I Don't Understand This, Either

1 August 2004

Later tuned in to some highlights from the Kerry speech. He said he would respond if America was attacked. Well, duh. I take something else from this distinction: he will not attack if America is provoked.

”I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as President.”

This really intrigues me. I agree that Vietnam was a defense of the United States, inasmuch as we were trying to blunt the advance of Communism. So: only Nixon can go to China. (Only Kirk can go to Chronos, for you Star Trek geeks.) Only Kerry can confirm that Vietnam was a just war. This completely upends conventional wisdom about the Vietnamese war, and requires a certain amount of historical amnesia. Why does this get glossed over? The illegitimacy of the Vietnam war (non-UN approved, after all) is a key doctrine of the Church of the Boomers; to say that service in Vietnam was done in defense of the United States is like announcing that Judas Ischariot was the most faithful of the disciples. Imagine if you were a preacher who attempted such a revision. Imagine your private thrill when everyone in the congregation nodded assent. The past was more malleable than you had ever expected.

James Lileks
The Bleat
July 30, 2004

This is an important point. If you want to now use your military service as a badge of honor, how do you reconcile your anti-war language and your ribbon-tossing antics as patriotic? I know, I know – your opponent in this election never served in Vietnam. That’s not at issue here. What’s at issue is whether you’ll respond when we are attacked and/or provoked.

Be assured of this. During the next five to ten years, we’re going to see threats and actions against what this country stands for on a level that we’ve never known. If you are a Christian, know that your worldview will encounter some truly horrible attacks from those who don’t understand, who hate or who equate your Christianity with your American heritage. It’s illogical. It’s inevitable. It’s foretold. Get ready.

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