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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So, Let Me Get This Straight

John Kerry wants to let us all know that if you don’t work hard and eat your Wheaties, you may well be stuck in with all the other mentally deficient men and women who serve in the military. And when that makes a person or two cranky, he wants us to know that his words are a big Republican plot and, well, damnit, he’s just not going to take it anymore.

Senator John Kerry issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts desperately distorting Kerry’s comments about President Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

“If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

You know, his self-righteous chest-beating and name calling would be funny if this guy weren’t the Democrat’s most recent choice to lead our country. The far-left Pelosi, the screaming Dean, and the PR disaster Kerry--the face of the modern party of the left.

Thanks for the entertainment, Mr. Kerry.

Update: As Robert from the Blogger News Network notes in the comments, Kerry is just wrong when it comes to the men and women who serve our country.

It actually reminds me of when I was dating Chris. Chris was pretty, smart, fun, and--well, she was lots of things. One thing she wasn’t, though, was particularly sensitive. One morning when we were lounging in bed, we started talking about my time in the military. She refused to believe that the military was made up of intelligent, well-adjusted people who had actively chosen a profession with little thanks, tiny paychecks, and the real potential for physical harm. Even when it came to me, she couldn’t imagine that I wanted to serve.

Which, that’s a tough concept for some people to gather in their heads. Chris persisted in believing that I had gone into the military because I had lacked direction and good counsel from my parents and peers. The truth is that I lost direction once I left the military--that I knew who I wanted to be in military terms, but I had to actively try to figure out what my life would be outside the bounds of the service in which I believed so deeply. She never understood why what she said had bothered me.

Some people join for college benefits. Some join because they do need to find direction. Some join because the believe in a particular cause (witness those who joined post-9/11 who may never have considered a military career otherwise). And some join because they believe that it is better to serve something greater than themselves--something that will live on long after they do and something that has the chance to make the world a little safer.

I met intelligent, accomplished, and “together” people in the Army. These weren’t, in the main, people with no place to go; these were people who knew precisely where they wanted to be.

Updated Again: De Doc is right on target for how I feel on the subject. As is The Colossus.

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In addition to being politically obtuse, Kerry is also dead wrong on the facts.

Not that this would be news.

on Oct 31 2006 @ 10:14 AM

I’d like to see a transcript (or video) of what was said both before and after that single line.  If, as some reports indicate, this followed immediately upon his bashing of Bush’s performance, then it’s quite clear to me he was insulting Bush and not our troops.

Regardless, it was poorly phrased, but I’d hardly be surprised if one portion of the rightwing happily took it out of context, and a larger portion jumped on it without the facts.

on Oct 31 2006 @ 11:04 AM

I grew up on military bases in the ‘60s and ‘70s—probably the period when our military was worst.  Even then, the losers didn’t stay around long.

The vast majority of long-service NCOs are focused, intelligent, and very competent.

Pretty much the exact opposite of John Kerry, when you think about it.

on Oct 31 2006 @ 11:24 AM

Andy, do remember that he insulted troops last year when he said that they were terrorizing children in Iraq. It’s possible that he meant something else, but if that is the case, then, first, he misspoke in such a way as to make misunderstanding not a particular surprise, and, second, he has a history with vets that is anything but good. Some of the context is in what he has said and done outside of that one speech, too.

Even more, in his response, Kerry goes after Bush and GOP with this:

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war...

In response to that hypocrisy, I would urge people to visit the link to the Colossus to review some of the things that Kerry said and did that helped lead up to the war. What is misleading is Kerry’s personal inability to admit that he, too, believed that war was the right course.

That doesn’t excuse missteps and unforced errors in the execution of the war, but, again, that isn’t what Kerry refers to in his response.

on Oct 31 2006 @ 01:17 PM

I think Kerry is still living the wrong war. You were prety likely to wind up in combat, if you could not master any skills. Two repeats in specialized training and you were put in the infantry.

on Oct 31 2006 @ 03:14 PM

Sorry didn’t finish comment.
It was a running joke among the enlisted. Not to say this was Kerry’s intent.

on Oct 31 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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