Listening to right-wing radio (since that's about the only radio being offered these days in my neck of the woods), I notice a palpable nostalgia for the Vietnam War days. People calling in like to rant about Kerry's eventual opposition to the war, implying that the U.S. war effort was some righteous cause. I guess the idea is that the U.S. effort, no matter how ideologically vague or politically mismanaged, was essentially altruistic as the moral U.S. attempted to share democracy with the rest of the world (this, of course, before the evil lefty hippies stepped in and nixed the endeavor). I hate to pop anyone's bucolic fantasy of American flags flying over Vietnamese rice fields, but the fact of the matter is (a fact that is in ALL history books on the Vietnamese War) that America's initial involvement in Vietnam had NOTHING to do with democracy. After all, the U.S., prior to sending large numbers of troops, provided almost all of the funding for the French effort to re-establish themselves as a colonial power. In other words, the U.S. was supporting Western colonialism. The Vietnamese coalition (yes, it was a coalition by the way) opposed to France and later to the U.S. were fighting against colonialism. So all of you right-wing bloggers and talking heads, you need to get it right. Stop talking about the great "democratic effort" of the U.S. in South-east Asia and come out and say what you really believe, i.e., that France (or the U.S. who inherited their fight) had a moral right to murder people in a country half-way across the globe because white people are superior to yellow people. Stop your hemming and hawing about democratic values (it's really sickening) and just admit that you have cast your lot with the racist imperialists. You can go out and cheer the new movie about Alexander the Great and then don your black shirts, stick a little Arian sun-sign in the corner of the ol' red, white, and blue flag, and stand on one side of the line, and the rest of us (who adamantly disagree with you, by the way) can stand on the other and we'll disagree (or oppose you with violence if need be). But stop all of your fucking bullshit talk about "democracy" and the great moral crusades of the past.
My personal take on Kerry and Vietnam is that his opposition to the war and his discarding of his metals afterwards is one of the few really good reasons to vote for him.
On a related note, Dear Free World discusses why he thinks Bush will lose in spite of his wrapping himself around the flag and calling himself a "war president."
Other blogs who have recently discussed the latest accusations about Kerry include: Democracy in California, The Left Coaster, Memeorandum, Simply Appalling, Blog Left, and Arthur Silber.