Tuesday, August 10, 2004

My thoughts on the Swift Boat Vets

Amid the past week's news and blog coverage on the SVT campaign, there's been a lot of things said about these guys. I personally don't claim to know the facts, although the hypocricy is not lost on me when the same crowd--dozens of websites and syndicated columnists--ranted incessantly about President Bush's military record, and are now insisting that Kerry's detractors should be silent.

One point that I haven't seen made thus far is in answer to the liberal cry that these men have an agenda to defeat Kerry, and because of this their stories don't have credibility. I won't even take the easy shot and point out Michael Moore.

My question is, "Why is it so easy to find VietNam vets eager to speak out against Kerry?"

Answer: Kerry, regardless of what he did when he was In Country, came back to the U.S. and promptly turned against his "band of brothers" and numerous others who were still there. I think this profoundly outweighs the fact that he only served 4 months, outweighs any debate over his commendations, and truthfully, outweighs any actions he took while serving.

He prefaced his remarks with:

"...I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the group of 1,000 which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony...." (emphasis mine)

His statements before the senate detailed the atrocities committed in VietNam, including:

"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 Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam. . ."

He said that 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...."
Kerry made these allegations, and stated later that he himself had participated in some of them. He made no references to heroism, no references to his "band of brothers", only allegations condemning all soldiers involved in VietNam. In so doing, he furthered the abuses those soldiers endured upon returning home, and (apparently permanently) distanced himself from them and their interests.
To say that all these veterans are involved in a gigantic conspiracy of lies with the intent of defeating Kerry is a dodge. The significant fact that will not go away is that these men, and many, many more like them, do not want Kerry to be President. The reasons why they feel this way speak much louder than can any book or column written about their story.

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