Kerry, Vietnam and Iraq

By Joseph Farah

Most Americans are too young to remember Vietnam.

Since Vietnam has become such a big issue in the 2004 presidential campaign, thanks to John Kerry’s attempt to portray himself as a hero of that conflict, it’s time for a little refresher course.

The United States lost the Vietnam War, not because of any battlefield failings, but because the U.S. Congress cut of all funds for our South Vietnamese ally after forcing a precipitous withdrawal of all U.S. troops.

It was a cowardly move. It was a stupid move. It was a move that resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese loyal to the United States, friends of freedom, innocent men, women and children – not to mention POWs and MIAs left behind.

The gutless, Democratic Party-dominated Congress made its move for two main reasons:

  • President Nixon had been weakened by the Watergate scandal and this seemed like a good way to kick some more dirt on him and his party.

  • The pro-communist U.S. anti-war movement, led by Jane Fonda and John Kerry, had succeeded in persuading many Americans the war was a lost cause or that we were fighting on the wrong side.

Kerry eventually rode his disgrace to political victory, becoming lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and later a U.S. senator.

It’s remarkable how history is repeating itself with the Iraq war.

Kerry went to Vietnam, he tells us now, out of a sense of duty. When he returned, he pulled the rug out from under his comrades and his country. It is accurate to say that John Kerry played a decisive role in Vietnam, not because of any “heroics” while in-country, but because of his treacherous behavior upon returning.

Likewise, listen to what Kerry was saying about Iraq leading up to the decision to go to war. He was a hawk. He was for it. He said he didn’t think Clinton had done enough. He supported President Bush’s actions all the way – right up until it came time to support that effort with actual dollars.

Then Kerry did what he always does: He flipped. He flopped. He left American troops in harm’s way without the support they needed to win the war or even to defend themselves.

Of course, they got the material support they needed – no thanks to Kerry, who voted to deny the war effort any funding. This was another war effort Kerry supported. He even participated in it vicariously by casting a Senate vote in favor. Then, just as when he returned from Vietnam, Kerry determined he had more to gain politically by criticizing the war.

But the stakes are much higher than they were during the Vietnam era for two reasons:

  • This war threatens the lives of Americans everywhere and, indeed, our very way of life.

  • John F. Kerry is a serious candidate for president of the United States.

Honestly, for those of us who have watched Kerry over the last 33 years, it’s difficult to imagine America could be so close to committing political suicide. That’s pretty close to what a Kerry victory will mean, in my opinion.

By electing Kerry president, America will be, in effect, surrendering to the Islamist terrorists who attacked the United States Sept. 11, 2001. That’s the way it will be interpreted. Far from making us safe from future attacks, it will be painting a huge target on all Americans everywhere. We will be handing Osama bin Laden his greatest political victory yet.

Am I overstating the case? Not at all.

A Kerry victory will transform America in ways unimaginable to us. Just as it was eight years of neglect of national security under Bill Clinton that led directly to Sept. 11, a Kerry victory will signal to our enemies that Americans don’t have the stomach to fight, don’t have the stomach to win, don’t have the will to persist.