National Guard Bush vs. Swift Boat Kerry

The mainstream media, political pundits and a bevy of Democratic and Republican flacks have focused considerable attention debating the merits of George Bush's service in the National Guard and John Kerry's service in the military in Vietnam. The level of intense scrutiny over events that happened more than three decades ago has become one of the main issues in this farcical election campaign. John Kerry made his Vietnam service a prime issue and openly taunted Bush: "If he wants to have a debate about my service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on!." Kerry got his wish. In a way, he got what he deserved so it's hard to have any sympathy for Kerry.

Democrats are horrified that anyone would dare attack a "war hero" whose heroism is beyond question. Some of the right-wing attacks against Kerry have indeed been patently absurd, filled with outright lies and falsehoods. But equally absurd are some of the pronouncements from Democrats, liberals, progressives, and military veterans who have staunchly defended John Kerry's service and his actions in Vietnam.

They frequently point out that Kerry volunteered for service while Bush was a draft-dodger who used his family connections to avoid Vietnam and get a cushy assignment in the National Guard where he shirked his duties and went AWOL. Kerry is portrayed as a person who proudly served his country with honor and distinction and Kerry's actions are defined as courageous and heroic while Bush's service is considered less than honorable and his actions are defined as evasive and cowardly. Are these the same liberals that defended the draft-dodgers and anti-war protesters during Vietnam?

This begs a couple of questions: What did Kerry do in Vietnam? And what did Bush do in the National Guard?

Let's start with George Bush. It's no secret that Bush benefited from favorable treatment to get his cushy National Guard assignment. Despite flunking several tests, he managed to leapfrog over hundreds of more qualified candidates to land one of only a handful of open slots in the Air National Guard in Texas. Talk about luck. A decade ago, Bush admitted in an interview that, "it was either Canada or the service." Without this stroke of good fortune, Bush may well have joined thousands of other American draft-dodgers in Canada. Ah, what could have been.

Bush's time in the Guard consisted of favorable treatment along with lots of drinking and partying. However, there are a few negative marks on his record including having his flight privileges revoked for failing to submit to a medical examination, refusing a direct order, and going AWOL. There are gaps in his service. Bush requested and received an early discharge.

It is pretty safe to say that fratboy Bush exploited his family's political connections to get in the Texas Air National Guard, got plenty of preferential treatment, and managed to work all those connections to cover up and avoid any serious problems with his less than stellar behavior in the Guard.

The one thing worth noting is George Bush had no intention of going to Vietnam and he did whatever he could to avoid it. Whatever the reason, it may be the one and only halfway decent act in Bush's otherwise wretched life.

Many Americans followed their conscience and did whatever they could to avoid service in an illegal and immoral war. The real heroes of the Vietnam era were the draft-dodgers, the deserters, the soldiers who refused to fight and those who refused to follow orders. Those actions took real genuine courage and many did so at great personal risk. Even Muhammad Ali paid a price for refusing to serve.

Although Bush was a draft dodger, he certainly was no hero. Bush the draft-dodger eventually became Bush the mass murderer and international terrorist. But this is hardly surprising. George Bush is but another member of a family that is filled with fascist sympathizers, Nazi collaborators, mass murderers and international terrorists.

John Kerry took a much different path than George Bush. At his graduation speech at Yale, Kerry harshly criticized the Vietnam War. However, that didn't stop Kerry from joining the military and volunteering for duty in Vietnam.

Why would someone who opposed the war choose to participate in it?

Here's an interesting thought experiment. Imagine a German citizen harshly denouncing Hitler's invasion of Poland, then immediately volunteering for the German military and eagerly participating in the brutal occupation of Poland. Or, how about harshly denouncing the bombing of abortion clinics, then joining a group to assist them in bombing clinics. Such a person would be mercilessly ridiculed as a complete idiot.

But in the upside-down Orwellian world of hypocritical liberals and the utterly dumb-as-shit military veterans that support Kerry, this sort of insanely stupid criminal behavior is applauded. They dutifully offer crass rationalizations and justifications for murder and brutality and rigorously defend Kerry's criminal actions in Vietnam as "heroic" and "courageous."

They vigorously applaud Kerry's honorable service and his voluntary participation in the brutal occupation and near-genocidal mass slaughter of millions. Yes, that's the kind of idiotic hypocritical nonsense that is constantly spewed by today's crop of racist, warmongering Democrats and brain-dead liberal Kerry supporters.

Kerry himself constantly touts his service and proudly boasts that he defended this country as a young man in Vietnam. And how did Kerry defend our country? By lighting up Vietnamese villages and boats and shooting and killing peasants thousands of miles away who never posed any threat to this country. Another part of Kerry's mission was to ferry Phoenix program death squads and assassination teams to various locations so they could terrorize and slaughter with abandon. In the words of Lieutenant James R. Wasser:

"Kerry was an extremely aggressive officer and so was I. I liked that he took the fight to the enemy, that he was tough and gutsy--not afraid to spill blood for his country." While Bush was an inebriated and arrogant fratboy, Kerry was a murderer, a war criminal, and a terrorist.

While in Vietnam, Kerry was rewarded with a Purple Heart for a scratch on his arm, followed by two more Purple Hearts for minor wounds. The wounds were so insignificant, Kerry didn't miss a day of duty from the wounds.

Amazingly, Kerry managed to collect a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three purple hearts in three short months. As several veterans have observed, they never heard of anybody collecting that many trinkets for such pedestrian actions.

Some people point to Kerry becoming an anti-war activist upon his return from Vietnam. Kerry didn't bare his soul like numerous other veterans who told gut-wrenching stories of atrocities they witnessed or participated in, but his Congressional testimony in 1971 was quite powerful. At the medal tossing ceremony, Marine veteran Jack Smith declared his medals were a "symbol of dishonor, shame and inhumanity" and apologized to the Vietnamese people for the "genocide, racism and atrocity." Sadly, Kerry has decided to run away from his anti-war legacy and proudly displays his "symbols of shame" he earned for participating in "genocide, racism and atrocities" and openly boasts at every opportunity of his criminal conduct during the war.

Apparently, his brief period as an anti-war activist had no lasting impact on him. It doesn't suit the current purpose of Mr. Flip-Flopper, so it is chucked out the window.

John Kerry recently boasted: "I will make America safe. I defended this country as a young man, and I will not hesitate to defend it as president of the United States." First, Kerry never spent a single second of his life defending this country. Like Bush, Kerry is a liar and completely full of shit. Kerry also said that "I'm not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending America then, now, or ever. And I'm not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me."

Shut up and worship me!

I think any genuine, thinking person has every right to question Kerry's ridiculous nonsense about defending America and to openly question and be harshly critical of the propaganda garbage about the bogus sacrifice and courage of men who participated in the senseless slaughter and destruction of another nation. That includes attacking the myths, the bogus narrative, and the cowardly rationalizations regarding Kerry's service in Vietnam. Some Vietnam veterans came to terms with this. Delusional idiots like Kerry think they are a goddamned war hero.

Today, there is not a dime's worth of difference between Bush or Kerry. Both are Yale graduates, wealthy white millionaires, and bona fide war criminals vying to become the next Darth Vader of the American Imperial Empire. But more than three decades ago, there was a real substantive difference between them.

Kerry wants to be judged in large part by his military service as a young man. Fine. If we are going to judge their behaviors as young men, I would far prefer the less than honorable, drunken and drug-hazed idiot fratboy draft-dodger over the aggressive and maniacal murderer and war criminal.

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Thomas Wheeler is a contributing editor to Alternative Press Review. He can be reached at