael Ray in a Dunkin' Donuts advertisement.

Here's the gist of the objection - the scarf looks similar to a "keffiyeh"...which is the type of scarf "polularized by Yassir Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim Terrorists." Hence, blogs like Little Green Footballs, Atlas Shrugs, and Michelle Malkin...amongst others...decided to bring the offense to the attention of Dunkin' Donuts and ask for the advertisement to be pulled. Dunkin' obliged the request and explained that nothing malicious was intended by the inclusion of the scarf.

Look, had the scarf been utilized to make a political statement, one could argue that it was offensive and inappropriate. Clearly Dunkin' Donuts is in the business of making a profit and anything that might offend portions of their customer base isn't apt to be selected to appear in their marketing materials. Hence, inferring Dunkin' is guilty of anything more than an insensitivity to the diversity of their customer base would be, in my opinion, unreasonable.

I have no reason to doubt Dunkin's sincerity so I'll move on to the rhetoric of those who view the scarf as an opportunity to launch a veiled assault upon those who object to some of the actions of the Bush administration in the aftermath of 9/11.

Pardon my skepticism, but when I realized who was behind the protestations, the first thought that crossed my mind was that this was part of an endless effort to link every possible event with terrorism in the hopes that they will invoke the fear of a threat to our national security. No doubt much of the GOP's political success under George Bush results from efforts of this very nature.

In light of the fact that the GOP brand isn't highly regarded at the moment, my cynical side tells me that invoking terrorism and fear is evidence of some level of desperation...especially when it involves nothing more than donuts, a domestic diva, and a damn scarf.

Moving on, I decided to have some fun and highlight the hyperbole and the hysteria being broadcast on this particular topic by one of the blogosphere's biggest bloviators...Michelle Malkin. Always righteous and perpetually pedantic, Malkin is dogmatic in directing her derision towards all those who ignore her ideological incantations. As such, it only seemed appropriate to rename Dunkin' Donuts in deference to her defiant demagoguery.

With that said, I'm introducing Dogma's Donuts. They're divinely delectable, faithfully flavorful, and religiously ready at the crack of dawn. Stop by soon...Michelle is on standby to stuff you full of her Christian confections.

DunkinDonutsMalkin.jpg

Tagged as: 9/11, Atlas Shrugs, Christianity, Dogma, Dunkin' Donuts, Faith, Fear, GOP, Ideology, Intolerance, Islam, Keffiyeh, Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, Muslim, Rachael Ray, Religion, Terrorism, Yassir Arafat

Daniel DiRito | May 28, 2008 | 4:45 PM | link | Comments (3)
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May 23, 2008

Are Those Opposed To GI Bill In Favor Of Stealth Conscription? genre: Econ-Recon & Just Jihad & Polispeak

VolunteerMilitary.jpg

The passage of Senator Jim Webb's expansion of the GI Bill to provide expanded educational benefits highlights a topic most don't want to discuss. Since abolishing the draft and making service in the military voluntary, critics have argued that an inordinate number of the ranks are filled by those who lack other opportunities...including the ability to afford a college education. In other words, they contend that the election to join the military can often be a de facto economic decision.

When critics, like New York Representative Charlie Rangel, raise concerns that an inordinate number of new enlistments come from lower income families, those opposed to reinstating the draft accuse them of insulting our service people. Essentially, they contend the criticism impugns the patriotism of those who have volunteered to serve their country. If that deflection fails, they have also argued that the criticism insults the intelligence of military personnel by suggesting that those who serve in the military are uneducated.

That brings us back to the Senate's passage of the Webb bill. One of the redeeming benefits of the passage of time is that is frequently shines a bright light on hyperbole and hypocrisy. In what can only be seen as a reversal of logic, some of those who rejected the assertions of men like Charlie Rangel are now opposed to expanding the benefits provided by the GI Bill. Yes, they are now arguing that those expanded benefits might entice some service members to exit the military in order to take advantage of the educational benefits. In other words, given other and better opportunities, some members of the military might not want to continue serving.

Let me be clear. The patriotism of those who enlist has never been the issue and it wasn't for those who criticized the all volunteer army. Those who contended that it attracted individuals who lacked other opportunities always believed in the patriotism of those who enlisted...just as they will continue to believe in it should some service members elect to leave the military in order to utilize their expanded educational benefits.

Those who aligned with George Bush and John McCain in opposing this bill have simply exposed their inclination to make military service a matter of necessity. Voting to deny service members the same level of educational benefits that existed when the GI Bill was first passed is evidence that they recognize the differences between conscripted service and volunteer service. Why else would they not support a bill that would give volunteer service members the same benefits that were afforded to conscripted ones?

Truth be told, those opposed to this bill don't want to provide a plausible alternative to military service because they know that the decision to enlist is, in fact, often a decision of economic necessity because there is a lack of other opportunities for those whose families lack the means to send them to college.

Look, I don't object to the government using carrots to entice enlistment. The military can be the means to advance one's education that might not otherwise be possible. Regardless, choosing to deny former service members access to benefits that will reward their patriotism and service is a far more egregious act than to question the inequity of an all volunteer military.

So what is the message given by those who would deny these benefits? Well it clearly states that they favor a system that facilitates the enlistment of the economically disadvantaged and they certainly don't want to do anything that might take away the leverage that it provides. In other words, it tells our enlisted persons that we're happy to have them defend their country's commitment to freedom but we're opposed to providing them the opportunities that would grant them the opportunity to exercise that freedom.

While I'm not in favor of a draft, I am in favor of an honest discussion on the shortcomings of the existing all volunteer system. It seems entirely hypocritical for those who have attempted to ignore the contention that economic motivations may lead to the population of our military to now be speaking out against providing the very opportunities and alternatives that their adversaries have long suggested were lacking.

When Charlie Rangel suggests that a draft would make members of Congress think twice about sending American soldiers into harms way if they knew their own sons and daughters might have to serve, he's simply pointing out the same hypocrisy. In the end, if our volunteer military results from the fact that some individual's lack or are denied reasonable alternatives, then it is, in essence, a form of conscription.

If I didn't know better, I might conclude that those opposed to the expansion of the GI Bill are not only in favor of stealth conscription; they may actually be endorsing de facto enslavement...with pay...of course.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Charlie Rangel, Conscription, Economics, Education, George Bush, GI Bill, Iraq, James Webb, John McCain, Military Draft, Patriotism, Socioeconomic, Underprivileged, Veto, Volunteer Military, War

Daniel DiRito | May 23, 2008 | 10:35 AM | link | Comments (0)
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May 13, 2008

George Bush Brings Out The Bogeyman One More Time genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

FearFactorII.jpg

It was bound to happen. Despite the president's numerous statements that he doesn't want to wade into the 2008 election, his remarks today not only signal that he's reneged; they reflect his intention to employ the same tactic that he and the GOP used so successfully in the run up to the 2004 election. If you haven't already guessed, let's just say that it's time to scare the bejeebers out of the voters by raising the prospect of a terrorist attack should the Democrats prevail in November.

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday he was disappointed in "flawed intelligence" before the Iraq war and was concerned that if a Democrat wins the presidency in November and withdrew troops prematurely it could "eventually lead to another attack on the United States."

He acknowledged concerns about leaving the unfinished Iraq war to a Democratic successor. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have said they will bring troops home if elected.

Bush said his "doomsday scenario of course is that extremists throughout the Middle East would be emboldened, which would eventually lead to another attack on the United States."

This ominous message of potential doom comes from the same man who stood on an aircraft carrier nearly five years ago and declared "Mission Accomplished". I don't know about anyone else, but I'm still trying to figure out which George Bush we're supposed to believe...the one who thought the war in Iraq was a cake walk or the one who thinks the bogeyman is lurking around every corner.

Since I love metaphors, it's worth noting that the president's daughter was married at the family ranch in Texas over the weekend. While I wish her well in her marriage, unfortunately I can't say that America's eight year relationship with George W. Bush was all that successful. As is often stated when speaking about a troubled marriage, the honeymoon has been over for quite some time. I for one can't wait to part ways.

Tagged as: 2004 Election, 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Fear Mongering, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, John McCain, Mission Accomplished, Terrorism

Daniel DiRito | May 13, 2008 | 6:37 PM | link | Comments (3)
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