You Decide 2004%2C cont.

Traitors All:

From Celluloid Wisdom:

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh, speaking moments ago on "Hannity and Colmes": "George Bush betrayed his country by sending us to war on false pretenses, and George Bush betrayed his country by not fighting in Vietnam."

Yes. You read that right. "George Bush betrayed his country by not fighting in Vietnam."

"George Bush betrayed his country by not fighting in Vietnam."

Given an opportunity to correct this rather incredible statement, Ms. Marsh declined, arguing that she had nothing to correct—that it was a fact that George Bush betrayed his country by not fighting in Vietnam.
Hear that, Dad? You're a traitor, since your Army Reserve unit was never sent to Vietnam. You could have enlisted in the Regular Army instead, new wife or no. You served in uniform all through that time, having to teach young men to fight or die as a drill sergeant. Could be you saved many of their lives with patient and careful instruction; but that doesn't matter.

Mary Marsh says you betrayed your country.

Bush used his father's pull to get himself a fighter-pilot spot at Texas Air National Guard at a time when TANG was heavily engaged in Vietnam. The decision to pull it back to the US was made late in his lengthy training period. It wasn't for no reason -- the Soviet Union (you remember, that Cold War enemy with hundreds of thermonuclear warheads pointed at us) was running spy planes out of Cuba to try and suss out our air defenses and other secrets, and we needed TANG to provide air cover. It was a valuable and necessary part of our Cold War survival.

Mary Marsh says they betrayed their country.

And what about those of us who aren't now serving in Iraq? Did you get out of your unit just before the war? During the war? Not re-up when your term was ending, because you had a family now? Did you join some Reserve or Guard unit instead of a front-line combat unit? Did you in fact volunteer for a front-line combat unit, but find that you didn't get sent to Iraq? Surely if not fighting in Vietnam was treason -- Vietnam, that war all good liberals hate -- not fighting in Iraq must be treason times ten. After all, Kerry has said he'd vote to authorize it even knowing what we now know about the state of Iraqi WMD.

You're all, every last man not reading this from the sandbox, a pack of betrayers.

There are three things about this that are just astonishing. The first is that the woman could have been so tone deaf as not to realize that she needed to back off her words, that she had said something outrageous.

The second is the sudden adoption by the national Democratic party, who brought us Bill "I Loathe the Military" Clinton, of the notion that not serving in Vietnam was blameworthy. That is a stunning reversal: until yesterday, it was praiseworthy to have burned your draft card, romantic to have moved to Canada until Jimmy Carter's blanket pardon. Protesting the war instead of fighting it was supposed to have been the right side of history, until now.

The third and most astonishing is the clean misunderstanding of the nature of the Swift Boat Vet threat. The Swift Boat Vets are outraged first and foremost because John Kerry came back from Vietnam and labeled them all criminals. He cast aspersions on their service and their honor. Vietnam was a long time ago, but for them the pain is fresh and new. It is the source of their wrath.

How astonishing, then, that the Kerry campaign has found a way to help us all share that wrath. Until today, I sympathized with the Swifties, understanding how they could feel angry even after all this time. I could read their accounts with detachment, analyzing them and others, trying to find the truth behind the conflicting claims.

Now I know that truth. The Kerry campaign, in its rush to damn Bush, has called my father a traitor. They have damned the service of ten thousands just to raise their one man to higher office. This is just what the Swift Boat Veterans said in their sworn statements, their letters, and their conferences. This is just what they said he was like.

I had adequate reason to vote against Kerry before, policy reasons of a quiet and sober sort. This new reason is neither quiet nor sober, but it is far more powerful.

There has here been a line crossed. I await the apology that I am sure is forthcoming, and which is certainly due, to all the slandered servicemen -- both those slandered today, and those slandered in all these many years in the cause of raising John Kerry to higher office. Ms. Marsh has refused to apologize once, but surely her boss will require it, if he wishes this matter to lie down before it consumes him. If he does not, then he deserves all that comes after.

You've done us all a service, lass, injecting that phrase "betrayed his country" into the heart of the campaign. I'm sure Kerry will thank you for it, when he starts hearing it echoed from the mountains and to the shores of the seas.

Now we can all understand, in a personal way, this story from 1971.

No comments: