Originally posted by applenut
vietnam experience has absolutely no correlation to being able to tackle issues of security for the nation. nothing in military service trains you for that and any idiot can be drafted and serve. just because you were in the military does not make these things easier for you or you more capable of handling them.
While I agree, (I often hold draft-dodgers
in higher esteem than I do veterans), I think you're missing the point about what Kerry is saying about how his military service informed his current views. He's been very specific: Kerry frequently talks about the "lessons" he learned in Vietnam-- often framing his military service in that context rather than the one you describe. Some that I'm sure everyone is familiar with from his acceptance speech:
"Our band of brothers doesn't march together because of who we are as veterans, but because of what we learned as soldiers. We fought for this nation because we loved it and we came back with the deep belief that every day is extra._"
"And as President, I will bring back this nation's time-honored tradition: the United States of America never goes to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.
I know what kids go through when they are carrying an M-16 in a dangerous place and they can't tell friend from foe._ I know what they go through when they're out on patrol at night and they don't know what's coming around the next bend. I know what it's like to write letters home telling your family that everything's all right when you're not sure that's true._
As President, I will wage this war with the lessons I learned in war._ Before you go to battle, you have to be able to look a parent in the eye and truthfully say: "I tried everything possible to avoid sending your son or daughter into harm's way. But we had no choice. We had to protect the American people, fundamental American values from a threat that was real and imminent."_ So lesson one, this is the only justification for going to war.
And on my first day in office, I will send a message to every man and woman in our armed forces: You will never be asked to fight a war without a plan to win the peace."
That, I think you should agree, is relevant.