GOP slander campaign against John Kerry

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Although I was never enthusiastic about John Kerry, seeing the GOP slander machine in action bothered me:

Because the current administration's two top members didn't serve overseas during Vietnam, they are desperate to attack Democratic front-runner John Kerry, who did serve and who did so honorably. Cheney's "other priorities" and the Bush family's machinations that snagged a coveted stateside National Guard position are facts, not mere implications. Bush's fair-weather patriotism, with its suspicious months-long gaps, pales in comparison to Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. There is a substantial difference between Kerry - as demonstrated by servicemembers who thank him for saving their lives - and Bush, who can't find anyone from Alabama who even remembers him showing up for duty.

The mud-slingers who now accuse Kerry of "slandering Vietnam veterans" need to take off their Fox News Channel "fair and balanced" blinders and learn a few facts. First, Kerry's remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about atrocities in Vietnam began with the words "They told the stories," clearly indicating that he was not making accusations but rather revealing what other GIs had told him. Other contemporaneous statements clearly show that Kerry's anger was directed toward "the men who ordered us," and not toward his fellow veterans. Second, the "demonstrating with Jane Fonda" story is also a mirage that vanishes upon closer inspection. In the photograph from Valley Forge, Kerry is sitting three rows behind Fonda; he is so far away from her that he's not even in focus. (There is a faked image circulating on the Internet that combines two separate photos, doctored to make it appear as if Fonda and Kerry are on the same podium. Maybe the previous letter-writer has been taken in by the hoax, and is trying to use hysterical hatred of "Hanoi Jane" to slander Kerry.)

Dissent against injustice - not compliance with it - is true patriotism. Kerry's protests against our invasion and occupation of Vietnam show far more love of country than Bush's skipping out of National Guard duty to work on a political campaign and then "working out" an early departure to attend business school.


UPDATE: This letter was published on 03 March as "Kerry's Vietnam era dissent gets falsified."

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on February 29, 2004 3:10 PM.

Presidential Mendacity Index was the previous entry in this blog.

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