“Tell the Truth–then Run”: What Kerry Couldda/Shoudda Said”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) –

Democratic Sen.John Kerry apologized directly to U.S. troops on Wednesday for comments about Iraq that had prompted a firestorm of criticism from Republicans and President George W. Bush.

“I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform and I personally apologize to any service member, family member or American who was offended,” Kerry said in a statement.

Kerry said earlier in the day he was sorry for a “botched joke” about Bush that was interpreted as a slam on the U.S. military. Republicans demanded a more direct apology and seized on Kerry’s comments to students as a sign of Democratic weakness on national security.

Kerry told students in California on Monday that if they study hard they could do well but if they did not, “you get stuck in Iraq.” His office said he misread his remarks and intended to say “You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush.”
Thought Experiment: What if Kerry, in addition to a spine transplant, got into a situation like Jim Carey in “Liar Liar” where he was under a spell and could only tell the truth. Might it not sound something like this?
There is an old Yugoslav aphorism: “Tell the truth then run”.
Ladies, Gentlemen, Fellow Veterans and all Voters:

First of all, I not only stand by my comments I will expand upon them.
Next, what we have here is the usual Republican “framing” of an issue coupled with media complicity in lack of elementary–even formal–logic.
To say, that there is at present, and historically, an inverse relationship between higher levels of formal schooling one the one hand, versus lower liklihoods of serving in a combat area or in combat on the other hand, is simply to state a pure and provable fact. But it is only the likes of the pampered elitists, like my fellow Skull and Bonesmen, the kinds that are now framing the issue that many are getting sucked into, the ones who privately show contempt for those they manipulate in their service, that see any necessary connection between “formal schooling” on the one hand, and either “education” or “intelligence”, on the other hand.
Indeed some serious research suggests that there is an inverse relationship between higher levels of schooling versus lower levels of “education” as more formal schooling (“socialization”/cloning commonly called “schooling” or “education”) tends to “dumb down” and make one less not more critical and critically aware.
And George Bush himself, is living proof that there is no necessary relationship between years of formal schooling and either education or intelligence. This is in either direction of causality: idiots can buy their way into years of formal schooling in “prestigious institutions”–and presidencies; and these “prestigious institutions” have many demostrable idiots, with many years of formal schooling, both teaching and studying there.

Indeed the relationshp between the variables “years of formal schooling” and “intelligence” often appears indeterminate. So, to deny the obvious, that the higher the level of formal schooling the less likely one is to serve in combat or a combat area, and then make the leap in formal “logic”, that this means, or would mean if true, that troops in Iraq are among the less intelligent of the general population, that is the framing and leap in “logic” of the pampered preppy chickenhawks now framing this issue before the election in desperation.
This is not to say that all the troops in Iraq are pure and raving geniuses. Just look at some of the tapes of the comedians like Drew Carey, who himself appears unable to “make it on the outside”, and hear the types of jokes that get a laugh and reflect something about some cultures among the troops in Iraq and elsewhere. You can hear a lot of misogyny (with women laughing), racism, sexism, homophobia, national chauvinism, hubris, jingoism and yes, just plain stupidity of the types that produce the caricature of the “Ugly American.” Yes, among the troops are also sociopaths, psychopaths, sadists, rapists, murderers, torturers, liars, misogynists, homophobes, thieves, traitors, war profiteers etc in addition to some real heros trying to survive and make the best of the cards handed to them.
Also something else must be said. All US forces are subject to UCMJ and therefore cannot openly criticize the Commander in Chief. But it is sad to see US troops, who are serving under lethal conditions, making heroic personal sacrifices, cheering and praising an apparent deserter during wartime (Bush), an outright draft dodger like Cheney, and other chickenhawks, who are using those who are risking what the chickenhawks and their kids never dare risk, as props for their electoral races and ambitions. And it is sad to see their families at home, suffering all sorts of cognitive dissonance angst, suddenly master geopoliticians, supporting the “just cause” and Chickenhawk in Chief, whose outright lies and cherrypicking of intelligence and`intelligence agencies led to their kin coming home in a body bag, or without limbs, or psychologically devastated.

When I was in the Navy in the 60s and we had a draft. As is the case today with a nominally “volunteer” military and a backdoor draft (stop-loss), along with the permanent form of draft associated with lack of opportunities and options in the private sector that capitalism delivers on the many in the benefit of the few like me, it was/is indeed true, that if you can get in and afford to hit the books at college (with any bullshit declared major and minor), you get a deferment from the military and combat and/or you get a relatively safer gig if in the military. The military itself promotes this truth even internally with opportunities for retraining with reenlistment and externally in their recruiting campaigns.

I was in error in stating that if you study hard and do well you can stay out of combat areas and combat. Actually that is not true. Actually you can wind up kicked out of Yale for bad grades (an incredible feat in the days of the “gentleman’s C”) and still get 5 deferments (all while being involved in campus groups promoting the Vietnam War) like Cheney who had, according to him, “other priorities” [other than military service].

Or, like our Fuhrer and fellow Skull and Bones member, King George, whose own grades at Yale were unbelievably higher than my own, you can do what used to be the acceptable form of draft dodging for hypocritical rightwingers: the Guard and the Reserves. And even with poor grades from Yale as a “history major” (read Dilettante-Can’t-Really-Do-Anything-Talk-Any-Kind-Of-Crap Studies), and a long waiting list of others like you, and with the right family wealth, name and connections, even if built with treason and financing nazis, you can wind up in the “Champagne Squadron” of the Texas Air Guard flying an almost obsolete fighter (guaranteed never to be sent to Vietnam) and even get away with desertion during wartime and being released eight months early from Guard obligations to go to Harvard–that you also got into again with family wealth, name and connections.

You ask if I, as a privileged preppy and Skull and Bones member like Bush, could have gotten out of going to Vietnam like Bush? And if so, why didn’t I? Well that is a good question. You see in the Skull and Bones, in addition to all sorts of homoerotic and satanic fun and games, we have certain notions. One of them is that War is the ultimate test of manhood and character and that each member of “The Order” (we call you outsiders “Barbarians”) is called upon to find his–now also her–own War to be tested in. And we believe that there are many kinds of “wars” we can seek to be “tested” in. Also, as I was on record publicly, around the same time as Bill Clinton was similarly on the record publicly, saying that I not only will someday seek the presidency, but, also, WILL attain it. I knew that I had to have the right resume, which means some combat and combat decorations if possible. I was on a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam, but that did not deliver the kinds of medals I needed for that right resume. That is also why I did a brief stint in VVAW–for name recognition with the public hearings and for my resume for running for office in relatively liberal Massachusetts at a time of mass anti-War sentiment.

There is a dirty little secret we might as well let out now. Those who have argued for an “All Volunteer” army knew/know well that the vicissitudes, trajectories and inexorable consequences of capitalism will likely provide all the “volunteers” necessary for an “All Volunteer” Military. They have also said, in their internal documents, that a Draft should be avoided if possible as with a Draft, you get a diverse population in the military some of which have levels of education, values, proclivities, attitudes, allegiances etc that make them “untrustworthy” in terms of being able/willing to do, without questioning and in robot-like fashion, what they are told to do–e.g. Abu Gharibs, My Lais etc. In their own internal documents–the one’s screaming about “slandering our troops”–they say that an all volunteer military, partly composed of shock troops, “beholden” to the military because they lack the skills, experience, education, proclivities and mental health etc to “make it on the outside”, are likely to be more beholden and therefore more “reliable” as compliant and unquestioning shock troops.

Now someone in military “service” who does not betray his/her buddies and who does not seek/accept special favors relative to his/her buddies, has done a form of “honorable service”. But that does not mean that the ultimate CAUSE for which one fights, the strategic objectives for which one was sent to fight, even if sent by the powers-that-be on the basis of honest versus cooked intgellegence, and some truth rather than outright lies, is an honorable one or even really in the interest of the U.S. Those who “served” in Vietnam, were, some consciously and some not consciously, part of “serving” a series of brutal dictatorshps and kleptocracies in what was called “South” or “Republic of ” Vietnam. They “served” in a criminal and illegal war that was as criminal and illegal as anything individuals were properly hanged for at Nuremberg. They “served” in a war that caused major and still-present catastophes not only on the Vietnamese and other adjacent nations in the region, they caused the same for the US. They served to ratify and protect the egomania, narcissism, megalomania and crimes of the likes of Nixon and Kissinger (whose Nobel Peace Prize as like giving Hitler a B’nai Brith Award). The same can be said of those who “serve” in Iraq and Afghanistan: they “serve”, ultimately, to deal with inexorable, foreseeable–at the time–and longlasting “blowbacks” from past and present covert and overt projections of US imperial power (e.g. former CIA assets Osama bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein); they “serve” a bunch of chickenhawks who, along with their kids, will never see the horrors to which those who “serve” will be sent to be killed or maimed–then, to be brought “Home” to be used as props in some Chickenhawk’s election campaign.

Just look at the recruiting posters and the different WHY’S (pitches) they give for joining the military. They rarely mention “patriotism” and national “service” because they know that initially speaking, most of the motives for which people join up, and yes some have to do with lack of formal education and seeking a way to finance/acquire it, have little to do with “patriotism” or even knowing where the places they are likely to be sent are geographically located, let alone what is going on there and why. Among the various motives for military service (the real reasons that led them into service before boot camp coditioned the propagandistic and cognitive-dissonance-resolving reasons for serving:
The “Glory Boys and Girls” : “Nothing like a War to turn a relative nobody into a somebody–the Audie Murphy syndrome”;

“Join-or-The-Joint”: “Given offers by courts and Judges they couldn’t refuse: either “The Joint”–prison–and perhaps winding up changing one’s views on same sex marriage, as one winds up ‘married’ to a 300-pound tatooed biker named Spike, going into the military suddenly looks like a good alternative”;

“Wounded-Low-Self-Esteem”: “I’ll show that bitch Muffy the cheerleader who dumped me for Biff the quarterback what she lost when I come home a hero with chestfull of medals”;

In-Running-FROM-Rather-than-TO-Somewhere-Any-Direction-Will-Get-You-There”: “I have to get out of this nowhere in-bred podunk town, see the world, have adventures and not wind up like my dad working himself to death in the town mill”;

“Family-Business”: “My great grandaddy, granddaddy, father, brother, sister, uncles etc all were in the military; and they have raised me that I will carry on the family business, plus,they have some contacts inside that will help get into the Academy and some sweet promotion-generating gigs”;

“Criminal Psychopaths-Sociopaths”: “Damn, you mean I get paid AND medals to do what I have always lusted to do, would do for free and would wind up in the joint if I did it back home: murder, rape, looting and mayhem? And you say in the fog of War, along with the cheap bitches and primo dope/booze, the chances of getting caught or prosecuted for “War Crimes” and other crimes is nill because WE Americans, under the banner of ‘sovereignty’, do not allow American troops to be held accountable for crimes against others or to be tried in other courts? Sign me up”;

“Need-Structure-and-Order[s]-in-Order-to-Function”:“My life and brain has always been scattered, I lack ambition, just tell me the rules, make it worth my while, don’t complicate my life by trying to make me think, and I’ll do what you need done where, when and how you want it done–no questions asked”.

“Caught-in-a-Catch-22”: “Got no experience cuz no one will give me a job (with a meager resume and little formal schooling which is not the same as education) and can’t get a job cuz I got no experience and little formal schooling; sign me up, not only resume embellishment possible, but hey, travel, adventure, hook-ups, get out of the podunk town etc”.

“Reactive-Emotional-Whiners”: “Sobbing, I saw our president at 9-11 with that fireman standing next to the 9-11 rubble, and I heard the president’s call to sign up and go fight the evil doers that did 9-11; and just like the song from my favorite Country singer, six-times-married–Mr. “Family Values”–Lee Greenwood, “I’m proud to be an American”, I am, and I’m ready to go to kill Saddam Hussein for what he did on 9-11, for all those weapons of mass destruction I know we will find and for his alliance with Osama bin Ladin and other terrorists who hate us because we Americans are so free and prosperous–secretly they wish they had NASCAR, Country Music and World Wide Wrestling…”
“My Recruiter Was the First Person Who Ever ‘Cared’ About Me”: My recruiter said I would get to go to places I never heard of, see things I could never imagine seeing, and do things I could never imagine doing. He said that the military would give me the family I never had and buddies that would last for a lifetime. Some day, when I am old, going through some Willy Loman moments, a nobody at the ol VFW or American Legion, lying about what I used to do in the military (the older I get the better and more heroic I used to be) and rembering when I was a somebody in the military, I’ll remember my buddies and the only family I ever had…”
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow vets, potential voters, you can see that there are many reasons why people enter and stay in the military. Indeed many of them have to do with lack of formal schooling; not being able to pay for schooling to stay away from future combat areas and combat; or, to acquire a sweeter and safer gig in the military; or, just to have a venue that handles some deep psychological issues and needs; or, just being unable to “make it” in the private sector.

Thank you and now let the Chickenhawks try to frame and deal with this.

About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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