Give Me a Military Coup Any Day
01.20.2006 06:53 | DISPATCHES
On Thursday, January 19, The New York Times and The Washington Post published bookend columns. For the Times, James Webb, Reagan's Secretary of the Navy, weighed in [no link provided since op-ed page is subscribers only]; for the Post, columnist E.J. Dionne.
They echoed each other with denunciations of hard-right attacks on Senator John Murtha for speaking out against the administration's Iraq strategy. Besides questioning his Purple Hearts, in the past they've attacked John McCain, Max Cleland, and who can forget how they torpedoed Kerry's campaign with the Swift Boat strategy.
Indulging in some armchair psychoanalysis, it's hard not to suspect administration chickenhawks are acting out their jealousy of those man enough to fight in Vietnam. An alternate response for those who evaded that war (like me--"borderline psychotic" reads the note to the draft board from my psychiatrist), might be the awe and respect with which I look at Vietnam vets. Meanwhile, what are future recruits to think? Webb writes:
"A young American now serving in Iraq might rightly wonder whether his or her service will be deliberately misconstrued 20 years from now, in the next rendition of politically motivated spinmeisters who never had the courage to step forward and put their own lives on the line."