Every once in awhile, thankfully not all that often, a former member of the military turns on his brethren and attempts to assassinate their singular or collective characters. Most notably in our day, Secretary of State John Kerry vilified his Vietnam buddies through fabricating stories of atrocities. Their reaction was so effective that a new word was coined, “swiftboating,” which refers to being falsely accused, most often for political gain.
Another man whose words and actions I saw personally hurt the morale of our troops while I was in Iraq was former Marine Rep John Murtha, when he called our troops murderers. Many of our soldiers, even if they were not Marines, felt he had lost his right to be considered a Marine, either through the allegations that his wartime medals had essentially been fraudulently obtained, his accusation that our soldiers were war criminals, and the reputation he built as a politician as being one of the most corrupt, ever.
What is most bizarre to me, though, is what I have come to call the Ventura Vendetta on the part of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura against murdered Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, (of American Sniper fame,) and most recently, against all our soldiers. It is as though this man has plumb lost his mind, or took one too many to the head. Either would certainly be easier to forgive, but to have had the kind of training and camaraderie that is legendary among the SEALS, and then go after the estate of a fallen brother over a dustup in a bar is just not in keeping with who a SEAL is.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Chris Kyle was not telling the truth about Jesse Ventura, and the whole thing was at the very least a matter of perception, and at most a falsehood. Let’s say that Jesse Ventura had a right to set the record straight, irrespective of attempting to what could be viewed as “breaking up the house of a widow.” In whose universe could it ever be justifiable for a SEAL to call our soldiers “Nazis,” or “Communists?”
The exact quote was this, as heard on Allan Colmes’ radio show: “What I’m stating is we invaded Iraq, we were not asked in,” Ventura said. “We invaded a country, we overthrew its government, and then we killed people that lived there.”
“Are we analogous to the Nazis?” Colmes asked Ventura.
“Well, and the Communists, yeah. We behave the same way now,” Ventura said. “I said this before, I said, ‘That’s how George Bush killed my American dream.’ I never believed that my country would line our military up at the border of another sovereign nation, invade that country, overthrow its government, occupy them without being asked. We invaded, and all on lies.”
I could, and have spent hours dismantling Jesse’s “Bush-lied-people-died” argument. Even the NY Times finally admitted there were indeed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but it was ten years after the fact. But to say that our soldiers are Nazis AND Communists? Check your history, pal. Last I heard, our soldiers have never been known to goose step, put people in ovens by the millions, or send them to Siberia for having a different opinion. Jesse, what little respect I still had for you has now officially vanished.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner