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Comments by Jalexson

Is John Kerry a war hero or a war criminal?
 

I'm in the process of redoing this page.

John Kerry is wrong to try to prevent criticism of his background.

Vietnam Veterans against John Kerry  http://www.usvetdsp.com/jf_kerry.htm suggest that Kerry committed war crimes in Vietnam.
 

The Scopes site has a more extensive discussion of Kerry's service in Vietnam

Kerry's edited version of his war service on a swift boat..(The Kerry site has changed URL's of some of war records)

There are significant controversies about the significance of Kerry's purple hearts and both his bronze and silver stars.

Bandit raises serious doubts about the explanation of the incident that provided Kerry's silver star.

He also questions whether the VC had a  B-40 rocket in his launcher.  The description of the VC's behavior sounds strange.  His SOP would likely have been to fire the rocket from a concealed position or pop out of a spider hole, fire the rocket and drop back into the hole before the rocket exploded after going through the boat's hull.  Why would the VC run away without firing?  The most likely answer would be that the rocket or launcher had malfunctioned, or he didn't have another rocket and was running to get another behind the hootch, assuming that's the version that is correct.

In dangerous situatons, the brain isn't always reliable.  The brain can fill in details when the eyes don't see everything, such as when things are happening quickly.  Police officers often report seeing guns in situations in which they decide to shoot.  Sometimes the subsequent investigation reveals that there were no guns.  One example is the case a few years ago when NYPD officers shot a deaf man in a poorly lighted hotel lobby.  He reached into his coat for his wallet, but the officers' brains interpreted his actions as reaching for a gun and sent the signal to their hands  to fire.

Kerry and his men whose view would have been hampered by the angle of the boat saw a VC with a rocket launcher and their brains "saw" a rocket as well. At a distance of 10-15 feet with the boat at an angle pointing upward they might have had trouble seeing the VC completely because parts of the boat, including the rail that blocked the gunner from firing the twin .50's. The VC would likely not have stood in place for more than a second before he began running.

Kerry's commanding officer Capt. George Elliot's statement to Kerry after Kerry returned: "John, I don't know whether you should be court-martialed or given a medal, court-martialed for leaving your ship, your post..." indicates that Elliot had only the two choices for dealing with Kerry's action.  Elliot had to court-martial Kerry for disobeying standing orders and leaving his boat or he could recommend him for a medal.

Doing nothing wasn't an option.  Elliot couldn't just ignore Kerry's decision to disobey orders.  He couldn't use the NBA expression "no harm, no foul".  Failing to act could have encouraged others to ignore orders.

Court-martialing Kerry would have created a problem because prior to the incident with the B-40 rocket Kerry had played a crucial role in discovering a VC supply depot.  It wouldn't have looked good to court martial someone who had made such a find.

Recommending a medal provided Elliot with an out.  If Kerry "acted heroically" to save the men and boat his reckless actions had placed in danger disobedience of other standing orders could be ignored.  The navy couldn't very well court-martial someone for acting "heroically."

Elliot had to be mislead superior officers about what Kerry had done to deserve a silver star.  According to the citation Kerry lead a landing party against a superior enemy force.  However, from the accounts of the incident the landing party consisted of Kerry and crewman Michael Medeiros and the "superior enemy force" was a single VC carrying a rocket launcher that might or might not have contained a rocket.  The South Vietnamese Regional Force/Popular Force men who were along did discover a supply depot, but they were lead by U.S. army advisors rather than by Kerry.  Part of this group with their army advisors and one boat had been left at the location of the first landing where 20 VC had been routed.  It has recently been revealed that for some reason the Vietnamese on Kerry's boat hadn't been left there even though there wasn't much for them to do considering that Kerry and his crew didn't know how to communicate with them.

"The Bandit" says that Kerry's crew is having trouble keeping its facts straight.
 

Other comments and links.
 

90304
 

I don't know if it's still available online but the Washington Post had a diagram with its 8/21 article

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21239-2004Aug21.html

 

It appears from this that the boats, except for Kerry's, stayed near the site of the explosion.

there's a problem with Rassmann's claim of taking a weapon forward.  It seems unlikely that if a mine did explode near Kerry's boat it would have happened almost simultaneously with the mine exploding under the 3 boat.    which wouldn't have given enough time for Rassmann to begin moving forward.

82904

Even if one of Kerry's version of events is accurate, there is no justification for either medal.  For those like me who weren't in combat in Vietnam(other than being in a base that was shelled) you can read of significant combat actions in old versions of Vietnam magazine.  A single  B-40 rocket and a single VC running away along with sniper fire don't qualify as a significant fight.  The lack of significant wounds and boat damage from gunfire  in both incidents indicate that any gunfire was ineffectual at best.
82404
 

There's a psychological process that can cause people in dangerous situations to form very strong bonds because of their dependence on each other to stay alive.  This process is one reason police corruption is sometimes difficult to investigate. Officers feel an obligation to lie to protect those accused of improper behavior because of this bond.  Kerry's crew may have the same attitude toward Kerry.  They, and Rassmann, may believe they are alive today because of Kerry and thus they have a very strong obligation to do whatever is necessary to help him.

There is also a possible link with the silver star incident.  If they feel they did something wrong and lied about it then, they might have convinced themselves that the lie is what actually happened.  One possibility I've been wondering about is if Charlie started to surrender before the initial shot was fired.

82104

You imply you are retired navy.  Then you should know about the military's fondness for paperwork.  Some people find filling out paperwork enjoyable some would rather fight the enemy and delegate the task to others if possible.  Thurlow appears to be the latter.  He says he let Kerry handle the task.  you should also be aware that the awarding of medals depended in part on how the recommendation was worded included the presence of phrases designed to make the action appear heroic.
 

Rassmann fell off Kerry's boat so he had to try to rescue him.  The first thing Kerry should have done after there was an explosion near the boat was to check to see if everyone was okay and in the process to see if everyone was still on board.  Kerry didn't do that.  He continued away from the action and the crippled boat on the other side of the river according to his and Rassmann's account.  A crew member had to tell Kerry,  Rassmann had fallen off some distance back.

Too much attention has been paid to the issue of whether Kerry was telling the truth.  If they were under fire they would have been under fire regardless of whether Kerry helped Rassmann get the rest of the way on the boat.  Kerry could not very well have operated the boat with Rassmann as a "hood ornament".  Rassmann had climbed far enough up the cargo net/rope ladder placed on the bow for such situations to get his head above the edge of the bow.  Kerry had to get Rassmann the rest of the way on the boat to move away from any gunfire.  Kerry didn't pull Rassmann the rest of the way over the edge of the bow for "heroic" reasons. He did it because he had no other choice.

Had Kerry continued to run from the man in the water and the damaged boat  instead of going back he would have been court martialed for cowardice in the face of the enemy which at one time was a capital offense.
 

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Taking comments out of context is a common practice by all parties in presidential campaigns.   The Swift Boat Vets have just as much right to misrepresent the facts(if they are doing that) as does Michael Moore or any other Democrat.

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The shrapnel was from one of either his or Rassmann's grenades that were thrown into a large rice bin found earlier in the day.  It wasn't acquired in combat.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21239-2004Aug21.html

Kerry received a bronze star for picking up a man who had fallen off his boat.  According to the account favored by Kerry they were under fire and thus he would have been under fire even if he hadn't went to Rassmann's aid.  In fact, he had to go to Rassmann's aid before he could move the boat.  Rassmann was on a cargo net/rope ladder on the bow that was there for people to use to climb onto the boat from the water.  Rassmann coundn't get all the way on the boat by himself.  According to Rassmann's account, he had already gotten his head above the boat where he could see Kerry.
 

81904

What is interesting is that the after action report on Kerry's website makes no mention of the rescue of the crew of the boat that hit the mine even though that involved the largest number of wounded. The report must have been filed by Kerry because he would have been the only one aware of Rassmann and the only one who considered the rescue of Rassmann the most important aspect of the incident even though Rassmann wasn't wounded and was already partly out of the water when Kerry helped him over the edge of the boat.

Thurlow is a hero for helping men on a boat that was taking water regardless of whether or not there was any enemy gunfire.  Pulling Rassmann on to the boat wasn't particularly heroic because if there were any gunfire it would have been there regardless of what was happening with Rassmann and Kerry would have had to stay to help the others or risk courtmartial for running away.
 

----
 

The recommendation for Thurlow's bronze star indicates Thurlow was telling the truth about being unaware of any enemy fire.  The only referenece to any enemy fire is the last line and that says he acted as if there wasn't any- which indicates he was unaware of it.  If he has been aware of enemy fire it would have affected the way he helped the wounded.  He would have made sure they were protected from it.

The mistake many people make in referring to eyewitness accounts is that they assume different accounts mean someone is lying.  the more common explanation is that they viewed the situation differently or from different locations.
 

Two tendencies of the brain can affect perception in combat situations.  One is the tendency of the brain to fill in gaps in information.   If only some information is available the brain will add information that appears to be missing.  In the case of the aftermath of the mine explosion the suppressive fire of the swiftboats could easily cause some to believe that there must also have been enemy fire.

The other tendency is to filter out sounds that appear to be unimportant.  For example, someone with combat experience might filter out sounds of enemy fire that isn't close enough to be a threat.  If the brain doesn't hear bullets hitting anything, then they aren't being fired at the listener.  Generals in particularly are sometimes rumored to have this ability.
 

The only witness listed on Thurlow's recommendation is R.E. Lamert.  He would have been the one stating that there was enemy fire.  Or Capt. Elliott could have added the information based on Sandusky's account cited on the recommendation for Kerry's bronze star.

------

Basically the document indicates that Thurlow is telling the truth when he says that he was unaware of any gunfire.  In fact, he would have been too busy helping the wounded members of the crew and trying to save the boat to have noticed any enemy gunfire in addition to the suppressive fire from the swiftboats.  He deserved the bronze star more than Kerry because merely being on the boat that was taking water threatened his safety.

The only witness cited is  a crewman named R.E. Lambert who might have believed they were receiving fire because the boats were providing suppressive fire.  The fact that the line about gunfire is at the bottom of the recommendation could also indicate it was inserted because of the statememt Capt. Elliott received from Sandusky who was the sole witness listed on Kerry's bronze star recommendation.

The mistake many people make in situations like this is that they assume if people are giving different statements about an event that some of them must be lying.   In fact experiments have shown that eyewitnesses often give conflicting accounts of what they have observed including different descriptions of people invovled.

As a Vietnam vet I'm aware that some men who served out in the field for significant times could get spooked.  They became very jumpy and could easily imagine gunfire in a sitaution in which their own side was firing.

The brain has  the ability to insert information when there are information gaps.  For example, someone seeing a partial picture will attempt to imagine what the portions that cannot be seen are of. This  characteristic can interfere with getting accurate eyewitness accounts.

On the other hand, the brain can  filter out information, particularly sound information that doesn't appear to be relevant.  Those with experience in combat zones can learn to ignore gunshots that don't appear to affect them.   They learn to distinguish between their own and enemy fire and to distinguish between shots fired from nearby and those from a distance.

I doubt seriously that they were under continuous gunfire from Viet Cong.  The swift boats were equipped with twin .50 cal guns as well as M-60 machine guns which are very noisy.  With such guns providing suppressive fire, it would have been difficult to hear enemy small arms fire and such gunfire couldn't have been very effective.
 

81804
The men on Kerry's boat were busy doing their specific jobs and may not have had time to observe the entire operation.  Officers are assigned the task of attempting to keep track of the boat's position in relation to other boats and whether or not there is enemy activity.  Kerry's crew might not have known anything but what Kerry told them at the time.

One thing that is being ignored is that if Rassmann was on Kerry's boat as they sometimes claim and Kerry left  him behind that Kerry was derelect in his duty.  A captain of a carrier or even a destroyed might not know if someone fell off, but a swift boat is small enough that if someone fell off the Officer in Charge should have very quickly realized that fact.

Rassmann claims that everyone left which is impossible because the boat that hit the mine was so badly damaged it had to be towed.  It couldn't have run off and left him.  Rassmann probably just couldn't see the boats because of his position in the water.

81704
 

Keep in mind the people who are leading the criticism of Kerry on his war record served full terms in Vietnam unlike Kerry who left early after being encouraged to do so by Tom Wright and others who felt he was a threat to their safety. The criticism isn't coming from the Bush admin.

I wasn't down in the delta.  I was up in the Central Highlands. I've also studied the Vietnam War.  I find the statements by Kerry's critics more convincing the Kerry's statements.

And, no you haven't seen that same post elsewhere, although some of the information is the same.

One of the reasons I don't think Kerry is qualified to be president is his insistance on making the Vietnam war an issue in spite of the fact that it is totally irrelevant to current events.  Kerry's obsession with his Vietnam service raises serious doubts about his psychological fitness for the office of President.  His continued references to it are the type of thing one would expect from an old man who is recalling the only time he felt important.   I'm also concerned with the fact he seems to feel that chasing a wounded teenage VC and killing him somehow qualifies him to be president.

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Which story from Kerry's band is true?  The one that the VC with the rocket launcher ran behind a hootch and Fred Short fired .50 cal rounds at before Kerry ran behind the hootch and shot him.  The story that the VC ran down a trail followed by Kerry and Medieros for about 20-30 yards before Kerry shot him. I believe the recent version is that Kerry stepped off the boat and fired.  Why did Kerry's crew receive medals in this incident when Kerry's account indicates they didn't do anything?  The Silver Star commendation mentions a "numerically superior force" that didn't exist.

Then there's the story about Jim Rassman ending up in the water.  Was he on the same boat as Kerry http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200407301059.asp

 Or a different boat.
http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/releases/pr_2004_0117d.html

If he was on the same boat was he eating a chocolate chip cookie,
http://www.svherald.com/articles/2004/07/24/local_news/news5.txt

or carrying a rifle to the forward gunner?

http://tdn.townnews.com/articles/2004/01/24/oregon/news04.prt
 
 

What about David Alston who claims to have been on the boat when Kerry won a silver star?  Why wasn't he in the picture of the crew with their medals taken later?  Did he really recover from the head wound he received just before Kerry was given command of the boat by that time?
http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/
 
Whether the Swift Boats are telling the truth is an open question, but there is no question that Kerry and his crew aren't.

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The ones who continue to support him were accustomed to taking orders from Kerry in Vietnam. the only thing they know is how well Kerry took care of them such as by recommending them for medals in an operation in which they sat on the boat and watched him chase and kill a teenage VC and reportedly arranging for them to have safe assignments after he quit.

As someone who served as an enlisted man, I know that enlisted men and women don't view their commanding officer in any broader context then their relationship with him.  In such a situation, particularly in a combat zone, enlisted men and officers can become like a family in terms of their willingness to support each other. Those in a family often support other family members when they have done something wrong.

 Kerry's crew didn't view their CO in the broader perspective of what type of officer he was and whether he could have been  counted on by those on other boats.

 Those who had equal or greater rank than Kerry are the ones opposing him. Kerry's fellow officers have a better idea of how he was handling the job of fighting the war.   Kerry and his crew weren't out there by themselves.  They operated with other boats.  Those who served on other boats are criticizing Kerry.
 
81504

Those who weren't in Vietnam don't  understand that the military was very imperfect and didn't always operate according to rules.  A couple of years ago I even read an article posted on the old im-ur web site by someone familiar with the situation about a medal of honor that was very likely awarded for a "friendly fire" incident.

The situation in the Delta was that Zumwalt was in danger of having the swift boat program in the area where Kerry was operating ended and responsibility transferred to the ARVN.  the medals for Kerry and the others made American involvement seem to still be necessary.

A person with 3 transfers in only a few months doesn't appear to have been wanted.  One way to get rid of someone is to write glowing reports about them, much like the reports passed along when pedophile priests were transferred.

81404

Which story from Kerry's crew is true?  The one that the VC with the rocket launcher ran behind a hootch and Fred Short fired .50 cal rounds at before Kerry ran behind the hootch and shot him.  The story that the VC ran down a trail followed by Kerry and Medieros for about 20-30 yards before Kerry shot him. I believe the recent version is that Kerry stepped off the boat and fired.  Why did Kerry's crew receive medals in this incident when Kerry's account indicates they didn't do anything?  The Silver Star commendation mentions a "numerically superior force" that didn't exist.

Then there's the story about Jim Rassman ending up in the water.  Was he on the same boat as Kerry http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200407301059.asp

Or on a different boat
http://www.arizonatribune.com/index.php?sty=25250

What about David Alston who claims to have been on the boat when Kerry won a silver star?  Why wasn't he in the picture of the crew with their medals taken later?  Did he really recover from the head wound he received just before Kerry was given command of the boat by that time?
http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/

Remember what happened to Trent Lott?  The bloggers got the story while the overpaid "professional journalists" who sit around waiting for someone to feed them a story missed out.  The bloggers are going to do it again if "journalists" don't get on the story soon.

Whether the Swift Boats are telling the truth is an open question, but there is no question that Kerry and his crew aren't.
 

81204
 

Even if what Kerry said were true, he did nothing in Vietnam indicating he is capable of handling the presidency.  I would love to have had an opportunity to have voted for Colin Powell for president, but not because of what he did in either of his tours in Vietnam.  I say this even though  Powell's duties during his second tour were involved much more responsibility and he was far more heroic.  I would have voted for Powell because of what he did after the war, particularly his service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kerry's claim that his service in Vietnam somehow indicates his fitness for the presidency indicates he has no understanding of the demands of the office.

80604
 

Allen Colmes substitute on the Aug. 5, program was very unfair to Van O'Dell .  He was attempting to tell his side of the story and Susan  Estrich interrupted with nonsense about him somehow not being able to commit because he wasn't in the water with Jim Rassman.  The fact is that O'Dell was in a far better position to see what was going on then was Rassman.

The reason is partly due to basic physics.  O'Dell had a better vantage point.  One that allowed him to see the entire scene.  Rassman was preoccupied with keeping his head above water and had no way to know what was going on around him.  If shots were being fired within hearing range he had no way of knowing whether they were coming from the immediate vicinity or from a football field or two away.  He would have heard more shots than actually were fired because at his level the sounds would have been reflected off the boats.    With the need to concentrate on staying alive he might not have been able to distinguish between enemy fire and friendly(at least it's my recollection that the M-16 and AK-47 sounded a little different.  For that matter Charlie sometimes captured and used M-16's.)

O'Dell pointed out before he was interrupted that several other men were rescued from the water that day by the other boat that survived the initial mine blast.  I don't know what else O'Dell would have said,but he should be given another opportunity to tell his side of the incident.

I know the Democrats are trying to cover for Kerry, but Fox shouldn't participate in the cover-up.
 

71104
All branches of the military were big on medals for officers because they looked good for career officers at promotion time.  Also the CO of a unit with many medals looked better.  A lot of whether someone received an medal or not depended on how spectacular the presentation was even if the facts were exaggerated.  Unfortunately for many minority enlisted men there wasn't as great an effort to recommend them for medals.

One of the things that troubles me about giving Kerry a silver star in this incident is that he also exposed his crew and passengers to danger and in fact left them sitting in a difficult to defend position while he chased a single VC.  But then, the military tended to ignore such facts when deciding whether officers are heroes or not.   To me a hero is someone who takes risk upon himself without exposing others to danger in the process.
 
 

60804

Kerry's Silver Star was based on a lie.  Supposedly Kerry led a landing force to rout a superior enemy force.  the initial attack by all three boats did result in U.S. army advisors leading a landing party of Regional Force/Popular Force Vietnamese against 20 VC.  the subsequent attack against a single VC who may or may not have had a rocket in his launcher involved Kerry and crewman Michael Medeiros(at least according to the current description of the action) chasing that single VC. I could see the Viet Cong giving their man's family a medal for him, but no way did Kerry deserve a Silver Star.  I believe the only reason for the medal was that otherwise his commanding officer Captain Elliot would have had to court martial Kerry for violating orders and leaving his boat, essentially he abandoned his post in a combat zone.  Elliot might have been reluctant to court martial Kerry both because the operation itself did discover a VC supply depot and because having to court martial one of his boat commanders might have made Elliot look bad.
 
 

60304
 

Those who criiticize others as Kerry did to other Vietnam Vets after he was safely back in the world shouldn't be surprised if they are subsequently criticized by those they slandered.

52704

The story so far.  Kerry beaches the boat.   A VC pops out of a hole,sees the boat and didi's.  That whole action probably took less than a second.  Only the M-60 gunner at the front of the boat was likely to get a full view and with the short time period.  (In similar situations it isn't unusual for experienced police officers to believe an unarmed man actually has a gun.)

The M-60 gunner saw enough to believe  Charlie's rocket launcher actually contained a  rocket.  The twin .50's gunner in the tub couldn't have seen Charlie well enought to know whether he had a rocket or not,  neither could Kerry who might only have actually seen Charlie as he was running away.

According to Doug Reese Charlie runs to some trees.  If he had had a rocket he would have fired it at that time to protect himself.  He should have been far enough away at this point for the twin .50's gunner to open up on him unless Kerry had already gotten in the way.

Kerry with Medeiros(with or without a jammed M-16) in tow races after Charlie instead of trying to shoot him from the boat which would have made more sense.  After Kerry shoots Charlie, Doug Reese comes up and they talk about it.

Now the question is how does that square with the Silver Star citation which has Kerry leading a landing party to rout a superior enemy force. The landing  party consists of Kerry and Medeiros.  the "superior enemy force" is one VC.  Or in other words the Silver Star is based on a lie and Kerry should really have given it back regardless of whether he did or not.
Kerry should also stop claiming that his Silver Star somehow qualifies him to be President even though it does indicate he is willing lie which seems to be a trait most presidents possess.

Incidentally, the controversy over "lean-to" vs.  "hootch" don't mean nothin'.  "hootch" is a Vietnamese expression that can be used to refer to the same type of stucture an American, particularly in the south, might call a "lean-to".
 

52304
 

The VC was only a problem because Kerry beached the boat.  With the bow in an elevated position, the gunner in the tub couldn't fire at the VC until the VC moved into range, a problem that wouldn't have existed if the boat had still been floating.  Once the VC moved the twin .50's provided a much more effective weapon to use considering its superior rate of fire, range and size of shell.  The gunner has stated that he fired into the hootch the VC was hiding behind and very probably killed him before Kerry got to him. It's likely Kerry only fired a shot to make it appear he killed the VC.   the boat also had an 81 mm mortar that could have dropped rounds behind the hootch.

Kerry's decision to run toward the VC complicated matters for the gunner because the gunner had to be careful not to fire in a way that would harm Kerry.  Only a fool runs between people involved in a gun fight.

Kerry has been criticized for leaving Vietnam early, but I'm glad he left before his reckless behavior got his men killed.  Kerry is the type of reckless overly aggressive officer who got a lot of men killed in Vietnam.
 
 

42504

Kerry was a "ticket puncher". The term is based on a discussion in Donovan's "Militarism U.S.A." about how colonels at the Pentagon pushed for increased U.S. involvement in Vietnam as a means of increasing opportunities for promotion.  They would have an opportunity to get their "tickets punched" in Vietnam and make their records look better at promotion time.

Kerry had political ambitions and wanted RVN service to make him look good.  Once he had gotten a couple of medals he had his "ticket" sufficiently "punched" so that he could go home as a "hero".  He applied for a job as an admiral's aide to make political contacts.  When he got back to the world and discovered antiwar sentiment in Mass. he decided to join the protestors to gain support amoung them. He made a big show of throwing {someone else's] medals away to make him self look good to this group.  Then later bought up all the copies of the antiwar book he wrote and and displayed his medals as if nothing had happened.
 

42304

Letting someone go home after 3 very minor wounds while men with far more serious wounds were sent back into combat is inequitable.   Wounds requiring hospitalization would be more likely to reduce effectiveness than the minor wound Kerry had.

I'm not criticizing Kerry for taking advantage of a loophole I would have taken advantage of if I'd had the opportunity.  However, I don't claim to have been a hero either.  To me, heroes don't go home just because they get three "owies", us "cowards" do.
 

The article glosses over the subject of  the controversial incident in which Kerry shot a VC who essentially was unarmed.  Even if his rocket launcher had a rocket, the VC couldn't have used it in close combat with Kerry behind the hootch without risking death himself from the explosion of the rocket when it hit Kerry.

They wouldn't have been in danger if Kerry hadn't beached the boat making its twin .50 caliber guns ineffective.  Kerry would have had a better shot at any VC on the shore by firing from the middle of the river/canal.  He should have raked the shore with .50 fire instead of turning the boat into a sitting duck by beaching it.  While he was off pursueing a VC he could otherwise have run away from, the crew was subject to continuous fire.  Had some of the enemys' bullets pierced the lower parts of the hull that were out of the water because of the beaching, they might have become stranded.

The following is from a pro-Kerry website.
    "The crewman with the best view of the action was Frederic Short, the man in the tub operating the twin guns. Short had not talked to Kerry for 34 years, until after he was recently contacted by a [Boston ] Globe reporter. Kerry said he had 'totally forgotten' Short was on board that day.

    "Short had joined Kerry's crew just two weeks earlier, as a last-minute replacement, and he was as green as the Arkansas grass of his home. He said he didn't realize that he should have carried an M-16 rifle, figuring the tub's machine guns would be enough. But as Kerry stood face to face with the guerrilla carrying the rocket, Short realized his predicament. With the boat beached and the bow tilted up, a guard rail prevented him from taking aim at the enemy. For a terrifying moment, the guerrilla looked straight at Short with the rocket.

    "Short believes the guerrilla didn't fire because he was too close and needed to be a suitable distance to hit the boat squarely and avoid ricochet debris. Short tried to protect his skipper.

    " 'I laid in fire with the twin .50s, and he got behind a hootch,' recalled Short. "I laid 50 rounds in there, and Mr. Kerry went in. Rounds were coming everywhere. We were getting fire from both sides of the river. It was a canal. We were receiving fire from the opposite bank, also, and there was no way I could bring my guns to bear on that.' "
http://www.snopes.com/politics/kerry/service.asp

http://www.johnkerrysucks.com/puak.html

http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com/airborne_combat_engineer/2004/01/whats_the_true_.html
 

http://www.greenberet.net/Kerry/Index.html
 

31604

Kerry's a dope.  If any officials in foreign governments(he hasn't met the leaders of any of those governments so the leaders obviously didn't tell him anything) told him their government preferred him, the statements were probably told in confidence.  Those officials wouldn't have wanted him to repeat what they said.  But, dopey Kerry, like a little child who has just been told he's mommy's favorite, has to blab the whole thing.

We're in the middle of March madness with men's and women's teams contesting for basketball championships.  Reporters like to ask question "coach, which of the two teams playing for an opportunity to play you would you rather play?"

 Most coaches are smart enough not to answer because the coach of that team would use the statement to motivate his/her players: "Coach so and so thinks we would be easier for his/her team to beat.  Let's prove that he/she is wrong."

If the United States were choosing the heads of other governments we would choose leaders who support policies that benefit us, but might not benefit them.  Other governments are going to want a U.S. president who supports policies that benefit them, but might not benefit us.
 
 

31404

It's not unusual for those who have done things wrong to talk about how other people did this or that because they cannot admit, often to themselves, that they did something wrong.  Children are particularly prone to this behavior.
 

There's no legitimate reason for Kerry not to release his records from Vietnam considering he's running for President.  I wouldn't mind releasing my medical records from Vietnam, although there wouldn't be anything to them.

Kerry wants to brag about his record so he should be willing to make everything public.  Bush has made his NG records avaiable, why can't Kerry make his available.
 
 

If John Kerry had any sense at all he wouldn't mention such statements.  Now that March madness in the NCAA has begun we will probably hear sports reporters ask a coach which of the teams that are playing for the opportunity to play his/her team he/she would rather play.  When was the last time anyone heard a coach name a team?  Coaches don't name teams in such situations because they know the coach of that team would use the statement to motivate his/her team to prove that they are a better team that the coach making the statement seems to believe.

Other countries don't want the U.S. to have a strong independent leader that will stand up to them.  Other countries want U.S. presidents that they can push around.  Kerry isn't smart enough to understand that.
 
 
 

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