Tuesday, August 24, 2004

SwiftVets on Kerry's Testimony

The second ad from the Swiftvets has been released. If anything, this one is worse than the prior. At least in the prior one there is an issue of perceptions under difficult circumstances and personal animosity. Personal opinions can vary about what occured in the heat of battle. There are reasons we can all understand, though not approve, behind their charges. They are still likely lying bastards, but there are possible excuses. Here, however, the Swiftvets accuse Kerry of betraying his country simply by telling the truth about it. There can be no excuse for this.

They don't deny that the things which Kerry relates in his his famous testimony happened - they incontrovertably did. No, instead they say he's a traitor because they were undergoing torture to deny that same truth. Whose fault is that? Not Kerry's. It is Kennedy's, Johnson's, and Nixon's fault. They are at fault becuase the lie they created was vital to continuing the war. Soldiers had to die and suffer to protect a lie because these Presidents lacked the courage to tell the truth. Kerry wisely, and bravely, told the world the truth about the war in Vietnam. He did the right thing. The strong thing, and the noble thing, and the difficult thing. It is also the thing that best qualifies him for leadership.

The last thing a leader should doubt is his own ethical impulses and judgment. This is why some love Bush so deeply. He doesn't fear the judgment of others on his choices. Unfortunately, his supporters share the same limitations which make Bush's own judgments consistently wrong.

Now these Neanderthals want to fight Vietnam, and the greater struggle of eithics it prompted, all over again. They seek to blame the messenger for the message, and intimidate into silence a new generation of potential whistleblowers currently fighting a fruitless imperial war in Iraq. The Swifties message is clear: tell the truth, and when your time to lead comes, others like us, lacking sufficient moral fiber to tell the truth, will attack you from the shadows for your courage.

The Swifties are only a remnant of bygone credo that the Neo-cons hope we will embrace once again. Shut up, take your orders, don't ask questions. To question authority is unpatriotic. They bring this anachronism clanking out of storage for the kulturkampf which they are fighting so successfully on every other political front. It is an old, time-tested mechanism. Wound by fear, powered by an atavistic reflex - the instinct to obey the group. It is strong, often irresistable. But those who knuckle under to it, or who use it, are not courageous in the least - almost universally they are cowards, villians, and criminals. The brave are those who fight this limbic-system bully and follow their ethical convictions, even if they are proven wrong in the end. John Kerry, whether you believe he was right or wrong to deliver that speech, was braver in that hearing room than he ever was on the rivers and estuaries of Vietnam; braver than most of us will ever be in our lives.


At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rite on bro-either these slick swift boat liars have alzheimer(which if bush wins there will b no cure for) or they are just liars-we all know what happened during the vietnam era-kerry was brave-caring and honest about what he said and did 30 years ago and still is 2day-dbluesyazer@aol.com in nj

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt you'll clip this out, but perhaps you can explain why Kerry's continually changed his story, why he continues to refuse to sign a SF180 which would resolve all of the questions. His first purple heart is proven bogus, the second is being questioned, his christmas/new years in cambodia has proven false also. And why oh why is the navy investigating his silver star with "v".



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