On the dismaying egregiousness of John Kerry

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Oct 28, 2004 12:00 AM

With the presidential campaign in its final lap, the egregiousness of John Kerry continues to dismay.

One searches in vain for the word "apology" in the Kerry lexicon. He and his running mate refuse to apologize for shabbily seeking to set Cheney fille against Cheney fils. He refuses to apologize (a) to American veterans who fought in Vietnam for terming them all war criminals in his 1971 remarks before a congressional committee, and (b) to American POWs, as even Jane Fonda has done, for extending their time in Hanoi by two years. And he refuses to demand that Dan Rather apologize to the president for rushing onto the air - and to judgment - with forged memos about the president's service in the Air National Guard.

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What's more, Kerry refuses to authorize the release - as only he can - of all his military records by signing the Pentagon's Standard Form 180. Such release might explain, for instance:

(1) Why Kerry's honorable discharge from the military is dated March 2001, though his service obligation should have ended July 1, 1972, and he was discharged from the Naval Reserve in February 1978.

(2a) Who really wrote up the incident reports leading to Kerry's various medals.

(2b) How it is Kerry would have a Silver Star with combat V when such a medal does not exist in the Pentagon's inventory of military decorations.

(3) Why he has refused to authorize a reprinting of his peacenik book "The New Soldier," whose cover recreates the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi with the American flag purposefully upside-down.

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It also would be helpful to know why - as a member of the Naval Reserve - Kerry apparently could violate the law without prosecution by (a) meeting with the North Vietnamese Communists in Paris, (b) attending (even organizing), while simultaneously a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, peacenik rallies where the American flag was desecrated and the Viet Cong flag displayed, (c) condemning the United States and lying about its military, and (d) apparently being present at a meeting whose attendees voted on assassinating members of the Senate.

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In 1992, Kerry spoke vehemently on the Senate floor against the injection of Vietnam into the Democratic presidential primary in Georgia: "I am saddened by the fact that Vietnam has yet again been inserted into the campaign and that it has been inserted in what I feel to be the worst possible way. . . . While those who served are owed special recognition, that recognition should not come at the expense of others, nor does it require that others be victimized or criticized or said to have settled for a lesser standard." Yet at this year's Democratic Convention, Kerry made his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his presidential campaign.

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From NBC-TV's "Today" show, Monday, Oct. 25 - Katie Couric: "(The Bush campaign is saying) you . . . don't have the record to be commander in chief, and this weakness invites more terrorism." Kerry: "Let me just look you and America in the eye and tell you this. Unlike Dick Cheney and George Bush, I put my life on (the) line for my country when it counted."

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Remember Al Gore's claims (1) of paternity for the Internet, (2) that his mother had sung him "Look for the Union Label" as a baby when the song wasn't written until the mid-1970s, and (3) (with Tipper) to have been the model for the novel "Love Story"? Kerry is a Gore-caliber fabricator and embellisher. For example, he has said numerous times that prior to his October 2002 vote for the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein, he met with the full U.N. Security Council - as he did during a December 2003, meeting with the editorial board of the Boston Globe: "I spent a lot of time before the vote looking at this issue. I went up to the United Nations at the request of some friends. And I met with the entire Security Council in a room just like this at a table like this. I spent two hours with them - just me and the Security Council, asking them questions." The Washington Times reported Monday, Oct. 25, that such a meeting never occurred.

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Now, in a seemingly sudden discovery, Kerry and Edwards are ripping Bush for the alleged 2003 failure of advancing American troops to find and destroy tons of Iraqi explosives - HMX and RDX - for later use by bitter-ending Baathists. The story is not new. At the time, the site in question seemed empty of weapons, as verified by an NBC reporter embedded with a key Army unit. Could it be the explosives were moved or destroyed before the arrival of U.S. forces, possibly a la the much-discussed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)?

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Kerry says Bush let Osama bin Laden escape in Afghanistan when "surrounded" at Tora Bora. Gen. Tommy Franks, the now-retired commander of the U.S. Central Command, says Kerry is wrong to assume Osama was hiding at Tora Bora during the time in question. Notes Franks: While some intelligence reports put Osama there, others put him variously in Pakistan, Kashmir, Iran, or far from Tora Bora at an Afghan lake 90 miles northwest of Kandahar.

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Is it Kerry who actually has a secret plan to reinstate the draft - as opposed to Bush? Kerry wants to augment U.S. forces, notably in Iraq, by 40,000. Given how thin key components of the American military are in the current all-volunteer environment, where does Kerry propose to find those 40,000 recruits except in a draft?

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Repeatedly, including in the debates, Kerry rejects the liberal label - saying that in today's political vocabulary, labels are inaccurate and meaningless. Then he deftly moves to redefine himself as a moderate. Yet labels do mean something, particularly regarding Kerry's history as a peacenik and his 20-year record of voting consistently against not only major weapons systems, but major military and foreign-policy initiatives. Liberal ratings groups rate him the Senate's most liberal member.

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And the liberal Marty Peretz, editor of the liberal New Republic magazine, says this about the egregiously liberal John Kerry: "There seems to be some personal anxiety underlying almost everything Kerry thinks about U.S. foreign policy. He craves the approval of Europeans, as if he were some American 'arriviste' right out of a Henry James novel. (Teresa is a different kind of James character.) Early on in the campaign, he claimed that he had met with foreign leaders, and they had told him they preferred him to Bush - as if that were a bona fide to American voters. I can't count how many times I've heard Kerry people - not Kerry - tell me that the Germans and the French, the Swedes, and all of the Arabs dislike Bush and want Kerry to win. So what! Or, on the other hand, maybe it is really quite telling that the Arabs so much prefer Kerry."