Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Re: Kerry's "unfitness" for command

The book Unfit for Command is claiming that Kerry lied and cheated his way through the Vietnam war. I haven't seen fit to support that book by buying a copy and reading it. See, the book is clearly a partisan lie, so why support a lie?

The "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" campaign is funded and staffed by right wingers who have been funding and supporting Republican causes for a long time. These same people are close associates of GW Bush and other groups close to the Bush campaign. One of their legal advisors was also a legal advisor to the Bush campaign. In other words, they claim to be separate and acting on their own, but are clearly closely aligned and may even be coordinating their actions.

Rather than being unfit, I see Kerry as perfect for the current situation. That is, the continuing and deepening disaster that is Iraq and afflicting the Middle East.

Remember that Kerry served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He volunteered for the second term, and volunteered for the most dangerous duty he could find. Yet, upon returning home from fighting in Vietnam, he became involved with the anti-war movement. He led an investigation and truth-telling commission talking with returned veterans. And he testified before Congress from what the commission found.

He wasn't the only soldier who, on returning from Vietnam, joined the war resistance. A former boss of mine shared some background with me, that he'd grown up in Lexington KY (where I lived during highschool and college years). He'd also spent two tours of duty in Vietnam, and when he came home he said he went a little nuts and began working with the local anti-war movement in Lexington. He ended up helping them in their plans to burn the on-campus ROTC hall at the University of Kentucky (Buell Armory). He and his compatriots did burn the armory, but by 1977 when I became a UK student the armory looked perfect with no sign of having been burned.

I've read the testamony and it really touched my heart, how he spoke eloquently about soldiers feeling as if they'd been "badly used" by being thrown into a war launched under questionable circumstances for which there was little reason for the U.S. to fight. The similarities with the current war in Iraq are astonishing, and it's clear many of the current soldiers fighting in Iraq today feel the same way.

For the "healing" of the U.S. after this disaster of a war, I can think of no better person to elect to the presidency.

I leave the readers with a parting thought. Who would be more fit for command? One who spent years of his youth in war, or one who spent most of his national guard service AWOL? One who knows first hand the horrors of war, and the reason why its best to use caution in unleashing "hell"? Or one who thinks its a game and obviously feels it's an excuse for machostic strutting around with the big toys of war?