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Kerry went from soldier to anti-war protester (unusually great article)
Baltimore Sun ^
| February 14, 2004
| Tom Bowman
Posted on 02/15/2004 10:39:55 AM PST by 68skylark
1971: After returning from Vietnam with five medals for combat service, the young Navy veteran testified in Congress and appeared on television to talk about the horrors of the conflict.
WASHINGTON - On a spring day in 1971, a young Vietnam veteran with shaggy brown hair and clad in a khaki field jacket bedecked with battle ribbons sat before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and delivered riveting testimony.
"We had an investigation in which 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-by-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command," declared John Kerry, a 27-year-old Navy veteran.
"They told the stories [that] at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."
Kerry said more that day, much of it an impassioned argument for ending the war. But it was his words about alleged atrocities by Americans that infuriated, and bewildered, many fellow veterans of that long-ago conflict.
(Excerpt) Read more at baltimoresun.com ...
TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1971; 2004; kerry; peaceniks; vvaw; warcriminal
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Usually I feel little more than scorn for most big-time reporters, who are basically pushing a pre-determined story line about how bad the U. S. really is.
But this guy is just the opposite -- I've been following the work of Tom Bowman in the Baltimore Sun for months, and my opinion of him keeps getting higher and higher. I have no idea if he's a liberal or conservative -- he's just a damn great report IMHO.
This ia a well-balanced story about Kerry's anti-war record.
Wish I could post more of the work of this writer.
posted on 02/15/2004 10:39:55 AM PST
To: Timesink; Liz; Grampa Dave
posted on 02/15/2004 10:46:57 AM PST
(Chat is my milieu)
Kerry went from
soldier sailor to anti-war protester
posted on 02/15/2004 10:53:38 AM PST
by ASA Vet
("A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity", Sigmund Freud)
To: ASA Vet
Good point. That's one of a few quibbles I have with the article. Headline writers will never
understand that "soldier" applies only to those in an Army, not to sailors, Marines, airmen, etc. It doesn't matter how often this is pointed out.
My other quibble is more substantive. The writer says that Vietnam veterans hold Jane Fonda in special contempt. I've read this a lot and it's not really true -- hating Jane Fonda for her actions is something that can be shared by a big, broad cross-section of America. Anyone who supports the U. S. military is free to hold Jane Fonda in the deepest contempt.
Most of my information comes from www.snopes.com. They write, "It is . . . undeniable that some American soldiers came to harm as a direct result of Fonda's actions, an outcome she should reasonably have anticipated."
posted on 02/15/2004 11:01:51 AM PST
I was listening to someone on WABC radio this morning. Not sure if it was Brinkley. He was saying that while Kerry was still in the military he flew anti war activistist to different events. The question is if he flew them around while on duty???
posted on 02/15/2004 11:06:20 AM PST
It would be a lot easier for Kerry to defend his anti-war stance if he'd testified to specific incidents that he personally saw. As it is all he did was lend credence to the baby-killer talk that was in vogue with the hardcore anti-Vietnam war crowd back then.
I think Kerry went to Vietnam with the idea of establishing a name for himself to start a career in politics. When he came back he found himself just another vet with a lot of medals that no one wanted to hear from. Then he had the Vets against the war revelation and saw a way to salvage his ambitions.
His is potentially a good story for the aging anti-Vietnam war crowd, but that's about it. They can imagine how noble and brave they were for protesting for a short while. But most people don't want to be reminded of Nam one way or another. It's just so unpleasant. There's a reason we celebrate all our old wars all together and only once a year!
posted on 02/15/2004 11:11:59 AM PST
(Go Sharon! Go Bush!)
It would be a lot easier for Kerry to defend his anti-war stance if he'd testified to specific incidents that he personally saw
With him being on a patrol boat -- I doubt he saw much of anything but what he or his crew did.
Not everybody takes Kerry at his word.....well, maybe Jane Fonda (snicker).
posted on 02/15/2004 11:31:57 AM PST
Kerry was denouncing a war essentially started and actually managed by Lyndon B. Johnson. There was bound to be something wrong with it. We had American pilots unable to engage hostile MIGs; we had the 101st Airborne taking hills and giving it back to the NVA. But Kerry put the blame, not on the war's architects, but on America. On the very guys who were giving back the hills they took.
This logic is wrong, whoever utters it. His medals or lack thereof, are irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the proposition.
I didn't know the story about the soldiers who slipped Fonda notes and were beaten thereafter, was false. I had heard this for years and assumed it was true...and now they say it was "provably untrue?"
posted on 02/15/2004 12:19:09 PM PST
(Kerry may have saved one man but he abandoned thousands of others)
I like snopes so much because they're willing to debunk the things that aren't true. In the case of Fonda, I'm glad they've cleared her of some of the more lurid charges. The truth that's left is chilling enough. The way I read the snopes information, I think they've made a good case for treason.
Mackubin Thomas Owens, a Naval War College professor who led a Marine rifle platoon in Vietnam, also remains angered by Kerry's words, which he believes painted all Vietnam veterans as war criminals. While noting Kerry's "immense courage under fire,"
Mr. Kerry, please give us the citations for your medals and explain why you requested reassignment to the US after less than four months in-country.
For his part, Kerry left the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in November 1971, after 10 months with the organization, increasingly worried that it "was becoming too radical,"
According to the official VVAW website, http://www.vvaw.org/commentary/?id=397,
Since Vietnam Veterans Against the War's inception in 1967, tens of thousands of vets, GIs and supporters have participated in and supported the actions of VVAW. One of those members in the early 1970s was John Kerry. VVAW national leader Al Hubbard appointed Kerry to the VVAW Executive Committee to assist in preparing Dewey Canyon III, VVAW's limited incursion into the land of Congress in 1971. By 1972, John Kerry had moved on from VVAW. He was not one of the original founding members of VVAW in 1967.
So the spin begins. It appears that Kerry claims, according to Brinkley, only a 10 month association with VVAW, but it appears the association was longer than that. I would also question why donations to the VVAW are tax deductible currently despite the virulent anti-Bush political stance.
If Kerry left in 1972 because he felt the group was too radical, it might explain why he decided to join the naval reserve in 1972, i.e., to get on the other side of the issue to counterbalance his antiwar activities.
posted on 02/15/2004 1:32:10 PM PST
Wow, this really is a great find. Here's my favorite part:
"Guilty as Lieutenant Calley may have been of the actual act of murder, the verdict does not single out the real criminal ... the United States of America," Kerry told a noontime crowd of about 100, according to a New York Times account.
Former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, an Army captain with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam who lost both legs and his right arm when a grenade exploded near him, said Kerry was part of "the moderating force" within the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
That's a devastating juxtaposition there.
Kerry was denouncing a war essentially started and actually managed by Lyndon B. Johnson. There was bound to be something wrong with it.
Yeah, but Kerry refers to it as "Nixon's war" now, even though in 1971 he was very harsh on Johnson's architects for the war (McNamara, etc.)
Yeah, you're right. It makes you wonder what the "immoderate" opinions were among the war critics.
IIRC, The Baltimore Sun produced a really positive article about one a scientist
(immigrant from Vietnam) who helped rush forward the work on some of the
bunker-buster type bombs for going after OBL in Afghanistan.
posted on 02/15/2004 2:08:05 PM PST
To: mware; MeekOneGOP; PhilDragoo; jmstein7; ntnychik; nopardons; onyx; GeronL; Happy2BMe; ...
That was Ted Sampley, the organizer of "Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry"
He served two complete tours in Vietnam
dem ops and lib media whores are now claiming Kerry served two (2) tours in Vietnam!!!!!!!!
Kerry was first safe on a ship then:
Kerry served only four (4) months in Vietnam
Got sent home early to the USA for three (3) "injuries" for which Kerry made sure he got three (3) "Purple Hearts"
He missed two (2) whole? days duty, tops, from all three (3) tragic injuries
But Kerry refuses to release his Vietnam medical records........
He served one (1) year of active at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
- That is the suspect time while Lt. John Kerry was on active duty that Kerry flew a big anti-war protest organizer around to set up anti-war rallys
Kerry an early discharge early to run for Congress in 1972
He lost the primary
Did no Navy Reserves at all then?
Until after his protest days
In 1972 he ran for Congress and joined the Navy Reserves to grab votes, but lost in the primary
Kerry's "staff" claims Kerry went to weekly, monthly, and annual Navy Reserves "camp" from 1972-1978
But Kerry refuses to release his records.........
Did carry go to all of his required reserve duty meetings?
If not why not?
Lets see all of Kerry's records!
Slick & J-FK: http://00access.tripod.com/ValentinesDay.html
posted on 02/15/2004 2:12:59 PM PST
(THE KERRY LEGACY http://00access.tripod.com/Kerry.html BOND! http://00access.tripod.com/007.html)
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