Boat Vets Still Fighting for Their Country
Patrick J. Buchanan
August 30 2004
Why are the Big Media savaging the Swift Boat
Veterans for Truth? Why are the Kerryites telling us to move on and debate the
real issues – health care, education, the economy?
Because they know this could kill John Kerry's candidacy. Because they know
this is not just about Vietnam, but about the credibility and character of the
man who would be president.
I have followed Kerry since he became famous. In 1971, I urged Nixon not to
enforce Chief Justice Burger's order to remove Kerry's Vietnam vets from the
Mall. We don't want another Bonus Army episode, I told the president. Kerry's
vets were allowed to camp out, throw their medals over the fence and depart.
While I thought Kerry's testimony to be execrable, I took him to be a man who
served bravely. But, if ""Unfit to Command" by swiftboat vet and Kerry nemesis
John O'Neill is true, Kerry is a dishonest man who slandered his superior
officers and betrayed his comrades and country in wartime.
In that April, Kerry told the Senate he had met with 150 vets in Detroit who
confessed to having witnessed and committed war crimes with the knowledge of
Said Kerry, they "had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped
wire 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."
Kerry's testimony was played back to Paul Galanti, a POW inside Hanoi's
dungeons. Ted Cordier says he and fellow POWs were tortured to force them to
tell the kind of lies about U.S. troops in Vietnam that John Kerry told the
Senate for free.
Kerry has made his service the centerpiece of his career, his convention and
his campaign. He cannot evade the questions. If Vietnam was the dirty immoral
war he said it was in 1971, how can he now celebrate his service in that war
But if Kerry and his Band of Brothers were defending our country, as he now
claims, why did he slime, as war criminals, the comrades he left behind to
defend our country? Why did he go to Paris and meet with Madame Binh and the
Kerry told the Fulbright committee, "Crimes threaten (the country) ... not
reds, but the crimes we are committing." We are "ashamed of and hated what we
were called on to do in Southeast Asia." But if he was "ashamed of and hated"
what he was called on to do in Vietnam by 1971, how can he be proud of it
"(T)o attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or
Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom," Kerry told
Fulbright, "is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy." But after Saigon fell,
thousands of South Vietnamese were shot and thousands more sent to
"re-education camps." Hundreds of thousands fled in leaky boats into the South
China Sea, where many were raped by Thai pirates and drowned. A million
Cambodians were murdered in 1975 in one of the great holocausts of the 20th
century. What does Kerry now think the Vietnam War was about, if not the
freedom of these people from the barbarism of Asian communism?
Kerry's credibility is now everywhere in question. Biographer Douglas Brinkley
says Kerry told him he resigned by letter from the VVAW executive committee on
Nov. 10, 1971, and was not at a Kansas City meeting days later, where the
assassination of senators was discussed. FBI and pro-Kerry vets now say Kerry
did not tell the truth. He was at Kansas City. Kerry's campaign no longer
Repeatedly, Kerry has said he was in Cambodia at Christmas '68. Not one former
commander, comrade or any one of his Band of Brothers supports his story.
Kerry made it all up to portray himself as a secret suffering warrior risking
his life in forbidden land while leaders like Nixon were lying by denying they
had sent him there.
Now, it appears that it was John Kerry doing the lying.
In "the sampan incident," a fog-of-war episode, Kerry's gunner Steve Gardner
shot and killed a man and boy, and took a hysterical woman and baby off their
bloody boat. The "after-action report" claimed five Viet Cong dead and two
captured. Who wrote it?
Four of Kerry's five medals are now under question either for falsehoods or
exaggerations. The more information that comes out, the less believable Kerry
becomes. O'Neill's swiftboat vets may be a little older, they may be a little
grayer, but they still know how to fight for their country.
© 2004 Creators
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