Skip to comments.Bring it on, John (Ollie North)
Posted on 08/26/2004 10:25:18 PM PDT by Elkiejg
"Of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: 'Bring it on.'" -- Sen. John Kerry
As usual, you have it wrong. You don't have a beef with President George Bush about your war record. He's been exceedingly generous about your military service. Your complaint is with the 2.5 million of us who served honorably in a war that ended 29 years ago and which you, not the president, made the centerpiece of this campaign.
I talk to a lot of vets, John, and this really isn't about your medals or how you got them. Like you, I have a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. I only have two Purple Hearts, though. I turned down the others so that I could stay with the Marines in my rifle platoon. But I think you might agree with me, though I've never heard you say it, that the officers always got more medals than they earned and the youngsters we led never got as many medals as they deserved.
This really isn't about how early you came home from that war, either, John. There have always been guys in every war who want to go home. There are also lots of guys, like those in my rifle platoon in Vietnam, who did a full 13 months in the field. And there are, thankfully, lots of young Americans today in Iraq and Afghanistan who volunteered to return to war because, as one of them told me in Ramadi a few weeks ago, "the job isn't finished."
Nor is this about whether you were in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, 1968. Heck John, people get lost going on vacation. If you got lost, just say so. Your campaign has admitted that you now know that you really weren't in Cambodia that night and that Richard Nixon wasn't really president when you thought he was. Now would be a good time to explain to us how you could have all that bogus stuff "seared" into your memory -- especially since you want to have your finger on our nation's nuclear trigger.
But that's not really the problem, either. The trouble you're having, John, isn't about your medals or coming home early or getting lost -- or even Richard Nixon. The issue is what you did to us when you came home, John.
When you got home, you co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War and wrote "The New Soldier," which denounced those of us who served -- and were still serving -- on the battlefields of a thankless war. Worst of all, John, you then accused me -- and all of us who served in Vietnam -- of committing terrible crimes and atrocities.
On April 22, 1971, under oath, you told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that you had knowledge that American troops "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, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam." And you admitted on television that "yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed."
And for good measure you stated, "(America is) more guilty than any other body, of violations of (the) Geneva Conventions ... the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners."
Your "antiwar" statements and activities were painful for those of us carrying the scars of Vietnam and trying to move on with our lives. And for those who were still there, it was even more hurtful. But those who suffered the most from what you said and did were the hundreds of American prisoners of war being held by Hanoi. Here's what some of them endured because of you, John:
Capt. James Warner had already spent four years in Vietnamese custody when he was handed a copy of your testimony by his captors. Warner says that for his captors, your statements "were proof I deserved to be punished." He wasn't released until March 14, 1973.
Maj. Kenneth Cordier, an Air Force pilot who was in Vietnamese custody for 2,284 days, says his captors "repeated incessantly" your one-liner about being "the last man to die" for a lost cause. Cordier was released March 4, 1973.
Navy Lt. Paul Galanti says your accusations "were as demoralizing as solitary (confinement) ... and a prime reason the war dragged on." He remained in North Vietnamese hands until February 12, 1973.
John, did you think they would forget? When Tim Russert asked about your claim that you and others in Vietnam committed "atrocities," instead of standing by your sworn testimony, you confessed that your words "were a bit over the top." Does that mean you lied under oath? Or does it mean you are a war criminal? You can't have this one both ways, John. Either way, you're not fit to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, much less commander in chief.
One last thing, John. In 1988, Jane Fonda said: "I would like to say something ... to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm ... very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families."
Even Jane Fonda apologized. Will you, John?
Good for Oliver North for his clear views.
I don't think Ketchup Boy will ever apologize for two reasons:
1) His ego is too big;
2) He still thinks he did nothing wrong.
Quick. How long before the Kerryers demand President Bush tell Oliver North to STFU?
Thank you Ollie, I've been waiting for you to speak up.
"But ollie north wasn't in john kerry's swift boat - how can he dare criticize him????"
I was wondering when Ollie would weigh in.
Go Ollie Go! Hit Kerry where it'll hurt the most;he has a glass jaw anyway.
This is outstanding!
"") His ego is too big; "
I agree totally. If he does do some kind of 'apology' it will either be a clinton-apology (I didn't do anything wrong) or an apology quickly followed by an attack on bush to try to make it all seem like bush's fault he had to apologize.
Ollie is a good guy. Great piece.
Kerry would apologize if it would help him politically. Would anyone believe him, though?
I didn't realize Jane Fonda had said that. However, like a murderer apologizing before his execution day, it's not quite good enough. But it's better than not doing so.
Great work Ollie. I learned something new too. I didn't know Fonda apologized. At least she did that, which is more than we can say for Kerry.
Dang, Ollie...THAT left a mark!
By the way, some who have read my posts know that I had a "fence-sitter" concerning this election, someone who saw "Fraud-n-hype 911" and claimed to want to hear "both sides", while constantly spewing out the Dim talking points. (almost like Rush's "seminar callers")
Well, I am happy to report that, 68 days out, she has made up her mind. She has agreed that there is one person who is more likely to keep us safe, and to aggressively prosecute the War on Terror...and he's already in office.
She will be voting for President George W. Bush.
Ollie was on Hannity's radio show a week ago talking about Kerry and the Swift Boat Vets. He said many of the same kind of things that he has written here. It was a terrific interview, and Ollie is clearly disgusted by Kerry and his ilk.
He won't apologize because he knows if he does he is toast. He's toast anyway but he thinks he has a chance because Howard Dean keeps telling him he does.
What a guy! Go, Ollie!
Here's your answer.
I heard Ollie say much of this on Fox last night....it finally clarified what the Vets are really upset about.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if he issued some sort of apology. He'll say anything to get into the White House. Will he mean it? Of course not. It'll be a purely political maneuver, but he will be aided by the lamestream who will report over and over how sincere he is and how it has nothing to do with his Presidential run. It'll be completely transparent to us and, or course to the left, with the mushy middle actually having to chew on it a while to decide whether or not they believe him, which is the whole point anyway.
Go get 'em Ollie!
Kerry's met his match in Olly.
Ollie Mania continues!!!
This is one of my favorite passages.
Ollie should be our next Secretary of State.
Yep, it's outstanding isn't it? That last sentence evidences the world of difference between John Kerry and real men like Ollie North.
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Semper Fi, Ollie
Finally the undying hatred for Hanoi John has been spelled out without partisanship blocking their brain to pen connection.
It's amazing, you can feel the festering anger. It's healing time folks. This time the battle of Vietnam is going to be won, and all those vets who have been POWs for the last 35 years are finally going to be free.
You're right. I forgot about it. Good point.
Kerry's got to know that an apology goes NOWHERE. Who accepts on behalf of the dead?
Kerry and Co. have vehemently defended his "Genghis Khan" war-crimes statements throughout the campaign, while the Dems stand by him at their own peril. How would Kerry have responded to Abu Ghraib???
Let the world know what an unfit scum sKerry really is.
Positively thee best "dear John" letter ever written.
Great article. Go get em Ollie! I hope president Bush reads this.
Ollie is being too kind here. I heard him say that John Kerry personally lied about him (Ollie) in testimony before the Senate. (Iran-Contra)
Now if John Mccain would get behind this it would attract a lot more national attention.
....I still say McCain should be driving a Budeweiser delivery route in Mesa.
BINGO! Ollie tells it like it is.
Kerry calls a press conference to apologize:
"For the past several weeks, I, John Kerry, have been the victim of a cruel, dishonest, and dishonorable smear campaign against my record in Vietnam. This smear campaign was orchestrated by George Bush & Karl Rove, as has been documented by independent and non-partisan organizations ranging from the New York Times to MoveOn.org. There are those who say I should have ignored these scurrilous attacks on my honor and dignity, but if there is one thing I learned as a Swiftboat commander in Vietnam, it is the importance of charging directly into enemy fire. In Vietnam, I was a leader of a band of brothers. Of the millions of Americans who served there, only 254 have joined the so-called Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, and none of those 254 served on my swiftboat for the entire period I was there. None were present on all three occasions when I won purple hearts. I still have shrapnel in my leg from one of those incidents. None were in any position to see absolutely everything that occurred on the occasions when I won my silver and bronze stars.
In addition to the Bush campaign attacking my war record, I have been smeared for my testimony at a 1971 congressional hearing where I defended my band of brothers by exposing what others had said about them. I told the committee that there were allegations that American soldiers cut off heads, burned down villages, and ravaged the countryside like the armies of Genghis Khan. I made it clear at the time that these were allegations made by others, and in any event it was the fault of Richard Nixon if such incidents occurred. Yet, the Republican smear campaign has tried to put words in my mouth. Having fought in Vietnam, commanded a swiftboat under intense enemy fire, led a band of brothers, won numerous awards, including three purple hearts, and still carrying shrapnel in my leg, I know a smear operation when I see one. The Republican smear is ironically similar to one launched against me by the Vietcong. Recognizing my effectiveness as a fighter, and fearing me, they took my speech out of context and broadcasted it to American prisoners of war in a blatant attempt to turn them against me.
I have also been smeared with an allegation that I met in Paris with Vietcong leaders and supported their demand for U.S. capitulation and reparations. In fact, I was visiting Paris on a vacation. As many of you know, I speak fluent French, which was a great benefit to me when commanding a Swiftboat in Vietnam, a former French colony. And, I might add, that during my tenure as a Swiftboat commander, I received a silver star, a bronze star, three purple hearts, and was regarded as a hero by my band of brothers. While in Paris, I learned of the Vietcong meeting and, through my many connections with foreign leaders....who, by the way, support my candidacy because they recognize the dangerous unilateral and un-nuanced nature of the Bush foreign policy.....I found out what was going on and reported it when I came back to America. As with my congressional testimony, I was merely reporting what I had heard. I did this to help the CIA, with whom I had developed a close relationship during secret black ops activities in Cambodia.
Despite all I have done for my country, I find myself under continuous, scurrilous, and....as Senator McCain has called it....dishonest and dishonorable attack. I thus apologize to all those veterans who have been misled about my record. I'm sorry I did not respond sooner to the attacks on my record. Perhaps I should have, but if there's anything I learned during my secret operations in Cambodia, it's that sometimes it's best to remain quiet. Unfortunately, I am now facing an opponent more depraved and ugly than the Khmer Rouge, namely the Karl Rove smear machine.
I hope that with this apology we can now return to the real issues of this campaign, such as how George Bush was AWOL from the National Guard."
WTG, LTC North!
Am I the only guy who thinks we won the Vietnam War?
US versus North Vietnam was settled right after Tet, where the Viet Cong became an extinct species.
The real war was with Soviet Russia.
A country I can't seem to find on the map anymore.