John Kerry is a highly intelligent, incredibly principled Senator who has put his life on the line for his country. Senator Kerry received three Purple Hearts for wounds suffered on a tour of duty in Vietnam as well as a Silver Star. His disillusionment with that conflict and how it was run led him to speak out against the war at the head of the Vietnam Veteran's Against War. He has served the state of Massachusetts as Senator since 1985, is a champion of liberal causes and is running for President.
This is the picture that the Kerry campaign wants Americans to see. However, upon closer inspection it's a picture reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's handsome but depraved Dorian Grey.
It starts with the one blemish that cannot be airbrushed away: Why has the great majority of men with whom he served who have remained silent for 30 years aggressively opposing his candidacy?
Soldiers who have served and faced hostile fire together tend to form a special lasting bond - the best descriptor, perhaps, is 'a band of brothers'. This was evident in 1996 when Kerry was fighting for his political life. Several of his erstwhile mates came out strongly to defend him when his service came into question. Yet today these same men are vigorously opposing his candidacy. WHY?
[Let's assume that you don't buy into the theory that they, in the winter of their lives, are now paid lackeys of Karl Rove. If so, I am stunned you are reading TKM. Welcome.]
Kerry overcame Dean by a) veering right and b) basing his candidacy on his service in Vietnam which would make him, ostensibly, electable. But exposing his Vietnam service to sunlight may have been a fatal mistake. Even though his slander in front of the Fulbright committee and radical antiwar stance has been well known what came to light in 2004 was the circumstances under which he received his Purple Hearts and Silver Star. These were so odious that combined with his VVAW actions his old comrades could no longer bide their anger and formed the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. How could any honorable soldier treat medals given for injuries that were little more than paper cuts, probably self-inflicted and won through false battle reports and lobbying but with loathing and odium?
WHY does a man like John Kerry,
- who lied about widespread atrocities in Vietnam,
- who illegally met with representatives of the Vietcong and North Vietnam in 1971
- who was as responsible as any for painting the picture of the Vietnam veteran as a vicious rapist and murderer
- who owns one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate (www.adaaction.org)
- who championed normalization of relations with Vietnam and is held in high regard by that Communist government
- who famously threw his medals away
volunteer to fight in Vietnam at all?
The answer is that Kerry is as ambitious as he is duplicitous. How does a radical anti-war liberal who aspirations for high political office burnish his resume so as to become acceptable to the general public?
Serving his country in Vietnam would give him instant, lasting credibility.
Now the real picture begins to shine through. Kerry volunteered for Swift Boat duty ONLY because they were coastal patrol boats and considered an easy billet. To his consternation, soon after he volunteered the Swift Boat mission changed to something much more risky. He discovered how to game the system getting four medals in record time and used the three Purple Heart rule to go home where promptly joins the VVAW and viciously slanders his fellow soldiers and sailors accusing them of widespread rape, murder and atrocities reminiscent of Genghis Khan.
Hardly the conduct expected of a soldier towards his band of brothers.
Kerry failed to win a seat in the House in his first election but his Vietnam 'experience' served him well in his race for the Senate in 1984 and he used it as a bludgeon during a decisive debate with Bill Weld in 1996.
John Kerry has exploited the BIG LIE in extraordinary fashion--winning four terms in the Senate. He is excellent at using facile, unverifiable little lies throughout his campaign; e.g., "I met a soldier who said we need you there...", "Foreign leaders support my election..." are two examples that come immediately to mind.
Some little while ago I was asked who I would choose if faced only with a decision between Bill Clinton and John Kerry. I was speechless. The choice is clear now. Bill Clinton is a venal, pandering addict but he didn't betray his band of brothers.