I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The best and the worse

A couple of right leaning commenters in the post below took exception with the "slandering" of war heroes associated with the Swift Boaters.
I disagree with you about the Swift Boats, Ron. There is no doubt that the American soldier has often been slighted by the far left, not just by Kerry and his "Genghis Kahn" nonsense in the 70s, but by Kerry, and others, recently. No doubt there are political motivations behind them, but these guys are first group of their kind to really stand up and take issue, with the "spit on the baby-killer" mentality that many on the far-left, who are dusting off their own Vietnam-era nonsense, still blab on about.

Bud Day is a former POW and is the most decorated American serviceman alive. I urge you to look more deeply at who Bud Day is and what he's been doing over the years, including his work with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and his legal work as a veterans advocate wrt the VA.

Day is no partisan bomb thrower. If Kerry offends men like Day, then that's Kerry's doing.
As I said in my response I have no doubt that Bud Day is a hero but I also have no doubt that what John Kerry said upon returning is the truth. War does indeed bring out the best in some and create heroes, it also brings out the worse. Over at Rolling Stone Matt Taibbi has an example of the latter.
"The fellas from 121 started showing up the other day. It's starting to sink in...I'll have to go home, the opportunities to kill these fuckers is rapidly coming to an end. Like a hobby I'll never get to practice again. It's not a great war, but it's the only one we've got. God, I do love killing these bastards...Morale is high, the Marines can smell the barn. It's hard to keep them focused. I still have 20 days of kill these motherfuckers, so I don't wanna take even one day off. "
-- Letter home from an unnamed Marine F/A -18 pilot in Iraq
Is this an aberration? The answer to that is yes. Is this immoral and dangerously insane? One again yes. Like Vietnam we the Iraq war has created many heroes. It has also created many atrocities by Americans. That's war - it can bring out the best in some and the very worse in others. Yes, atrocities happen and should a war hero who points this out be slandered?

As for the old "spit on the baby-killer" meme: I came home from three years in the army in 1971 to one of the most antiwar cities in the country. No one ever spit on me or taunted me and no one ever spit on or taunted any of the people who returned with me. The blame belonged to the politicians who continued to send Americans into a war to kill and be killed even when they knew it could not be won. Yes Johnson and McNamara knew the war couldn't be won in 1966 and they continued to send Americans into the meat grinder.

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