Veterans organizations are inherently political

This Yahoo! article caught my eye: Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry speaks to the VFW, drawing applause for his political statements.  It caught my eye because groups like the VFW often use the “staying out of politics” excuse to stamp out any criticism of the wars.  The idea that veterans as a constituency should enjoy representation free from the distraction of politics is, of course, a total canard, not just because Republicans like Perry are allowed to get in front of them and make any number of political statements, but also because these same groups are immersed in the political process and have no qualms about strongarming members of Congress to approve more veterans benefits on threat of appearing not to support the troops.

In stupid statement news, Perry said,

the Vietnam War showed what could happen when soldiers are “called to war that our leaders were not prepared to win because they were not prepared to use the full force of the military of the United States.”

What does he want our leaders to have done, nuke North Vietnam?  We applied vastly asymmetric combat power to the enemy in Vietnam. We illegally bombed neighboring countries. We killed off entire swathes of jungle in order to spot tiny bands of dismounted guerrillas.  You can count all NVA tank attacks of the entire war using the fingers on one of your hands.  But Perry wants always to kill more people than whatever number we end up killing, so he gets applause at the VFW.

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