Politics: 24 September 2010

War Heroes

I constantly hear of “war hero John McCain” but almost never “war hero John Kerry.” But I had never heard anything about what made McCain a hero other than being a POW and passing up early release available to him because of his powerful father. Thus, I looked up his war record. There is a lot of George W. Bush in the young McCain, but he did receive a Bronze Star and the Navy Commendation Medal—an award considerable less prestigious than the Bronze Star. His Bronze Star was for dropping bombs on Viet Nam—not exactly what I think of as heroic, but okay: he got the award and I guess we can call him a hero.

John Kerry, on the other hand, won both the Bronze Star and the Silver Star—for acts of heroism that I could never see myself doing. By any definition, Kerry is as least as big a war hero as John McCain. And yet, during the 2004 election, Republicans were more than willing to shit all over Kerry’s heroism in the name of politics. And to this day, McCain is the “go to” man in the Senate when it comes to the military—not John Kerry. Could it be that we are not forever hearing about “war hero John Kerry” because he happens to be a member of the Democratic Party? That he is generally against war?

Is it any wonder that we are perpetually at war when the only people we look to are warmongers who mostly have never seen war. And I include people like McCain who only saw the war from a horrible POW camp and a mile above land?

The Daily Show

Just when I hit Jon Stewart, he puts out a good show. Of course, it was easy for him: he got to make fun of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Republican’s silly Pledge to America. But it was good—at least until the third act when he had a really boring interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Of course, there is that other problem: Colbert was still a hell of a lot better. “Lingo is a term for an Australian lesbian.” Need I say more?

More Self-Torture

I read Parts 3 and 4 of The Shock Doctrine this morning. It is heartbreaking. It is hard not to be self-loathing. Eastern Europe wanted to reform itself, and what did the West offer: economic shock and awe; the looting of their economies; the impoverishing of their people. We suck.

Pithy Hypocracy You Already Know