Archive for Jeff Wilfahrt

Iraq is "beyond our control. There is no such thing as the Iraqi people."

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a Gold Star father's point of view iraq afghanistan war Jeff Wilfahrt

Before I get into an impressive op-ed piece on Iraq, allow me to remind you of my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. He is never at a loss for providing unique insight and commentary on the frustrating events of the day. That's him above, holding a photo of his son. You can read about the remarkable Wilfahrts, and watch them on The Rachel Maddow Show, by following the links above.

That image came to mind when I read an op-ed by Joseph J. Ellis in today's Los Angeles Times. Ellis is a professor of history at Williams College and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation," among other books. He starts of his piece with his explanation of how the U.S. goes to war:

The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication.

He then goes on to chronicle war after war that prove his point, including the Iraq War:

[T]he dark shadow of 9/11 hung ominously over all deliberations in that moment, so the CIA bent the arc of the evidence to fit the fabrication, a cowed Congress went along and the bulk of the American media endorsed the deception. Dissent became unfashionable.

Ellis points out how we erroneously decided to pursue "the creation of a democratic government in the middle of the Middle East." That move, along with all that deception by BushCo and a very accommodating press, caused many of us non-believers to do this:

banghead

And all those political and journalistic pundits who got it dead wrong the first time around, and who now blame President Obama for failing to maintain a residual U.S. military presence in Iraq, need to be called on their credibility. For they fundamentally underestimated the tribal, ethnic and religious loyalties that dominate the Middle East and that make any Jeffersonian version of a secular state in Iraq impossible for the foreseeable future... In truth, there is no such thing as the Iraqi people. 

He then comments on the commentators, a pastime we apparently we have in common. Their focus, he says, is on damage control. And that is a "hubristic assumption" that got us into this hot mess in the first place. We created a catastrophe a BushCo ago, and there was no way, and is no way, to regain what we never had: control.

Ellis drives home the point that "permanent U.S. military presence will only further empower the Islamic extremists in the ensuing conflict."

That has already happened. To quote Jeff from the image at the top, "...Let us try using books, pens, and paper instead of just guns. Bring the living home, the dead are already here."

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"By destroying the financial integrity of the US, you will free us of all the trouble of being number one."

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now that's snarky

I've written about my buddy Jeff Wilfahrt in the past, someone who you should get to know:

We've been on the radio together and we continue to email back and forth. In fact, he just shot me this link and encouraged me to post it here. It's a copy of a snarkalicious letter that a lifelong friend sent to his congressman, Wisconsin GOP Rep. Sean Duffy, and then shared with Jeff.

The friend he alludes to in the letter is Jeff:

Courtesy of a good Wisconsinite we provide all progressives with a template letter for your Republican representative, free of charge we might add:

Representative _______,

A friend of mine has stated that the US being number one, the leader of the world is not worth the trouble.  Being number one puts a target on our back; there are many that want to supplant us and to attack us because of our leadership role.  We have all the costs that we must pay to remain number one, costs in money and often in blood, the cost of a military that has the ability to span the world, the cost of educating our population to maintain leadership in science, finance, farming, research, and technology.  There is the cost of feeding our citizens and people in need around the world.  The list goes on and on.  It is not cheap to be the big cheese.

I did not originally recognize your purpose behind shutting down the US government and refusing to extend the debt ceiling.  Well, I must commend you on your plan to remove the US from its world leadership role and get the US out of the number one spot.  By destroying the financial integrity of the US, you will free us of all the trouble of being number one.  By reducing taxes to near historic lows and, now, not paying our bills and playing games with finances you will wipe out the worlds faith in the US’s credit worthiness.  Very clever.  We will surely drop to number 15 or 20.  That our national and personal financial security will also be destroyed is simply a sacrifice that we citizens must make.  After all, sacrifice of all citizens is what made us number one.  Our recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq placed that sacrifice on those few that were in military service.  We citizens were not asked to pay for the war, we were instead asked to continue our personal shopping sprees and maintain our level of consumerism.  By refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and not paying the US debt, you are (very cleverly, I might say) sticking China with the bill for those wars.  Your financial wizardry is to be commended.  Viva number 20.  Who knows, if we slide far enough, we will not need to educate our citizens, think of the taxes that we can save by closing all our schools.

Signed,

<your name here>

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VIDEO: Oral Robert’s Grandson Speaks Out For Gays

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Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt are two wonderful people and parents of a gay son who, sadly, was killed in Afghanistan.

Andrew Wilfahrt is thought to be the first gay Minnesota soldier to die in the service of his country in the war in Afghanistan.

Jeff just passed this video along to me, and I've only had time to watch part of it. I'll catch up later, but I did want to share it with you.

Speaking of which, this may be a lighter posting day, at least for awhile. I'll be at an appointment and Paddy is under the weather.

Watch live streaming video from theuptake at livestream.com

Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of preacher Oral Roberts, is in Minnesota to support the LGBT community which is fighting an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment that will be on the general election ballot next year.

He spoke at the First Universalist Church of Minneapolis.

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VIDEO: Rachel Maddow, parents of slain soldier on Minnesota’s anti-gay marriage amendment

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Back in April, I posted about Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, two wonderful people and parents of a gay son who, sadly, was killed in Afghanistan only a few weeks ago. I met them when we did the Tim Corrimal radio show together, and we've been email friends ever since.

Andrew Wilfahrt is thought to be the first gay Minnesota soldier to die in the service of his country in the war in Afghanistan.

We know this is a cool family because Margie J. Phelps hates them.

But they've got Rachel on their side:

Rep. John Kriesel gave a passionate, moving speech against a Minnesota gay marriage ban in Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt's name. Rachel talks to Andrew's parents Jeff & Lori Wilfahert.

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VIDEO: Gay soldier's "sexual orientation was the least interesting thing about him"

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I just finished recording the Tim Corrimal radio show with Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, along with Tim's co-host Dave von Ebers, a contributor to a few of my Blunt videos.

Jeff appears in the video below, giving a moving, effective, must-listen-to speech dedicated to his son, Andrew. I was thrilled to meet the Wilfahrts today, and I can vouch for their immense niceness, bravery, and gigantic hearts.

Via Minnesota's Bluestem Prairie, where you can also find the text to Jeff's speech:

Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt of Rosemount, grew up in New Ulm, the son of Leo and Ruth Wilfahrt, and daughter of Betty Schaefer. They married and lived in Rosemount, where they raised their family, including Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, 31, who died in Afghanistan six weeks ago when an IED exploded.

Jeff Wilfahrt spoke today to a rally sponsored by OutFront Minnesota on the wind-swept steps of the State Capitol in St. Paul as part of the GLBT political advocacy group's yearly Day on the Hill. Andrew Wilfahrt is thought to be the first gay Minnesota soldier to die in the service of his country in the war in Afghanistan.

His sister has said that her brother's sexual orientation was the least interesting thing about him, a remark Jeff Wilfahrt repeated to the crowd today. The elder Wilfahrt's speech, which he read from a statement he prepared, cuts directly to American values and the creation of the American system.

I apologize for the sound quality--at the beginning, the cold April wind carried Wilfahrt's words away. But listen carefully (and the sound gets better as the wind dies down) to a father made a "better human being, a better American, and a better Minnesotan" by the life and death of his beloved son.

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