The US military: corrupt, venal, cynical, untrustworthy and conniving

No, that’s not my own opinion. It is apparently the opinion of all those Republicans who are now accusing Kerry and the US Navy of commisserating to doctor his war record and assign him medals he didn’t deserve. That’s how Digby sees it.

It has struck me lately what a terrible indictment of the military these charges are and how once again the Republicans have absolutely no limits in terms of how fully they are willing to trash the American institutions they allegedly love in order to win. What these people are saying is that the US Navy awarded some of its highest medals for bravery to a coward. The many officers who signed those glowing fitness reports and awarded those citations are either liars or they are incompetent. The word of his shipmates, even the man whose life he saved, are worth nothing. You can’t believe military documentary evidence. It was all bullshit, every last piece of it.
And because of this it can now be said that all medals awarded for bravery are suspect. A superior military record is no longer a recommendation. Who can ever believe the government on this issue, now?

The conservative attack on the military is, on the other hand, so small minded, so parochial. For puny, partisan reasons they are accusing the military of widespread corruption — merely to excuse the behavior of their less than stellar candidate.

Too bad for the men and women who are risking their necks as we speak for Junior’s Big Adventure. Any act of bravery on which the military might bestow a medal is now subject to interpretation. Nothing is sacred to these people.

Even more shocking is what these conservatives are now saying about John McCain. You simply have to see this to believe it — McCain slandered by the right and even accused of treason and cowardice. Why? Because he’s still decent to John Kerry and condemns the Swift Boat Cretins for Bush attack ad against his friend and fellow war hero.

I can’t wait for the elections to end.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Ah, I see. When actual Democratic candidates allege that the US military allowed Bush to evade military service and gave him credit for time not served, that is a patriotic defense of the country’s institutions. When a group with no official Republican connections questions Kerry’s military service and claims he got credit for actions never performed, that is an attack on the country’s institutions.

When Michael Moore produces a blatently distorted, dishonest bit of anti-Bush propaganda, he is an important voice worth listening to. When the Swift Boat Veterens produce an anti-Kerry screed, they are “cretins.”

Here’s a suggestion Richard as to how you can save an enormous amount of effort. Every time you want to post on the current US election, just type “Democrats good and patriotic. Republicans evil and unamerican.” You’ll save loads of time and the end result will be precisely the same.

Oh, and BTW, it’s pretty common knoledge that the US military threw medals around promiscuously during the Vietnam War. I can’t say whether that applies to Kerry or not, but my Dad, who came back with a chest full of hardware certaily claims it applied to him (i.e., Dad).

August 11, 2004 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

Well, I guess we can assume all Vietnam vets with medals were pond scum and their medals were worth nothing. Please, don’t join the wingnuts who are saying the military is a giant hoax. If that’s your stance, should we believe anything the military tells us? Shouldn’t we assume they’re just BS artiusts?

“No official Republican connections” — God, how can someone so smart be so naive?” They’re financed by Texas Republicans, and that is a fact, not a hypothesis. They’re being choreographed by Ronald Reagan’s former PR director, Merrie Spaeth. Gee, why would anyone think they were connected to Republicans? Silly me.

Michael Moore’s movie is biased, but much of it’s on-target. As I’ve said many times (and you never respond to this), Fox News itself said it was an important film to see, and it received high marks from most of the dailies in the country. And the videotape doesn’t lie. You can see for yourself how bush acted upon learning we were under attack — if you want to know. The arguments of the SBVFT, on the other hand, are based on hearsay and their efforts are funded by fat-cat Republicans. The events occurred more than 30 years ago, but oddly enough, they only decided to speak up 11 weeks before the election. Remarkable. And of course, their intentions are entirely unpolitical. Right.

Oh, and what do you think of conservatives’ attacks against McCain? Do you condone them? He wasgiven medals, too, in Vietnam. Must be pond scum….

August 11, 2004 @ 8:34 pm | Comment


This is politics and war—life, in other words—wherein all things are shades of grey, not black and white. I admire your intellect too much to believe that you do not understand this dynamic.

I am also extremely puzzled. Something seems to have been forgotten in all of this current “patriotic” name-calling: In time it came to be a consensus of opinion across party lines—left, right and the middle—that the Vietnam War was a terrible mistake. Period. Even McNamara finally admitted how big of a political and military mistake a series of democratic and republican administrations made in getting us into the war, escalating the war, and prolonging the war by attempting to end it with some type of military success that would then allow for a president to exit without having to forever wear the label of being the first one to “lose” a war.

How can it be that after all the truths of the Tonkin Gulf “incident,” the Pentagon Papers, the Phoenix Program, etc., etc., that we are fighting over the correctness of that war?

There was NOTHING noble or good about that war except for the courage of young American boys who went and did their duty in spite of the terrible mistakes made by old white men who could not forget the political kiss of death from their earlier years: “Who lost China.”

It seems to me that the only issue concerning the Vietnam War that is legitimately in play now is the comparative service of two young men 30-something years ago. The fact that one served when he didn’t have to, and one did not serve because he could get away with it, is the truly operative one. The other ones, namely exactly who did what to whom under the smoky haze of combat in a guerilla war that had no definitive right or wrong side are questions without end. So is an investigation of the exact words—and their meaning or context—uttered well after the facts by men who have been in combat. Much like the distance a winning home run ball traveled increases with each passing season, combat stories grow larger—or smaller—as the combatants age.

All the best,


August 11, 2004 @ 11:44 pm | Comment

Joseph, all points taken — there was nothing noble about the Vietnam War, and there will always be shades of gray, even in regard to our most cherished myths of heroism.

But there is another point here — maybe I didn’t get it across in my own post, but the one I linked to does it better. These same conservatives always rant about respect for the military; they look at it as if it’s atop an altar. Now, when it suits their message that Kerry is scum, these same people do an extraordinary about-face and are quick to attack everything about their beloved military. The medals don’t mean anything, those awarding them can’t be trusted. Digby gets this across splendidly in his post; I hope you can take a look. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

August 12, 2004 @ 12:24 am | Comment

Where was JFKerry on Christmas eve 1968?

I am waiting for an answer and if the true answer isn’t Cambodia, it speaks volumes about the man.

And the canard that questioning Kerry’s claims is an insult to the service of all veterens is so absurd as to not merit a serious response from me.

August 12, 2004 @ 12:54 am | Comment

all those Republicans who are now accusing Kerry and the US Navy of commisserating to doctor his war record and assign him medals he didn’t deserve…

Surely you mean ‘conspiring to doctor…’.

August 12, 2004 @ 3:22 am | Comment

Yes David, conspiring — thanks.

August 12, 2004 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

Would such continuous vicious attacks on the military credentials and experience of Kerry (and McCain) happen if Bush possesses similar credentials and experience?

BTW, Joseph Bosco, I admire very much your take on the tragedy of the Vietnam war and the current ‘presidential’ issue realting to it!

August 13, 2004 @ 7:26 pm | Comment

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