Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Since When do Democrats Care about War Records Anyway?

I mean, seriously?

Though bloggers better than I have already touched on this issue, I do want to state it again. Kerry is running primarily (and it often seems completely) on his four months of service in Vietnam. This combat experience, in the eyes of the liberals, makes him a far superior candidate to Bush, regardless of anything else either of them ever did.

This is, however, a horribly huge departure for the liberals. Remember, the Democrats are the party that routinely votes to downsize the military and its funding, that protests all the good that the military does, and paints the entire armed forces as criminals based on the actions of a very few unsavory (and properly punished) individuals.

Furthermore, in the past four elections, the Democrats very aggressively downplayed military service as a qualification for President, and went so far as to claim that it should not be a campaign issue at all.

Al Gore served as a reporter for five months in Vietnam, and, occasional mentions (and a single misleading photo of Gore with an M-16) aside, his service was not discussed as a Presidential qualification. Bush’s service was, of course, criticized, because apparently the National Guard isn’t really a part of the military (and because of those fabricated AWOL charges). The Democrats did their best to stay away from military service as a campaign issue in 2000. Gore was, after all, a vocal protestor of the Vietnam War before his stint as a military journalist.

It is well established that Bill Clinton managed to dodge the Vietnam draft (using a series of loopholes and a timely out-of-country status). Bob Dole served in World War II and “was hit by Nazi machine gun fire in the upper right back and his right arm was so damaged that it was unrecognizable.” He earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He is, by all definitions, a war hero. The liberals did their best to make military service a non-issue in the election of 1996.

We know about Clinton’s evasion of military service. On the other hand, his opponent in 1992, George H. W. Bush, served honorably as a pilot in World War II. He “had flown 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded San Jacinto.” Again, the Democrats made every possible effort to downplay Bush’s military service, and somehow convinced a plurality (not a majority) of voters that Clinton’s complete lack of a service background was still better than reelecting an honored war hero for Commander-in-Chief.

In 1988, the Democrats gave a half-hearted attempt at using Dukakis’s military record as a campaign issue, but dropped the ball big time with that goofy picture. And there they left it, instead focusing their energy at downplaying Bush's service. In fact, without having researched this issue beyond the reading I have done the past few nights while composing this entry, I would surmise that this started the Democrats’ tendency of avoiding military service as a campaign issue, and doing their best to prevent the Republicans from using it either. I think it was essentially a “Well, if we can’t do it, we won’t let you either” mentality. However, now that they have a candidate that actually has a real war record (has it been 16 years already?) they are trying to use military service as a campaign issue again, in a 3.141592653… radian reversal of more than a decade of precedent.

I understand the concept of adopting a strategy that you feel will help you accomplish your goals. It makes sense for things like home improvements and defensive schemes in the NFL. However, when it is a sudden reversal of more than a decade of downplaying military service and trying to decimate the military itself, I find it hypocritical that the Democrats are now acting in this fashion. After all, it isn’t like the Buffalo Bills acted as if the 3-4 Defense was the sacred and holy structure upon which all of football was built. I guess that I am just wary in general of suddenly changing principles, not necessarily practices.

Unfortunately for them, I feel that the Democrats may have miscalculated again. Sure, Kerry spent four months in Vietnam, where he apparently lied, exaggerated, earned some dubiously awarded medals, and still found the time to become a war criminal and commit atrocities (BY HIS OWN ADMISSION). At least he had the decency to return those ill-gotten medals to the government before embarking on his campaign of propaganda and demoralization, which I think happens to fall under section 2387 of the US Criminal Code, under Chapter 115: Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities. Those four months might have mattered in 2000, but Bush is (as he says, unfortunately) a wartime President, which certainly trumps both National Guard service (oh, the shame!) and a one-third length Vietnam tour. Bush now has the experience and has always had the clarity to command the military. Kerry has four months of service in Vietnam (where he won three Purple Hearts!!!! Did you hear?!?!?!?) which should be overshadowed by the following twenty years of anti-military service in the Senate.

Memo to the Democrats: show some consistency in your beliefs, ever. To the rest of us, make the smart choice.


At 5:42 PM, August 10, 2004 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regards to the AWOL charges, is there new evidence of Bush reporting for duty? I would like to clear that information up in my head. I have heard it both ways.

As far as the National Guard goes, it's a respectable branch of the military now. Ask anyone who served in Vietnam or the military during that time period what the reputation of the National Guard was. It was common knowledge that only the wealthy and influential could join.

Finally, Kerry made a big mistake by trying to run on his military record. If he would've used it as one of many credentials ("many" giving him credit), he might've gotten away with it, but using it as the big qualification was poorly planned.


At 6:55 PM, August 10, 2004 , Blogger Vernunft said...

Kerry's military service, indeed his whole life, seems to have been staged. I do not mean that it was all "fake," but everything Kerry ever did seemed to have been done by him simply to advance his political career. He literally staged re-enactments of his skirmishes with North Vietnamese troops, of course, but more than that, even going to Vietnam, the service itself, seems somehow inauthentic. It was as if military service was service to the future Senator Kerry, and not to his country. He came back from Vietnam leveling horrendous slanders at his fellow soldiers, and that certainly deserves explanation. Why would Kerry make up such repugnant lies? I think he gauged public opinion and fould an angle for himself - the dutiful officer who grew disillusioned with the war, but not with the ideals his country stood for. I cannot say that he did not become disillusioned with his country itself, because he slandered the United States as well. He played up American as an imperialist state populated with murderers and rapists and he played down the danger of international Communism.

It was all fake. Kerry planned on this, though when he cooked up the idea I do not know. He may have gone into Vietnam expecting simply to perform him duty and have a nice feather for his cap and credentials for a future political career, but perhaps sometime during his tour he realized he could appeal to the anti-war crowd but have less chance of alienating a less extremist base (because he had actually served, has been wounded, and had received medals for exemplary conduct). The extreme Left would love his anti-war stance but he could not be written off by more moderate elements in his own party because he had actually served and could not be charged with cowardice or any such thing.

It's pretty sad that the angle is working. If Kerry was telling the truth in 1972, then his military service was never anything to be proud of; yet, here we are, with Senator Kerry proudly touting it. He is at least a hypocrite, and a slanderer, and at worst a traitor to his country. He sullied the honor of his fellow soldiers, something a true officer would shun at great personal cost. He disgusts me.

If you want a Vietnam vet, vote for my dad.

At 11:00 PM, August 10, 2004 , Blogger Hunter said...

I'll take your father under advisement, but Hunter S. Thompson is looking like a good vote...


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