Setting all the swift-boat-purple-heart kerfuffle aside, I continue to wonder-- why is John Kerry still fighting the Vietnam War? We all know he served in Vietnam, however honorably. We also know perfectly well what he did after he returned. There is a museum in Ho Chi Minh City with a photo of John Kerry, in appreciation of his assistance of the communist cause, to remind us.
So why, after thirty or more years, would Kerry insist on making his Vietnam years the very centerpiece of his campaign? Really, the American voters aren't particularly anxious to relive that dark episode in our nation's history. But after months of incessantly telling us that 4 months in a war zone 35 years ago somehow qualifies him to be Commander-in-Chief, it was inevitable that resentful Vietnam veterans would strike back, hard.
And Kerry says, once more, "Bring it on".
What is behind his obsession with Vietnam? Did he not do enough, personally, to bring about his nation's first war defeat? Is he really trying to tell us that he will, indeed, conduct his foreign policy along the lines of his Vietnam-era anti-American utterings? That the United States should never go to war without the guidance and supervision of the United Nations? That we can never strike an enemy unless we are first attacked? That being liked by the international community is more important than the security of his nation's people?
We have been told by Kerry that his anti-war activities were the product of his youth. While he does not exactly disavow his actions and words, he certainly won't publicly embrace them. He wants us to judge him on his record, however.
Not his Senate record, mind you. Nor his post-Vietnam anti-war record. Just the 4 months he spent, serving ever so honorably in Vietnam.
So we are to suppose he was 1) an officer and a gentleman, a patriot through-and-through for 4 months, then 2) a forgivably irresponsible youth for a few years, then 3) suddenly responsible and patriotic once again as a United States Senator.
Never mind the voting record, please. He was too busy negotiating with foreign leaders, crafting alliances and treaties. From his description, essentially conducting foreign policy from a Senate seat. Of course, the United States Constitution (see Article II, Section 2) makes foreign policy the exclusive domain of the President. Ignore that detail, please.
So I ask again, why Vietnam? What he sees as his main strength could well be his biggest weakness. Even if he could convince us that 4 months in a combat zone qualifies him as Command-in-Chief, George Bush's nearly 4 years as the actual Commander-in-Chief is certainly a more obvious qualification. He can't win that horse race.
So why, then, is he fighting the Vietnam War all over again?