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Old 02-09-2004, 06:55 PM   #1
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When Is Military Service An Issue?

If it can help you get elected.

Lead, Don't Divide

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(Editor's note: Sen. Kerry delivered this speech on the Senate floor Feb. 27, 1992. The previous day, Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Vietnam veteran and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke in Atlanta, where he criticized fellow candidate Bill Clinton for his lack of military service during Vietnam.)

Mr. President, I also rise today--and I want to say that I rise reluctantly, but I rise feeling driven by personal reasons of necessity--to express my very deep disappointment over yesterday's turn of events in the Democratic primary in Georgia.

I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign, and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way. By that I mean that yesterday, during this presidential campaign, and even throughout recent times, Vietnam has been discussed and written about without an adequate statement of its full meaning.

What is ignored is the way in which our experience during that period reflected in part a positive affirmation of American values and history, not simply the more obvious negatives of loss and confusion.

What is missing is a recognition that there exists today a generation that has come into its own with powerful lessons learned, with a voice that has been grounded in experiences both of those who went to Vietnam and those who did not.

What is missing and what cries out to be said is that neither one group nor the other from that difficult period of time has cornered the market on virtue or rectitude or love of country.

What saddens me most is that Democrats, above all those who shared the agonies of that generation, should now be refighting the many conflicts of Vietnam in order to win the current political conflict of a presidential primary.

The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them; that one help identify the positive things that we learned about ourselves and about our nation, not play to the divisions and differences of that crucible of our generation.

We do not need to divide America over who served and how. I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways. Someone who was deeply against the war in 1969 or 1970 may well have served their country with equal passion and patriotism by opposing the war as by fighting in it. Are we now, 20 years or 30 years later, to forget the difficulties of that time, of families that were literally torn apart, of brothers who ceased to talk to brothers, of fathers who disowned their sons, of people who felt compelled to leave the country and forget their own future and turn against the will of their own aspirations?

Should we continue military service as a campaign issue?
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:16 PM   #2
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I have said in another thread that the situation that Bush is describing is NOT uncommon. I saw many people get permission to miss drills. I was granted an extended leave for my Master's program and made up the time during extended service in the summer close to the way Bush describes.

It should not be an issue. However there are enough questions about this situation that will keep it alive. How did the records disappear? Why hasn't he produced a single tax record? He could very easily name soldiers who served with him and saw him there. I can name MANY people I served with. You do not forget those names.

I am not sure it should be an issue....but it will be. It makes Kerry look that much more the hero, which he is.
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Old 02-09-2004, 09:41 PM   #3
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To be honest, I don't care if somebody has served or not and then becomes president.

The way I see it, the president will be surrounded by well-versed military people who have devoted their lives to their careers and will advise him to the best of their abilities. It is therefore not imperative for him to have been enlisted himself, at least in my opinion.

The reason this will be an issue is because if you look at a guy like Bush vs. somebody like Kerry or Clark, it just looks embarrassing. And since this is an election in a time of war, or something resembling war, I'm not sure what they're calling it these days, then war hero stories will surely help to prop up a candidate.
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Old 02-09-2004, 10:07 PM   #4
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Military service doesn't matter to me when I consider a canidate.

I'd rather have my canidates been actors.
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Old 02-09-2004, 10:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
It should not be an issue. However there are enough questions about this situation that will keep it alive. How did the records disappear? Why hasn't he produced a single tax record? He could very easily name soldiers who served with him and saw him there. I can name MANY people I served with. You do not forget those names.
I've never based my opinion one way or the other to someone's military service. But in Bush's regard it's an issue because he's tried to use the military to help promote his re-election. However, he did say he would authorize the release of said records, oh, if they still exist that is.
*can hear the low buzz of shreaders as we speak*
Also, I'm hearing alot from my republican friends about how they don't want to associate themselves with this adminstration any longer. Unfortunately, they have no recourse. Bush is it for them and that's sad.
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:03 AM   #6
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i don't care whether a candidate was in the military or not. I do have a problem if they never showed up for duty even though they weren't even in danger of going to vietnam (and no I don't know all the facts on Bush's service record, I'm speaking hypothetically )
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Old 02-10-2004, 02:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
However there are enough questions about this situation that will keep it alive. How did the records disappear? Why hasn't he produced a single tax record?

He could very easily name soldiers who served with him and saw him there. I can name MANY people I served with. You do not forget those names.

I am not sure it should be an issue....but it will be. It makes Kerry look that much more the hero, which he is.


I know many vets, they all remember who they served with, drilled with, spent time off with.

There is obviously a cover up here.

It reminds me of the election in 2000 when his DUI leaked out.

His first response was that it did not happen, that it had been expunged, that there is no evidence.

Then the officer involved had his personal records. Sure Bush had used his connections to have it court sealed or expunged.

The guy has no character. He is a phoney.


His regime his dangerous and dishonest.
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:03 PM   #8
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I don't care whether or not a candidate did military service. I think it's going to be an issue this year in general, because of the controversy over Bush's background (which I also don't know the particulars of, I have to investigate the matter further) and generally the electorate is more security-oriented due to 9/11. For awhile being a Viet Nam vet was the absolute kiss of death for a Democratic candidate, but that's quite clearly no longer the case with Kerry winning all of these primaries and Wesley Clark doing well in some of the elections as well.
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I don't care whether or not a candidate did military service.


I think it's going to be an issue this year in general, because of the controversy over Bush's background (which I also don't know the particulars of, I have to investigate the matter further)

That is the problem,

nobody knows his background, there is a cover up.

why not level with the American people?

tell them how many DUI's he had.

If he has ever been arrested for cocain use. Was he an abuser or just a casual user? Did he crash a plane? Is that why he would not take his military require physical? And did not retain his pilot's standing? Why does he not come clean and say these were my problems, I have been sober since my 40 birthday, 16? years.

Is he just a coward in denial?
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:19 PM   #10
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I dont think it should be an issue, not sure why Kerry and others are making it such a big issue, as you can tell by most of the posts in this thread, we dont care.
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Old 02-10-2004, 03:50 PM   #11
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Apparently they "found" his records. From Reuters

Quote:
The White House learned late on Monday that previously unreleased records had been found that document Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, which is part of the U.S. part-time military system, McClellan said. The White House also reissued previously available documents.
How convenient
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Old 02-10-2004, 04:19 PM   #12
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They are making it an issue because obviously some people do care. I think it's post 9/11 politics, people feel secure with a candidate who look strong on security issues. I don't feel like a candidate has to have military experience to know how to deal with national security issues, but military experience is playing well this year. There was an article in the paper last week that claimed that Kerry is a beneficiary of 9/11.
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Old 02-10-2004, 04:24 PM   #13
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it is amazing he does his first hour long interview

when his poll numbers are below 50


he says they have searched the records in 1994 and 2000 and nothing could be found.

but, we will try one more time.


and, viola! something pops up, the next day.


ok, case solved

now lets talk about investing your sons and daughters into my re-election again.

no child left behind.


we will bring them all home in body bags.


no, it will not be televised!
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:00 PM   #14
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I watched the WH press conference today and most of it was spent talking about his record. I personally don't think military service is a prerequisite, but asserting it and not completing it is different.
The usual complacent white house press was in attendance, but they must smell blood because they kept blasting the questions.
The documents show payroll records and they EVEN have a 5 month break that GW cannot or will not explain. They don't detail Alabama vs. Texas and GW only "remebers serving both in Alabama and Texas". To quote Scott "these records show payment for time served". No other details.
The press has statements from his Commanding Officers stating he wasn't there and other guardsmen have told of being paid when not in attendance. I think there is some type of crap going on. I've never seen Scott so flustered. No collaboration by fellow guardsmen is available nor are other records at this time.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:20 AM   #15
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It's only important to me when it's obvious someone is lying and covering something up.

to everything deep said
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