Like a Man Cheating on His Wife,
by Lonna Gooden VanHorn, August 21, 2004
The Republican funding of the attack on Kerrys Military Record and their attempt to discredit the valor which earned him a bronze star, a silver star and 3 purple hearts is exactly the same thing as a man cheating on his wife who then comes home and accuses her of being unfaithful. She is the wronged one, but she is the one who ends up defending herself, thereby deflecting attention from his misdeeds. Which is his intent. The Bush Attack Machine has used this same method when any unfavorable information has come out about Bush or his policies. They have attacked the messenger because they do not want the people to hear the message. They did it to Paul ONeal, Richard Clarke, Joe Wilson, Bill Burkett, et. al.
Detractors attack Kerry because his wounds were not serious. They would attack him if he were missing limbs, just as they attacked Max Cleland.
Kerry did not believe in the war, but enlisted in the navy and requested duty in Vietnam . Bush/Cheney et al believed in the Vietnam War, but worked assiduously using every connection available to them to avoid going there. George Bush himself said,
" I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada . So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes."
Bush jumped over several hundred candidates who also did not want to go to Vietnam to get in the TANG, but their fathers were not rich or important. Bushs own Secretary of State had something to say about that:
"I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country." (Colin Powells autobiography, My American Journey, p. 148)
It cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars for Bush to learn to fly. He was indisputably grounded from flying, at least AWOL, and probably technically a deserter:
AWOL----absent for 30 days or less.
DESERTION -----absent for more than 30 days with evidence of no intent to return to duty.
In every military evaluation he received, Kerry was rated as an outstanding and exemplary officer. The men who actually served under him swear by him. Bush went AWOL stateside, but Kerry is attacked because he served only four months in Vietnam .
Kerrys disillusionment with war only increased after he experienced war first hand, and like hundreds of thousands of other veterans including ret. Col. David Hackworth, when Kerry came home he took a stand against the war -- a stand which probably cost him his bid for Congress.
Charles Colson actively recruited veterans to attack Kerry in 71 because he was afraid that Kerry and other Veterans for Peace were a threat to Nixons reelection campaign. Colson said Kerry was
· a thorn in our flesh. He was very articulate, a credible leader of the opposition. He forced us to create a counterfoil. We found a vet named John ONeill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had ONeill meet the president, and we did everything we could do to boost his group.
Col. Hackworth and many other veterans have written blistering articles against the SBVT attacks.
All that aside, neither man should be elected or not elected on the basis of his service record alone, but we do need as president a man who is intelligent, capable, and honest enough to not:
1. Squander a surplus and take us into unending debt to benefit his rich friends and campaign contributors, allowing them to trash the environment in the process.
2. Lie us into a war which has become a quagmire and which will result in the deaths and maiming of thousands of American soldiers at the cost of, perhaps, a trillion dollars of taxpayer money, most of which will end up in the pockets of military-industrial contractors who are campaign contributors to Bush/Cheney.
3. Implicitly condone policies so egregious and culturally insensitive that they cause the people in a country our troops occupy to prefer their former murderous dictator to the presence of American troops, as every poll taken in Iraq proves Bush has done. These self-defeating policies prompted an Iraqi woman who writes a blog from Iraq to say months ago that she wished the Americans would just take the oil and go. On May 7th of this year she wrote a paragraph of advice to Americans in Iraq :
· don't rape, don't torture, don't kill, and get out while you can -- while it still looks like you have a choice. . . . Chaos? Civil war? We'll take our chances -- just take your puppets, your tanks, your smart weapons, your dumb politicians, your lies, your empty promises, your rapists, your sadistic torturers and go."
4. We need a president who if he proposes programs will also fund them.
5. We need a president who listens to the scientific and environmental communities rather than editing their reports to make the results of his policies look better.
6. We do not need as president a man whose arrogance and belligerence has made America and Americans universally hated around the world, with the result that America now has hundreds of millions if not billions more enemies. The man and the policies responsible for that increased hatred has made us less safe, not more safe, and rather than influencing them to help us find people who would commit terrorism against us, he has made many of the people who formerly liked Americans actually cheer when Americans are attacked!
Above all, because Americans are less than 5% of the worlds population we need a president who does not have a closed mind. A man who is intellectually curious and can reason. Bush admits he does not read. Policy briefings bore him. He has proven to the rest of the world he does not have the wisdom to be the leader of the free world, even though many Americans are in denial regarding the woeful inadequacies of the man the majority of them did not vote for in 2000.
We need a man who will engage in diplomacy with other nations -- one they will respect and trust enough to negotiate with. We need a man who can restore America to its position as the admired leader of the free world once again. That will not happen as long as bully Bush is president.
As Molly Ivins writes from Canada (but she would be writing the same message from virtually any other country in the world)
· I have been at some pains to try to answer the ever-so-delicately phrased questions: Are you people actually going to re-elect that nincompoop?
Lonna Gooden VanHorn A mother of 6 and a grandmother, Lonna Gooden VanHorn grew up in Minnesota, the daughter of small farmers. She became so frustrated with the media's failure to do its' job which is to question and hold accountable those who occupy the seats of power, especially involving something as important and costly in lives and taxpayer dollars as going to war, that she began writing to ease her frustration. Lonna is married to a Vietnam veteran and now lives in New Mexico. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org