Memories of Vietnam

I served in the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict, spending a year at Utapao Air Force Base in Thailand. I was almost killed by communist infiltrators on the road from the base to the local town during my last month of service. My younger brother Alan, a ranger in the 101st Airborne, died in Vietnam. My parents took his medals (Purple Heart and Bronze Star) and ribbons and had them framed, after which this little memorial hung on our living room wall until my mother died.

I tell you this because when John Kerry made his Vietnam service one of the centerpieces of his campaign I had misgivings over what I had read about him over the years. Earlier this year I had heard of a non-partisan group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, that had come out against Kerry. What they said about him, accusing him of lies and distortions over his service record and awards, was surprising for someone running for president. I must admit their statements are compelling. The group has released an ad in which they bluntly call John Kerry a liar. [Note: if their website is overloaded, you can download the Quicktime version from my site here).

Hannity and Combs (Fox News 9 P.M. EDT) are going to run the ad tonight and have two veterans from the clip on the show to debate the issues with a representative from the Kerry campaign. I am not sure how Senator Kerry’s campaign can recover from these revelations, which are presented in such a direct and straight forward manner.

  3 comments for “Memories of Vietnam

  1. August 6, 2004 at 10:35 am

    I find it fascinating that Kerry got into politics on an anti-Vietnam stance, and now he’s trying to appeal to patriots by running a pro-war campaign. Politics is dirty, but I’m glad this came out. I can’t wait to find out how it ends!

  2. August 6, 2004 at 10:50 am

    I guess I should repeat here a comment I left on Evangelical Outpost.

    Let me close my participation in this discussion with the statement that I believe Kerry is a rank opportunist, who while serving in the Navy during Vietnam did so solely to advance his envisioned future political career. I believe that he used every opportunity to inflate his significance and garner official recognition, even to the point of exageration, if not outright lies. For him to then trade on that service as a “war hero” is a travesty to those who bled and died in Vietnam, such as my brother. As a result, to attack him for those exagerations or possible lies is not an ad hominem attack, since the attacks are directed at things material to the argument. True ad hominem attacks are personal attacks on immaterial issues, such as is routinely done to Bush.

    One of the problems I see in all of this is that the a priori positions of most Democrates makes it impossible for them to even look at the issues with any semblence of clarity or honest fairness.

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