There’s a video of Wesley Clark’s Friday morning keynote speech here. It’s not streaming smoothly for me right now, but maybe it’ll work for you. If the video is watchable it is very much worth watching.
I call it to your attention not just because it was an excellent speech, but because it was a very pro-military speech, and conference attendees — and most of the 1,500 or so people attending the conference were present — cheered and applauded lustily whenever Gen. Clark praised the troops serving in Iraq.
After Gen. Clark’s keynote, he and Jon Soltz of Vote Vets remained to moderate a panel called “The Military and Progressives: Are They Really That Different?” I would have stayed for it but that was at the same time as my religion panel (which went well, btw).
Apparently a veteran in the audience stood up and argued that the surge was working, which seems to have drawn some reaction. LGF headline: “Serviceman shouted down at Yearly Kos.” Yes, once again, we lefties hate the military.
Actually, in his speech Gen. Clark said it was “working” in a purely limited sense, meaning that whatever parts of Iraq are patrolled by U.S. troops do tend to settle down. The problem with that is, of course, that the insurgent/terrorists just move somewhere else, since there aren’t enough troops to be everywhere. And the surge is having no impact on Iraq’s political situation, which was the point of it.
The irony is that if you want to see real anti-troops hysteria, you can’t beat the righties themselves. They went after Scott Beauchamp like a school of piranha. Robert Farley at Lawyers, Guns and Money wrote,
…virtually the whole of the right blogosphere erupted in a torrent of the most vile abuse and intimidation against Scott Thomas Beauchamp, based at first on the assertion that he didn’t exist, second on the assertion that he could not be part of the military, and third on the assertion that, even if he were in the military, he must have made it all up. …
… It’s very simple, people. A TNR diarist wrote about a series of events. Righties freaked out, insisting that the stories couldn’t possibly be true. Lefties didn’t assert that it was true, but insisted that it could be factual. Battle ensues. It turns out that the story is, apart from an irrelevant detail, true. Righties claim victory based on that detail, and those who gave credence to the most brutal and idiotic attacks declare the affair over, without bothering to wonder how they got taken in by people who are obviously con artists, and stupid ones at that. TNR diarist, incidentally, is successfully intimidated and effectively silenced.
That last part was, of course, the point. Scott Beauchamp has been shouted down.