Bolton's Lack of Vietnam Service Is Being Treated Very Differently Than Clinton's

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With John Bolton set to bring his combative spirit to the Trump White House as the president’s national security adviser, liberal critics are dragging out the ghost of the Vietnam War as they react to his appointment.

Adam Weinstein, who vented about the appointment on the website Task and Purpose, characterized Bolton as a man who “believes dearly that blood makes the grass grow,” and then slammed Bolton for not having served in Vietnam.

“Bolton, it turns out, is known for bolting when the gun bolts start cycling,” he wrote as part of his castigation of Bolton for serving in the National Guard in 1970.

A 22-year-old quote is also used as part of the effort to claim Bolton did the wrong thing.

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“I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy,” Bolton wrote in 1995, according to Military.com. “I considered the war in Vietnam already lost.”

Twitter chimed in to bash Bolton for not wanting to fight in Vietnam.

But only 3 years before Bolton wrote of his decision to avoid Vietnam, The New York Times offered a different view of the merits of avoiding combat in Vietnam.

Is John Bolton's lack of service in Vietnam relevant to his work as national security adviser?

The Times wrote that there is nothing wrong with a political candidate who “worked to avoid the draft, at times cleverly, but in ways that accorded with accepted common practice among others of his generation. Against that history, this Vietnam echo looks like an irrelevance that ought not distract New Hampshire voters …”

In this case, The Times was defending presidential candidate Bill Clinton.

“In the crazy time of 1969, other young men found themselves suddenly drawn to divinity school or defense industries. Desperate potential draftees drank their own blood to feign ulcers and gorged on licorice stew because that was supposed to elevate blood pressure. Still others sought refuge in Canada — or went to prison,” The Times wrote in defense of those who found ways to avoid serving in Vietnam.

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Bolton is not among those looking back.

“During my career, I have written I don’t know how many articles and op-eds and opinion pieces. I have given I can’t count the number of speeches, I have countless interviews … in the past 11 years. They’re all out there in the public record. I have never been shy about what my views are,” Bolton told Fox News last week, as reported by CNN.

“Frankly, what I have said in private now is behind me. The important thing is what the president says and the advice I give him,” Bolton said.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
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Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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