Remember when the media claimed that Sen. John Kerry “botched a joke” when he suggested that if you don’t do well in school, you’ll end up in the military? Or when Rep. Charlie Rangel said that people only volunteer for such service because they're poor and basically have to?
Well, it seems that such statements do indeed have an impact on how others view things, for in an interview that is going to be aired on “Hardball” Monday, “Saving Private Ryan” actor Matt Damon says that people only enlist for financial reasons. Damon also takes a shot at the President’s daughters for not volunteering themselves (must-see video available here).
What follows is a brief segment of Damon's statement that host Chris Matthews showed during his Friday installment to advertise next week’s show, and an update that includes insults of Vice President Cheney by the actor:
I don't think that it's fair as I said before, that it seems like we have a fighting class in our country that's comprised of people who have to go for either financial reasons or, I don’t think that that is fair. And if you're gonna send people to war, ahh, if, if we all get together and decide we need to go to war then that needs to be shared by everybody. You know, and if the President has daughters who are of age then maybe they should go, too.
It seems that Damon needs to go back and watch "Saving Private Ryan" to better understand the character of those in the military, and the integrity inherent in such folk. In fact, Damon need only look at the part that he played, and how he responded when the Tom Hanks character (Captain Miller) asked him what they should say to his mother when she's told that her fourth and only remaining son has been killed in the war:
You can tell her that when you found me, I was with the only brothers I had left. And that there was no way I was deserting them. I think she'd understand that.
*****Update: MSNBC's "Hardblogger" had some more information about this interview:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think if you waterboarded Cheney, like in the movie, that you'd get a different truth out of him?
MATT DAMON: Well, there's two answers to that question. One is he doesn't strike me as the kind of person who has any real personal courage. When it was his turn to go, he didn't go. He deferred six times…..The second part to the answer is that I believe that if you waterboard anybody, they'll tell you anything and that torture is completely impractical, on top of being dishonorable. It's completely impractical because you can -- I mean, if you torture a normal person, if you torture anybody, they're going to tell you whatever you want them to tell you. So if you're getting information that you're going to then use and you get it by torturing them...
On who he would like to see elected president in 2008…
MATT DAMON: Barack Obama.