Juan Cole on Bush's Guard Service - Must Read

Juan Cole * Informed Comment *

So, W. either believed in the war effort or he did not. If he believed in it, he should have gone to fight. If he didn't believe in it, he should have joined those of us protesting against the goddamned thing. He did not do either one. He doesn't seem to have been interested. From all accounts he was partying pretty heavily, and then he wanted to get Winton Blount elected, so it wasn't conveeeenient to be stuck in the Air National Guard in Texas. Almost 60,000 young men were killed in that slithering python of a war, their bones ground to dust. They were my contemporaries. And it is alleged that 2 million Vietnamese died. (The apologists for the war on the Right, who no doubt will eventually start reenacting it on weekends, keep complaining that we weren't allowed to go all out to win the war; what are they arguing for--outright genocide?)

And that is why I don't think Bush is wise to try to slander Kerry as a fellow traveler of Jane Fonda. Because John Kerry was the sort of man who cared about principle. When he was in the Navy, he fought bravely for his country. When he got out, he exercised his right as a civilian to campaign against the continuation of a rotten war. He cared. He cared deeply, to the core of his soul, and he risked everything in both cases. In both cases he stood up for what he thought was right and best for America. (Just to show how fair I am, let me point out that Bill Clinton at that very time was trying to figure out how to "stay politically viable" and be against the war; his ambition at that early age is both admirable and a little frightening. There is no evidence that Kerry worried about his anti-war activities hurting his political viability in the future, even though he had political ambitions and his stance did prove a liability).