Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Kerry’s moment of peril

Andrew Busch article explains "Kerry’s Moment of Peril." Busch is very clear on attack on Kerry: "The attack has two parts, which together form a serious threat to Kerry’s position in the race. First, the Swift Boat Veterans allege that Kerry’s heroics in the Vietnam War were overstated and his wounds minor. Second, they insist on reminding voters of Kerry’s scurrilous conduct after he returned from service, when he devoted his energy to serving as a font of sound-bites for the North Vietnamese propaganda machine."

Taken by themselves these allegations don’t seem to be enough to derail a presidential campaign, so why have these charges taken their toll? The answer is that Kerry has staked almost everything on biography (almost to the exclusion of political record, or issues). So the thrust of the first Swift Boat Veterans’ attack brought into question whether Kerry’s self-image from Vietnam was accurate. But the second line of attack which stands on its own, and does not depend on the first. Busch: "Indeed, one could concede that Kerry’s version of his Vietnam service was entirely correct and still turn against him on the basis of his later activity. After all, whether one is a war hero might be said to depend on the overall degree to which one contributed to the military cause of one’s country. We do not call Benedict Arnold a war hero, even though he led the charge that broke the British at Saratoga. His subsequent betrayal negates Saratoga, as Kerry’s subsequent behavior leaves open the question of whether he cost more lives—American and Vietnamese—out of uniform than he saved while in uniform. To the extent that his actions contributed to the victory of Stalinism in Indochina, it is obtuse to consider him a ’war hero’ in any meaningful sense." Touche!   

Discussions - 4 Comments

When you were sent to Viet Nam in the "Kerry " days you were to serve 365 days in country or 13 months if you were a Marine. People knew their obligation to their unit was greater than their desire to go home. Some guys came back from the hospitals in Japan to re-unite with their units knowing that someone else would have to carry their load if they didn’t.

Not Kerry, he got his trophies in four months and turned his back on his unit.

In short there were only two kinds of people that left Viet Nam early...casualties and cowards.

The comparison with Benedict Arnold is absurd. Benedict Arnold worked against America militarily and tried to aid its destruction. Kerry served very well according to those who served with him as well as his records. He came back and said that the war was not worth the 40,000 American lives the previous years and that our conduct was unbecoming American ideals. If that is betrayal, then the soldier who slipped the CD’s of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse is a traitor.

I couldn’t agree more that the things the Vietnam Vets for Truth keep bringing up is slowly letting the air out of Kerry’s campaign tires. I also hope that the Vets keep talking about their issues because I think it’s important for people to know a lot about the 4 months of Kerry’s life that he is basing his whole campaign around.

An interesting article that was in Arizona State University’s liberal newspaper this week can be read at:
The editorial is by a conservative and he also talks about how these new issues are hurting Kerry. The best part about the blog site I mentioned above is that it is run by a conservative college student. I guess there is hope for a better tomorrow!

If that is betrayal, then the soldier who slipped the CD’s of Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse is a traitor.

Abu Ghraib was a specific instance, in a specific time and place, and the abuses were committed by particular individuals who are being tried for their actions. It was not a blanket indictment of America’s efforts in Iraq (much as some on the Left attempted to make it so). On the contrary, Kerry’s testimony was non-specific, and implied that, in fact, most soldiers routinely engaged in atrocities. Moreover, the charge was directly tied to the question of the morality of the war--a non sequitur, since atrocities can occur in just wars (U.S. forces committed their share in the Pacific in World War II), and unjust ones may be fought cleanly.

Of course what Kerry did doesn’t rise to Benedict Arnold’s level of treachery, but no one is suggesting that the senator be tried for treason. We are merely questioning his fitness to serve in the highest office in the land, particularly as he has made his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign.

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