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E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
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I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
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Friday, November 03, 2006
We r stuk hear n Irak - but our message isn't. Jim Miller posts about the routes by which the image of the now famous banner reached several million screens.
I am rather sorry for Mr Kerry in that it was a gaffe, not a deliberate insult. However they that live by the sword will die by the sword: the media has feasted well on George Bush's slips of the tongue, and I didn't hear John Kerry complaining about it then.
The story also was given extra oomph by the fact that Mr Kerry made a big deal about his own military service in Vietnam. One example: he started his acceptance address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention by saluting and saying, "I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty," and finished up that speech with a reference to his Vietnam service too. The previous day he had made a river trip with his "band of brothers", former comrades from his Swift boat days, a major feature of his campaign.
There are many things about US politics that I don't get. One of them is how anyone ever convinced themselves that was a good idea.
I'm not talking about the counter-claims made by his less brotherly former brothers in arms, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I haven't looked into all that. Leave them out of the equation. Assume that his service in Vietnam was as admirable as it is possible to be. Kerry was still only in Vietnam for four months. Afterwards he joined the anti-war movement, chucked his military decorations over the Capitol fence and said that loads of American soldiers had committed atrocities. Maybe he had defensible reasons for doing all of these things - but given that he did, all that "reporting for duty" stuff looks most odd.
What a low opinion of Republicans Democrats must have if they thought that throwing them this little crumb would be enough to gain their votes. Look, he's a soldier. You like soldiers.