This is the real John Kerry, everything anyone needs to know about the man. His defenders will be out any moment to claim that what he said wasn’t meant to slight the troops, and Kerry himself will respond with his usual weasel qualifications, but it’s there for anyone who wants to listen.
This goes beyond the traditional lefty critique of military service as class-based victimhood. Instead, Kerry places the “blame” for being a soldier on the troops themselves: if you hadn’t been out drinking beer and chasing girls all the time, loser, you wouldn’t be worried about IEDs right now. You’d be doing something really useful to humanity, like writing ad copy or studying post-structuralism. You’d probably be invited to parties where you could talk about global life expectancy charts, early child learning, and global warming. Your life would have attained the highest desirable state, that of complete removal of all risk and danger and the pursuit of abstraction. Your hands would be soft, your skin fully moisturized, and your fiber intake right where it needs to be. Instead, you threw it all away.
When Kerry is comfortable enough, he says what he truly means. He said it to Matt Bai of the New York Times during the 2004 campaign, when he longed for the days when terrorism was a mere “nuisance.” Those tranquil days of yore, when handicapped passengers were pushed to their deaths into the sea and 242 U.S. Marines were killed in their barracks.
Of course, they wouldn’t have been there if they had only made “an effort to be smart.”
Kerry has swift-boated himself.