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Is This Still the USA?

By Jalexson

Is this still the United States of America? Is this still the country where citizens have the right to call their president a liar, a cheat, a fraud, an incompetent, a thief, a coward, a scoundrel, a murderer, a tyrant or even a traitor without fear of being arrested or censored?

John Kerry certainly doesn’t think so. He believes this is a country in which some presidential candidates, especially those in the Democratic Party, are privileged characters who aren’t supposed to be criticized because they believe they are better than anyone else.

Presidents like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt could be called all sorts of names including “tyrant”, but not John Kerry. He’s a spoiled rich brat who is incapable of dealing with negative comments about himself. Kerry believes he’s better than the rest of us.

I may work as a janitor, but I don’t believe anyone is “better” than I. Religious leaders like the Rev. Billy Graham might be more righteous, but they aren’t “better”. Some people may be much richer, but they aren’t “better” either. In fact, I believe I’m better than those rich people who have cheated their stockholders.

Before someone is appointed to a high position in the executive branch of government, the FBI conducts a background check by talking to the individual’s past acquaintances. The FBI doesn’t investigate the backgrounds of presidential candidates.

The only way to insure a thorough investigation of a presidential candidate’s background is for the American people to take it upon themselves to report any questionable activities in a candidate’s background. Only those who are familiar with a candidate’s past can prevent a candidate from being elected based on a falsified background.

The Swift Boat Vets believe that John Kerry is misrepresenting his military record in Vietnam. They don’t believe he deserved the medals he received there. They say he is not the hero he claims to be. They are doing what Americans should do if they believe a candidate isn’t what he claims to be.

I don’t know if the Swift Boat Vets are right or not. I wasn’t down in the Delta with the Swift Boats and John Kerry. I didn’t get to Vietnam until of couple of months after Kerry had left and I was in the army in the Central Highlands rather than with the navy in the Delta.

I have studied the history of the Vietnam War enough to know that none of the information on the Kerry website indicates that Kerry did anything to merit either the Silver Star or Bronze Star he received. I hope that if I had received the type of minor wounds that Kerry used to get his purple hearts I wouldn’t have tried to get purple hearts for them. If I had, I would have been too embarrassed to admit it to those who suffered serious wounds.

To “earn” a Silver Star Kerry beached his boat and then chased and killed a single Viet Cong after a single B-40 rocket was fired at his boat and missed. That doesn’t sound very heroic to me.

Being a hero in combat requires a very dangerous situation. The enemy attack should involve more than a single B-40 rocket and some sniper fire. The enemy should stand and fight rather than immediately run away. The danger should result from the action of the enemy rather than a reckless action by the “hero”. Parking a boat ten feet from an enemy with a rocket is reckless, not heroic.

If the enemy had been a North Vietnamese regular rather than a frightened Viet Cong, some of the crew of the boat would have been killed. A North Vietnamese soldier would have taken advantage of the opportunity and fired the rocket.

For the Bronze Star, Kerry ran away leaving his passenger(James Rassmann) in the water after a mine explosion. If Rassmann fell off as a result of a nearby mine explosion as Kerry claims, Kerry should have known immediately. He should have checked the welfare of his crew and passenger before taking off.

Kerry belatedly went back for his passenger. Rassmann managed to climb part way up a cargo net located on the bow of the boat for that purpose, but couldn’t climb over the edge of the boat. Kerry couldn’t move the boat with Rassmann on the bow, so Kerry went to the passenger’s aid.

Kerry claims that he was a hero because he believed someone was shooting at him while he pulled Rassmann up. However, Swift Boats weren’t armor plated so he would have been exposed to gunfire even if he hadn’t gone to Rassmann’s aid. Getting Rassmann on the boat allowed Kerry to move the boat away from any gunfire.

Kerry claims to be a military hero. The image most of us have of a military hero comes from the movie and tv characters played by actors like John Wayne and Vic Morrow. I cannot image one of those characters asking to leave a war zone just because he received three minor wounds.

John Kerry chose to make Vietnam an issue in this campaign. He could have suggested that whatever happened back then should stay in the past. Instead, Kerry decided to suggest his Vietnam service as a Swift Boat skipper somehow qualified him to captain “The Ship of State” even though that service alone would not qualify him to captain a destroyer.

Kerry shouldn’t be upset that those who served with him, disagree. He shouldn’t complain that some Vietnam vets are criticizing him for his anti-war activities. Americans are supposed to have the right to criticize presidential candidates they disagree with.

If Kerry cannot handle such criticism, if he “cannot stand the heat”, he should take the advice of former President Harry Truman and “get out of the kitchen.”



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