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Kerry should be wary of dredging up past
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | February 15, 2004 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 02/15/2004 6:39:31 AM PST by Puzzleman

If you own a computer or listen to talk radio or read the British or Australian papers, you'll know that John Kerry is currently beset by rumors of interns. By the time you read this, it may be that America's genteel broadsheets and network news shows will have overcome their squeamishness and tiptoed gingerly down the path blazed by Drudge and Fleet Street, or it may be that they decide to investigate it a bit longer, just to get chapter and verse nailed down, which means you may not get to read about it till, oh, midway through President Kerry's second term.

(Excerpt) Read more at suntimes.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; alexgate; bimboeruption; cleland; janefonda; kerry; kerry2004; marksteyn; marksteynlist; scandal; steyn; vietnam
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Great Mark Steyn article.
1 posted on 02/15/2004 6:39:32 AM PST by Puzzleman
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To: Puzzleman; okie01; PhiKapMom
A keeper of a closing paragraph:

Next to these deceptions -- and self-deceptions -- what are Dems hoping to pin on Bush? Thanks to Kerry in his Hanoi Jane period, Vietnam was a disaster for America that gave the establishment a wholly irrational fear of almost every ramshackle Third World basket case on the planet. Look at what everyone from Arthur Schlesinger to Chris Matthews wrote about the ''unconquerable'' Afghans only two years ago. That defeatism was the Kerry legacy from the '70s: a terrified, Kerrified America. If he wants to fight Campaign 2004 on Vietnam, then, as he would say, bring it on.

2 posted on 02/15/2004 6:44:33 AM PST by dirtboy (John Kerry - talking out both ends of the horse since 1970...)
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To: dirtboy

If Kerry wore lipstick Theresa Heinz's butt would really be RED!!


3 posted on 02/15/2004 6:48:44 AM PST by Common Tator
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To: Puzzleman
I read Mark Steyn and I think, every time, here is the smartest man alive today.

I read him, and I want to quote every line, and say "hear! hear!"

So I will only quote two from this latest:

"As Sam Goldwyn said, 'I'm sick of the old cliches. Bring me some new cliches.' And few people are so in need of some new cliches as the Democratic Party." (My favorite)

And this:

"Thanks to Kerry in his Hanoi Jane period, Vietnam was a disaster for America that gave the establishment a wholly irrational fear of almost every ramshackle Third World basket case on the planet." (The absolute truth)

Steyn is wonder, and if we ever have cloning he's about the only person I can think of of whom we need more than one.
4 posted on 02/15/2004 6:54:20 AM PST by jocon307 (The dems don't get it, the American people do.)
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To: Puzzleman

Mrs. Invisible-For-The-Past-Few-Days

5 posted on 02/15/2004 6:54:52 AM PST by martin_fierro (Chat is my milieu)
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To: Puzzleman
In yesterday's DC area Vietnamese language newspaper Pho Nho, a front page story (which includes the Fonda/Kerry crowd photo) repeatedly refers to the good lieutentant as a "phan boi," or traitor.

My wife, who is Vietnamese, never once heard of these alledged atrocities on the Delta. How is it that Kerry knows of them, but the Vietnamese both here in the U.S. and those still living on the Delta have not?

6 posted on 02/15/2004 6:56:22 AM PST by angkor
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To: Puzzleman
Personally, I believe that Ketchup Boy has no vision for America beyond his next haircut.
7 posted on 02/15/2004 6:58:35 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: angkor
"phan boi,"

I like that one.

8 posted on 02/15/2004 6:58:40 AM PST by Thebaddog (Woof this!)
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To: martin_fierro

we don't want no 1st lady with a foreign accent


9 posted on 02/15/2004 6:59:56 AM PST by The Wizard (Slimeocrats are enemies of America)
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To: angkor
Please do not photoshop this into a Kerry/Fonda picture


10 posted on 02/15/2004 7:03:50 AM PST by P.O.E. (Think of all the accidents you never hear about because they don't happen.)
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Likewise, Max Cleland, the former Georgia senator turned cable show hit man for the Kerry campaign on the Bush National Guard ''scandal.'' He's untouchable because, as Terry McAuliffe likes to say, he's a ''triple amputee who left three limbs on the battlefield of Vietnam.''

As Ann Coulter pointed out in a merciless but entirely accurate column, it wasn't on the ''battlefield.'' It wasn't in combat. He was working on a radio relay station. He saw a grenade dropped by one of his colleagues and bent down to pick it up. It's impossible for most of us to imagine what that must be like -- to be flown home, with your body shattered, not because of some firefight, but because you made a stupid mistake. Once upon a time, Cleland loathed the Silver and Bronze Stars he'd been given: He was, in his words, ''no hero'' -- which is true. He was a beneficiary of the medal inflation that tends to accompany unpopular wars. But Cleland learned to stop hating himself to the point where he's happy to be passed off as a hero wounded in battle because that makes him a more valuable mascot to the campaign. Sad.

McAwful, aka "The Punk", never mentions that Cleland did something incredibly stupid.

11 posted on 02/15/2004 7:04:24 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: angkor
Just wait till someone does some serious digging on Senator Kerry's Vietnam service record. They might find out that most of the decorations Kerry got were undeserved, and boy, will things hit the fan if that is true!
12 posted on 02/15/2004 7:06:29 AM PST by RayChuang88
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To: martin_fierro
If I were his age and had a woman with her looks and money, I'd behave myself. Kerry is too stupid to be President, never mind all the other stuff.
13 posted on 02/15/2004 7:08:20 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Puzzleman

Setting a bookmark for later read

14 posted on 02/15/2004 7:13:12 AM PST by prairiebreeze (WMD's in Iraq -- The absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.)
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To: RayChuang88
most of the decorations Kerry got were undeserved

It's been documented: three minor shrapnel wounds (in four months), only one of which kept him out of service for "a day or two" (by Kerry's own admission).

He applied for reassignment to the States one week after the third paper cut.

15 posted on 02/15/2004 7:14:14 AM PST by angkor
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To: A.A. Cunningham
As Ann Coulter pointed out in a merciless but entirely accurate column

Man, do I love that woman!

16 posted on 02/15/2004 7:16:01 AM PST by TheGeezer (If only I had skin as thick as Ann Coulter, and but half her intelligence...)
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To: A.A. Cunningham
Just a comment on how ruthless the Democrats are. Cleland lost an ELECTION, but they trot him around claiming he is the victim of some terrible rebublican evil plot. I think the people of his state know he is a triple amputee from war time. They were convinced he was too liberal. Period. Yet the democrats have turned a loser politician into an issue.

I know republicans locally and observe them nationally. They do not exploit issues even when the democrats drop the dirty laudry in their lap! The republicans need to start thinking and arguing faster.

17 posted on 02/15/2004 7:21:52 AM PST by Williams
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To: Puzzleman
Teresa Heinz
Chairman
The Heinz Endowments
30 Dominion Tower
625 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412.281.5777
Fax: 412.281.5788
info@heinz.org
18 posted on 02/15/2004 7:29:08 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: Puzzleman
Thank you for posting the link. It was indeed enjoyable. This is my first reply on FR, although I have been reading here for awhile. I feel like I have found my home!

"Unfortunately, most politicians who say ''this election is about the future'' haven't given it a moment's thought".

True Words. With the dims in power, we would have NO future!

"As Ann Coulter pointed out in a merciless but entirely accurate column, it wasn't on the 'battlefield'."

I just love Ann! I have noticed that whenever a Republican uses absolute "facts" or "truth" in THE debate, dims decry "They're going negative, attack-dog politics, politics of personal destruction. Don't impune my partiotism, Kerry is a War hero, how dare you try to paint him as anti-defense etc".

We need to borrow a phrase (slightly modified) from Harry Truman. "We point out his record and the facts, and THEY just think it's attack politics. His record is what it is".

LibLieSlayer
19 posted on 02/15/2004 7:29:43 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Show Kerry the door in 2004!)
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To: Williams
I agree. McAwful has been trotting out Cleland as an example of the way republicans treat "war heros," implying that his service was somehow impugned. It had nothing to do with his service...but specifically his voting record. Cleland was one of the Dems who held up the Homeland Security Act because he supported the unions rights over the Presidents obigation to defend the nation. The Democrats are using Cleland in the same way they will attempt to defend Kerry...claiming that a "war hero" can do no wrong when it comes to policy issues.
20 posted on 02/15/2004 7:40:26 AM PST by cwb (Kerry may have saved one man but he abandoned thousands of others)
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To: Puzzleman
. . . insight, humor and a touch of Anne Coulter -- just another great article from Mark Steyn!!
21 posted on 02/15/2004 8:02:05 AM PST by DrDeb
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To: Puzzleman
Please, don't excerpt unless necessary. Already too much of that going on, especially with Steyn columns.


If you own a computer or listen to talk radio or read the British or Australian papers, you'll know that John Kerry is currently beset by rumors of interns. By the time you read this, it may be that America's genteel broadsheets and network news shows will have overcome their squeamishness and tiptoed gingerly down the path blazed by Drudge and Fleet Street, or it may be that they decide to investigate it a bit longer, just to get chapter and verse nailed down, which means you may not get to read about it till, oh, midway through President Kerry's second term.

Now let me say that I've no idea whether there's anything to the alleged intern business but . . . what's the word Howard Dean uses when he's on NPR and he wants to air some conspiracy theory about whether Bush was tipped off in advance about 9/11? Ah, yes, ''interesting.'' It's an ''interesting'' story. And, if you think we should have concrete proof before we bring it up, then I take the line Wes Clark does when he's asked to substantiate the wild claim made at a Clark event about whether Bush is a ''deserter'' and Clark replies he has no proof Bush isn't a deserter. I've no proof Kerry isn't an adulterer.

Nonetheless, while I enjoy ''the politics of personal destruction'' as much as the next chap, I've no desire to fight the 2004 election on anything as quaintly anachronistic as an intern scandal. That's so last millennium. On the other hand, so is Kerry droning on about Vietnam at every campaign stop and traveling the country with his own personal VFW detail. This year more than ever, the hack politician's laziest platitude is true: ''This election is about the future.''

Unfortunately, most politicians who say ''this election is about the future'' haven't given it a moment's thought. Say what you like about us right-wing war mongers, but after Sept. 11 we abandoned our long-cherished theories of realpolitik -- find your local strongman and shovel millions of dollars at him -- as inadequate, and indeed part of the problem. Sentimental liberal internationalism -- everything has to be done through the U.N., no matter how stinkingly corrupt and ineffectual it is -- is just as inadequate to the challenges of the age. Yet Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean and the rest of the left cling to it like a security blanket. Ask them anything about foreign policy, and they sing like the Von Trapp children, ''We need to get the U.N. in there.'' As Sam Goldwyn said, ''I'm sick of the old cliches. Bring me some new cliches.''

And few people are so in need of some new cliches as the Democratic Party. That's why they've wound up running on the twin planks of where Kerry was in the late '60s and where George W. Bush wasn't in the early '70s. You could hardly ask for a neater precis of the atrophied boomer heart of the Dems than their decision to fight the 2004 election on the oldies station slogan of ''Where were you in '72?''

In 2002, the Dems had no ideas and they ran on biography: In Missouri, Jean Carnahan was the brave widow of the late governor; in Georgia, Max Cleland was a Vietnam veteran and triple amputee; in Minnesota, Walter Mondale was the lion of the '84 campaign and a friend of Paul Wellstone. In all three cases the public shrugged and voted Republican. These are serious times and they demand politicians rise to them.

Yet here we are two years later, and they're running on biography all over again. But this time their chosen biography is Vietnam, and for many Americans, and especially boomer Democrats, that's far more psychologically complicated. Look at Kerry's stump speech: ''We band of brothers,'' he says, indicating his fellow veterans. ''We're a little older, we're a little grayer, but we still know how to fight for this country.'' Thirty years ago, he came back from Vietnam and denounced his ''band of brothers'' as a gang of drug-fueled torturers, rapists and murderers.

These versions are not reconcilable. When he was palling around with Jane Fonda in the '70s, he hated the military. It wasn't just that he opposed the war but that he accused his ''band of brothers'' of a level of participation in war crimes and civilian atrocities unmatched by the Japanese, the Nazis and the Soviets. If he'd said, ''We band of brothers . . . We're a little older, we're a little grayer, but we still know how to get high, murder the gooks and rape their womenfolk,'' it would at least have been consistent with his congressional testimony.

So one John Kerry is a fake. Which is it? The Jane Fonda in pants of the early '70s? Or the Bob Hope USO tour Kerry of today? Running on biography is lame enough. Running on fake biography is pathetic.

Likewise, Max Cleland, the former Georgia senator turned cable show hit man for the Kerry campaign on the Bush National Guard ''scandal.'' He's untouchable because, as Terry McAuliffe likes to say, he's a ''triple amputee who left three limbs on the battlefield of Vietnam.''

As Ann Coulter pointed out in a merciless but entirely accurate column, it wasn't on the ''battlefield.'' It wasn't in combat. He was working on a radio relay station. He saw a grenade dropped by one of his colleagues and bent down to pick it up. It's impossible for most of us to imagine what that must be like -- to be flown home, with your body shattered, not because of some firefight, but because you made a stupid mistake. Once upon a time, Cleland loathed the Silver and Bronze Stars he'd been given: He was, in his words, ''no hero'' -- which is true. He was a beneficiary of the medal inflation that tends to accompany unpopular wars. But Cleland learned to stop hating himself to the point where he's happy to be passed off as a hero wounded in battle because that makes him a more valuable mascot to the campaign. Sad.

Next to these deceptions -- and self-deceptions -- what are Dems hoping to pin on Bush? Thanks to Kerry in his Hanoi Jane period, Vietnam was a disaster for America that gave the establishment a wholly irrational fear of almost every ramshackle Third World basket case on the planet. Look at what everyone from Arthur Schlesinger to Chris Matthews wrote about the ''unconquerable'' Afghans only two years ago. That defeatism was the Kerry legacy from the '70s: a terrified, Kerrified America. If he wants to fight Campaign 2004 on Vietnam, then, as he would say, bring it on.

22 posted on 02/15/2004 8:07:41 AM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...
Steyn ping. I hope quidunc syndrome isn't spreading.
23 posted on 02/15/2004 8:09:42 AM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: scholar; Bullish; linear; yoda swings; Pokey78
Ping
24 posted on 02/15/2004 8:10:26 AM PST by knighthawk (Live today, there is no time to lose, because when tomorrow comes it's all just yesterday's blues)
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To: Pokey78
quidunc

?

25 posted on 02/15/2004 8:11:27 AM PST by Huck (OK. I'm over it.)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Huck
quidnunc, the high priest of unnecessary excerpting. I dropped an 'n'.

Long night last night. ;-D

27 posted on 02/15/2004 8:13:49 AM PST by Pokey78 (Steyn: Leftists demonize Wolfowitz because his name begins with a big scary animal and ends Jewishly)
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To: Huck
quidunc = quidnunc
28 posted on 02/15/2004 8:14:25 AM PST by ru4liberty (I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow. May His Name ever be praised!)
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To: angkor
My wife, who is Vietnamese, never once heard of these alleged atrocities on the Delta. How is it that Kerry knows of them, but the Vietnamese both here in the U.S. and those still living on the Delta have not?

Because there are some documented cases; because Kerry palled around with phony vets; because in a guerrilla war the enemy sets up villages to look like enemies, and innocent people get killed. There are plenty of instances that can be reinterpreted by Kerry's vision of things.

29 posted on 02/15/2004 8:19:47 AM PST by js1138
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To: Puzzleman
As Ann Coulter pointed out in a merciless but entirely accurate column, it wasn't on the ''battlefield.'' It wasn't in combat. He was working on a radio relay station. He saw a grenade dropped by one of his colleagues and bent down to pick it up. It's impossible for most of us to imagine what that must be like -- to be flown home, with your body shattered, not because of some firefight, but because you made a stupid mistake

Actually, I believe Ann's column was merciless and not entirely accurate.

30 posted on 02/15/2004 8:21:46 AM PST by Huck (OK. I'm over it.)
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To: Pokey78
the high priest of unnecessary excerpting

I'm out of the loop on this one.

31 posted on 02/15/2004 8:22:26 AM PST by Huck (OK. I'm over it.)
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the full article!

32 posted on 02/15/2004 8:26:17 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: Huck; quidnunc
Go to quid's profile page and click on his posts. You will see that he ALWAYS excerpts his posts, no matter what publication it's from. Then a FReeper will come along to gripe and snarl at him for excerpting and then someone will post the entire article. It's a dance.

Now, you're in the loop!

Hi quid! :D
33 posted on 02/15/2004 8:29:11 AM PST by ru4liberty (I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow. May His Name ever be praised!)
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To: martin_fierro
I assume this photo is a few years old - she doesn't look 65!
34 posted on 02/15/2004 8:30:02 AM PST by ghost of nixon
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To: LibLieSlayer
"We point out his record and the facts, and THEY just think it's attack politics. His record is what it is".

I agree! When Gillespie said that Kerry is a liberal Democratic senator from Massachusetts, the Kerry camp called foul. Go figure!

35 posted on 02/15/2004 8:31:33 AM PST by Puzzleman
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To: js1138
There are plenty of instances that can be reinterpreted by Kerry's vision of things.

Why don't the Vietnamese themselves know of these "plenty of instances"? They were there, they talk, they would know. Why don't they?

Quite the opposite, every Vietnamese person I know - and that's substantially more than a handful - has the highest regard for U.S. troops on the Delta, whereas they absolutely despise the French and Japanese, and their behavior there is recalled as a horrorshow.

It's like the alleged Vietnamese "witness" to the Bob Kerry incident in Thanh Phong: the place was a known VC hamlet, the villagers all hardcore VC, and the "witness" herself was the wife of an admitted and longstanding VC operative (who presumably was out on a mission, since he all the other males were absent that night).

Nope, Kerry was and is a phan boi. Period.

36 posted on 02/15/2004 8:33:02 AM PST by angkor
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To: ru4liberty
Thank you :-)

Hey quidnunc! Quid it!

37 posted on 02/15/2004 8:33:32 AM PST by Huck (OK. I'm over it.)
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To: Chi-townChief
Personally, I believe that Ketchup Boy has no vision for America beyond his next haircut.

I must disagree. A haircut can be six weeks away.

Kerry's vision goes no further than tomorrow's poll numbers.

38 posted on 02/15/2004 8:35:47 AM PST by Right_in_Virginia
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To: jocon307
Read my new favorite paraphrase of a Steyn quote in my tagline.
39 posted on 02/15/2004 8:37:20 AM PST by MEG33 (John Kerry's been AWOL for two decades on issues of National Security!)
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To: Puzzleman
Once you have opened a can of worms, it is a little distracting trying to gather them up again. So which John Kerry are we supposed to identify at the real thing? Was he a war hero, only to come home disillusioned and ready to support every effort he could to "end the madness"? Or was he beneficiary of a policy of overlooking lapses in judgment because of some predetermined career in elective political office? It is true that he was out on the cutting edge of getting harm's way, running that boat up and down the Mekong River. But were some of the evidences of harm due either to careless behavior, or were they so superficial as to be largely a product of inflamed imagination? The reported bravery probably looked pretty good on paper later, but how do we know it was not just staged, as so much else Kerry has done in life?

And as for his post-service actions in supporting the termination of hostilities in Viet Nam, how much of his indigantion was directed at the North Viet Namese and the Viet Cong, for refusing to come to a negotiation table in good conscience? They had been beaten militarily, without the added outrages of atrocities against civilians (which nobody seems to remember so vividly as Kerry describes them), and the US was willing to negotiate the terms of their surrender. But no, the Americans had to be humbled, humbled so badly they would never again go to war. For anything. Ever. This seemed to be the overwhelming objective.

And it has almost worked. Except that nobody seems to remember why the Viet Nam war was engaged in the first place. This was really an experiment in "measured warfare", the kind of war where gentlemen would draw up some strategy in a war room, and play it out as a chess game, to show the other side they were serious players.

AND THE OTHER SIDE, BEING GENTLEMEN,PLAYED BY THE RULES.

Of course they did. Keenly aware that the American public was meticulous about behaving well in all circumstances, a number of "set-ups" were prepared, which had tested well against the French earlier. The Americans were driven back into redoubts, and lured out in sorties, where there was suspected activity, and women and children were placed between the Viet Cong and the American troops, while the VC sniped at the passing patrols. Result, the return fire took out the women and children (and everybody remembers how THAT played out in the American press).

And recall, if you will, that the VC had sanctuary, where it was forbidden to pursue them, or to interdict their supply and communication lines. This went along with the policy of "containment", trying to induce the Communist-backed government to come to the negotiation tables. But why should they? America was being drained dry by this war, and fighting with such a handicap that victory was not a possibility. Sensibly, Johnson should have turned around and withdrawn all US support in Viet Nam in 1965, simply writing off the incidents of the Gulf of Tonkin. But Democrats are not sensible leaders.
40 posted on 02/15/2004 8:41:12 AM PST by alloysteel
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To: dirtboy
That is the exact paragraph I picked out of the article. It just about says it all.
41 posted on 02/15/2004 8:45:05 AM PST by McGavin999 (Evil thrives when good men do nothing!)
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To: Pokey78; Puzzleman
Thanks for posting the entire article, Pokey 78.

I refuse to give excerpted articles by Quidnunc a BUMP and especially those of the Master, Mark Steyn.

So, if I (and others) do that, Steyn articles do not get the wide coverage they deserve - plus the archive is empty of some riveting historical commentary!

42 posted on 02/15/2004 9:08:04 AM PST by Gritty ("Which Kerry is a fake?Jane Fonda in pants of the '70s or the Bob Hope USO Tour of today?-Mark Steyn)
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To: Pokey78
Sublime as usual. Thanks Poke.
43 posted on 02/15/2004 9:09:06 AM PST by LisaFab
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To: Puzzleman
Mark Steyn, just fabulous as usual. BUMP
44 posted on 02/15/2004 9:10:35 AM PST by Agent Smith
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To: alloysteel
Being born in 1961 and the product of schools that never taught history past the Civil War, I thank you.

I never knew how vile and unfair that war was.
45 posted on 02/15/2004 9:11:22 AM PST by netmilsmom (Don't put a question mark where God put a period.)
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To: LibLieSlayer
Welcome to Free Republic. That was a fine first post.
46 posted on 02/15/2004 9:11:28 AM PST by kitkat (purr, purr, SNOOZE)
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To: LibLieSlayer
"This is my first reply on FR..."

Welcome aboard.


47 posted on 02/15/2004 9:21:17 AM PST by edwin hubble
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To: Puzzleman
Steyn never fails to impress. Truly the most brilliant wordsmith working today. He has encyclopedic knowledge, wit and verve, inventive phrasing, a clear eye and street smarts. He has it all.
48 posted on 02/15/2004 9:22:59 AM PST by beckett
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"So one John Kerry is a fake. Which is it? The Jane Fonda in pants of the early '70s? Or the Bob Hope USO tour Kerry of today? Running on biography is lame enough. Running on fake biography is pathetic."

Steyn is a genius. Brilliant, once again...

49 posted on 02/15/2004 9:24:17 AM PST by Lyford
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To: LibLieSlayer
We need to borrow a phrase (slightly modified) from Harry Truman. "We point out his record and the facts, and THEY just think it's attack politics. His record is what it is".

Great first post, LibLieSlayer! Love the modified HST quote.

Welcome to FreeRepublic!

50 posted on 02/15/2004 9:39:24 AM PST by RottiBiz
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