Why Kerry's medals don't matter.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
After having recently been engaged in a debate with some people over whether the Swiftboatboat Veterans for Truth(SVFT) claims have any merit, I decided to write my thoughts out here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the group, here is a breif summary of their mission:
"Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been formed to counter the false "war crimes" charges John Kerry repeatedly made against Vietnam veterans who served in our units and elsewhere, and to accurately portray Kerry's brief tour in Vietnam as a junior grade Lieutenant."John Kerry has three Purple Hearts awarded to him. That is an undeniable fact. His website has the pertinent info and documentation pertaining to the awarding of the Purple Heart medals. Recently, however, the above mentioned group (Swiftboat Veterans for Truth) has called into question the events surrounding the awarding of the Purple Heart medals. According to the Vietnam Service Timeline on Kerry's website he recieved wounds in his left thigh, right arm, and another in an undisclosed location that was a "combat related injury."
I believe it would be both rude and unnecessary to request that Kerry show us the wounds to prove that he was injured, although I'm sure that the thought has crossed the minds of people on both sides if the issue. "Why do I believe this" you may ask? I believe it because it doesn't matter whether or not he recieved any medals. There has been a long standing belief with the American people that apparently a person who was a good soldier would make a good Commander-in-Chief. While it is true that we have had soldiers who have made good Presidents, the correlation is not infallible. President John F. Kennedy is a prime example of how being a solider does not necessarily make someone a good Commander-in-Chief. I need only remind the reader of The "Bay of Pigs" Invasion. So, whether or not a person was a war hero or not, doesn't necessarily play into their ability to make a good president. Also, most wars are led by generals in the Department of Defense. It is the job of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the president on matters of the military.
Back to the Swiftboat Veterans. Both sides (Kerry and SVFT) claim that people who served with Kerry either support him or don't support him. Kerry has several people who served with him on PCF 94 who support him for his bid for the presidency. The SVFT organization also claims to have people who served with Kerry in Vietnam, but don't supprt him for President. One of the main beefs that SVFT has with Kerry is the use of a picture of Kerry and other swiftboat commanders from Coastal Divison 11 in his ad campaign entitled "Lifetime." The ad spot is available for viewing on Kerry's TV Spots section of his website. According to SVFT, only 3 of the people pictured in that ad suppport Kerry. Two of the other officers are dead and two are neutral.
I have heard several arguments about Kerry and his Purple Hearts. One of them includes the bullet-proof logic of "Kerry has 16 guys who were on his boat that say that he did deserve to get the Purple Heart, while only 1 guys who was their says that he doesn't." This is the we've got more people that agree with us so we're right argument. The counter-arguent? No matter how many people you have saying something is true, won't make it the truth.
The whole point behind this issue is character. Is John Kerry the kind of person who uses the awarding of medals under circumstances that mey or may not have been like they were presented? The fact is that Kerry is using his war record to promote himself now while having campaigned against the war shortly after he got back.
Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:45 AM