Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Kerry’s two Vietnams

Mac Owens pretty much nails down the Kerry, Swifties, and Vietnam issue in one good article. He says that he regrets that so much of the commentary stemming from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads focuses on what Kerry did in Nam. He thinks the real point of it all is what Kerry did and said after he got back. I agree with Mac in this and think that the Swit Boats’ efforts have already brought Kerry’s anti-war activity to the attention of the public. It is that activity that really makes the Swifties angry, hence their work. Mac’s last paragraph: "As a correspondent pointed out to me in an e-mail, each episode of the HBO series Band of Brothers, begins with a voiceover in which the narrator says of the World War II soldiers portrayed in the program: ’I was not a hero, but I was surrounded by heroes.’ In contrast, what John Kerry is saying in essence about his ’band of brothers’ is that ’in Vietnam, I was a hero, but I was surrounded by war criminals.’"   

Discussions - 10 Comments

what I find odd about this line of attack is that no one disputes that atrocities were committed by American soldiers in Vietnam. Obviously not all or most soldiers took part, but they did happen. Some of these soldiers told Kerry about them and that is what he reported, "... I was told about many atrocities..."

I understand why some vets would be hurt, but it doesn’t change the validity of what he did.

Comment 1 is nonsense. Kerry represented that horrible war crimes were the rule, not the exception. He talked of cutting off heads, ears and other body parts, of raping and killing innocents. The truth was that many of the American casualties were suffered as our people tried to minimize civilian casualties. Read up on the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Many of them were Vets who had never served in Vietnam and some had never even been in the Military. The cofounder of the group with Kerry claimed to be an airforce pilot who bomb innocent villages. Turned out he was an airforce staff sargent who got disablility for and injury suffered playing volleyball.

Kerry dishonored his "band of brothers" and lied through his teeth. Kerry is an asshole.

having listened to his testimony before congress, I certainly didn’t get the impression that he said these atrocities were the rule.

Also, I think everyone would appreciate if we refrained from crude epithets towards any of the presidential candidates. Both of them are patriots who love and serve their country.

You have been sucked in by the events (some real, some imagined, some invented by the media, some embellished by the media, some created by anti-American elements operating in this country at the time) that were reported as fact. You need to understand the truth about VietNam as opposed to what was reported in the media. Mac Owens is the guy to read to accomplish this. Also, for some great irony, read "No More VietNams" by one Richard Millhouse Nixon. A great read, with straight to the bone honest commentary about the war, and, more importantly, what happened after. Of course, that is the ironic part.
Bottom line, the atrocities that were reported as fact at the time mostly didn’t happen. Guys like John Kerry lied about that. Personally, I don’t think Senator Kerry is an asshole, as that would imply some degree of intestinal fortitude. In my opinion, the term applies more aptly to Thereza.

Christopher --- You choose to hide your head in the sand because that is what is most palitable to you. You choose to latch on the those few reports that state the events in Vietnam were few and far between because that is what is most palitable to you. Read richard Nixon for fact? Now you have to be joking!!!!!

My brother-in-law served in Vietnam and has never spoken of anything regarding his experience. I asked him one question "Did what John Kerry say happened really happen". His one word response was "Yes".

People who commit crime and can get away with the crime do not run to the authorities to correct their oversight!!!!

So then GT, what you are saying is that you support a war criminal and traitor? As evidence by what John Kerry has said and done, in that, he has admitted to committing crimes while in VietNam and has testified to illegally negotiating with the enemy to withdraw troops.

Just so we know here you stand.

The Swift Boat Veterans are in something of a Catch 22. Their first ad may well be more politically effective, because it has more vets speaking into the camera, and because it concerns a simple issue that will catch the attention of the politically simple people who dominate the pool of undecideds and weak leaners. But the
issue is not politically that substantive, and voters may well shrug it off because think most politicians are liars anyway.

The second ad may be less effective because it has fewer vets, because it’s competing with the service record for public attention, and because it concerns an ideological issue that most undecideds either have a hard time understanding or would rather forget, if indeed they remember it at all. On the other hand, the first ad is easier to refute in the public mind, whereas Kerry’s Senate testimony and anti-war activities are largely undeniable and are less susceptible of spin.

Overall, the ads have a limited effect and will not culminate in a decisive firestorm, because the mainstream media still determine whether firestorms occur or not. We can hope that they sway a few thousand votes in a few key states. Whether that is enough will be decided somewhere else in the campaign.

I think Michael is right on. But here’s some other food for thought on Kerry and his Vietnam and why his service should be addressed, not only what Kerry did after his discharge. Maybe this has already been addressed and I missed it.

Many in USA and around the world believe soldiers involved in Abu Ghraib prison abuse should be tried in court, and convicted if found guilty. John Kerry admitted to doing far worse than these prison guards. Either he made his material up for the shows, or he should still pay for his crimes against humanity by going to prison. Which is it?

Here are Kerry’s exact Quotes of what he said he himself did:

"There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, 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. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50 calibre machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant Calley, are war criminals."
John Kerry on NBC’s "Meet the Press" April 18, 1971

"I personally didn’t see personal atrocities in the sense I saw somebody cut a head off or something like that," Kerry said. "However, I did take part in free-fire zones, I did take part in harassment and interdiction fire, I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these acts, I find out later on, are contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg Principles, is in fact guilty."
John Kerry on "The Dick Cavett Show", June 30, 1971

or he should still pay for his crimes against humanity by going to prison. Which is it?
Interesting question about a very serious matter. Perhaps it’s time for another CID or comparable investigation. What does everyone think?

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