Should Kerry's post Viet-Nam behavior count?

  1. I think so, and so does this group of people.

    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 Senatorwho cannot be relied on to protect the best interests of the United States.

  2. Visit 2ndCareerRN profile page

    About 2ndCareerRN

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 1,050; Likes: 42


  3. by   ernurse2244
    Quote from 2ndCareerRN
    I think so, and so does this group of people.
    You bet it should count. He was very courageous to come home and bring his first hand experience in protesting one of the worst wars we have ever become entangled!
  4. by   elkpark
    Originally posted by ernurse2244

    You bet it should count. He was very courageous to come home and bring his first hand experience in protesting one of the worst wars we have ever become entangled!
    I agree. However, that sort of thing is always "in the eye of the beholder," so if one feels better about that idiot who is pretending to be President these days, one can always vote for him. I'm just hoping that we'll actually have legitimate election results this time ...
  5. by   Gomer
    You bet it counts! And that's one of the reasons I'm planning on voting for him.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    The Viet Nam war is a wound that has not healed. Presidents of both parties were commander in Chief sening Americans to Viet Nam. They believed in the 'domino theory'. Perhaps they were well meaning. I do not know.
    I do know my cousin was killed in Viet nam. I worked at the VA hospital in the last years of the war listening to stories similar to those told by those Veterans Against the War testified to.
    What is wrong with honesty? Citizens need the truth in order to cast an informed vote.

    Management at our hospital told us not to tell the patients we are short staffed or disclose how many patients they must share their nurse with.

    This new group, Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, describes.Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) as, "one of America's most radical pro-communist groups."

    If you care to read testimony or search their site I would be interested if and pro communist opinions are to be found. I cannot find any.
  7. by   Spidey's mom

    Said U.S. Was Worst Geneva Convention Violator
    Kerry Testified of '200,000 a Year Who Are Murdered' By U.S. in Vietnam
    by David Freddoso
    Posted Feb 10, 2004

    Kerry's Troubling Consistencies

    Politics 2004: Week of February 16

    On April 22, 1971, asked how a U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam would affect the South Vietnamese, a young John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "[Y]es, there will be some recrimination, but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America." (See page 190 of the attached transcript of his entire testimony).

    Kerry, who is now a U.S. senator from Massachusetts and the leading Democratic presidential candidate, was then a private citizen testifying two years after his return from naval service in Vietnam, where he had won a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. In the course of his remarks to the committee, he complained of "the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage in the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war, when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions." (Pages 184-185.)

    'A Phony Deal'

    The same day Kerry testified, Rep. Sam Johnson (R.-Tex.) was sitting in a cell in the infamous Hanoi Hilton POW camp, where he says he was tortured, underfed, and mostly cut off from correspondence, in violation of the Geneva Convention. Johnson told HUMAN EVENTS that his captors had moved him there recently after 42 months of solitary confinement.

    "When [Kerry] testified against the war, his testimony was un-American and untrue, and I think he lost all credibility as a real military man," said Johnson, asked to comment on a full 32-page transcript of Kerry's testimony that was obtained yesterday by HUMAN EVENTS. Johnson, a retired Air Force Colonel, was a prisoner of war for seven years after being shot down in North Vietnam in 1966.

    Johnson said the idea that 200,000 Vietnamese were annually "murdered by the United States of America" was "not true. Absolutely not true." He also complained of Kerry's liberal use of his Vietnam service in his presidential campaign, particularly the use of the slogan "band of brothers," a Shakespearean reference to the camaraderie of men who have seen battle together.

    "It's a phony deal," he said. "There are Vietnam veterans that you'll see who will call you brother and commiserate with you over experiences over there, but his use of that is totally false, and I don't know how anybody could fall for it."

    During the question-and-answer part of his 1971 testimony, Sen. George Aiken (R.-Vt.) asked Kerry if the South Vietnamese army and South Vietnamese people "would be happy to have us withdraw or what?"

    "If we don't withdraw," Kerry said, "if we maintain a Korean-type presence in South Vietnam, say 50,000 troops or something, with strategic bombing raids from Guam and from Japan and from Thailand dropping these 15,000 pound fragmentation bombs on them, et cetera, in the next few years, then what you will have is a people who are continually oppressed, who are continually at warfare, and whose problems will not at all be solved because they will not have any kind of representation.

    "The war will continue," said Kerry. "So what I am saying is that yes, there will be some recrimination but far, far less than the 200,000 a year who are murdered by the United States of America."

    It is not clear from Kerry's testimony when, where or how he believed these people were, or would be, "murdered by the United States of America."

    HUMAN EVENTS provided Sen. Kerry's senatorial office with a copy of the full 32- page transcript and asked if he stood by the above statements or wished to offer some explanation for them. Later in the day, a spokeswoman for the senatorial office said she had forwarded the questions to Kerry's presidential campaign. The campaign had not commented by press time.

    The transcript indicates that later in the testimony, under sympathetic questioning from Sen. Clifford Case (D.-N.J.), Kerry drew laughter from the crowd when he dismissed the administration's rationale for the war, to keep Communism at bay. "I think it is bogus, totally artificial," he said. "There is no threat. The Communists are not about to take over our McDonald hamburger stands."

    In his testimony before Senators Case, Aiken, William Fulbright (D.-Ark.), Stuart Symington (D.-Mo.), Claiborne Pell (D.-R.I.), and Jacob Javits (R.-N.Y.), Kerry also gave and then quickly retracted testimony that the vast majority of soldiers in Vietnam got high on drugs literally all day, every day.

    "A lot of guys, 60, 80 percent stay stoned 24 hours a day just to get through the Vietnam [War]," he said.

    When Symington appeared incredulous, Kerry altered his testimony: "Sixty to 80 percent is the figure used that try something, let's say, at one point."

    John McCain was also a prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton between 1967 and 1973. John F. Kerry was in the service, lieutenant, U.S. Navy, from 1966 to 1970. In 1971, Senator Kerry testified before Congress as a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Kerry told Congress that U.S. soldiers raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable phones to human genitals and then turned on the power -and randomly shot people. He said all this while John McCain was in the Hanoi Hilton. Is it any wonder Spacenurse that some Vietnam Era Veterans would be just a little mad at Kerry? He made them out to all be drug addled rapists and murderers. Reminds me of when the soldiers came home to geers and disrespect. I think that is what galls me . . . not that Kerry may have had legitimate things to say regarding the war but that he smeared our soldiers.

    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Feb 15, '04
  8. by   pickledpepperRN

    Statement by John Kerry to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations
    April 23, 1971
    I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command. It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit - the emotions in the room and the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.
    They told stories that at times they 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 Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
    We call this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. The term Winter Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriots and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough.
    We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country, we could be quiet, we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds, but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out....
    In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.
    We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.
    We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace, and they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese or American.
    We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by the flag, and blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism - and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.
    We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.
    We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals.
    We watched the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons against "oriental human beings." We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater. We watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese. We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point, and so there were Hamburger Hills and Khe Sanhs and Hill 81s and Fire Base 6s, and so many others.
    Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese.
    Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."
    We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?....We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything.
    An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, "my God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people," and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we think this thing has to end.
    We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We're here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatrick, and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The marines say they never even leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They've left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country....
    We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission - to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.
  9. by   pickledpepperRN

    Bob Muller, Vietnam Veterans Against the War
    Presented at a meeting of the Student Assembly of Columbia University Student Assembly, July 23, 1971.
    Vietnam is something you have to experience firsthand to believe. I know I didn't believe what anybody told me about Vietnam before I went; it was something I had to go through myself.

    Let me go back and tell you who I am and what I'm about. I'm a retired first lieutenant in the Marines -- retired, because today, when you're separated from service for a disability, you're put on a retired basis; you're not simply discharged as you were in World War II. [Mr. Muller spoke from a wheelchair, the result of a crippling injury sustained in Vietnam.]

    In 1967, I was in my senior year in college at Hofstra University. And one day that spring, I went into the Student Union Building, and there was a Marine officer standing there. He looked very sharp: he had his dress blues on, and he had the old crimson stripe down the side of his trousers. I said, "That looks good! I'm going to be a marine."
    Right there, in that sentence, is really the tragedy of my life, as I view it.
    The tragedy of my life was not being shot in Vietnam; the tragedy in my life is one that has been shared by all too many Americans, and is still being shared today. For me, knowledge of the fact that my government had seen fit to involve us militarily in Vietnam was sufficient for me. I never asked the reason why. I just took it on blind faith that my government knew a hell of a lot more than I ever could, and that they must be right. My opinion has changed since then....

    Still the fact is, I went. I went all the way, with no reservation. I said, "If you're going to fight, you might as well go all the way." So I joined the Marines, and then became an officer. I didn't request the infantry, and I didn't request to go to Vietnam; I literally demanded it. I was "the Marine's Marine:" I could run faster, do more push-ups and more pull-ups. I had leadership capability and so on and so forth. I got what I was after.

    When I was in the Marine Corps, as I said before, I never really asked "Why are we in Vietnam? What's the history behind our involvement in that country?" I went in -- boom! There's something you have to understand about a system like the military: once you become a part of the machinery, it works on you. By the time it came time for me to go overseas, I was a fanatic; I was the epitome of John Wayne; I wanted but one thing: I wanted to kill.

    You go through this environment of the military, and everything sort of works on itself. Your instructors, the guys you're going through with, your peers, what have you -- all the time it's an indoctrination. "We're out there, and we're fighting the `gooks.'" You get a couple of hundred guys out in the field, and they put the old bayonet on the rifle. "Kill, kill." Who do you kill? "Luke the Gook" and "Link the Chink." You get psyched up on this stuff.
    I was "Gung-Ho" as they say.

    And I went to Vietnam with this in mind: here is a country, South Vietnam, that is a freedom-loving people, that want their independence, their right to self-determination, and they are being subjected to a massive Communist invasion from the North. I had some close family friends who were fairly high in the military; they had gone to Vietnam, and their experiences sort of backed up what I was being told: that we were fighting to repel an invasion of these freedom-loving people from the North. I said, "Wow! That don't go! I'm for the liberation of anybody who wants to be free."

    We get small-arms fire from a village, we get a sniper, and do you know how we return that small-arms fire? We return it with anything -- and that goes from whatever's organic to the unit you're working with -- your mortars, for example -- to heavy artillery, to gunships to jets, to napalm, to big bombs, even Naval gunfire; we had the battleship New Jersey on station with the sixteen-inch guns. We'd come across villages where we'd take fire, and for the one or two people in there that might be V.C., we'd level that village.

    Now militarily, that might make sense; but you just stop and think for a minutes what it means when, to get two people, you kill 150.
    Is My Lai an isolated incident? Hell, no! It may not have happened so often that one platoon commander, in an immediate situation, rounds up people as Calley did, and just summarily executies them.

    Granted, I had the same experiences Calley had. I had had guys in my platoon that were blown away by kids. We had a company set-up outside a village, and during the day, kids came by. And the guys were giving them C-rations and chocolate and they took them into the perimeter. And they were giving them cigarettes, what have you, and being real nice. And the kids were ten years old, eleven years old. They were manning the water-buffalo. I said, "Don't let the kids in the perimeter." That night the company got hit by a VC mortar and rocket squad, and they had our positions mapped out. They knew where the CP was, they knew where all our defensive positions were, and how they got the information was from the kids. And yes, you do have, among the kids, among the women, VC sympathizers. That's the majority of what I came into contact with, anyway, in Northern I-Corps.

    But because you have people who are VC sympathizers mixed in with the population what's the solution? What have we done in Vietnam? Actually follow a policy of genocide? And it is genocide, because of the nature of the war.

    It's not a conventional war; it's not the same as World War II, it's not the same as Korea. We don't have fronts, we don't acquire land, hold it, and then move on and acquire more land. What we do is, try to win the minds of the people; and since we're doomed to fail, there's only one other answer: liquidate them.
    And that is what we've done.

    I have a friend who spent four years in Laos. Don't try to tell him what we're doing in Laos is winding down the war; that's hogwash. He can tell you about day after day after day in Laos -- a country that we're not even at war with -- where our guys are going over and not limiting themselves to the Ho Chi Minh trail, but are going throughout the entire region of populated areas, and knocking out the villages. These stories about people living in caves and tunnels; that's no joke; it's reality. It's what's going on.

    Perhaps you think I'm just a bitter person -- and only because I got hit in Nam. I am bitter. You're damn straight I'm bitter! There is no way I could give you the essence of what I'm talking about. I could sit here all night, and tell you a series of war stories. A lot of them would really make your hair stand on end -- but I'm not going to do that. You had that with the film ("Winter Soldiers").

    They say that because we Vietnam veterans are called upon to kill, we're dehumanized, we are callous. I will agree with that statement and disagree with it, too. While I was in Vietnam, and a combatant, I was very callous. One time I had the guy on the right and the guy on the left of me both get hit, and I didn't blink an eye; it wasn't me; I didn't get hit, they did. They might have been my friends, but it wasn't my ass that got blown away. As I said before, kill another person? You do it. You're in that situation and you're going to kill.

    But there's something even more to the fanaticism that led me. After I made up my mind that the war was wrong, I still fought.
    The last day I was in Vietnam, the day I got shot, I knew the war was wrong; but I still went up that hill, assaulting North Vietnamese positions, with only one idea in my head, and that was to kill -- not for any ideological reason, but simply out of hatred. I'd lost friends in Nam, I'd gone through hell for eight months, these guys were the enemy to me, and I went out to kill them.

    You might say I got caught up in an insanity. It's very simple back here in the States to pass judgment on what goes on in the heads of the guys in Vietnam. It's very easy for somebody to say, "How the hell can these things happen, that the guys are talking about? These guys should all be thrown in jail!" It's very easy to just be here and say, "What a barbaric act!" But that's the kind of war this is.
    Vietnam is ten thousand miles away to you people. I don't want to sound condescending, but it's a reality! It's going on today! Right now, there are guys out on ambushes, there are guys on "long-range reconnaissance inserts," in Laos, in Cambodia.

    The killing is going on right now!

    The psychological pressures that are in these guys' heads is going on right now. Don't let this statistic of "eleven deaths last week" throw you. There is a full-fledged war going on, with all the horrors that go along with it. If you don't physically see the horrors of war, it's easy to forget. It's easy to forget it. Maybe it's something you try to forget.
    But, dammit, I can't. It's with me every day, whether I like it or not, I cannot forget what is going on in Vietnam. Everybody in this country seems to be thinking, "The War's over. They're going to work out some great plan. They're going to have a withdrawal of troops. Fine and dandy!" But that war is still going on. And until it's politically expedient for Nixon to get a withdrawal out of Vietnam, and a negotiated settlement, how many more guys are going to have to die? And again, I'm not only talking about Americans.
    There are a lot of things about Vietnamization, but the tragedy of it is this: that it continues the war. Now you can sugar-coat the rest of it any way you want to: "We're not doing the fighting anymore. We're only giving them air support." But the fighting continues! And if it's not obvious now -- after how long we've been there, after having over half a million American men totally committed to trying to seek a military victory -- that this war cannot be won militarily, short of the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons -- then I don't know when it will be.

    But if you consider wiping out North Vietnam a victory, and rubbing out major sections of South Vietnam a victory, then I say, "Well, that's your definition; to me, that's no victory."

    Vietnam did something to me, it shook me out of the rut in my life. There's this whole thing about the Pentagon Papers and the need to make yourself knowledgeable. This is the essence of what I try and say -- specifically when I talk with high school students. But I don't limit it to that.
    I was going on with blinkers through my whole life. I graduated from college with a very high average. You'd think I was intelligent; I was a dummy. I was all set to go into the Marines, spend three yeas as an officer, get the leadership credentials and all that garbage; come back and go into a major corporation, in its management training program, right up the scale, and so on and so forth.

    Vietnam pointed something out to me, that I was derelict, I was negligent in my responsibility as a citizen. I don't mean delegating all my responsibilities as a citizen to whoever I voted for, or whoever was my congressman or senator. All right, they're the ones who are making the policy; who am I? I'm Norman Nobody. "Even if I know something, what good is it going to do?"

    I think it can do some good. I say that there is going to be a revolution in this country. And it won't be born out of violence or bloodshed.

    The revolution I'm talking about may be one reason why you're here tonight: an increased sensitivity on your part, a greater awareness of your function as a human being, and of your responsibility, as a citizen of this country, to be held accountable for, and to try to direct, what the United States of American is doing in your name.

    That's the revolution I'm talking about -- a social revolution, a change in thinking, one that says, "Throw out `kill ratios' as the logic for continuing the war." Our commanders are happy; they say, "We will continue. We're winning in Vietnam, because we are getting fifteen `gooks' for every American killed." It is that that I want to see a total rejection of. I want to see people recognize that a Laotian, a Cambodian, a North Vietnamese, a Viet Cong, has got as much right to live -- and live any way he chooses to -- as any American. The day that we really incorporate that into our thinking is the day that we're going to change.

    You ask me, "What can I do for peace?" I don't know. I've seen a lot of suffering, and I'm aware because I saw it. I hope you can become aware, because then you will take on your responsibility as a citizen to know what we've done in Vietnam, and to broaden our horizons. Look at what's going on in Pakistan, with this Administration still wanting to send military aid to Pakistan, where hundreds of thousands of Bengalis have been slaughtered. This is what I'm talking about, this sensitivity. Look at us supporting a military hunta in Greece, in Athens, or having Spiro T. [Agnew, the Vice President under Richard Nixon] going around to all these fascist countries, saying "Right on! Right on!" That's what I oppose. And that's why I say, "Open up your heads and be aware."
    Be aware of the racist policy that we have followed. I hardly even touched the racist nature of [the war in] Vietnam, but it's there. I can go on and on and on. But the whole thing winds down to this: I've seen a lot of hate in this world; and all I have left -- all I try to keep in my head and convey to others -- is love. And I mean that, because that is all I've got left. Thank you.
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Spacenurse . . the Winter Soldier Investigation has been discredited.

    Kerry vs. Vietnam vets
    Rich Lowry (back to web version) | Send

    February 13, 2004

    The campaign season is still young, yet we already have a strong contender for what might be the most dishonest paragraph of this election year. It was spoken by Sen. John Kerry, by way of explaining how a candidate wrapping himself in Vietnam veterans made his public reputation by accusing them of war crimes.

    In his famed 1971 anti-war congressional testimony, Kerry cited the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation, which gathered falsified testimonials of atrocities committed by American soldiers. Kerry regurgitated stories of rapes, beheadings, torture and pillaging ("in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan") as part of his indictment against the Vietnam War. So it is odd that Kerry would celebrate the "band of brothers" he now says are fighting on behalf of his candidacy the way they once fought for their country. Does that mean they will behead Howard Dean and pillage the John Edwards campaign headquarters?

    Asked about the testimony the other day by Knight Ridder, Kerry said he relied on the Winter Soldier Investigation "because some of it was highly documented and very disturbing. I did in my heart what I thought was correct to help people understand what was going on. I've always honored the service of people over there. I never insinuated that everybody fell into one pot. I was looking forward to telling the truth about some of the things that were happening."

    This is a statement shot through with mendacity. Let's take it sentence by sentence: 1) The Winter Soldier testimony was not "highly documented," but -- as Mack Owens of the Naval War College has reported -- totally unsubstantiated. The fantastic stories of atrocities should have been unbelievable to any Vietnam vet. 2) Kerry didn't "help people understand what was going on," but rather helped publicize lies. 3) Kerry didn't "honor" the service of vets, but said, "We are ashamed of ... what we are called on to do in Southeast Asia," and maintained that in the vets, America "has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence." 4) Kerry did insinuate that the atrocities were widespread, noting that they were "not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." These crimes tainted the nation -- "the crimes threaten [the country], not Reds," as "America lose[s] her sense of morality." 5) If Kerry wanted to tell the truth, he shouldn't have traded in falsehoods.

    Dishonesty must be official policy at the Kerry campaign when it comes to his anti-Vietnam record. A Kerry spokeswoman has said that, back then, "he praised the noble service of his fellow servicemen and -women." Yeah, right. Are we to believe that Kerry thought they were "noble" beheadings? "Noble" acts of torture? Kerry was indeed an advocate for better veteran health care. But this was partly because he considered vets shattered wrecks destroyed by the immorality of their actions. He explained high alleged suicide figures among vets by the fact that "they have to face what they did in Vietnam." (Vietnam vets actually have the same suicide rates as the general population.)

    Kerry wasn't just wrong about the vets, he was wrong about the big picture, too. He called Vietnam a "mystical war against communism." Given the massive aid to the North Vietnamese from the Soviets and Chinese, it was clearly a very real war against communism. "We cannot fight communism all over the world," Kerry declared. But in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan fought communism in hot spots all over the globe and won the Cold War.

    Kerry will never reverse his opposition to the Vietnam War, but he should at least disavow his smear of Vietnam vets. He owes his "band of brothers" an apology, unless he still thinks they are a criminal gang. In which case, he should start looking for moral support from less compromised quarters.
  11. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    It's true, there are some Americans who have committed war atrocities.
    Kerry reported this, in spite of the terrible back-lash he could face. In my eyes, this makes him a very brave person who speaks the truth, no matter how awful it is, or how he could be hurt by doing so.

    You can't get much more ethical than that.
  12. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Quote from elkpark
    I agree. However, that sort of thing is always "in the eye of the beholder," so if one feels better about that idiot who is pretending to be President these days, one can always vote for him. I'm just hoping that we'll actually have legitimate election results this time ...

    Same here. Maybe this time around, the election results will actually reflect the votes, instead of the massive election fraud that has been perpetrated against us.

    Bush is such a loser. He used to be laughable, but the things he's done to hurt us are too terrible to be laughable, now.
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    I admit to being ignorant of the 'winter soldier' report or film (too lazy to look it up now)
    During Tet, the V-C killed anyone they considered an enemy, especially the educated classes. Doctors, teachers, minor governent officials, military personnel, and many others were rounded up and executed. In Hue alone between 3,000 and 5,000 were killed and buried in mass graves.
    *Tet destroyed the V-C. Over 100,000 were killed, wounded, or captured, compared to 1,100 dead US and 2,800 dead ARVN soldiers. Charlie would never do much again. However, when images of Tet and the news of the apparent ease with which US forces were surprised got home, civilians were horrified. On the news it looked like the US was losing. Even when the US won, it looked bad, especially the famous image of an ARVN officer summarily executing a V-C POW on the street. Americans began to oppose the war in increasing numbers.
    *Americans were also disturbed by the war when they learnt of the actions of Lieutenant William Calley, jr. Having heard that the village of My Lai held 250 V-C who had recently attacked his men, he and his unit went to check it out in March 1968. However, it only held women and children and old men. Frustrated over this, and knowing that they were likely harbouring and helping the V-C, Calley had the civilians rounded up and shot, and in some cases tortured and raped. 347 Vietnamese died in the My Lai massacre, and more would have if a US helicopter crew scouting the area had not seen the massacre, landed between Calley’s men and the locals, and threatened to shoot the Americans if they tried to continue.
    *This was unusual (although not unique), and it was the worst instance of such behaviour in Viet-Nam. However, Americans were led by the media to assume such was typical. The Army tried to cover this up, but in 1971 Calley was tried and sentenced to life, later commuted to 20 years, and released for good behaviour after 3 years of house arrest.

    No proof. I DO believe the stories of my patients, my cousins best friend, and marines and sailers I met on the bus between 1965 and 1973.
  14. by   pickledpepperRN
    I clearly remember being upset with my new DH & my Dad because the news with the war was on daily while we ate dinner.
    That evening the stats reported were typical: US killed 11, Viet Cong killed 264.
    Were we lied to then? Perhaps.
    Number of Americans in the military during the Vietnam war...............8,744,000
    Number of Americans who served in Vietnam........................................2,7 00,000
    Average age of U.S. combat personnel in Vietnam........................................... ..19
    Number of women military personnel who served during Vietnam era.....193,000
    Number of women killed in action in Vietnam........................................... ......8
    Number of U.S. servicemen killed in combat in Vietnam.............................47,072
    Number of U.S. officers killed in combat............................................ ............5,741
    Number of U.S. enlisted men killed in combat............................................ ..41,331
    Number of U.S. servicemen killed outside of combat in Vietnam..................10,449
    Number of U.S. servicemen wounded in Vietnam........................................313 ,616
    Number classified as seriously wounded........................................... .........153,300
    Percentage of those seriously wounded who were saved................................. 82%
    Percentage of wounded who died after arriving at hospital............................ 2.6%
    Number of servicemen who lost at least one limb.......................................10,000
    Number of U.S. servicemen killed in Laos and Cambodia................................. 81

    Number of South Vietnamese military personnel killed during war......... 220,357
    Number of South Vietnamese military personnel wounded.......................499,000
    Estimated number of North Vietnamese military and Viet Cong KIA......444,000

    Estimated number of Vietnamese civilians killed in war...........................587,000
    Estimated number of Vietnamese civilians wounded in war......................935,000

Must Read Topics