By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Yes, Kerry blew it

But this editorial from the Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union gets at the larger truth.

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On the other hand


DePetro is dismissed


  1. Anonymous

    Yes! OK, the joke wasn’t very good but the truth of the statement was spot-on. I work at a newspaper and, as part of my job, receive daily e-mails from the Department of Defense on the latest casualties of war. The first thing I do is check to see if the soldier hails from our coverage area; then I notice where the soldier is from, the age, and try to guess at his or her ethnicity. Too often the surnames are of Spanish derivation, or common in African-Americans. Also too often, the soldier is from the South or the Midwest, usually from a small town or an economically blighted city. Almost invariably the soldier hasn’t even reached his or her 26th birthday. Sure, many white people, many educated people of all ages and ethnicities, and a number of New England natives are dying in Iraq or Afghanistan. But, as in all wars, the majority of the mortality is seen among the young, the poor, the black or Hispanic who hail far away from the coasts. All brave but all unlucky. So, yeah, John Kerry could have been more sensitive. But only when George Bush gets a little smarter will I start worrying about Kerry getting a little nicer.

  2. o-fish-l

    Thanks for the laugh Dan, that’s a classic!”But let’s get this much straight. Mr. Kerry wasn’t disparaging the American troops in Iraq. No one who has been in combat, as he has, would think of saying such a thing.” — Albany Sun-TimesReally?Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 23, 1971, Kerry claimed that U.S. soldiers had “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.”–John F. Kerry, April 1971″And there is no reason, Bob (Schieffer), that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the–of–the historical customs, religious customs.”– John F. Kerry, December 2005

  3. Anonymous

    Um … Kerry said those things because that’s what the troops were doing (both in Southeast Asia and the Middle East). If telling the truth equals disparagement, well, so be it. Sorry about the buzzkill.

  4. Anonymous

    “Yes! Ok.”You are waaaayyy off base. I get the same updates. I don’t know how you glean names of African American ancestry since most of their last names were forced on them by white slave masters. Just because someone is named Jones doesn’t make them black. And how do you know that Ruiz isn’t Philipino? In short you have a lot to learn about the world. Then there’s your analysis of agrarian economies in the midwest and south, in which you describe them as blighted. Wonderful. How on earth does the rest of the nation survive without another east coast elitists telling everyone how blighted they are. Did you know they have telephones out in them thar parts. Yup. Water that runs when you try to catch it too. No sir, they ain’t had an out house thar for years. But they thank you kindly for yer thoughts.

  5. Don

    To follow o-fish-I, Kerry also was against the all volunteer army because he said it would attract neer-do-wells who couldn’t make it in the civilian world. There was no joke involved. Kerry still thinks only losers volunteer to defend their country. Remember, he only joined because it would look good on his resume when he ran for office. Don’t buy into the hypocrisy.

  6. Amusedbutinformedobserver

    Wow, talk about twisting things around. Kerry never said only neer-do-wells who couldn’t make it in the civilian world would become part of the all-volunteer army. His thirty year old statements are being used as cheap political fodder.Kerry spoke to the reality that an all-volunteer army would allow the elite in society to escape military service. Of that there can be no doubt: It has, it does and it will. He also spoke to the idea that an all-volunteer army is an army that includes a lot of people who are, effectively, mercenaries. That is an undeniable truth. Everyone who volunteers doesn’t have the spirit of patriotism tingling up their spine; many are there for the education money, some for the security and some are there because it’s their best opportunity to advance.At the time the all-volunteer army was adopted, these were legitimate issues and were keenly debated, especially since the casualties of Vietnam were poor casualties — people without the means to spend years in college to grab deferments.

  7. Peter Porcupine

    The simple solution to this, of course, is to eliminate all deferments except for medical. In an age when life long learning is touted, what is the HARM in having a quick dose of reality in between high school and college?Except, of course, liberals sneer at the military and don’t want their children tainted by it. Any more than they want their daughter to marry the doorman because he keeps the building safe.

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