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kerry vs vietnam vs nader

25 August 2004 _ 17h21m33 EDT
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we know that the “swift boat veterans for truth” are lying, and we know that they are illegally coordinating their efforts with the bush campaign. both of these revelations have been proved in the popular press. of course, the situation is annoying: the situation in which republicans who haven’t served tear down the military service of veterans (bush vs. mccain & chambliss vs. cleland), in which a former ‘band of brothers’ concocts stories to smear one of their own, in which a candidate claims to have nothing to do with a group with whom he shares a lawyer and distributes fliers. we know all this; is it necessary for democrats to continually tear open the holes in their stories, considering that most of us would never have heard of the attacks if we had not been presented with the ‘defense’. in other words, democrats have only increased these swift boaters’ popularity are we still going to be discrediting these veterans on november 10th?

as stated, it is annoying to hear the lies and spin from the republicans. however, there is something more annoying: watching the democrats waving the bloody shirt and picking through the most excruciating details of the occurrences, such as what the viet cong was wearing, if the arm kerry used to pull a guy from the river was actually the bleeding arm, and whether it is okay so shoot charlie in the back.

have you heard the anecdotes about republicans holding their noses and voting for kerry this november? of course you have, and you should probably know that there are plenty of democrats and independents who will be doing the same thing. those of us who supported a liberal like kucinich or a progressive like dean are not at all enthusiastic about the centrist standard bearer that the democratic machine installed as the nominee.

we can not stress enough how much some of us who are – and were – opposed the the war in iraq, and were somehow prescient enough to understand that bush was going to start it regardless of the forces which noted that it would be a mistake, such as the u.n., our allies, weapons inspectors , the c.i.a. (kerry and his apologists somehow think that there is a difference between voting for the war and voting to give authorization to a guy who is hellbent on starting the war to start the war), find it distasteful and unnerving that kerry is swaggering around like rambo just because some republicans call him a sissy. we would truly be reassured to see him putting some energy into detailing what he plans to do about the quagmire in iraq next year than constantly reiterating that his feelings are hurt when someone declares that he was not a ‘hero’ for four months over 30 years ago.

the republicans know that a lie or smear, even if disproved, will still have enough of an effect in the minds of voters to make it worth the effort and embarrassment to spread the lie in the first place. so while al franken or media matters – both well-meaning – are busy talking about minutiae, such as whose initials were on kerry’s after action reports and how many bullet holes were in kerry’s boat (three), the people whose minds the republicans wished to affect have already been made up, and the republicans have moved on to something else, leaving the democrats to waste time on damage control. they say that generals always fight the previous war; democrats seem to fight the previous week’s allegations.

sadly, the u.s.a. is not a very introspective nation. the angry red planet would like for to see our contests involve more debate, more depth, and less compression, but in a nation that is so full of anti-intellectualism that liberals are chided for having educations (unless the don’t have them, then they are lemmings), it seems that the willful ignorance of the consuming class is systemic, something to which the republican focus groups cater and develop, not something at which they arrive after overcoming some brilliant curiosity. the case isn’t that americans are too stupid to have a sincere discussion, it seems that they just refuse to do so. people don’t want to know where hotdogs come from, so it follows that they don’t want to hear that china is loaning us money to make up for tax cuts made during a war that will allow us to continue to have enough cheap gas to distance ourselves from our neighbors.

we know kerry was in vietnam; who cares? a lot of men were in vietnam; it does not convince us that they are qualified to institute single payer health care and to lead the restructuring of the c.i.a. if kerry hadn’t marched around the nation, saluting like a clown after his convention, then the veterans who he pissed off back in the 70’s would not be coming out of their holes to tear him a new one. the lessons of ’88 were that, if you let attacks go unanswered, you will lose; the lessons of ’00 were that if you answer every attack, you will lose. kerry should have just said ‘yes, i was in vietnam; they gave me some medals for killing some guys; it was an unfortunate time’ and left it behind him. going on and on like it was a great thing to be an american soldier in vietnam (we mean this in the political sense of what are americans doing in vietnam?!, not that there aren’t american soliders who are great), and that it is relevant to making policy today is just going to draw out the ridiculous debate of who is a hero and who is a killer, when most of us would really like to hear such a debate about something that actually matters to the u.s.a. in 2004.

a dot

~ is kerry finally trying to appeal to nader fans by utilizing arcane, inaccessible verbiage?

Stewart also sought answers to another hard-hitting question: “Is it true that every time I use ketchup, your wife gets a nickel?” The candidate’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, derived her wealth from her late husband, an heir to the Heinz food fortune.

“Would that it were,” Kerry said.

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~ the US military is still holding back from storming the ‘3rd most holy shrine in islam’ because it will piss off the people who already hate them. we don’t see how this war/peace/occupation can be won by an army who is fighting on the terms of the enemy. in world war 2, the british did not have any qualms about killing more french civilians than they killed nazis when bombing caen. seriously, as much as we find the ‘explanations’ about islamic culture by western press laughable and condescending, we probably don’t want to see u.s. marines tearing down mosques, despite our rabid belief in the separation of church and state. although the angry red planet did once say that we’d like to see spain go war against morocco, just out of curiosity.

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'john' responds:

i am curious who the reciprocating smear campaign is supposed to be swaying. htf hasn’t made up their minds between those 2 yahoos yet?

'the angry red planet' responds:

you can look at an interesting map feature on the l.a. times website, that has the election examined by states; it lists some states as having up to 20% of the voters undecided. i can barely imagine what they could be waiting for to help make their decision. the rapture? or apocalypse now?

'john' responds:

the only reason i can see either bush or kerry supporting these ‘527’ campaigns is if they would have us not vote for either the candidate who is revealed to be a fraud by the ad or the whiiinin’ crybaby who conceived it. nader perhaps?

'the angry red planet' responds:

on the face of it, the ‘527’ idea seems to be okay to me. if stu wants to spend his own money to make 200 ‘bush sucks’ stickers, that is his right; if he wants to match his cash with cash from vcf and then get 1000 stickers, that also seems alright. so couldn’t stu team up with 1000 people and buy a million stickers or a tv spot?
527s seem unfair when they are just an appendage of the party rather than a true independent group. i think that is one of the problems with the ‘swift boat vets for truth’; they are coordinating their efforts with bush.
another problem is that some of what is in the ‘swift boat..’ ads is demonstrably false, which is illegal no matter who is publishing it. kerry’s lack of tv advertising this month is being supplemented with ads by 527s like moveon.org, but at least moveon has not been caught publishing/televising outright lies.

'john' responds:

say that reminds me, moveon.org totally needs to stop spamming my hotmail account!

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