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Swift Boat Vets are Idiots

We found out yesterday that an apparent war crime has taken place in Iraq and it's all on tape. It seems a US Marine shot an unarmed Iraqi prisoner in a mosque. The marine thought that the man was "playing dead" and planning to ambush him when he got close enough. The marine reacted by shooting the man in the head at point blank range and then saying "he's dead now." As is often the case, there is more to this story. The enemy has been faking death and then firing on Americans when they get close and dead bodies have also been booby trapped to go off when Americans try to move them. It also seems that this particular marine had been shot at in that exact same situation just the day before.

My purpose in bringing this story up here is not to condemn the United States military or this particular Marine. I mean these guys are under tremendous stress and after watching their friends be killed by the enemy and being shot at themselves, I'm sure their nerves are on edge. The shear terror of what they are experiencing makes them do things that the average person in middle America finds abhorrent. Indeed, these same people would probably find their own actions abhorrent under normal circumstances. These are clearly not normal circumstances, war never is.

This brings me to the point. The Swift Boat Vets and other Vietnam vets who spoke against John Kerry during the election are simply dishonest. They would have us believe that the Vietnam War was the only war in history that had no atrocities. No war crimes. Nothing but above board behavior by our soldiers. For all their sanctimonious claims that Kerry was less than a hero while in Vietnam, the real reason they hate him is because he spoke out against the war when he got home. The real reason they hate him is his 1971 testimony before congress. They feel he called them war criminals, when in fact they where gallant fighters in a good and righteous war. Kerry, of course, did nothing of the sort. He was simply retelling stories that had been told to him earlier that year at the Winter Soldier Conference in Detroit. He was simply trying to impress on a government that kept sending young men to fight and die in a war they had no hope of winning, exactly what these young men had been driven to in order to survive. He was not calling all Vietnam Vets war criminals. He wasn't even calling the men who committed these acts war criminals, he was simply telling the congress how bad it was and how the war was ruining all these men's lives and for no good reason.

If these young men in Iraq are driven by fear and justifiable hatred of the enemy enough to commit such an act even knowing they are being filmed by a news camera, imagine what must have happened in Vietnam where the fighting was even more intense and there where no embedded photo-journalists to capture the carnage.

War is hell, unless your a Swift Boat Vet with a grudge and then it is a beautiful and virtuous thing. Not only are they idiots but they are liars and anyone who voted agains John Kerry because of their lies should be ashamed of themselves.


At 11/16/2004 01:22:00 PM, Blogger gaw3 said...

What an awesome post. I'm in a post-election struggle myself, torn between the ideals of intervening overseas (how could the Dems get some credibility and start winning for once) and then getting slammed with these stories about what really happens-- always happens-- when humans go to war. This is why war ought to be engaged with great reluctance. All the awesome training in the world isn't going to help that kid live down what just happened.
BTW, given the videotaped shooting, my wife wonders what's happening off-camera in THIS war.
Just found your site by accident. Cool.


At 11/16/2004 08:24:00 PM, Blogger Trent Dlugosh said...

Thanks for the nice words. My father is a Vietnam Vet and I have nothing but respect for those men, but to pretend that bad things didn't happen is just ridiculous. Free fire zones are illegal and yet where part of US Military Doctrine during Vietnam. It makes me sick to my stomach when Oliver North (still the only American to ever negotiate with terrorists by the way) gets on his high horse and claims that he was in Vietnam and not one war crime was comitted there. The worst part is, people believe these guys. Hope you come back to the site often. Tell your friends.


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