Editorial: Stop re-fighting the Vietnam War

April 30, 2004

"We're in a war right now where Americans are dying. We should be working together to bring this to an end as quickly as possible, not re-fighting a war that ended over 30 years ago. I believe President Bush served honorably, I believe that John Kerry served honorably. Let's get over it, let's stop it now."

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona got it exactly right when he made the above statement earlier this week on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Both Republicans and Democrats should listen to what McCain has to say on this issue. As a POW during the Vietnam War, a friend of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry and a supporter of President George W. Bush, McCain is uniquely positioned to bring some semblance of sanity to a presidential campaign that is getting way out of hand with six months still to go before election day.


Whether Kerry did or not throw his Vietnam medals over the White House fence during a war protest or did or did not deserve his three Purple Hearts is irrelevant to the central issue of what kind of job he would do as president of the United States.

By the same token, whether Bush did or did not show up for duty when he was supposed to during his service in the National Guard is equally irrelevant to the issue of whether he should continue to serve in the Oval Office.

What this whole squabble has done is re-open the still-festering wounds of the Vietnam War-era while, as McCain pointed out, Americans are dying now in the war in Iraq.

Instead of engaging in an unseemly squabble over a long-past war, the nation's political leaders should be devoting their time and talents to making sure that today's servicemen and women receive their country's full support in doing their job

Certainly, debate over whether Bush and Kerry have done the right things, in their capacities as president and senator, to protect the country from terrorism is proper in this election campaign.

There are plenty of important issues to discuss concerning today's war. The politicians should leave the one 30 years ago to the historians.

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