Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Thank you. Welcome to the capital of the world.
New York was the first capital of our great nation. It was here in 1789, in lower Manhattan, that George Washington took the oath of office as the first president of the United States.
And it was here in 2001, in the same lower Manhattan, that President George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center, and he said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, "They will hear from us."
Well, they heard from us.
They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban.
They heard from us in Iraq, and we ended Saddam Hussein's reign of terror.
And we put him where he belongs, in jail.
They heard from us in Libya, and without firing a shot Gadhafi abandoned his weapons of mass destruction.
They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists or terrorism.
So long as George Bush is our president, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism?
We owe that much and more to the loved ones and heroes that we lost on September 11.
The families of some of those we lost on September 11 are here with us. To them, and to all those families affected by September 11, we recognize the sacrifices your loved ones made. We recognize the sacrifices that you're making. You are in our prayers, and we are in your debt.
This is the first Republican convention ever held here in New York City.
I've never seen so many Republicans in New York City. It's great.
I finally feel at home.
And you know something? Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, all of you that worked so hard in bringing this convention to New York, our president and the party that decided they'd have it here, above and beyond everything else, it's a statement, it's a strong statement that New York City and America are open for business, and we are stronger than ever.
New York. New York. New York.
AUDIENCE: New York. New York. New York.
GIULIANI: This is getting to be like a Yankee game. I don't know. Watch out.
You know, we're just not going to let the terrorists determine where we have political conventions, where we go, how we travel. We're Americans, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
AUDIENCE: USA. USA. USA.
GIULIANI: From the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, to President George W. Bush, our party's great contribution is to expand freedom in our own land and all over the world.
And our party is at its best when we make certain that we have a powerful national defense in a still very, very dangerous world.
I don't believe that we're right about everything, and Democrats are wrong. They're wrong about most things.
But seriously, neither party has a monopoly on virtue.
We don't have all the right ideas. They don't have all the wrong ideas.
But I do believe there are times in history when our ideas are more necessary and more important and critical, and this is one of those times when we are facing war and danger.
There are times when leadership is the most important.
On September 11, this city and our nation faced the worst attack in our history. On that day, we had to confront reality.
For me, when I arrived there and I stood below the north tower and I looked up, and seeing the flames of hell emanating from those buildings, and realizing that what I was actually seeing was a human being on the 101st, 102nd floor, that was jumping out of the building, I stood there, it probably took five or six seconds, it seemed to me that it took 20 or 30 minutes, and I was stunned.
And I realized, in that moment, in that instant, I realized we were facing something that we have never, ever faced before.
We had never been confronted with anything like this before. We had to concentrate all of our energy and our faith and our hope to get through those first hours and days. And we needed all the help that we could get and all the support that we could get.
And I will always remember that moment as we escaped the building that we were trapped in at 75 Barclay Street, and I realized that things outside might actually be worse than inside the building.
We did the best we could to communicate a message of calm and hope, as we stood on the pavement watching a cloud come through the cavernous streets of lower Manhattan.
Our people were so brave in their response.
At the time, we believed that we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then-Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, "Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president."
I say it again tonight. I say it again tonight:
Thank God that George Bush is our president, and thank God that Dick Cheney, a man with his experience and his knowledge and his strength and his background, is our vice president.
On September 11, George Bush had been president less than eight months. The new president, the vice president, the new administration were faced with the worst crisis in our history virtually at the beginning of their administration.
President Bush's response in keeping us unified, in turning around the ship of state from being solely on defense against terrorism to being on offense as well and for his holding us together for that and then his determined effort to defeat global terrorism, no matter what happens in this election, President George W. Bush already has earned a place in history as a great American president.
But you and I, we're not going to wait for history to present the correct view of our president. Let us write our own history. We need George Bush now more than ever.
The horror, the shock and the devastation of those attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and over the skies of Pennsylvania lifted a cloud from our eyes.
We stood face to face with those people and forces who hijacked not just airplanes, but a great religion and turned it into a creed of terrorism dedicated to killing us and eradicating us and our way of life.
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It started a long time ago. And it had been festering for many years.
And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. That's a long time ago.
That's not yesterday.
And the pattern began
early. The three surviving terrorists were arrested. And then within just three months, the terrorists who slaughtered the Israeli athletes were released by the German government -- set free.
GIULIANI: Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn time after time that they could attack, that they could slaughter innocent people and not face any consequences.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro. And they murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer. They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Some of those terrorists were released, and some of the remaining terrorists -- they were allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals from the terrorists.
So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community, and too often the response, particularly in Europe, would be accommodation, appeasement and compromise.
GIULIANI: And worse, they also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously almost in direct proportion to the horror of their attack.
Terrorist acts became like a ticket to the international bargaining table. How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize while he was supporting a plague of terrorism in the Middle East and undermining any chance of peace?
Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of our world, much like observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate the Soviet Union through the use of mutually assured destruction.
President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism, we must also be on offense.
On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world, and he changed the direction of our ship of state.
He dedicated America, under his leadership, to destroying global terrorism.
The president announced the Bush Doctrine, when he said, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."
And since September 11, President Bush has remained rock solid.
It doesn't matter to him how he is demonized. It doesn't matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.
They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan. But like President Bush, they were optimists. Leaders need to be optimists. Their vision is beyond the present, and it's set on a future of real peace and security.
Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.
President Bush has the courage of his convictions.
In choosing a president, we really don't choose just a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or a liberal. We choose a leader.
And in times of war and danger, as we're now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision.
There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.
One of my heroes, Winston Churchill, saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a warmongering gadfly.
Another one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, saw and described the Soviet Union as "the evil empire," while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and even belittled Ronald Reagan's intelligence.
President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.
John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision. This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry. I respect him for his service to our nation.
But it is important and critical to see the contrast in approach between the two men: President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts and goes back and forth; and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often, even on important issues.
Now, when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War.
GIULIANI: Ah, but he must have heard your booing because -- because later he said he actually supported the war.
Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for the presidency, he voted for the war in Iraq. And then just nine months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.
GIULIANI: He even, at one point, declared himself as an antiwar candidate. And now he says he's pro-war candidate. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position four or five more times.
My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words, not mine. I quote John Kerry, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
Maybe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas.
One is where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against exactly the same thing.
Yes, people in public office at times change their minds, or they realized they're wrong. I have, others have, or circumstances change. But John Kerry has made it the rule to change his position, rather than the exception.
In October of 2003 he told an Arab-American Institute in Detroit that a security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories was a "barrier to peace." OK.
Then a few months later, he took exactly the opposite position. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post he said, "Israel's security fence is a legitimate act of self defense."
GIULIANI: The contrasts are dramatic. They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism.
President Bush will make certain that we are combating terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we don't have to confront it, or we reduce of confronting it here in New York City, or in Chicago or in Los Angeles or in Miami or in the rural areas of America.
That's what it means to play offense with terrorism, and not just defense.
John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combating terrorism gives us no confidence that he'll pursue such a determined, difficult course.
President Bush would not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over 30 years to stand up to terrorists, he wouldn't allow them to stop us from doing what is necessary in the defense of our country.
He's not going to let them set the agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead, not follow.
Remember, just a few months ago, John Kerry kind of leaked out that claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him.
Well, to me, that raises the risk that he might well accommodate his position to their viewpoint.
It would not be the first time that John Kerry changed his mind about matters of war and peace.
I remember the days following September 11 when we were no longer Republicans or Democrats, but we were Americans. We were determined to do everything, everything that we could to help the victims, to rebuild our city and to disable our enemies.
I remember President Bush coming here on September 14, 2001, and lifting the morale of our rescue workers by talking with them and embracing them and staying with them much longer than was planned.
In fact, if you promise to keep this between us, because, I mean, I could get in trouble for this.
But I get in trouble all of the time. I was mayor of New York.
It is my opinion that when President Bush came here on September 14, 2001, the Secret Service was not really happy about his remaining in the area so long.
With buildings were still unstable, with fires raging below ground of 2,000 degrees or more, there was good reason for their concern.
Well, the president remained there. And talked to everyone, to the firefighters, to the police officers, the health care workers, the clergy. But the people that believe -- this is my opinion now from observing it -- that the people that spent the most time with him were our construction workers.
Now, New York construction workers are very special people. I'm sure this is true all over America where you come from, but I know the ones in New York really well.
And they were real heroes that day, like many others.
But I have to tell you, they're big. They are really big. They have arms that are bigger than my legs. And they have opinions that are bigger than their arms.
So every time the president would go up to one of them, they would hold his hand a little bit longer. And they would give him advice. I think like his Cabinet, Mr. Vice President, gives him advice.
They would like tell him in their own language exactly what he should do with the terrorists.
I can't repeat -- after all this is the Republican convention -- I can't repeat what they said, but one of them really got the president's attention. The president really bonded with him. They sort of hit it off. And the guy's giving him this long explanation of exactly what he should do. And when the man finished, President Bush said in a rather loud voice, "I agree."
At this point, all of the people kind of looked at this guy, all of his buddies. And can you imagine -- I mean, you're a construction worker, and all your buddies say -- and the president says, "I agree."
The guy went up in his own estimation from his 6 feet to about 6-10.
He lost total control of himself. Forgot who he was dealing with. He leaned over. He grabbed the president of the United States in this massive bear hug, and he started squeezing him.
And the Secret Service agent standing next to me, who wasn't happy about any of this, instead of running over and getting the president out of this grip, puts his finger in my face and he says to me, "If this guy hurts the president, Giuliani, you're finished."
I didn't know what to say. I was kind of shook when the -- and I said -- the only thing I could think of, and it's the moral of the story, I said, "But it would be out of love."
I also remember on that same day, as I'm sure Governor Pataki does, the heart-wrenching visit President Bush made to the families of our firefighters and our police officers at the Javits Center. I'm sure some of you remember it.
I remember receiving all the help and the assistance and support from the president, and even more than we asked for. For that, and for his personal support of me, I am eternally grateful to President Bush. He helped to get me through.
And I remember the support being bipartisan and actually standing hand in hand Republicans and Democrats, here in New York and all over the nation.
During a Boston Red Sox game in the seventh inning there was a sign that read, "Boston loves New York."
You're not going to see it now with a 4.5 game spread between the two teams.
And then one of the most remarkable experiences was, I was driving along and I saw a Chicago police officer directing traffic in the middle of Manhattan, sent here by Mayor Daley of Chicago, who was a good friend of ours, and is. And that's what I mean about no Democrats or Republicans.
Well, the guy is directing traffic. And I got out to thank him, and I did. And then I went back in my car and all of a sudden, I had this thought: "I wonder where he's sending these people."
I think some of them are still driving around the Bronx, but it was very reassuring to know how much support we had, and I thank all of you for it, because you all gave us support -- Republicans, Democrats, everyone.
And as we look beyond this election and realize that elections do accentuate our differences, let's make sure that we rekindle that spirit that we had, that we are one America. We are united to end the threat of global terrorism as one people.
Certainly President Bush will keep us focused on that goal. When President Bush announced his commitment to ending global terrorism, he understood, I understood, we all understood that it was critical to remove the pillars of support for the global terrorist movement.
In any plan to destroy global terrorism, removing Saddam Hussein needed to be removed.
Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered thousands and thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction -- he was himself a weapon of mass destruction.
But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and to rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is nothing to be defensive about.
It's something for which all those involved, from President Bush to the brave men of our armed services, should be proud. They did something wonderful. They did something that history will give them great credit for.
President Bush has also focused us on the correct long-term answer for the violence and hatred emerging from the Middle East. The hatred and anger in the Middle East arises from the lack of accountable governments.
Rather than trying to grant more freedom, or create more income, or improve education and basic health care, these governments deflect their own failures by pointing to America and to Israel and to other external scapegoats.
But blaming these scapegoats does not improve the life of a single person in the Arab world.
It does not relieve the plight of even one woman in Iran.
It does not give a decent living to a single soul in Syria.
It doesn't stop the slaughter of African Christians in the Sudan.
The president understands that the changes necessary in the Middle East involve encouraging accountable, lawful, decent governments that can be role models and solve the problems of their own people.
This has been a very important part of the Bush doctrine and the president's vision for the future.
Have faith in the power of freedom. People who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in oppression.
That's the story of the Old Testament.
That's the story of World War II and the Cold War.
That's the story of the firefighters and police officers and rescue workers who courageously saved thousands of lives on September 11, 2001.
President Bush is the leader we need for the next four years because he can see beyond just today and tomorrow. He can see in the future. He has a vision of a peaceful Middle East and a safer world.
Don't be discouraged. Don't be cynical. We'll see an end to global terrorism. I can see it. I believe it. I know it will happen.
You know, right now, it ma
y seem very difficult and a long way off. It may even seem idealistic to say that. But it may not be as far away and idealistic as it seems.
Look how quickly the Berlin Wall was torn down and the Iron Curtain ripped open and the Soviet Union disintegrated because of the power of the pent-up demand for freedom.
When it catches hold, there is nothing more powerful than freedom. Give it some hope, and it will overwhelm dictators and even defeat terrorists.
That is what we've done and must continue to do in Iraq. That's what the Republican Party, our party, does best, when we're at our best.
We extend freedom, and it's our mission. It's the long-term answer to ending global terrorism. Governments that are free and accountable.
We have won many battles in this war on terror, at home and abroad. But as President Bush told us way back on September 20, 2001, it will take a long-term determined effort to prevail.
The war on terrorism will not be won in a single battle. There will be no dramatic surrender. There will be no crumbling of a massive wall.
But we will know it. We'll know it as accountable governments continue to develop in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
We'll know it as terrorist attacks throughout the world decrease and then end and we save lives. And then, God willing, we'll all be able on a future anniversary of September 11 to return to Ground Zero, or to the Pentagon, or to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and to say to our fallen brothers and sisters, to our heroes of the worst attack in our history and to our heroes who have sacrificed their lives in the war on terror, we will be able to say to them that we have done all that we could with our lives that were spared to make your sacrifices build a world of real peace and true freedom.
We will make certain, in the words of President Bush, that they have heard from us, that they've heard from us a message of peace through free, accountable, lawful and decent governments giving people hope for a future for themselves and their children.
God bless each one we have lost, every soul, every single person, here and abroad, and their families. God bless all those who are currently at risk and in harm's way defending our freedom. And God bless America.
Thank you, my fellow Republicans, and thank you, Lindsey (Graham of South Carolina).
I'm truly grateful for the privilege of addressing you.
This week, millions of Americans, not all Republicans, will weigh our claim on their support for the two men who have led our country in these challenging times with moral courage and firm resolve.
So I begin with the words of a great American from the other party, given at his party's convention in the year I was born.
My purpose is not imitation, for I can't match his eloquence, but respect for the relevance in our time of his rousing summons to greatness of an earlier generation of Americans.
At a time of deep distress at home, as tyranny strangled the aspirations to liberty of millions, and as war clouds gathered in the East and West, Franklin Delano Roosevelt accepted his party's nomination by observing:
"There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny."
The awful events of September 11, 2001, declared a war we were vaguely aware of, but hadn't really comprehended how near the threat was and how terrible were the plans of our enemies.
It's a big thing, this war.
It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's a fight between right and wrong, good and evil.
And my friends, should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become a much bigger thing.
So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny. And much is expected of us.
We are engaged in a hard struggle against a cruel and determined adversary. Our enemies have made clear the danger they pose to our security and the very essence of our culture: liberty.
Only the most deluded of us could doubt the necessity of this war. Like all wars, this one will have its ups and downs. But we must fight. We must.
The sacrifices borne in our defense are not shared equally by all Americans. But all Americans must share a resolve to see this war through to a just end. We must not be complacent at moments of success, and we must not despair over setbacks.
We must learn from our mistakes, improve on our successes, and vanquish this unpardonable enemy.
If we do less, we will fail the one mission no American generation has ever failed: to provide to our children a stronger, better country than the one we were blessed to inherit.
You remember how we felt when the serenity of a bright September morning was destroyed by a savage atrocity so hostile to all human virtue we could scarcely imagine any human being capable of it.
We were united, first in sorrow and anger, then in recognition we were attacked not for a wrong we had done, but for who we are: a nation united in a kinship of ideals, committed to the notion that the people are sovereign, not governments, not armies, not a pitiless theocracy, not kings, mullahs or tyrants, but the people.
In that moment ... in that moment, we were not different races. We were not poor or rich. We were not Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. We were not two countries. We were Americans.
All of us, despite the differences that enliven our politics, are united in the one big idea that freedom is our birthright and its defense is always our first responsibility. All other responsibilities come second.
We must not lose sight of that as we debate among us who should bear the greatest responsibility for keeping us safe and free.
We must, whatever our disagreements, stick together in this great challenge of our time.
My friends in the Democratic Party -- and I'm fortunate to call many of them my friends -- assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation. I don't doubt their sincerity.
They emphasize that military action alone won't protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy.
They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies.
And, as we've been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle.
That is what the president believes. And thanks to his efforts, we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some.
I don't doubt the sincerity of my Democratic friends. And they should not doubt ours.
Our president will work with all nations willing to help us defeat this scourge that afflicts us all.
War is an awful business. The lives of a nation's finest patriots are sacrificed. Innocent people suffer. Commerce is disrupted. Economies are damaged. Strategic interests shielded by years of statecraft are endangered as the demands of war and diplomacy conflict.
However just the cause, we should mourn for all that is lost when war claims its wages from us.
The crowd cheers McCain's speech with handmade signs.
But there is no avoiding this war. We tried that, and our reluctance cost us dearly.
And while this war has many components, we can't make victory on the battlefield harder to achieve so that our diplomacy is easier to conduct.
This is not just an expression of strength. It is a measure of our wisdom.
That's why I commend to my country the re-election of President Bush, and the... and the steady, experienced, public-spirited man who serves as our vice president, Dick Cheney.
Four years ago, in Philadelphia, I spoke of my confidence that President Bush would accept the responsibilities that come with America's distinction as the world's only superpower.
I promised he would not let America "retreat behind empty threats, false promises and uncertain diplomacy," that he would "confidently defend our interests and values wherever they are threatened."
I knew -- I knew my confidence was well placed when I watched him stand on the rubble of the World Trade Center with his arm around a hero of September 11 and in our moment of mourning and anger, strengthen our unity and our resolve by promising to right this terrible wrong, and to stand up and fight for the values we hold dear.
He promised our enemies would soon hear from us. And so they did. So they did.
He ordered American forces to Afghanistan and took the fight to our enemies and away from our shores, seriously injuring Al Qaeda and destroying the regime that gave them safe haven.
He worked effectively to secure the cooperation of Pakistan, a relationship that's critical to our success against Al Qaeda.
He encouraged other friends to recognize the peril that terrorism posed for them and won their help in apprehending many of those who would attack us again and in helping to freeze the assets they used to fund their bloody work.
After years of failed diplomacy and limited military pressure to restrain Saddam Hussein, President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq.
Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone.
The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.
Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Not our political opponents. And certainly -- and certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe...
AUDIENCE (Booing filmmaker Michael Moore who attended the convention):
Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
MCCAIN: Please, please, my friends.
That line was so good, I'll use it again. Certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact -- when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls.
Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.
My friends, the central security concern of our time is to keep such devastating weapons beyond the reach of terrorists who can't be dissuaded from using them by the threat of mutual destruction.
We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times. By destroying his regime, we gave hope to people long oppressed, that if they have the courage to fight for it, they may live in peace and freedom.
Most importantly -- most importantly, our efforts may encourage the people of a region, that has never known peace or freedom or lasting stability, that they may someday possess these rights.
I believe as strongly today as ever, the mission was necessary, achievable and noble.
For his determination to undertake it and for his unflagging resolve to see it through to a just end, President Bush deserves not only our support, but our admiration.
As the president rightly reminds us, we are safer now than we were on September 11, but we're not yet safe. We are still closer to the beginning than the end of this fight.
We need a leader with the experience to make the tough decisions and the resolve to stick with them, a leader who will keep us moving forward even if it is easier to rest.
And this president will not rest until America is stronger and safer still and this hateful iniquity is vanquished. He has been tested and has risen to the most important challenge of our time, and I salute him.
I salute his determination to make this world a better, safer, freer place. He has not wavered. He has not flinched from the hard choices. He will not yield. And neither will we.
I said earlier that the sacrifices in this war will not be shared equally by all Americans. The president is the first to observe, most of the sacrifices fall, as they have before, to the brave men and women of our armed forces. We may be good citizens, but make no mistake, they are the very best of us.
It's an honor to live in a country that is so well and so bravely defended by such patriots.
May God bless them, the living and the fallen, as he has blessed us with their service.
For their families, for their friends, for America, for mankind, they sacrifice to affirm that right makes might, that good triumphs over evil, that freedom is stronger than tyranny, and that love is greater than hate.
It is left to us to keep their generous benefaction alive and our blessed, beautiful country worthy of their courage.
We should be thankful for the privilege.
Our nation's security doesn't depend on the heroism of every citizen. But we have to be worthy of the sacrifices made on our behalf.
We have to love our freedom not just for the material benefits it provides, not just for the autonomy it guarantees us, but for the goodness it makes possible.
We have to love it as much, if not as heroically, as the brave Americans who defend us at the risk, and often the cost, of their lives.
No American -- no American alive today will ever forget what happened on the morning of September 11. That day was the moment when the pendulum of history swung toward a new era.
The opening chapter was tinged with great sadness and uncertainty.
It shook us from our complacency in the belief that the Cold War's end had ushered in a time of global tranquility.
But an absence of complacency should not provoke an absence of confidence. What our enemies have sought to destroy is beyond their reach. It cannot be taken from us. It can only be surrendered.
My friends, we are again met on the field of political competition with our fellow countrymen.
It's more than appropriate, it's necessary that even in times of crisis we have these contests and engage in spirited disagreement over the shape and course of our government.
We have nothing to fear from each other. We are arguing over the means to better secure our freedom and support the general welfare.
But it should remain an argument among friends who share an unshaken belief in our great cause and in the goodness of each other.
We are Americans first, Americans last, and Americans always.
Let us argue -- let us argue our differences, but remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals and our unconquerable love for them.
Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express -- they fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity. We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible.
Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our president and fight.
We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.
At least one Hollywood liberal gets it. Ron Silver made the following remarks as he addressed the GOP Convention. - Sailor
I want to thank the President and the Republican Party for holding this
event in my hometown, my father's hometown, my grandfather's and great
Just over 1,000 days ago, 2,605 of my neighbors were murdered at the World
Trade Center -- men, women and children -- as they began their day on a
brilliantly clear New York autumn morning, less than four miles from where I
am now standing.
We will never forgive. Never forget. Never excuse!
At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied
Commander of the South Pacific, said:
"It is my earnest hope - indeed the hope of all mankind - that from this
solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of
the past, a world found upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the
dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom,
tolerance and justice."
The hope he expressed then remains relevant today.
We are again engaged in a war that will define the future of humankind.
Responding to attacks on our soil, America has led a coalition of countries
against extremists who want to destroy our way of life and our values.
This is a war we did not seek.
This is a war waged against us.
This is a war to which we had to respond.
History shows that we are not imperialists . . .
but we are fighters for freedom and democracy.
Even though I am a well-recognized liberal on many issues confronting our
society today, I find it ironic that many human rights advocates and outspoken
members of my own entertainment community are often on the front lines to
protest repression, for which I applaud them but they are usually the first
ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they
Under the unwavering leadership of President Bush, the cause of freedom
and democracy is being advanced by the courageous men and women serving in our
The President is doing exactly the right thing.
That is why we need this President at this time!
I am grateful for the chance to speak tonight to express my support for
our Commander-in-Chief, for our brave troops, and for the vital cause which
they have undertaken.
General Dwight Eisenhower's statement of 60 years ago is true today . . .
"United in this determination and with unshakable faith in the cause for
which we fight, we will, with God's help, go forward to our greatest victory."
Monday, August 30, 2004
More hypocrisy from the left. Imagine if this were a Republican doing this at a church. - Sailor
Rev. Sharpton fires up Democratic voters at Miami church
By Jamie Malernee
August 30, 2004
They danced, clapped, shouted and sang, and that was before the Rev. Al Sharpton even opened his mouth.
By the time the former presidential candidate finished his sermon to more than a thousand people gathered in a Miami church Sunday, blending politics and religion into a call to action to South Florida's black community, congregation members churned with energy.
They left determined, they said, to turn out in unprecedented numbers during the upcoming elections.
They will have to, Sharpton warned, if they don't want a replay of the 2000 presidential race. He said he was "returning to the scene of the crime" in Florida, while the Republican National Convention gets under way, so people remember how President Bush "got here in the first place."
"We're not people who are going to be beat twice," he declared to his overwhelmingly Democratic audience at New Birth Baptist Church. "Didn't nobody give us the right to vote. People lost their lives. We can't sit here 40 years later and let someone buy the vote, somebody hustle the vote, pimp the vote. We've got to win Florida."
The stop was one of several Sharpton is making across the state this week to boost voter turnout and protect voters from what he calls a "strategy of suppression."
He pointed to recent reports in Orlando of law enforcement officers questioning elderly black voters as proof that intimidation is beginning anew.
The officers say they were investigating a complaint that absentee ballots in a mayoral race were tampered with, but high-ranking Democrats have demanded a civil rights inquiry.
Sharpton promised to have lawyers at every polling location in Florida in November to ensure no one is denied the right to vote. They will keep their eyes open for abuses, he said, such as elections officials asking people for multiple forms of identification or officials claiming residents aren't registered to vote when they are.
For Tuesday's primary, Bishop Victor T. Curry, head of New Birth Baptist, said he had contacted the supervisors of elections in Broward and Miami-Dade counties to warn that various groups would be on the lookout for such violations. Anyone with problems is encouraged to complain to the People for the American Way or call in to the radio show he will be on Tuesday, Gospel AM 1490 WMBM.
"It's our time; it's our turn," said Curry, who made no apologies for turning his Sunday service into a political rally also attended by Democrats U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, state Sen. Frederica Wilson, state Sen. M. Mandy Dawson and Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
"Every Christian ought to have a Bible and a voter's registration card and use both as often as they can," he thundered from the pulpit, sparking applause from the crowd and shouts of "Amen!" and "All right, all right!"
Sharpton hammered away at various forces during his speech, most notably President Bush. He criticized the recent ads by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which questioned John Kerry's service in Vietnam, but put the responsibility on voters to know better.
"We can't be stupid," he said. "[Kerry] went and defended his country and risked his life. That's what he did. But the issue isn't what happened in a war 30 years ago. The issue is the war going on today."
Sharpton also pulled no punches against his community. He called black people who don't bother to vote "lazy and ungrateful."
"It's not enough to read black history. You've got to make some," he said. "You sit here and ask God to bless you, and you haven't used the blessing he gave you."
When he was done, Sharpton introduced the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. McAuliffe apologized to the congregation for the 2000 election and for not being in Florida to stop voting problems.
"I'm in the house of the Lord, so I'm going to beg your forgiveness. We let you down. People were naïve, and we thought the Republicans would not do this," he said. "I'm chairman now, and I am not naïve. We will protect your votes this time."
Earlier, Sharpton spoke at Haitian Emmanuel Baptist Church in Miami, calling upon the much smaller crowd to use their votes to speak out against discrimination.
That message resonated with Daniel Coicou, 22, a Haitian immigrant who is starting community college but cannot vote. He said immigrants from other countries, such as Cuba, are treated better.
"It's a big difference. I've been in this country 14 years, and I can't do anything," he said.
Sandra Hamilton, a Miami resident and New Birth Baptist member, complained that politics in the United States has gotten as dirty as in her native Jamaica.
"I can't believe it's America sometimes," she said.
Pembroke Pines resident Delores Crump vowed to vote in the primary and the November election, saying she is confident 2004 will have a different outcome than 2000.
"We're going to win," she said. "Things have got to get better."
Jamie Malernee can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4849.
John Podhoretz weighs in on why the traditional media is all in a snit these days. This make for some interesting reading. - Sailor
by John Podhoretz
New York Post
August 30, 2004 -- THERE'S a lot of argle- bargle about how this election will be about who has the best plan for the future. You'll hear President Bush on Thursday lay out a detailed agenda for his second term, in part to address that argle-bargle.
And it won't matter a whit.
This election is about one thing and one thing only: Which of the two candidates is best suited to be this nation's commander in chief.
And as we speak, a 2004 election plotline is developing among those who wish to see George W. Bush defeated. The plotline is this: The efforts by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to cast doubt on John Kerry's war record may be the tipping point of this campaign in Bush's favor. And if indeed that is so, the rage that liberals and Democrats will direct toward Bush will be something terrible to see.
At a panel discussion yesterday on the press and the election at the Harvard Club, two media doyens — Joe Klein of Time and David Gergen of U.S. News — pronounced themselves frightened by this prospect and the damage it might do to our democracy.
Others on the panel — Al Hunt of the Wall Street Journal and Jill Abramson of The New York Times — fretted about the capacity of the mainstream media to play the role of fact-finding truth-teller in an age dominated by cable news and the Internet.
I was on the panel too, and I feel like I was the only one who didn't arrive at the Harvard Club riding on my pet dinosaur.
I've been listening to mainstream-media types talk about the terrible threat posed to the news business by one new phenomenon or other since I began my career 22 years ago. The complaint is invariably, and drearily, the same: Whatever is new is bad because it supposedly lowers the historically high standards of the mainstream media.
The last two years in particular have seen the explosion of a new medium — the personal Internet newspaper, or blog — that has already and will forever change the way people get their information.
This is a thrilling development — unless you are a mainstream-media Big Fish.
The success of the Swift-boat vets' ads is the tale of the triumph of the nation's alternative media. The mainstreamers didn't want to touch the story with a 10-foot pole, and they didn't. But the alternative media did. Amateur reporters and fact-gatherers offered independent substantiation for some of the charges. It turned out the criticisms of the Swifties weren't quite so easily dismissed.
Because there was new information coming out every day, there was more and more to discuss on talk radio and cable news channels. And the story just wouldn't go away, because millions of people were interested in it.
This democratization of the news is clearly a good thing, if only because it increases available sources of information in a democracy.
But it isn't a good thing if you're a proud part of an Establishment whose authority is being eroded and whose control of the marketplace is being successfully challenged.
What these Establishment-media types will never do — what they can never do — is consider the possibility that the 24-hour news cycle and the rise of talk radio and the Internet are all positive developments.
And I would argue they can't consider that possibility — not only because their platforms are slowly sliding into the quicksand, but because these alternative phenomena have been of great benefit to conservative ideas, anti-liberal attitudes and Republican politicians.
They hate the Swift-boat story. Hate it with a passion. Some of it's based in genuine conviction. Some of it's patently ideological. And some of it's based in fear. They are worried the bell is beginning to toll for them, and they're right.
Dick Morris has some interesting insights on the election. Here are his thoughts on a Bush bounce and why the poodle did not have one. - Sailor
BUSH BOUNCE A'BUILDING
by Dick Morris
New York Post
August 30, 2004 -- AFTER one of the weakest convention performances in memory, John Kerry has had the worst post-convention period since Walter Mondale found himself defending Geraldine Ferraro's husband's business accounting in 1984.
Even before the gavel pounds opening the 2004 Republican Convention, the Kerry bounce is over and President Bush enters the first day of his conclave with a lead in most national polls. (He's four ahead in the L.A. Times poll and three up in Rasmussen's daily tracking survey.)
What did Kerry do wrong?
* He stressed war in his convention speech, erasing the domestic-policy focus imparted by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. He became one of the only presidential candidates since Barry Goldwater to lose points during his acceptance speech.
* He made so much fuss over Vietnam that he legitimized the attacks on his war record. What would have been dismissed as right-wing hysteria became mainstream politics because Kerry made his Swift-boat record admissible and relevant to his credibility.
* He did not have any bold new programs to unveil after his convention was over. He had no post-convention game plan.
* He forgot that he had served in the Senate and spent all of 22 seconds elucidating his accomplishments in 20 years in that august body.
What has Bush done right?
* He seems to be pacifying Iraq. Combat deaths in July were a third of the April total and 50 percent lower than in May.
* The success of the U.S.-U.K.-Pakistani military operations in unearthing al Qaeda plans demonstrated his skill as a wartime leader and his success in protecting us.
* He stayed away from the Swift-boat fight and let Kerry and the vets duke it out.
So where is all this heading? If Bush uses his convention skillfully to highlight his homeland-security record and uses Sen. Zell Miller, his keynoter, to attack Kerry's Senate record, he should emerge in great shape.
After four days of Republican rhetoric, it is not fanciful to hope that Bush ends up with an 8- to 10-point margin over Kerry — 52-53 percent for Bush vs. 43-44 percent for Kerry.
After the convention? Expect the lead to shrink a bit in the early days of September, but to grow to robust proportions again when the "third convention" is held — the anniversary of 9/11.
Spurred by the emotion and patriotism that will surround this grim annual event, Bush will probably take a good size lead into the debates that begin in mid-September and run until early October.
How will Bush do in the debates? My bet is: quite well. Will Kerry be able to close in October? My bet is: yes, but not all the way. But that uncertainty is what makes politics fun, especially this year.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Who's to blame for nation's Vietnam wounds? Kerry
August 29, 2004
BY MARK STEYN
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Every serious nation, in the course of history, loses a war here and there. You hope it's there rather than here -- somewhere far away, a small conflict in a distant land, not central to your country's sense of itself. During America's ''Vietnam era,'' Britain grappled with a number of nasty colonial struggles. Some they won -- Malaya -- and others they lost -- Aden -- or, at any rate, concluded that the cost of achieving whatever it was they wanted to achieve was no longer worth it.
No parallels are exact, but the symbolism of the transfer of power in Aden (on the Arabian coast) is not dissimilar to the fall of Saigon. On Nov. 29, 1967, the Union Jack was lowered over the city, and the high commissioner, his staff and all her majesty's forces left. On Nov. 30, the People's Republic of South Yemen was proclaimed -- the only avowedly Marxist state in Arabia. A couple of years earlier, the penultimate high commissioner, Sir Richard Turnbull, had remarked bleakly to Denis Healey, the British Defense secretary, that the British empire would be remembered for only two things: ''the popularization of Association Football [soccer] and the term 'f-- off.' "
Sir Richard was being a little hard on his fellow imperialists, but those two legacies of empire are useful ways of looking at the situation when the natives are restless and you're a long way from home: Faraway disputes you're stuck in the middle of aren't played by the rules of Association Football, and it's important to know when to "f-- off.'' Aden had been British since 1839: that's 130 years, or 10 times as long as America was mixed up in Vietnam. And yet in the end the British shrugged it off. Just one of those things, old boy. Can't be helped. As the last high commissioner inspected his troops at Khormaksar Airport on that final day, the band of the Royal Marines played not ''Land Of Home And Glory'' or ''Rule, Britannia'' but a Cockney novelty pop song, ''Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be,'' as a jaunty reflection on the vicissitudes of fate.
So when John McCain sternly warns the swift boat veterans of ''reopening the wounds of Vietnam,'' it's worth asking: Why is Vietnam a ''wound'' and why won't it heal? The answer: not because it was a military or strategic defeat but because it was a national trauma. And whose fault is that?
Well, you can't pin it all on one person, but, if you had to, Lt. John F. Kerry would stand a better shot at taking the solo trophy than almost anyone. The ''wounds'' McCain complains of aren't from losing Vietnam, but from the manner in which it was lost. Today Sen. Kerry says he's proud of his anti-war activism, but that's not what it was. Every war has pacifists and conscientious objectors and even disenchanted veterans, but there's simply no precedent for what John Kerry did: a man who put his combat credentials to the service of smearing his country's entire armed forces as rapists, decapitators and baby killers. That's the ''wound,'' Sen. McCain. That's why a crummy little war on the other side of the world still festers. That's why the band didn't play ''Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be'' and move on to the next item of business. Because Kerry didn't just call for U.S. withdrawal, he impugned the honor of every man he served with.
In his testimony to Congress in 1971, Kerry asserted a scale of routine war crimes unparalleled in American history -- his ''band of brothers'' (as he now calls them) ''personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads . . . razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.'' Almost all these claims were unsupported. Indeed, the only specific example of a U.S. war criminal that Kerry gave was himself. As he said on ''Meet The Press'' in April 1971, ''Yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I used 50-caliber machineguns, which we were granted and ordered to use.''
Really? And when was that? On your top-secret Christmas Eve mission in Cambodia? If they'd taken him at his word, when the senator said ''I'm John Kerry reporting for duty,'' the delegates at the Democratic Convention should have dived for cover.
But they didn't. So Kerry is now the first self-confessed war criminal in the history of the Republic to be nominated for president. Normally this would be considered an electoral plus only in the more cynical banana republics. But the Democrats seemed to think they could run an anti-war anti-hero as a war hero and nobody would mind. As we now know, a lot of people -- a lot of veterans -- do mind, very much. They understand that, whether or not he ever mowed down civilians with his 50-caliber machinegun, Kerry is responsible for a lot of wounds closer to home.
In the usual course of events, Kerry's terrible judgment in the '70s would render him unelectable. Instead, over two decades he morphed into a respectably dull run-of-the-mill pompous senatorial windbag. Had he run for president in the '90s or 2000, he might even have pulled it off. But the Democrats turned to him this time because the tortured contradictions of his resume suited an anti-war party that didn't dare run as such. Ever since the first cries of ''Quagmire!'' back in the early days of the Afghan liberation in 2001, the left have been trying to Vietnamize the war on terror. They failed in that, but they succeeded in the Vietnamization of the election campaign, and that's turned out just swell, hasn't it? Remember that formulation a lot of Democrats were using last year? They oppose the war but ''of course'' they support our troops. Kerry's campaign is a walking illustration of the deficiencies of that straddle: When you divorce the heroism of soldiering from the justice of the cause, what's left but a hollow braggart?
The Vietnamese government used Kerry's 1971 testimony as evidence of American war crimes as recently as two months ago. In Aden, Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be, but in Hanoi Kerry's psychodrama-queen performance is a gift that keeps on giving. It would be a shame if they understood him more clearly than the American people do.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
Sign up at the following site: Veterans For Bush
Let's send the poodle a message he will not soon forget.
Pass this along to all you can! - Sailor
From the September 6, 2004 issue:
The radicalism of the young John Kerry.
by Mackubin Thomas Owens
09/06/2004, Volume 009, Issue 48
We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans' Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the "greater glory of the United States." We will not accept the rhetoric. We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars--in fact, we will find it hard to join anything at all and when we do, we will demand relevancy such as other organizations have recently been unable to provide. We will not take solace from the creation of monuments or the naming of parks after a select few of the thousands of dead Americans and Vietnamese. We will not uphold the traditions which decorously memorialize that which was base and grim. . . . We are asking America to turn from false glory, hollow victory, fabricated foreign threats, fear which threatens us as a nation, shallow pride which feeds of fear. John F. Kerry Epilogue to The New Soldier (1971)
WHEN THE VIETNAM VETERANS' MEMORIAL was unveiled in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s, there was a great deal of talk about "healing" the divisions of the Vietnam war. The controversy generated by the anti-Kerry book Unfit for Command and ads run by an organization called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth criticizing John Kerry's record in Vietnam and his actions after he returned indicates that there is still a lot of "healing" to do. Indeed, the divisions over the Vietnam war may well never heal as long as those who fought it and those who protested it are still alive. This is because the very act of remembering Vietnam places one in the midst of a culture war.
On the one side in this culture war are those who believe that Vietnam wasn't very different from other wars. The cause was just, but it was as affected by ambiguities as any other war, including World War II. In the end, the U.S. defeat was the result of strategic failure, not moral failure. Those who fought it were doing their duty as they saw it, just as their fathers and grandfathers had done theirs when the times demanded it of them.
On the other side are those for whom the Vietnam war represented the very essence of evil. The United States had no business fighting this war and could never have won it. It was not like other wars. All it did was wreck lives, American and Vietnamese. It was one continuous atrocity. War crimes were par for the course. Those who fought it were different from those who fought the "good war." They returned home psychologically if not physically crippled--homeless, drug addicted, and likely to commit suicide.
Some on the anti-Vietnam side have moderated their views in light of what happened in the aftermath of the U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia. They stipulate that they were wrong about communism. The cost of American defeat was high, especially to the South Vietnamese and Cambodians. The price of South Vietnam's "liberation" was, in addition to Saigon's war dead, a minimum of 100,000 summary executions at the hands of the Communist liberators, a million and a half "boat people," a like number of individuals sentenced to "reeducation camps," genocide in Cambodia, and a perceived shift in the "correlation of forces" that encouraged Soviet adventurism throughout the 1970s. But as Mickey Kaus admitted in an essay that appeared in Slate in May 2001 amid the furor over whether the killing of certain civilians by men under the command of former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey amounted to a war crime, those who had moderated their antiwar views still wanted to be honored for their "idealism": "The Thanh Phong story," Kaus wrote, "reminds us that avoiding serving in Vietnam had an honorable and realistic ethical basis (in addition to its realistic selfish basis)."
But others on the anti-Vietnam side of the culture war continue to take their bearings, either directly or indirectly, from the hard-core opinion of those who believe that the Vietnam war represented all that is evil about America--capitalistic exploitation, racism, and imperialism. Noam Chomsky and H. Bruce Franklin exemplify this view. As the latter writes in "The Vietnam War and the Culture Wars," Vietnam, far from being "an aberration, some kind of wayward 'mistake' by a nation long leading the world's march to progress," instead "typified the nation's history from colonial settler regime to global empire." Indeed, for Franklin, the Vietnam war was the culmination of the 600-year-old European crusade to oppress people of color throughout the globe--thus the mass murderer Lt. William Calley (My Lai) was only the latest manifestation of the spirit of that earlier mass murderer, Christopher Columbus.
During his presidential campaign, John Kerry has sought to portray himself as a member of the first group--a veteran proud of his service in Vietnam. In his remarks on July 25 at the Democratic National Convention, Kerry said, "We [veterans] fought for this nation because we loved it. . . . I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as president." But this sentiment is completely at odds with his infamous testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971, wherein he said he and those he spoke for were "ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia. . . . And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom . . . is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy."
The fact is that most Americans have no idea how radical Kerry's views on Vietnam were. His April 1971 Senate testimony (reprinted in full on pages 9-12) could have been written by Chomsky or Franklin. But the larger reality is even more troubling.
In his indispensable America in Vietnam, Guenter Lewy notes the establishment of a veritable war-crimes industry, supported by the Soviet Union, as early as 1965. As Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former Romanian intelligence chief, has recounted, the Soviets set up permanent international organizations--including the International War Crimes Tribunal and the Stockholm Conference on Vietnam--"to aid or to conduct operations to help Americans dodge the draft or defect, to demoralize its army with anti-American propaganda, to conduct protests, demonstrations, and boycotts, and to sanction anyone connected with the war."
Pacepa claims to have been responsible for fabricating stories about U.S. atrocities in Vietnam and "flacking" them to Western news organizations. Lewy writes that "the Communists made skillful use of their worldwide propaganda apparatus . . . and they found many Western intellectuals only too willing to accept every conceivable allegation of [American] wrongdoing at face value." The Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), a small, radical group that never exceeded a membership of 7,000 (including John Kerry) from a pool of nearly 3 million Vietnam (and 9 million Vietnam-era) veterans, essentially "Americanized" Soviet propaganda. When he testified before the Senate in 1971, Kerry was merely repeating charges that had been making the rounds since 1965.
Kerry also claimed that containing communism was no reason to fight in Vietnam.
In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. . . . I want to relate to you the feeling that many of the men who have returned to this country express because we are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against communism.
We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from. We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy.
Perhaps this perspective explains the fact that John Kerry, as he proudly told the Senate, met with the North Vietnamese and Vietcong delegations in Paris in May 1970. According to his testimony, he discussed the peace proposals advanced by the North Vietnamese--especially the eight points of Madame Binh. This all took place while Americans were still fighting and dying in Vietnam. Shortly before Kerry's Senate testimony, other representatives of the VVAW met with the North Vietnamese and VC delegations in Paris.
MANY OF KERRY'S DEFENDERS contend that anti-Kerry veterans have no right to criticize his speaking out against the war, especially in view of his service in that war. But it is not his protests against the war that anger veterans so much as his method of doing so. In a recent NPR editorial, James Webb, a genuine hero of the Vietnam war (Navy Cross), the author of Fields of Fire, the best novel about Vietnam, and secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration, observed:
For most veterans it was not that Kerry was against the war, but that he used his military credentials to denigrate the service of a whole generation of veterans. The Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a very small, highly radical organization. Their stories of atrocious conduct, repeated in lurid detail by Kerry before the Congress, represented not the typical experience of the American soldier, but its ugly extreme. That the articulate, urbane Kerry would validate such allegations helped to make life hell for many Vietnam veterans, for a very long time.
There were many individuals who returned from Vietnam troubled about the war. Some were critical of U.S. strategy, operations, and tactics in Vietnam. Others came to believe the war was wrong on moral grounds. But most did not slander their comrades using language that mirrored Soviet or Vietnamese Communist propaganda. Most did not consort with the enemy in a time of war. It was possible to oppose the war without doing what Kerry did.
Look at a contemporary example. On the one hand, there are those whose criticism of Iraq is fueled by a visceral hatred for the American polity. For these critics, the war in Iraq is all about oil and Halliburton, just one more manifestation of American imperialism--Bush is Hitler and the United States is "Amerikkka." This is the perspective of Michael Moore, Ramsey Clark, and MoveOn.org.
On the other hand, there are many thoughtful people who oppose U.S. policy in Iraq. This group includes individuals I greatly admire and whose judgment I would rarely gainsay, such as the aforementioned Jim Webb (a good friend) and retired Marine general Anthony Zinni, former commander of Central Command. Both criticize the policy and strategy decisions of the Bush administration and express concern about the risks associated with these policies. They don't employ the language of the Bush-haters to denounce the United States for conducting an immoral and unjust war.
Kerry's actions after Vietnam are reminiscent of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org today.
It was not enough for him merely to criticize U.S. policy in Vietnam. He and his friends in the VVAW were obliged by their radicalism to go after the United States itself.
Kerry could have defused much of the controversy regarding his postwar activities had he simply apologized for his remarks. But he insists on having it both ways: war hero and courageous war protester. The closest he has come was to respond in April 2004 on Meet the Press to Tim Russert's query about the testimony by saying, "I'm not going to quibble, you know, 35 years later that I might not have phrased things more artfully at times."
I will not question Kerry's record in Vietnam. But his actions after the war are a different matter. After all, his radical views regarding Vietnam are not simply of historical interest. As the Wall Street Journal recently observed, Kerry's denunciation of the United States in 1971 "presaged a career in which he has always been quick to attack the moral and military purposes of American policy--in Central America, against the Soviet Union, and of course during the current Iraq war that he initially voted for."
Mackubin Thomas Owens is professor of national security at the Naval War College. He led a Marine infantry platoon in Vietnam in 1968-69.
Friday, August 27, 2004
Kerry Calls GOP 527s Foul But Not Dems'
Posted August 26, 2004
By Marie Horrigan
The resignation Wednesday of an attorney tied to both President Bush's re-election campaign and a so-called 527 political organization had Democrats crying foul, while
Republicans said it is just another example of their opponents' double standard.
Ben Ginsberg stepped down from his position as the Bush-Cheney campaign's national counsel Wednesday with a letter that defended the legality of providing aid to the anti-Kerry organization Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, saying the conflict over the issue had become "a distraction from the critical issues at hand in this election."
Ken Mehlman, chairman of Bush-Cheney '04, described Ginsberg's resignation as "an example of a decent public servant who understood the entrenched double standard in the media's examination of the relationship between campaigns and outside interest groups."
Democrats, however, charged the development did not end what they have said are illegal ties between the Bush campaign and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but have refused repeated calls for comment on their own connections to anti-Bush 527s.
Ginsberg's resignation "only confirms the extent of those connections," Kerry-Edwards campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill said in a statement.
"Now we know why George Bush refuses to specifically condemn these false ads. People deeply involved in his own campaign are behind them, from paying for them, to appearing in them, to providing legal advice."
But while Democrats continue to hammer the Republicans for their connections, the Bush-Cheney campaign has issued its own statement outlining the "Top 10 Connections Between John Kerry and 527s."
Like Mehlman, Bush re-election campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel told United Press International that people need to look into the Democrats and their coordination with 527s.
"The real question surrounds this sort of revolving door of campaign strategists between the Kerry campaign and the Democratic 527s," Stanzel said.
"I mean, there are campaign workers who have had access to polling data, who had access to strategic campaign decisions, who are now propping up the Kerry campaign on the outside through their soft-money spending in these shadowy third-party groups.
"Those relationships raise serious questions about their ability to credibly deny coordinating activities."
Stanzel pointed to former Kerry campaign manager and longtime Democratic activist Jim Jordan, who is involved with both the Media Fund and America Coming Together. Both are among the top 10 best-funded 527s. The Media Fund has approximately $28 million, while ACT has about $26 million, according to their most recent filings with the Internal Revenue Service.
Harold Ickes, former deputy chief of staff during the Clinton administration and a member of the Democratic National Committee's executive committee, heads the Media Fund.
"Harold Ickes has even admitted he has told the Kerry campaign what he is doing in his 527 activities," Stanzel said.
Media Fund Executive Director Eric Smith worked with Kerry Deputy Campaign Manager Steve Elmendorf on the primary campaign for Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and attorney Bob Bauer serves a counsel both to the Kerry campaign and ACT, Stanzel said.
"So their claims that they are not coordinating activities are laughable at best."
Since the weekend, Republicans have been warning that their adversaries intend to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, although the FEC told UPI it has not received a complaint.
Kerry campaign adviser Michael Meehan has not returned UPI's numerous calls for comment on the issue.
Republicans in fact filed a complaint about what they said is blatant coordination between the Kerry campaign and groups such as ACT and the Media Fund. The FEC decided effectively to shelve the issue until after November's election.
Late last week the commission also voted in favor of rules closing some of the loopholes governing 527s, including a $5,000 limit on donations by individuals. The rules, however, will not go into effect until 2006.
Federal law governing what constitutes "coordination" is fairly stringent. The activities must satisfy a three-part test regarding who pays for the communication, whether it reasonably can be said to be connected to an election, and a conduct standard for the parties involved.
The FEC has defined coordinated political communication as that "made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the suggestion of" a candidate or the political party committee or their agents.
FEC spokesman Ian Stirton would not comment on the validity of hypothetical cases such as that of the Kerry campaign, but Stanzel categorically denied any coordination between the president's campaign and any third-party group.
"There has never been any coordination between Bush-Cheney '04 and any 527 organization," he said.
But although the Kerry campaign has been on the offensive in terms of pointing out connections between the Republicans and groups such as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- which has less than $200,000 -- it has been slower in talking about its own ties.
MARIE HORRIGAN is Deputy Americas Editor for UPI, a sister news asgency of Insight.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Senators' Letter to Dubya--and How He Should Respond
Written by Doc Farmer
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Editor’s Note: Yesterday, former senator and wounded Vietnam veteran Max Cleland went to Crawford, Texas, to deliver a letter written by seven Senators (who also were veterans), to ask President Bush to condemn the actions of the 527 committee, ''Swift Boat Veterans For Truth.'' Their letter is immediately below. Our resident curmudgeon, Doc Farmer, read the letter and wondered how President Bush might wish to respond. Here’s what he came up with [the text in blue]....)
Dear President Bush,
We, the undersigned members of the United States Senate call on you to specifically condemn the recent attack ads and accompanying campaign which dishonor Senator John Kerry's combat record in the Vietnam War. These false charges represent the worst kind of politics, and we agree with both Senator John McCain and Senator Kerry that a firmly established service record in the United States Military is fully above reproach. As veterans of the armed services, we ask that you recognize this blatant attempt at character assassination, and publicly condemn it.
Our outrage over these advertisements and tactics has nothing to do with the tax code or campaign finance reform efforts of this nation. Our pain from seeing these slanderous attacks stems from something much more fundamental, that if one veteran's record is called into question, the service of all American veterans is questioned. This administration must not tacitly comply with unfounded accusations which have suddenly appeared 35 years after the fact, and serve to denigrate the service of a true American patriot. The veterans serving today should never have to expect this kind of treatment, when the wars of their generation have passed into history. We brothers and sisters in arms expect our Commander in Chief to stand up and reject this assault upon John Kerry's honor, the honor of American veterans and that of the United States Navy.
As you yourself have said, there is nothing complicated about supporting our troops, and the leaders of this nation should make it clear that the members of our military will not only be supported when they wear the uniform, but also when they return home to the land they fought to defend. Their valor and their wounds, both physical and psychological, make them heroes for as long as they live, a status which should not and must not change simply because they seek to enter public service. We senators and congressmen who wore the uniform served in different branches of the military and belong to different political parties, but we join together today to defend a fellow veteran from attacks we know to be false, and politically-motivated slander that has no place in our democratic process.
Mr. President, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, we believe you owe a special duty to America's combat veterans when they are under false and scurrilous attacks. We hope you will recognize this duty, and speak out against this group and their efforts to smear the reputation of a man who has served this country nobly.
Call on this group to cease and desist. We can return this campaign season to a discussion of the issues on either side, and restore faith in the political system. As Americans, we should expect nothing less.
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Sen. Ernest ''Fritz'' Hollings (D-SC)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IO)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Sen. Tom Carper D-DE)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Thank you for your letter today. I'm sorry I could not come to pick it up myself, but I was engaged in work that is more important. If Laura and I don't get the dusting finished in the den, well, the consequences just don’t bear thinking about.
I understand you wish me to specifically condemn the recent ads of a 527 committee which have been making claims about my opponent's military record while he served for four months in Vietnam. Although I have never made such claims, and indeed have praised Senator Kerry's service to our nation, you seven veterans have come to me to ask that I restrain the rights of over 250 veterans, and thousands more hardworking American citizens, which would be in direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America--a Constitution that I swore to preserve, protect, and defend. And, if you'll recall your oaths of office, you also swore to preserve, protect, and defend that selfsame Constitution.
As legislators, you should recognize that what you are asking me to do specifically violates the Campaign Finance Reform Act. For me, as a presidential candidate, to single out any specific 527 committee or group of committees and condemn or praise its actions, or to directly communicate to its members, would violate both the spirit and the letter of the McCain-Feingold Act. I would remind you that Senator Kerry, as a presidential candidate, has made specific condemnations of certain 527 committee advertisements, and that IS a violation of McCain-Feingold. He has even gone so far as to personally telephone at least one member of a 527 committee to express his opinion about the committee's actions. I am puzzled, quite frankly, why you would urge me to break a law that you yourselves were instrumental in passing through Congress, and why you do not speak out against your fellow senator’s breach of the Campaign Finance Reform Act.
For quite some time--almost a year now--527 committee ads have been running. They have been coming primarily from pro-Kerry or pro-Democratic Party committees, and have said some rather bad things about me.
To be described as a terrorist, a Hitler, a murderer, a tyrant, a murderer, and other vile metaphors has not been a pleasant experience, but I have not called out for those ads or those committees to be censured. To do so would have violated the law. As Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the United States, a president does not have that luxury.
I would remind you that I also am a veteran. I served with pride in the Texas Air National Guard. The National Guard is an honorable and vital part of this mation’s defense, and should never be taken lightly or dismissed as less important.
I have called, for quite some time, for all 527 committees to cease their hateful advertisements. This does not violate the law, since a blanket statement covering all committees (regardless of their message) violates neither the spirit nor the letter of the McCain-Feingold law. I don’t believe any of us expected this obscure IRS rule to be used in such a fashion, and I would hope that you would work with me in the next congressional session to amend the Campaign Finance Reform law to close this unfortunate loophole.
You spoke of Senator Kerry’s service to our nation, and I have never said a bad word against this. However, those who have made these so-called ''attack'' ads you have written to complain about would appear to have some serious questions about Senator Kerry’s service, including the circumstances surrounding his various medals. You stated that if one veteran’s service is questioned then all are questioned. This is not quite correct. If one veteran’s service is proven to be dishonorable, he or she has sullied not only his or her name, but the name of every man and woman who has worn our nation’s uniform with pride and excellence. If valid questions are raised about the service of any member of our military, those questions must be investigated in order to find the truth.
Gentlemen, the truth is more important than political ambition or ego.
Considering the fact that many decorated veterans have raised important questions about Senator Kerry’s service while in uniform, in Vietnam, and afterwards, I would believe that the honorable senator would not wish to rest until his service record were fully examined. As you recall, many had asked for my service records after several unfounded queries about my time in the Texas Air National Guard. Although I thought previously that all the records had been released, I was informed that this was not the case and took steps to ensure that every available bit of information was put forward to finally put the issue to rest. Perhaps Mr. Kerry should consider completing a similar action, and sign a Form 180 to release all of his records for public scrutiny. This might also help him in the investigations currently being raised by Judicial Watch.
Your letter states that veterans should expect to be supported not only when they wear the uniform, but also when they return home to the land they fought to defend. I heartily agree. Our military deserve no less than the best, especially during a time of war. This makes Senator Kerry’s action to vote against the $87 million military appropriation during the Iraq war quite puzzling to me. Further, Senator Kerry’s testimony before the United States Senate in 1971, under oath, where he described his fellow Vietnam-era soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines as '''war criminals'' or ''baby killers'' when there was no factual basis upon which to make those statements, I something I find quite disturbing (not to mention perjurous). These statements were used by the enemy to further coerce, harm, and torture American prisoners of war still in North Vietnamese custody. In addition, Senator Kerry, while still a member of the Ready Reserve of the United States Navy, apparently went to Paris, France, to engage in personal negotiations with the North Vietnamese. This occurred while America was still at war with the communist North Vietnamese government. Perhaps, the next time you see Senator Kerry (when will he be visiting the Senate chambers again? I’m sure you must miss him terribly) you could remind him of Article III Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States of America. Remember, the Constitution you (and he) swore to preserve, protect and defend?
By the way, it has come to my attention that Senator Kerry apparently never showed up for any of his required training and service dates while in the Navy Reserves. As veterans, you are probably aware that all members of the Navy at that time, when moved from active duty to the Ready Reserves, were required to attend 48 drills and 17 days of active duty per year. However, we’ve been unable to determine whether then Lt. (jg) Kerry completed those requirements. From all available evidence, it would appear that Senator Kerry was absent without official leave for those dates. Next time you see him, perhaps you’d give him a nudge and remind him gently of his obligation.
As President and Commander in Chief, it is my sacred duty and privilege to defend the rights of all those in uniform, as well as those who have served their country with honor. My duty is to defend all of them, and defend them I will with every last ounce of my strength. I will defend their honor, their service, and their word. If any of them have sullied that honor, service, or are found to have lied regarding their service or the service of others, I will take every action within my power to ensure that they are punished to the fullest extent of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and/or applicable federal statutes.
I’m sorry that I cannot fulfill your request to ask any individual or group to cease and desist their political ads. I hope you understand that I cannot, in good conscience, break the law just to salve another presidential candidate’s bruised ego.
About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in Indiana. Doc receives e-mail at
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
The Soros-Kerry Connection
Written by Doc Farmer
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Politics is an ugly business. Politics also makes for rather bizarre bedfellows. In terms of vitriol, spite, chutzpah, and sheer hit-for-way-too-long-with-an-ugly-stick repulsiveness, 2004 has plumbed new depths. It started in 2003, before the lib/dem/soc/commie candidate had even been selected from the gang of nine, with well-financed hatred focused on one man.
For a year, we’ve heard the same refrain. ABB – Anybody But Bush. Anybody could include Saddam, Hitler, bin Laden, Mao, Stalin, etc., but for the lib/dem/soc/commies, Hey, that’d be just fine. Besides, they’re all closer to the political stance of the lib/dem/soc/commies of today anyhow. Bush was a deserter, or AWOL, or a coward, or a terrorist, or a fascist, or a chickenhawk, or whatever other derogatory terms the so-called left could pull out of its political thesaurus.
Lib/dem/soc/commies got away with this. The 527 committees, the bastard child of that unfortunate McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law, were running roughshod over minor issues like the truth. Well, that’s par for the course, I suppose – this is politics we’re talking about. Nobody in the media seemed to question these ads. Oh, a few talking heads would lament how negative the ads were becoming. Odd thing, though – they always referred to Dubya’s ads. The ones that asked direct questions about his opponents in the election, about policies, about votes, about absences. Ooooh, that’s really negative! Only lib/dem/soc/commies could be fearful of the truth. It’s like sunlight to vampires for those jokers.
The 527s (the number coming from some obscure IRS subchapter shinola or other) had specific rules about how to be managed, how to be paid for, and how candidates could relate to them. The money was no problem – 527s could suck in as much cash as any donors wished to funnel in. Chief among the donors was one George Soros. A financier, an immigrant, an enigma wrapped in a puzzle cloaked in a crappy suit. A billionaire, or so we’ve all been told, who saw George W. Bush as the most dangerous thing to happen to the planet since the Paulie Shore movie marathon.
Mr. Soros decided that he would pledge money to several of these 527 committees. To the tune of $12.7 MILLION. That we know of. A very expensive tune, wouldn’t you say? Yet, nobody blinked an eye on the lib/dem/soc/commie side, except to wipe away a tear of gratitude and kiss Mr. Soros’ ring. Money was funneled into MoveOn.org (odd name, since it has never seemed able to ''move on'' from Slick Willie’s impeachment or Gore’s electoral loss), MoveOn PAC, Americans Coming Together (to defeat Dubya, it would seem), and probably others that none of us have even heard of before.
All of this money, because one guy – one – doesn’t like Dubya.
Now, if that were the end of it, we’d all be rather bored. Yes, yes, trash Dubya, yawn, move along please, next ad, etc. But then, a funny thing happened. Not funny ha-ha, but funny infuriating for the lib/dem/soc/commies. Which is funny ha-ha to me. Well, a bit, anyway. A group of American citizens – not rich power brokers, just regular folks – who decided to use the same law as the lib/dem/soc/commies and tell what they know about the opposing candidate’s service in Vietnam. These were men who served with the candidate, who fought along side him, ate, slept, joked, laughed, cried, and went through the worst kind of hell together.
These men were the core of the ''Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.'' They filed affidavits, and swore under oath about what they witnessed all those years ago. They wrote a book, they made a TV commercial, and they aired it in a few key states where the Bush/Kerry vote is extremely critical.
The lib/dem/soc/commies went mad with rage!
How DARE these people question their candidate’s patriotism and service? How DARE they fund an ad with money from a Texas house builder, who ponied up around $100,000 (or 1/127th of what George Soros had shelled out for a year’s worth of hate-speak)? The lib/dem/soc/commies began a furtive search for any possible links between the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush campaign. Oh, the Humanity! the Kerry Camp cried, as it shifted into full female canine mode. It scrambled and found that a volunteer for the Bush campaign had shown up in the second TV ad the Swift Vets had produced. When the Bush campaign found out, the guy was gone. Still, though, the squealing of the impaled suidaens continued.
Yet not a peep about George Soros. Not a whisper about the manifold 527s that have been dragging America’s President and Commander in Chief for the better part of a year. Not a single investigation into the linkages between Jean François Kerrée and the committees who have been at his political beck and call.
When my editor came to me last week and asked me about an article on George Soros, I did my best to investigate the potential linkages between him and these committees. There was a lot of information on that subject. However, there was little in the way of direct linkage between Kerry and Soros. Oh, if you do a Google search, you’ll find umpteen-thousand articles and web pages that mention the two. You’ll find almost nothing that shows how those two camps are intertwined.
Of course, I’m not a reporter or an investigative journalist. I’m a columnist – a professional kvetch, if you will, who finds things to crab about and puts them into a (hopefully) informative and enjoyable format. I don’t have the background to dig up dirt on people.
However, to my considerable relief this evening, NewsMax.com does. It has put together a rather telling (and well resourced) article that links some rather disturbing issues. A bit of cross-selling (ya want fries wit’ dat?) between the 527s and the DNC. You can find the article at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/8/23/153719.shtml but to make a long story short, MoveOn.org and their ilk are BUSTED!
I particularly liked the irony that the Bush campaign released Col. Cordier immediately upon learning of his participation in a Swift Vet ad, when coupled with the fact that Kerry wouldn’t fire Zach Exley who used to be a DIRECTOR at MoveOn.org. Or, lest we forget, Jim Jordan who used to be the Kerry campaign king only to move onward and upward to Media Fund, another anti-Dubya 527 committee.
Despite all of that evidence, the lib/dem/soc/commie media continue to swing the camera away from the manifold Kerry/527 connections and focus instead on the miniscule or imagined Bush/527 connections. Even Fox News, that supposed kingpin of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, has Bill O’Reilly bloviating on about how bad or wrong the Swift Boat Veterans are, despite the fact they are providing sworn testimony that Kerry has not provided. O’Reilly looks to official Navy documents to discount the Swift Vets, but doesn’t seem to fathom that the documents were based on after-action reports written by a self-aggrandizing political opportunist who didn’t give a rat’s rear end about America, our troops, our POWs or anything other than himself. O’Reilly’s blindness is disturbing, but sadly it is less than surprising.
Now that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have struck a nerve, the lib/dem/soc/commies are screaming and writhing in pain, demanding that we all join hands and start singing Kum-Bay-Yah, returning to a kinder, gentler campaign. The president is asking that all 527 committees cease and desist, while Kerry only seems to be concerned about the ones sticking the pins in their Lurch voodoo dolls.
To which I say, Tough! The lib/dem/soc/commies have 527s that have libeled and slandered the president, the vice president, and the nation as a whole. The Swift Boat Veterans have spoken the truth, at a fraction of the cost. If anything, I believe they should press on with their ads. They should be emboldened by the power of their candor, and continue to speak out as their conscience directs them.
Mr. President, I believe you are mistaken on one important point. You’ve stated that Mr. Kerry’s service in Vietnam was honorable. Mr. Kerry’s actual service, however, would appear to have been less than honorable. Although I understand your wish to be gracious to your opponent, to be above the fray, Americans deserve to know the truth about the central point of Mr. Kerry’s campaign – his four short months in Vietnam. Please, don’t hamstring the efforts of honorable and valorous Vietnam veterans who wish to set the record straight.
For those of you who wish to help the ''Swift Boat Veterans For Truth'' continue their campaign, you can donate to their committee at: https://www.swiftvets.com/swift/ccdonation.php?op=donate&site=SwiftVets
About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in Indiana. Doc receives e-mail at