June 22, 2006

You must have served to make policy?

According to Democrat Party Chair Howard Dean, the answer is "yes."

John Murtha and John Kerry served in Vietnam. Karl Rove did not, George Bush did not, Dick Cheney did not, Don Rumsfeld did not and they wouldn't listen to the people who did. The fact is you can't trust these folks, they didn't serve abroad defending America.

Dean, who ran for president in 2004, would have been in a position to direct war policy had he been elected. By his own standard, he would have been "untrustworthy" -- because he did not serve abroad. (Good thing Dean added "abroad" in his statement because, in fact, George Bush did serve, as did Rumsfeld.)

In addition, why do we need to give greater credence to folks like Murtha and Kerry because of their service? Why not listen to John McCain, whose service record is more stellar than Kerry's and Murtha's? McCain -- who is in favor of completing the job victoriously in Iraq?

Wasn't the entire "service thing" supposed to have been settled in the 1996 election anyhow -- you know, where WW II veteran Bob Dole lost to draft dodger/protester-in-a-foreign country Bill Clinton? Weren't we told that Clinton's actions did not matter now? Didn't people like McCain agree that folks should lay off Bill Clinton for his Vietnam-era past? Don't civilians run the military ultimately, anyway? Clinton is the only modern president, by the way, with absolutely no sort of military service on his résume. You have to go back to FDR to get to the next Commander-in-Chief who did not serve in any capacity.

The bottom line is that there are indeed military vets on both sides of the Iraq War. It ultimately doesn't matter that Bush and co. didn't "listen to the people who did [serve]" -- that Howard Dean prefers.

To be sure, this is a bipartisan matter. Republicans scoured Clinton for his lack of service before and during his presidency. Republicans hassled Clinton for his direction of military adventures in Haiti and Kosovo. Maybe Dean is just utilizing fair turnabout. But saying "Well, this happened in the past, SO ..." isn't an argument and doesn't make it right nonetheless.

Ryan at Jokers to the Right and PolitaKid have been severely criticized by Jason and donviti in various blog comment sections for their support of the Iraq War -- because they have not signed up to help fight it. This is essentially the Howard Dean argument: In order to believe in the war, you must serve. donviti claims to have served; unknown about Jason. I have asked both Jason and donviti if they ran down to the recruitment center to join up (or re-up) to get some action in Haiti or Kosovo when Democrat President Bill Clinton mandated US military action in those areas. I haven't seen an answer from either yet.

Which is certainly OK. They're entitled to either not agree with the Kosovo and Haiti actions or, if they do agree, a desire not to serve there anyway. Just as Ryan and PolitaKid are entitled to their views. But consider -- using Dean/Jason/donviti logic, not only are Ryan and PK not entitled to support a military endeavor if they are personally not willing to get involved in it, no American is. This surely would have disastrous consequences for home support of any American military involvement: Only those who served (and perhaps those who are planning to sign up) are "entitled" to support any potential military action.

Posted by Hube at June 22, 2006 04:18 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)


Let me clear something up. It is clear to me that Dean was saying that you can't trust Cheney, Rove and Bush to make good decisions. The evidence supports Dean's position.

Now if you think Bush is doing a good job, in spite of all of the evidence to the contrary, that is something I can't help you with.

As far as Ryan is concerned. Yes, he should be in if he thinks this war on teror is legit. (If he doesn't and he is just pimping it for partisan gain - that is between him and God. My faith tells me he will be punished accordingly.)

While you keep trying to make some hay out of Kosovo, I think I have explained previously that your logic is flawed since it does not take into account the scope and scale of Iraq vs. Kosovo.

Posted by: jason at June 22, 2006 08:57 PM

That doesn't "clear up" what Dean said at all, Jason.

If you believe Ryan et. al should sign up for believing in [an increasingly unpopular] military action, then others can call you and others "un-American" for NOT believing in a [popular] military action. Fair enough?

Re: Kosovo -- your comments are irrelevant. If you believed so much in the action (and elsewhere, too) you should have signed up, or, at least inquired if you could get action there if you DID sign up. The larger size of the Iraq campaign is irrelevant to my point.

Posted by: Hube at June 22, 2006 09:25 PM

As I recall, Dean dodged service with a bum knee -- and then spent the time he should have spent in the military working the slopes at a ski resort.

So let's make this clear -- we can't trust a damn thing out of How-weird Dean's mouth when it comes to militar/defense/foreign policy -- he told us so himself.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at June 22, 2006 10:38 PM

If only those who are serving or have served abroad can support a war, then it follows that they can be the only ones to determine if they shouldn't go. That is, they know best which wars to enter and which to avoid. You are advocating an independant military or a government run by the military. Neither is a good idea.

If Dean's Law is to be followed, Hillary is obviously out as a Democrat candidate. Likewise John Edwards, Mark Warner, Condi Rice, Rudy Guilani, Mitt Romney, Russ Feingold, Joe Biden....

I guess we should just have a Junta and install Generalissimo Pace as Supreme Commendant

Posted by: Duffy at June 23, 2006 09:28 AM

Why do you guys continue to defend Bush, Cheney and Rove?

I would not want to be in a war run by these guys, and based on your presence here, neither would you.

Can't anybody admit that they are doing a crappy job?

Posted by: jason at June 23, 2006 10:56 AM

Why do continue to go off on irrelevant tangents, Jason? How many times do I, personally, have to say that I am against the war?

But the difference between me and you (the visceral Left) is that despite my disapproval of being over there, since we're there, I want to see a positive ultimate outcome. I certainly disagree with many aspects of the Bush administration's direction of the war, but IMO the Democrat alternative -- if there even IS one -- is worse!

Posted by: Hube at June 23, 2006 11:01 AM

I want to see a positive ultimate outcome.

What was the definition of insanity again..? Something about doing the same thing over and over.

Posted by: jason at June 23, 2006 11:27 AM

... and the Democrats' plan is ....?

Um, uh, er, ....

Posted by: Hube at June 23, 2006 12:22 PM


You know alot about Costa Rica. Did they "cut and run" or did they excersize common sense?

Posted by: jason at June 23, 2006 01:01 PM

Cosat Rica has no formal military. How exactly does their view enter into what should be done now?

Um, uh, er ....

Posted by: Hube at June 23, 2006 01:22 PM

Dang. You can't cut and run any more than abolishing your whole army in 1949.

They have to be the world wide champions of cutting and running. Maybe the swiss have a slight edge. But Costa rica is up there.

Posted by: jason at June 23, 2006 02:00 PM

Maybe that's why CR is frequently referred to as the "Switzerland of the Americas," Jase.

Posted by: Hube at June 23, 2006 02:03 PM

I'm leanring new stuff everyday.

It is great to be a liberal.

Posted by: jason at June 23, 2006 02:13 PM

Post a comment

Remember personal info?