I’ve yet to hear or read very much of it during the whole Swift Boat Vet and Texas Air National Guard controversy. So, allow me to lay down some proper perspectives in clarity, here.
First, I have no doubt of the approximate accuracy of the following assertions of fact:
1. George W. Bush used influence or had help in obtaining a post with the Guard, and that his purpose in doing so was to avoid Vietnam.
2. George W. Bush, at one point or several, failed to live up to all of his duties and commitments involving his service in the Guard.
3. John Kerry knew about the 3-purple-hearts-and-you-can-transfer rule ahead of time.
4. John Kerry grossly overstated minor flesh-wound injuries in order to rack up 3 purple hearts in 3 months of combat duty. He himself lobbied for these awards, which is very unusual in itself.
5. John Kerry came back to the U.S. and publicly and falsely accused his fellow soldiers of being war criminals.
6. John Kerry, in a show of meaningful symbolism, tossed away his ribbons/medals (there is zero distinction to be made in the context of what the act symbolizes).
I, unlike most people, make no claims upon others that they don’t voluntarily agree to commit themselves to, for their own reasons. That includes military service of any sort, at any time, under any circumstances—no matter how dire. The lives of 20-somethings are not mine, or yours, to dispose of as you deem appropriate in pursuit or defense of your own chosen values. I served in the military, but it sure as Fuck wasn’t in the service or sacrifice of you bunch of worthless fools. I had my own reasons—my own values to pursue—and I deemed the risk to be worth it, for me. I’d never presume to evaluate that tradeoff for anyone else, much less determine that the unwilling sacrifice of their young lives is a justified means to my ends.
And don’t go telling me that Kerry or Bush had obligations of a contractual sort because they volunteered. They were both facing down a draft; therefore, their service was coerced.
Alas, I fault neither Kerry or Bush for wishing to limit or evade service in Vietnam during a shooting war and taking certain steps in pursuit of that desire. Let’s stop pretending that we’re fighting against falsehoods. We’re not, and you all look really stupid acting as though either guy didn’t pretty much do exactly what’s being asserted.
There’s just one reason, however, that I don’t see these behaviors as being in any way equivalent. Bush’s are the predictable actions of any normal guy who’d prefer not to go get his ass shot off at the pleasure of a bunch of ungrateful fools. Kerry’s are the actions of a virtual creep sociopath. What’s more, I don’t ever recall, for a single moment, Bush making any big or notable deal whatsoever of his Guard service. In fact, I’ve heard him make light of it and praise the service of others over his.
Kerry? That Shithead can’t go a minute without painting himself a hero, when everyone knows he’s just a weasel. Far worse, he’s on record making everyone else, including genuine heroes, out to be war criminals.
Bush has nothing to answer for in this regard. First, he has never made it an issue at any time. Second, with all due respect to you, Dan Blather, cooking up a mess of forged documents does not “raise questions” that need to be addressed—other than, of course, the questions about your objectivity that I was asking as a teenager 25 years ago, quite capable even then of seeing through your “clever” bullshit.
And for a final dose of clarity in the matter, ask yourself whom those most respected and respectable people in the US Armed Services respect as their Commander-In-Chief; and then ask whom they will never, ever respect for even a brief second. On this point alone, every one of you who would saddle the Valliant Soldier with such a disrespectable piece of excrement for a CINC, while at the same time professing concern for “our troops,” are a bunch of goddamned liars. You don’t give a putrid shit for those troops. Your actions speak far louder than the bullshit emanating from your flapping flytraps.