Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain: Military Elitist

John McCain said yesterday that, since Barack Obama “did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform,” he does not have the right to question McCain’s failure to support the new GI Bill which was at that time being approved in the Senate by a vote of 75-22. One vote was missing; only one; the vote of John McCain. John McCain was too busy at a fund-raising gala to attend to his duties as a Senator in the Congress of the United States.

Well I did “serve our country in uniform,” Senator McCain, and so even by your arrogant military elitist standards I am qualified and do have the right to question your failure to support our veterans with this bill. Your position is self-serving and wrong.

Your claims about retention are garbage on more than one level. What about those who, wounded or otherwise rendered unable, cannot serve multiple enlistments? Do we accept their single enlistment and then toss them out to a lifelong career at minimum wage?

With this bill perhaps we can improve recruitment such that retention is no longer the demand that turns the technicality of “stop loss” into a back door draft. Perhaps with a bill like this one we could secure sufficient recruitment that our men and women might need to serve only one tour in combat instead of the three and four, and more, that they presently serve. Perhaps with a bill like this one we could secure sufficient recruitment that we would no longer need to be sending wounded soldiers back into battle. Perhaps we could restore a rotation which actually allows our soldiers sufficient time to rest and retrain between deployments.

This “war” is supposedly the “ideological struggle of our time” upon which the very existence of our nation depends; this by your own statements. And yet the thanks that we offer to the men and women who fight this war are a pittance in comparison to those we offered to my father when he returned from the greater war that you use as the standard against which this one is measured.

You see, Mr. McCain, “I served my country in uniform.” As did my father, and his father. I remember one day when I was a small child and an olive-drab car drove up and took my father off to war. You have no corner on that story you arrogant jackass.

I will go further. When you use your military service as an instrument of self-aggrandizement and to secure for yourself wealth and power, when you suggest that your service makes you "better than" or renders others who did not serve inferior, you dishonor that service and you lose the right to have me in any way “respect your service.”

We have an all-volunteer military in this country. If you want to talk about the “responsibility to serve our country in uniform” then institute a draft. Until then, do not dare to arrogantly criticize those who do not choose the way of life that you have chosen merely because they did not make the same choice you did.

You owe an apology to Barack Obama, to veterans, and to this nation.


  1. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Barack Obama had a choice, McCain might not have, since there was a draft at the time he served (despite his familial history of service, and his desire to following that path). I had a choice, and I tried and was denied twice, due to medical issues.

    I would still criticize McCain, since we have a duty to support veterans as much as we can, being that they bear the brunt of the conflict(s), however good or bad the political decisions might be.

    And since he was in the military, and was a POW and (some may argue) bore a harder burden than some, he has a higher hurdle to bear in regards of supporting veterans.

    I just think it is arrogant and hypocritical of him to have less regard of veterans than someone who by choice and right has not served in uniform. Isn't serving in defense of the nations's ideals what it's all about? The right to make one's own choices? Your choice (and you did make one) does not make anothers choice right or wrong.

  2. Bruce has said it well. I, too, served by choice - it was during Korea and there was a draft, but being female I was not subject to that draft. But I fully support those who CHOOSE not to serve. In fact, I actively supported many young men who, due to their values did chose NOT to serve during Viet Nam. That choice is what it is about.
    Incidentally, when someone asked me "would you want your daughter to be drafted?", I replied that if my sons would be subject to draft, then my daughter should be, also. I still believe that.

  3. I fund it extra odd that he wouldn't support it, given that one of his sons served in Iraq until Feb of this year (Marines), one son flew jets in the Navy, and the third is enrolled in the US Naval Academy.

  4. Anonymous10:29 PM

    Like my brother, I volunteered. Like him, I was 4-F, and not allowed to serve. In retrospect, it was a good thing, I would have been a danger to my own comrades.
    All we know (or at least, all I know) is that Obama didn't serve. We don't know why. I tried to volunteer a second time, and was told not to bother, I wouldn't be able to get a (medical) waiver. Maybe Obama knew he wouldn't be allowed to serve. Maybe he believed he could better serve his country on the street of Chicago than on board ship or in a barracks.

    Even those who avoided service may deserve our respect: I knew some of those young men my mother mentions, and others like them. Men who were contentious objectors. Men who volunteered to be medics because they wouldn't kill. Men who served in the Coast Guard, because they wanted to be heroes rather than agents of imperialism. Men who went to jail rather than serve a cause they believed to be evil.
    The only ones who deserve criticism are those who didn't serve when asked to, for no other reason than that they loved their own skins more than their communities. And the only ones who deserve our contempt are those who used their money or political power to weasel out of serving. If McCain is going to bitch about those who "don't serve" he would be more credible, and help himself more, by criticizing "Dubya" who wore a uniform, and disgraced it by not SERVING while doing so.