John Kerry this week has been abjectly apologizing for his statements on Iraq and education. According to Kerry he intended to critique President Bush:
Do you know where you end up if you don’t study, if you aren’t smart,
if you’re intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in
But what he said was:
You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do
your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If
you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
The irony is that the joke he intended to make is a lie but what he actually said may be the truth. The disaster in Iraq was created by a bunch of highly educated intellectuals but the soldiers fighting in Iraq do have less education than the young men and women who have stayed home. According to historian David Kennedy, quoted in the October issue of the Atlantic, 50 percent of 18-24 year olds in the general population have some college education compared to only 6.5 percent of the same age group in the U.S. military. (Kennedy’s figures are contested by others.)
American political correctness extends to more than women and minorities and as in those areas it prevents discussion of important but uncomfortable truths.