Monday, May 12, 2008

What if they threw a debate and only the lefties showed up

I almost passed on this, but it comes too close to slander to let it go.
From that non-partisan blog we all love known as MNBlue, says Charlie Underwood-

Just over five years ago, Minneapolis South High sponsored a debate about the advisability of the looming invasion of Iraq. I wasn't there, but by all accounts it was a rousing discussion, with hot opinions and urgent facts thrown back and forth.
Five years later, there was nobody left to debate. There were exactly four people who agreed to be on a panel this morning, all completely against the ongoing occupation of Iraq: Iraq Veterans Against the War Andrew Huff and Brandon Day, as well as local D.F.L. peaceniks Faith Kidder and myself. Not a single person could be found to claim in public that the invasion and occupation had somehow been worth it.
It wasn't for lack of trying, explained South High social studies teacher Michael Boucher. They had contacted the state Republican Party, Republican senators and congresspeople. They had contacted right-wing Star Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten and her friends at Vets for Freedom, but neither Peter Hegseth nor any of his friends could make it. Not one single person could be found who would debate the assertion that the war and occupation of Iraq was a total disaster.
The Vets for Freedom, of course, had complained long and hard a few weeks back because the Forest Lake principal had excluded them from giving a big presentation there. They were a non-partisan group, they protested, as they relocated to a local VFW hall. But given the chance to actually debate the merits of the war they promote, they declined. So at South High today there was no real differences of opinion about the war, only opposition from different perspectives.

Total BS aside, I checked with the rest of the leadership of the MN chapter of Vets For Freedom. No one had heard anything from anyone about this. VFF exists to stop the exaggerations spread by the left and the mainstream media about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are currently the largest Iraq and Afghan Vet group in existence. Sufficed to say we would have had volunteers aplenty for a debate as described above. Yet no one contacted any of us here in Minnesota.

It's not like we are hard to find, since both Mike Baumann and I are listed on the Vets For Freedom state webpage. We even sent an email a few weeks ago to a Brandon Day about VFF. He seems to be the same Brandon Day who is vocal local member of Iraq Vets against the War, but nonetheless signed up to receive our emails. I'm sure it was just coincidence!

For the record, if anyone would like to have some Minnesota Iraq and Afghanistan veterans speak at your gathering, church group, school or club, the Minnesota chapter of Vets For Freedom has members available. We are a non partisan group, (unless you think that actually winning the war on terror is a partisan issue). Contact myself or Mike Baumann at

Update 1-I posted this on their site...
Hey Charlie, I realize you're not the organizer of the event, but do you think any of them ever heard of Google? If they had, they could find Vets For Freedom, the largest organization of Iraq and Afghanistan vets in the US. They could have then found dozens of VFF members who would be happy to explain, from our firsthand experience, why we need to finish the job in Iraq. But no one contacted us.Or is it just easier to win a debate when you don't invite an opponent?
He responds with typical lack of focus...
In fact, I was surprised and disappointed that no supporters of the occupation were there. It would have made the discussion more interesting. What the organizers said is that they had, in fact, invited the Vets for Freedom, but that none had accepted. It was even mentioned that the Vets for Freedom had a rather ample budget for just this sort of thing, but still not one accepted. The contrast was made, in fact, that Forest Lake had NOT been a debate and that the Vets for Peace had huffed and puffed about not being able to present their single "non-partisan" side, whereas they had specifically been invited to this debate and had specifically declined.
I'm fine with a debate, Dave. I am not shy. I am not concerned about my grasp of the facts. If I am wrong, I am not afraid to admit it. You know all these things from our previous online encounters.
In a way, of course, it's all just words. Whether they come from Vets for Freedom or Iraq Vets Against the War. After all the sounds die away, all that is left is the slow evaporation of human blood on the earth. Nothing you say and nothing I say will change that. It's a tragic war. My saying so isn't what makes it tragic.

I'm fine with a debate too, Charley, but I can't voice my opinion if you conveniently forget to invite me.

Update 2-maybe it's just coincidence, but soon after my posting the BS card on this MNBlue announced a new comment policy. I guess the truth hurts.


Charley Underwood said...

Well, I just don't check your blog that often, Dave, and for some reason you didn't pop up on my google alert either.

As we both understood before, I didn't do the inviting to that little event. I was, as I said, quite surprised that no pro-war folks showed up, since I had been led to believe that they would.

I want to add that I also didn't institute the registration policy for comments at MNBllue. It took me by surprise. Nor do I have any role whatsoever in screening comments there. My personal guess is that none of it had a thing to do with you. You don't tend to use foul language at all, as far as I have seen. You don't just call people names. You don't even blog anonymously.

You and I may disagree 180 degrees, but I am quite happy to have those disagreements with you any time at all. I know that they will be respectful and will reflect the freedom that we both wish for the other in this amazing democracy of ours.

Why don't you register with MNBlue? If you get your comments deleted, let me know and I will forward them myself. I feel that strongly about it. If you don't already have my email, you can request contact through the Mpls Issues List or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion you commit an error.