Monday, June 27, 2005
Vietnam and Gulf War I Vet: Larger Truths are Being Ignored
I am a veteran of VietNam. While over the years I have come to regret the war's motives, and question just what we gained against all we lost, I do believe that there is one sterling thing I shall take from my years of service: loyalty and camaraderie. Whatever your political persuasion, there are larger truths here that are being ignored.
First: Donald Rumsfeld did the same kind of damage to morale by saying that you fight the war with what you have as Jane Fonda did by embracing Gen. Giap on top of that Soviet tank. We did NOT need to go in as if this were Pearl Harbor and an immediate response were required. Particularly, as events have transpired since everything stated by this administration has been proven a lie.
Second: As a practicing psychiatrist I bitterly resent the implication that giving therapy, as Mr. Rove stated, is tantamount to treason or at the very least lack of patriotism. He takes a very divisive partisan issue that will probably not be laid to rest in my lifetime and trivializes it by putting down the desire to help heal instead of divide and imply that we would all be holding hands singing "Cumbaya" but for the loyal right wing Republican minions standing guard at the gate. Balderdash!
Third: in the brouhaha surrounding Mike Wallace's unfortunate lapse of judgment in his story on Bush's war record, the larger fact that Bush Sr. subverted the intent of the law if not the law directly by "transferring" his son-as he was CIA chief then-to the Alabama Guard right before they were scheduled to be deployed. I was at Randolph AFB at the time and WAS deployed. I did not have the "pleasure" of knowing Mr. Bush then, but I seriously doubt that a man who scores a 25 on his fit rep, virtually the lowest score that a sentient human being can obtain, would have made a decent soldier anyway. If I learned anything about loyalty it was in the bosom of my friends and comrades in another miserable foray in another time and in another place, but eventually with the same results. Not hardly in Washington.
Fourth: this is classic misdirection. So Rove or Rumsfeld or Bush himself stirs the pot, we all huff and puff and what happens? Bush's calumny plays out more secretly in another place in another time. Always keep 'em guessing, right? Any good magician knows that the secret to any magic trick is to keep the audience's attention away from what is really going on. Are Messrs. Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney or Rove that stupid? Hardly. they just know that if you keep someone looking in the front door for the thief in the night you sure as Hell can steal the silverware through a window where nobody's looking.
And as a postscript to Mnkinn, who lambasted a poster a while back: Sir, I fought for your right to say whatever you want to, whenever and wherever you want to. My commanders reminded me more than once that I was there to preserve democracy, not practice it. So it is in the great tradition of this land I hope we all love so well that we can have these rather spirited conversations and even bitterly disagree with each other.
That said, however, how can you condone the bitterness of spirit and rancor that oozes out of Washington every day? This is not about differing viewpoints. It is about a hatefulness and entitlement that basically says "I am right, if you think differently you are a coward, a traitor or just plain stupid".
The God that George prays to each night would surely send a lightening bolt his way for perverting His teachings into right-wing ultra-conservative evangelical absolutism. THAT is not the American way. I am fervently awaiting that day.