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The inside story of how Swift Boat veterans, POWs and the New Media defeated John Kerry.



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The Last Battle of the Vietnam War

The last battle of the Vietnam War was fought on November 2nd, 2004, as John Kerry was defeated in his bid to become President of the United States by John O'Neill and the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth.

What was the battle about? It was a battle to recapture the honor of the Vietnam veterans who served gallantly and heroically in that war.

And who were the adversaries in this battle? It was the dishonest old media culture -- CBS, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, and the LA Times, who backed John Kerry's version of how Vietnam veterans were the enemy of humanity in the Vietnam War. The old media was quick to endorse John Kerry's claim to have been a real Audie Murphy in Vietnam, as described by his recent biographer, Douglas Brinkley.

On the other side of this battle stood John O'Neill and his Swift Boat Veterans, the POWs, and a large contingent of informed Vietnam veterans who weren't going to lie down and let the media kick them in the face again. They weren't buying John Kerry's version of the Vietnam War and they weren't going to let America forget Kerry's traitorous activities after the war when he became a shill for the Vietnamese communists.

Reminiscent of their actions over 30 years ago when covering the war in Vietnam, the big media portrayed O'Neill and his fellow Vietnam veterans as bunch of liars. None of the network news outlets was fit to interview O'Neill or review his book "UNFIT FOR COMMAND" even though it was on the NY Times bestseller list for a month.

Not once did a major media outlet call on Kerry to address any of the charges leveled against him by his fellow veterans. Nor did they call on him to sign his SF-l80 to release his military records, though there is good evidence that he received a less than honorable discharge for his meeting with the enemy in Paris during time of war.

The reason they didn't pursue Kerry's Vietnam record and his traitorous actions after the war was quite simply that they preferred Kerry's version of the Vietnam War to the reality of it. The mainstream media was only interested in attacking the integrity of the Swift Vets and accusing 250 of KerryCB"C"bB,C"bB"s fellow veterans of lying for political purposes.

Not once did they suggest that their chosen Vietnam hero, the one who threw his medals away, might be lying. They simply couldn't pursue Kerry on this. It would have been an admission that they, too, had marched in lockstep with Kerry on the Vietnam War, and in the defaming of Vietnam veterans.

The dominant media culture that claimed the so-called moral high ground in their effort to destroy America's support for the war doesn't want to be reminded that the communists who had promised a heaven on earth in Vietnam if they won, turned Southeast Asia into a Holocaust once they came to power.

The fact that almost 4 million of our former South Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian allies were murdered after the fall of Saigon, is brutal evidence that the anti-war crowd and their media cohorts were conned by the totalitarians in Hanoi. Several North Vietnamese Generals have now written in their memoirs that the antiwar movement in the streets of America was instrumental in helping them win the war.

The antiwar Left, with the help of the media, managed not only to help the North Vietnamese win the war, but shifted the focus of rage against the war onto the Vietnam veterans. Our troops, America's finest who had gone halfway around the world to fight for a democracy against the totalitarian forces of Communism, were treated with unjust contempt when they returned home.

That's one reason the old media couldn't question Kerry about his actions in support of the enemy in Vietnam -- they had done the same dishonest thing over 30 years ago. It fit their purpose to portray the Vietnam veterans as losers. Never mind that the other side had a policy of assassination and torture, murdering more than 61,000 South Vietnamese public officials during the war, and that they created concentration camps and committed genocide after "peace" was declared.

That's why there is an unbridgeable gap between those who went and those who consciously avoided the war. The only Vietnam Veteran the old media can endorse is a veteran like Kerry who betrayed his comrades with phony charges of war crimes, who refused to allow the Vietnam Human Rights Bill to be called to the Senate floor, who abandoned the POWs in his chairmanship of the POW Senate Hearings, who lied about being in Cambodia to dramatize his testimony against aid to the Contras in Nicaragua, and filled staff positions with the likes of Gareth Porter, a scholar who sang the praises of the Khmer Rouge and denied the Cambodian holocaust...

The media of the 60's and the early 70's had a powerful effect on how the Vietnam War was perceived by the public, as there was no alternative media as there is today. As the war progressed, they chose to smear Vietnam vets as degenerates and losers -- an image that found its way into our movies and culture.

Herman Melville knew something about human nature when he wrote, when a person who has power over you finds that you are the better man, he will do everything in his power to belittle and destroy you. This is at the heart of the media's portrayal of the Vietnam Veteran.

The old media carries a guilt complex over the Vietnam War, and it's too painful for them to reexamine their actions. Doing so might show that they were wrong and were complicit in aiding an enemy in perpetrating a Holocaust in Southeast Asia. It might mean an admitting that the better men were those who went off to fight the war, rather than the "let's-give-peace-a-chance" agitators who marched under the Viet Cong flag in the streets of America.

I attended a conference in Boston this July on "The Myths of the Vietnam War" which examined the shallowness and the one-sidedness of the news coverage of that war. On the same Thursday night that Kerry made his grand entrance at the Democratic Convention, I joined 200 anti-Kerry Vietnam veterans, former American and South Vietnamese POWs, and surviving Vietnamese Boat People, in a march of protest to the front of the Convention Hall.

Not one major news outlet cared to interview us, and there were thousands of media people there. We marched to Kerry's condo on the Hill, and had a ceremonial reenactment of his throwing his medals back. POW Mike Benge and another South Vietnamese POW who had spent 20 years in a prison camp in North Vietnam marched at my sides. John Kerry's actions had betrayed everyone involved in our protest. We chanted, "Good men died while John Kerry lied!"

Old-fashioned though it may be the notion still resonates with a large segment of Americans that in time of war, a military officer shouldn't betray his comrades by meeting with officials of the enemy and attempting to force his own government to yield to their demands. John Kerry did exactly that when he met Madame Binh and the North Vietnamese in Paris in 1970 and l97l.

That's why the Swiftees helped to defeat John Kerry with their simple, powerful message that he was unfit for command. The Swift Vet / POW ads galvanized the 25 million Veterans in America, and were enough to tilt the election in George Bush's favor.

Some suggest that Kerry should have done more to rebut the Swift Vet ads, but how could he? In the book, "Unfit for Command," the Swift Vets had nailed Kerry to the wall. He had no rebuttal, except to threaten to sue the publishers of the book, and later to sue the movie theaters that dared to show "Stolen Honor." And in this, too, the old media covered for him.

In September, I attended a rally on Capitol Hill of some 7,000 Vietnam veterans against John Kerry that was organized by former Navy SEAL Larry Bailey. Major news outlets were on hand for the event, but most chose to ignore the protest. The Washington Times ran a short article, and USA Today ran a photo of the lone opposition Vietnam veteran, Bobby Mueller, who showed up to oppose our rally. One guy against 7,000, and that was the picture a national newspaper chose to describe the event, without any commentary, or even any mention of why we were there.

I have no doubt that if 7,000 Vietnam veterans had assembled in front of the White House to support John Kerry, all three major networks would have featured the event on their nightly news shows, and the Washington Post would have run a large feature on it.

John O'Neill was a speaker at the rally, along with Stolen Valor author B. G. Burkett. Another speaker, Vietnam Nurse Captain Donna Rowe told the story of how a group of US infantry soldiers had brought in a wounded Vietnamese baby girl with shrapnel in her chest. The child's entire village had been murdered by the Viet Cong for being too friendly to the American soldiers.

"We saved that baby's life," she said. "We did not kill babies over there like John Kerry said. We went out of our way to save them."

The old media disrespected the Vietnam veterans during the 2004 campaign just as they had done over three decades ago, but this time the vets fought back, taking their battle to the Internet, talk radio, and the cable news networks. It was a wonderful example of diversity of opinion and freedom of speech, but hardly the kind of speech and opinion the old media prefers. They want their own version of the history of the Vietnam War, and ignore or attack anyone who disagrees with it.

The Vietnam veterans who opposed Kerry were fighting for their honor, stolen from them long ago by the media and the antiwar movement. John Kerry had been front and center in dishonoring those he served with in the Vietnam War.

Senator Zell Miller recognizes the valor of America's veterans, "Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for freedom of liberty of total strangers than the American soldier." Don't those words describe the Vietnam veterans?

Had John Kerry been capable of uttering such noble words, and if he could have been honest about his fellow Vietnam veterans, he would have had their support, and in all probability would have been elected President of the United States. Instead, by once again defiling the honor of Vietnam veterans with slanderous lies, Kerry and his media supporters lost the last battle of the Vietnam War.


Rich Webster
Lt. with the Regional Forces / Popular Forces, Vietnam 1968 - 1969

Last Updated Thursday, April 19 2007 @ 01:01 PM MDT; 9,708 Hits View Printable Version