Tin Soldiers and Nixon (Still) Coming

Arrest of Vietnam protester Howard Mechanic is just another war crime

· He donated time (995 hours over a two-year period) and money to the Arizona Clean Elections Initiative, designed to reduce lobbyist influence in the political process.

· He gave more than 1,500 hours of community-service time to a publication called the Current, which describes itself as dedicated to "peace, justice and environmental issues."

Does this sound like a dangerous fugitive to you? No doubt he's out of the political mainstream, living a life curiously holistic to many and devoted to causes downright dated to most 51-year-olds.

But this is not someone who ought to be incarcerated in a federal prison for throwing a cherry bomb (with no injuries) 30 years ago. Therefore his twin brother, Harvey, is trying to get another erstwhile Vietnam War opponent, President Bill Clinton, to issue a pardon, just like the ones that, on a much larger scale, turned fugitive draft-resisters into normal American citizens nearly a quarter-century ago.

The Vietnam War tarnished the administrations of four presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. You know what they all have in common?

They're dead. And so is this issue.

You want to relive the Vietnam War? Get over it.

And let this poor fellow Howard Mechanic go home.

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