Gen X at 40

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SayNay? -

<font size="1">I took you advice Al, and I read this article. Part of the reason is because there’s just something about Kerry’s persona that had a “false” ring about it to me– sort of like Bill Clinton, without the charm. Maybe it’s the ambition, or maybe it’s just that way with all Democratic hopefuls. There seems always to be that false earnestness about them, that they “feel your pain”, just before they’re whisked away on their private jet to the next campaign stop.

This sense of the “fraud” could also come from Kerry’s recent need to “play up” ad nauseam his war record - to the point that it seems “trumped up”, even though he was indeed “in harm’s way”. He seems content now to allow himself to be referred to as “John Kerry: decorated Vietnam War Hero”, even though his service record does not show any notable acts of what I would consider true “heroism”, the Silver Star notwithstanding (but maybe that’s just my view of war “heroes” - that the true heroes usually don’t make it back home, or least, not in one piece). Furthermore, he didn’t seem to be particularly traumatized by his Vietnam experience.

In fact, this article points out that at least one of his Vietnam gunboat crewmembers, Gene Thorne, thought that the home movies, for instance, taken in Vietnam by Kerry were seen by Kerry “?as always? as part of a larger, more heroic film. “He was very much aware of the stage," Thorne says. "He knew that his actions in Vietnam might have some bearing on his future life.” Kerry doesn’t sound like the kind of guy I would like to follow into battle – with him mugging heroically for the cameras – just the kind of guy who would get you and others killed.

Kerry also had a very patrician upbringing. The Guardian article seems to downplay this, but I can’t tell whether the following passage is written “tongue in cheek”:”?He (Kerry) was brought up among the wealthy, but his was a threadbare, erstwhile aristocracy. There were many houses, most of them other people's houses: in Brittany (a Forbes family estate, where his mother had spent much of her youth); on Naushon Island, just off Cape Cod (another Forbes retreat); in Washington; in Groton, Massachusetts. He had been sent to boarding school in Switzerland, and hated it (he speaks fluent French and some Italian). He was then sent to boarding school in the US, to St Paul's, in Concord, New Hampshire?”. Is this meant to elicit sympathy for Kerry’s “humble” upbringing, or is it just the usual sarcastic British humour? It almost sounds like they are referring to Prince Philip, and his “poor” Greek aristocratic roots. Phil did alright, so did Kerry.

The Guardian also points out Kerry’s shameful treatment of his first wife. She suffered from depression, and despite her “precarious” mental condition, Kerry decided to run for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982. "When I get focused and set out to do something, I'm pretty good at staying focused," Kerry told the Guardian. "You don't want to let yourself down, you know what I'm saying? One loss is enough (referring to his 1972 congressional defeat)”. He was prepared, however, to “lose” his marriage, in the quest for political victory. Too bad he couldn’t show that same “focus” on his then wife and her illness. His decision to “push ahead” with his campaign lead to their separation and divorce.

Then there is Kerry’s pursuit of his current wife, Teresa Heinz, for love of course, not for the fact she is worth more than a half billion dollars (U.S.). Apparently, after their second dinner date he offered to drive her home and "?they stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; he showed her the names of his friends on the granite wall." Hang on just a sec?????oh, sorry?I was just being sick to my stomach. I wonder if Johnny Boy could show Terry any 8mm film of his dead buddies, or did they end up on the cutting room floor. Talk about keeping the evening light -just a playful little scamp, that John. Maybe on the next date they watched the Zapruder film and visited his idol JFK’s gravesite at Arlington, with John wearing one of his monogrammed “JFK” oxford shirts.

Thanks again Al for pointing out this article. It confirmed my suspicions about Kerry: he’s just another ambitious fraud who has been running for the Presidency since the day he was three and could pronounce the phrase “Democratic Candidate for the Office of President of the United States of America”.</font>

Alan -

I wouldn't do your triple jump of logic but the themes are there. How you could take that war record and turn it into a fraud is beyond logic.

SayNay? -

<font size="1">I agree that the labeling of his war record as a “fraud” would be unfair. He was there, he did his duty, he cared about his men, he was wounded (none of them apparently debilitating or life threatening), he came back, and many others didn’t. If Kerry would just say that, and deflect any suggestion of his “heroism” to those who didn’t come back, that would say more about the man than anything else. But he can’t.

The reason he can’t is because he has made his Vietnam service look like an integral part of his “resume” building. He volunteered - he didn’t go only because he was drafted into this “morally wrong war”. Then there’s his handy Super 8 film camera with footage of Kerry with his “comrades in arms” on his gunboat, his “activism” against the war on his return (at the height of the anti-war movement), his Kennedy like speech to Congress (“What would you say to the mother of the last soldier killed in Vietnam?. – deliberately echoing his hero JFK: “Ask not what you would do?” in that Mass. Aristocratic cadence etc.), his coy interview with 60 Minutes given after that speech (“Oh, shucks, Mr. Safer, I have no plans to run for President?” - but thanks for askin’). It all looks so planned: Ok, so let’s review the list - here it is: “John Kerry – War Hero”, check!

The Australian has an interesting article on Kerry’s war service, suggesting it will be a double edge sword, or it might actually blow up in his face. See:
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,8759772%255E2703,00.html

Here’s a few points from the article:

- Kerry has not authorized the release of his war records;
- Kerry threw away another man's medals rather than his own during a 1971 protest demonstration;
- Kerry served only four months of a year-long tour of duty;
- although he received three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action, the injuries were not serious; by his own account, one shrapnel wound laid him off for two days and the other two did not interrupt his duties;
- Kerry invoked what he insists was a "three and you're out" rule enabling a soldier with three Purple Hearts to be sent home. A spokesman for the US Navy said, however, that such redeployment was not automatic: "It would depend a lot on the nature of the injuries.";
- Ted Sampley, who runs Vietnam Vets Against John Kerry, said if a soldier could be sent home for minor wounds, "there would have been a lot of people claiming scratches, getting their Purple Hearts and getting out of there". Sampley believes that the well-connected Kerry - photographed with president John F.Kennedy as a young man - simply received favourable treatment. "How many other people were able to get out of Vietnam early and be reassigned to a cushy post (an admiral’s aide in Brooklyn)?" he said.

Kerry better watch out – Dubya’s supporters are making their own list and checkin’ it twice.</font>

Alan -

Good Lord. If you believe Samply, you must be reading the grocery store checkouts rags for your news. You are getting the tiny font treatment for today for outrageuosly long comments that are based on whisps in the wind.

SayNay? -

Sorry, I didn't realize that the newspaper that dubs itself "Australia's National Daily Newspaper" was a "grocery store checkout rag". I'll end there, less I be defonted.

SayNay? -

<font size="0.5">You're right about Samply though - he's got some sort of "hate-on" for Kerry. His website's a little over the top - but it looks pretty factual (the twisted editorial comment's aside) and indeed some of the facts and photographs of Kerry are suprising.

Maybe it's Kerry's reference to Vietnam Vets in his testimony at the Senate Foreign Rel'n Comm. in 1971 that put Samply, and others like him, over the top: "...they (vets) 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...".

I guess the point Kerry was trying to make in 1971, which bothers the likes of Sampling, was that if you were a vet and not ashamed of your country or your service in Vietnam, you were just a cold-blooded thug and "baby-killer". Now thirty years later, Kerry wishes you to view his service as somehow "heroic" and is now to be used by him as a "springboard" to the White House?</font>

SayNay? -

I guess Samply and his confreres would spell “Kerry” as “capital H-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e”.
That short enuff for y'a.

SayNay? -

Kerry really is a "flip-flopping" idiot. See:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn09.html

West -

the major comfort I have in life is that John Samply will go down in history as a big fat zero while the men he attacks will help all vets

Nils Ling -

Kills me that the people who are attacking Kerry's war record are those trying to re-elect a guy whose war record is a source of embarrassment - a child of privilege who ducked the very minor responsibility he was able to get Daddy to wangle for him.

SayNay? -

It's ironic, isn't it, that John "the anti-Vietnam War activist" Kerry in 1971 would have applauded Bush and held up his so-called "evasion" of service as an example for others; or at the very least, that such evasion of service in an "unjust and illegal war" would have to have been seen by Kerry as a morally just act by Bush (ie. Bush avoiding being a "baby killer" as Kerry labelled those vets) - that's Kerry's quandary, isn't it?

John of Argghhh! -

What I find interesting here reading this thread and others is (generally) how people who haven't served view reports of Kerry's time in Vietnam, vice the views of many people who have served, especially the Viet vets. My father, (5 Purple Hearts and a DFC in VN, adding to his 2 PHs and Silver Star in Korea) for example, is not impressed overall, nor am I - for reasons which spring from our service, and in my father's case, what went on over there in Vietnam. Neither of us have problems with the medals, we both have problems with Kerry's departure from the combat zone for the stated reasons, as an officer.

I've used enough space (feel free to tinyfont my bloviations!) and I'll leave the Bush comment alone. Anybody wants my take on that can use the 'search' function on my website!

(Thanks for pointing out the cannon stuff, Alan!)

As I have stated before, while I find Kerry's Silver Star weakly written, I choose to accept that the people who approved it accepted it because they knew the story. As a long service professional with combat experience it doesn't read as a Silver Star to me - but I also know how subjective writing those things are, and how most acts of heroism go un-remarked and un-noticed, if only because everybody else in the area was busy trying to stay alive, too, and didn't find time to take copious notes.

I also find intriguing here the implication that heroism is a label only attachable to the dead or grievously wounded, and that you lose authenticity if you aren't obviously 'traumatized' by your experience. I don't feel traumatized by mine, at least not in ways that would be noticeable to people around me. I suppose it's there - but I feel no need to share it with others not of my 'ilk', if you will.

As for Samply, well, he's a man with an agenda, so he needs to be read from that perspective - but he is correct on the "3 Hearts, you're out" policy. Severity of wounds was a consideration. Based on Kerry's descriptions, 4 of my father's wounds were more severe than Kerry's, though obviously none were 'million-dollar wounds' that would have caused evacuation. The through-and-through of the leg between ankly and achilles tendon and the body cavity penetration w/broken rib certainly could have been worse... but Dad came home 15 months after he went over.

When I fault Kerry on Vietnam, it is for how he, as an officer, volunteered for combat, then, either having 'punched his ticket' or lost his stomach, or solidified his anti-war feelings, volunteered himself out of it, in a sense.
Most of the combat vets I know (some of whom will be voting for Kerry) all agree we just don't like that aspect of things and wish he would shut up about it... because we don't buy it.

But it obviously does sell!

Alan -

I am not largely interested in this but I did note how it is not Kerry himself who is pumping the medals as opposed to the service. This may be too fine a point but one worth noting. He has not suggested he is superman so much as someone who did, from a atypically affluent background, do his service when he could with the military and then continued it in the civil side. This does not create any negative in my mind but it may well to those who served, to whom I would defer on this point - does one even advertise your military service as a political asset of any kind? Is it actually a neutral point or does it actually have relevent positive aspects. I suspect each nation's voters would differ on this. Little headway, for example, was ever made on Trudeau's failure to sign up. That in itself has not tarnished his memory in any way except to a select few.

John: check back on Oswego as I did in fact shoot a short short movie on the movement of the gun carriage.

SayNay? -

Al posted, in part: "...does one even advertise your military service as a political asset of any kind?"
As many, many columnist have pointed out ( eg. Mark Steyn, Andrew Coyne and David Warren -conservatives, I grant you)it would have been unthinkable in the 60s for anyone who served in WWII to rely on his "military service" as a political asset. Others may talk about your service, but not you - it would be unseemly, esp. where so many had not returned or were badly injured. For the living to talk about their "heroism" is to denigrate their service - to appear as "poseurs" or "resume builders". That's what Kerry appears to have done with his FOUR MONTHS of Vietnam service - resume building. As for the medals, well as Bob Doyle says "There are Purple Hearts, and there are PURPLE HEARTS". Kerry doesn't qualify in the later category.
As Steyn comments on the DemCon:
"Democratic Party partisans appreciate this stuff -- a stageful of Swifties, the war-wounded Max Cleland, "we band of brothers, a little older, a little grayer" -- but they appreciate it mainly as a post-modern jest, a way of sticking it to the GOP. To anybody else, including those sought-after "swing voters" in "battleground states," it's starting to sound a little weird. John Kerry says he's running on his record, but, of his four decades of adult life, he's running on his four months in Vietnam. Of the other 39 years and eight months, there's nary a word.
Take any one of the showbiz luminaries at the Dem convention -- Glenn Close, say. Imagine if she's up for a big role in a new movie and the producers say, "Well, what have you done?" And she says, "I've got a great resume. I did summer stock in Vermont in 1969. Third Indian maiden in Rose-Marie." And no, I'm not comparing Vietnam to summer stock: What I'm saying is that, whatever you were doing in 1969, it's simply unnatural to emphasize that at the expense of the subsequent 35 years. Certainly, no previous veteran -- Dole, Bush Sr., Carter, McGovern -- ever thought to do it."

And Steyn of Kerry's acceptance speech:
"...it was classic Kerry: verbose, shapeless, platitudinous, complacent, ill-disciplined, arrogant, and humourless..."; and
"...That's the essence of this convention: a condescending media congratulating a condescending leadership for effectively communicating to their condescending activists their plans for everyone else. John F. Kerry should enjoy it while he can. It's downhill from here."
We can only hope.
(small font me!)

SayNay? -

To find out a little bit more about the "man", and the "deer hunter" John Kerry read: http://www.jsonline.com/news/nat/jul04/241516.asp

Maybe he's confused the deer with "Charlie" (a little PTSD, perhaps. At least the deer might have a chance against JFK2's "trusty 12 gauge"!

SayNay? -

and see: http://www.drudgereport.com/dnc8.htm

SayNay? -

Andrew Ferguson, senior editor at the Weekly Standard, succinctly put it (in a review of Brinkley's hagiography of Kerry "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War"):

"The pattern that runs through Kerry's political life was thus established from the moment he left the service: He is expert at having it both ways. He got hero points for bravely fighting in the war and sensitivity points for believing that the war he bravely fought in was barbaric. He has slid from one side of this formula to the other as the situation requires, and only a few of his hostile fellow veterans have been so crude as to point out that, by his own logic, he is a war criminal."

Alan -

Would you care to give a similarly fair and balanced critique of the Bush pattern of life?

SayNay? -

Sush! Don't bother me right now: I'm reading a fascinating top secret piece by Kerry about his "Christmas in Cambodia" in 1968 and his covert gun-running operation across the border during his four months in Vietnam. Jee willikers, Batman, Kerry seems to be the only rookie Swift boat lieutenant in all of Vietnam to be entrusted with such a mission and it was evidently so top secret that neither his commanding officers nor even the men on his own tug knew a thing about it.

Alan -

You are right. <i>Cocktails and Sunshine '68: A Texas Xmas with the Bushes</i> is a far less interesting read.

SayNay? -

Although a less interesting read, I prefer non-fiction to fiction, in this case.

Alan -

Thank God you have no vote in the USA.

SayNay? -

Here's what Kerry would have said to Bush in 1971 about Bush's avoidance of service in Vietnam(taken verbatim from Kerry's Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony, April 22, 1971):

"In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of ONE American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart...."

According to Kerry, therefore, anyone (including Bush) who participated in this war, would have only been participating in a "criminal hypocrisy". Sort of like Kerry's pandering of his service in this war, now, as "heroic"?

SayNay? -

Kerry and his campaign will create any type of fiction, even using someone else's similar name. In response to charges that Kerry had missed 76% of the Intelligence Committee public hearings, Kerry's campaign stated, in part, as reported by factcheck.org:

"...In their eagerness to dismiss the Bush ad's charges, Kerry campaign aides claimed that the senator had been vice chairman of the intelligence committee, which isn't true. In fact, former Senator BOB KERREY of Nebraska was vice chairman of the panel for several years while Kerry was a more junior member of the panel. John Kerry left the committee in January 2001. He never served as vice chairman, a committee spokesman confirmed to us.

The erroneous claim appeared in several places on the Kerry website, one dating back to January, 2004, and another in a posting Aug. 13 to rebut the Bush ad. It said, "Kerry is an Experienced Leader in the Intelligence Field – John Kerry served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for eight years and is the former Vice Chairman of the Committee."
Kerry senior adviser Tad Devine told Fox News, which first reported the discrepancy, that the campaign would be "happy to correct the record" if needed:

Devine: "I'll have to check with the issues people. It was my understanding he was. But if that's, you know -- but if that's not a factual case, I'm sure we will be happy to correct the record."

Two days later the erroneous claim was still appearing on the Kerry website, however. On Aug. 17 The Associated Press quoted campaign spokesman Michael Meehan conceding the error, adding: "John Kerry, Bob Kerrey -- similar names."

Oops! Just a little error, like gun running in Cambodia in 1968. Next he'll be saying he gave Gore the idea to invent the Internet!

Alan -

It is just so tedious to read the parroted half-observations of others about a political system you really know so little about. Surely you can think of something to write about that does not include the "paste" function.

SayNay? -

Sorry Al, I missed this last post by you but I enjoyed it and in reply let me just say (to paraphrase GWB - no cut and paste required): "Mission Accomplished"!!

Wayne -

...as we move away from Canadian disappointment and failure and roll right into the nominating convention for the man who will give us ``Four more years``.

Alan -

...of massive deficits, allocation of public assets to the Enron set and "ding-dong is anyone home" press conferences. Jesus wept. Conservatism as boondoggle.

SayNay? -

The problem is, Al, you know in your heart that the John-John team is fraud, lead by a poseur with a wingnut wife, and it troubles you - deeply.

Alan -

I am not denying that both camps are schisters - it seems to be a pre-requisite for US politics. But there are amateurs and there are pros and the bunch in charge are the pros.

SayNay? -

But as Steyn says in the Chicago Sun Times today: "So Kerry is now the first self-confessed war criminal in the history of the Republic to be nominated for president. Normally this would be considered an electoral plus only in the more cynical banana republics. But the Democrats seemed to think they could run an anti-war anti-hero as a war hero and nobody would mind...".

You're right: the Dems are not only rank amateurs, but their continued campaigning on Kerry's Vietnam "heroism", given his record, is simply bizarre - a glimpse of their "through the looking glass" view of the world?

Alan -

I suggest you read John of Argghhh (linked right) on the Kerry medals. I defer to the vet. Not a chance Kerry was a war criminal. But you can have your fantasties.

SayNay? -

Steyn refers to Kerry's interview on Meet The Press in April 1971, when asked whether he had participated in any of the so-called "atrocities" he testified about before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "Yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I used 50-caliber machineguns, which we were granted and ordered to use." John Kerry, War Criminal?

Alan -

Thinkie please, no pasteroo. Then apply same thinkie to Bush. That is called analysis. We can all read your unlinked sources for ourselves.

SayNay? -

I guess the analysis is this: how do you now pander yourself as a war "hero", when you previously described your actions and those of other soldiers serving with you during that same war, as "committing atrocities"? Was it Kerry's view, then, that the American people are so shallow, or indifferent, that no one would "call him out" on such hypocrisy, and when some veterans did, to label them as "Bushites" and then "call for an end to these negative attacks"? In other words, Kerry wanted a free pass and he did not get it. If he had any substance, he would have avoided this "Reporting for duty" and saluting sh*t - 120 days of service on a Swift boat, give us all a break. I would imagine that veterans who served one or more tours, or worse, those who were North Vietnamese POWs, would support any group that wished to replay his Senate testimony over and over again until election day. Swiftee Kerry is going down with the ship.
N.B. Read John of Argghhh - is it any wonder that vets refer to JFK2 as "Miss" Kerry?!

Alan -

Here is John on the medals in themselves and here is John on the war criminal allegation in itself. As with all the other pipsqueeks who keep their butts safe in their own homes at night but talk the big talk, you will never have to know how you would do but can judge others who did. I find that pretty pathetic. Dislike Kerry all you want for his politics but, like many Republicans in the US, attacking his actions in defence of his nation is sick because you are attaching every other vet who did things you have chosen to avoid, placing comfort over nation. I have done that, too, but I can recognize when a debt is owed and how to tell to whom it is owed. They are the old guys with the medals. I don't distinguish between them...unless perhaps they found a way to do service and play golf in Texas at the same time.

Having said that, Kerry waving war service is as his #1 credential is twisted and cheesey, too, even with little George's bars for victory war effort in '69 or so. But that is a separate issue.

SayNay? -

The problem with your "logic", in defence of Kerry, is to state than an attack on Kerry is an attack "on all vets". It is this type of logic which evokes real pathos for its author, in the reader. What nonsense; and it is really sloppy thinking, which I thought you could avoid - but your leftist tendencies together with the mandatory blinders (eg. Kerry good - Bush BAD) would not allow for otherwise.

No one, I mean NO ONE has any problem with the fact that Kerry served his country in Vietnam.

But now he has allowed his critics, through his use of this service as a "prop" in his campaign, to argue that he more importantly served himself and his ambition by going to Vietnam.

As I said at the beginning of this thread, I'd do my duty as I would expect from friends, relatives and others(although, as an aside, it is difficult to believe that we could raise an army of citizen-soldiers to fight for what we now hold as "values" -heath care? multiculturalism?- in this "pathetic" country, Trudeaupia), and if I came back, I'd just shut up about it like so many of the veterans from WWII(eg. Bob Dole, our parents, uncles etc.), and Vietnam (eg. the other Swiftees)did until Kerry decided to make his survival of four months in Vietnam (as you say)his "#1 credential" of his candidacy. This is not just "twisted and cheesy"; it is, in fact, depraved, the fantasy product of a sick mind.

(P.S. No cut and paste here and "small" font me if you dare!)

Alan -

Give it up. I do not care. I do not defend Kerry. I cannot vote for him or the municipal elections in Belgium or New Zealand. I stopped reading your posts days ago. Your logic is flawed, you have a need to paste rather than think and I have referred you to others who can help you. The keys are over there. Do not forget to turn out the lights.

SayNay? -

Is there beer in the fridge?

SayNay? -

Ah, Al, your the perfect host! (I mean that!)

SayNay? -

Let me rephrase that: "Ah, Al, you're the perfect host!". There, that's better. By the way, I put out the cat, I hope you don't mind - he took off like crazy!

Kerry Is A Piece Of SHi*t -

I agree with saynay on evrything. Kerry is just a piece of crap looking who was looking forward to being president.

Alan -

Was that "shirt" he is a piece of?

Kerry Is A Piece Of SH*t -

i donno. Probably some bullet from Vietnam.