Sunday, May 07, 2006

Spewtical spews.

My brain must be softening. I not only read one of Shitical's posts but I let it make me angry. This sick old man has long been regarded as a mental case by many here, so my anger is pointless and quite possibly unfair (cf. diminished capacity). But his raving hit one of my sorest spots and, for reasons I hope to make clear, I'm not going to let it pass in silence.

The post in question is this one. No elaborate summary is needed. Scrotical calls John Kerry Expand..."Bug Out of Combat Kerry" and alleges that Kerry, "Hanoi Jane and others working with the likes of current founder of the Workers World Party formentine dissention in our streets, dealing with the enemy in Paris . . ." Read it for your weekly dirt bath.

I have no idea what Sputical did during the Vietnam War. I know what John Kerry did. As a Navy lieutenant assigned to a destroyer, he volunteered for the Navy's Vietnam riverine force, leading to his command of a so-called "Swift boat." In that capacity he engaged in close combat and was wounded three times. Because of his wounds he was allowed to leave the combat zone after approximately four months and finish his Navy commitment in other capacities. He was awarded two decorations for valor, I believe, one of them the Silver Star.

Sleazical's ugly lies return us to the sewer of the 2004 "Swift boaters" attack on Kerry as supposedly a coward and a liar. The paid slanderers' claims that Kerry's medal citations overstated his valorous actions were at best inconclusive. Other witnesses confirmed the accuracy of the citations. And, considering the odd coincidence that the Swift boaters' allegations were not made until the heat of a bitterly contested presidential election some 35 years after the events, and that some of the Swift boaters were on record as earlier praising Kerry's courage and leadership in Vietnam, there were good grounds to question their credibility. No respected writer, that I know of, has emerged since the election to refute Kerry's citations or prove anything unworthy about his Vietnam service. If there were really a story there, some ambitious journalist would have pounced on it. But there is no story about Kerry's service, other than possibly a few inaccuracies of questionable materiality in his citations. The real story about the Swift boat slander is Rove's orchestration of it. That's a story that may never be told . . . although, given the way things are going for Bush's Bitches, something might eventually shake loose there, too.

Even amid all the Swift boaters' lies, no one disputed that John Kerry left a safe billet and volunteered for hazardous duty. No one denied that he was wounded twice; there was, as I recall, some question about the extent of his third wound. Those uncontested facts, in themselves, conclusively disprove Slimical's filthy claim that Kerry "bugged out of combat."

Nor does Scuzzical's insinuation that Kerry's antiwar work amounted to treason have any merit. After completing his service, Kerry was active in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and participated in some antiwar rituals such as throwing his military medals over the White House fence. By far his most significant antiwar action was his Congressional testimony in (I believe) 1971, in which he asked the famous rhetorical question "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a lie?" By then, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, used by Johnson to get Congressional authorization for U.S. combat in Southeast Asia, had been exposed as a fraud. Public opinion had turned decisively against the war. Yet the war dragged on and American soldiers still died, despite Nixon's promised 1968 "secret plan" to bring the war to an honorable end. Kerry's testimony was almost mainstream at the time--which means I give him less credit for courage, on that occasion, than some do. But to imply that it was treasonous is simply scumical. You can't commit treason by saying what more than half the people in the country are thinking.

Why am I so angry about this? Well, it has nothing to do with politics. I voted for Kerry, of course, but that means relatively little since I would have voted for just about any sane adult in preference to The Shrub That Walks. Nor is it because I have such strong personal admiration for Kerry. I vaguely admire him, I suppose, in the sense that I can identify with his general values and I think he's indifferent honest for a politician. But he's not my idea of a bold thinker or a strong leader. I could name a dozen American political leaders in my lifetime I admire more than Kerry. Ironically, two of them are Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

The reason I feel so strongly about this is that I feel intensely loyal to the 2.4 million men and women who served in the cesspool of lies and cruelty that was the Vietnam War. I was one of them. When someone my age refers to "our generation," that is what comes to my mind first: those of us who bore the brunt of an unnecessary, disastrous war. My generation, by and large, feels about that war the way the generation of World War I later felt about theirs: a nightmare of pointless death and destruction. I will not stand silent when a madman tries to get the taste of his own shit out of his mouth by defaming one of us who served honorably. The truth of that war must be kept alive as long as any of us are alive. We--Vietnam veterans--are the nation's primary bulwark against the spirit of militarism, which Bush succeeded in raising from its torpor. . . and which has, perhaps, begun to subside as the folly of Iraq has come to resemble the folly of Vietnam and the war there threatens to damage the army the way the Vietnam War did.

So, Scumical, why don't you tell us what you did during the Vietnam War? Where did you serve? How often were you wounded? What decorations did you win? From what moral height do you presume to defame someone who can answer all of those questions with honor? What makes you think that any Vietnam veteran will not feel that your sick lies about one of us casts dishonor on all of us?

It's not that you can't dislike Kerry and can't vote for whom you want. It is that you lie about his service to his country. And in that, you spit on the service of all of us. That you believe your lies might excuse you in a court of law, and in heaven. It will not excuse you here. Here, I am free to say what I really think. I think you are a sick fuck.

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