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23 August 2005

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richard

I don't know why, but *many* on the right seem to dislike veterans. It seems paradoxical, but their fiercest venom is reserved for these people. And if you do get a Republican veteran with a distinguished record the reaction is often lukewarm. Dole and the first president Bush come to mind. The latter they even branded as a "wimp" though landing a plane on a carrier strikes me as rather risky.

Their big hero was John Wayne, who wiggled ot of more active service in WWII and then there is Sylvestor Stallone who "won" Vietnam for them, but spent the actual war teaching girls in Switzerland. And of course much of their leadership such as Cheney and Limbaugh dodged that war as well.

The recent bill for veterans care was an example. It was clear we were over a billion short and needed it, but they resisted spending the money until they had no choice. This was essential stuff. The behavior is also pretty typical of many on the right.

It's kind of scary to see how they've created a public perception different than the reality. When the VA issue came p a lot of their followers it must be Ted Kennedy who blocked it. The fact that Republicans control government hasn't quite registered.


J

Richard,

that's not all, during Bush's first term, he tried to 'cut' VA to the tune of $14.5 billion, a big stink was raised and it vaporized away. they sure are eager to send people into the heat of battle, and they balk at providing them after combat care.

richard

I see the behaviors, but I don't fully get it. The rancor for example. When aimed at individuals it is as bad as you get from the most military hating leftist. And somehow a lot of real veterans among them don't see or go along with it. Kerry rode around some pretty dangerous rivers and he did run all alone at someone firing at him. Yet he got spat on. The kind of thing they complain about.

There is something odd psychologically going on, and they have succeeded in convincing lots of people that their behavior and attitude is completely opposite to what it is.

I think it taps into some masculine inadequecy in a lot of them, to be better than a vet, more of a man than a vet makes them big. But there are vets among them and they seem to go along, maybe with them it's "you're a bigger vet, a real vet" sort of thing.

But whenever they find honorable military service in a person it seems to be the thing they tear at most viciously. It is pathological. It's what they hate most.

And we're not just talking about cold calculations of budget issues here like with bush 1 and veterans affairs, but a real dislike, a desire to hurt and humiliate. How this current administration somehow "forgot" the costs of Afghanistan and Iraq is almost inconcievable along with all their allies in congress even with the Democrats harping. It's like they purposefully want to insult these people.

Some Guy

The recent series of dishonors were all directed at vets, distinguished vets (whether one admires Kerry's anti-war activities or not), who were opposed to the Republican party message or were simply a member of the opposition. Bush the Younger as the annointed candidate in 2000 and McCain has a history of diverging from the party line.

The impression I get is that the pols in the Republican party want compliant, unquestioning service members and fear the credibility and experience of soldiers who are skeptical of war, especially as a solution to complex political problems.

With Bush, his desire to play dress up, to wrap himself in military iconography, often very cheesy iconography too, does raise some serious questions about his psyche. Couple that with his cliche tough talk and made for TV swagger.

ismoot

Richard

A couple of things:

-Most people who wore uniform never fought. This would include most of the men who actually served in a combat theater. A lot of the really tough talking guys are total frauds. Combat veterans are very suspicious of those who claim to be numbered among them. There are a lot of phonies out there. See "Stolen Valor" for examples.
-In general, real combat soldiers are loath to condemn their own kind for much of anything and do so with great reluctance.
-Those who did fight are not quick to adopt a belligerent stance in thinking about ways to settle conflict. David Hackworth, who I admired immensely, was a good example.
-High rank is not indicative of actual combat experience. There are several senior officers working as military "analysts" on the tube who have never heard a round fired in combat.
-I do not believe that animosity to Kerry had anything to do with his service in VN. You probably do not understand the sense of betrayal with which his "anti-war" activity was perceived by combat veterans. In his case, many of his comrades in VN disliked him and what they saw as his "airs." I have known a number of men of means in the Army who went to great length to conceal the fact. There was a reason to do that. pl

Richard

There are lots of reasons to dislike Kerry and he was pompous about his time in Vietnam. But while this may have deserved a bit of good natured mockery what seems to have been a reasonable service was turned into something so itifl that any colege Republican could strut in comparitive valor.

And it isn't simply Kerry, you mentioned McCain. Then there is Max Cleland who won a silver star for volunteeering for Khe Sanh and rescuing wounded under fire. A short time later he or somewhat in his platoon dropped a grenade and he lost limbs. The right or parts of the right completely ignored the silver star and claimed he was no "war hero" and that Bush was more of a war hero than he was because he didn't waste the tax payers money with such injuries.

While I have mixed feelings about the events around Crawford the fact that a rightwinger felt it was right to drag down the crosses in a memorial to veterans says something.

I feel that the only other group which can show such venom towards vets is a fraction of leftists. And I don't understand why a portion of the right engages in this and why a larger portion goes along.

J

Colonel,

you again hit the nail on the head. denegrating the individual does not win an argument. denegrating the individual only sinks one to the level that those who denegrate them 'think' they are making. to argue a point of policy based on its merits or lack of is one one thing, but to cheapen one's argument by denegration shows a callous disregard.

you again hit the nail on the head, thank you for that.

avedis

We should not overlook how they did a hatchet job on VN Vet triple amputee Max Cleland as well.

ismoot

Avedis

Amen

PL

wtofd

The neo-Goebbels also forget that the French provided Gen. Washington with a navy. I understand the French had their own interests at hand. Still, without their ships it's unlikely we would have won our independence.

The administration is good at distraction. Not much else.

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