Democrats & Liberals Archives

Truth and W’s place in the Guard

So there is a lot of reason to believe that W who is busy this week recalling the ghosts of 9/11 past to help him on his road to reelection lied when he said that he had no help in getting his soft slot in the National Guard during Vietnam. Now of course the Republican Press Machine is too busy this week laundering the war in Iraq and dry cleaning the economic news while pressing a crease in the President’s image as CIC to relate to this news. But they’ll be all over it soon.

Bob Barnes, former Speaker of the House in Texas has expressed his shame in a video. He is ashamed of being involved in helping the sons of wealthy Texan’s get into the National Guard so they could serve in the military and still escape Vietnam and the inconvenience of dying early in life. The Video is clear and available at www.austin4kerry.org , it is a little piece of dynamite. Now those of us who served in the Army or Marines or the Navy at that time knew that there were people getting out of serving for various reasons related to their family or their educational status. Mostly we thought of them as pussy’s or rich little mama’s boys and ignored them, none of us were particularly angry at their favored treatment that I recall. We are still not angry at their treatment, we are angry at their attempts to defame those who served. Using their sycophants who in some cases also served honorably in the war like John O’Neil to lie about John Kerry, Max Cleland and John McCain, and by implication the rest of us, these favored sons of our Republic are again seeking high office. It is time to rise up and vote them out of office. I prefer riding them out of town on a rail but tar is in short supply with the oil crisis and all.

How did I find out about this video? My wife found it on the eighth page of our local newspaper, isn’t that an interesting place for this little bit of news, eighth page inside column. The exposed Swift Boat liars, who are former crew and commanders of other boats in the delta, have bought a lying CIC as their hero and war leader. They abhor Kerry, who told the truth about the fact that there were atrocities committed in Vietnam, but these men are the ones who cannot handle the truth. They want a world in which everyone thinks that anti-war protestors are unpatriotic. They want a world in which they get to ignore the truth about our dirty little wars and their consequences. They want to live out their fantasies of heroic service to our Republic while they consistently support men who only serve our destructive drive toward Empire. They want a world in which W is the hero and John Kerry is the liar and unpatriotic, but that is not the real world.

Vietnam was not the fault of Kerry and the anti-war people in our nation. It was the fault of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and a Congress that failed our young men and women of my generation. It was the fault of those who believed lies rather than examine the truth of the world outside their skin. War itself is an atrocity. All wars beget individual atrocities; it is the nature of war that it will degrade the ethics and morals of some of the people who fight it. Those who return intact enough to face those ugly facts are national treasures, the rest are victims of their own denial.

So W lied when he said he received no help in escaping Vietnam, we all knew that, it is no shock to us when a son of a Congressman escapes service to our nation. It is no shock when he lies about the help he received from the establishment he has always been supported by. It is no shock when a John O’Neil sells his soul to a Richard Nixon or George W Bush and attacks his comrade in arms on their service. That way sometimes lies wealth and success in our society. That way sometimes lies the freedom from service and danger for their children that many families enjoy today. That way often lies kudos and attaboys from those who served without risk or sacrifice or not at all. That way lies unending lies told in service of your ego not your conscience or any higher power or your nation itself.

I am interested in this latest bit of news not because it will change anyone’s mind about this election. I am interested in it because it confirms my cynicism about W’s service as a guardsman and as President. No, he is not an evil man, he always knows evil when he sees it but most of us are less likely to point at any man or society and say they are evil. John O’Neil and his fellow swift boat liars are not evil either. They are symptoms of a Republic at odds with itself about whether or not it wants to be an Empire. They are on the side of an Empire, not our precious Republic. Those lines are drawn and this election is as much about whether we will have an Empire or a Republic as any of the other issues we are voting on this year.

This election is, as always, about which lies people will believe. This election is about the power of money on both sides of the fence. This election is about choosing loyalty to a party over honor in service of an ideal. This election is about the drive of leaders to be honored for service without effort or sacrifice versus the integrity of the truly honorable who voluntarily served and sacrificed. This election is about suppressing black votes in the South, especially in Florida. This election is about stolen votes and cheating the electorate at the polling place. Finally this election is about the survival of our civil rights in the face of terrorism and fear. It is not and should not be about the lies W has told on the way here except as markers of his character or lack thereof. God bless and keep you all safe and involved in this election, that is the only hope this nation has ever had, an involved, aroused electorate. ©Henri Reynard/GoldenBrush Interactive

Posted by Henri Reynard at August 31, 2004 8:55 AM