I’m a citizen of Massachusetts. (God help me.) For going on 30 years now, I’ve watched John Kerry’s career with a mixture of fascination, revulsion and amusement.
John F. Kerry. The “F” stands not for fraud or fabulously coiffed – as one would suspect -- but for the Forbes family of Boston-Brahmin fame. His mama was one of the Back Bay elite, don’t you know.
However – a la the chameleon-like Zelig of the Wood Allen movie – nothing about Kerry is what it seems. He’s Irish, right? Well, actually, he’s part Jewish. (His paternal grandparents were Kohn, before they goy-icized their name.)
He’s a war hero who became an anti-war activist, when it looked politically advantageous. He’s a man with a common touch -- who married two rich women. One he dumped, when she was suffering from depression, after she bore him two kids.
A graduate of the snooty St. Paul’s and Yale – member of Skull and Bones, currently married to a lady worth over half-a-billion dollars -- nevertheless, he can prattle about this nation belonging “not to the privileged few, but to all Americans.”
He’s a moderate with a voting record more liberal than either Ted Kennedy or Dennis The Red Kucinich. Kennedy’s lifetime congressional rating from the if-it-moves-tax-it Americans for Democratic Action is 88 percent – compared to 93 percent for Mr. Middle of the Road. Kucinich’s lifetime score from the American Conservative Union is 15 percent. Kerry’s is 6 percent.
Is there anything about the war-hero/VC symp, “Irish”-Jewish-Brahmin, left-wing moderate, pro-abortion Catholic, patrician-tribune-of-the-people that’s real?
Actually, there is a stark consistency that runs through Kerry’s career – He’s an opportunistic, back-stabber who never met a commie he didn’t like. He also has chutzpah to spare.
In the late Sixties, Naval Lt. JG Kerry went to Vietnam, probably to round out a resume for the political future he was planning even then. He picked up some tin, which he later tossed over the White House fence as part of an anti-war demonstration. But, wait, they weren’t his medals, he latter revealed, but someone else’s who couldn’t make it to the protest. (This caused a Boston politician to quip: “Just like a Yankee. Throw’s away things that aren’t his.”)
One of Kerry’s medals was for killing an enemy soldier who supposedly was armed with a rocket launcher. Except, evidence suggests the fearsome foe was wounded at the time and may have been shot in the back. Perhaps this was a dress rehearsal for young Benedict’s eventual betrayal of the guys he fought with.
Anyway, upon arriving home, Kerry sniffed the political wind in Massachusetts – the only state McGovern carried -- and decided there was hay to be made opposing the war. Without missing a beat, the hero enlisted in Vietnam Veterans Against the War, nobly serving with such VC-lovers as Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark in the so-called Winter Soldier Investigation. Wonder if they’ll campaign for Johnny this year? The nascent New Leftist had no qualms about marching with scruffy Marxists carrying Viet Cong flags and signs with slogans praising Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung and Fidel.
But it wasn’t enough to merely oppose the war. Kerry had to smear his former comrades-in-arms as a bunch of degenerate, mutilating baby-killers.
The man who’s now running on his war record – and mentions his medals in every other breath – told a Senate hearing that Americans then bleeding and dying in the rice paddies were the moral equivalent of the Waffen-S.S.
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (April 23, 1971), Kerry charged that American soldiers had “raped, cut off ears, 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, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of Vietnam.” Sounds like an Oliver Stone movie, scripted by Osama bin Laden.
No wonder a group of Vietnam vets turned their backs on Kerry when he spoke at the Vietnam War Memorial in 2002. Gen. George S. Patton (namesake of the World War II general) -- who led troops into combat in Vietnam – said Kerry “gave aid and comfort to the enemy.” Jeremiah Denton – who was being tortured at the Hanoi Hilton while Kerry was collaborating– could barely maintain civility toward the war hero, when they served together in the Senate.
If Americans in Vietnam were butchers and war criminals, what about the Viet Cong? Agrarian reformers, one and all, according to the sage of Boston. In those halcyon days of pot and protest, Kerry insisted the conflict was a “war of the people” fought by indigenous peasant reformers. The senator-to-be apparently had never heard of North Vietnamese regulars, Soviet aid or the Ho Chi Minh trail.
Kerry demanded not only an American withdrawal, but the cut-off of all aid to Saigon. If the wicked puppet state fell, at most 2,000 to 3,000 of its lackeys might face recrimination, Kerry assured us.
After Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City, an estimated 700,000 went through communist reeducation camps. Many never came out. Over a million boat people fled the indigenous, peasant reformers. The fall of South Vietnam led to the fall of Laos and Cambodia – and the genocide of the killing fields. And Kerry is actually trying to sell this foreign-policy expertise as a presidential credential.
When it comes to communism, terrorism and thugocracies, Kerry is hopelessly naïve—or willfully blind. As a senator, he fought against American aid to the government of El Salvador during the communist insurgency of the 1980s. He also opposed support for the freedom-fighting Nicaraguan Contras.
At the time, he described the Salvadoran military as “some of the most blood-drenched men on the planet.” Were the leaders of the Marxist regime which ruled Nicaragua equally savage? Kerry never said so. Daniel Ortega and Company must also have been indigenous, peasant reformers fighting “a war of the people.”
He’s never known to have uttered a word of criticism about Cuban intervention in the Central American conflicts or spoke harshly of Soviet imperialism. Oh, and our rescue mission to Grenada was “a bully’s show of force against a weak, third-world nation,” according to the likely Democratic nominee.
While Ronald Reagan was winning the Cold War, as a senator, Kerry was trying to hamstring the effort. He opposed the MX missile, B-1 Bomber and a missile defense system. Had the war hero prevailed, the Kremlin would still be in business, and opening branch offices all over the world.
The foreign-policy genius was still going strong in the ‘90s. In 1991, he voted against the first Gulf War. (Body-bags would becoming in by the thousands, the military expert predicted.) Chagrined at being on the wrong side of a popular war, and with the collapse of the World Trade Center still echoing in his ears, Kerry voted to authorize the president to use military force to rid humanity of Saddam Hussein.
But wait, that’s not what he really meant, the senator now endlessly explains. He was voting to give Bush the authority to spend the next decade in a futile quest for the UN’s approval. He was voting to give Bush the power to oust the loathsome tyrant once W had assembled a coalition including the valiant French, the altruistic Germans, the impartial and totally fair Belgians and everyone else from Eskimos to Fiji Islanders. AKA: How to support a war (in theory), while keeping your head-in-the-sand credentials intact for the surrender wing of the Democratic Party.
Besides attempting to undermine the war on terrorism on the Iraqi front – as he sabotaged the war against communism in Indochina – Kerry has even found time to bestow understanding on Columbia’s drug-dealing FARC terrorists. A year ago, in a speech in Boston, Kerry said Columbia’s narcotics-fueled insurgency “seems to be a renewal of a kind of chaos fueled partly by guerrillas who have legitimate complaints and the combination of drugs and war and the drug lord.” Can you say indigenous, peasant reformers? Of course you can!
Try imagining Kerry as commander in chief in the war on terrorism. What will he do, empathize with Al-Qaeda? (Surely, it has legitimate complaints.) Offer to send the junior Hamas members to St. Paul’s Prep School? Find rich widows for the mullahs and suicide bombers to marry? Or concoct stories of American atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan to feed to a credulous Congress?
John Forbes Kerry/Kohn is a man whose time came and went – roughly 30 years ago. He could be elected president of Hollywood, president of the Ivy League, president of the National Council of Churches, president of the Dixie Chicks or president of CNN. But president of the United States? Only if the American people have a complete and total memory failure – if the nation has collective amnesia for the next nine months.