Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old March 6th 04, 04:39 PM
Christopher Robin
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

Since quitting the Navy six months early at age 27 so he could run for
Congress on an antiwar platform, John Kerry has built a political
career on his service in Vietnam.

His unsuccessful 1970 congressional bid lasted only a month, during
which it proved impossible for even he to get to the left of the
winner, Robert Drinan, but it forged a conflicting political persona
one hammered out between his combat medals earned in the Mekong delta
and the common cause he made with the enemy upon his return home.

Now, at age 60, the junior Democratic senator from Massachusetts is
milking his veteran status once again in an effort to show he's
tougher and more patriotic than the man he seeks to replace, President
Bush. And, as unrepentant as ever for his pro-Hanoi activism, he is
just as conflicted in 2004 as he was in the 1960s.

If there is any consistency in Kerry's political career, it is his
in-your-face use of that four-month stint in Vietnam. He enlisted like
many other young men of privilege, trying to serve without going to
the front lines. When in 1966 it looked like his draft number was
coming up during his senior year at Yale University, and already
having spoken out in public against the war, Kerry signed up with the
Navy under the conscious inspiration of his hero, the late President
John F. Kennedy.

As a lieutenant junior grade, Kerry skippered a CTF-115 swift boat, a
light, aluminum patrol vessel that bore a passing resemblance to
PT-109. He thought he'd arranged to avoid combat.

"I didn't really want to get involved in the war," he later would tell
the Boston Globe. "When I signed up for the swift boats, they had very
little to do with the war. They were engaged in coastal patrolling,
and that's what I thought I was going to do."

Soon, however, Kerry was reassigned to patrol the Mekong River in
South Vietnam, a formative experience for his political odyssey. The
official record shows that he rose to the occasion. It was along the
Mekong where he first killed a man, aggressively fighting the enemy
Viet Cong and reportedly saving the lives of his own men, earning a
Bronze Star, a Silver Star for valor and three Purple Hearts in the
process.

Kerry opted for reassignment to New York City, where as a uniformed,
active-duty officer he reportedly began acting out the antiwar
feelings he had expressed before enlisting. Press reports from the
time say that he marched in the October 1969 Moratorium protests a
mass demonstration by a quarter-million people that had been
orchestrated the previous summer by North Vietnamese officials and
American antiwar leaders in Cuba.

Kerry had found his purpose in life. The New York Times reported April
23, 1971, that at about the time of the Moratorium march, Lt. Kerry
had "asked for, and was given, an early release from the Navy so he
could run for Congress on an antiwar platform from his home district
in Waltham, Mass."

For Kerry, politicizing the nation's war effort for partisan purposes
was the right thing to do, in contrast to the violent revolutionary
designs of colleagues who were out to destroy the system. Kerry didn't
want to take down the establishment. He wanted to take it over.

His aborted, monthlong 1970 congressional campaign was a victory for
him politically, as it landed him on television's popular Dick Cavett
Show, where he came to the attention of some of the central organizers
of the antiwar/pro-Hanoi group known as Vietnam Veterans Against the
War.

VVAW was a numerically small part of the protest movement, but it was
extremely influential through skillful political theater, the novelty
of uniformed combat veterans joining the Vietniks, and a ruthless
coalition-building strategy that forged partnerships with the
Communist Party USA, its Trotskyite rival, the Socialist Workers
Party, and a broad front that ranged from pacifists to supporters of
the Black Panthers and other domestic terrorist groups.

Kerry signed on as a full-time organizer and member of the VVAW's
six-member executive committee. By early 1971 he had become one of the
antiwar movement's principal figureheads, lending a moderate face to a
movement that championed, and was championed by, imprisoned murder
conspirator Angela Davis and actress Jane Fonda.

The young former and future political candidate acted as one of the
main leaders of a massive, five-day April protest in Washington and
other cities. Kerry's partner, Jan Crumb, read a list of 15 demands.
According to the Communist Party USA paper Daily World, the VVAW
demands were, "Immediate, unilateral, unconditional withdrawal of all
U.S. armed forces and Central Intelligence Agency personnel from
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand," plus "full amnesty" to all "war
resisters" and draft dodgers, and "withdrawal of all U.S. troops from
Latin America, Africa, Asia and elsewhere in the world."

Kerry was the star of the political theater that historic week, angry
that the law forbade political protests at veterans' graves in
Arlington National Cemetery and angrier that President Nixon enforced
the law and that the Supreme Court upheld it.

He led an illegal encampment of veterans and people who dressed as
veterans on the Mall in downtown Washington and used the services of
Ramsey Clark a former Johnson administration attorney general who by
that time openly was supporting the enemy in Hanoi to fight a
federal order to disperse.

According to the Daily World, which published a page-one photo of
Kerry passing Clark a note during the march, the protesters converged
on the White House chanting, "One, Two, Three, Four We Don't Want
Your F- - - - - - War."

Kerry's establishment model was working where the home-baked
revolutionaries were failing. The activist bumped into William
Fulbright, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at
a party and landed himself in the spotlight as a witness in a hearing
held the last day of the weeklong march.

There, he made his infamous exaggerated and untruthful allegations
that his fellow servicemen, not merely the commanders, deliberately
were committing widespread atrocities against innocent Vietnamese
civilians.

Afterward, he joined a dramatic political-theater display at the
Capitol steps, where hundreds of vets took a microphone and, one by
one, stated their name, identified their combat medals and flung them
over a police fence on the steps. Kerry renounced his Bronze Star, his
Silver Star and his three Purple Hearts. (Later, as a politician, he
would give ever-changing versions of the story.)

He seemed to want it both ways in the protest movement. While claiming
to "hate" the communists, he decried any attempt to marginalize them
within the movement. Once, when questioned about his political
alliance with supporters of the enemy, Kerry said that any attempts to
push out Hanoi supporters might result "in seriously dividing and
weakening the movement, and making it less effective."

That didn't sit well with some VVAW members beyond the Washington
Beltway. Back in Massachusetts, VVAW state coordinator Walker "Monty"
Montgomery, a Tennessee native, publicly differed with Kerry. The
Boston Herald-Traveler reported Montgomery "was considerably more
candid than Kerry about the problems posed by revolutionary communists
inside an antiwar organization."

"You can quote me," said Montgomery, "as one who believes that the
revolutionary communists in our organization are detrimental to the
organization."

Kerry had trouble discerning the line between legitimate dissent and
collaboration with the enemy. In the summer of 1971, he spoke at a
VVAW news conference in Washington, assailing President Nixon for not
accepting an enemy propaganda initiative a Viet Cong statement in
Paris that Hanoi would guarantee the release of American prisoners of
war once the last U.S. troops left Vietnam.

Featuring a photo of Kerry in the July 24 Daily World, the Communist
Party USA said Kerry "asked President Nixon to accept [a] seven-point
peace proposal of Vietnamese patriots."

Kerry traveled the country that fall, trying to breathe new life into
a sagging college antiwar movement. The protest spirit was coming
alive, he said.

"It isn't withering," he told a reporter at Fort Hays State University
in Kansas. "The feeling is there. I do seriously believe there's
beginning to be a turning away from the tear-it-down mentality. The
movement is turning toward electoral politics again."

Covering his antiwar campaign, the National Observer reported at the
time, "He wants the Vietnam Veterans [Against the War] to move quickly
and strongly into grass-roots electoral politics."

He sought to organize like-minded veterans to become delegates at the
upcoming 1972 presidential conventions.

"Though the veterans are, for the record, nonpartisan," the Observer
said, "what this really means is whether the [George] McGovern
Commission reforms for the Democratic Convention are implemented and
enforced. Most antiwar veterans laugh at the idea of getting anything
started in the Republican Convention."

Yet for all his want of the spotlight, Kerry avoided public debates
with other veterans. On seven occasions, by July 1971, he had refused
to allow other veterans to challenge him publicly on television, even
when CBS and NBC offered to host formal debates. He relented only when
Dick Cavett, who had made him a national figure not long before,
agreed to terms Kerry found advantageous. Even then, with Kerry
holding all the advantages, Boston Globe political columnist David
Nyhan observed, his "scrappy little" opponent, John O'Neill, "was all
over Kerry like a terrier, keeping the star of the Foreign Relations
Committee hearings ... off balance."

Kerry couldn't hope to take over the political establishment without
the political organization skills, mobilization abilities and support
networks of those radical groups that supported the enemy against U.S.
troops. He needed to latch on to those in the establishment who funded
them.

The New York Times reported on a millionaire's gathering in East
Hampton, Long Island, in August 1971. Many of the attendees had
participated in "fund-raising affairs for the Black Panthers" and
other extremist causes. With fellow VVAW leader Al Hubbard, Kerry
sought a less radical position, but he showed parts of a full-length
film containing testimony of 125 alleged veterans who said they had
witnessed U.S. atrocities in Vietnam, "before a request for funds sent
everyone scrambling for pens and checkbooks."

As with Kerry's Senate testimony, which contained wild and
unsubstantiated allegations of deliberate U.S. atrocities throughout
the ranks, many of them disproved, the mission outweighed the truth.
His VVAW sidekick Hubbard identified himself as an Air Force captain,
a pilot, when in reality he was an ex-sergeant who had never served in
Vietnam.

Kerry was content to stand by VVAW's claims that it had 12,000 members
in 1971. Massachusetts VVAW coordinator Montgomery was more open about
the figures. He said that only 50 to 75 members in the entire state
were really active and that the official statewide membership of 1,500
Vietnam vets was just a "paper membership."

The angry young veteran's political ambition shone through his public
earnestness. The 1970 congressional race that had propelled him into
national politics also undercut his credibility, exacerbated by his
drive to run for office again. Many saw him as exploiting the war for
political gain.

"Angry wives of American prisoners of war [POWs] lashed out yesterday
at peace advocate John Kerry of Waltham, Mass., accusing him of using
the POW issue as a springboard to political office," the Associated
Press reported July 22, 1971. "One of the women accused Kerry of
'constantly using their own suffering and grief' for purely political
reasons."

Patricia Hardy of Los Angeles, whose husband had been killed in 1967,
told reporters, "I think he couldn't care less about these men or
these families."

Cathi and Janice Ray, whose stepbrother was a POW, accompanied her.
(Official records show only one U.S. serviceman named Hardy was killed
in the war, Marine Lance Cpl. Frank Earle Hardy, whose platoon was
ambushed in Quang Tri on May 29, 1967. His name appears on panel 21E,
row D14, of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.)

The wife of Air Force Col. Arthur Mearns, a pilot missing since he was
shot down in 1966, protested Kerry with them. Her husband later was
declared killed in action. His name appears on panel 12E, row 055, of
the wall.

"Mr. Kerry, when asked if he planned to run again for political
office, said only that he was committed to political change and that
he would use whatever forum seemed best at the time," according to AP.
"He did not rule out mounting another political campaign."

At the time, "I was totally consumed with the notion of going to
Congress," Kerry later told the Washington Post. AP hinted that Kerry
already held presidential ambitions. A Boston newspaper agreed: "The
gentle cloak of idealism and dignity which Kerry had worn during his
televised testimony in Washington now appeared to be stitched together
with threads of personal ambition and political expediency. Was this
to be the payoff for one of the finest and most moving chapters of the
counterculture antiwar movement? Just another slick Ivy League
phrasemaker ego-freak political hustler with a hunger to see his name
on campaign posters and his face on national television?"

By 1972, Massachusetts' third congressional seat was firmly held by
radical Robert Drinan. Kerry, now 28, left Waltham and bought a house
in Worcester, anticipating a run for Congress from the 4th District.
But when President Nixon picked the congressman representing the 5th
District for an ambassador's post, Kerry leased out his house and
moved to the dying old mill city of Lowell to run for the
soon-to-be-vacated seat there. The Boston Phoenix, an alternative
newspaper whose reporter traveled with Kerry on the 1972 campaign,
profiled the candidate in a story headlined, "Cruising with a
Carpetbagger."

"Kerry, media superstar, suddenly found himself having to deny that he
had political plans lest he be accused of ripping off the veterans by
using them as a bow for the arrow of his ambition," the Phoenix
reported. "John Kerry is burning with desire to be a congressman, but
he has to keep paying off that loan from the Vietnam Veterans [VVAW]
by seeming to be cool and indifferent to personal gain, and this
underlying dilemma produces an uncomfortable tension around him."

The candidate had trouble balancing himself between Kerry the patriot
and Kerry the minion of Hanoi's agitprop apparatus. He tried to
distance himself from his brand-new book, The New Soldier. According
to a major newspaper in the district, the Lowell Sun, the book cover
"carried a picture of three or four bearded youths of the hippie type
carrying the American flag in a photo resembling remarkably the
immortal photo by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal of U.S.
Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima after its capture from the
Japanese during World War II. The big difference between the two
pictures, however, is that the photo on John Kerry's book shows the
flag being carried upside down in a gesture of contempt."

The book was hard to come by at the time, according to the newspaper,
but a rival in the Democratic primary found one in Greenwich Village
and tried to publish the cover as an advertisement in the Sun. Kerry
tried to cover it up.

"Things began to get hot as the old pressure went on to prevent
publication of the advertisement showing the cover of the book," the
Sun's editors wrote on Oct. 18, 1972. "Permission from the publisher
of the book, Macmillan Co. of New York, to reproduce the cover,
granted by Macmillan in a telegram on the day publication of the ad
was scheduled, was quickly withdrawn hours later by Macmillan with the
explanation that the approval of the author, John Kerry, would be
required before the cover could be reproduced in a political
advertisement. So that killed the ad."

Kerry said it wasn't he who blocked publication. According to the Sun,
"Subsequently, efforts were made to obtain Mr. Kerry's okay to
reproduce the famous book cover, but Mr. Kerry now says he doesn't
have the right to give this permission because the copyright on the
book cover belongs to a coeditor of the book, one George Butler." The
Sun couldn't locate Butler.

When the book had come out the year before, Macmillan sent a review
copy to Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., requesting an endorsement. Byrd
wrote back, "I say most respectfully to you, I threw it in the
wastebasket after leafing through it."

Having lost the primary in humiliation his brother had been caught
trying to wiretap an opponent's office Kerry went to Boston College
Law School. Later, he was appointed assistant district attorney, then
was elected lieutenant governor under Mike Dukakis in 1982.

Two years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate dusting off his
veteran's credentials by standing in front of the black Vietnam
Veterans Memorial in Washington to shoot a TV campaign ad, defying
regulations that the memorial not be used for political purposes.

The ad "was filmed illegally against the wishes of the National Park
Service," according to the Boston Globe. Kerry authorized its
broadcast anyway.

Kerry's campaign only stirred up long-smoldering embers from the war.
Retired Maj. Gen. George S. Patton III, who had commanded combat
troops in Vietnam, said that, medals or no medals, by the nature of
his wartime protests Kerry gave "aid and comfort to the enemy" in the
style of Ramsey Clark and Jane Fonda.

"Mr. Kerry probably caused some of my guys to get killed," Patton
said, even as he self-deprecatingly acknowledged shortcomings of his
own as a commander. "And I don't like that. There is no soap ever
invented that can wash that blood off his hands."

Responding to controversy over his remarks, Patton wrote in the
Worcester Evening Gazette, "The dissent against our efforts in that
unhappy war, as exemplified by Mr. Kerry, and of course others, made
the soldier's duties even more difficult. ... These incidents caused
our opponent, already highly motivated, to fight harder against us and
our Vietnamese allies. Hence the comment made by me which included the
provision of 'aid and comfort to the enemy' by Mr. Kerry."

Under relentless attack from the pro-Kerry Boston press, Patton
received strong veteran support. Robert Hagopian, past commander of
the Massachusetts division of the Disabled American Veterans, spoke
for many about the general's views, telling reporters, "I agree with
everything he said."

The Lowell Sun ran a cartoon of Kerry trying fruitlessly to wash his
blood-covered hands. An accompanying editorial said, "During his
antiwar years, John Kerry was about the closest thing to a male Jane
Fonda in the U.S. anybody could find and Ms. Fonda came as close to
treason to her country as anybody ever could without being convicted
of it."

To no avail. Massachusetts voters elected Kerry that year to join Ted
Kennedy in the United States Senate.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  #2   Report Post  
Old March 6th 04, 05:05 PM
Don White
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

From the outside (non American) what you have printed shows that he was
both intelligent for critizing that unfortunate war and courageous when
needed. The thought of piloting a small boat day after day up those rivers
when 'charlie' could be hiding around the next bend, would scare the bejesus
out of me.



  #5   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 05:18 AM
Henry Blackmoore
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

In article , "Dave R" wrote:

He's a loser. The best president we could have right now is Ronald Reagan.
"John H" wrote in message
.. .
On 6 Mar 2004 08:39:22 -0800, (Christopher
Robin) wrote:



Pete Rose for President
Martha Stewart for VP



  #6   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 05:29 AM
Jik Bombo
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

Revealed: how 'war hero' Kerry tried to put off Vietnam military duty
By Charles Laurence in New York
(Filed: 07/03/2004)


Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate who is
trading on his Vietnam war record to campaign against President George W
Bush, tried to defer his military service for a year, according to a newly
rediscovered article in a Harvard University newspaper.

He wrote to his local recruitment board seeking permission to spend a
further 12 months studying in Paris, after completing his degree course at
Yale University in the mid-1960s.

The revelation appears to undercut Sen Kerry's carefully-cultivated image as
a man who willingly served his country in a dangerous war - in supposed
contrast to President Bush, who served in the Texas National Guard and thus
avoided being sent to Vietnam.

The Harvard Crimson newspaper followed a youthful Mr Kerry in Boston as he
campaigned for Congress for the first time in 1970. In the course of a
lengthy article, "John Kerry: A Navy Dove Runs for Congress", published on
February 18, the paper reported: "When he approached his draft board for
permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry
decided to enlist in the Navy."

Samuel Goldhaber, the article's author who is now a cardiologist attached to
the Harvard School of Medicine, spent 11 hours trailing Mr Kerry and still
remembers that the subject of the Paris deferment came up during long
conversations about Vietnam.

"I stand by my story," he told The Telegraph. "It was a long time ago, and I
was 19 at the time, so it is hard to remember every detail. But I do know
this: at no point did Kerry contact either me or the Crimson to dispute
anything I had written."

Sen Kerry's campaign headquarters in Washington refused an opportunity to
deny the report. Despite repeated telephone calls from The Telegraph, a
spokesman refused to comment. Another Democrat official said merely: "In
Vietnam, John Kerry proved his patriotism beyond question. Everyone knows
that."

A senior Republican strategist, who asked not to be named, said: "I've not
heard this before. This undercuts Kerry's complaints about Bush and it
continues to pose questions as to his credibility among ordinary Vietnam
veterans."

He said it would fuel concerns over the way Sen Kerry made a name for
himself by leading anti-war protests in Washington and Boston in the late
1960s and early 1970s after he had completed his service in the US Navy,
even while his former comrades continued to fight and die.

A newly-published biography of Sen Kerry by Douglas Brinkley, A Tour of
Duty, makes no mention of the requested deferment or planned year in Paris.
At the time, it was still unclear just how long America would remain in
Vietnam, and it might have seemed that a year's deferral of service could
render enlistment unnecessary.

According to the Democratic Party's version of Sen Kerry's military history,
he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Harvard through eagerness to
do his duty, and sailed with the Navy for combat as soon as he graduated in
1966.

Sen Kerry won a gallantry medal for his service as a gunboat captain on the
Mekong Delta, and was honorably discharged with three "purple heart" medals
after sustaining three wounds. He has consistently presented himself as a
leader who argued against the war only after fulfilling his duty in the
field. Supporters argue that his war record makes him a more trustworthy
leader than President Bush, who served sporadically in the National Guard at
home.

"This means that Kerry didn't jump into all that heroic service until he was
pushed, and it is a very nice piece of information," said Lucianne Goldberg,
a prominent Republican campaigner.

Republican strategists for President Bush were already investigating Sen
Kerry's record of three wounds sustained in Vietnam. "We find that he had
only one day off sick - with three wounds? What exactly were these wounds?"
she asked.

Mr Goldhaber recalled that, during a day spent with Sen Kerry and one
assistant during his congressional campaign, he had described his
involvement, service and decision to oppose the war in great detail.

"I am not at all surprised that he wants to be president, because he exuded
ambition from the word go," said Dr Goldhaber. "At the time, the idea that
he tried to persuade the draft board to let him spend a year in Paris was
just a detail."

A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign declined to comment.

"Don White" wrote in message
...
From the outside (non American) what you have printed shows that he was
both intelligent for critizing that unfortunate war and courageous when
needed. The thought of piloting a small boat day after day up those

rivers
when 'charlie' could be hiding around the next bend, would scare the

bejesus
out of me.





  #7   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 05:29 AM
Jik Bombo
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry


"Henry Blackmoore" wrote in message
hlink.net...
In article , "Dave R"

wrote:

He's a loser. The best president we could have right now is Ronald

Reagan.
"John H" wrote in message
.. .
On 6 Mar 2004 08:39:22 -0800, (Christopher
Robin) wrote:



Pete Rose for President
Martha Stewart for VP


Sorry, Martha won't be "available" until 2008.

LOL!


  #8   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 01:36 PM
John H
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

On Sat, 6 Mar 2004 21:29:08 -0800, "Jik Bombo"
wrote:

Revealed: how 'war hero' Kerry tried to put off Vietnam military duty
By Charles Laurence in New York
(Filed: 07/03/2004)


Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate who is
trading on his Vietnam war record to campaign against President George W
Bush, tried to defer his military service for a year, according to a newly
rediscovered article in a Harvard University newspaper.

He wrote to his local recruitment board seeking permission to spend a
further 12 months studying in Paris, after completing his degree course at
Yale University in the mid-1960s.

The revelation appears to undercut Sen Kerry's carefully-cultivated image as
a man who willingly served his country in a dangerous war - in supposed
contrast to President Bush, who served in the Texas National Guard and thus
avoided being sent to Vietnam.

The Harvard Crimson newspaper followed a youthful Mr Kerry in Boston as he
campaigned for Congress for the first time in 1970. In the course of a
lengthy article, "John Kerry: A Navy Dove Runs for Congress", published on
February 18, the paper reported: "When he approached his draft board for
permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry
decided to enlist in the Navy."

Samuel Goldhaber, the article's author who is now a cardiologist attached to
the Harvard School of Medicine, spent 11 hours trailing Mr Kerry and still
remembers that the subject of the Paris deferment came up during long
conversations about Vietnam.

"I stand by my story," he told The Telegraph. "It was a long time ago, and I
was 19 at the time, so it is hard to remember every detail. But I do know
this: at no point did Kerry contact either me or the Crimson to dispute
anything I had written."

Sen Kerry's campaign headquarters in Washington refused an opportunity to
deny the report. Despite repeated telephone calls from The Telegraph, a
spokesman refused to comment. Another Democrat official said merely: "In
Vietnam, John Kerry proved his patriotism beyond question. Everyone knows
that."

A senior Republican strategist, who asked not to be named, said: "I've not
heard this before. This undercuts Kerry's complaints about Bush and it
continues to pose questions as to his credibility among ordinary Vietnam
veterans."

He said it would fuel concerns over the way Sen Kerry made a name for
himself by leading anti-war protests in Washington and Boston in the late
1960s and early 1970s after he had completed his service in the US Navy,
even while his former comrades continued to fight and die.

A newly-published biography of Sen Kerry by Douglas Brinkley, A Tour of
Duty, makes no mention of the requested deferment or planned year in Paris.
At the time, it was still unclear just how long America would remain in
Vietnam, and it might have seemed that a year's deferral of service could
render enlistment unnecessary.

According to the Democratic Party's version of Sen Kerry's military history,
he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Harvard through eagerness to
do his duty, and sailed with the Navy for combat as soon as he graduated in
1966.

Sen Kerry won a gallantry medal for his service as a gunboat captain on the
Mekong Delta, and was honorably discharged with three "purple heart" medals
after sustaining three wounds. He has consistently presented himself as a
leader who argued against the war only after fulfilling his duty in the
field. Supporters argue that his war record makes him a more trustworthy
leader than President Bush, who served sporadically in the National Guard at
home.

"This means that Kerry didn't jump into all that heroic service until he was
pushed, and it is a very nice piece of information," said Lucianne Goldberg,
a prominent Republican campaigner.

Republican strategists for President Bush were already investigating Sen
Kerry's record of three wounds sustained in Vietnam. "We find that he had
only one day off sick - with three wounds? What exactly were these wounds?"
she asked.

Mr Goldhaber recalled that, during a day spent with Sen Kerry and one
assistant during his congressional campaign, he had described his
involvement, service and decision to oppose the war in great detail.

"I am not at all surprised that he wants to be president, because he exuded
ambition from the word go," said Dr Goldhaber. "At the time, the idea that
he tried to persuade the draft board to let him spend a year in Paris was
just a detail."

A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign declined to comment.


Thanks, Jik. I think Kerry is keeping his service record hidden with
good reason. I too would like to see the medical records for his three
purple heart wounds. It's sounding more and more like Kerry had a
commander who wanted to inflate the perception of his unit by giving
medals away.

John H

On the 'Poco Loco' out of Deale, MD
on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay!
  #9   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 02:30 PM
thunder
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

On Sun, 07 Mar 2004 08:36:52 -0500, John H wrote:

Thanks, Jik. I think Kerry is keeping his service record hidden with good
reason. I too would like to see the medical records for his three purple
heart wounds. It's sounding more and more like Kerry had a commander who
wanted to inflate the perception of his unit by giving medals away.


His record is not hidden. It is quite easy to find. Amongst others:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/service.asp

Just curious, is your interest in belittling the records of all Vietnam
Vets, or just Kerry's?

  #10   Report Post  
Old March 7th 04, 02:52 PM
Harry Krause
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT Hanoi John Kerry

John H wrote:


Thanks, Jik. I think Kerry is keeping his service record hidden with
good reason. I too would like to see the medical records for his three
purple heart wounds. It's sounding more and more like Kerry had a
commander who wanted to inflate the perception of his unit by giving
medals away.

John H



From Miami:

Here you go, dicquehead:

In
Vietnam, Lieutenant John Kerry served aboard 50-foot aluminum boats
known as PCFs (from "patrol craft fast") or "Swift boats" (supposedly an
acronym for "Shallow Water Inshore Fast Tactical Craft"). Despite the
implications contained in the piece quoted above ("that duty wasn't the
worst you could draw"), Swift boat duty was plenty dangerous:

. . . two weeks after [Kerry] arrived in Vietnam, the swift boat
mission changed and Kerry went from having one of the safest
assignments in the escalating conflict to one of the most dangerous.
Under the newly launched Operation SEALORD, swift boats were charged
with patrolling the narrow waterways of the Mekong Delta to draw fire
and smoke out the enemy. Cruising inlets and coves and canals, swift
boats were especially vulnerable targets.

Originally designed to ferry oil workers to ocean rigs, swift boats
offered flimsy protection. Because bullets could easily penetrate the
hull, sailors hung flak jackets over the sides. The boat's loud engine
invited ambushes. Speed was its saving grace but that wasn't always an
option in narrow, heavily mined canals.

The swift boat crew typically consisted of a college-educated
skipper, such as Kerry, and five blue-collar sailors averaging 19 years
old. The most vulnerable sailor sat in the "tub" a squat nest that
rose above the pilot house and operated a pair of .50-caliber machine
guns. Another gunner was in the rear. Kerry's mission was to wait until
hidden Viet Cong guerrillas started shooting, then order his men to
return fire.

It was not at all unusual that a Swift boat crew member might be wounded
more than once in a relatively short period of time, or that injuries
meriting the award of a Purple Heart might not be serious enough to
require time off from duty. According to a Boston Globe overview of John
Kerry's Vietnam experience:

Under [Navy Admiral Elmo] Zumwalt's command, swift boats would
aggressively engage the enemy. Zumwalt, who died in 2000, calculated in
his autobiography that these men under his command had a 75 percent
chance of being killed or wounded during a typical year.

"There were an awful lot of Purple Hearts from shrapnel, some of
those might have been M-40 grenades," said George Elliott, Kerry's
commanding officer. "The Purple Hearts were coming down in boxes. Kerry,
he had three Purple Hearts. None of them took him off duty. Not to
belittle it, that was more the rule than the exception."

And according to Douglas Brinkley's history of John Kerry and the
Vietnam War:

As generally understood, the Purple Heart is given to any U.S.
citizen wounded in wartime service to the nation. Giving out Purple
Hearts increased as the United States started sending Swifts up rivers.
Sailors no longer safe on aircraft carriers or battleships in the Gulf
of Tonkin were starting to bleed, a lot.

John Kerry was wounded in his first significant combat action, when he
volunteered for a special mission on 2 December 1968:

"It was a half-assed action that hardly qualfied as combat, but it
was my first, and that made it very exciting," [Kerry said]. "Three of
us, two enlisted men and myself, had stayed up all night in a Boston
Whaler [a foam-filled-fiberglass boat] patrolling the shore off a Viet
Cong-infested peninsula north of Cam Ranh . . . Most of the night had
been spent being scared ****less by fisherman whom we would suddenly
creep up on in the darkness. Once, one of the sailors was so startled by
two men who surprised us as we came around a corner ten yards from the
shore that he actually pulled the trigger on his machine gun.
Fortunately for the two men, he had forgotten to switch off the safety .
.. ."

As it turned out, the two men really were just a pair of innocent
fisherman who didn't know where one zone began and the other ended.
Their papers were perfectly in order, if their night's fishing over. The
fear was that they were VC. Allowing them to continue might have
compromised the mission. For the next four hours Kerry's Boston Whaler,
using paddles, brought boatloads of fisherman they found in sampans, all
operating in a curfew zone, back to the Swift. It was tiring work. "We
deposited them with the Swift boat that remained out in the deep water
to give us cover," Kerry continued. "Then, very early in the morning,
around 2:00 or 3:00, while it was still dark, we proceeded up the tiny
inlet between the island and the peninsula to the point designated as
our objective. The jungle closed in on us on both sides. It was scary as
hell. You could hear yourself breathing. We were almost touching the
shore. Suddenly, through the magnified moonlight of the infrared
'starlight scope,' I watched, mesmerized, as a group of sampans glided
in toward the shore. We had been briefed that this was a favorite
crossing area for VC trafficking contraband."

With its motor turned off, Kerry paddled the Boston Whaler out of
the inlet into the beginning of the bay. Simultaneously the Vietnamese
pulled their sampans up onto the beach and began to unload something; he
couldn't tell what, so he decided to illuminate the proceedings with a
flare. The entire sky seemed to explode into daylight. The men from the
sampans bolted erect, stiff with shock for only an instant before they
sprang for cover like a herd of panicked gazelles Kerry had once seen on
TV's Wild Kingdom. "We opened fire," he went on. "The light from the
flares started to fade, the air was full of explosions. My M-16 jammed,
and as I bent down in the boat to grab another gun, a stinging piece of
heat socked into my arm and just seemed to burn like hell. By this time
one of the sailors had started the engine and we ran by the beach,
strafing it. Then it was quiet.

"We stayed quiet and low because we did not want to illuminate
ourselves at that point," Kerry explained. "In the dead of night,
without any knowledge of what kind of force was there, we were not all
about to go crawling on the beach to get our asses shot off. We were
unprotected; we didn't have ammunition, we didn't have cover, we just
weren't prepared for that . . . So we first shot the sampans so that
they were destroyed and whatever was in them was destroyed." Then their
cover boat warned of a possible VC ambush in the small channel they had
to exit through, and Kerry and company departed the area.

The "stinging piece of heat" Kerry felt in his arm had been caused by a
piece of shrapnel, a wound for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. The
injury was not serious Brinkley notes that Kerry went on a regular
Swift boat patrol the next day with a bandage on his arm, and the Boston
Globe quoted William Schachte, who oversaw the mission and went on to
become a rear admiral, as recalling that "It was not a very serious
wound at all."

Kerry earned his second Purple Heart while returning from a PCF mission
up the Bo De River on 20 February 1969:

One of the mission's support helicopters had been hit by small-arms
fire during the trip up the Bo De and the rest had returned with it to
their base to refuel and get the damage inspected. While there the
pilots found that they wouldn't be able to return to the Swifts for
several more hours. "We therefore had a choice: to wait for what was not
a confirmed return by the helos [and] give any snipers more time to set
up an ambush for our exit or we could take a chance and exit immediately
without any cover," Kerry recorded in his notebook. "We chose the latter."

Just as they moved out onto the Cua Lon, at a junction known for
unfriendliness in the past, kaboom! PCF-94 had taken a rocket-propelled
grenade round off the port side, fired at them from the far left bank.
Kerry felt a piece of hot shrapnel bore into his left leg. With blood
running down the deck, the Swift managed to make an otherwise uneventful
exit into the Gulf of Thailand, where they rendezvoused with a Coast
Guard cutter. The injury Kerry suffered in that action earned his his
second Purple Heart.

Brinkley noted that, as in the previous case, "Kerry's wound was not
serious enough to require time off from duty."

Kerry earned his Silver Star on 28 February 1969, when he beached his
craft and jumped off it with an M-16 rifle in hand to chase and shoot a
guerrilla who was running into position to launch a B-40 rocket at
Kerry's boat. Contrary to the account quoted above, Kerry did not shoot
a "Charlie" who had "fired at the boat and missed," whose "rocket
launcher was empty," and who was "already dead or dying" after being
"knocked down with a .50 caliber round." Kerry's boat had been hit by a
rocket fired by someone else the guerrilla in question was still armed
with a live B-40 and had only been clipped in the leg; when the
guerrilla got up to run, Kerry assumed he was getting into position to
launch a rocket and shot him:

On Feb. 28, 1969, Kerry's boat received word that a swift boat was
being ambushed. As Kerry raced to the scene, his boat became another
target, as a Viet Cong B-40 rocket blast shattered a window. Kerry could
have ordered his crew to hit the enemy and run. But the skipper had a
more aggressive reaction in mind. Beach the boat, Kerry ordered, and the
craft's bow was quickly rammed upon the shoreline. Out of the bush
appeared a teenager in a loin cloth, clutching a grenade launcher.

An enemy was just feet away, holding a weapon with enough firepower
to blow up the boat. Kerry's forward gunner, [Tommy] Belodeau, shot and
clipped the Viet Cong in the leg. Then Belodeau's gun jammed, according
to other crewmates (Belodeau died in 1997). [Michael] Medeiros tried to
fire at the Viet Cong, but he couldn't get a shot off.

In an interview, Kerry added a chilling detail.

"This guy could have dispatched us in a second, but for . . . I'll
never be able to explain, we were literally face to face, he with his
B-40 rocket and us in our boat, and he didn't pull the trigger. I would
not be here today talking to you if he had," Kerry recalled. "And Tommy
clipped him, and he started going [down.] I thought it was over."

Instead, the guerrilla got up and started running. "We've got to
get him, make sure he doesn't get behind the hut, and then we're in
trouble," Kerry recalled.

So Kerry shot and killed the guerrilla. "I don't have a second's
question about that, nor does anybody who was with me," he said. "He was
running away with a live B-40, and, I thought, poised to turn around and
fire it." Asked whether that meant Kerry shot the guerrilla in the back,
Kerry said, "No, absolutely not. He was hurt, other guys were shooting
from back, side, back. There is no, there is not a scintilla of question
in any person's mind who was there [that] this guy was dangerous, he was
a combatant, he had an armed weapon."

Another member of the crew confirmed Kerry's account for the Boston
Globe and expressed no doubt that Kerry's action had saved both the boat
and its crew:

The crewman with the best view of the action was Frederic Short,
the man in the tub operating the twin guns. Short had not talked to
Kerry for 34 years, until after he was recently contacted by a Globe
reporter. Kerry said he had "totally forgotten" Short was on board that day.

Short had joined Kerry's crew just two weeks earlier, as a
last-minute replacement, and he was as green as the Arkansas grass of
his home. He said he didn't realize that he should have carried an M-16
rifle, figuring the tub's machine guns would be enough. But as Kerry
stood face to face with the guerrilla carrying the rocket, Short
realized his predicament. With the boat beached and the bow tilted up, a
guard rail prevented him from taking aim at the enemy. For a terrifying
moment, the guerrilla looked straight at Short with the rocket.

Short believes the guerrilla didn't fire because he was too close
and needed to be a suitable distance to hit the boat squarely and avoid
ricochet debris. Short tried to protect his skipper.

"I laid in fire with the twin .50s, and he got behind a hootch,"
recalled Short. "I laid 50 rounds in there, and Mr. Kerry went in.
Rounds were coming everywhere. We were getting fire from both sides of
the river. It was a canal. We were receiving fire from the opposite
bank, also, and there was no way I could bring my guns to bear on that."

Short said there is "no doubt" that Kerry saved the boat and crew.
"That was a him-or-us thing, that was a loaded weapon with a shape
charge on it . . . It could pierce a tank. I wouldn't have been here
talking to you. I probably prayed more up that creek than a Southern
Baptist church does in a month."

Charles Gibson, who served on Kerry's boat that day because he was
on a one-week indoctrination course, said Kerry's action was dangerous
but necessary. "Every day you wake up and say, 'How the hell did we get
out of that alive?'" Gibson said. "Kerry was a good leader. He knew what
he was doing."

Although Kerry's superiors were somewhat concerned about the issue of
his leaving his boat unattended, they nonetheless found his actions
courageous and worthy of commendation:

When Kerry returned to his base, his commanding officer, George
Elliott, raised an issue with Kerry: the fine line between whether the
action merited a medal or a court-martial.

"When [Kerry] came back from the well-publicized action where he
beached his boat in middle of ambush and chased a VC around a hootch and
ended his life, when [Kerry] came back and I heard his debrief, I said,
'John, I don't know whether you should be court-martialed or given a
medal, court-martialed for leaving your ship, your post,'" Elliott
recalled in an interview.

"But I ended up writing it up for a Silver Star, which is well
deserved, and I have no regrets or second thoughts at all about that,"
Elliott said. A Silver Star, which the Navy said is its fifth-highest
medal, commends distinctive gallantry in action.

Asked why he had raised the issue of a court-martial, Elliott said
he did so "half tongue-in-cheek, because there was never any question I
wanted him to realize I didn't want him to leave his boat unattended.
That was in context of big-ship Navy my background. A C.O. [commanding
officer] never leaves his ship in battle or anything else. I realize
this, first of all, it was pretty courageous to turn into an ambush even
though you usually find no more than two or three people there. On the
other hand, on an operation some time later, down on the very tip of the
peninsula, we had lost one boat and several men in a big operation, and
they were hit by a lot more than two or three people."

Elliott stressed that he never questioned Kerry's decision to kill
the Viet Cong, and he appeared in Boston at Kerry's side during the 1996
Senate race to back up that aspect of Kerry's action.

"I don't think they were exactly ready to court-martial him," said
Wade Sanders, who commanded a swift boat that sometimes accompanied
Kerry's vessel, and who later became deputy assistant secretary of the
Navy. "I can only say from the certainty borne of experience that there
must have been some rumbling about, 'What are we going to do with this
guy, he turned his boat,' and I can hear the words, 'He endangered his
crew.' But from our position, the tactic to take is whatever action is
best designed to eliminate the enemy threat, which is what he did."

Indeed, the Silver Star citation makes clear that Kerry's
performance on that day was both extraordinary and risky. "With utter
disregard for his own safety and the enemy rockets," the citation says,
Kerry "again ordered a charge on the enemy, beached his boat only 10
feet from the Viet Cong rocket position and personally led a landing
party ashore in pursuit of the enemy . . . The extraordinary daring and
personal courage of Lt. Kerry in attacking a numerically superior force
in the face of intense fire were responsible for the highly successful
mission."

Kerry was injured yet again on 13 March 1969, in an action for which he
was awarded both a Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. According to
Kerry's Bronze Star citation (signed by Admiral Zumwalt himself):

Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry was serving as an Officer-in-Charge
of Inshore Patrol Craft 94, one of five boats conducting a Sealords
operation in the Bay Hap River. While exiting the river, a mine
detonated under another Inshore Patrol Craft and almost simultaneously,
another mine detonated wounding Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry in the
right arm. In addition, all units began receiving small arms and
automatic weapons fire from the river banks. When Lieutenant (junior
grade) Kerry discovered he had a man overboard, he returned upriver to
assist. The man in the water was receiving sniper fire from both banks.
Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry directed his gunners to provide
suppressing fire, while from an exposed position on the bow, his arm
bleeding and in pain and with disregard for his personal safety, he
pulled the man aboard. Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry then directed his
boat to return to and assist the other damaged boat to safety.
Lieutenant (junior grade) Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great
personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions
of the United States Naval Service.

According to the Boston Globe, this was the only one of Kerry's three
Purple Heart injuries that caused him to miss any days of service:

Kerry had been wounded three times and received three Purple
Hearts. Asked about the severity of the wounds, Kerry said that one of
them cost him about two days of service, and that the other two did not
interrupt his duty. "Walking wounded," as Kerry put it. A shrapnel wound
in his left arm gave Kerry pain for years. Kerry declined a request from
the Globe to sign a waiver authorizing the release of military documents
that are covered under the Privacy Act and that might shed more light on
the extent of the treatment Kerry needed as a result of the wounds.

Although there was no hard-and-fast rule, U.S. military procedure
generally allowed any serviceman who received three Purple Hearts to
request reassignment away from a combat zone, so Kerry talked to
Commodore Charles F. Horne, an administrative official and commander of
the coastal squadron in which he served. Four days after Kerry took his
third hit of shrapnel, Horne forwarded a request on Kerry's behalf to
the Navy Bureau of Personnel asking that Kerry be reassigned to "duty as
a personal aide in Boston, New York, or Washington, D.C." Soon
afterwards Kerry was transferred to Cam Ranh Bay to await further
orders, and within a month he had been reassigned as a personal aide and
flag lieutenant to Rear Admiral Walter F. Schlech, Jr. with the Military
Sea Transportation Service based in Brooklyn, New York.

Kerry served with Admiral Schlech until the end of 1969, when requested
an early discharge from the Navy in order to run for a Massachusetts
congressional seat. Admiral Schlech approved the request, and on 3
January 1970 Kerry received an honorable discharge, six months early.

Last updated: 19 February 2004

From SNOPES.


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What $100 Billion Buys... Jim-- General 54 March 4th 04 04:06 PM
An Open Letter to John F. Kerry Christopher Robin General 0 February 21st 04 06:15 AM
Help, Harry, I don't understand (little OT) John H General 23 February 2nd 04 01:56 AM
A Dickens Christmas Harry Krause General 0 December 25th 03 11:30 AM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2020 BoatBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Boats"

 

Copyright © 2017