Monday, August 23, 2004

The Kerry Campaign Seems to Acknowledge Some . . . Well, Imprecision In The Ol' Candidate Campaign Bio; And Bob Dole; And Chris Hitchens

Oops, They Said

Command Post notes that "the Kerry campaign removed a 20-page batch of documents yesterday from its website after The Boston Globe quoted a Navy officer who said the documents wrongly portrayed Kerry’s service." Read all about it here.

Bob Dole Speaks Up

As Roger L. Simon notes, Bob Dole seems to have gotten this right:

"One day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their
ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons," Dole
said. "The next day he's standing there, 'I want to be president because I'm a
Vietnam veteran.' Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million
veterans who served. He wasn't the only one in Vietnam," said Dole, whose World
War II wounds left him without the use of his right arm. [Note: After
he was wounded Dole lay on the battlefield for nine hours before being
evacuated. He nearly died, and spent over a year in the hospital after he
got back to the USA. And yet all he ever did was make light of his wartime
sacrifice. He never talked about it.]

Dole added: "And here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect
his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of. I mean,
they're all superficial wounds. Three Purple Hearts and you're out."

I think Dole gets to the heart of it. Kerry sounds like a man who acts
as if he were the only one who served in Vietnam. And for that matter, the only
one who protested the war.

Christopher Hitchens notes:

This was a combat of more than 30 years ago, fought with a largely drafted army using indiscriminate tactics and weaponry against a deep-rooted and long-running domestic insurgency. (Agent Orange, for example, was employed to destroy the vegetation in the Mekong Delta and make life easier for the swift boats.) The experience of having fought in such a war is absolutely useless to any American today and has no bearing on any thinkable fight in which the United States could now become engaged. Thus, only the "character" issues involved are of any weight, and these are extremely difficult and subjective matters. If Kerry doesn't like people disputing his own version of his own gallantry, then it was highly incautious of him to have made it the centerpiece of his appeal.


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