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"In my specific, personal experience in both coastal and river patrols over a 12-month period, I never once saw or heard anything remotely resembling the atrocities described by Senator Kerry. If I had, it would have been my obligation to report them in writing to a higher authority, and I would certainly have done that. "If Senator Kerry actually witnessed or participated in these atrocities or, as he described them, 'war crimes,' he was obligated to report them. That he did not until later when it suited his political purposes strikes me as opportunism of the worst kind. That he would malign my service and that of his fellow sailors with no regard for the truth makes him totally unqualified to serve as Commander-in-Chief." -- Jeffrey Wainscott"
Of all the comments by the Swifties that have spoken out, I found this one this most compelling.
It would be wonderful to debate other issues, the biggest one of all is Iraq. The problem is whenever we bring up Iraq the liberals say Kerry served in Vietnam. When we say he also protested Vietnam the liberals say let's talk about other issues. Exactly what do you want?
It's an interesting tangle all right.From my perspective is that when the President's policies in Iraq and elsewhere are questioned, the patriotism card is played by the Republicans (i.e. Why do you hate America?) Kerry's Vietnam service is seen as an immunizing factor. (i.e. If I hate the country so much, why did I fight for it?)People on the other side, then say "If you loved the country so much, why did you protest the war?"Sadly, it seems that Kerry is reluctant to discuss this second issue. I say sad, because an honest answer would be "I protested the war precisely because I do love America. I saw a noble country pouring the blood of its sons into a country without any return. I realized that the first step to getting out of a hole is stop digging."What makes this issue even more complicated is that further attacks on Kerry's VietNam service will inevitably to unfavorable scrutiny of the President's record.Even in the best light, what we have is one man saying he strongly supported the VietNam war but couldn't be bothered to go himself, and the other man volunteering to fight for a cause he came to see as misguided.I see ensuing fight as pointless. My advice to the Republicans is to say, Ok. You served in VietNam. What have you done to defend our country since then?
"Even in the best light, what we have is one man saying he strongly supported the VietNam war but couldn't be bothered to go himself, and the other man volunteering to fight for a cause he came to see as misguided."
Now there's a loaded sentence. How about: even in the best light we have a man who strongly supports the Vietnam War but may not have had any concept of politics at the time, and another man who was so politically motivated at a very young age that he risked four months of war in order to put in for 5 medals, get out early, come home and position himself against the war so he could take both sides in all future elections.
Exactly what do you want?
It both ways.
Well not me but Kerry supporters.
"Now there's a loaded sentence..."A couple days of thought made me decide that I need to modify my stance a bit.Both Bush and Kerry have potentially toxic Viet Nam problems.Bush - There's no way of getting around the fact that President Bush went out of his way to avoid service in Viet Nam. He checked the I DO NOT VOLUNTEER for overseas duty box on his application to the Texas National Guard.Kerry - There's no way of getting around the fact that Kerry loudly protested the war on his return from Vietnam during another time when dissent was widely seen as treason.There's also no way of getting around the fact that one element of his protest was to claim that large elements of the US Military were out of control in Viet Nam and that war crimes were common.-------------I stand by my contention that while Viet Nam is potentially a problem for both men, sustained discussion of the issue will highlight the fact that President Bush chose soft stateside duty. Add to this that he got into the guard ahead of higher scoring applicants and what you have is a President asking people to make sacrifices he himself was unwilling to make. I don't see this playing well.Although I'm sure you disagree, the conventional wisdom in Vietnam was that it was a misguided war where some documented attrocities occured. I think the few undecided voters will forgive protest of that war just like they forgived Clinton's draft dodging in 1992 and 1996. Still, I suppose enough pictures of a long-haired Kerry with his fist in the air will energize your base to vote. So it might come out to be a wash.Still, I'd rather see the President insisting that Kerry show us his plan for ending the war and comparing Kerry to Nixon if he doesn't. Most of us don't live with Vietnam every day, Iraq will be with us for years no matter what we do.I'm taking a computer holiday till Friday, so I won't be reading responses till then!
"So I really don't care what the Kerry and other anti-American camps..."What makes Kerry an "anti-American" camp?As I told Greg, I'll be away from my computer till Friday. - D
I used the anti-American label because Teresa Heinz Kerry said anti-American and anti-Pennsylvanian. I also used it because Kerry is more 'international' than US centric, for lack of a better description. ( I don't think Kerry is going to merge the US with France- so he is not anti-America).
Insofar as it is my journal I am a bit more free with my hyperbole than in the article discussions.
Oh, and one can't troll one's own journal as far as I am concerned, but someone moderated my comment as a troll of my own journal. How unusual.
"I used the anti-American label because Teresa Heinz Kerry said anti-American and anti-Pennsylvanian."Sorry about getting Trolled on your own journal. That does seem extreme.Ok. Two questions from the last post:1) Where did THK say "anti-American and anti-Pennsylvanian"? A claim like this needs a source.2) If THK did say this, how do you know whether this reflects her husband's views and has he had any reactions?As far as I've heard, THK, unlike Hillary Clinton, has no interest in a gov't position, so I'm not sure how relevant her opinions are -- unless her husband publicly endorses them.I give you my word that if Laura Bush made some public remarks that I found offensive, I wouldn't hold those against the President -- unless he publicly endorsed them.Take care and have a good weekend!
I like the ad, I didn't serve with Kerry but I think that anyone who carried a movie camera in Vietnam who wasn't with Stars & Stripes or Movietone is a self aggrandizing idiot.
So I really don't care what the Kerry and other anti-American camps have to say, I do care what these veterans have to say that is why I gave them a contribution to continue their fine work. First Amendment and all that nonsense.
If Kerry's anti-war efforts are fair game, then the President's service in the National Guard should be as well.Do we really need to rehash accusations from 30 years ago? In some respects the Viet Nam years really don't make either candidate look very good. The non-partisan FactCheck.org suggests that the complete truth of Kerry's 3rd purple heart may never be known.As we both know, there are so many important issues facing the Republic today, I'd rather hear the candidates discussing them rather than fighting ghosts from their past.Now, if conclusive evidence comes up that either of them were guilty of crimes (AWOL, perjury, etc) then that evidence can be entered into the record. Until then, let's be content that both Bush and Kerry served their country during those difficult years instead of running away.
That Globe article was a distortion. Here's a reaffirmation by the vet in question.
The ad takes into account Kerry's protests when he returned from Vietnam as well, and that is the Gospel truth.
I haven't seen many Kerry ads. They tend to be on the fluff side.
I tend to cringe when I hear about the book and ads. It seems over-the-top. But then I did some serious cringing when Kerry walked up to the podium at the DNC and proceeded to hug 6-7 fellow vets in a very obvious effort to play up his 4 months of service. Fair is fair.
I'm almost afraid of what's going to happen on Election day if it isn't a clear blow-out. Its going to be ugly.
Hey nbruce! What statement of Senator Kerry's is Jeffery Wainscott referring to? Source please!If he is referring to Kerry's 1971 testimony before Congress, then Mr. Wainscott is misrepresenting him. As this part of Kerry's 1971 statement makes clear, he was referring to other people who supposedly witnessed or committed crimes:------------------Mr. Kerry: Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington, Senator Pell. I would like to say for the record, and also for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniforms and their medals, that my sitting here is really symbolic. I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the 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.I would simply like to speak in very general terms. I apologize if my statement is general because I received notification yesterday you would hear me and I am afraid because of the injunction I was up most of the night and haven't had a great deal of chance to prepare.Winter soldier InvestigationI would like to talk, representing 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, 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, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape 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 country side 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 in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriot 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, the fact that the crimes threaten it, no reds, and not redcoats but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out.-----------------------Nothing I saw in that statement indicated that Kerry witnessed or participated in anything that he would have been required to report as a war crime.If there's some other statement where John Kerry claims he did, I'd like to see a citation to it.Whether ANY of the claims raised by the Winter Soldier Investigation is an open question. The Naval Investigative Service (NIS) conducted a classified investigation in 1972. Gunter Lewy wrote a book in 1980 relying on these documents that discredited a handful of Winter Soldier witnesses. He also claimed that these classified documents showed that ALL witnesses refused to cooperate with the NIS. No record of the NIS investigation exists today, so it is impossible to either to verify or deny Lewy's claim. (You'll need to scroll down to the bottom third of the article.)That's too bad, because if there was proof that Kerry knowingly lied to Congress, then I think that would be a legitimate campaign issue.By the way, I'm not just picking on Lewy. I read some book whose name I can't remember that took Winter Soldier as gospel. It had no publicly available evidence backing its claims either.
Says John McCain.According to McCain, none of the people in the ad served on the boat with Kerry:""I deplore this kind of politics," McCain said. "I think the ad is dishonest and dishonorable. As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam. I think George Bush served honorably in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War." "Makes the criticism a little less exciting. If anyone has a cite to refute McCain's claim, let's have it posted.
According to Yahoo! News, the White House is repudiating the swift boat ad, along with calling for reform of 527 activities by both parties.
That fact that he testified in front of the Senate on nothing more than hearsay is a defense?
Are you asking us to fall in line just because McCain and Bush don't agree?
I believe (but can't remember at the moment) that a number of the 150 people who testified at WSI provided affadavits of their experiences. So, I'd say that Mr. Kerry had as much reason to believe those folks as President Bush had to believe Chalabi.I'm agnostic on whether the WSI conclusions are true or false. Nothing was publicly produced by the Nixon administration to refute them, but the vanished NIS study Mr. Lewy referred to may have had proof most of Winter Soldier was a scam. Considering it was in the gov't's interest to discredit VVAW as quickly and forcefully as possible, I think there may have been something to the allegations. On the other hand, if ANY of the allegations were true, criminal trials should have been in order.Even if every single allegation was true, which seems unlikely, that doesn't mean atrocity was policy. If you do the math, 150 veterans out of the 100s of thousands who served in VietNam could be rationally characterized as a "few bad apples."
" Are you asking us to fall in line just because McCain and Bush don't agree?"I'm not positive what that line would be, but no. Just a plea not to take it as Gospel truth.This morning, Kerry's commanding officer renounced *his* part in the ad, saying:"But in Friday's Boston Globe, Elliott said: "It was a terrible mistake probably for me to sign the affidavit with those words. I'm the one in trouble here."Elliott told the newspaper he thinks Kerry did deserve the medal."I still don't think he (Kerry) shot the guy in the back," Elliott is quoted as saying in the Globe."By the way, I think that you and all of the President's supporters on this board should feel free to criticize any Kerry/Kerry supporting ads that people post here. If you can find citations to back up your factual claims, so much the better.Both candidates and their supporters have run misleading ads. We as information professionals can have a role in helping to separate fact from fiction.
Mdoneil, I am offended that you are calling people who are NOT "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" anti-American.
This whole "fair game" discussion kind of disgusts me; everything has to be a damn GAME these days, a "reality show" if you will. Can't you understand that the people running for President of the United States are PRO-American? Even though i'm a strong supporter of Kerry/Edwards (ok, now you know--if you didn't before!), and would do ANYTHING to get these men elected, I wouldn't deign to call President Bush or his supporters "anti-American." Enough with the dirty politics, let's rally behind those candidates we support and show our better sides!
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