• The full article is very much worth reading, even if the author is a pinko subversive fighter pilot.


    I’ll try to give it a browse.

    Hey, before Bush was elected the first time, I predicted we’d have another Vietnam on our hands.

    So, does that mean I’m like a psychic genius, or just plain… perceptive?

    September 30, 2004
  • Yeah, my daddy’s a commie pinko bleeding heart Special Forces demolitions expert paratrooper veteran of both Korea and Vietnam.

    He has a few similar opinions on this whole thing. All in Anglo-Saxon flavored language and none of it complimentary to the current regime.

    September 30, 2004
  • Yes, you’re like a psychic genius. Heh heh heh.

    September 30, 2004
  • I’d really love to see a survey of veterans’ opinions on Bush’s war, broken out by age and combat experience. I know there are veterans, who despite being old enough to know better, and having been in combat, still stand behind the president. I suspect that they are more the World War II cohort than Vietnam. My sense is that younger veterans without combat experience would be the most supportive of the Iraq war, but that’s just a rude guess.

    September 30, 2004
  • I have a Clarion pal who, bizzarely, is a staunch Bush-supporter and Republican. He’s a Vietnam vet, flew planes there. Actually a very nice guy, despite his bewildering conservative streak. We just can’t talk politics much, though since he’s my token conservative friend, I do occasionally ask him to explain things that just baffle me.

    It’s all about mindset, I think. I have a particular mindset that tells me Bush is evil and just about anyone else would be better for the country. I’m sure I do filter out some evidence that doesn’t support my views, and lean heavily on the evidence that does. I suspect my conservative friend does the opposite, filtering out anything positive about Kerry, and leaning hard on the things about Bush that seem to support what he believes in. My friend is *not* evil, despite his views. And he’s not stupid. He just perceives the world through a vastly different set of filters than I do.

    And mine, of course, are right. 🙂

    September 30, 2004
  • Yes, but psycho genius doesn’t sound as appealing, does it?

    September 30, 2004
  • I wonder if the remote-bombing aspect makes it easier for him to support worthless wars? You get a very different post-war response from infantry than pilots.


    September 30, 2004
  • Yes, you ARE right. : )

    Chris makes a good point below: infantrymen see the carnage up close; what happens to their buddies, the civilians, and the enemy. It’s a lot easier to support a war you’ve seen from a few thousand feet up, which is why Air Force officer can be much more hawkish than their groundpounder colleagues. There’s also a class distinction: jet pilots are all officers; ground troops are led by officers, but are mostly enlisted men and women.

    September 30, 2004
  • My friend’s pilot/officer status may well have contributed to his continuing conservatism, but I think that’s just how he’s built. It’s so strange having a conversation with this affable, smart, caring guy, and then slamming into a wall every time we venture into politics. In one way, it’s infuriating that someone so bright should be so blind; in another, I’m reminded of my own filters, because he’s not some dumb country hick swallowing the pap being pumped his way.

    I honestly believe it’s vital to understand both (all, really) sides of political beliefs. Because otherwise, how can we possibly find a strategy to bring more people to our side? Plus — black-and-white shut-downs are what I don’t like about conservatism to begin with.

    October 01, 2004
  • There are more than a few guys I served in the military with who I really liked and respected, and it pains me to think that my politics would probably (almost certainly) put many of us at odds now.

    Part of the problem is that the two-party system forces the national dialogue into an unnatural either-or course. To cite one example: Republicans believe in self-reliance and Democrats believe in extending a helping hand to the unfortunate. Now at the extremes, I suppose you’ll find people for whom those positions are mutually exclusive, but in real life most people believe in both notions. Republicans give to charity, and Democrats believe that people do best when they prosper through their own labor. The real debate should be much closer to the center: not whether there should be a safety net for society’s unfortunates, but how extensive should that net be.

    Because I’m a liberal, I believe the Republican leadership has polarized this particular issue out of hand with their philosophy of starving the beast: giving such large tax cuts to the rich that it impedes government’s ability to care for the people at society’s margins. The government of I Got Mine. I think the average Republican isn’t without compassion, but the two-party system (and a truly vicious and unprincipled Republican party leadership) doesn’t leave any sea room for nuance, so it becomes a battle of competing ideologies, rather than a search for effective public policy.

    October 02, 2004

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