This was a comment on the previous post, but I believe it deserves it's own post.
Kerry and the anti-war movement:
Many people are angry about Kerry's anti-war activities. There is intense anger among Vietnam veterans over the shabby treatment that they recieved upon returning home from combat. Bush and Swiftvets are trying to focus that anger upon Kerry. And they appear to be winning. And it is wrong.
Check this out from an interview with Gen. Tommy Franks, Bush supporter, long-time Laura Bush friend, former Centcom Commander, and Vietnam vet, when he was given "bait" to slam Kerry on the Hannity propaganda hour:
HANNITY (8/3/04): I want to play a tape of John Kerry, and I want to get your reaction to this tape.
KERRY (videotape, Dick Cavett Show, 1971): I personally didn't see personal atrocities in the sense that I saw somebody cut a head off or something like that. However, I did take part in free fire zones. I did take part in harassment interdiction fire. I did take part in search and destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground.And all of these, I find out later on—these acts are contrary to The Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So, in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg principles, is in fact guilty.
HANNITY: What does that mean to you?
(Hannity waited for the normal party line answer that Kerry betrayed his fellow veterans. But Franks is too Army for that, so he gave an honest and informed answer)
FRANKS (continuing directly): I think we had a lot of problems in Vietnam. One was the lack of leadership of young people like in—in John Kerry's position. He was a young officer over there, and I'm not sure that, that activities like that didn't take place. In fact, quite the contrary. I'm sure that they did.
(Hannity gave him another chance to toe the party line, though)
HANNITY: I want to play you another tape of his, where he talks about what other soldiers did when he was there.
HANNITY: And then, I'll get your reaction to this. Roll this tape.
KERRY (videotape, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1971): I relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off the 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 the fashion of Genghis Khan.
HANNITY: I mean, raped, murdered, all these things. But he never told names. Does that anger you? I mean, this is the guy now that is the leading candidate for the Democrats.
(Notice the "never told names" line. The names of these soldiers were public record; Kerry didn’t have to list them and was never asked to do so. Hannity is trying misdirection tactics. But at any rate, Franks again passed on the bait. Hannity wanted the general to hammer Kerry. But once again, Franks told the truth)
FRANKS (continuing directly): I don't know. I think Vietnam was—I think Vietnam was a bad time. I think that what I've learned in my life, Sean, is that it's a heck of a lot easier to protest than it is to step up and take responsibility for the actions of a unit or for—or for your own actions. And so, I don't—I don't like what I saw. But at the same time, I wouldn't say that- (pause) The things that Senator Kerry said are undeniable about activities in Vietnam. I think that things didn't go right in, in Vietnam.
Read that again. “The things that Senator Kerry said are undeniable about activities in Vietnam.”
Sadly, everyone knows that such events did occur. And Kerry stood up and took responsibility for his actions, and demanded responsibility from our nation's leaders. He didn't betray veterans or support the North Vietnamese enemy or cast all veterans as war criminals. He tried to save 14,000 American lives because he realized that our government was lying to us.
Our government betrayed the veterans, and Kerry was out to correct that (notice how the right never speaks of Kerry's demands for better VA hospitals and chastised the administration for not taking care of the returning warriors, saying that they were "forgotten.")
How often have you heard that Kerry "slandered" veterans or that he was responsible for veterans being called "baby-killers" and spit upon, etc? ARtbyruth made a comment about a soldier that had feces flung on him when he returned home, and she thinks that Kerry was to blame for his anti-war activity. How many times have you heard "Hanoi Jane" in the same sentence with "Kerry," implying that Kerry committed or approved of the treason of Jane Fonda? Or false claims of POWs who were weakened by his testimony, or that the North Vietnamese were strengthened by it?
It isn't true. The man stood up and spoke truth to power, and he was right then and he is right now. Truth doesn't help our enemies. A govt that lies to the people does, though. It weakens us in the face of the enemy. There is NEVER a patriotic reason to go along with a lie.
But it is very, very easy to take his words out of context, present partial quotes, and twist them into a commie flag-burner working against America. And it is gutter politics to take the righteous anger of so many Vietnam warriors and direct it against the man who stood up for them and tried to save American lives. You might not agree with his politics or with his stance on the Vietnam war, but he didn't lie and he didn't betray his fellow warriors by speaking out and speaking truth. To say otherwise is to support the lies the govt told to the People during that war. To support the govt that betrayed our soldiers and sent more young kids to die in a war our leaders KNEW would end just as it did, merely for political reasons. To save face. After his 1971 testimony calling for an immediate pullout over 14,000 more US soldiers died. And we pulled out. And South Vietnam fell. And the dominoes, the entire justification for the war, did not fall.
In 1971, Kerry spoke to a Senate committee, made up of Dems and Reps alike. No one questioned the things he said, because everyone knew that his statements were accurate. Now 35 years later the insinuations begin in order to support a man who took no stand at all and made sure he was out of the line of fire.
Don't buy it.
(I shamelessly stole some of this from www.dailyhowler.com. Thanks Jamie for pointing me there.)