Skip to comments.John Kerry and the Vietnam Sham
Posted on 08/08/2004 10:54:56 AM PDT by LibWhacker
Everyone knows by now that John Kerry served for four months on a "swift boat" in Vietnam. Don't say you haven't heard, unless you've spent the last year in a cave. Kerry mentions it several times per minute in every campaign speech he intones. He deflects nearly every question asked of him by holding up his Naval service in 1968 and 1969, especially questions about his plans for national security and defense should he become President. His campaign ads feature pictures of him in uniform. Former servicemen flank him at every campaign stop, some of whom even served with him. When he made his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, he made a show of saluting the audience and "reporting for duty." (Perhaps President Bush should take him at his word, and send him to Iraq.) The "highlight" of the evening was a nine-minute biographical movie directed by Steven Spielberg protege James Moll, and narrated by Morgan Freeman. The bulk of the movie featured -- surprise! -- John Kerry in Vietnam, including footage filmed at the time by Kerry, or at his direction. (No one, of course, seems to have asked who gave him authorisation to use military personnel to shoot his personal home movies if the films were actually shot while in combat. No one has asked who authorised him to take military transport and personnel to visit areas where action had taken place in order to recreate the action for his own purposes, if the films were shot while off duty.)
So... we get it. John Kerry was in Vietnam. What no one can explain is how that alone qualifies him to be President of the United States. No one can explain how spending four months on a patrol boat thirty-five years ago is a better qualification than spending the last three years destroying terrorist training camps, breaking up terror cells in the US and abroad, uncovering a multinational nuclear proliferation ring, forcing belligerent North Korea to the bargaining table, cowing Libya into giving up its WMD programs and terrorist support, and winning two wars against terrorist-supporting Islamofascist dictatorships in the process.
Now a group of Kerry's fellow swift boat veterans has spoken out against him, saying that his service was undeserving of the medals he won in those four months. They claim that he was untrustworthy and manipulative. They call his leadership of Vietnam Veterans Against the War treasonous, pointing to the lies told about soldiers before Congress in the Winter Soldier investigation. They say that he isn't worthy of being entrusted with the Presidency of the United States, in their opinion. The media, if doing its job, would be asking for proof of their accusations about Kerry's deeds and misdeeds, so the truth can be exposed to public view. When President Bush's Air National Guard service was questioned, the media repeatedly demanded that he provide proof of his service. Instead, the "mainstream" media is obsessed with the group's sources of funding. The media never seems to mention multi-billionaires George Soros and Peter Lewis funding MoveOn.org and other anti-Bush political action committees (PACs). Democrats are shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that some Republicans may have contributed money to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. I'm not sure I understand their rather one-sided objections. Are the same Democrats equally outraged that Soros and Lewis contributed to the Kerry campaign? Democrats attack the swift boat veterans as liars (though how they know this is unclear). Are they as outraged by the outright lies and manipulations in Michael Moore's hours-long anti-Bush commercial? No... they give Moore a seat in former President Jimmy Carter's skybox at the 2004 Democratic convention.
The reason Kerry showcases his brief Vietnam service is three-fold. First, doing so paints him as a tough combat veteran -- precisely the image a Liberal Democrat needs to cultivate when trying to convince most Americans to vote for him, especially during a war. Second, it insulates him from questions about defending America from our enemies -- President Bush's strength. When the answer to any question is, "I served in Vietnam, so I know what I'm doing," there's nothing a non-veteran can say without appearing to attack his Vietnam service. That's where people like these swift boat veterans, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry and POW/MIA Families Against John Kerry come in, people who can ask questions about Kerry's Vietnam service and his anti-war activism upon his return. However, doing so plays right into Kerry's third reason for touting his abbreviated Vietnam tour. Talking about Vietnam generates headlines for a media generally devoted to convincing the American people to vote for Kerry.
Personally, I don't care about Kerry's Vietnam service in the context of the Presidential election. I'm grateful that he and more than three million Americans served in that war. If this election was being held to decide who was the better swift boat commander, then John Kerry would win hands-down over George w. Bush... although Bush would probably win an election for best fighter pilot. But it's not about that. This election is to decide who should lead the nation through the troubling and dangerous four years ahead. We're still recovering from the terrible effects of 9/11, a massive recession, the exposure of long-term corporate scandals that further rocked the economy, and the first two major battles of a war that will likely span decades. The 2004 election should be about experience -- recent, relevant experience. "What have you done for us lately?" is the question we should be asking the candidates.
John Kerry was on the Senate Intelligence Committee for eight years in the 1990s, so he had access to up-to-date information on al-Qaeda and its activities. What steps did he take to fight terrorism? Why did he propose cutting the military in bill S.1163, just months after the 1993 World Trade Center terrorist bombing? Two years later, why did he propose in bill S.1290 to "reduce the Intelligence budget by $300 million in each of fiscal years 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000?" In 1996, why did Kerry propose in bill S.1580 to reduce military funding by $6.5 billion? Why did he vote against funding vital military equipment like the MX missile, the Patriot missile, the Apache helicopter, the Blackhawk helicopter, the B-1 Bomber and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, as his voting record clearly shows? More recently, why did he change his vote to deny our military in Iraq the equipment they needed so desperately? Kerry explained, "I actually voted for the $87 billion... before I voted against it." Partisans excuse his vote switch by saying that he did so only because those eeevil Republicans refused to take money from the citizens to pay for the war. Did the troops suddenly need the body armor any less? Would the bullets kill better if paid for by higher taxes instead of pork barrel reductions? In his nineteen years in the Senate, what vote, what piece of legislation can John Kerry trot out to show us he would make a better President than George Bush? Kerry's answer to questions like these is merely, "I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as president." We're back to Vietnam again, although this election is supposedly taking place in 2004.
John Kerry is hiding behind his Vietnam experience to avoid talking about the nineteen years he spent in the Senate voting against defending America, and the media is aiding and abetting him. The more we allow Vietnam to dominate the election discussions, the less we will be able to find out what a vote for Kerry would mean for our future.
Thanks for reposting this.
Phil Dragoo does a great job, and it can never be over posted.
Nice word usage, eh ;- )
It appears that the author, Joe Mariani, might be a visitor to Free Republic.
Nice word usage, eh ;- )
Excellent. Truth in a capsule statement! Bullseye.
That capsule statement might just work with some of your graphic arts.
Kerry was in Vietnam? I wonder why he never mentions it?
Pray for W and Our Troops