Monday, August 30, 2004

Unfit for Command?

Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry has been feeling considerable pressure from “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” which is a group of Vietnam War Vets that has dedicated itself to exposing the truth about Kerry’s Vietnam War record.

The Swift Boat Vets for Truth demonstrate (using for proof not only their own recollections but also Kerry’s own war diary) that, for example, all three of John Kerry’s Purple Hearts were for superficial non-bleeding wounds, and that two of those wounds were self-inflicted (and treated with band-aides, no less). They also reveal that John Kerry’s brave story about fighting in Cambodia on Christmas Eve – an even that Kerry said was “seared in my memory” – was not true, that Kerry falsified after-action reports (in one case replacing the accidental death of a Vietnamese child with a claim that they had wiped out a platoon of Viet Cong), and that Kerry’s medals came from recommendations that he wrote himself.

These are some of the things that Kerry did in Vietnam – but if this was all that he’d done, none of the Swift Vets for Truth would be talking now. What is it that made these Vets so angry?

John Kerry betrayed his comrades when he got back to America. It is the way that Kerry acted immediately after he returned from Vietnam that is most important.

Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee in 1971. In this testimony, he said that American soldiers (himself included) had “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan…” Kerry said that these acts were “not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”

The problem with this testimony is that is a lie (he himself has admitted that he didn’t have any first hand accounts of war crimes to speak of). Kerry at this point was a member (and co-founder) of “Vietnam Vets Against the War.” While working for this group, he provided false accounts of war crimes, and even got other VVAW members to impersonate active-duty American soldiers and claim that they too had committed war crimes. This was only the beginning of Kerry’s operation to disgrace the American fighting man.

These false war-crimes accusations were so hateful that they were happily scooped up by the North Vietnamese for use as propaganda. Former Navy Pilot Paul Galanti was in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison camp when he learned of Kerry’s testimony. The worst parts of it were quoted to him during torture sessions as reasons why he should confess and “switch over to [their] side.” Other former POWs remember hearing Kerry’s testimony broadcast over prison PA systems, and being tortured to confess what Kerry had already “confessed” freely in his own country.

Kerry went even further. In 1972 wrote a book called The New Soldier. The cover mocks the famous Iwo Jima memorial of four Marines and a Navy Corpsman raising the American flag after the heaviest fighting had ended. Kerry’s version shows long-bearded hippies in half-uniforms raising and American flag upside-down. The claims that Kerry made in this book are so anti-American that Kerry himself is now trying to suppress it so we wont find out how much contempt he has for this country, and for the soldiers which he now seems so proud to have served with.

When American soldiers got back from Vietnam, people spat on them – thanks to John Kerry’s efforts.

Kerry has not disavowed these former actions and opinions that (in the words of Pilot Paul Galanti and many others) make him a “traitor” to the United States – he has simply forgotten about them. He has the audacity to stand up in front of a room full of Vets and tell them that he was proud to defend the country as a youth – even though he most certainly, by admission of the North Vietnamese themselves, contributed to America’s defeat. He stands at his podium at the Democratic National Convention and says, saluting, “I’m John Kerry, and I’m reporting for duty!”

The men who served with him, and were betrayed by him, aren’t letting it go any longer. Go to to find out more of the truth about John Kerry (or buy a copy of Unfit for Command).


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