Skip to comments.Dole Blasts Kerry on Purple Hearts, Urges Apology for War Protests
Posted on 08/22/2004 10:54:07 AM PDT by Carl/NewsMax
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Lets see how the MSM spins this one. All along they've pumped the liberal line that said if you didn't see combat you had no standing to criticize Kerry. Now we see Mr. "Damn Straight I Saw Combat", Senator Dole, coming out and nailing Kerry's gnarly hide to the barn door!
Your move MSM. BWAAHAAAHHAAAAA!
John McCain on Sen. Dole's comments on Sen. Kerry's Senate record---
I think his words are dishonest and dishonorable. He should never break the Senatorial wall of silence.
Ahhh, another offering left at the altar of sarcasm
I hope the GOP will make Dole the pivot man to counteract the Kerry's non-vets who support him and attack the real vets who dont.
Ever since Bob Dole left the senate he has been a good fighter. I recall during the Florida Y2K debacle he was in the thick of it with the rallies the Bush supporters were putting on.
Thanks for the reality check, Mr. Dole!
Just when you think you really do live in a parallel universe, truth speaks to power.
Even better is that the Bob Dole interview was NOT on Fox, but on CNN, which is watched by fewer people. But CNN is likely watched by more people, who consider themselves moderates/undecided. This is growing.
The real issue is not Viet Nam. Viet Nam is a diversion from his 30+ years of public life AFTER Viet Nam.
>>Exactly...if face, I wrote to McCain and asked him that very question...when is he going to denounce Kerry's ad?<<
I did too. Told him that he was letting Kerry slam not only the POW's , but all viet Nam Vets as well. I told him if he is a true Bush supporter, than now is the time to stand up and say so.
My respect for the former senator from my state just shot up.
I gotta wonder if Dole didn't sandbag CNN and make 'em think he was going to speak out against the Swifties.
Regardless, nice work, sir!
Nixon targeted Kerry for anti-war views
White House tapes reveal then-presidents attempt to discredit Kerry during 1971 war protests, Senate testimony
By Brian Williams
Updated: 6:59 a.m. ET March 16, 2004John Kerrys first steps onto the national political stage took place back in 1971, when as a returning Vietnam War hero, Kerry led fellow veterans to Washington to protest against the Vietnam War and testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the horrors of the war he had seen first hand. Now an NBC News examination of White House audio tapes shows that Kerrys leadership drew the attention and the ire of President Richard Nixon.
Kerry was a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and went to Washington for a week in April, 1971 to protest, lobby Congress, even to return hundreds of medals and service decorations thrown into a heap on Capitol Hill. Though the president was gradually withdrawing American ground troops, the veterans said that wasnt enough. They wanted the United States to pull out immediately.
The Nixon administration went to court to block the 1,200 veterans from camping out on the Mall during their protest, but Kerry and his group stayed put. The reaction from Nixons inner circle was real contempt for the veterans. In private conversations inside the White House, Nixon called them horrible and bastards, H.R. "Bob" Haldeman described the veterans as ratty-looking, and Henry Kissinger dismissed them as inarticulate.
But John Kerry was just the opposite presentable, politically astute and very articulate. He appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to testify against the war, critical of the Presidents Vietnam policy. Someone has to die, Kerry told the committee, so that President Nixon wont be, and these are his words, the first President to lose a war.
"Well, he is sort of a phony, isn't he?
President Richard Nixon, May, 1971
Speaking with aide Charles Colson about John Kerry
Kerry also questioned the administrations strategy of gradual Vietnamization of the war pulling out U.S. ground troops, and turning the war over to the South Vietnamese military. How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? Kerry demanded. How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?
White House attention
Kerry's testimony reached a national audience, including, we now know from once-secret White House tapes, the president himself, who brought it up with his chief of staff Bob Haldeman. Here is an excerpt from a tape recorded on April 23, 1971, the day after Kerrys Senate testimony:
Nixon: Apparently, this fellow, uh, that they put in the front row, is that what you say, the front [unintelligible] the real stars Kerry.
Haldeman: Kerry. He is, he did a hell of a great job on the, uh --
Nixon: He was extremely effective.
And Haldeman concluded: I think youll find Kerry running for political office.
Extended excerpts from the Nixon White House tapes
Kerry ended his week in Washington with a speech to a huge anti-war rally at the U.S. Capitol, again pointing the finger at the Nixon administration for its conduct of the war, and its reaction to the veterans protests. This is a government that cares more about the legality of where men sleep than the legality of where we drop bombs and why men die, Kerry declared.
The Nixon White House saw Kerry as a threat, and set out to discredit him and infiltrate his organization. The week after the protest rally, Nixon is heard discussing Kerry with White House aide Charles Colson:
Colson: This fellow Kerry that they had on last week --
Colson: -- hell, he turns out to be, uh, really quite a phony.
Nixon: Well, he is sort of a phony, isn't he?
Colson: Well, he stayed, when he was here --
Nixon: Stayed out in Georgetown, yeah. 
Colson: -- was out at the best restaurants every night and, uh --
Colson: -- you know, he's just, the complete opportunist.
Nixon: A racket, sure. 
Colson: Well keep hitting him, Mr. President.
Colson was Nixons point man against Kerry, and he found a weapon in another veteran: John ONeill. He was a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, which backed Nixon administration policy in Vietnam, and in turn was supported by the White House.
Fresh out of the Navy like Kerry, ONeill was angry at Kerry for saying U.S. servicemen in Vietnam routinely committed war crimes. The weekend before the Washington protests, Kerry made the accusations on NBCs Meet the Press, saying, 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. And, Kerry claimed, I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All this is contrary to the laws of warfare.
John ONeill hit back at Kerry with administration-orchestrated press appearances of his own, including a news conference that June. ONeill asked rhetorically, Shall Mr. Kerry and his little group of one thousand or twelve thousand embittered men be allowed to represent their views as that of all veterans, because they can appear on every news program? I hope not, for the countrys sake.
After the news conference, ONeill met with Charles Colson at the White House, where the attack on Kerry was seen as a public relations coup. In a conversation with the president, Haldeman gave the credit to Charles Colson, and raved about John ONeill:
Haldeman: -- crew cut, real sharp looking guy who is more articulate than Kerry. Hes not as eloquent; he isnt the ham that Kerry is. But hes more believable. 
Haldeman: This guy now, is gonna, hes gonna move on Kerry.
This is a government that cares more about the legality of where men sleep than the legality of where we drop bombs and why men die.
John Kerry, April, 1971
Anti-war rally, U.S. Capitol
The White House encouraged ONeill to challenge Kerry to a debate. Kerry agreed and before the event, President Nixon called ONeill into the Oval Office for a pep talk. Its a great service to the country, declared the president.
Nixon: Give it to him, give it to him. And you can do it, because you have a pleasant manner, too, because youve got and I think its a great service to the country. 
Nixon: You fellows have been out there. Youve got to know, seeing the barbarians that were up against, youve got to know what were doing in that horrible swamp that North Vietnam is. Youve got to know from all our faults of what we have in this country that, that what were doing is right. Youve got to know too, people are critics. Critics of the war, critics of [unint], run America down.  Youve gotta know that youre on the winning sthat, that youre on the right side.
Two weeks later, the veterans squared off on the popular Dick Cavett show:
ONeill: Mr. Kerry is the type of person who lives and survives only on the war weariness and fears of the American people. This is the same little man who on nationwide television in April spoke of, quote, crimes committed on a day to day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
Kerry: We believe as veterans who took part in this war we have nothing to gain by coming back here and talking about those things that have happened except to try and point the way to America, to try and say, here is where we went wrong, and weve got to change.
Later that year, even as the war continued, Kerry left the increasingly radical Vietnam Veterans Against the War. But the Nixon White House kept after John Kerry. Its said that when Kerry ran for Congress in 1972, Nixon stayed up late on election night until he knew for sure that Kerry had been defeated.
12 - That article in the Harvard Crimson, you linked, from 1970, has a very important, but seldom addressed declaration:
"Kerry said that the United Nations should have control over most of our foreign military operations. "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations."
On other issues, Kerry wants "to almost eliminate CIA activity."
Good for Dole. Such a good man. A different generation and it shows, sadly enough for the younger generation.
I don't recall him speaking this harshly ever before...
To a man like Senator Dole, who uses his useless hand as a pen holder (bless him!), Kerry's claims have got to make him grind his teeth whenever the man's (for lack of a better term) name is mentioned.
"I think Sen. Kerry needs to talk about his Senate record, which is pretty thin." Dole added. "That's probably why he's talking about his war record, which is pretty confused."
Big Bob BUMP!!!
Hey, I was outside Cheney's house, too! Wonder if we bumped into one another. GET OUTTA CHENEY'S HOUSE!
Senator Dole, thank you and God Bless.
It was excellent also how he put Harkin in proper perspective.
Nice job...you've be taking lessons from MiaT, I see..
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