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Why Do Republicans Hate Veterans, Especially Marines?

Apparently the Swift Boat Veterans have another commercial out. As a Vietnam veteran, I have had enough attacks on my patriotism. I don’t like Kerry because he attacked veterans in the 1970s, but now I don’t like Bush because he is attacking veterans vehemently today. An attack on Kerry because he is a veteran is an attack on all veterans. Claiming that it is an attack on him because of how he got his medals or what he did during some particular 15 minutes in country does not make it any less an attack on him because he is a veteran. Veterans deserve support from their country. I pity the poor soldiers in Iraq who have to come back as veterans reviled by Bush.

In particular, I pity the Marines, whose courage has been called into question by their tours in Iraq. The Marines were the main troops in Fallouja and Najaf, where the US ran into serious resistance and chickened out. It makes the Marines look like cowards, but I doubt that they are. The decision to retreat was probably made by somebody else, but, nevertheless, the Marine Corps’ valor is called into question by their conduct in Iraq. An article in the L.A. Times says the whole Marine approach to Fallouja has turned out to be a “fiasco,” quoting a Marine colonel. The article says that the Iraqi force that replaced the Marines was created “to avoid a bloodbath,” which of course I don’t wish on the Marines, but it looks like when they were faced with a bloody battle, the Marines chickened out. The Marines should not allow themselves to appear as cowards because of decisions made by others, who are probably civilian policy makers who have never seen combat and probably avoided service in Vietnam like Bush and Cheney, if they were old enough to face that prospect.

Although the Marines in the field may not be to blame, their senior commanders in Washington certainly are for knuckling under to their cowardly political overseers. The current Marine Corps commandant should resign. The only senior military commander who displayed the courage to stand up to Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and company was former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, who was viciously attacked by them for standing up for his troops.

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