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Kerry vs. Kerry

  

The human imagination is an amazing thing to behold, unique in its powers to transform and re-create. And history will provide few better examples of this than that of the current fevered efforts of Presidential hopeful, John F. Kerry, to wholly revamp himself before the glazed eyes of an uncomprehending electorate. Of all the various issues to which he has labored vigorously to recast himself, there is none more outlandish than the campaign to transmogrify his long and well-documented record on matters pertaining to national security and defense. Senator Kerry, we are asked to believe, has suddenly and mysteriously undergone a metamorphosis from unrepentant antiwar dove to that of rock-ribbed, gun-toting slayer of terrorists. Unfortunately, for this acolyte of the anti-Vietnam glory days, his twenty-year record speaks louder than a week or two of campaign rhetoric.

Kerry (in case you haven't heard) served his country in Vietnam. We know this because up until the Swifty ads, he never failed to remind us. It was, for a time (Swifty ads again), the centerpiece of his campaign. John F. Kerry spent four months in Vietnam in 1968 and (apparently) because of that (he assures us) deserves now to be President. Missing from the discussion was any mention of what happened during the last 35 years. Nowhere in the political discourse did Kerry et al offer to review his anti-war activities in the seventies, his voting record in the Senate, or any of the important positions he took during his long political career. Not only was he not particularly forthcoming about his past (excluding the four months in Vietnam), but he and supporters become apoplectic by efforts of opponents to bring to light his record. A perfunctory glance at the evidence explains why…

There was of course the testimonial before Congress in 1971 in which he scandalized the 2.7 million soldiers and sailors who served in Vietnam, by suggesting they were guilty of murder and mayhem along the lines of “Genghis Khan.” This, he never repudiated. He visited Daniel Ortega, the Soviet sponsored “Sandinista” leader in Nicaragua in 1985 to lend legitimacy to the Communist regime at a time when Reagan was supporting the insurgency. Kerry voted to cancel the B-1 and B-2 Stealth Bombers, the F-14A Tomcat, the F-15, the Patriot Missile, the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Trident Missile, the Apache Helicopter - and many others. He has voted dozens of times to cut drastically the size of our Military and Intelligence Services. He opposed sending missiles to Europe (by Reagan) to confront Soviet build-ups at the time, preferring instead the Nuclear Freeze. He vigorously opposed the Reagan military build up and was appalled by Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire.” Kerry voted against authorizing the use of force in the Persian Gulf to liberate Kuwait in 1991 - this, despite a coalition of 34 countries and the blessings of the UN…

More recently, Kerry has been at war - with himself. When support for the War in Iraq was strong, he voted to authorize the use of force. When anti-war candidate, Howard Dean, put pressure on him, he voted against the funding to support the troops. To quote the Senator: “…I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it…” After defeating Dean, he became pro-war again. Later, he once more became anti-war. To quote: It was “…the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time…” He also spoke about bringing the troops home in six months, a real bonus for the terrorists… During the Presidential debates, he was talking tough again, concerned no doubt about falling poll numbers…

Today's Democratic Party, of which John Kerry is its chief exemplar, remains smitten by an anti war, anti defense, September 10 mentality that renders it unfit to lead in a time of war. For them, every war is Vietnam. Every conflict is a quagmire. Our soldiers are not liberators but occupiers (or even worse, criminals). September 11 never happened. America is a sinister force in the world. Our enemies hate us because of our actions. They are opposed to the Patriot Act, military tribunals, and preemption, and every other tool our nation needs to defend itself. They are scandalized by Abu Ghraib and silent about the UN Oil for Food disgrace. They are uncomfortable with American power unless subordinated to the rest of the world...

It is difficult to be in mortal conflict with one's most cherished ideals for the sake of political expediency, but John Kerry cannot hide what he is. While deciding whether to support our military efforts or undermine them, let him ponder this. In less than three years, our Armed Forces (lead by President Bush) have destroyed the Taliban, scattered al Qaeda, captured Saddam Hussein, convinced Moammar Gadhafi to give up his weapons programs (a bonus), and liberated more than 50 million Muslims living under tyranny. Not a bad record. But don't expect to hear that from John Kerry.

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