Skip to comments.Were John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War efforts unpatriotic?
Posted on 05/17/2004 2:25:41 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Yes: There is no doubt that Kerry's protesting gave aid and comfort to the enemy while U.S. soldiers were on the battlefield.
Sen. John Forbes Kerry, the not-yet-crowned Democratic presidential candidate, is no patriot. During the Vietnam War he allied himself with enemies of the United States. He committed treason by campaigning under the flag of the Viet Cong enemy against the effort of the United States to contain the spread of communism. He used the blood of servicemen still in the field for his own political advancement by claiming that their blood was being shed unnecessarily or in vain. He is truly "Hanoi John."
On the campaign trail Kerry regularly mentions his Vietnam War combat experience as a Navy lieutenant (junior grade) commanding a Swift boat in Vietnam, during which he received a hefty number of medals.
The Massachusetts Democrat, however, doesn't like to be questioned about how he received his medals, why he was allowed to leave Vietnam eight months early, why he was allowed an early release from the Navy or about the time he was rubbing shoulders with "Hanoi Jane" Fonda.
After being assigned to Vietnam in December 1969, Kerry, in four short months, managed to secure a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.
Not long after securing his third Purple Heart, Kerry, citing an obscure regulation, engineered an early transfer out of Vietnam [read Insight's April 12 report, "Purple Hearts: Three and Out"]. Navy rules, Kerry pointed out to his commander, allowed a thrice-wounded soldier to return immediately to the United States. When asked about the severity of his injuries, Kerry admitted that none required hospitalization. "Walking wounded," he explained.
Nevertheless, Commodore Charles F. Horne, an administrative official and commander of the coastal squadron in which Kerry served, filled out a document on March 17, 1969, that said Kerry had "been thrice wounded in action while on duty in country Vietnam. Reassignment is requested ... as a personal aide in Boston, New York, or Wash., D.C. area."
Kerry packed his gear and bid goodbye to his band of brothers and went home.
Douglas Brinkley, author of Tour of Duty, an account of Kerry's experience in the Vietnam War, wrote that "an important turning point in Kerry's life occurred in October 1969," while still on active duty assigned to Rear Adm. Walter F. Schlech Jr. in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kerry, who had a private pilot's license, began flying Robert F. Kennedy's former speechwriter, Adam Walinsky, "all over New York" state to deliver antiwar speeches.
By January 1970, Kerry was so "inspired by Walinsky's antiwar beliefs" that he petitioned Adm. Schlech "to tell his boss that his conscience dictated that he protest the war, that he wanted out of the Navy immediately so that he could run for Congress."
Schlech, who had already given Kerry an early promotion, consented and gave Kerry an honorable discharge out of the Navy six months early.
Kerry then attempted to acquire a congressional seat and failed.
By June 1970, Kerry had joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), maintaining a low-key role in VVAW activities until Sept. 7, 1970, when he accepted a prominent position in VVAW's Operation RAW (Rapid American Withdrawal).
According to Brinkley, Operation RAW called for "Vietnam vets to march 86 miles between two Revolutionary War sites - Morristown, New Jersey, and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania - engaging in guerrilla theater all the way ... the spectacle of this ragtag band of ex-soldiers was bound to get the media's attention and it did." Operation RAW was conceived by VVAW organizer Al Hubbard, an African-American firebrand, who partnered with Kerry on a Meet the Press interview. It was discovered later that Hubbard was a phony who had never seen combat and was not a Vietnam veteran, Brinkley wrote.
At Valley Forge, Kerry rubbed elbows with actress Jane Fonda, VVAW's most prominent promoter. Brinkley wrote that Fonda, "standing on the bed of a pickup truck, denounced the Nixon administration as being a beehive for cold-blooded killers." Kerry climbed onto the truck and yelled into the microphone, "We are here because we above all others have earned the right to criticize the war on Southeast Asia. ... We are here to say that it is not patriotism to ask Americans to die for a mistake or that it is not patriotic to allow a president to talk about not being the first president to lose a war and using us as pawns in that game."
From Valley Forge, Kerry and Fonda headed for Detroit and their next propaganda scheme - the Winter Soldier investigation, in which more than 125 self-proclaimed Vietnam veterans testified at a hotel conference that they witnessed U.S. soldiers committing wholesale rape, torture and murder in Vietnam.
After Detroit, Kerry went to the nation's capital, where, as a national leader of VVAW, he organized one of the most confrontational protests of the entire Vietnam War: Operation Dewey Canyon III. It began April 18, 1971, with nearly 1,000 Vietnam vets gathered on the Washington Mall for what they called "a limited incursion into the country of Congress."
Kerry's VVAW members mocked the uniform of U.S. soldiers by wearing tattered fatigues emblazoned with pro-communist graffiti.
VVAW activists later were dubbed as "revolutionary communists" by the Boston Herald Traveler, which reported an "abundance of Viet Cong flags, clenched fists raised in the air, and placards in support of China, Cuba, the U.S.S.R., North Korea and the Hanoi government."
At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing chaired by Sen. J. William Fulbright on April 23, 1971, Kerry took his case to Congress. In a room crammed with people and television cameras, including some from the Soviet bloc, Kerry, dressed in green fatigues decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Heart ribbons, gave testimony that defined him and made possible his career in national politics.
Much of Kerry's speech was treasonous slander. With a wide brush he falsely painted the American GIs in Vietnam as so brutal that today they easily could be mistaken for Saddam Hussein's Fedayeen killers.
Using unsubstantiated testimony gathered at the Winter Soldier investigation, Kerry reported to the world through the Fulbright Committee that U.S. soldiers 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, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam."
Kerry's testimony became a propaganda bonanza for the communists.
In a 1995 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Col. Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and who received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, described how individuals such as Kerry and Fonda gave aid and encouragement to Hanoi. "Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a former prisoner of war, publicly complained about the testimony Kerry and others gave before the Fulbright Committee. "They used Sen. Fulbright a great deal," McCain wrote in the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S. News & World Report.
"All through this period," McCain observed, his captors were "bombarding us with antiwar quotes from people in high places back in Washington. This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us. ... When Ramsey Clark came over, [my jailers] thought that was a great coup for their cause."
Interestingly, Col. Bui Tin was directly involved with the interrogation of American POWs during the war. He appeared before the Senate Select Committee for POW/MIA Affairs in November 1991, telling the committee that Vietnamese cadre, of whom he had charge, kept extensive files, including reports on the "behavior and thought process" of every prisoner. Bui Tin admitted that he was one of McCain's handlers because McCain was considered a "special prisoner."
Later it was discovered that many of the Winter Soldier "eyewitnesses" either had never served in Vietnam or had not done so in the capacity they claimed.
Kerry voiced support for the People's Peace Treaty, a supposed "people's declaration to end the war," reportedly drawn up by activists in communist East Germany. It included nine points, all of which were taken from Viet Cong peace proposals at the Paris peace talks as conditions for ending the war.
Kerry became even more of a press celebrity during the protest when he threw medals the press reported were his over a barricade and onto the steps of the Capitol. Wearing his combat jacket, Kerry addressed the rally of 250,000 demonstrators from the Capitol steps.
In less than a week Kerry was transformed from a little-known former Swift boat skipper to a national icon for a movement that spoke out against U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
In 1991, as cochairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, Kerry proved himself to be a masterful chameleon, displaying to the public at large what appeared to be an unbiased approach to resolving the lingering Vietnam POW/MIA issue.
But in reality, no one in the U.S. Senate pushed harder to bury the POW/MIA issue - the last obstacle preventing normalization of trade relations with Hanoi - than Kerry.
The Select Committee acknowledged in its January 1993 final report (page 6) that after the Vietnam War ended, American servicemen were left behind in captivity. In order to soft-pedal this abandonment, Kerry maintained there was "no proof" U.S. POWs continued to survive, but never produced evidence proving the abandoned POWs were dead, or who was responsible for their deaths, or where their remains were located.
Kerry never demanded that Vietnam explain.
On Sept. 6, 2001, by a vote of 410-1, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill known as the Vietnam Human Rights Act, which demanded that the government in Hanoi stop violating citizens' human rights. The bill would have cut off nonhumanitarian aid to Vietnam until it freed political prisoners, stopped persecuting ethnic minorities, and cracked down on the trafficking of women and children.
The bill was sent to a Senate subcommittee controlled by Kerry. From there it was never released to the Senate floor for a vote because Kerry, as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, put a hold on the bill.
Kerry, forever the Hanoi loyalist, said he stopped the bill because he does "not believe that human rights and change in Vietnam can be forced through sanctions."
Mike Benge, a former Vietnam POW, accurately observed that "John Kerry has fought harder for the Vietnamese communists than he fought against them in Vietnam."
Sampley is a former Green Beret who served two 12-month combat tours in Vietnam. His awards include four Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. In late January, Sampley and two other Vietnam veterans organized Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry on the Internet at www.vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com.
Then promptly stuck a knife in their backs.
kerry's a traitor.
Not if you are a communist.
I gotta stop reading this stuff, the more I read the more angry I get, what good will it do me?
Looks liek a good article. I think I'll read it tomorrow.
Geeesh! I'm surprised I still have it!
It can't be worth much..but the pride I enjoyed stomping that worthless bastard is beyond compensation...!
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