POLITICS
09/20/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Right-Wing Vets Group Assails Vietnam Vet Hagel

David Bellavia, founder of Bush suck-up outfit Vets For Freedom, says he "will never attack a Vietnam veteran," but then proceeds to say this about Senator Chuck Hagel:

BELLAVIA: But Sen. Hagel -- we can disagree on a lot of issues -- but Sen. Hagel has never been shot at in Iraq, he's never seen what an IED looks like or been detonated on. This is an individual that could embed himself instead of doing a two-day congressional delegation. Go out there, walk with the troops, see what's going on on the ground.

Ma'am, I've served over a year and our organization is just stock-full of Purple Heart and Valor Award winners. We've seen the worst of this fight. There's no propaganda here, ma'am. We love America. We want to win the war that our Congress sent us to fight. You don't send Americans -- men and women -- to lose a war, to end a stalemate. You send them to win in a war, and that's what we're trying to do. And you know what? We're closer today than we ever have been.

Shorter Bellavia: The problem with Hagel is that he does not love America, and would prefer we lose wars.

Somehow, I think that constitutes an attack on a Vietnam veteran!

Bellavia went on to add, "Now, again, with Sen. Hagel -- my problem with Sen. Hagel is, again, his experienced is based on what? The Mekong Delta. It's based on Vietnam, a totally different fight, a totally different enemy, and by the way, it was 30 years ago. That doesn't cheapen his service. That doesn't cheapen his expertise. But when it comes down to Iraq, I will take that specialist who's 20 years old from Decorah, Iowa, who served three tours in combat, over anything any member of the House or Senate has to say."

Unless I missed something, the current GOP contender for President is not a specialist from Decorah, Iowa but a man whose "experience is based on" the Mekong Delta. Flying above it, anyway. Sometimes violently colliding with it. In fact, one of the only differences between the service records of Hagel and McCain is that McCain was tortured in a POW camp. Of course, if you listen to the Bush White House, McCain wasn't tortured, either.

[Video available via ThinkProgress.]

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