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Saturday, August 07, 2004
John Kerry and the Vietnam Sham
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.
Posted at Saturday, August 07, 2004 by CavalierX
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 8, 2004 12:26 AM PDT
This is just what we've been discussing over on Downeast.
When Kerry saluted and said "Reporting for Duty", it made me wonder if he was suggesting that if elected, he would put his Nam experience to use by putting on a uniform, grabbing a rifle, jumping into a swift boat and patrolling the Potomac
August 8, 2004 12:42 AM PDT
I wonder how many anti-war Liberal Democrats actually cringed when he did that, and decided on the spot to vote for Nader... or nobody? It was so overdone. On the plus side, this whole War Hero thing is helping to accelerate the coming split in the Democratic party.
August 8, 2004 04:57 PM PDT
Another prime example of the extreme bias of the mainstream media against President Bush. He released his freakin' DENTAL records, and that wasn't enough for the AWOL squawkers! Why won't they demand that Kerry come clean? We know the answer, don't they--anybody but Bush!
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 8, 2004 06:09 PM PDT
This Vietnam heroism b.s. is just TOO much. The more I read about Kerry's testimony to Congress during the "Winter Soldier's Investigation", the activities of the VVAW, the more I am disgusted by John F. Kerry.
|Mark from Colorado |
August 9, 2004 12:31 AM PDT
Maybe the people have a right to know about John Kerry what the media won't tell them, that John Kerry isn't considered a war hero in the eyes of many who served with him for several reasons.
Sure, scrutiny of Kerry's US Senate voting record is more appropriate. But that discussion can take place in addition to the discussion regarding Kerry's role in the Vietnam war and in anti-war activity.
For some voters, things like integrity, character, honesty and credibility matter more than votes on the US Senate floor. I am not one of those people, but there are millions of voters who could be pursuaded by what the Swift Vets have to say, if only they are heard without the media filter.
August 9, 2004 08:06 AM PDT
That's a big "if," Mark, and that's the problem. People who follow this election via the media will never see a fair hearing of the Swift Vets. Any mention of Vietnam will be spun by the media into one of two stories:
1) Kerry is a big-time war hero
2) anyone who questions him is scum
And while the controversy rolls on, no one will be talking about his record, which is the best indication of his REAL positions on the issues, since he will SAY whatever it takes to get elected.
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 9, 2004 10:16 AM PDT
I just read this in a Susan Estrich column (which contains an attempt to discredit the Swift Boat vets. I found it interesting that she includes Clinton in this paragraph:
"The White House has said it does not believe that this election should be run on the issue of John Kerry's Vietnam War record. If it is, George Bush can only lose. He wasn't a hero - like Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney, he did everything he could to avoid service in a dangerous war. He did not save anyone's life but his own."
But I thought the Dems were "OK" with Bill Clinton dodging military service?
I think Susan better watch out waht she says in her zeal to promote her buddy John Kerry.
August 9, 2004 08:44 PM PDT
Thanks for posting such a positive
article on the Swiftvets.com
website. Your words are very
appreciated here and there.
That "reporting for duty" is a hoot.
August 9, 2004 09:06 PM PDT
I'm grateful someone thought enough of it to post it there. It makes me sick at heart to think about how so many Vietnam veterans have been forced to dredge up their memories of what Kerry did to them with his lies all those years ago, and I wish he hadn't decided to make Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. Maybe it's a good thing to get the truth out at last, but it shouldn't have anything to do with the election. Every vet who speaks out against Kerry is going to be slandered and spat on by the Left ALL OVER AGAIN before this is over, and it isn't right.
Then again, when is doing the right thing ever easy?
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 9, 2004 10:02 PM PDT
I read in an article that in an interview last Feb, Kerry DENIED accusing soldiers of war crimes. Does he not realize that his testimony is on tape? Of course, the mainstream media will never show it, so a lot of folks will never see it.
August 9, 2004 10:59 PM PDT
Well, Jamie, Liberals think that if they can lie with a straight face, they'll be believed. Problem is, it only works on other Liberals.
August 10, 2004 07:17 AM PDT
We have very few real journalists anymore. Most who label themselves as such are just propaganda hacks for the DNC. The biggest thing that makes the Swiftvets credible is that the only defense by Kerry so far is to descredit them and threaten anybody with an opposing view. Reminds me of politics in some third world countries.
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 11, 2004 02:24 PM PDT
This is interesting:
Yesterday, when a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth announced it would run ads critical of John Kerry, the sources of the Veterans’ funding was immediately reported and scrutinized. The finances of the Vote for Change tour deserve similar scrutiny. (Its the concert tour by the likes of Springstein, etc, to support J. Kerry.)
According to a press release by the organizers, the Vote for Change tour is sponsored by MoveOn PAC, with proceeds going to America Coming Together (ACT). ACT is a 527 organization bankrolled substantially by Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros.
August 11, 2004 02:50 PM PDT
>ACT is a 527 organization
>bankrolled substantially by
>Hungarian-born billionaire George
And the media is just as rabid to trumpet the sources of MoveOn's funding and accuse Soros of being tied to the Democratic party, right? Right?
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 11, 2004 09:38 PM PDT
Sure they are. I believe that, just as I believe John and Teh-rez-a LOVE eating at Wendy's and are "regular" people who care about US, the commoners.
|Mark - Brooklyn |
August 12, 2004 07:09 PM PDT
Wasn't the whole "reporting for duty" thing a bit schizophrenic?
I mean, if half of the Left is convinced that there *is no real terrorist threat*, and the other half is convinced that the war can be won through negotiations and truckling up to our 'allies', what kind of duty is Kerry reporting for?
Isn't that a bit of glaring cognitive dissonance?
August 12, 2004 07:28 PM PDT
>Wasn't the whole "reporting for
>duty" thing a bit schizophrenic?
The whole Democratic party is a bit schizophrenic. I've been predicting a split between the far-left wackos and the "mainstream" Democrats for a year now; Kerry's in-your-face emphasis on his Vietnam service and "tough guy" rhetoric as he runs for the center is only hastening the split.
|Jamie from Alabama |
August 12, 2004 11:27 PM PDT
Bill Maher was on Hannity and Colmes tonight and he expressed his "displeasure" at Kerry about his changing his stance on the war.
And he went on and on about the 7 minutes, which he says has now been "determined to be 27 minutes". The President "choked".
That is so much b-s.
August 13, 2004 12:19 AM PDT
Frankly, I've always been rather impressed that the Secret Service only took seven minutes to vet out an alternate route to the airport. What do the Libs expect the President of the United States to do, go and sit in the HALLWAY while the Secret Service makes sure it's safe to move him? Of course, Kerry admitted that he himself was "unable to think" for forty minutes, but you won't see Michael Moore putting THAT in a movie.