Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#816504 - 08/17/04 01:56 PM Decide For Yourself
John Andrew Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 3041
Loc: Southern California
The following is a pretty objective analysis of the John Kerry medal issue.

I'll leave it to each of you to read it and reach your own conclusion about whether this is a valid issue on which to judge Mr. Kerry unworthy as President or if it is just being offered to focus the debate away from other issues facing this country.


From the LA Times:

Veterans Battle Over the Truth[/b]
An ad calls Kerry a liar. His Vietnam crew sees a hero. Memories, and agendas, are in conflict.
By Maria L. La Ganga and Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writers

A television ad that has aired in three key battleground states and a new book have created a political furor over John F. Kerry's Vietnam War record, calling into question his character, credibility and a central tenet of his campaign — that his combat experience helps qualify him to be president.

The ad, the book and the people behind them have become staples of conservative talk shows and Internet sites. The claims — that Kerry lied about his war experiences, didn't deserve his medals and betrayed soldiers everywhere by protesting the war after serving in it — also have been recited in the mainstream media, along with denials of the allegations.

What military documentation exists and has been made public generally supports the view put forth by Kerry and most of his crewmates — that he acted courageously and came by his Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts honestly. This view of Kerry as war hero is supported by all but one of the surviving veterans who served with him on the two boats he commanded.

None of the critics quoted in the ad actually served on the boats with Kerry. Some of them also have given contradictory accounts and offered conflicting recollections.

But what actually happened about 35 years ago along the remote southern coast of Vietnam remains murky. Some of Kerry's own recollections over the years, as presented in two biographies and many interviews, also have been inconsistent.

Most of the documents offered by critics of the Democratic candidate are signed affidavits by 13 Swift boat veterans — notarized memories of events that they say they witnessed from a boat or two away.

The Kerry campaign has launched a vociferous defense, denying the charges raised in the ad. It also denounced the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, as a Republican-backed effort. His staff has directed critics to the Massachusetts senator's military records, which have been posted on his website.

"The Swift boat ad is full of lies. Thirteen men who never served with John Kerry lie about knowing him and viciously attack his record," said Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill in an e-mail to supporters last week. "It is a new low for the Republicans."

A liberal independent organization is weighing in on the controversy with a new ad today, demanding that President Bush urge that the ad be taken off the air.

The Bush campaign, for its part, says it has nothing to do with the Swift boat group attacking Kerry and has kept a distance — neither endorsing nor denouncing the ad, which is airing in Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia. When asked about it Thursday on "Larry King Live," Bush said he had not seen it.

Kerry, long accused of hair-splitting and nuance in his political positions, has left himself open to criticism by giving subtly varying accounts over the years of his Vietnam service and postwar activism. But his critics also have provided conflicting recollections.

"War is by definition chaotic, and people are not taking notes in battle," said Jeffrey Berry, a political science professor at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. "In terms of the type of evidence that might be ideal for making a convincing case, there probably are some holes. They give an opening for people who want to say Kerry was embellishing."

Members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say they have received $300,000 in new donations since the ad began airing Aug. 5. The group's initial ad buy was $500,000.

The group's leaders confirmed that Robert J. Perry, a Texas homebuilder, was their biggest original financier. Perry has given money to Bush's last four campaigns and is a major GOP donor in Texas.

John O'Neill, a former Swift boat commander who served in Vietnam and a longtime Kerry foe, has been promoting his book — "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" — on cable-TV talk shows such as "Crossfire" and "Hardball." The book, which amplifies the charges in the ad, began trickling into stores last week. It already tops the Amazon.com bestseller list, and a chapter has been posted on a conservative website.

It is too soon to tell whether the claims are resonating with voters, but political observers say they could pose a serious risk for the Democratic candidate, particularly in such a close race.

"If the attacks on [Kerry's] character continue and they start to take hold with swing voters and casual voters, it would be a big problem," said Stuart Rothenberg, publisher of a nonpartisan political newsletter. "The Kerry folks can't concede this…. A charge like this that's ignored is a charge that's believed."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The anti-Kerry ad begins with footage of Sen. John Edwards, Kerry's running mate, saying, "If you have any question about what John Kerry's made of, just spend three minutes with the men who served with him 30 years ago."

Then eight words appear on the screen — "Here's what those men think about John Kerry" — and the allegations begin. They include comments such as: "John Kerry betrayed the men and women he served with in Vietnam," and "He lacks the capacity to lead."

Many in the Swift boat group seem to be motivated as much by anger about Kerry's protest activities as they are about his actions in combat. In their affidavits, several write about Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

In his April 1971 statement to the Senate panel, Kerry cited Vietnam atrocities that had been alleged by his group of antiwar veterans. And in blunt rhetoric, he questioned government policy that widened the toll among soldiers and civilians: "We learned the meaning of free-fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed cheapness on the lives of Orientals."

In the anti-Kerry ad, former Navy Lt. Cmdr. George Elliott, one of Kerry's immediate commanders, says: "John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam."

In his affidavit, Elliott said that when Kerry returned from Vietnam, he was "comparing his other commanders and me to Lt. Calley of My Lai, comparing the American armed forces to the army of Genghis Khan, and making similar misstatements."

Joe Ponder, a Swift boat crewman who did not serve on either of Kerry's two boats, says in the ad that Kerry "dishonored his country." In his affidavit, Ponder says he was badly wounded in an ambush in Vietnam. But "the greatest wounds I have ever suffered were from John F. Kerry, who dishonored my country, my honor and my friends by falsely charging the United States Army Forces with war crimes, claiming that all of us, living and dead, were war criminals."

Although these are powerful statements, they are not entirely accurate.

In his Senate testimony, Kerry did liken some American actions to Genghis Khan's. But he did not mention Elliott by name, nor did he mention his Navy superiors. And he did not claim that every soldier was a war criminal. Rather, he cited atrocities described by veterans who opposed the war. Kerry has acknowledged that, at times, he used a poor choice of words as a young man protesting the war, but he has continued to insist that atrocities were committed.

During the war, Elliott gave Kerry high marks in fitness reports and recommended Kerry for the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. "John was one of 50 young officers who performed extremely well," Elliott said in an interview in May. "I wrote his fitness report, and I stand by that."

But in his affidavit, Elliott backed away from the Silver Star nomination he wrote for Kerry in 1969. Kerry won the award for chasing down and killing a wounded Viet Cong guerrilla who had confronted his boat with a grenade launcher.

In his affidavit, Elliott questioned Kerry's actions, suggesting he might have shot the guerrilla in the back. Elliott was not present during the action, and there have been no credible eyewitness accounts affirming his version.

Kerry's Swift boat mates have long insisted that Kerry's action was appropriate and saved their lives.

A day after the ad appeared, Elliott said in an interview with the Boston Globe that he regretted signing the affidavit and that he believed Kerry still deserved the Silver Star. Then he issued a second affidavit standing by his first sworn statement, saying he had been misquoted by the Globe.

But in his second affidavit, Elliott also admitted, "I do not claim to have personal knowledge as to how Kerry shot the wounded, fleeing Viet Cong."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


There are three other allegations raised by the anti-Kerry group — questioning his first Purple Heart, his Bronze Star and a Christmas Eve mission to the Cambodian border.

The awarding of Kerry's first Purple Heart has been challenged by a former surgeon at the Navy base at Cam Ranh Bay. "I know John Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury," Dr. Louis Letson said in the television ad.

In a Times interview in May, the retired Alabama doctor said he recalled administering treatment to Kerry for a flesh wound incurred on Dec. 2, 1968.

Kerry had been on a mission in a "skimmer" boat north of Cam Ranh Bay. Noticing Viet Cong on a beach, Kerry fired on the guerrillas. Two crewmates, Bill Zaladonis and Pat Runyon, have confirmed that they also fired on the fleeing guerrillas.

That same night, Jim Wasser, who was stationed on a boat near Kerry's and who would later serve on Kerry's Swift boat, heard a radio report from Kerry's boat that "someone had a slight wound."

The next morning, according to Letson, Kerry showed up at the Cam Ranh Bay medical unit asking for treatment. Letson said the wound was slight and that he removed a tiny shard of shrapnel with tweezers. He said Kerry reported being in a firefight with Viet Cong guerrillas.

But later, Letson said, he learned from some medical corpsmen that other crewmen had confided that there was no exchange of fire and that Kerry had accidentally wounded himself as he fired at the guerrillas.

Letson said he didn't know if the crewmen giving this account were in the boat with Kerry or on other boats. The crewmen "were just talking to my guys," Letson said. "We weren't prying into it. There was not a firefight — that's what the guys related. They didn't remember any firing from shore. It's Kerry who made the issue of him being a war hero. That opens it up for some question."

In a June interview, Kerry described taking fire from the guerrillas but was unsure whether he was wounded by others or by himself. "I didn't see where it came from," he said.

The Kerry campaign has questioned Letson's role, noting that a medical account detailing Kerry's treatment is signed by a "J. Carreon" — not Letson. But Letson insisted he was the one who treated Kerry. Carreon was a Filipino corpsman, a "hospitalman first class," not a doctor, Letson said, and routinely made entries on his behalf.

Kerry won the Purple Heart for the wound, but Letson said he did not deserve it because it was too slight and reportedly self-inflicted. Letson conceded in The Times interview that he made no effort then to officially question Kerry's account.

Navy rules during the Vietnam War governing Purple Hearts did not take into account a wound's severity — and specified only that injuries had to be suffered "in action against an enemy."

Self-inflicted wounds were awarded if incurred "in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence." Kerry's critics insist his wound would not have qualified, but former Navy officials who worked in the service's awards branch at the time said such awards were routine.

A Times review of Navy injury reports and awards from that period in Kerry's Swift boat unit shows that many other Swift boat personnel won Purple Hearts for slight wounds of uncertain origin.

When Kerry reported the injury to his commander, Lt. Cmdr. Grant Hibbard, he only asked Hibbard to file an injury report, Kerry told The Times.

In a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth affidavit, Hibbard said Kerry came into his office "to apply for a Purple Heart," but that he turned down Kerry's "Purple Heart request." He said he was "shocked to later learn that [Kerry] subsequently received an undeserved Purple Heart for his wound."

But in a conflicting interview this summer, Hibbard said Kerry did not directly ask for the medal but a medical report. (The report would have been automatically forwarded to Navy administrators in Saigon who oversaw Purple Heart awards.) Hibbard said he believed the wound was too minor to warrant a report but that later he "took some heat" from military superiors for refusing to write it up.

Kerry acknowledged to The Times that he later asked about the Purple Heart. He said he "asked a guy where it was or something," but could not recall whom he pressed for the award.

The decoration was approved by Navy administrators in Saigon before he left Vietnam in March 1969.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The second specific allegation was made by Van Odell, who served as a gunner on PCF-23, one of the boats involved in the incident that earned Kerry the Bronze Star. "John Kerry lied to get his Bronze Star. I know. I was there," Odell says in the ad.

Kerry received the Bronze Star for rescuing Army Lt. Jim Rassmann, a Green Beret who had been knocked off Kerry's Swift boat on March 13, 1969, when a mine exploded nearby, disabling another craft. Kerry also received a Purple Heart for being injured in the process.

In one of the defining moments of the Democratic primary season, Rassmann, who is a Republican, reunited with the candidate in an emotional meeting. He talked about Kerry's bravery and his gratitude. Since then, he has campaigned for him regularly.

Kerry's website gives a brief account of the rescue and then quotes the Bronze Star citation signed by Vice Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., then the Navy's top commander in Vietnam:

"Lt. Kerry directed his gunners to provide suppressing fire, while from an exposed position on the bow, his arm bleeding and in pain, with disregard for his personal safety, he pulled the man aboard. Lt. Kerry's calmness, professionalism and great personal courage under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. naval service."

Rassmann, in a Times interview, said Kerry and several of his crew were on shore as Rassmann and his unit took small arms fire from Viet Cong guerrillas. The U.S. troops then moved to destroy a cache of contraband rice they suspected was being used to supply the enemy.

Kerry and Rassmann hurled grenades at the contraband, and from the resulting explosion they were hit with shrapnel, including some that lodged in Kerry's buttocks.

Later that day, Rassmann recalled, he was sitting on the side of Kerry's Swift boat eating a chocolate chip cookie just as PCF-94 was heading out of the Bay Hap River toward the Gulf of Siam. One mine went off underwater, and then a second.

Rassmann fell overboard, he recounted, "and John got thrown off the bulkhead. I went to the bottom, dumped my gear, and when I came up the boats were gone. The VC are shooting at me." Then, Rassmann said, he saw a boat coming to his rescue. From the edge of the Swift boat, the wounded Kerry "kneeled down and grabbed my arm and pulled me over. Neither of us said a word. I grabbed an M-16 and fired back. I burned the barrel out. We finally got out of this kill zone."

There are discrepancies in the official stories and documentation about the incident.

The Bronze Star citation describes Kerry's arm as bleeding, as do two biographies, "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War" by Douglas Brinkley, and "John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography By The Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best."

But the official March 13 Navy report of Kerry's injuries said that "Lt. Kerry suffered shrapnel wounds in his left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard PCF-94."

His wounds also earned him his third Purple Heart and allowed him to leave Vietnam early — in late March 1969 — after four months of a yearlong tour.

Several others, who are now members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, were on nearby boats on the Bay Hap River during the incident. They say that there was no hostile gunfire when Kerry pulled Rassmann out of the water and that one of their own, Jack Chenoweth, was already speeding to Rassmann's aid.

"I'm here to tell you there was no fire from either bank. The only incident was the mine, detonated under the … boat," Chenoweth said in an interview.

The Swift boat group members critical of Kerry said that he wrote the after-action reports that led to his getting the Bronze Star. They said they saw no blood on his arm as described in the citation for the Bronze Star. And they argue that the buttock wound that that led to the Purple Heart was caused by his own grenade.

They also say they did not complain 35 years ago because they did not see the reports until Kerry posted them online.

But the anti-Kerry faction has not definitively proved that Kerry was the sole source of the Bronze Star battle account. And according to Elliott, Kerry's immediate commander, Swift boat officers involved in battles normally were involved in drafting the after-action report, which in this case described repeated fire from small arms and automatic weapons.

Rassmann, whose life was saved, stands by Kerry.

"Their new charges are false; their stories are fabricated, made up by people who did not serve with Kerry in Vietnam," he wrote in a commentary last Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal. "They insult and defame all of us who served in Vietnam."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A third and new allegation surfaced last week as part of the publicity campaign for O'Neill's new book.

O'Neill and several members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth allege that in statements to Congress and in news accounts, Kerry lied in claiming that on Christmas Eve 1968, his Swift boat — PCF-44 — sailed into a Cambodian river.

Cambodia was supposed to be off-limits to the U.S. military because it was not an official combatant. However, U.S. troops made secret incursions into the country to stem Viet Cong operations and supply lines.

"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia," Kerry said in a March 1986 Senate speech. "I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians."

At other times, Kerry has said he was near — but not in — Cambodia.

In a Times interview last June, Kerry said: "I celebrated Christmas Eve on the border of Cambodia." And he added that on a later mission, "I went into Cambodia with the CIA."

Kerry's critics have seized on his varying recollections to impugn his credibility and suggest he has embellished his war record.

Steven Gardner, the only member of Kerry's former crews to join Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and actively campaign against Kerry, has told some reporters that PCF-44 was 50 miles away from Cambodia that Christmas Eve.

But two of Kerry's crewmates — Wasser and Zaladonis — both told The Times the boat was in the vicinity of the Cambodian border and even fought an engagement with a Viet Cong sampan on Christmas Eve day.

"We patrolled a river on the border," Zaladonis said last week. "Unless I'm out of my mind or mistaken, that river was part of the border."

There are no after-action reports that pinpoint where Kerry's boat was in late December 1968. But a file from Navy archives in Washington obtained by The Times provides support for both sides.

An entry in a monthly summary of engagements for December 1968 reports that on Christmas Eve, "PCF-44 fired on junk on beach. Results: 1 sampan destroyed."

The entry was made by then-Capt. Roy Hoffmann, the overall commander of Swift boats and now one of Kerry's most vocal critics. There is no written location for the engagement, but it contains a coordinate used by the military to plot locations. The coordinate points to an area about 40 to 50 miles south of the Cambodian border, near an island called Sa Dec.

The entry also notes that the incident took place about 7 a.m., which would have given Kerry's boat another 12 hours to make it to the Cambodian border by nightfall. At a cruising speed of 23 knots, the boat could have covered the distance in about two hours.

This would be consistent with the contention of Kerry spokesman Michael Meehan that Kerry was in Sa Dec but reached the Cambodian border later the same day.

Since the anti-Kerry ad first surfaced, Kerry's crewmates have fanned out in his defense. Along with Rassmann, crewmates Del Sandusky, leading petty officer with Kerry on PCF-94, and Gene Thorson decried the allegations as politically inspired "garbage."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam veteran who has endorsed Bush, called the ad "dishonest and dishonorable." He said that "none of these individuals served on the boat [Kerry] commanded," adding that he believed "John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam."

In a lengthy interview between the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's first news conference in May and the controversy last week, Kerry called the group's allegations pure "politics."

"Some of them don't like the fact that I opposed the war, and 35 years later some people still want to argue about that," Kerry said in the June interview. "It's way beyond me, can I tell you? It's so far beyond and past now. I feel sad about it."

He said he respected the service all Swift boat crews gave to their country and lauded their courage.

"So I'm at peace with myself, and I'm sorry they feel the way they do," Kerry said, "because I respect them. I really do."
_________________________
You can be disappointed, but you cannot walk away. This fight has just begun. Senator John Edwards

Top
Piano & Music Accessories
#816505 - 08/17/04 02:03 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam veteran who has endorsed Bush, called the ad "dishonest and dishonorable." He said that "none of these individuals served on the boat [Kerry] commanded," adding that he believed "John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam."[/b]


This paragraph is worth repeating. In my view, McCain is as straight a shooter as they come and would not put up with Kerry for a minute if he thought there was any truth to this crap. Notwithstanding his campaign appearances with Cheney, McCain considers Kerry a close friend and a brave soldier.

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

Top
#816506 - 08/17/04 02:12 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
This piece is an attempt to appear unbiased, when in fact it is full of misrepresentations designed to spin it to Kerry's favor. I suggest you take the time to actually research the claims of these men instead of hunting ways to discredit them. Everything I've seen tells me they're dead on the money.

Also, the article criticizes the men for not being on the same boat with Kerry, claiming this means they have no right to pass judgment on Kerry since they weren't right there in his face - but we are now to accept McCain's statements as fact because he's a "straight shooter" when he wasn't even in the same region, much less in the next boat. That's hardly being objective - and McCain is hardly a "straight shooter".
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816507 - 08/17/04 02:23 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina
You know JA, from what I have observed, there are Vietnam vets, who just never got over the war. Some stubbornly cling to "it was the right thing to do, I would do it again". Others get over it and have productive lives.

I happen to know two of them in my community. Both are literally incapacited by the experience, one trying to justify his participation, and the other trying to do everything within his power to re-think the world. One uneducated, from a poor background, and the other, highly educated, from a fairly wealthy family. As a high school student, I dated the latter one. He actually has a brilliant mind, but today he can't function in society. Both are for all intents and purposes, non-functioning members of society unable to make a living or exist on their own. Sad, but Vietnam did this to them.

Bring all this kind of baggage in with people like the the Swift Boaters, and throw in a dose of politics, and you have a perfect example of some of those who never can forget that we lost the war. Or that Kerry opposed it after participating in it.

It's time the Vietnam was was over.

Top
#816508 - 08/17/04 02:28 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Ben D. Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/04
Posts: 841
Loc: Texas
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

YOU'RE ATTACKING JOHN McCAIN!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

YOU IDIOT LARREY JOHN McCAIN IS CAMPAIGNING WITH BUSH, SUPPORTING HIM, (although i don't know why) HE'S THE BEST THING BUSH HAS GOING FOR HIM AND YOU LABEL HIM A LIAR??? HHAHAHAHAHA!!!

AND HOW COULD THE PEOPLE KNOW IF THEY WEREN'T THERE?!?!? SERIOUSLY, LARREY, YOU NEED TO OWN UP TO THE FACT THAT KERRY IS A WAR HERO. THESE REPUBLICAN ADS ARE RIDICULOUS. IN FACT, I WILL RIDICULE THEM RIGHT NOW!!!

HAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHA!!!

IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING THAT SHOWS THOSE ADS FOR THE LIES THEY ARE, THEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN USING YOUR EYES. IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS, WHY DON'T YOU TAKE SOME TIME AND FIND SUBSTANTIAL PROOF FOR US LARREY?

[ caps lock off ]

-ben
_________________________
now a resident of TNCR - www.coffee-room.com

Top
#816509 - 08/17/04 02:31 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Even O'Reilly thinks it's "tawdry and distasteful":

NY Daily News

In case the link doesn't work, this is the article:

Wrong to attack Kerry war record

The partisans are running wild over this Swift boat business, talk radio is crazy with it, and the smell of blood is in the air. John Kerry has made a major deal of his Vietnam War record, and now his opponents have opened fire on the senator's experiences.

It's all tawdry and distasteful, of course, but let's examine things unemotionally.

First off, I believe Jim Rassmann when he says that Kerry saved his life by pulling him out of a Vietnam river while under fire. Rassmann is a former Green Beret, a former police officer and a longtime registered Republican until earlier this year. If he says John Kerry is a hero, nobody should doubt it. Rassmann has earned the right to be trusted, and insulting his testimony is way out of line.

But I also believe Steve Gardner, a former Navy gunner who was also present on one of Kerry's Swift boats. He says the senator wrote up a false report, neglecting to inform the Navy that Gardner had accidentally shot a Vietnamese child during a firefight. This is a tough one. Gardner is implicating himself and has no reason to do so. But perhaps Kerry was looking out for him by not reporting the incident. Only Kerry knows.

It is very possible to perform heroically on some occasions and do less than admirable things on others. All human beings are flawed, and we are capable of both valor and deceit. That's what I think happened here. John Kerry was brave but he was also calculating. His heroism impressed most of his Swift boat mates, but his civilian anti-war activities and perceived grandstanding also alienated many other Vietnam vets. And so the battle lines are drawn.

What should we on the sidelines make of all this? Well, it's a judgment call. It is absolutely wrong for Americans to condemn Kerry's war record because he demonstrated provable valor. However, those who distrust him do deserve to be heard, although facts, not emotion, should be demanded.

I think the Swift boat political advertisement calling Kerry a charlatan is in poor taste, and if this kind of thing continues, it might well backfire on the Kerry haters. Most Americans are fair-minded, and bitter personal attacks do not go down well with folks who are not driven by partisanship.

Remember, Gen. Wesley Clark was knocked out of the presidential sweepstakes when he would not disown Michael Moore's insane remark that President Bush was a "deserter." Bush received an honorable discharge from the National Guard.

Adm. Elmo Zumwalt pinned a medal on John Kerry's chest. The record is the record unless rock-solid proof refutes it.

The lesson here is that blind partisanship is not an attribute. No person or candidate is all good or all bad. In America today, with both sides peddling lies and defamation and spin, it is alarmingly difficult just to get simple facts on which to base a responsible vote.

Somewhere Jack Webb is weeping.

Originally published on August 16, 2004
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

Top
#816510 - 08/17/04 02:39 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING THAT SHOWS THOSE ADS FOR THE LIES THEY ARE, THEN YOU HAVEN'T BEEN USING YOUR EYES. IF YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS, WHY DON'T YOU TAKE SOME TIME AND FIND SUBSTANTIAL PROOF FOR US LARREY?[/b]

Try reading the book, dumbass.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816511 - 08/17/04 02:41 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Here's a review by someone who *has* read the book:

Contrary to the polite, watered-down dismissals of much of the beltway pundit community, there is simply no way to chalk up the opposing stories of John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as mutually honest differences of opinion.

I've now read the book "Unfit for Command," and am here to tell you that its multitudinous allegations against Senator Kerry are breathtaking. You cannot read this book without concluding that its co-authors John O'Neill and Jerome Corsi -- and the scores of Vietnam veterans they cite by name throughout the book -- are making specific indictments against Kerry that cannot be rationalized away.

John O'Neill doesn't timidly suggest that Kerry might have lied occasionally or exaggerated in Vietnam and afterward during his antiwar crusade. Rather he paints an unmistakable picture of Kerry as a ruthless, self-promoting egomaniac who systematically placed his own interests above his fellow soldiers and who was obsessively involved in building his resume at all costs during the entirety of his short tour in Vietnam.

O'Neill depicts Kerry -- with mountains of documented evidence -- as a pathological, unconscionable liar whose penchant for dishonesty in Vietnam was only exceeded by his brutal, unmitigated slander of his fellow soldiers when he rushed stateside to lobby against them, their superiors and the entire military establishment.

You can certainly say that John O'Neill and the some 250 Swiftees supporting his position are lying. Or you can say that John Kerry was lying about Vietnam and continues to today. But you cannot honestly say that both groups may be telling the truth. That choice is simply not open to us, as anyone who reads the book will be forced to admit.

You can also dismiss these charges out of hand by accepting the propaganda of Kerry's supporters, whose primary tactic has been to discredit the Swiftees as paid Republican mouthpieces who "did not serve on the same boat as John Kerry."

But John O'Neill himself denies that he's a Republican and says that many in his group are Democrats. Let the investigative reporters of the partisan media run that down if they dare.

And to suggest that the Swiftees had to have been on the same boat is flagrantly specious, as the boats traveled in close proximity to one another, affording the Swiftees firsthand knowledge of the events they describe. In one case, O'Neill charges Kerry with taking credit for the heroics actually performed by members of another Swift Boat. You can see how you wouldn't have to be on the same boat with Kerry to testify to that one.

In evaluating the respective disputants' credibility we should note that neither Kerry nor his defenders have even attempted to refute the great majority of the factual assertions in the book. They tried with the "Christmas in Cambodia" incident and dug themselves a far deeper hole, and they're still digging.

They haven't been willing to engage in a debate with Mr. O'Neill. Instead, they have shouted him down. Just review the transcript of O'Neill's appearance on CNN's "Crossfire," where James Carville and Lanny Davis ceaselessly berated O'Neill and literally wouldn't let him speak.

And Chris Matthews, though he allowed O'Neill to speak between interruptions, couldn't seem to get past his perception that Kerry had to be a hero because the Navy, as an institution, bestowed multiple awards on him.

But if Chris had read the book, he would have understood that one of its premises is that Kerry often circumvented those who had actual knowledge of events and duped his superiors into giving him honors by falsifying reports and presumably recommending himself for these awards when his superiors refused to do so.

Kerry could clear much of this up by releasing all his medical and military records, but so far he has been quite selective with their release. We need to know, for example, if he filed false reports, such as claiming that certain self-inflicted wounds were a result of enemy fire.

But what's even more damning to John Kerry's credibility is his unsubstantiated defamation of his fellow servicemen in his opportunistic Senate testimony and elsewhere upon his return from Vietnam. Kerry not only indicts his fellow soldiers as war criminals, but the entire command structure of the U.S. military as directing these types of activities.

Yet Kerry has never been able to produce specific names and dates of those who committed these actions, nor any real proof of systematic, much less top-down orchestrated atrocities. Kerry has never apologized for these slanders.

If just one tenth of what the Swiftees assert is true, we should shudder at the prospect of a Kerry presidency. Where are the media?
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816512 - 08/17/04 02:42 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
Or, better yet, post its entire contents here. I would have about as much time to read that as the long winded post that started this thread.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

Top
#816513 - 08/17/04 02:46 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Jack Frost Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/10/03
Posts: 4454
Loc: Maine
Bernard,

Thanks for that editorial. Unfortuately, some of teh folks around here are so blindly partisan, they don't listen to reason even when it comes from one of their own.

jf
_________________________
"Make the pie higher." GWB

Top
#816514 - 08/17/04 02:48 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Here's another journalist who did more than just read the book:

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The passionate debate over John Kerry's war record has become a question of credibility. Who is accurately portraying what the Democratic presidential candidate did in Vietnam 35 years ago? Kerry designated advocate Lanny Davis has posed a simple test of who was aboard a small boat with the future senator during his baptism of fire.

On Dec. 2, 1968, Lt. (j.g.) Kerry saw his first action aboard a small boat called a skimmer or Boston whaler, resulting in the first of three Purple Hearts. Two crewmen, among the veterans who stood with Kerry on the podium in Boston, say only three men were aboard. John O'Neill, Kerry's fellow officer, critic and co-author of the newly published "Unfit for Command, contends a future admiral who is critical of Kerry also was on the boat.

How many men squeezed into the whaler may seem irrelevant to the dispute over Kerry's war record. But Washington super-lawyer Davis contends nobody in a boat with Kerry when he was wounded has joined veterans opposing him. He poses this as a test of whether O'Neill's book is a tissue of lies intended to destroy a presidential candidate.

When television producers ask Kerry headquarters to discuss this controversy, they have been sending out Davis rather one of the candidate's swift boat comrades. At Yale long ago, he admired fellow undergrad Kerry from afar as an orator and future leader. Now, outraged by the attack on Kerry's war record, Davis volunteered to help.

The campaign accepted, and he jumped in -- too early. Bill Clinton's calm advocate became a shouter for Kerry who accused critics of being liars. Davis was not ready last Monday when the Kerry campaign placed him on Fox's "Hannity and Colmes" program. He had not yet read O'Neill's book, and mixed up an attack on one target: Louis Letson, a former Navy doctor who is quoted in the book as saying the wound was trivial and probably self-inflicted from a ricocheting grenade shell.

On that program, Davis bought into the statement that Kerry was treated by "another doctor, J.C. Carreon. "This Letson guy never signed a single sheet of paper, Davis said. Actually, the now deceased Carreon was a medic who, according to Letson, bandaged Kerry's wound and routinely signed routine medical reports such as Kerry's. I contacted Letson, a retired family doctor, at his home in Scottsboro, Ala. He told me he remembered taking care of Kerry's wound, which was "only a scratch, and also recalled the enlisted men, with some amusement, describing Kerry as promising he would "come out of the war as the next JFK.

By the time Davis appeared on CNN's "Crossfire" on Thursday, he had read the book and changed his emphasis. Davis was appearing for the first time on television next to O'Neill. He hammered home the point that nobody who ever had been in the same boat with Kerry has criticized his war service. O'Neill reiterated his contention in the book that Lt. William Schachte (later a rear admiral) was aboard the small whaler as Kerry's training officer and "witnessed Kerry, with an M-79 (grenade launcher), fire and wound himself. Davis interrupted, shouting, "That was a false statement.

At Davis' suggestion, I telephoned the two of Kerry's crew members who said they were on the whaler that night: Patrick Runyon and William Zaldonis. Each said they did not know whether there was enemy fire and did not know how Kerry was wounded. But each said he was certain that they alone were in the boat with Kerry, and did not even know Schachte. When I called O'Neill, he told me Schachte was sure he was aboard the whaler and would speak out later.

Lanny Davis is a clever lawyer trying to reduce multiple charges against his client to one simple issue where, so far, he has the witnesses and his adversaries do not. Davis is also a decent human being who told me he thought he went over the line shouting at O'Neill and that "there is a difference here of conceptions. That's better than simply crying liar in a fight John Kerry brought on himself.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816515 - 08/17/04 02:49 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jack Frost:
Bernard,

Thanks for that editorial. Unfortuately, some of teh folks around here are so blindly partisan, they don't listen to reason even when it comes from one of their own.

jf [/b]
I don't consider McCain "one of my own". Now - show us *you* are bipartisan, and objectively read the articles *I* have posted, giving them equal credibility to the ones that fit *your* bias.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816516 - 08/17/04 03:09 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816517 - 08/17/04 05:47 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
John Andrew Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 3041
Loc: Southern California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
Here's a review by someone who *has* read the book:

etc.

[/b]
Larry,

May I ask who wrote this and where it was published?

Thanks.
_________________________
You can be disappointed, but you cannot walk away. This fight has just begun. Senator John Edwards

Top
#816518 - 08/17/04 05:48 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
John Andrew Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 3041
Loc: Southern California
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
Here's another journalist who did more than just read the book:

etc.

[/b]
As with the other, Larry -- who is the journalist and where was this article published?

Thanks again.
_________________________
You can be disappointed, but you cannot walk away. This fight has just begun. Senator John Edwards

Top
#816519 - 08/17/04 06:05 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
jkeene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 701
Loc: Central Florida
The first column was written by David Limbaugh, at http://www.davidlimbaugh.com/

The second column was written by Robert Novak, at http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak16.html

While I do like attribution in the post itself, just grab a unique looking sentence, slap it into Google with quotes, and you'll get an answer easily.

Now that you know who the messenger is, can you still rebut the content or do you need to attack the author?

Top
#816520 - 08/17/04 06:40 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
John Andrew Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 3041
Loc: Southern California
 Quote:
Originally posted by jkeene:
The first column was written by David Limbaugh, at http://www.davidlimbaugh.com/

The second column was written by Robert Novak, at http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak16.html

While I do like attribution in the post itself, just grab a unique looking sentence, slap it into Google with quotes, and you'll get an answer easily.

Now that you know who the messenger is, can you still rebut the content or do you need to attack the author? [/b]
Thanks, JKeene.

Since both of the reviews Larry posted were opinion pieces, it is worthwhile knowing where the authors are coming from so one can evaluate the basis on which they form opinions on the matter they are speaking on.

Their opinions are neither right nor wrong -- but they are just opinions. There is no need to attack the authors, but it helps in evaluating any opinion piece to know what the basic political philosophy and/or partisan position the author has.

I think who these authors are and the opinions they express speak for themselves as to the validity of their opinions. Indeed, with both, I could have correctly guessed their opinion even before knowing what it was.
_________________________
You can be disappointed, but you cannot walk away. This fight has just begun. Senator John Edwards

Top
#816521 - 08/17/04 06:48 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
I think who these authors are and the opinions they express speak for themselves as to the validity of their opinions. Indeed, with both, I could have correctly guessed their opinion even before knowing what it was.[/b]

As have those of us with a brain, in regard to the screed you posted starting this thread.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816522 - 08/17/04 06:59 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
I think who these authors are and the opinions they express speak for themselves as to the validity of their opinions. Indeed, with both, I could have correctly guessed their opinion even before knowing what it was.[/b]

As have those of us with a brain, in regard to the screed you posted starting this thread. [/b]
And I too " could have correctly guessed" your "opinion even before knowing what it was".

I do love you Larry, but you are soooo predictable. :3hearts:

Top
#816523 - 08/17/04 07:02 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
kathyk Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 6971
Loc: Maine
 Quote:
Originally posted by jkeene:


While I do like attribution in the post itself, just grab a unique looking sentence, slap it into Google with quotes, and you'll get an answer easily.

Now that you know who the messenger is, can you still rebut the content or do you need to attack the author? [/b]
Absolutely! Not attack the author, but rather, know where they're coming from. I recently pointed my intellectual, conservative father-in-law (who constantly chides me into political debate) to a recent article about the laxness of the press in reporting on the war. His immediate response prior to reading it - - "Well who is [the author]. I need some perspective on the reporting."

Top
#816524 - 08/17/04 07:41 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
I didn't include the authors for a very specific reason. It played out just as I thought it would. John posts an article from the Left, posing as an unbiased article - purely an opinion piece - and those of you on the left accepted it as gospel. An opinion piece - remember that.

I posted a couple of opinion pieces as well. Instead of paying a *single bit* of attention to what was written, instead of giving it *one ounce* of credibility, everyone on the Left focused on who wrote them. Why? So you could dismiss them as mere "opinion pieces", from a right wing position.

None of you on the left have discussed a single thing written by the conservative authors' articles, in spite of there being quite a bit of information that included names, dates, the same kinds of things John's left wing opinion piece contained. But John's posts are praised as being informative and are accepted as fact, while mine were dismissed out of hand.

You missed one other thing too.... In the middle of *that* little setup, I posted an entire chapter out of Unfit For Command. None of you on the Left have read it, have you? Not a word. If you have, your silence indicates to me that you are afraid to tackle the facts laid out in it. But I think it is something else - I think you simply ignored it. And that's the entire point I intended to make, and I think I've done it well. Those of you on the left pat yourself on the back and tell yourselves you are "enlightened", that you are the "center" politically, that you look at all sides objectively and come to rational conclusions for why you believe the things you do. You just proved that you in fact do not. You trumpet the party line, and ignore, minimize, and dismiss anything you don't agree with as worthless right wing trash without even giving it the slightest look.

Thank you, one and all.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816525 - 08/17/04 08:33 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
Is this all this just a bunch of junk about whether Kerry is really a "manly man"?Let's get over it -- if had any good sense, he would have avoided committing war crimes like Bush and Cheney did. Instead, he is self-convicted of atrocities.

I mean I'm so impressed that 35 years ago, he blew up a couple of bags of rice, while the U.S. military was dropping WMD on a bunch of peasants.

So brave....so....American.

Top
#816526 - 08/17/04 08:39 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Shantinik, do you drool much?

_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816527 - 08/17/04 08:46 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
At least Bush and Cheney did the "honorable" thing. But if you feel so strongly, and feel you've missed your chance, you can always accompany some of your kids down to the recruiting station....

Top
#816528 - 08/17/04 08:49 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
jkeene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 701
Loc: Central Florida
Knowing the author, and accepting or dismissing the piece can blind you so much. George Will writes about a case involving a murderer's appeal, the majority's opinion, and Justice Scalia's dissent. You may have discussed it years ago, before I started reading this forum. But make a prediction, then go read the article.

Top
#816529 - 08/17/04 08:49 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
you can always accompany some of your kids down to the recruiting station....[/b]

You think you're really clever with that line, don't you? You just can't repeat it often enough, you're so certain you have hit on a stroke of genius. I've got news for you - it's a simple minded argument that accomplishes nothing, other than to make you look silly. Stop it. I'm embarrassed for you.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

Top
#816530 - 08/17/04 09:09 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
You're a very "manly man". (You can always send an extra large voluntary check so that others can do it for you. )

Top
#816531 - 08/17/04 09:11 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
So are you. ;\)
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

Top
#816532 - 08/17/04 09:13 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
Why, thank you. I'm glad I don't have justify my role in what was among our nation's most despicable adventures.

Forty years since Gulf of Tonkin. Hmmm.

Top
#816533 - 08/17/04 09:16 PM Re: Decide For Yourself
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
No, you just sit back and enjoy your pacifist life style behind the screen of protection provided by those whom you deride. Rest well.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

What's Hot!!
European Piano Party 2014, Picts & Stories! (Piano Party in Portugal)
-------------------
75,000 Members and Growing!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(ad) Purely Piano Practice Software
Purely Piano Practice Software
(ad) Piano Guide Lessons
Piano Guide Lessons
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
71 registered (AZNpiano, Art_Vandelay, A Guy, 19 invisible), 1316 Guests and 20 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
75336 Members
42 Forums
155778 Topics
2287346 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Emergency help!
by Parks
07/10/14 11:36 PM
Pain in my lower back, help!!
by rov
07/10/14 10:55 PM
If there were only 2 choices..
by ChopinFan66
07/10/14 08:04 PM
symphonic pianomusic
by dolce sfogato
07/10/14 06:16 PM
First Digital Piano - Casio AP250 or Roland RP301?
by Jorgeb
07/10/14 02:07 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission