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Published: Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Updated: Sunday, August 17, 2008 13:08

To the Editor:

It is dispiriting to read that a fellow Jumbo seems to have ingested the Fox News/White House hokum that doubleplus ungood Purple Heart veteran Senator John Kerry deliberately omitted the word "us" from his prepared remarks in order to demean American servicepeople.

As is obvious to any rational observer, the megacorporate Big Infotainment's little navel-gazing exercise was "pretty standard-fare political discourse."

You misconstrue what somebody said.

You isolate a statement, you lend your interpretation to it, and then you feign moral outrage. Such were the words of Republican Dick Armey, a former House Majority Leader.

We have come to expect such flagrant contempt for reality from President Bush and his cronies, but surely the pages of the Daily deserve better.

There is an element of Mr. Clarke Burns' 11/6 Viewpoint, however, that is more troubling than his head-scratching assertion that "most Americans" failed to see through Beltway Republicans' desperate shenanigans, and that is his implicit but clear suggestion that joining the armed forces is the best way (and, his lack of counter-examples suggests, the only way) to render "service to the nation."

I don't doubt that much of our all-volunteer military is made up of fine individuals motivated by "discipline, moral guidance and, above all, a sense of service before self."

But while service to the nation is an admirable and under-encouraged pursuit, it can assume many forms, including Peace and Conservation Corps, AmeriCorps and Teach for America.

I and many Jumbos I speak with anticipate participating in these or other civic organizations.

We are not all, as Mr. Burns suggests through selective omission, cowards or wealthy youngsters in search of "cushy civilian jobs".

We only recognize that our lives, and the promise they represent, are almost certainly worth more than the valuations of the oilmen crooks currently helming our Federal Executive.

Matthew Diamante


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