Monday, August 23, 2004

The Young John F. Kerry

This must have been posted somewhere, but I have never seen it.

In 1970 John Kerry ran unsuccessfully for Congress. (Father Robert Drinan, the fiery liberal Jesuit priest, won the Democratic primary and went on to serve many terms in Congress.) During the campaign, a reporter for the Harvard Crimson interviewed Kerry. It is a most interesting interview. Here's an excerpt:

At Yale, Kerry was chairman of the Political Union and later, as Commencement
speaker, urged the United States to withdraw from Vietnam and to scale down
foreign military operations. And this was way back in 1966.

When he approached his draft board for permission to study for a year in Paris,the draft board refused and Kerry decided to enlist in the Navy. The Navy assigned him to the USS Gridley which between December 1966 and July 1968 saw four months of action off the Vietnam coast. In August through November, 1968, Kerry was trained to be the skipper of a patrol boat for Vietnamese rivers. For the next five months, until April of 1969, Kerry was the commanding Lieutenant of a patrol boat in the Mekong Delta. He was wounded slightly on three different occasions and received a Silver Star for bravery. His patrol boat took part in Operation Sealords, mostly scouting out Viet Cong villages and transporting South Vietnamese marines to various destinations up and down narrow rivers covered with heavy foliage on either side. One time Kerry was ordered to destroy a Viet Cong village but disobeyed orders and suggested that the Navy Command simply send in a Psychological Warfare team to be friend the villagers with food, hospital supplies, and better educational facilities.

But wait a minute. What about all that "Send me!" rubbish Bill Clinton was spouting at the Democratic Convention? It doesn't appear that John Kerry was itching to get into the war, does it? It seems that, like so many people, Kerry tried to get a deferment and when he saw that being drafted was inevitable, he enlisted-- and in the Navy, which everyone knew was the place to be if you wanted to minimize your chances of getting into combat. (In fairness, very few people were itching to get into the Vietnam war. Kerry, however, seems to encourage people to think that he was. It's simply part of his pattern of exaggeration about such things.)

Then there's this:

In America, "everybody who's against the war is suddenly considered
anti-American," Kerry said. "But I don't think they can turn to me and say I
don't know what's going on or I'm a draft dodger." Referring to the House Armed
Services Committee, chaired by L. Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.), Kerry said, "I want to
go down to Washington and confront Mendel Rivers, who never fought in a war."

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? "You didn't fight and I did, so only I can discuss war credibly."

And this:

Kerry said that the United Nations should have control over most of our
foreign military operations. "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our
troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United

Well. Some ideas are formed at an early age, aren't they?

Finally, this:

On other issues, Kerry wants "to almost eliminate CIA activity. The CIA is
fighting its own war in Laos and nobody seems to care." He also favors a
negative income tax and keeping unemployment at a very low level, "even if it
means selective economic controls."

Yup. Looks like the roots of animosity toweards the intelligence services and some ideas about taxes and the economy that place him just a little to the left of George McGovern.

The worrisome thought is that this man could very well become President of the United States.


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