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February 23, 2004

JFK (John Forbes Kerry) a War Hero?

During the Presidential campaign for 2004, it appears obvious that one of Kerry’s strategies is to harp on the fact that he is a decorated Vietnam Veteran. He is a wartime hero whose accomplishments on the battlefield will be brought up at every possible opportunity. America loves a war hero, and Kerry’s camp hopes this part of his history will help him win the support of veterans, and the admiration and votes of the rest of the population. Apparently, this information is not as powerful to some veterans as Kerry would hope it to be.

Take this guy for instance. He is also a Vietnam veteran, but does not seem to think that Kerry’s service outweighs what Kerry did when he returned to America. While Kerry fought in the war and won a Silver Star, the author of this website still views him as a backstabber, who left the war under suspicious tactics, then used his notoriety to protest the very conflict that he participated in. He writes:

Soon after Kerry, as a Navy Lieutenant (junior grade) commanding a Swift boat in Vietnam, was awarded the Silver Star, he used an obscure Navy regulation to leave Vietnam and his crew before completing his tour of duty.

After returning home, he quit the Navy early and changed the color of his politics to become a leader of VVAW. Kerry wasted no time organizing opposition in the United States against the efforts of his former buddies still ducking communist bullets back in Vietnam.

Kerry participated in the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation where his fellow protesters accused his fellow GIs of war crimes.

Kerry's betrayal of American prisoners of war, his blatant disrespect for the families of our missing in action, Vietnam veterans, the military, his support for communist Vietnam and his waffling over the issue of use of force in Iraq proves he is a self promoting Chameleon Senator who cannot be relied on to protect the best interests of the United States.

The tone of this website is not a pleasant one, and this veteran apparently still holds quite a grudge against Kerry for his stand against the conflict. Personally, I do not see the reason for this animosity. In fact, I tend to admire Kerry more for the manner in which he handled this situation, rather than get angry at him for his protests which followed his service. Instead of ducking his responsibilities to the armed services, he volunteered for service, and then began to disagree with the reasoning behind the war.

Being a good citizen of this country does NOT mean that we have to agree with everything that our nation does. Instead, maybe being a good citizen means that we stand up for what we believe in. Perhaps Kerry showed more courage taking part in these protests than he ever had to in Vietnam. His comments do not in any way (to me) show a lack of support for the men and women in the armed services, but shows a disagreement in the way certain situations were handled over there, as well as disdain for the decision to continue sending our troops to that region of the world to fight a war that was not going to be won.

Is JFK a bad American? The veteran who authors that website apparently would say, “Yes.” I completely disagree. I am surprised that this has not become more of an issue for the Bush camp, especially as the President’s “service” to the country is now being questioned with gusto. Perhaps we will hear more of this from the Bush campaign as November nears.

Here is a copy of the war statement made by John Kerry to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in April of 1971.

UPDATE: Thanks to Bigwig for this link which describes Senator McCain's defense of Kerry.

Posted by Woundwort at February 23, 2004 07:29 AM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

Ran into this & thought it was an interesting rant.
------------
Open Letter to John Kerry:

My wife had rotator cuff surgery earlier this year, and the recovery is terribly painful. Then, she developed a staph-epi infection, and they had to cut the same scar open and operate on her again. Just thinking about the pain and anxiety of facing that painful surgery a second time in the same wound, makes me cringe. That experience, however pales in comparison to what I am going through right now, in my heart.

The old hurts are surfacing and the feelings of betrayal by fellow citizens, and their leader stirring them up, are breaking my heart again. I am being cut in the same scar. How did we who served in Vietnam suddenly become cold-blooded killers, torturers, and rapists, of the ilk of the Nazi SS or the Taliban? Most of us were American soldiers who grew up idolizing John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and all the other heroes. That was why I volunteered. But for political expediency, John Kerry has rewritten history, again. After spending only four months in the country of Vietnam, John Kerry testified before Congress in 1971 with these exact words about incidents he supposedly witnessed or heard about from other vets: "They 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, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."

I was a green beret officer who volunteered for duty in Vietnam and fought in the thick of it in 1968 and 1969 on a Special Forces A-team on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, just for starters. We were the elite. We saw the most action. Everybody in the world knows that. But we did not just kill people, we built a church, a school, treated
illnesses, passed out soap, food, and clothing, and had fun and loving interaction with the indigenous people of Vietnam, just like our boys did in Normandy, Baghdad, Saigon, and everywhere American soldiers ever served. We all gave away our candy bars and rations to kids. Our hearts to oppressed people all over the globe.

My children and grandchildren could read your words, and think those horrendous things about me, Mr. Kerry. You are a bold-faced, unprincipled liar, and a disgrace, and you have dishonored me and all my fellow Vietnam veterans. Sure, there were a couple bad-apples, but I saw none, and I saw it all, and if I did, as an army officer, it was my obligation to stop it, or at the very least report it. Why is there not a single record anywhere of you ever reporting any incidents like this or having the perpetrators arrested?

The answer is simple.

You are a liar. Your medals and mine are not a free pass for lifetime, Senator Kerry, to bypass character, integrity, and morality. I earn my green beret over and over daily in all aspects of my life.

Eight National Guard green berets, and other National Guard soldiers, have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you totally dishonored their widows and families by lumping National Guard
service in with being a draft-dodger, conscientious objector, and deserter, just so you can try to sabotage the patriotism of our President who proudly served as an Air National Guard jet pilot.

I have a son earning his green beret at Fort Bragg right now, and his wife serves honorably in the Air National Guard, just like President Bush did, and I am as proud of her as I am my son. I
volunteered for Vietnam and have no problem whatsoever with President Bush being our Commander-In-Chief. In fact, I am proud of him as our leader.

John Kerry, you personally derailed the Vietnam Human rights Bill, HR2883, in 2001, after it had passed the House by a 411 to 1 vote, and thousands of pro-American Montagnard tribespeople in Vietnam died since then who could have been saved, by you. Earlier, as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on MIA/POW Affairs, you personally quashed the efforts of any and all veterans to report sightings of living POW's, when you held those reins in Congress. You have fought tooth and nail to push for the US to normalize relations with Vietnam for years. Why,
Mr. Kerry? Simple, your first cousin C. Stewart Forbes, CEO, of Colliers International, recently signed a contract with Hanoi, worth BILLIONS of dollars for Collier's International to become the exclusive real estate representative for the country of Vietnam.

"Hanoi John," now that it works for you, you beat your chest about your Vietnam service, but to me, you are a phony, opportunistic, hypocrite. You are one of those politicians that is like a fertilizer machine: all that comes out of you is horse manure, and you are spreading it everywhere.

Medals do not make a man. Morals do.

Don Bendell
Canon City, Colorado

Posted by: Andy at February 23, 2004 10:35 AM

I am not certain I would call Kerry "a bad American", though his testimony before Congress comes close to pushing me over that line.

I am certain that Kerry would be a terrible president. His 8 months of honorable, volunteered service to the country simply do not outweigh his 33 years of trying to weaken, tie down, and cripple America.

Posted by: Jeff Medcalf at February 23, 2004 10:56 AM

Yet again, the election will turn on character and John Kerry has none. His actions after Vietnam and his personal life show a man who thinks only of himself. Even though Clinton was bad, but Kerry would be worse by a long shot.

Posted by: EL-ahrairah at February 23, 2004 11:17 AM
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