Yes, this is a continuation of the previous post, but it cannot be helped. I'm dumbfounded by the turn of the Presidential campaign: so sick that the news is dominated by disputes over what Kerry did or did not do, deserved or did not deserve, when he was in Vietnam. There is so much at stake in this election, and no one has talked about any of it--even in their surface, cover-yourself, conventional politician's way--for 2 weeks. The media is so very culpable in this development. The right-wing is obsessing, Clinton-style. And the blogopshere and mainstream media have followed their lead.
The Boston Globe hits on one important reality of the double-standard at work:
IMAGINE IF supporters of Bill Clinton had tried in 1996 to besmirch the military record of his opponent, Bob Dole. After all, Dole was given a Purple Heart for a leg scratch probably caused, according to one biographer, when a hand grenade thrown by one of his own men bounced off a tree. And while the serious injuries Dole sustained later surely came from German fire, did the episode demonstrate heroism on Dole's part or a reckless move that ended up killing his radioman and endangering the sergeant who dragged Dole off the field?Will we have to, again, wait a year before major newspapers do mea culpa stories again, admitting their complicity in this diversion? It is maddening that this foolishness, brought on us by Veterans with mis-placed anger, exploited by the campaign of an incumbent President who, along with his VP, did everything he could to avoid the harrowing danger that Kerry pursued as a young man.
I remain convinced that virtually all of the charges should be totally irrelevant to the present campaign, even if they were true. But here is yet another compelling piece, written by another who was there on the day most in question, backing up Kerry's version of events: A Veteran for Truth. As far as I am concerned, the contention that Kerry was not being shot at when he rescued Jim Rassmann has been totally discredited. There should be a special circle of Hell reserved for any journalist who continues to allow that question to be raised by those who have been undone, just because it's controversial and makes for lively debate; could they be more irresponsible??
Whether that circle will be slighter hotter, or slightly cooler, than the one now awaiting Bob Dole is up for debate.