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Major_Armstrong
05 Sep 04,, 00:58
Terminating the Liberal Smear Machine

The latest deception being spread by Kerry-types is a real doozy. This time, they're attacking the Governator, whom they claim was not entirely forthright about his childhood while speaking at the Democratic National Convention. I'll let central New York's WSTM television explain.
It appears he got a few things wrong when he told the Republican National Convention this week that he saw Soviet tanks in the streets and left a "Socialist" country when he moved away.

Historians say there were no Soviet tanks in his hometown by the time he was born. Russian forces had left that area two years beforehand. And a conservative -- not Socialist -- was in charge in 1968.
OHMYGAWD! Arnold lied, people died! It is true that Arnold probably didn't see Soviet tanks in his hometown, but there's one small problem: Arnold never said he did.
When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector. Growing up, we were told, "Don't look the soldiers in the eye. Look straight ahead." It was a common belief that Soviet soldiers could take a man out of his own car and ship him off to the Soviet Union as slave labor.

My family didn't have a car - but one day we were in my uncle's car. It was near dark as we came to a Soviet checkpoint. I was a little boy, I wasn't an action hero back then, and I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car, and I'd never see him again.
Arnold not only specifically acknowledges that the Soviets only controlled part of Austria, but specifically acknowledges it wasn't his part. Arnold didn't say he saw Soviet tanks in the driveway of his house. He didn't say he saw them in his hometown of Graz. He didn't even say he saw them in his home province of Styria, which was part of the British quarter. (Vienna and Austria were both divided into French, Soviet, American and British quarters, like postwar Germany.) He said he saw them in his home country of Austria, and why wouldn't he? Who'd of thought that Arnold and his family might occassionally leave their hometown? Within the same breath, Arnold explains his memory thoroughly and clearly, but it seems that biased reporters can't be bothered with tiny issues like "context". This doesn't even address the simple reality that Austria, like every other country in the civilized world, had newspapers and cinema newsreels where a young Austrian like Arnold would've been kept up to date on the affairs of the Soviet quarter. Now, what about the "Socialists" Arnold said ran his country when he left? Well, that isn't what he said, either.
"As a kid, I saw the socialist country that Austria became after the Soviets left."
Arnold didn't say his country was run by the Socialist Party. He said his country had become socialist, which, in fact, it had, as had most of continental Europe. By American standards, even most of Europe's so-called "conservatives" are borderline Communists, (French President Jacques Chirac is considered a "conservative" in European politics,) and the concept of individual liberty is all but non-existant. Indeed, in 1968, much of Europe (including Austria) was already hurtling towards the diseased precipice of planned-economy pan-Europeanism. However, much of the press has proven incapable of engaging in enough intellectual honesty to differentiate between capital-"S" Socialist politicians and socialist government policies. Arnold's meaning was crystal clear to everyone in the convention hall and everyone watching the speech.

However, distorting it makes for great rumor-mongering. Among the other papers which couldn't be bothered to do anything resembling preliminary fact-checking, running a cookie-cutter version of this story: Seattle Post Intelligencer, Ananova, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the UK's Times, San Jose Mercury News, India's Economic Times, Japan Today, ABC News, San Francisco Chronicle, Winnipeg Sun, San Diego Union Tribune, South Africa's Mail & Guardian, and, of course, the obligatory Toronto Star, in an article which they originally titled "Arnold Terminates Austrian History". This non-story is a non-item, but to these publications, it's an opportunity to shamelessly smear a popular member of President Bush's party, reality and journalistic integrity be damned. Why check the facts if the readers won't, either? This version of the story even goes so far as to quote an Austrian "law history scholar" on his theory for what Arnold said:
Polaschek saw the moderate Republican governor's recollections at the convention as a tactical move. Schwarzenegger, he said, was "using the old Communist enemy image for Bush's election campaign."
Well, he's surely an expert on American elections. Yet another problem, though: This story isn't new. In fact, Arnold told it almost a year ago in his inauguration address.
I have big hopes for California. President Reagan spoke of America as "the shining city on the hill." I see California as the golden dream by the sea.

Perhaps some think this is fanciful or poetic, but to an immigrant like me, who, as a boy, saw Soviet tanks rolling through the streets of Austria, to someone like me who came here with absolutely nothing and gained absolutely everything, it is not fanciful to see this state as a golden dream.
Was he doing it for Bush's benefit then, too? After all, Bush wasn't exactly his biggest supporter, mainly staying silent about the recall. The hysterical thing is that when he said it back then, the left tried exactly the same stunt, propagated by Marxist groups, and even getting a write-up in the LA Times, a notoriously leftwing and raggish newspaper, but the pinnacle of journalism by California liberal standards. Of course, the theory was so stupid then that it simply died, and it's still stupid now. The difference is, that with some polls showing Kerry more than 10 points behind, the left is desperate enough to try to put wheels on it. Anything to attack a star speaker from the convention. Even back in Austria, the "Social Democrats" are taking the opportunity to attack one of their nation's heros for daring to badmouth socialism:
Norbert Darabos, a ranking official of Austria's opposition Social Democratic party, sharply criticized Schwarzenegger's "disdain for his former homeland."
The Social Democrats, of course, were founded to promote Marxism, but by European standards, are currently considered "center-left".

Update: It's nice to know this is doing some good.


http://www.freewillblog.com/index.php/weblog/C20/

Ironduke
06 Sep 04,, 06:41
Vienna was in the Soviet zone, and Styria was adjacent to the Austrian provinces occupied by the Soviets. The Soviets would not withdraw from Austria unless it agreed to "perpetual neutrality". Soviet military forces left Austria in 1955.

Let's take the whole context of that part of Schwarzenegger's speech:

"When I was a boy, the Soviets occupied part of Austria. I saw their tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes. I remember the fear we had when we had to cross into the Soviet sector.

Growing up, we were told, "Don't look the soldiers in the eye. Look straight ahead." It was a common belief that Soviet soldiers could take a man out of his own car and ship him off to the Soviet Union as slave labor.

My family didn't have a car but one day we were in my uncle's car. It was near dark as we came to a Soviet checkpoint. I was a little boy, I wasn't an action hero back then, and I remember how scared I was that the soldiers would pull my father or my uncle out of the car and I'd never see him again. My family and so many others lived in fear of the Soviet boot. Today, the world no longer fears the Soviet Union and it is because of the United States of America!"

non-asset
06 Sep 04,, 06:56
Really? That's funny, I could have sworn they collapsed under the inefficiency of their economic model and the strain of building and maintaining an absurdly huge army.

Confed999
06 Sep 04,, 16:51
Really? That's funny, I could have sworn they collapsed under the inefficiency of their economic model and the strain of building and maintaining an absurdly huge army.
Governments that take people's rights and incentives cannot compete with ones that don't. The USA has an inefficent economic model and a huge army, but we're getting bigger, not smaller. Get the government allmost all the way out of the economy and it will become even more inefficient, but much bigger.