I had a chance to talk with one of the people in the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on Beyond the Beltway last night. His name is Bill Elder and he said that he thought Kerry was unfit to be president because of his service in Vietnam. But when Bruce DuMont asked him why he was so mad at John Kerry, Mr. Elder said it was because when Kerry came back, he testified before Congress about the horrible, ugly side of war. That, to Elder and lots of the people backing him, borders on the treasonous, as it 'gives aid and comfort to the enemy.'
I was appalled.
It is noble for a someone in the armed forces to tell their civilian commanders -- and that includes Congress who runs and funds the military -- what is really going on, so that the civilian commanders can make an informed decision whether to continue to wage war. Mr. Elder (and some other 'support the troops' people I've spoken with) believe that once a war begins, debating the policy only serves to hurt morale and is to be avoided at all costs. That's stifling dissent, under the guise of supporting the troops. (And what a condescending view of active duty servicemen and women! It's as if we can train young men and women to kill other people in horribly difficult conditions, but if they hear that there is a debate over whether the war is a bad idea or not, they just won't be able to continue to do their job. Give me a break. Troops can handle democracy.)
John Kerry's decision to actively work to end the Vietman War is what fuels the perceived 'betrayal' of these pro-war partisans, not any B.S. story about faking combat to get a metal. All that is just another ruthless lie from the win-at-all-costs national Republicans. (Why can't northern Republicans be running that party again?)