Michael Barone article about John Kerry's ...

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Michael Barone article about John Kerry's ...

Post by Alberich » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:23 pm

...inability to shake the 60s.

From US News & World Report:

Kerry's Words Betray Democrats' Attitudes

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq. "

Those two sentences, spoken by John Kerry last week, tell a lot about the attitudes of many–not all, but many–Democrats who supported him for president in 2004 and, as this is written, are looking forward to Democratic victories this week. One thing they tell us is that Kerry's mind-set still is back in the Vietnam era. The statement today is literally untrue: No one is "stuck in Iraq" unless he or she volunteers for the military, and the educational levels of our military personnel are higher than those of civilians in the same age cohort. Kerry is evidently thinking back to the late 1960s, when there was a military draft, and someone who dropped out of college could find himself "stuck" in Vietnam.

Kerry's bizarre initial refusal to apologize and his defenders' assertion that he was somehow trying to make a joke about George W. Bush's stupidity (even though Kerry's grades at Yale were slightly lower than Bush's) are not wholly out of line with previous statements by him and other Democrats characterizing American troops as perpetrators rather than heroes. There is Kerry's 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and his December 2005 statement that GIs were "terrorizing" women and children. There was Sen. Dick Durbin's comparison of American troops to Nazis and the gulag and Edward Kennedy's overstatement that Abu Ghraib under "new management" was somehow as bad as when Saddam Hussein had prisoners tortured and murdered there. Behind all these statements is an unspoken assumption that American service members are stupid, incompetent, and vicious–or, at best, victims of Bush's allegedly rotten economy.

It's unusual in American history for a conflict to be seen by a substantial part of our political class through the lens of an earlier war. Yet many Democrats view Iraq through the lens of Vietnam–or their version of it. Now, as then, they want to see America withdraw even if that means defeat. Yet Iraq is plainly not Vietnam. There were more than 20 times more American deaths in Vietnam. And withdrawal from Iraq would be vastly more dangerous than withdrawal from Vietnam turned out to be.

To be sure, our withdrawal from Vietnam was bad for the Vietnamese. There was, contrary to Kerry's predictions at the time, a bloodbath, and the Vietnamese lived under a vicious communist dictatorship. But the dominoes did not fall beyond Indochina because, unnoticed by war backers and opponents, noncommunist east Asian states–South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia–were launching a free-market economic boom. The Vietnam War gave them time to do so. In time, these countries also developed rule of law and democratic representative government. They sold us toys and T-shirts and now sell us TiVos and DVDs.

Iraq is not in such a good neighborhood. Nearby are Iran, the leading supporter of international terrorism, busy developing nuclear weapons; Syria, headquarters of many terrorist groups; and Saudi Arabia, where an autocracy is using petrodollars to fund Islamofascism around the world. Premature withdrawal from Iraq would give terrorists more space to plot and prepare attacks on us beyond Iraq and the exhilaration Osama bin Laden seeks from a visible defeat of the United States. It would leave unprotected the brave Iraqis who risked death to vote in three elections and hold up their purple fingers with pride.

About all this, John Kerry, to judge from his changing positions on Iraq over time, doesn't seem to much care. Rather, he seems, as he did in the 1970s, to be more interested in establishing who our heroes should be. They should not be our military service members–the hordes of Genghis Khan in 1971, the losers and dropouts in his statement last week. They should be the antiwar protesters, the professors, and intellectuals, the sophisticated elites who know better than ordinary Americans and certainly better than service members what's in our best interests; who believe that fighting those who would attempt to destroy us only makes them madder and that if we leave them alone we can come home to America and be undisturbed.

They turned out not to do irretrievable damage to us when they got us to leave Vietnam. Will we be so lucky if they get us to leave Iraq too soon?

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Post by Lilith » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:10 pm

Kerry spoke the truth. Was it politically wise- no. But then again, rarely is the truth a priority in politics.

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Post by RebLem » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:12 am

As not everyone knows, and perhaps Alberich is among them, though I doubt it, but as I am sure the author of this dishonest article knows, Kerry never insulted the troops in Iraq. As Keith Olbermann pointed out in one of his commentaries:

Sen. Kerry, as you well know, spoke at a college in Southern California. With bitter humor he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial.

He said the trip had reminded him about the value of education - that "if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you can get stuck in Iraq."

The senator, in essence, called Mr. Bush stupid.

The context was unmistakable [to anyone honestly reading the original text. RebLem]: Texas; the state of denial; stuck in Iraq. No interpretation required.

And Mr. Bush and his minions responded by appearing to be too stupid to realize that they had been called stupid.

They demanded Kerry apologize to the troops in Iraq.

The fact is that the statement about Bush, Texas, and the state of denial has been deleted by a fundamentally corrupt and dishonest MSM, working in tandem with a fundamentally corrupt and dishonest president and a fundamentally corrupt and dishonest Republican Party to make it appear that Kerry said something he plainly did not say.

It pains me that people in this Group would have so little respect for my intelligence that they would expect me to swallow it. I take that as a serious and personal insult.

Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.


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