[Vision2020] John Kerry's Statement to the Senate

Paul Duffau pduffau@adelphia.net
Wed, 28 Apr 2004 14:52:24 -0700

Actually, we don't know that Kerry was present when threats were made.  I think he probably wasn't (see previous post for my rationale).  And I'm not much for stringing anybody up since I am opposed the death penalty (not in principle but in practice.)  I do think that we have just about exhausted this topic (and most of the list members).  

Paul Duffau 

At 10:07 PM 4/28/04 +0000, you wrote:
>Holy revelations, Batman!
>We now not only know that LT John Kerry was present when somebody said 
>something threatening at a VVAW meeting during the war (WOW!  What are the odds 
>of that?), he also communicated with the delegations of both Vietnams at the 
>Paris Peace Talks.
>I say let's not waste another second.  String him up now before peace breaks 
>Tom Hansen
> > Tom,
> > 
> > You need to continue into the question and answer period following Kerry's 
> > 
> > Copied and pasted from:
> > http://ice.he.net/~freepnet/kerry/index.php?topic=Testimony
> > 
> > The CHAIRMAN. Do you support or do you have any particular views about any 
>one of them you
>wish to give the committee?
> > 
> > Mr. KERRY. My feeling, Senator, is undoubtedly this Congress, and I don't 
>mean to sound
>pessimistic, but I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war 
>as we
>would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally and, therefore, if I were 
>to speak I
>would say we would set a date and the date obviously would be the earliest 
>possible date.
>But I woUld like to say, in answering that, that I do not believe it is 
>necessary to stall
>any longer. I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the 
>peace talks,
>that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional 
>Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points it has been stated time and 
>time again,
>and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has 
>been stated
>by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a 
>date for
>withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > At 05:06 PM 4/28/04 +0000, you wrote:
> > >Copied and pasted from 
> > 
> >http://lists.village.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Resources/Primary/Manifesto
> > >/VVAW_Kerry_Senate.html
> > >
> > >
> > >I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several 
> > >months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably 
> > >discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes 
> > >committed in Southeast Asia. These were not isolated incidents but crimes 
> > >committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all 
> > >levels of command. It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did 
> > >in Detroit - the emotions in the room and the feelings of the men who were 
> > >reliving their experiences in Vietnam. They relived the absolute horror of 
> > >this country, in a sense, made them do.
> > >
> > >They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut 
> > >off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned 
> > >the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed 
> > >villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for 
> > >poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam 
> > >addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular 
> > >ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
> > >
> > >We call this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. The term Winter 
> > >Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the 
> > >Sunshine Patriots and summertime soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge 
> > >the going was rough.
> > >
> > >We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have 
> > >be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country, we could be 
> > >we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we 
> > >feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds, but the crimes 
> > >we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out....
> > >
> > >In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam 
> > >could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And 
> > >attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or 
> > >by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits 
> > >supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that 
> > >kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.
> > >
> > >We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for 
> > >years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, 
> > >also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically molded after 
> > >own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were 
> > >supposedly saving them from.
> > >
> > >We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and 
> > >democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters 
> > >strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their 
> > >country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with 
> > >this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone 
> > >peace, and they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever 
> > >force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese or 
> > >American.
> > >
> > >We found also that all too often American men were dying in those rice 
> > >for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from 
> > >American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many 
> > >people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by the 
> > >and blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam 
> > >ravaged equally by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well 
> > >by Viet Cong terrorism - and yet we listened while this country tried to 
> > >all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.
> > >
> > >We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America 
> > >her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to 
> > >up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing 
> > >
> > >We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and 
> > >watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals.
> > >
> > >We watched the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the 
> > >glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were 
> > >the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons 
> > >against "oriental human beings." We fought using weapons against those 
> > >which I do not believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in 
> > >the European theater. We watched while men charged up hills because a 
> > >said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons 
> > >they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North 
> > >We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown into 
> > >extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and 
> > >it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point, and 
> > >there were Hamburger Hills and Khe Sanhs and Hill 81s and Fire Base 6s, and 
> > >many others.
> > >
> > >Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while 
> > >lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of 
> > >the Vietnamese.
> > >
> > >Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her 
> > >of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't 
> > >have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we 
> > >say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon 
> > >won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."
> > >
> > >We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to 
> > >the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to 
> > >for a mistake?....We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this 
> > >is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of 
> > >everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in 
> > >country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so 
> > >other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking 
> > >at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation 
> > >this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those 
> > >Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction 
> > >fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, 
> > >accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying 
> > >say. It is part and parcel of everything.
> > >
> > >An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz 
> > >put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian 
> > >he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in 
> > >and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he 
> > >said, "my God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done 
> > >my people," and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we 
> > >think this thing has to end.
> > >
> > >We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders 
> > >our country? Where is the leadership? We're here to ask where are McNamara, 
> > >Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatrick, and so many others? Where are they now that we, 
> > >men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have 
> > >deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of 
> > >The Army says they never leave their wounded. The marines say they never 
> > >leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated 
>behind a 
> > >pious shield of public rectitude. They've left the real stuff of their 
> > >reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country....
> > >
> > >We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service 
> > >easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all 
> > >they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear 
> > >than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission - to search 
> > >and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, 
> > >conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years 
> > >and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down 
> > >street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we 
> > >will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene 
> > >memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers 
> > >us helped it in the turning.
> > >
> > >
> > >---------------------------------------------
> > >This message was sent by First Step Internet.
> > >            http://www.fsr.net/
> > >
> > >
> > >_____________________________________________________
> > >  List services made available by First Step Internet, 
> > >  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.   
> > >                http://www.fsr.net                      
> > >           mailto:Vision2020@moscow.com
> > 
> > 
> > _____________________________________________________
> >  List services made available by First Step Internet, 
> >  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.   
> >                http://www.fsr.net                       
> >           mailto:Vision2020@moscow.com
> > 
>This message was sent by First Step Internet.
>            http://www.fsr.net/