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The Swimmer

Kerry crawls away from Cambodia. Considering Sadr. Following the Prowler. Our favorite Swiss-American.

8.17.04

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CRAWL SPACE
Re: Thomas Lipscomb's Swimming From Cambodia:

Kerry's "experiences" in Cambodia tell quite different stories. We have the Christmas Eve one which resulted in the epiphany that shaped his post Vietnam conduct. Also, we have the secret CIA mission in Cambodia one (see the Washington Post article "Hunter, Dreamer, Realist," June 6, 2003). The latter experience proved to be so memorable for Kerry that he has kept in his attaché case a "good luck [green camouflage] hat" given to him by "a CIA guy" as they went into Cambodia on their "secret mission."

It matters not whether these two stories are true or false. What matters is that they are diametrically opposed, and, yet, Kerry consistently has recited them to this day. How can one Cambodian experience be so negative, while the other was, and remains, so positive? Kerry's calculated use of these Cambodian experiences, which produced lasting, albeit different, memories show the pathological nature of Kerry's need to self-promote his wartime experiences. As such, they become the ultimate in flip-flopping, even for John Kerry.
-- Don Kornreich
Frederick, Maryland

I have followed the Pinocchio ramblings of this socialist traitor for many years. Is it possible that his crew stuck together with the story because of the kid that was killed during a one sided firefight and the ensuing coverup? How many of the other crewmembers (on stage at the convention) were decorated like Pinocchio Kerry for the same or similar incidents that they would just as soon forget or pray that no one finds out about. Remember what Slick Willie said -- "We are the only ones that know what really happened" or something like that. I truly believe the Swift Vets are telling the truth. I also believe that Pinocchio Kerry lied in '69, he lied in '71, he lied in '86, and he still dishonors all MIAs, all military personnel that served honorably in SEA, and most importantly all of our "Band of Brothers" that gave their lives for a belief in Freedom.

Not Fonda Kerry,
-- Chuck Meyer
VNV69/70 6 August 2004

The senator is textbook example of someone being "hoist by his own petard" or hanging himself, having been given enough rope. Face it: John Kerry lied. Mr. Lipscomb nailed him when describing Kerry's handling of this: If lie is undeniable, attack messengers; if lie can't be sustained, fault memory.

How foolish of him and his handlers. Look at the energy he and they have invested in defense and how much energy has been poured from some quarters-not from the partisan press, of course-into trying to get him to speak the truth.

If he hasn't yet, what will it take? He won't, we should all know by now-unless he's going to wait until after the Republican National Convention and go public with some cloying, disingenuous contrite admission that he misspoke. He'll never admit outright that he lied, however.

Regardless of what he does, his comeuppance and the serving of his just deserts are certainly something to see, aren't they?
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

Enjoyed reading the commentary about Kerry swimming from Vietnam. As a Vietnam vet, who kept his medals, based on the information that has come to light begin to see a very distorted picture of Kerry's alleged actions and reality. Seems Kerry has skewed the facts to suit his own agenda. Am glad that Spectator is exposing the truth, and the ramifications related to the character of candidate Kerry. Now it needs to get into the mainstream press.
-- Bruce Squires

Bravo for an excellent article regarding Senator Kerry's unfortunate "lapses" of memory (a sad malady affecting greater numbers of elected Democrats daily).

Regarding Kerry's presence for the "Kill The Senators" plot of the VVAW in November 1971 -- perhaps it is another memory lapse on the part of Kerry, but were you aware that the individual who proposed assassination as a tool of the VVAW political agenda, Mr. Scott Camill, was working on behalf of the Kerry campaign in Florida during the Democratic primary season? For all we know, he may still be working for Kerry in the Sunshine State.…
-- John Maxwell

Of course Kerry took his boat into Cambodia. He was carrying an agent on a mission to kill a deranged Colonel in the armed forces named Kurtz. The whole thing was documented by a photographer who went with them, who looked a lot like, uh, Dennis Hopper. Yeah, that's it, it was Dennis Hopper. In the pictures, now faded with time, of course, the agent looks very much like a young, well, Martin Sheen. Yeah, that's it! That's the ticket!

Wait a minute! Didn't they make a movie about that mission? A movie that was just about as truthful and accurate as Kerry's bull**** is now?
-- Mike Webster
Dallas, Texas

Harking back to Kerry's acceptance speech and in light of the two lying incidents (Christmas in Cambodia and the KC assassin's plot) maybe some one should investigate his trip to Check Point Charlie in Berlin at age 12. It holds that same ring of untruthfulness bragging of a pathological liar.
-- Gail Keasling
Millington, Tennessee

This might be another nail in the Cambodia coffin: how often, other than the 1986 Senate statement, did the "5 miles inside Cambodia" claim include encounters with some Khmer Rouge?

Apparently there were only 3,000 Khmer Rouge soldiers in 1970 (at the takeover; increasing to 50,000 by late 1972). In 1969 they were set up to put pressure on the government in Phnom Penh, the capital. So they wouldn't be hanging around the Cambodia-Vietnam border.

At least Kerry has not fabricated his own name.
-- unsigned

UNACCEPTABLE
Re: Jed Babbin's Acceptable Realities:

I appreciate the story from Jed Babbin today regarding the Bush administration's reluctance to get medieval on Moqtada Al-Sadr and his Iranian backers. The ironic thing about the criticism from Democrats on the Iraq war is that few complain about the "sensitive" way Bush has recently chose to fight this war. It appears to me that political points could be won by comparing Bush's tough-talk statements regarding terrorists prior to the Iraq war with the present acceptance of the on again, off again cease-fires that places American soldiers lives in the hands of hand-wringing Iraqi politicians.

Since John Kerry is known to take both sides of an issue, it appears to me that it's only a matter of time before another cease-fire becomes cause for politics over here. Then Bush will come off looking reactionary and political if he dares to ratchet up the heat on Al-Sadr.
-- RH

I agree with Jed Babbin 99% of the time. I think he is missing a big point about Sadr: if Sadr isn't killed, Sadr is likely to lead Iraq sometime in the future. The Iraqi leadership is hesitant to cross Sadr because they know they will have to deal with him down the road. They are afraid to kill him because his dad is a martyr (very big in the Shiite world). The ostensible leadership of the Shiites may be very learned but they have demonstrated they have absolutely no control over Sadr. Sadr realizes that power comes out of the barrel of a gun. The Shiites are the majority in Iraq and Sadr knows that majority has to be mobilized to fight the Sunnis in the power struggle that occurs after the USA leaves.

The Iraqis are not our allies and are not going to be our allies. As long as we support Israel, the Arabs are going to be our enemies. I assume that sooner or later, the USA will have a Democratic president who will betray Israel.

The one thing we should do is split out Kurdistan to create one steadfast ally in the area. Turkey is breaking down the barrier between mosque and state and has already ceased to be a reliable ally. Kurdistan will also get on the nerves of Syria and Iran.

We need to blow up the Iranian nuclear weapons program. If Israel will do the dirty work, great. If not, let's do it now while we are next door.

This is something Bush should do before he leaves office.
-- Steve Koch

Jed Babbin is hilarious. He's like a crotchety old grandpa that finds fault with everything and everyone. Thanks for letting him get it off his chest. Otherwise he might be out on the front porch hollering at passers-by and firing off his shotgun at the squirrels in the garden. I reckon his lumbago must be ailing him today.
-- John Scherwitz
Clear Lake, Texas

Your observations only foreshadow a more fundamental rot in the fabric of our civilized infrastructure.

We now observe a presidential candidate who is backpedaling on his excellent Cambodian adventure, to be replaced with visions of napalm dancing in his head as he curls in his bunk in San Doc. But that is the myth of the man. But all these 30 odd years later, with the myth growing ever bigger did someone not deflate this balloon? That lack of the pin prick is symptomatic that the greater environs of DC are no longer engendered to define a minimal set of standards that drive to essential truths that move this Republic forward.

The singular institutional force that should be assisting the public in its maintaining these minimal standards is itself adrift in a delusional fog of personality and one- upmanship. I of course speak of the 4th estate. Devoid of the underpinnings of its past due to J School perfidy to parse the appearance more than the substance the likes of a Kerry makes it this far in his bid for the brass ring. Singularly alone with his credentials, Brit Hume argues that the SWIFT vets may yet be a nothing but they should at least have their stories verified. And yet the mainstream press waits silently for some divining influence from the DNC as to how to react. All the while the credibility of the various dailies slide lower and lower. One need only look at the 50% drop in the NYT stock price to see that there is trouble here.

The McGreevey incident is not remarkable in its sex scandal underpinnings. For what would be so shocking if it were the usual tryst of another woman instead? The similarity of it is not the issue. What makes this incident so unbelievable is not that McGreevey came out of the closet; but that he came out of the closet for the purposes of using his sexuality as a shield. McGreevey calculates wrongly that by coming forward he may yet avoid the devastating scandals of corruptions and favors that have ripped through his administration. The immediate outcome of this scandal is the following - As a voter I have every right now to ask any candidate what his/her sexual orientation is. Not to expose that orientation but to assure that such an orientation is not used as a club to extort from the public coffers.

At the heart of this, as a political manifestation, the vetting process for acquiring capable candidates is broken. In our zeal to eliminate the perceived Nixonian scourge of the past we have applied a scorched earth political policy that leaves only the calculating or the vain willing to undergo the rites of passage to political office. The press being unwilling to disengage as arbiter of change and just report the facts good or bad is complicit in the smoldering ruin of our political landscape. And the voters surveying the ruins with their ballots in hand ask --

"What happened?"
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

The acceptable realities of this presidential campaign is the fact of a waffling president being attacked by an anti-American liberal wrapping himself in his "war record' while dissing his comrades-in-arms back when it was the thing to condemn the fighting men of this country among the America haters. The fact that Bush really was floundering around in the sea of deceit called Washington politics, while appointing some liberals and homosexuals, not fighting hard enough for his judicial nominees, and some of the other blunders he has made will probably cost him this election more so than the Bush haters diatribe against him. The only thing that Bush has going for him are Cheney, Rice, and a few hard-core intelligent insiders. This may not be enough considering the attack he is under by the enemies of this nation inside and out. If Kerry becomes president, listen for every left wing fanatic howl with glee as they start dismantling this nation and trashing the Constitution. However, their glee may be shortlived as the reality of the Terror War against us comes to full fruition and they all find themselves in the line of fire with no one with any intelligence occupying the right places to stop them. That is the true reality, whether it's acceptable or not.
-- Pete Chagnon

BELLY CRAWLER
Re: The Washington Prowler's The Mighty Wind:

I enjoyed the Prowler's new account of Kerry's deer hunting exploits on his belly. More obtuse to the "regular guys" who really do hunt deer in the west is Kerry's use of a double-barrel shotgun. Most Western deer hunters track and stalk their prey, then lie in wait and use a thirty-aught-six or similar rifle. A double-barrel shotgun in this sport is about as useful a weapon as hand grenades.
-- unsigned

FYI: Regular guys go pheasant hunting in Nebraska. We use pick-ups, dogs, and walking! (We also eat the pheasant for dinner.)
-- A Husker Fan!

I can hear the pompous poltroon now. "I'm John Kerry. Women adore me; pheasant fear me."
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York

Now we have the Democrats handing out scripts to reporters. No sign of bias there right?
-- Floyd Looney

Richardson's tax cuts turned around New Mexico's economy, and yet Bush's tax cuts have hurt the U.S. economy?
-- Brad Westmoreland

The Republican Party dumped in Schundler last outing. What make anyone think they have the balls to support him now where all Democrats are Sopranos.
-- Jack Meyer

JIMMY AWFUL
Re: Brock Yates's Ever the Wonderboy:

Yesterday on the news, I saw Carter bemoaning voting irregularities in many countries, including "MY OWN," is what he said. I am so disgusted with the availabilty the press gives him to undermine the United States at every opportunity.

I wish there was a Nobel Prize for Traitors. I could name an awful lot of Democrats, beginning with Carter.
-- Rita Lawson
Elkhart, Indiana

NOT SO LONELY HUNTER
Re: Hunter Baker's No More Keyes Bashing:

Hunter is fantastic. If Illinois doesn't want Alan Keyes, this Missouri red-neck would love for him to debate the liberals in my state...
-- Randy Gammon
Drexel, Missouri

That's telling it like it is, Hunter! You've exposed yet another example of how we Republicans snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I wish the party of my choice would learn something from the Democrats: Sometimes winning IS everything!
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

Bravo, young Hunter! Well said. let's move on to the job of finishing Barack Obama. He is eminently beatable. Let's actually be Reaganesque in the land of Reagan, and go beat this liberal back to the state house.
-- Nicky Billou
Toronto, Ontario

A NOT SO NEUTRAL AMERICAN
Re: "The Pursuit of Happiness" letters in Reader Mail's Dog Days and Kurt Schori's letter ("Swiss Miffed") in Reader Mail's Consumer Reports:

This is my first time on the Spectator's site and what catches my eye immediately but a letter from a fellow Swiss. My husband and I immigrated to the States in 1958 and, due to the societal and governmental structure have done well. As for myself I would never have reached the professional level that I have, had I stayed in Switzerland. I re-entered the workforce in my mid-forties, after raising three children, all of whom are doing exceedingly well, thank you. Due to a good work ethic, dedication and personal responsibility I worked my way up to become a professional at Stanford University, and I am proud of it. Today I still work even though my 70th birthday is approaching fast. My Swiss sister in law keeps asking me why I don't give up my position to someone younger who surely needs a job. I know that this is the prevailing philosophy in Switzerland because there are not enough jobs available for those that are seeking them. I work because I love it and it keeps me alert and on my toes. Moreover, I am friends with at least three other senior women who could easily retire but still work because they enjoy it. One of them is Swiss, another is German, another is Taiwanese, all are immigrants. There are tens of thousands of us in a similar position.

The letters regarding Mr. Schori that were written by others all say it better than I could. His mentality is precisely one of the reasons that I gave up on Switzerland after my very old mother died in 2001. I became tired of verbal attacks because I am an American. On my regular yearly visits I could not help but observe the gradual deterioration especially in the cities. The drug addicts downtown, the long lines at specified times of the day for obtaining the drugs dispensed by the government and paid for by the Swiss taxpayers.

Granted we still have good friends in Switzerland but we ask them to come here to visit and they do. They spend a lot of money too because they find the competitive pricing not found in Switzerland a substantial advantage. Mr. Schori is clearly one of those people who is jealous of our way of life, as are so many other Europeans. I ask him why all these people from all over the world still want to come here if we are so bad? Even though some of us believe that, due mostly to the far left fanatics, we are losing some freedoms, I know that I enjoy greater freedom than most Europeans. None of the other letters mentioned the current European trend of anti-semitism, so let me be the one. Switzerland is no different in that respect, which is surprising considering the financial settlement with the Jews who, before and during WWII, had trusted their savings to the Swiss banks.

Lastly a comment on the subject of clean air. We have always lived in California and I can testify that our air is better than any place I have been is Switzerland, not to mention other European countries and Turkey. I remember being on top of Maennlichen mountain above Grindelwald in the winter of 2000. The sky was very blue and it was sunny, but Grindelwald could barely be seen under the gray layer of polluted air. We used to have poor air quality in California during the seventies but that has changed today despite the enormous increase in population, especially in this San Francisco Bay area. Strange isn't it, cleaner air and many more people? But I digress....
-- Ruth Kaempf
Los Altos, California

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