150 vets vs. 250 vets

By Joseph Farah

John Kerry came to America’s attention April 22, 1971, with an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in which he testified about the accusations of 150 Vietnam vets who claimed their country was engaged in fighting a genocidal war in Southeast Asia.

Ironically, today, Kerry is trying to run away from the accusations of more than 250 Vietnam vets who say he is unfit to command – not only because of those reckless accusations in 1971, but because of his own contemptible actions during the war.

Kerry told us to believe those 150 men, many of whom, it turned out, were not Vietnam veterans at all. Now he tells us not to believe those 250 men – all of whom truly performed their service honorably, many of them with great distinction.

I guess it really comes down to who you believe. Do you believe the 150 malcontents assembled by John Kerry and Jane Fonda in Detroit in 1971? Or do you believe the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?

For me it’s an easy choice. It’s not even a close call. That band of 150 of his brothers included men who plotted to assassinate U.S. senators. It included the president of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War who claimed to be a captain in the Air Force who flew missions in Vietnam – yet it turned out he was a sergeant who never set foot in combat. It included men who made up monstrous stories about U.S. servicemen committing all manner of atrocities. And it included John Kerry – perhaps the biggest liar and fraud of all.

Kerry believes his only shot at the White House now involves continuing to smear Vietnam vets the way he did 1971.

Practically everybody Kerry knew in Vietnam is a liar, as far as he’s concerned. He’s the only one who’s telling the truth.

We’re supposed to believe that winning three Purple Hearts in three months in Vietnam without ever getting shot at is normal, commendable evidence of great bravery – rather than evidence of over-reaching ambition and political connections.

We’re supposed to believe that he and a guy underwater on March 13, 1969, were the only two who noticed being sprayed with a constant stream of enemy fire – while no one else noticed any.

We’re supposed to believe in John Kerry’s repeated heroics in combat – because he wrote all the after-action reports himself.

But what are we to believe about John Kerry’s own words in 1971?

Should we believe what he said on “Meet the Press” April 18?

There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones …

I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used .50-caliber machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search-and-destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions …

That’s what Kerry said. Are we to take him at his word? If so, shouldn’t he be forced to stand down as a candidate for president and answer war-crimes charges?

No, of course, Kerry would say. The people who should answer those charges were the men who ordered him to commit these atrocities.

Then, at the very least, Kerry owes America an explanation – albeit 33 years late – as to who specifically ordered him to commit these war crimes.

I read with horror and amazement in “Unfit for Command,” by John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi, about Kerry torching huts and villages, about shooting livestock, about shooting in the back teenage combatants running away.

I had always thought that Kerry’s own self-incrimination about war crimes was as fanciful as his allegations against unnamed others. But perhaps it wasn’t.

It all comes down to who you believe. I believe the 250.