Skip to comments.Let's Take John Kerry at His Word
Posted on 10/16/2004 11:51:15 PM PDT by DoorGunner
Let's Take John Kerry at His Word
I understand that "Nightline" sent a crew over to Vietnam, and miraculously found ex-VC from the squad which ambushed Kerry's Swift Boat, in the incident for which he was given the Silver Star medal. Also miraculously, they remembered the incident, and confirmed the write-up for Kerry's medal.
From the citation for Kerry's Silver Star. (The version found in "Tour of Duty.")
...the boats were again taken under fire from a heavily foliated area and B-40 rocket exploded close aboard PCF 94; with utter disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets, he again ... beached his boat only ten feet from the VC rocket position, and personally led a landing party ashore in pursuit of the enemy. ... The extraordinary daring and personal courage of ...KERRY in attacking a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire...
A few pages earlier, we find that the "landing party" (at first) consisted of Kerry and one other sailor named "Medeiros;" After Kerry killed the wounded VC they had followed from the river, the "landing party" also included "Belodeau."
The book only mentions "a rocket was fired at them," when discussing the "intense fire" claimed in the citation; and only mentions "a VC guerrilla holding a B-40 rocket launcher," as the "numerically superior force." Clearly, Kerry's crewmen, who provided the writer of "Tour of Duty" with the account related in the book, merely forgot about the "intense fire" and the "numerically superior force." These MUST have existed, because otherwise, this incident would not be grounds for a Silver Star -- it would just be a couple of sailors playing soldier.1
But the Navy DID award that medal to Kerry, so we must assume that the "numerically superior force," and the "intense fire" actually did exist. The citation says so. Furthermore, since Kerry was the only officer present during this incident, he must necessarily have been the person who provided the facts set forth in the medal citation. That being the case, we are forced to accept that the "intense fire" and the "numerically superior force" did, in fact, exist.
So, I propose that we take Kerry at his word, as an officer and a gentleman, that he beached his boat, and followed a wounded VC, against a "numerically superior force," and "in the face of intense fire."
Further, I would like to propose an analogy to this incident, which I hope will demonstrate why I find it troubling:
Consider the UH-1 helicopter, commonly know as the "Huey." This helicopter is made of thin aluminum, which fails to provide cover from even "small arms." Its only defenses (as a "slick" or troop carrier) against ''intense fire" are its machine guns and its speed and agility, in the air. When it is sitting on the ground, it and its crew are extremely vulnerable to any fire, much less "intense fire."
Now consider a lone slick which comes under "intense fire" while flying low level, at speed. While the gunners can attempt to suppress the "intense fire," the best defense is to continue at speed, out of the immediate danger zone. Imagine that, instead of continuing out of the "intense fire," an aircraft commander decides to land the helicopter and follow a wounded enemy out of sight, not to capture, but to kill him. This commander leaves his extremely vulnerable aircraft (and crew) on the ground, with its defense of speed gone, and its defensive guns much limited.
Just close your eyes, and imagine that YOU are sitting in that helicopter. If the words "intense fire" mean anything, it means that you are being shot at by at least a machine gun and several rifles. Imagine that these weapons are aimed at YOU, with the plain intention of killing YOU. You see tracers zipping past your head, see bullets tearing apart the thin aluminum of your ship. Inevitably, some of the thousand or so parts required to make a helicopter fly will be destroyed. Barring a miraculous rescue, you and all of the crew will soon be dead, if they are fortunate.
Does it now seem to make ANY sense, for this aircraft commander to go off into the brush after a wounded VC?
Let's say that an aircraft commander actually DID this. His huey and his crew would almost certainly be destroyed. If, by some miracle, they survived, that commander would be considered to be extremely stupid, if not insane. He would almost certainly be shipped out to a non-flying post, so he could no longer needlessly endanger a helicopter and crew. If he were allowed to continue to fly, no one would want to fly with him; and if he did continue to fly, and ever pulled the same sort of foolishness again, he would soon learn the meaning of the verb "to frag."
There are many similarities with Kerry's medal incident, and the hypothetical posed above. A Swift Boat is made of (relatively) thin aluminum. I has a powerful engine, and can move swiftly; but ONLY in its natural element -- WATER. When it is "beached," it obviously has lost its speed and mobility. The only defense it then has are its machine guns. If it is beached in a "heavily foliated" area, the guns can only fire at the general area of opposing fire.
In the Kerry medal incident, even this option was very limited, since Kerry and Medeiros had disappeared (presumably in the direction of the "intense fire,") which would necessarily leave a large sector where the crew dared not fire, lest they inadvertantly shoot their commander. By his unnecessary and foolish actions, Kerry placed his boat and its crew in serious jeopardy. It is a miracle, indeed, that they were not all killed.
That is, unless there was no "numerically superior force," nor any "intense fire." But, if that was the case, Kerry and two witnesses2 must necessarily have LIED, on an official statement. And, if that were the case, Kerry's actions that day could not be considered "extraordinary daring and personal courage." To an infantry unit, such actions would be considered a normal daily occurrence.
Thus, we are left with a choice: Either Kerry lied (and induced two of his crew to lie) about the "intense fire," and the "numerically superior force;" OR Kerry exhibited extremely bad judgement, and seriously endangered his command for no reason. Following and killing a wounded enemy is not reason enough to risk almost certain destruction of the swift boat, and its crew.
I propose that we take John Kerry at his word, and recognize that his "war hero" status is not a qualification for the office of Commander in Chief. Rather, it clearly demonstrates that he does not possess the judgement or leadership ability to be in command of anything military. It merely demonstrates that he is perfectly happy to put people under his command, and for whom he is responsible, in grave danger, merely to glorify himself.
1. It should be noted that there were many sailors working on PBRs, etc, who did this kind of work, with skill and courage. I am not referring to them, in any critical way.
2. From this document: SECNAVINST 1650.1G COMBAT AWARDS
Must be fully justified.
Eyewitness statement (at least two if practicable).
Kerry's mom's last words on her death bed: "Integrity, integrity, integrity..."
It was "seared, SEARED" into his mind...
KERRY CLAIMS CHRISTMAS OF 1777 SPENT AT VALLEY FORGE
PARIS -- Hoping to embellish his image as a military leader, John Kerry, Democrat candidate for president, today told an audience at a campaign stop in Berkeley, California that he spent Christmas of 1777 at Valley Forge serving with George Washington and the Continental Army. "I was proud to serve in the Swift Canoe Service," said Kerry. "And I remember what it was like to come under musket fire, which is more than George W. Bush can say."
Appearing before a Congressional committee later in the day, Kerry denounced his fellow Revolutionary War veterans as war criminals, and said that members of the Continental Army were personally ordered by General Washington to carry out torture and rape against British civilians.
A group calling itself Revolutionary War Veterans for Truth has issued broadsheets refuting the allegations made by Kerry. In retaliation, lawyers for the Kerry campaign have asked the Federal Election Commission to stop the publication of the broadsheets and to put the members of the Veterans group in the stockade on the village square.
William Grim for Iconoclast
"It was "seared, SEARED" into his mind..."
Just like the "Christmas in Cambodia Incident."
KERRY CLAIMS CHRISTMAS OF ONE A.D. SPENT AT STABLE IN BETHLEHEM
PARIS -- Speaking this morning at the Alger Hiss Old Communists' Home in Madison, Wisconsin, Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry said that he spent Christmas of 1 AD at a stable in Bethlehem where he received the backing of the Holy Family and the Three Wise Men for his run for the presidency.
A group calling itself Magi for the Truth has distributed papyrus scrolls refuting Kerry's claims. Melchior, chairman of Magi for the Truth, says that his group has notes made by Pliny the Elder that conclusively prove that Kerry was nowhere within 5000 leagues of the Holy Land during Christmas of 1 AD.
Democrat spokesman James Carville denounced Magi for the Truth as a group of "right-wing religious fanatics who are in bed with the Republican National Committee and the State of Israel." William Grim
That picture is perfect!
KERRY CLAIMS CHRISTMAS OF 1944 SPENT AT BATTLE OF THE BULGE
PARIS -- Democrat candidate for president John Kerry said, during a speech today at the Kim Jong-Il Community Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that he spent Christmas of 1944 as a tank commander in General Patton's 5th Army and rescued embattled American paratroopers during the Battle of the Bulge.
"I was proud to serve with my Band of Brothers in the 5th Army," said Kerry. "Where was George W. Bush during World War II? I'll tell you. He was AWOL."
Appearing before a Congressional committee later in the day, Kerry denounced his fellow World War II veterans as war criminals, and said that they were personally ordered by President Roosevelt to torture, murder and rape innocent SS troops and death camp guards.
William Grim for Iconoclast
Beaching his vessel and endangering his crew to harvest a medal he would soon throw at the White House marks him as unfit for command.
His citation for this action underwent serial editing (by him, no doubt), producing no fewer than three versions.
He could clear the cloud surrounding his actions (and character) by signing the Standard Form 180--something he utterly refuses to do.
Instead of demonstrating that "integrity" he ascribed to his dying mother, he sends a succession of stooges to distract, including:
Couldn't the ex-VC fax their confirmations from the Saigon Kinko? Nah, fake memos, etc. don't work anymore, so desperate Dems require Vietnamese actors.
You were a helicopter doorgunner in Viet Nam, I believe, and your analogy of officer combat decisions in aluminum Hueys vis-a-vis aluminum Swift Boats is very powerful. Thank you, and bookmarking.
Since Kerry and McCain are The best friends Communist Vietnam has here, how could Koppel ever imagine that their government would produce any witness, unless that witness backed up Kerry's story. He MUST know that this whole thing stinks on ice.
You were a helicopter doorgunner in Viet Nam
My thanks to BulletBobCo for the concept of this
pic and to Conspiracy Guy for the captions!
Bump. Kerry's "word" ain't worth squat.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.