Sunday, October 06, 2002

Eleanor Clift writes in Newsweek:

WATCHING DEMOCRAT JIM McDermott hold forth from Iraq on how President Bush is misleading the American people made me wonder how such a smart person can do such a dumb thing. The trio of Democratic House members who traveled to Iraq—and then, while still on enemy soil, gave numerous interviews critical of U.S. foreign policy—are learned people with significant life experience.

There’s not a lawyer among them. McDermott is a psychiatrist, Michigan’s David Bonior is a former seminarian and California’s Mike Thompson is a former college professor. All three served during the Vietnam war. McDermott counseled troubled troops; Thompson was awarded a Purple Heart. They know the face of war, and they were seared by it. Their arguments against a preemptive military strike on Iraq have merit, but Baghdad is not the place to wage the debate.

Now Ms. Clift does write, "All three served during the Vietnam war." But she continued by writing, "They know the face of war, and they were seared by it." This is the same incessant, excuse-making argument from the left: Representatives who served in the military when it was their turn are more qualified to make decisions regarding war, and their objections to war with Iraq should be taken seriously. If only the "Baghdad Democrats" had actually served in Vietnam, and seen the face of war.

Jim McDermott reports his military service as "U.S. Navy Medical Corps, Lieutenant Commander, Chief Psychiatrist, Long Beach Naval Station, California, 1968-70" in his Congressional biography. Again, read Horsefeather's commentary on McDermott.

David Bonior reports his military service as "Following graduation, Bonior joined the Air Force and was stationed in California. There he worked as a cook, slinging hash by day and attending night classes at Chapman University, where he earned a Masters Degree in History in 1972" on his Congressional biography.

Mike Thompson reports his military service as "Thompson was the first Vietnam veteran elected to California's State Senate. He served in combat with the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant/platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade where he was wounded and received a Purple Heart. He was also an instructor with the Army's Airborne School" in his Congressional biography.

So one of three was actually in Vietnam. I'm curious if meeting Vietnam veterans on a college campus in 1969 counts as knowing "the face of war." Maybe even having a family member who served combat duty in Vietnam counts as being "seared" by the "the face of war." Ms. Clift simply isn't presenting the information in an honest manner.

Link to the article from Brothers Judd via InstaPundit.