Kerry's bright shining lie

Pat Buchanan:


"Kerry told the Senate that 150 honorably discharged veterans, many of them highly decorated, had 'testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia . . . on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.' As Kerry's lurid depiction ran:

" '[T]hey had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wire from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam. . . .'

"Kerry has lately backed away from the more sensational of these charges. Yet still he calls it 'Nixon's War.'

"This is slander. This is scape-goating. This is a bright shining lie by a man who showed bravery in battle but lacks the moral courage to tell the truth. This was not Nixon's War. It was Liberalism's War, the war into which The Best and Brightest of the New Frontier plunged this country. It was the war the liberals began, but could not win. Ousted from power, they turned in rage and resentment against Nixon when it appeared in 1973 he had ended the war in success and brought our troops and POWs home in honor.


"For all eight years of the Kennedy-Johnson tenure, more and more U.S. troops poured into Vietnam. When Nixon took office in 1969, some 525,000 U.S. troops were in Vietnam or on the way, and 35,000 had died. Kerry was first wounded in the Mekong while LBJ was still President.

"How, then, can Kerry call it 'Nixon's War'?

"By the end of his first year, Nixon had reduced U.S. forces in Vietnam by scores of thousands. Yet as he was bringing the men and boys home and trying to save South Vietnam from a bloodbath, the liberal establishment that had marched us into Vietnam began to blame Nixon for Vietnam.


"Why has Kerry never acknowledged he was wrong? Why has he never apologized for having been a fool and for having slandered the memory of the 58,000 Americans who died to prevent these horrors?


"For the truth about Vietnam is this. That war was not lost in Asia. U.S. soldiers did not lose a single battle. That war was lost in the United States. Who lost Vietnam? That question still sticks in the craw of this country and it shall until this generation passes away.

"In their hearts the American people know the answer. This war was lost by a national establishment that plunged us into it, could not win or end it, broke and ran, and sabotaged Nixon's effort to end it with honor. These were the guilty men.

"The greatest of the war crimes was not committed in Vietnam. It was committed here, in this city, when Congress, prodded and pushed by Nixon-haters, tied his hands, restricted U.S. bombing, slashed military aid to the South, leaving our ally at the mercy of invading armies from the North supplied by Moscow and Beijing. These are the people who bear moral responsibility for the loss of Vietnam, the horrors that followed, and the holocaust in Cambodia.

"What John Kerry did in Vietnam was honorable. What he did after that war--sliming the troops as mad dogs and war criminals--was disgraceful and dishonorable, and contributed to the loss of Vietnam and the humiliation of our country."


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