While Richard ‘They Call Me the Great Apologizer’ Clarke has been getting rave reviews (from the media, if not the American public) for his Bush-bashing Against All Enemies, another book, the Kerry-bashing Stolen Valor, a Vietnam book by B. G. Burkett, has yet to come into its own.
Burkett makes a convincing case that the young John Kerry relied on erroneous information when he told Congress that in Vietnam American soldiers “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.”
The Naval Investigative Services determined, according to Burkett, that most of the so-called vets who supplied information had never seen action in Vietnam.
But does it really matter what the 27-year-old John Kerry thought?
Yes, if he wants to be president.
Yes, if his race for the White House is predicated in no small degree on those crucial 4 months Kerry spent in Vietnam.
Columnist Mona Charen recently won a Purple Heart for sitting through 90 minutes of young Kerry talking with Dick Cavett about the Vietnam War. The tape was re-broadcast by C-Span.
Here’s some of what Charen had to say about the show:
‘Kerry did make a provocative point when he asked whether it was fair to continue the war when we had already decided to withdraw (the United States was then engaged in the ‘Vietnamization’ policy, which was intended to transfer war fighting gradually to the South Vietnamese). Some soldier, Kerry said, ‘is going to be the last guy to die for an admitted mistake.’ What Kerry failed to see, and still fails to see, judging by his votes regarding the Iraq War (he voted for the war but against the funds to see it through), is that there are consequences to cutting and running in ignominious fashion.
‘Cavett attempted to remain neutral, but it was ultimately too much for him. Not only did he agree with Kerry, but O’Neill [a vet on the show with Kerry] tried his patience by interrupting repeatedly. With barely concealed sarcasm, Cavett said: ‘Nobody believes that there will be a blood bath if we withdraw. That was a cliche we used to hear a lot. Neither of you believes that do you?’
Kerry’s answer was emblematic of the antiwar left. He said he thought it was a ‘baiting argument’ by the pro-war side since ‘there’d be no interest on the part of the Vietnamese to start massacring people after people (the United States) had pulled out.’
‘Following America’s withdrawal and Congress’ decision to cut off every penny for Southeast Asia, there was a terrible genocide in Cambodia, so terrible that it overshadows the horror of what befell Vietnam. Roughly 800,000 boat people chose to take their lives in their hands rather than remain in communist Vietnam. Some 65,000 were executed, and this does not include those who slowly starved in concentration camps.
‘Wonder if the senator would care to revise and extend his remarks?’