One Vet's Perspective on Kerry

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Annie, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110004604

    Conduct Unbecoming
    Kerry doesn't deserve Vietnam vets' support.

    BY STEPHEN SHERMAN
    Monday, January 26, 2004 12:01 a.m.

    A turning point may have been reached in the Iowa caucuses when Special Forces Lt. James Rassmann came forward to thank John Kerry for saving his life in Vietnam. Although Mr. Rassmann, like most of my veteran friends, is a Republican, he said that he'd vote for Mr. Kerry. I don't know if the incident influenced the caucus results. But I took special interest in the story because Jim served in my unit.
    Service in Vietnam is an important credential to me. Many felt that such service was beneath them, and removed themselves from the manpower pool. That Mr. Kerry served at all is a reason for a bond with fellow veterans; that his service earned him a Bronze Star for Valor ("for personal bravery") and a Silver Star ("for gallantry") is even more compelling. Unfortunately, Mr. Kerry came home to Massachusetts, the one state George McGovern carried in 1972. He joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and emceed the Winter Soldier Investigation (both financed by Jane Fonda). Many veterans believe these protests led to more American deaths, and to the enslavement of the people on whose behalf the protests were ostensibly being undertaken. But being a take-charge kind of guy, Mr. Kerry became a leader in the VVAW and even testified before Congress on the findings of the Investigation, which he accepted at face value.

    In his book "Stolen Valor," B.G. Burkett points out that Mr. Kerry liberally used phony veterans to testify to atrocities they could not possibly have committed. Mr. Kerry later threw what he represented as his awards at the Capitol in protest. But as the war diminished as a political issue, he left the VVAW, which was a bit too radical for his political future, and was ultimately elected to the Senate. After his awards were seen framed on his office wall, he claimed to have thrown away someone else's medals--so now he can reclaim his gallantry in Vietnam.

    Mr. Kerry hasn't given me any reason to trust his judgment. As co-chairman of the Senate investigating committee, he quashed a revealing inquiry into the POW/MIA issue, and he supports trade initiatives with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam while blocking any legislation requiring Hanoi to adhere to basic human rights. I'm not surprised that there are veterans who support a VVAW activist, if only because there are so few fellow veterans in politics. Ideally, there'd be many more. If you are going to vote on military appropriations, it would be nice if you didn't disrespect the soldiers. Congress hasn't had the courage to declare war in more than 60 years, despite numerous instances in which we have sent our military in harm's way. Of all the "lessons of Vietnam," surely one is that America needs a leader capable of demonstrating in himself, and encouraging in others, the resolve to finish what they have collectively started.

    But the bond between veterans has to be tempered in light of the individual's record. Just as Mr. Kerry threw away medals only to claim them back again, Sen. Kerry voted to take action against Iraq, but claims to take that vote back by voting against funding the result. So I can understand my former comrade-in-arms hugging the man who saved his life, but not the act of choosing him for president out of gratitude. And I would hate to see anyone giving Mr. Kerry a sympathy vote for president just because being a Vietnam veteran is "back in style."
    Mr. Sherman was a first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Fifth Special Forces Group (Airborne) in Vietnam, 1967-68.

    Copyright © 2004 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
     
  2. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Nice post Kathianne, so much attention has been on Dean. Now we will hear more stories such as this about Kerry.
    _________________________________________________

    Early Kerry: Disband CIA, Put U.S. Troops Under U.N. Control

    As he builds his lead with New Hampshire voters leading up to Tuesday's Democratic primary, Sen. John Kerry is no doubt hoping that copies of an old interview he gave during his first congressional race don't suddenly turn up.

    It was 1970 and the ambitious Massachusetts Democrat had just returned from Vietnam, completely soured on America and its influence throughout the world.

    Running against the Rev. Robert F. Drinan in Massachusetts' Third District, Kerry granted an interview to the Harvard Crimson.

    He told the college paper that it was time to "almost eliminate CIA activity," according to excerpts obtained by the Boston Globe last June. What's more, Kerry wanted U.S. troops "dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations."

    After abandoning his challenge to Drinan, Kerry joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War and testified before the Senate, where he slammed the soldiers he served with as war criminals.

    GIs in Vietnam, Kerry said, had "personally raped [Vietnamese civilians], cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephone to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan."

    Kerry later admitted he hadn't personally witnessed any of the atrocities he claimed his fellow soldiers had committed.

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  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Yeah, Kerry seems a little prone to exaggeration, sort of reminds me of Gore. I heard him at some fundraiser yesterday on C-SPAN and he was saying the first thing he'd do as President is to get to the UN and make amends. I take that to mean apologize. I don't think most of US citizens feel that is right.
     
  4. Johnney
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    Johnney Senior Member

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    oh great, now if he gets in we might as well change the Americas name to Mat. everyone will walk all over us.

    does that mean there will be a new rash of "(insert whose ever name here) invented...." jokes?
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Time will tell. He's not my fav, not that I'm a dem. I wold like to see someone like Lieberman, give GW a real run on some issues. Not going to happen, so of the remainder I guess Kerry is the best out there. Not saying much for the dems.
     

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