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Jewish World Review April 2, 2004 / 12 Nissan, 5764

David Limbaugh

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John Kerry 2004 = John Kerry 1971 | Since Democrats will only tell us how much they loathe President Bush and what he's doing wrong in the War on Terror, never offering their solutions for us to critique, let me tell you a few things I fear about a Kerry presidency.

Frankly, the prospect of John Kerry becoming commander in chief at this critical point in our history horrifies me, mainly because I believe the John Kerry of 1971 is the John Kerry of today.

Just imagine someone with the mindset of Jane Fonda circa 1971 leading our war on terror. Forget the allegedly doctored photographs showing Kerry and Fonda together. We don't need to know that these two may have met to discuss the evils of American "aggression" against the North Vietnamese.

We know from Kerry's own words that he possessed the same contempt for America's cause and our armed services around that time. And don't tell me that his distinguished military record immunizes him from accountability for his later despicable behavior.

It would be different if Kerry had ever grown out of his youthful nihilism. I would say "idealism," but there's nothing idealistic about accusing your fellow serviceman in Vietnam of unspeakable atrocities against innocent civilians.

Kerry's congressional testimony in 1971 seemed to suggest that he had firsthand knowledge of such horrible acts and may have even participated in them. Of course, we are supposed to laud him for his "courage" in coming forward and shining the light of truth and thereby exempt him from any role he may have played in it.

But how outrageous is that! If he was privy to such crimes and didn't report them, he should be held accountable. There is nothing noble about him reporting those alleged crimes and not naming names or assuming responsibility.

Such anonymous, generalized charges merely served the purposes of the enemy, just like Jane Fonda's cavorting with North Vietnamese troops. We now know that these types of activities gave comfort to the enemy and were used to demoralize our troops and prisoners of war.

No, you say, John Kerry neither participated nor had firsthand knowledge of any barbarous acts; he was merely reporting what he'd been told. Well, who told him? Ho Chi Minh? Either he had reliable information or he was spewing thirdhand hearsay likely spawned by nefarious communist propagandists.

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The type of testimony he so proudly gave at those hearings wouldn't be admissible in the most primitive tribunals with the most relaxed rules of evidence, unless Kerry owned up to his own specific participation or divulged his sources. He didn't do either because outlining his participation would have been incriminating, and he had no sources to divulge.

You see, I simply don't believe John Kerry's defamation, and I don't believe that he believed it either. Sure, there were doubtlessly some atrocities committed by our side (we know of a few); we're not perfect. But I don't believe that the rank and file American soldier in Vietnam was a veritable agent of Satan. By and large these were great guys who served their country admirably and would never have considered participating in the kinds of acts Kerry described.

We are entitled to know whether Kerry still stands by his testimony. If so, did he participate or witness these events? If so, why didn't he name names? If not, why did he rush to believe the worst about his own colleagues still in the jungles of Vietnam? Does he still believe that America was engaged in an immoral cause in trying to contain communism? Does he still believe that there would be no bloodbath at the hands of the communists if we were to withdraw from Southeast Asia?

And if Kerry refuses to repent — and it's obvious he does, since he wears his protesting days as a badge of honor — what does that tell us about his present attitude about America's enemies?

I think he still harbors an attitude that America is an ugly bully on the world stage, that we have no business acting to protect our security without playing "Mother, may I?" with France, Germany and the United Nations, and that there is little connection between international terrorists and sponsoring states. Sure, just like there was no coordination between communists worldwide during Kerry's antiwar heyday in the seventies.

Yes, I'm thoroughly convinced that the John Kerry of today is the John Kerry of 1971, who has no more business steering this ship of state than Jane Fonda. In these sobering times with our security, national sovereignty and freedom at stake, I shudder at the possibility that John Kerry could become our wartime president.

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of, most recently, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.