Tom Harken tells it like it is

Via Atrios who got it from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier:

Harkin also shot back at Cheney, who said in a visit to Iowa on Tuesday that presidential candidate John Kerry lacks a basic understanding of the war on terrorism and cannot make America safer.

He noted that Cheney had several student deferments that allowed him to skip serving in Vietnam.

"When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil," Harkin said. "Those of us who served and those of us who went in the military don't like it when someone like a Dick Cheney comes out and he wants to be tough. Yeah, he'll be tough. He'll be tough with somebody else's blood, somebody else's kids. But not when it was his turn to go."

This is the biggest point that our so-called media conveniently overlooks when talking about Bush/Cheney's military service and gung-ho attitude for war as complared to the attacks on Kerry's service in Vietnam. Even if Kerry had never won an award, had never saved a man's life, had never been wounded at all as opposed to his three wounds--Kerry would still be on higher moral ground because he went to Vietnam when he could have gotten out of it. He has faced gunfire. He has seen men die. Bush/Cheney have not. There is absolutely no comparison on this front.

I am not the kind of person who believes military service is absolutely necessary in order to be a political leader. At times, in fact, I think it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Bill Clinton spent absolutely no time in the military and he he did better than okay as President. But when you received seven draft deferments as Cheney did, or when you got your daddy to get you into the Air Guard ahead of hundreds of others and then failed to show up for all of your duty as Bush did, you don't get to be the tough guy. Not when there's a decorated combat veteran on the opposing side. Not even if you have a bunch of lying sacks of shit who are trying to denigrate your opponent's military record.

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