The Lessons of War Are What Counts

McCain's service not instant qualification, writes fellow vet Kerrey
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2008 10:11 AM CDT
This file photo from Sept. 5, 2003, shows Bob Kerrey saluting at an event in Lincoln, Neb. The former Democratic senator and Nebraska governor and current president of New School University in New York...   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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(Newser) – John McCain has made a major show of his military credentials, arguing that his Navy service and time as a POW qualify him to be commander in chief. But that service by itself doesn't qualify him, ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey, a fellow Vietnam vet, argues in the LA Times. "The more McCain's supporters talk about his warrior nature, the more I worry about what he might do as president," Kerrey writes.

McCain should be saying torture is always wrong and diplomacy has to precede military action. Instead, says Kerrey, who supports Obama, we are getting bluster. "His campaign could be telling voters what it means to bring military experience into public service," writes Kerrey. "It's what McCain did after the Vietnam War, what he learned from those years and how he applied it, that makes him fit to be president."