Skip to comments.Kerry Echoes Liberals' Disdain for Military
Posted on 11/05/2006 9:17:26 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
Sen. John Kerrys mangled anti-Bush joke has metastasized into a week of negative news for liberals hoping to regain control of the Congress. Even his reluctant apology has done little to quash the fires he lit. Significantly, these fires rage because liberals have yet to expunge the scarlet D that has adorned them since the Vietnam War -- D for disdain of our military.
Lets review the tape. Kerry advised students at a campaign rally in California that they would do well if they studied hard and made an effort to be smart. If not: You get stuck in Iraq.
Kerrys inference, of course, was that military recruits are motivated not by patriotism and a willingness to defend our liberties by placing themselves in harms way, but by economic desperation and a lack of opportunity. Thus, a disproportionately minority cadre of young men and women from our poorest communities enlist reluctantly and must fight President Bushs illegal war in Iraq. As Rep. John Dingell (D.-Mich.) put it: This is a rich mans war and it is a poor mans fight.
Indeed, in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, liberals insisted that the burden of military service was being borne, in Rep. John Murthas (D.-Pa.) words, by people who are volunteering because they could not find a job. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and 14 of his liberal House colleagues sponsored legislation to reinstitute the draft. It is plain fact, argued Rep. John Conyers, the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, that the military [sic] does not come from the higher socio-economic status [sic] of society. Rep. Pete Stark (D.-Calif.) reasoned that a draft with no deferments and no exceptions would be both fair and democratic because it will mean that Americans of every background will serve our country, not just the poor and disadvantaged as it is today.
This patronizing form of class-warfare is deeply rooted in the liberal psyche. Its no surprise, moreover, that it seeped through, accidentally or not, in Kerrys unfortunate statement. But the liberal premise is utterly wrong.
A new study by my colleague Tim Kane examines the characteristics of U.S. military recruits since 1999 and finds recruit quality is increasing as the war in Iraq continues. His review of Pentagon enlistee data uncovered a number of what liberals will regard as inconvenient truths, including:
* The poor are enlisting at demonstrably lower rates since 9/11. Specifically, the percentage of recruits from the poorest one-fifth of American neighborhoods declined from 18% in 1999 to 13.7% in 2005. The reverse is true for recruits from the wealthiest one-fifth of neighborhoods. They are now overrepresented, accounting for 22.8% of all recruits.
* These recruits are more likely than other Americans to have read and understood Kerrys statement. Why? Their mean reading level in 2004 was a full grade higher than that of the comparable youth population.
* Not surprisingly, the percentage of high-quality recruits -- defined as those who both score above the 50th percentile on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test and have a high-school diploma -- jumped from 57% in 2001 to 64% four years later.
* Pentagon data also indicate that recruits from the 100 zip codes with the highest concentrations of African-Americans joined the military in proportion to their share of the population. This indicates, Kane concludes, that that these areas are not being overtly targeted to enlist large numbers of black recruits. Reinforcing Kanes point, recruitment data for 2005 indicates that only two recruits hailed from Rangels Harlem neighborhood in New York City.
Well give the last word to a former colleague, a Ph.D. economist who left his family earlier this year to serve in Iraq:
A number of us here at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad take great exception to [Kerrys] comments. There are many highly successful people here who have left their comfortable jobs and families back in the U.S. to be a part of something important.
As for education, just in my office there are three Ph.D.s, a Harvard MBA, and a junior staffer who will be heading to Harvard or Stanford next year to start an MBA program Down the hall from me is a highly successful oil geologist (and former professor of geology), an electricity economist, a former investment banker, and a broad range of international economic, financial and utilities consultants.
We're all here, he emphasized, to help rebuild Iraq, not take cheap shots from those who just want to score political points a week before the election.
Mr. Franc, who has held a number of positions on Capitol Hill, is vice president of Government Relations at The Heritage Foundation. To send a question or comment to Mike Franc, email him at: MichaelFranc@heritage.org
Think about it:
If they lose in any great measure their story will be that:
* Kerry torpedoed the party
* Dean blew it
* Hillary will save us
Undue disrespect: Senator Kerry Knows Nothing of our U.S. Military and He is Not To Be Believed
By John E. Carey
November 4, 2006
The morning after Sen. John Kerry slurred America's fighting men and women and all who serve, my wife and I attended a ceremony in Northern Virginia.
Juxtaposed to Mr. Kerry explaining lamely that he was only attacking the commander in chief in wartime (apparently Mr. Kerry thinks it funny to make fun of the president's intelligence), we witnessed this: A U.S. Army colonel seated and waiting for the event. A second U.S. Army colonel came upon the scene and the two shook hands and then gleefully embraced.
This image of teamwork, camaraderie and loyalty so moved me that at the end of the ceremony we stopped to talk.
Col. Ronald E. Smith, M.D., told me the other colonel was his son's godfather. These two have traveled some miles together in peace and war. And each has dedicated his life to the service of others. Twice. Both are medical doctors and also career U.S. Army officers.
These must be the people that Mr. Kerry thinks are stupid.
I stopped another young officer, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. I noticed he wore the ribbons of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart on his chest. The first is for valor. The second means he was wounded.
I asked him what happened.
"Some terrorist got lucky, sir," he explained. "Hit close to me with an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade). I'll set off airport metal detectors the rest of my life."
Indeed, the captain had many scars on one side of his face. "Oh, this whole side of my body looks like I got penetrated by a thousand pieces of metal," he said. "But I'll go back to Iraq. As soon as they'll let me."
He didn't seem stupid to me. He seemed honorable, dedicated, professional and proud. And eager to do more for his country.
I asked about his family.
"They understand my commitment. It is difficult. But it is what we were called to do," the Marine captain said to us.
He didn't want his name in the newspaper. He said, "There are plenty of people that are doing more than me. Why should I deserve special mention?"
I stopped a Navy captain who had with him his two small sons and his wife. His wife is obviously Chinese, and I noticed because I spent a few years living among the Chinese. And my bride is Vietnamese. I have a developed eye for Asian faces.
They thought Mr. Kerry's remarks didn't matter much. "Nobody should listen to politicians when they lose their cool in the heat of a political squabble. They stop thinking, generally," said the captain.
A one-star U.S. Army general passed us wearing the wings of a helicopter pilot. "We have a tremendous number of young uniformed men and women fighting, dying and otherwise making sacrifices or giving their all. I have the utmost respect for them. In fact, I love them all and their families, too."
His remarks did not sound practiced. These words were heartfelt.
There is a special breed of men and women in our country who dedicate their lives, their careers and their families to duty, honor and country. You can see their sterling character in the gleam in their eye when you ask them about their service.
On the way home from the ceremony my wife and I stopped at America's newest monument: the U.S. Air Force Memorial. Four Air Force Blackhawk helicopters passed over head, reminding us of the airmen all over the world who protect us and keep the peace.
A lieutenant colonel wearing the wings of a command pilot stopped us.
"I'd rather be in Iraq than here flying a desk at the Pentagon. But we all have our jobs to do. We all have our duty. I don't complain. But I do sneak up here from time to time to reflect upon all the airmen lost in our nation's wars," he said.
To reflect upon and thank them for their service and for giving the ultimate sacrifice, I thought.
othing stupid about this man. He seemed to have his life and his commitments in perfect order.
And I wish I could say the same about many of our politicians.
John E. Carey is a retired U.S. military officer and former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
One can improve IQ substantially by diligent studying but merely 'trying to be smart' is a futile exercise in applied arrogance. One can TRY to appear brilliant wearing much egg on the face and that prevents learning anything from the experience (also called denial) and prevents enjoying the omelette (also called wasting food).
And Kerry shows that feigned intelligence certainly doesn't equate to wisdom.
Thanks for that
The other day a kid from my hometown was killed in Iraq. He was on his second tour. He told his family and friends that it was his honor to serve.
The despicable fake known as John Kerry is a disgrace.
We ought to run him out of Congress
Bob Shrum, perhaps?
I think the Swiftboat vets can uncork the bubbly: Mission accomplished. Everybody hates lurch now. In Massachusetts they would probably reelect a cabbage if it had a "D" next to the name but he can kiss whatever botox fueled fantasies he harbors about another Presidential run goodbye.
Michael Jackson has a better chance of being elected President at this point.
The cartoon used with my essay in The Washington Times ("Undue Disrespect," November 4, 2006)was the Michael Ramirez cartoon of November 1, 2006 from Investors Business Daily:
Barack is fresh, that's true, but he's got Chicago political stink all over him:
JOHN KERRY =
Pictures of a vietnamese Re-Education Camp
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