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JOHN FORBES KERRY: WAR HERO OR TRAITOR?

 

 

 

By Jon Christian Ryter

January 11, 2004

NewsWithViews.com

John Forbes Kerry is a war hero. How do I know that? Because his campaign commercials on television say so. And, we know that John Forbes Kerry, a Massachusetts liberal who votes even farther to left than Teddy Kennedy, wouldn't lie to us. Kerry, who is currently pretending to be a modest, unassuming Northeastern moderate who was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three purple hearts in Vietnam between June, 1968 and January, 1969 is actually no more deserving to be called a war hero than my Shih Tzu, Zoe. And he's certainly no more deserving than William Jefferson Clinton. Everytime I see Kerry's "war footage" commercial that was shot on a film stage to fool the idiots, my blood boils.

Most of the ads show Kerry in battle fatigues, carrying an automatic rifle through a jungle terrain. Each spot ends with some Vietnam era vet praising Kerry as a genuine action figure hero—and why not? In the black and white re-enactment, Kerry looks a lot more like Rambo than a 60-year old rich politician who couldn't jog around his swimming pool three times without getting exhausted. The only problem with the spots is that Lt. Kerry was in the Navy—and I didn't see a whole lot of water in those commercials. The commercials are deceitful and do not honestly reflect the John Kerry who served in Vietnam. And, even worse, they don't reflect the John Kerry who returned from Vietnam and joined Hanoi Jane Fonda to become a key antiwar protester after resigning his commission in 1971 to join the communist antiwar advocacy movement, Vietnam Veterans Against War, that was financed in part by Jane Fonda, her activist husband, Tom Hayden and their pro-Communist filmdom friends.

But, what makes my blood boil even more is that since announcing he was seeking the the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States, Kerry's war records have conveniently been sealed by his campaign lawyers to make sure that people can't look and verify that there wasn't anything heroic about Senator Kerry, or whether or not his "war wounds" could have been covered with Band-Aids. (Kerry remembers all too well what happened to him in 1972 when the Republicans used his book, The New Soldiers, to defeat his run for the House of Representatives.)

It seems to me as a disengaged observer that a man whose public relations spinmeisters have declared him to be a war hero should not object to having his record scrutinized by the American electorate he is asking to vote for him, so they can see what types of wounds merited three Purple HeartsÑand what heroic acts justified the lieutenant's public relations gurus to imply he was a bigger hero that Alvin York and Audie Murphy all rolled up into one. If his reputation—and his patriotism—is as well-deserved as his PR pundit claim then, by all means, Kerry deserves to be able to run on his military record.

Whatever else he is, or is not, Kerry is a genuine Bay State blueblood. Even before he married the Heinz ketchup fortune, he had the correct aristocratic credentials to be invited to most of Boston's "A-List" affairs—and a gold-plated pathway to marry into the right family. Because he did, it would have been an easy matter for Yale graduate John Forbes Kerry to find a safe haven berth and sit out the Vietnam War in a stateside-anchored National Guard unit like so many other draft-age sons of America's elite (including George W. Bush, the grandson of Senator Preston Bush and descendent of President Franklin Pierce).

Young Kerry—who used to enjoy telling people that his initials are also JFK, idolized JFK. Kerry was convinced if he properly emulated JFK he could trace Kennedy's steps to the White House. Kerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received a commission —just like Kennedy. After completing basic training and OTS, Kerry volunteered for duty in Vietnam. JFK joined the Navy in World War II and saw action in the Solomon Seas.

Protected by his status as a blueblood, Ensign Kerry was assigned to the U.S.S. Gridley, a guided missile frigate. He served an undistinguished, uneventual six month tour, returning to the United States in June, 1968. Five months later Kerry returned to Vietnam as a Patrol Craft (called swift boats) commander (the equivalent to JFK's plywood PT boat from which Kennedy launched his own political career).

As a Navy lieutenant j.g., Kerry commanded PC-44 for about two months. A few days before his first command, Kerry received his first war "wound," and earned his first Purple Heart. He received a slight injury on his arm that he later said "disabled" him for about two days. Medals come easy to bluebloods. On February 20, 1969 on one of PC-94's 48 missions in the Mekong Delta, Kerry picked up a small piece of shrapnel in his left thigh—and he picked up his second Purple Heart. Eight days later, on February 28, he earned his Silver Star. Had Kerry not been an aristocratic blueblood, what he did would not have merited a commendation of any type. In fact, he would likely have faced an Article 13 hearing for running his patrol craft aground.

As PC-94 patrolled the Delta, the swift boat came under fire from Viet Cong rocket fire. Executing an evasive maneuver, Kerry grounded his craft—squarely in the center of the enemy's position. A startled Viet Cong soldier, hiding in a hole less than ten feet from where PC-94 grounded, bolted from his hiding place, rocket launcher in hand, and began running away. Kerry's gunner, Tom Belodeau, fired 50 rounds from his twin-mounted 50-caliber machine guns, wounding the Viet Cong soldier. Kerry leaped from the boat and finished off the dying soldier, returning to PC-94 with the Chinese rocket launcher. During that brief melee, Kerry suffered a minor wound for which he received his second Purple Heart. (If a soldier today had executed a wounded enemy combatant under those same circumstances, his action would be construed as a war crime.) In any event, the question has been raised many times in the past thirty years whether chasing and executing a retreating enemy combatant, who is wounded and cannot fight back, merits a Silver Star.

On March 12, 1969 a mine exploded near Kerry's boat. Kerry received a slight wound on his right arm. That wound was Kerry's ticket home. He knew the military had a "triple purple heart" rule. Any naval officer who received three Purple Hearts was entitled to rotate to a noncombat assignment of that officer's choice. Kerry pointed this rule out to his commanding officer, Adm. Charles F. Horne. On March 17, 1969, five days after suffering his third minor injury (that did not interrupt his ability to perform any or all of his duties), Horne signed the orders that sent Kerry out of harm's way. Kerry had just completed the politician's best military wet dream. No pain—and a lots of gain.

Through Teddy Kennedy, Kerry linked up with Adam Walinsky, a former speech writer for Robert F. Kennedy who was involved with Jane Fonda and a handful of left-wing Hollywood types who had funded an antiwar advocacy group called Vietnam Veterans Against War [VVAW]. Using her celebrity status, Fonda and the VVAW crusaded against the US war machine on college campuses. Beginning in 1967, Fonda made several visits to North Vietnam with a group of French communists and revolutionaries. In 1972 Fonda denounced America as the world's most dangerous nation and America denounced Hanoi Jane. Like any good communist, Fonda urged students in her college audiences to engage in open rebellion against the United States government. "If you understood what Communism was," she told one group of students at Duke University in 1970, "you would hope and pray on your knees that we would someday become communists,"

It was this company, and that political advocacy that attracted Lt. John Kerry in the winter of 1970. Kerry resigned his commission on Jan. 3, 1970 in order to run for Congress from Kennedy's Bay State 3rd District He lost in the primaries. (Kerry is convinced he lost because it was not politically-correct in Massachusetts to run as a decorated Vietnam veteran.)

Today, John Kerry wants to be President of the United States. America loves war heroes in the White House. Kerry is now campaigning as a war hero, But, back in 1970, being a patriot, or being a war hero was the last thing John Forbes Kerry wanted to be called. It just wasn't politically correct—or socially acceptable in liberal Massachusetts.

Kerry attended his first VVAW demonstration in Detroit in February, 1971 When he reached Washington, DC on April 18, 1971 with 1,000 protesters who claimed to be Vietnam veterans, Kerry had become one of the national leaders of the movement. Under his leadership, radical VVAW members (many of whom had never served in uniform) mocked the American military by defacing torn US Army uniforms with communist graffiti as they marched under the flag of North Vietnam. This is the John Kerry the junior Senator from the Bay State doesn't want the American people to see. On April 23, 1971 Kerry led his radical protesters to the White House where they threw their medals and ribbons over the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Kerry, who knew he was going to need to show off his own ribbons and medals to the voters sometime down the road (since he still had ambitions to become the President of the United States), borrowed a few token medals and ribbons from his fellow activists for the ceremonial medal toss. Later that same day, wearing his own Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, Kerry—because of his status as a genuine American blueblood and not because he was a patriotic American who gave a damn about his country—was privileged to address the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the issue of the Vietnam War. During that hearing, Kerry asked the assembled Congressmen: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Senator J. William Fulbright, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who led the congressional opposition to America's participation in the war in Vietnam, allowed antiwar protesters like Kerry to jam the Senate hearing room to cheer Senator George McGovern (Nixon's opposition in the election of 1972) when McGovern accused the American military of committing acts of barbarism in Vietnam.

Kerry, who could not garner any media attention as a patriot who loved his country, discovered the liberal national media loved him more as a radical extremist. Kerry loved the role. And, best of all, as a radical, no one except conservatives would be shooting at him. In May, Kerry participated in the VVAW Spring Offensive in Washington, DC. He had become a celebrity. He ate up the media attention. He appeared on 60-Minutes and was asked by Morley Safer if he wanted to be the President of the United States. Of course he did. That was all Kerry thought about. Instead of answering Safer's question honestly, Kerry brushed it off. He had already become too much of a politician to answer that one until he was ready to throw his hat into that particular ring.

Kerry ran again for the House of Representatives in 1972. Suddenly, being a radical extremist—even in radical Massachusetts—did not bode well. Kerry was smart enough to realize that his communistic rant, published as The New Soldier in 1971, could never be justified in "Kennedyesque terms." The voters—even in liberal Massachusetts— would never elect the author of such an unpatriotic book, The Kerry Campaign did everything humanly possible to stop the Republicans from reproducing and distributing the book cover and editorial content of The New Soldiers to the voters. Kerry lost the election—in a district that was carried overwhelmingly by equally liberal George McGovern in 1972. Kerry went back to college and earned a law degree. In 1982 Kerry took another stab at politics. This time, he ran for Lt. Governor and won. Two years later he ran for the US Senate and was elected. The voters, always known for short memories, forgot The New Soldiers. Or perhaps, with Ronald Reagan in the White House, the voters in the Bay State thought they needed another socialist liberal to counter the Great Communicator.

In 1991 the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, bent on normalizing relationships with the communist masters in Hanoi, created Senate Select Subcommittee on POW-MIA Affairs to determine whether or not the 2,583 MIAs and POWs in Vietnam were still alive and, if they were, to bring them home.

Because of his service in Vietnam (and because it was believed by the conservatives on the nonpartisan committee that a couple of Vietnam veteran would most likely satisfy the inquiring minds of thousands of wives, children and mothers and fathers, who anguished over whether or not their sons, fathers, and husbands, missing for two decades, might still, somehow, be alive), Kerry and Sen. John McCain were unanimously selected to head the investigative subcommittee. In point of fact, Kerry proved to be the master chameleon in this role. To the public, Kerry was a war hero who was determined to get to the bottom of this twenty year-old disgrace. Privately, no one pushed harder than Kerry to bury the POW-MIA issue. Since the Democrats controlled the US Senate Kerry, who pledged to exhaust every means to make sure that any Americans had been left behind would be found and restored to their families, became the subcommittee Chairman. To the veterans' groups across the country, there was finally a glimmer of hope. But, to the real world of power barons and transnational businessmen who are only interested in transnational commerce, it was business as usual. Once the ban on commerce with Vietnam was lifted, there would be increased profits for American companies that wanted to share in the economic revitalization of Southeast Asia.

Kerry's first official act as Subcommittee Chairman was to go to Hanoi to visit the communist regime and request their cooperation by waving a lucrative economic plum over their heads.. On the way, he stopped in Bangkok, Thailand where he met with the US Chamber of Commerce (out of the glaring eye of the American people) and discussed the need to normalize relations with Hanoi. In December, 1992—a month before he was to leave office, Kerry called on President George H.W. Bush to normalize relations with Hanoi to reward them their cooperation in accounting for American MIAs. Hanoi reciprocated to Kerry's efforts to "get to the bottom of the MIA question" by rewarding Kerry's cousin, C. Stewart Forbes [Boston-based Collier's International] with a contract, worth billions of dollars, to upgrade the infrastructure of war-torn Vietnam. A year later Kerry was still pushing for normalization even though Hanoi continued to stonewall the investigative effort by offering only placebo-affect cooperation.

In January, 1993 the Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs issued its concluding report. In it, the committee said they believed that living POWs had been left behind in the hands of the North Vietnamese at the end of the war, but said the committee found no "compelling" evidence to prove that any POWs remained alive today. Kerry's committee stopped short of answering the three most important questions—the same three questions that America's grassroots POW-MIA organizations had been asking for almost three decades. What happened to those US prisoners-of-war that the committee admitted had been left behind? If they were dead, where are their remains? And, if they died, who is responsible for their deaths?

The footnote on the Senate Select Subcommittee on POW-MIA Affairs was penned on November 21, 1993 in a column by Sydney H. Schanberg, associate editor and columnist for Newsday in which he said: "Sen. John F. Kerry, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs, is one of the key figures pushing for normalization. Kerry is currently on a visit to Vietnam where he has been doing two things: (1) praising the Vietnamese effusively for granting access to their war archives and (2) telling the press that there's no believable evidence to back up the stories of live POWs still being held. Ironically, that very kind of live-POW evidence has been brought to Kerry's own committee on a regular basis over the past year, and he regularly sought to impeach its value. Moreover, Kerry and his allies on the committee—such as Sens. John McCain, Nancy Kassenbaum and Tom Daschle—have worked to block much of this evidence from being made public."

This is the man—John Forbes Kerry—the Democrats are offering as their candidate to occupy the Oval Office. Granted, he's not a draft-dodger like Bill Clinton. But he was every bit an anti-American war protester as was Clinton—only worse. Kerry was, and remains, a communist ideologue draped in the American flag. Bill Clinton never offered testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States was committing atrocities in Vietnam. War "hero" John F. Kerry did. The only atrocities Kerry saw in Vietnam were committed by him. And, I can assure you that Kerry was not ordered to chase down a wounded man who was fleeing for his life and execute him. Nor was Kerry ordered to fire on a hut along the Mekong Delta from Patrol Craft-44, killing a woman, her baby, a 12-year old boy and several South Vietnamese soldiers whom it appears Kerry may have mistaken for North Vietnamese regulars. Kerry blamed the accidental shooting to a policy that allowed the Navy to decimate "free fire zones"—areas where "friendlies" are not known to be operating.

This is also the man—the "new soldier"—who is now telling America he would handle Iraq differently than George W. Bush. Of course he would have. He would tally up three Band-Aid wounds and pull out the troops. He, like his Democratic predecessors, would have continued the policies of appeasement as he raped the military of its ability to protect America. Under a John F. Kerry presidency, America would not only lose the War on Terrorism, it would lose the war against communism as well.

So, let me ask. Is Senator John F. Kerry really a war hero? Or is he a traitor? Myself, I think he's a lot closer to being a traitor than a hero. But, you're the voter. You have between now and November 2 to decide waht you think. But, if you really want to elect Kerry as your next president, shouldn't Jane Fonda be his running mate?

© 2004 Jon C. Ryter - All Rights Reserved

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Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.

Today, Jon is an advertising executive with the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website. E-Mail: baffauthor@aol.com


 

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