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Old 03-02-2004, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Vets thoughts of Sen. Kerry

So my girlfriend sent me this and asked if this was true...my reply to her is at the bottom. I looked around for some details and could find much about Colliers Int, or HR2883. Any thoughts on letters like this in the first place, I seem to have run across a boatload of them, which seem to have some basis in reality - but i wonder if they are at all real or just written by someone to elicit some sort political reaction suited to their own beliefs.

(btw, my g-friends hardcore liberal, I on the other hand...)

Here goes:

My wife had rotator cuff surgery earlier this year, and the recovery is

>terribly painful. Then, she developed a staph-epi infection, and they
>had to cut the same scar open and operate on her again. Just thinking
>about the pain and anxiety of facing that painful surgery a second time

>in the same wound, makes me cringe. That experience, however pales in
>comparison to what I am going through right now, in my heart.
>
>The old hurts are surfacing and the feelings of betrayal by fellow
>citizens, and their leader stirring them up, are breaking my heart
>again. I am being cut in the same scar. How did we who served in
Vietnam
>suddenly become cold-blooded killers, torturers, and rapists, of the
ilk
>of the Nazi SS or the Taliban? Most of us were American soldiers who
>grew up idolizing John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and all the other heroes.
That
>was why I volunteered But for political expediency, John Kerry has
>rewritten history, again. After spending only four months in the
country
>of Vietnam, John Kerry testified before Congress in 1971 with these
>exact words about incidents he supposedly witnessed or heard about from

>other vets: "They 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."
>I was a green beret officer who volunteered for duty in Vietnam and
>fought in the thick of it in 1968 and 1969 on a Special Forces A-team
on
>the Ho Chi Minh Trail, just for starters. We were the elite. We saw the

>most action. Everybody in the world knows that. But we did not just
kill
>people, we built a church, a school, treated illnesses, passed out
soap,
>food, and clothing, and had fun and loving interaction with the
>indigenous people of Vietnam, just like our boys did in Normandy,
>Baghdad, Saigon, and everywhere American soldiers ever served. We all
>gave away our candy bars and rations to kids. Our hearts to oppressed
>people all over the globe.
>
>My children and grandchildren could read your words, and think those
>horrendous things about me, Mr. Kerry. You are a bold-faced,
>unprincipled liar, and a disgrace, and you have dishonored me and all
my
>fellow Vietnam veterans. Sure, there were a couple bad-apples, but I
saw
>none, and I saw it all, and if I did, as an army officer, it was my
>obligation to stop it, or at the very least report it. Why is there not

>a single record anywhere of you ever reporting any incidents like this
>or having the perpetrators arrested? The answer is simple. You are a
>liar. Your medals and mine are not a free pass for lifetime, Senator
>Kerry, to bypass character, integrity, and morality. I earn my green
>beret over and over daily in all aspects of my life.
>
>Eight National Guard green berets, and other National Guard soldiers,
>have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you totally dishonored
>their widows and families by lumping National Guard service in with
>being a draft-dodger, conscientious objector, and deserter, just so you

>can try to sabotage the patriotism of our President who proudly served
>as an Air National Guard jet pilot. I have a son earning his green
beret
>at Fort Bragg right now, and his wife serves honorably in the Air
>National Guard, just like President Bush did, and I am as proud of her
>as I am my son. I volunteered for Vietnam and have no problem
whatsoever
>with President Bush being our Commander-In-Chief. In fact, I am proud
of
>him as our leader.
>
>John Kerry, you personally derailed the Vietnam Human rights Bill,
>HR2883, in 2001, after it had passed the House by a 411 to 1 vote, and
>thousands of pro-American Montagnard tribespeople in Vietnam died since

>then who could have been saved, by you. Earlier, as Chair of the Senate

>Select Committee on MIA/POW Affairs, you personally quashed the efforts

>of any and all veterans to report sightings of living POW's, when you
>held those reins in Congress. You have fought tooth and nail to push
for
>the US to normalize relations with Vietnam for years. Why, Mr. Kerry?
>Simple, your first cousin C. Stewart Forbes, CEO, of Colliers
>International, recently signed a contract with Hanoi, worth BILLIONS of

>dollars for Collier's International to become the exclusive real estate

>representative for the country of Vietnam.
>
>"Hanoi John," now that it works for you, you beat your chest about your

>Vietnam service, but to me, you are a phony, opportunistic, hypocrite.
>You are one of those politicians that is like a fertilizer machine: all

>that comes out of you is horse manure, and you are spreading it
>everywhere.
>
>Medals do not make a man. Morals do.
>
>
>Don Bendell
>Canon City, Colorado
>
>Don Bendell served as an officer in four Special Forces Groups, is a
>best-selling author with over 1,500,000 books in print, a 1995 inductee

>into the International Karate Hall of Fame, and owns karate schools in
>southern Colorado.


and my reply:

Yes. It is. It absolutely is. You should vote for Bush....haha. YES!!!

Seriously, what part exactly?.....I know the part is about his accusations of "They personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads....etc,ect" are true. Never heard of Colliers Int, or the HR2833 human rights bill. But regardless, I think the sentiments felt by the author are probably true of a lot of vietnam vets.

So i guess....anyone hear of Colliers Int, or HR2883 and what exactly it was (433 to 1!!) - that seems pretty frickin unbelievable.

Or just thoughts on these types of letters
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I read a story about Vietnam vets and Vietnamese Americans protesting Kerry outside his main campaign office last weekend. None of this stuff is new, I think the Republicans are just waiting for Kerry to be the nominee to nail him on it.
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Old 03-02-2004, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nail him on it? What kind of nonsense is that?

Kerry stood up against atrocities that *many* vets claim happen. Why is it when you have a chimp in a flight suit, the military should stand united, but when a man actually fights in a war and *gasp* shares his opinions afterwards, they should be divided? In no way did John Kerry ever condemn all soldiers who fought in the war- the wrongdoers who did commit atrocities were his targets.

Are you denying these sorts of stories any truth? Do you honestly believe that the legion of 18-21 year olds drafted to go to war would all react as honorable, moral individuals? A volunteer for special forces may be a stalwart soldier- a group of kids thrust into near-death in a jungle may be the kinds to rape and pillage.

The Republicans aren't waiting to "nail" anything. There's nothing to "nail". George W. Bush could disagree with everything Kerry testified to, if he had any personal experience to reference. If the Republicans ride Kerry's war record, they'll be riding it out of Washington. Take off your partisan jacket and face facts.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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LOL. this is a complete joke. Looking at the words of some biased Bush supporters and saying they represent the views of most Vietnam vets is ridiculous. Kerry has plenty of vets backing him up, including the Republican whose life he saved. If this is the best you guys can come up with, you need to start preparing for a John Kerry presidency.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tomservo
Nail him on it? What kind of nonsense is that?

Kerry stood up against atrocities that *many* vets claim happen. Why is it when you have a chimp in a flight suit, the military should stand united, but when a man actually fights in a war and *gasp* shares his opinions afterwards, they should be divided? In no way did John Kerry ever condemn all soldiers who fought in the war- the wrongdoers who did commit atrocities were his targets.

Are you denying these sorts of stories any truth? Do you honestly believe that the legion of 18-21 year olds drafted to go to war would all react as honorable, moral individuals? A volunteer for special forces may be a stalwart soldier- a group of kids thrust into near-death in a jungle may be the kinds to rape and pillage.

The Republicans aren't waiting to "nail" anything. There's nothing to "nail". George W. Bush could disagree with everything Kerry testified to, if he had any personal experience to reference. If the Republicans ride Kerry's war record, they'll be riding it out of Washington. Take off your partisan jacket and face facts.
You are obviously unaware of the history of his testimony. Google winter soldier kerry.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As far as closing down the POW issue and normalizing relations with Vietnam, these issues had wide spread, bi-partisan support. In fact, John McCain worked side-by-side with Kerry on both of these issues, and has come to Kerry's defense on numerous occations. Kerry had been pushing for the normalization of relations for many years, long before Colliers had their deal with Hanoi and if fact, even if we had not normalized relaitons they still would have the contract and made the Billions.

As far as HR 2883, I am having a hard time figuring out what this gentleman is talking about. HR 2883 and its concurrent Senate bill were both passed and signed into law. (100-0 in the Senate) I thought that perhaps there was an error in the date, but HR 2883 and its concurrent Senate bill in 2000 were also passed.

Does anyone else have more information on this?

As far as his comments on Vietnam, yes there are many Veterans who dislike Senator Kerry, the things he said and the actions he took. Kerry spoke hard words in those Senate hearings, and each person needs to make their own decision as to how they feel about his testimony. However, having been to Kerry rallies and volunteered at Kerry offices, I can attest to the fact that many Veterans have a great deal of respect for the Senator and support his bid for the presidency. No group, as diverse as Veterans, is going to be monolithic in their support.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks mml, precisely what I was looking for.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by mml
No group, as diverse as Veterans, is going to be monolithic in their support.
Exactly. Each side can, will, and already have trot out a few people and use them as examples of entire groups against their opponent. I just wish people would make the right decisions for themselves and stop believing the hype of supposed impartial parties who have their own agendas. The saddest part of all this stuff is how so many voters just take these things as facts when they barely even have to scratch the surface to see how hollow many of the arguments are.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
mml
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Location: Wandering in the Desert of Life
Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
Exactly. Each side can, will, and already have trot out a few people and use them as examples of entire groups against their opponent. I just wish people would make the right decisions for themselves and stop believing the hype of supposed impartial parties who have their own agendas. The saddest part of all this stuff is how so many voters just take these things as facts when they barely even have to scratch the surface to see how hollow many of the arguments are.

I couldn't agree with you more!
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ustwo- nice job ignoring the entire post and instead trotting out more garbage. Show me where Kerry condemned his fellow soldiers who did NOT commit these acts. You want to make him treasonous, when in fact he's a patriot, AND a liberal.

Again, you deny that any of these events happened, and just as George W. Bush, you don't know. Anti-war viewpoints were seen as anti-American as long as we've been going to war- and they're constantly shouted down. Those who commit atrocities will rarely admit those atrocities when punishment or criticism seems likely.
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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As a Navy Veteran, who happened to have served in the same boat groups that Kerry served in Vietnam, albeit 6 months later, I am deeply distrustful of John Kerry. I too came home from Vietnam and voiced my opinion against the War i had just returned from. It was an awful waste of money and lives. The government would not allow the service's to perform their assigned tasks correctly, wouldn't let us finish the job.
Since his return, Kerry has maneuvered himself to take advantage of his militery carreer, while voicing disdain for those he served with. I consider this to be two faced and believe him not to be of presidential character. I will say also, Bush is not the greatest of choices, but i would vote for Bush before Kerry.
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Kerry was part of the war, saw what went on, and spoke out against what he saw. There is free speech in this country so he should be able to say whatever the hell he wants to say. The people that went to war were mostly the kids who were unable to afford college so what do you expect a bunch of 18 year olds with these weapons to do? It isn't like they sent bible groups out to fight and after the battle took all the kids and bandaged them up. This was a war and Kerry saw the horrible stuff that was happening around him and then spoke out against it. This also gives Kerry leverage as he actually was in a war as Bush who skipped out. Kerry knows the dangers of war but Bush would willfully send troops to their deaths for oil.
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Old 03-03-2004, 12:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Guys you don't get it, his testimony was a LIE based on other lies.

He wasn't speaking out about what he saw, he was telling lies, some of which were told by men who weren't even soldiers but pretended to be. THAT'S the problem.

This isn't about free speech its about deception and lying to the US congress.
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Old 03-03-2004, 02:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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oh man, don't get all wishy-washy on me here...

this isn't an issue of free speech or personal opinion. john kerry lied to congress. even if those things did happen, he testified that he had witnessed them and it was later revealed that he did not.

of course a returning veteran should be able to say whatever he likes about the war. just because you have that right doesn't mean that you shouldn't be held accountable for lies and grandstanding under false pretenses.
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Old 03-03-2004, 05:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: VA
Quote:
Originally posted by santafe5000
As a Navy Veteran, who happened to have served in the same boat groups that Kerry served in Vietnam, albeit 6 months later, I am deeply distrustful of John Kerry. I too came home from Vietnam and voiced my opinion against the War i had just returned from. It was an awful waste of money and lives. The government would not allow the service's to perform their assigned tasks correctly, wouldn't let us finish the job.
Since his return, Kerry has maneuvered himself to take advantage of his militery carreer, while voicing disdain for those he served with. I consider this to be two faced and believe him not to be of presidential character. I will say also, Bush is not the greatest of choices, but i would vote for Bush before Kerry.
How has he voiced disdain for those he served with? Every one of his crewmates from his gunboat have either endorsed or is actively campaigning for him. Or do you mean in the more general sense? Either way, where is the disdain? To my knowledge, Kerry has shown nothing but the utmost respect for fellow servicemen and -women.
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Old 03-04-2004, 08:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Again, I find it pathetic and completely avoiding the true issues to attack a veteran, who, when many in his position chose to find ways out of service, served his country to the best of his ability. (Regardless of what the GOP would have you believe a decorated serviceman does not get decorated for playing tiddlywinks with the generals.)

I wore the uniform, served the country I love and was prepared to die for her. No matter politics, I have great respect FOR ANY MAN THAT SERVED IN VIETNAM. If he chose to come home and testify as to what he saw and his perspective of what was truly going on, then he fought in a war that Bush did all he could to stay out of (hell he didn't even do his guuard duty with honor).

Vietnam was a quagmire and a constitutionally illegal war...... oops Police Action as we never declared it a war because then congress would have been able to vote on it, similar to Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the GOP to brashly attack any man's service just because he is the opposite party's candidate shows how deeply they despise the service men in our armed forces.

Of course the GOP is cutting all Vets benefits anyway so it shouldn't shock anyone...... except , well we are at war and when the men come home and expect thier benefits they'll find out what kind of commander-in -chief they truly have.

All this hoopla on Kerry's military background shows me one thing....... THE GOP CAN'T RUN ON THE TRUE ISSUES FACING THIS COUNTRY.

And ya know what? I think Bush's negative politics and avoidance of the issues will bite him in his ass this time.

STICK TO THE ISSUES GOP AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. Because if you win you did it because the people found your ideology better. But you won't and now if you win (which like I said I seriously doubt you can with negativity) you'll know that it's NOT because the people like your views it's because you had to bully and play holier than thou and fight dirty. In other words winning that way SHOULD ACTUALLY SCARE YOU, BECAUSE WHY DIDN'T YOU DEBATE THE ISSUES?

The GOP are great at avoiding ANY ISSUE they'll lose at and trying to bully, name call and destroy those who want answers to the issues at hand.
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Old 03-04-2004, 09:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Pan I have no idea where you are going, but if lying to congress isn't an issue to you thats really a shame.

Character matters my friend, no one is attacking Kerry's record IN Vietnam, in fact I salute it, its when he comes home and starts acting like an idiot I have issues with him. Just because Kerry served doesn't make him somehow immune to his actions since then.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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He had fought for the right to come before congress and describe what he saw. Did he lie to congress? I doubt it my guess is he reported what he saw and from his perspective, we all see and percieve things differently. Hence there were many who came back and said the same things he said and many who came back and said he was a liar. IT'S PERSPECTIVE. To say he and those who said the same thing lied while those who said the opposite spoke the truth is close minded and foolhardy. It's like anything, you listen to both sides, realize that both have truths and both have OPINION laced biased and weigh the facts.

Facts are Vietnam was horrid and many attrocities were committed there by our men.

Again I reiterate tho that by spotlighting on his "character" allows the GOP to not have to debate the issues because they know they would lose then.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Please Read

Quote:
January 27, 2004, 8:25 a.m.
Vetting the Vet Record
Is Kerry a proud war hero or angry antiwar protester?

John Kerry, we know, is running against John Kerry: his own voting
record. But there is another record that John Kerry is running against,
and this has to do with his very emergence as a Democratic politician:
Kerry, the proud Vietnam veteran vs. Kerry, the antiwar activist who
accused his fellow Vietnam veterans of the most heinous atrocities
imaginable.

John Kerry not only served honorably in Vietnam, but also with
distinction, earning a Silver Star (America's third-highest award for
valor), a Bronze Star, and three awards of the Purple Heart for wounds
received in combat as a swift-boat commander. Kerry did not return from
Vietnam a radical antiwar activist. According to the indispensable
Stolen Valor, by H. G. "Jug" Burkett and Genna Whitley, "Friends said
that when Kerry first began talking about running for office, he was not
visibly agitated about the Vietnam War. 'I thought of him as a rather
normal vet,' a friend said to a reporter, 'glad to be out but not
terribly uptight about the war.' Another acquaintance who talked to
Kerry about his political ambitions called him a 'very charismatic
fellow looking for a good issue.'" Apparently, this good issue would be
Vietnam.

Kerry hooked up with an organization called Vietnam Veterans Against the
War (VVAW). Two events cooked up by this group went a long way toward
cementing in the public mind the image of Vietnam as one big atrocity.
The first of these was the January 31, 1971, "Winter Soldier
Investigation," organized by "the usual suspects" among antiwar
celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Dick Gregory, and Kennedy-assassination
conspiracy theorist, Mark Lane. Here, individuals purporting to be
Vietnam veterans told horrible stories of atrocities in Vietnam: using
prisoners for target practice, throwing them out of helicopters, cutting
off the ears of dead Viet Cong soldiers, burning villages, and
gang-raping women as a matter of course.

The second event was "Dewey Canyon III," or what VVAW called a "limited
incursion into the country of Congress" in April of 1971. It was during
this VVAW "operation" that John Kerry first came to public attention.
The group marched on Congress to deliver petitions to Congress and then
to the White House. The highlight of this event occurred when veterans
threw their medals and ribbons over a fence in front of the Capitol,
symbolizing a rebuke to the government that they claimed had betrayed
them. One of the veterans flinging medals back in the face of his
government was John Kerry, although it turns out they were not his
medals, but someone else's.

Several days later Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee. His speech, touted as a spontaneous rhetorical endeavor, was
a tour de force, convincing many Americans that their country had indeed
waged a merciless and immoral war in Vietnam. It was particularly
powerful because Kerry did not fit the antiwar-protester mold — he was
no scruffy, wide-eyed hippie. He was instead the best that America had
to offer. He was, according to Burkett and Whitley, the "All-American
boy, mentally twisted by being asked to do terrible things, then
abandoned by his government."

Kerry began by referring to the Winter Soldiers Investigation in
Detroit. Here, he claimed, "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 their stories. 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
Genghis 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.

This is quite a bill of particulars to lay at the feet of the U.S.
military. He said in essence that his fellow veterans had committed
unparalleled war crimes in Vietnam as a matter of course, indeed, that
it was American policy to commit such atrocities.

In fact, the entire Winter Soldiers Investigation was a lie. It was
inspired by Mark Lane's 1970 book entitled Conversations with Americans,
which claimed to recount atrocity stories by Vietnam veterans. This book
was panned by James Reston Jr. and Neil Sheehan, not exactly known as
supporters of the Vietnam War. Sheehan in particular demonstrated that
many of Lane's "eye witnesses" either had never served in Vietnam or had
not done so in the capacity they claimed.

Nonetheless, Sen. Mark Hatfield inserted the transcript of the Winter
Soldier testimonies into the Congressional Record and asked the
Commandant of the Marine Corps to investigate the war crimes allegedly
committed by Marines. When the Naval Investigative Service attempted to
interview the so-called witnesses, most refused to cooperate, even after
assurances that they would not be questioned about atrocities they may
have committed personally. Those that did cooperate never provided
details of actual crimes to investigators. The NIS also discovered that
some of the most grisly testimony was given by fake witnesses who had
appropriated the names of real Vietnam veterans. Guenter Lewy tells the
entire study in his book, America in Vietnam.

Kerry's 1971 testimony includes every left-wing cliché about Vietnam and
the men who served there. It is part of the reason that even today,
people who are too young to remember Vietnam are predisposed to believe
the worst about the Vietnam War and those who fought it. This
predisposition was driven home by the fraudulent "Tailwind" episode some
months ago.

The first cliché is that atrocities were widespread in Vietnam. But this
is nonsense. Atrocities did occur in Vietnam, but they were far from
widespread. Between 1965 and 1973, 201 soldiers and 77 Marines were
convicted of serious crimes against the Vietnamese. Of course, the fact
that many crimes, either in war or peace, go unreported, combined with
the particular difficulties encountered by Americans fighting in
Vietnam, suggest that more such acts were committed than reported or tried.

But even Daniel Ellsberg, a severe critic of U.S. policy in Vietnam,
rejected the argument that the biggest U.S. atrocity in Vietnam, My Lai,
was in any way a normal event: "My Lai was beyond the bounds of
permissible behavior, and that is recognizable by virtually every
soldier in Vietnam. They know it was wrong....The men who were at My Lai
knew there were aspects out of the ordinary. That is why they tried to
hide the event, talked about it to no one, discussed it very little even
among themselves."

My Lai was an extreme case, but anyone who has been in combat
understands the thin line between permissible acts and atrocity. The
first and potentially most powerful emotion in combat is fear arising
from the instinct of self-preservation. But in soldiers, fear is
overcome by what the Greeks called thumos, spiritedness and righteous
anger. In the Iliad, it is thumos, awakened by the death of his comrade
Patroclus that causes Achilles to leave sulking in his tent and wade
into the Trojans.

But unchecked, thumos can engender rage and frenzy. It is the role of
leadership, which provides strategic context for killing and enforces
discipline, to prevent this outcome. Such leadership was not in evidence
at My Lai.

But My Lai also must be placed within a larger context. The NVA and VC
frequently committed atrocities, not as a result of thumos run amok, but
as a matter of policy. While left-wing anti-war critics of U.S. policy
in Vietnam were always quick to invoke Auschwitz and the Nazis in
discussing alleged American atrocities, they were silent about Hue City,
where a month and a half before My Lai, the North Vietnamese and VC
systematically murdered 3,000 people. They were also willing to excuse
Pol Pot's mass murderer of upwards of a million Cambodians.

The second cliché is that is that Vietnam scarred an entire generation
of young men. But for years, many of us who served in Vietnam tried to
make the case that the popular image of the Vietnam vet as maladjusted
loser, dehumanized killer, or ticking "time bomb" was at odds with
reality. Indeed, it was our experience that those who had served in
Vietnam generally did so with honor, decency, and restraint; that
despite often being viewed with distrust or opprobrium at home, most had
asked for nothing but to be left alone to make the transition back to
civilian life; and that most had in fact made that transition if not
always smoothly, at least successfully.

But the press could always find the stereotypical, traumatized vet who
could be counted on to tell the most harrowing and gruesome stories of
combat in Vietnam, often involving atrocities, the sort of stories that
John Kerry gave credence to in his 1971 testimony. Many of the war
stories recounted by these individuals were wildly implausible to any
one who had been in Vietnam, but credulous journalists, most of whom had
no military experience, uncritically passed their reports along to the
public.

I had always agreed with the observation of the late Harry Summers, a
well-known military commentator who served as an infantryman in Korean
and Vietnam, that the story teller's distance from the battle zone was
directly proportional to the gruesomeness of his atrocity story. But
until the publication of the aforementioned Stolen Valor: How the
Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and its History, neither
Harry nor I any idea just how true his observation was.

In the course of trying to raise money for a Texas Vietnam Veterans
Memorial, Burkett discovered that reporters were only interested in
homeless veterans and drug abuse and that the corporate leaders he
approached had bought into the popular image of Vietnam veterans. They
were not honorable men who took pride in their service, but whining
welfare cases, bellyaching about what an immoral government did to them.

Fed up, Burkett did something that any reporter worth his or her salt
could have done: he used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to check
the actual records of the "image makers" used by reporters to flesh out
their stories on homelessness, Agent Orange, suicide, drug abuse,
criminality, or alcoholism. What he found was astounding. More often
than not, the showcase "veteran" who cried on camera about his dead
buddies, about committing or witnessing atrocities, or about some heroic
action in combat that led him to the current dead end in his life, was
an impostor.

Indeed, Burkett discovered that over the last decade, some 1,700
individuals, including some of the most prominent examples of the
Vietnam veteran as dysfunctional loser, had fabricated their war
stories. Many had never even been in the service. Others, had been, but
had never been in Vietnam.

Stolen Valor made it clear why John Kerry's testimony in 1971 slandered
an entire generation of soldiers. Kerry gave credence to the claim that
the war was fought primarily by reluctant draftees, predominantly
composed of the poor, the young, or racial minorities.

The record shows something different, indicating that 86 percent of
those who died during the war were white and 12.5 percent were black,
from an age group in which blacks comprised 13.1 percent of the
population. Two thirds of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers,
and volunteers accounted for 77 percent of combat deaths.

Kerry portrayed the Vietnam veteran as ashamed of his service:

We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of
that service as easily as this administration has wiped 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
the fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more,
and so when in 30 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 the place where America finally turned and
where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.

But a comprehensive 1980 survey commissioned by Veterans' Administration
(VA) reported that 91 percent of those who had seen combat in Vietnam
were "glad they had served their country;" 80 percent disagreed with the
statement that "the US took advantage of me;" and nearly two out of
three would go to Vietnam again, even knowing how the war would end.

Today, Sen. Kerry appeals to veterans in his quest for the White House.
He invokes his Vietnam service at every turn. But an honest,
enterprising reporter should ask Sen. Kerry this: Were you lying in 1971
or are you lying now? We do know that his speech was not the
spontaneous, emotional, from-the-heart offering that he suggested it
was. Burkett and Whitley report that instead, "it had been carefully
crafted by a speech writer for Robert Kennedy named Adam Walinsky, who
also tutored him on how to present it."

But the issue goes far beyond theatrics. If he believes his 1971
indictment of his country and his fellow veterans was true, then he
couldn't possibly be proud of his Vietnam service. Who can be proud of
committing war crimes of the sort that Kerry recounted in his 1971
testimony? But if he is proud of his service today, perhaps it is
because he always knew that his indictment in 1971 was a piece of
political theater that he, an aspiring politician, exploited merely as a
"good issue." If the latter is true, he should apologize to every
veteran of that war for slandering them to advance his political fortunes.

— Mackubin Thomas Owens is an NRO contributing editor and a professor of
strategy and force planning at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. He
led a Marine infantry platoon in Vietnam in 1968-1969.
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Old 03-04-2004, 10:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Did he lie to congress? I doubt it my guess is he reported what he saw and from his perspective, we all see and percieve things differently
Then I guess his service IN vietnam is questionable. Wasn't he obligated to report these War Crimes to his superior officer, when they occurred.
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:15 AM   #21 (permalink)
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g.w. bush volunteered to go to vietnam, and was considered too inexperienced a pilot at the time. I am a disabled veteran, and I think that kerry is an unmittigated piece of shit. But not for his service in vietnam. My dad served as well, and I know all about the crazy shit that happened. I think kerry is a dirtbag for everything he has done since he got back, and was elected to the senate. he is a spineless, career minded, opportunist who will do what ever he needs to to get elected. And I am sick and tired of all of these gutless wonders like kerry and clinton teddy kennedy and their ilk getting a pass in the media to get away with the double dealing they do. That having been said, the man has a perfect right to run for office, and if the clowns in this country want another meely mouthed ass clown for president, they can vote him in, cause they deserve him.
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:34 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ganon
g.w. bush volunteered to go to vietnam, and was considered too inexperienced a pilot at the time.
He did? First I've heard of it, and if you have any source I'd like to see it. I almost hope its not true because if it is, I'm going to be double pissed at the liberals whining about him being AWOL (lie).
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:42 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Ustwo
He did? First I've heard of it, and if you have any source I'd like to see it. I almost hope its not true because if it is, I'm going to be double pissed at the liberals whining about him being AWOL (lie).
He reportedly volunteered for the Palace Alert project which would have potentially sent him to Vietnam. This was around 1970 but the program was already being phased out as he gained his wings.
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:47 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally posted by matthew330
Then I guess his service IN vietnam is questionable. Wasn't he obligated to report these War Crimes to his superior officer, when they occurred.
Reading the above article, it becomes clear that ustwo is twisting the evidence to suit his needs. Kerry's serice isn't in question by anything I've read or heard. That article above--it points to the fact that Kerry referred to other people's testimony in another investigation.

How is stating "I've come back from doing things I was ashamed of and I've heard from many service people that they've done terrible things" lying to Congress?

If you walk around and think in your head that Kerry claimed every service person was cutting ears off villagers based on the above attributions, the fault lies in your conclusions, not his statements.

and BTW, Kerry isn't using his Vietnam experience as something to be proud of, as the writer of this last article implies. He's using it as an example that he's been in a nasty war, has seen war's horrors, and won't place our nation's young men in harm's way unless it's for a just cause. Reasonable people can disagree as to what constitutes a just cause and whether Bush believes the same way, but this isn't the case of someone who once was ashamed of his actions and is now acting like they were heroic deeds.

Last edited by smooth; 03-04-2004 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:18 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by smooth
Reading the above article, it becomes clear that ustwo is twisting the evidence to suit his needs. Kerry's serice isn't in question by anything I've read or heard. That article above--it points to the fact that Kerry referred to other people's testimony in another investigation.

How is stating "I've come back from doing things I was ashamed of and I've heard from many service people that they've done terrible things" lying to Congress?

If you walk around and think in your head that Kerry claimed every service person was cutting ears off villagers based on the above attributions, the fault lies in your conclusions, not his statements.

and BTW, Kerry isn't using his Vietnam experience as something to be proud of, as the writer of this last article implies. He's using it as an example that he's been in a nasty war, has seen war's horrors, and won't place our nation's young men in harm's way unless it's for a just cause. Reasonable people can disagree as to what constitutes a just cause and whether Bush believes the same way, but this isn't the case of someone who once was ashamed of his actions and is now acting like they were heroic deeds.
The only thing twisting is liberal logic trying to justify his actions after the war.

I'm sorry but he paints our troops as horrors and he was there and knew better. He lied or was just a usefull idiot of the anti-war crowd, either way its not someone I would want leading our nation.
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:56 PM   #26 (permalink)
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There were horrors our troops did and to say there wasn't is foolish and done so just to ruin a man.

UsTwo why don't you debate ISSUES why do you have to work on destroying a man's image. If the man has that bad of a "character" it shows thru and doesn't need pointed out.

But you'll continue as all Social Darwinians do and try to focus everything on "how bad your opponent is" instead of "how good your ideology is" because when you argue ideologies the populace sees you as the phonies and backward thinkers you are.

There was a reason Teddy Roosevelt was called a progressive and started the progressive party (which later became a part of the Democratic party). That is because Teddy Roosevelt was progressive in his social beliefs and didn't buy into the "Social Darwinism".

Today, Teddy would be considered a Liberal and Limbaugh would be crucifying his social policies.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:12 PM   #27 (permalink)
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ustwo, by your posts:

it appears you support the united states' involvement in the vietnam war. is that correct?

you criticize kerry for protesting the war, do you deny his rights of free speech? or the rights of the anti war protesters to voice opposition to the war?

are you aware of the toledo blade's bombshell coverage of the army covering up evidence and investigations documenting war crimes and atrocities committed by the 101st airborne's tiger force?
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs...y=SRTIGERFORCE

and sadly, i can think of no bigger lie ever told in front of congress than the one that said iraq had weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to the security of the united states. if you care to use the semantic argument to defend that it was not an outright lie, it was certainly misleading, and it was far more destructive to human life and liberty than any perjury about sexual misconduct.

i do not call such behavior "bringing honor back to the white house." i consider this to be the biggest campaign promise bush has broken. there has been no honor in invading and occupying iraq. and this:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...threadid=47866
is a grave dishonor to all who fell victim to the senseless tragedy of the attacks on the world trade center.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:25 PM   #28 (permalink)
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OOOO Bush and company NEVER EVER EVER SAID WMD's, or that Saddam could be linked to 9/11. AND NOONE FROM HIS OFFICE EVER SAID OR TRIED TO LEAD ANYONE TO BELIEVE IMMINENT THREAT.

We're over there strictly for HUMANITARIAN REASONS. AND THAT WAS ALL BUSH EVER SAID.

WE ARE TO BURN, ERASE AND DESTROY ANY VIDEO, AUDIO, OR ELECTRONIC MEDIA THAT SAYS OTHERWISE AND WE ARE TO DESTROY ALL WRITTEN EVIDENCE THAT SAYS OTHERWISE ALSO.

WE ARE TO BELIEVE THE BIG LIE............

Now polish those boots, get to goosestepping and salute your fuhrer.... I mean president...........

ZEIG HEIL ZEIG HEIL
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I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:27 PM   #29 (permalink)
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That was sarcasm and not meant to offend anyone as I was just pointing out truths much like the right likes to point out the truths about Kerry.
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:22 PM   #30 (permalink)
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kerry = anti-american. Simple as that. I think it's funny that he of all the dems (of which there were some good ones) is the frontrunner.
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Old 03-07-2004, 11:25 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I'm trying mightlily to figure out what the last 10 or so posts have to do with what vets think of Kerry.

Can anyone help me out here?
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Old 03-08-2004, 04:57 AM   #32 (permalink)
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...and i thought i was the only one.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:16 AM   #33 (permalink)
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kerry goes against everything the vets fought for.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:46 AM   #34 (permalink)
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were i a vietnam vet, i'd be disgusted that kerry uses his vietnam service in his campaign. however honorable his service might have been on active duty, his record afterwards certainly diminishes it.

and yes, it is possible to diminish what you've done before. lying to congress, lying about throwing medals away, associating with jane fonda and voting the way he has on defense policy since then has definitely made him less honorable than he was at the time he left the service. just because he has medals doesn't make him the person terry macauliffe wants you to think he is.

the part that would make me the most angry would be how all of the sudden a military service is a worthwhile thing to democrats. when bill clinton was running against two REAL lifelong heroes (George Bush Senior, Bob Dole), the fact that he dodged the draft was dismissed altogether.

When I see kerry boasting about his vietnam experience, it makes me sick to my stomach for bob dole who humbly dismissed any praise he got... and that man deserves as much admiration as any veteran alive today.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:11 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I wonder if there is any parrallel between kerry using vietnam to further his politics and bush using 9/11 in his ads to further his politics?
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:27 AM   #36 (permalink)
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if you believe there is, then you must either support or condemn both sides.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:39 AM   #37 (permalink)
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All politicians use their resumes to garner support for voters. Does Kerry overuse this issue - YES. Does it really seem to iritate Republicans that the Democrats have a candidate who is very popular with veterans (not all - see my earlier post for clarification) - YES. Is military service the only reason to vote for Kerry - NO. Do Kerry's post service speeches and actions deserve scrutiny - YES. Is (as Yatzr seems to think) Kerry anti-American - NO. Does Kerry offer differences from the Bush Administration that will appeal to Veterans - YES and NO - it all depends on your politics. I encourage everyone to do a detailed, non-partisan/bi-partisan look at Senator Kerry, his resume and record and then make your decision. Do not rely on this Forum, Network News, Cable News, the RNC, the DNC, Drudge, NewsMax etc... to make a decision for you. Take responsibilty and do the research yourself and make a truly informed decision.


Of course if you really want, you can take my word for it and Vote John Kerry in November.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:45 AM   #38 (permalink)
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ahhh - finally. Some clue as to one of my origianl questions: "Are these letters legit?"

Looks like either:
A. they're not
B. There's some template out there asking vets to use it and add a few personal experiences there

Quote:
Dear Mr. Kerry; After spending only four months in the country of Vietnam, you testified before Congress in 1971 with these exact words about incidents you say you witnessed: "They personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blew up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Viet Nam."
Welll, you get the idea - since i can only quote one paragraph at a time. Written by a different vet, but uses the same examples, same order, etc, etc.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/j...20040303.shtml
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Old 03-08-2004, 11:09 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mml
All politicians use their resumes to garner support for voters. Does Kerry overuse this issue - YES. Does it really seem to iritate Republicans that the Democrats have a candidate who is very popular with veterans (not all - see my earlier post for clarification) - YES. Is military service the only reason to vote for Kerry - NO. Do Kerry's post service speeches and actions deserve scrutiny - YES. Is (as Yatzr seems to think) Kerry anti-American - NO. Does Kerry offer differences from the Bush Administration that will appeal to Veterans - YES and NO - it all depends on your politics. I encourage everyone to do a detailed, non-partisan/bi-partisan look at Senator Kerry, his resume and record and then make your decision. Do not rely on this Forum, Network News, Cable News, the RNC, the DNC, Drudge, NewsMax etc... to make a decision for you. Take responsibilty and do the research yourself and make a truly informed decision.


Of course if you really want, you can take my word for it and Vote John Kerry in November.

A very balanced post, mml.

If you're the kind of person that Kerry attracts, I'm almost tempted to vote for him.

Almost.
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Old 03-08-2004, 11:12 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
A very balanced post, mml.

If you're the kind of person that Kerry attracts, I'm almost tempted to vote for him.

Almost.

Hmmm, must find something to nudge Lebell over to the left just a little bit.
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