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This doesn't bother me. And I think I know why: John Kerry's standing among veterans could sink no lower than it already is. Many do love him, but the number of Democrats on Active Duty (and consequently the number of Democrat veterans) has sunk to a remarkable (though unsurprising) statistical low since the end of the draft. The "love of country" that goes beyond slogan chanting and results in actual voluntary service to said country generally leads to Republican-leaning political beliefs.
(To those who would argue otherwise - yes, there are exceptions; and now recall Al Gore trying furiously to block the military absentee votes in Florida.)
Also, contrary to media-fueled and apparently now popularly held opinion, Kerry's military career was at least as pathetic (in the minds of those who know) as it was distinguished (to those who don't care to look past the surface). So the fact that he tried to delay it by a year (if true) is of marginal consequence.
The whole thing smacks of a "Kerry didn't keep his boots shiny" argument - who cares? The man abandoned his command. But the more minor complaints lodged against him, the quicker the electorate will tire of hearing them at all.
Here's the rather incongruous military career of our hero, John Kerry:
He requests a delay in entering the service, it's denied, so he joins. He gets more medals faster than any military man in history, and then quits his command at the first opportunity, abandoning his men in the field in time of war.
What's that you say? He asked for a delay in joining? The bastard!
Of course, this apparent split-personality jives quite nicely with the subsequent life. Failure to get elected on the "war hero" ticket leads to protest of said war, to include rancorous vilification of fellow GI's still in combat.
A subsequent Senatorial career is spent voting down every major defense bill that crosses his desk. He never meets an intel budget for which he wouldn't gleefully shout "nay"! Then suddenly, one dark night, the need for votes outside of Massachusetts arises. Under cover of darkness our hero figuratively sneaks onto the White House lawn and retrieves those long lost medals, earned over that hellish 4-month span.
Hey! Presto! InstaHero is back! And this time he's mad! Give the parents of the new generation of baby killers their money back, Mr. Bush! How dare you send our boys and girls off to commit atrocities on innocent Iraqis without body armor! Have you no shame, Mr. Bush?
In case you've missed the point, here's what appears to be ol' gutless John's dream war:
Troops bogged down in trenches about 600 yards north of the Kuwait border due to lack of armor and air cover, each and every one sporting a brand new his-or-hers Kevlar flak jacket, compliments of taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
With French soldiers right along side.
Sure beats our current quagmire.
So forget that year in Paris crap. It's time to bid adieu to "cut 'n' run" Kerry, kids! The man-for-all-seasons is a war hero this year.
I belileve that if we follow this all the way back, we will find that some regulation adopted after the "$600 toilet seat" scandal keeps the army from quick procurement.
Something like the maker must hire a certain percent of minorities and women before the purchase order can be issued?
It is a pity that "The Media" raises questions but refuses to seek answers except when those answers serve the political interests.
People forget (or are never told) that Kerry is a creature of the Kennedy Clan. From his time in college, and perhaps even high school, he was one of their boys. He was anti-war before ever going to Vietnam. I'm sure Teddy probably convinced him military hero status would help him in politics, so he went.
His entire life has been geared toward political ends. If he becomes President, Teddy will be the de facto leader of this country, something he couldn't achieve on his own due to a "small indiscretion."Posted by Mike at March 8, 2004 01:07 AM
Military guys, if a life long civilian can call you that. Kerry got hit 3 not-so-major times in Vietnam. But he was in harm's way those three times. An inch here, an inch there and he could have come back in a body-bag within those 3 months or maimed instead of just scratched. Liar Bush didn't even bother to go.
In that vein, a spokesperson for Fort Knox, Connie Shaffery said recently, "If a soldier is not at his or her duty station and is not on an authorized leave or pass status, he is absent without leave. When a soldier is listed AWOL, it stops all pay and benefits." quoted by UPI on March 2, 2004. What then was Bush in Alabama in the 1970s?
Instead of picking at knats about Kerry why not talking about the man's ideas. For me, Kerry or others who could beat lying President would be preferable.
There's no AWOL in the Guard. Bush left service during a post-war drawdown - these issues have actualy been debated at length on other posts here. Search "Bush AWOL" using the search box in the right column.
Kerry, on the other hand, abandoned his command at the height of the war. Hardly the actions of a "hero" - thus far he's the only example we have of an American military commander doing so. Hardly a nitpick. "Gutless John" and "Ol' Cut'n'Run" are well earned nicknames.
As of yet ol' Cut'n'Run has presented no ideas, short of the same stuff Miss America desires - "world peace" "affordable medical care" - for his term. Yes, and "his hate for Bush is bigger than his Boston mansion" - we know.
But as military guys - which is a fine term - we're realistic, and our primary concern really is world peace. In fact, we are the number one anti-war group in the world, seeing as how we tend to die in wars.
That's why you won't see too many votes for Gutless John coming from this quarter, no matter what the NY Times wants you to believe.Posted by Greyhawk at March 8, 2004 03:26 PM
I think that, in accordance with the spirit of liberal internationalism and Wilsonian idealism, many liberals and Democrats, if they want to stay true to their principles, should support a lengthy stay for the U.S. military in Iraq, and should support nation-building and large-scale spending in that operation.
Some supporters of the Iraq war - both liberals and conservatives - have said this. Jonah Goldberg (of National Review) made this same point in a column last fall, pointing out that liberals and Democrats should be supporting the current U.S. policy in post-war Iraq, since it is consistent with "Every single good thing about liberalism in foreign policy..." and with "the noble tradition of assertive liberal internationalism in the Democratic party."
As I have said before, and have pointed out numerous times, Democrats and liberals support warfare and intervention more than many (most?) conservatives and Republicans do.
Within the Left, there are the pacifists and peaceniks who always oppose war, but there are the liberal internationalists who support using the military frequently and promiscuosly to accomplish what conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer rightfully condemns as "foreign policy social work." And within the Right, there are those traditionalist conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarian-minded conservatives who want to use our military forces only for limited purposes, such as national defense, while there are also those on the Right (or who claim to be on the Right) who support the neoconservative and neoliberal foreign policy visions, which are similar in ways to the liberal internationalist and Wilsonian vision of foreign policy.
It is very helpful to study political philosophy and history, and to be able to differentiate between the different schools of political thought. With complex and multi-faceted situations, such as a war or foreign intervention, you often cannot create an accurate dichotomy with liberals all on one side, and conservatives all on the other side. Oftentimes, due to concurrences of ideology, there are left-leaning folks on each side of the issues, and there are right-leaning folks on each side of the issue as well. That's the way things frequently are in real-life politics and public policy. Unfortunately, many people do not understand these cleavages and political phenomena, and then, we end up misunderstanding other. (Note: I'm not saying that this is what is happening in this particular discussion thread, or at this blog, but I think it does occur quite frequently.)Posted by Aakash at March 9, 2004 12:45 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)