Jewish World Review August 26, 2004/9 Elul, 5764
John Kerry to Vietnam: Send Me?
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | "During the Vietnam War," said former President Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, "many young men including the current president, the vice president and me could have gone to Vietnam but didn't. John Kerry came from a privileged background and could have avoided it too. Instead he said, 'Send me.' When they sent those swift-boats up the river in Vietnam, and told them their job was to draw hostile fire to show the American flag and bait the enemy to come out and fight John Kerry said, 'Send me.'"
From the beginning, the Kerry campaign said to voters: Vote for me because I volunteered to go to Vietnam, faced hostile fire and came back a decorated war hero.
John O'Neill, who took over Kerry's swift-boat after Kerry left Vietnam, and co-author of the new book, "Unfit for Command," (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) questions whether Kerry's attitude toward Vietnam was, indeed, "Send me":
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth consisting of some 250 Democrats and Republicans now run ads attacking Kerry's record. They accuse Kerry, among other things, of lying repeatedly about being in Cambodia on Christmas 1968. Kerry said, "I have that memory which is seared seared in me." In 1979, Kerry wrote,
Steve Gardner, who served as Kerry's gunnery mate for most of Kerry's four-month stint in Vietnam, says that Kerry was never in Cambodia, and was over 50 miles away on that Christmas. The Kerry campaign now acknowledges that, no, on Christmas 1968, Nixon was not president. And, no, Kerry actually went to Cambodia in January 1969. But, no, Special Operations sent Kerry to Cambodia on a "top secret" mission, for which no paperwork exists to corroborate Kerry's presence. Convenient.
The Democrats' new-found affection for a commander-in-chief with military experience simply boggles the mind. In 1992, Bill Clinton who, let's say, finessed his way out of the draft after receiving his draft notice ran against George Herbert Walker Bush. President Bush-41 received a Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as pilot of a torpedo plane, who, although his plane was hit and set afire, continued his plunge toward the target and scored damaging bomb hits before bailing out of the plane. At 19, Bush was the youngest Navy pilot, at that time, during WWII. In 1996, President Clinton then ran against Bob Dole, who nearly lost his life from wounds he sustained during the 1944 invasion of Italy. Dole received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
Where were the we-need-a-president-with-military-experience Democrats then?
Former presidential contender Bob Dole said,
"I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty," said Kerry, during his speech at the Democratic National Convention. Again, from the very beginning, Kerry made his service in Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. And to this, the Swift Boat Veterans now say, "Bring it on."
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