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9/08/2004


Kerry’s growing phobia: Vietnam

I’ve never seen such a confused bunch like the Kerry campaign in my entire life. In the late 60’s early 70’s it was people like John Kerry that spoke quite adamantly against the war in Vietnam, yet today they would like John’s four months in Vietnam to be enough reason for anyone to vote for him this November. In the same breath those that support John Kerry frequently refer to the war on terror as Bush’s Vietnam, which is supposed to be an indictment not a compliment on how Bush has handled the war so far. They quickly forget the apt reasons for being at war, and that Bush is a war time president. If Kerry can be proud of his service during his four months in Vietnam, then Bush should be able to tout his accomplishments during the last two years against the war on terror with at least the same amount of expectation.

Very early on in his campaign, John began to tout his war record with an enthusiasm that I consider bragging. My father-in-law fought in Nam and after that served in the National Guard till he retired 3 years ago as an E8 Staff Sergeant. To this day he refuses to speak about his experiences while in Nam. How could someone like Kerry feel so free and happy about his service in Vietnam, especially if it was tainted with war crimes? He has now admitted that the following was overstated and partly untrue.

    “There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals.”
I would like to know which part of this statement John feels is true or false. Should he be proud of his service if he admits to war crimes? Do we speak out against those that commit war crimes and denounce them as rogue soldiers more worthy of a dishonorable discharge than a bid for the presidency? Or does he admit that the pain he caused America in 1971, which precipitated soldiers being spat on (and worse) when they got home, a statement that helped divide a country, was a lie used to propel him into office? The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have an ad that punctuates the betrayal they felt hearing John Kerry’s words back in 1971.

Obvious lies like him being in Cambodia during Christmas, an event that was not just clear in his mind but seared – seared into him, will continue to haunt his candidacy. Not only did the SBVT (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) call him on this lie, but also those vets that show support for him would not corroborate his account either. What followed was a campaign nightmare for Kerry who thought no one would dare investigate his claims. Kerry’s spokesmen began clamoring for a location that would “clarify” John’s *ahem* poor memory.

    First, one campaign aide explained that Kerry had patrolled the Mekong Delta somewhere "between" Cambodia and Vietnam. But there is no between; there is a border. Then another spokesman told reporters that Kerry had been "near Cambodia." But the point of Kerry's 1986 speech was that he personally had taken part in a secret and illegal war in a neutral country. That was only true if he was "in Cambodia," as he had often said he was. If he was merely "near," then his deliberate misstatement falsified the entire speech.
As for the ribbon/medal controversy I could care less if he threw ribbons or medals, the point is, he showed an obvious disdain for the very thing he now hails as his crowning achievement, an obvious contradiction that is bound to harm him.

The Silver Star he so proudly disdained, now seems to be the major focus in the on going Kerry Vietnam saga. The problem with Kerry’s Silver Star is that his DD 214 states he received a Silver Star with combat “V”, (V – stands for valor under combat fire) a designation that is never awarded with a Silver Star because it would be redundant.

Included in the Silver Star controversy is the issue of citations. In 1986 Kerry received a third citation for his Silver Medal, which carried the signature of then Navy Secretary John Lehman, who claims he had nothing to do with it. The investigation is not sitting well with John Kerry.

Fortunately this investigation couldn’t come at a worse time for John Kerry’s troubled bid for the presidency. Just after being counseled by Bill Clinton to drop the Vietnam issue, this investigation has made it “the issue”. I’m sure that angers John, but I don’t believe the inability to drop it is what angers him the most; it is what they might find in this investigation that has him worried and incensed.

If he is a man whose record is above reproach why would he be troubled by the bi-partisan investigation? Wouldn’t an investigation be the very thing he needs to clarify the argument? If he is honest and truthful then he has nothing to fear. John should be anxious for the investigation to begin so that he could use the eventual positive outcome in his arsenal of reasons to elect him president. I don’t see Kerry taking that approach any time soon.

posted by: Brian Scott


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