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Dedication is dedicated to the American veterans of the Vietnam War, who served with courage and honor.

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Clearing the Record

If current revelations in print are valid, Senator John Kerry, front runner for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, has a golden opportunity to set straight both his personal war record, and restore the country's faith in the veterans his organization smeared and dehumanized. In the Washington Post of February 23rd, Joshua Muravchik reported that as a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), Kerry, accused American soldiers in Vietnam, before the US Congress in 1971, of "war crimes...committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command." Then Kerry detailed the crimes of our troops (on a day to day basis with the full awareness of officers) to the stunned senators: "They had 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 fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam." Kerry may have had reference to his own experiences, but was also referencing the statements of a group of supposed ex-service members.

For his book "Stolen Valor," B.G. Burkett recontacted these authorities and found their stories were generally bogus, or they were simply impostors. Kerry appeared on Meet the Press with one fabricator, Al Hubbard, but Kerry never disassociated himself from Hubbard's lies. Nevertheless, in the wake of Kerry's testimony, and as a result of demonstrations launched by VVAW (an organization led by Kerry, and funded by Jane Fonda), the stereotype of the drug-crazed, psychologically-damaged, deranged and socially uncommunicative Vietnam veteran was spawned. Taunts of "baby-killer," and "murderer" were common. Although no war is free of atrocities, Vietnam veterans who never perpetrated or ordered such acts, were denied their deserved respect.

However, that may soon change, if Senator Kerry will only cooperate. In early March, 2004, the Washington Times revealed a statement by former assistant secretary of defense W. Scott Thompson, who recalled a conversation with former chief of naval operations Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Zumwalt, who commanded naval forces in Vietnam, and had personally decorated Kerry, said that Kerry had created "great problems" for him and other Navy brass "by killing so many non-combatant civilians and going after other non-military targets." The admiral reportedly added, "We had virtually to straitjacket him to keep him under control." Kerry had his first Purple Heart within 24 hours of taking command of his swiftboat on December 1,1968, and accumulated 3 such decorations for "wounds," but never spent a day in the hospital. Unfortunately, Kerry will not permit his treatment records, nor his recommendations/citations for valor, to be disclosed. Further, Kerry's biography, "Tour of Duty" by Douglas Brinkley, reprises a 2001 appearance by Kerry on Meet the Press wherein Kerry admitted to committing "the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of others" (thousands?), during his brief 5 months in the combat zone. (There were no daily acts of compassion?) Kudos to Kerry for confessing to personal outrages -- but that doesn't make the rest of us "criminals."

If Kerry's conduct was indeed atrocious, and the statements attributed to Admiral Zumwalt are correct, a fuller explanation is definitely necessary. Vietnam veterans should demand, in addition to Kerry's release of records, a statement of apology for his personal war crimes. He should also admit that his broad brush characterization of Vietnam veterans as "criminals" was based on bogus confessions from fabricators and liars in the Kerry-Fonda anti-war cabal. He must not be allowed to perpetuate the fantasy that all Vietnam veterans are responsible for routine and sanctioned crimes against non-combatants.

Vietnam veterans should contact the Kerry campaign ( with demands for a full redress. We must seek justice for the families of the 58,000 besmirched patriots who died -- and the rest of us just want our honor back.


William Fielder

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Last Updated Thursday, April 19 2007 @ 10:37 AM MDT; 6,314 Hits View Printable Version