Sunday, August 29, 2004

It's 1971, Stupid

I mentioned earlier that Kerry's April 22, 1971 testimony was worth reading in its entirety. If you haven't gotten to it, do it now. Some excerpts which haven't been highlighted yet:

. . . I want to relate to you the feeling that many of the men who have returned to this country express because we are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against communism. . . .


We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs as well as by search and destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism, and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.


We fought using weapons against "Oriental human beings," with quotation marks around that. We fought using weapons against those people which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater or let us say a non-Third-World-people theater . . .


. . . the point is they are not a free people now under us. They are not a free people, and we cannot fight communism all over the world, and I think we should have learned that lesson by now.


An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation at Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, "My God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people."

It's truly an amazine document. If I was John Kerry, I'd much rather debate whether or not I earned my Purple Hearts than whether or not I meant what I said in 1971.


miklos rosza said...

Someone should ask some Vietnamese who came over as "boat people" what they think of John Kerry.

THJonesNYC said...


Every time Kerry says “I defended this country as a young man....” something bugs me.

Well I looked up his speech to Congress and then it was clear:

John Kerry has said again and again (and he said it at midnight in Springfield, Ohio after the Republican Convention):

“As a young man I defended this country.....” -John Kerry September 2, 2004

But here is the very essence of Kerry’s contradiction and the reason reporting for Presidential duty as a Vietnam veteran has such a hollow ring; Kerry spent FOUR MONTHS in combat and much of that trying to collect enough purple hearts to get out of it, and then returned home and spoke to Congress DENYING that he was defending our country. Add to these phrases his votes against military weapons and the intelligence budgets, and it’s hard to imagine him as president.

“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.”

“...we are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against communism.”

“We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.” -John Kerry April 22, 1971

T. H. Jones