Opinion

Swift Boat Veterans controversy exposes liberal hypocrisy

You can always tell how close to home a criticism is hitting by how vehement the denial is. Had John Kerry lived in Shakespearean times and been criticized about his war experience, we could have characterized his response with the phrase; “I think the gentleman doth protest too much.”

I did not personally witness what happened vis-a-vis the incident in Kerry’s war record that finds itself under the scrutiny of the 527 group “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” What I do know being a veteran myself, is that it is possible to both witness and get an idea for what someone does without having to be standing right next to him or her. The several hundred members of the Swift Boat veterans group were certainly a lot closer to those events than anyone present on this campus and as Americans who served their country with honor and devotion, as Kerry did, they have earned the right to be heard. Instead of recognizing that and just specifically answering those charges, Kerry and his supporters have attacked and vilified these men while at the same time claiming they have respect for the profession of arms.

On August 22, The Washington Post – certainly no friend to anyone named Bush – ran a story that stated that “…both sides [John Kerry and the Swift Boat Vets] have withheld information from the public record and provided an incomplete, and sometimes inaccurate, picture of what took place” (“Swift Boat Accounts Incomplete” – Michael Dobbs 8/22/04). If there is anyone who could set the record straight on this, it is Kerry himself. Instead of offering this explanation to the American people in a straightforward and respectful way, Kerry has showed the absolute contempt in which he holds the American people by only endeavoring to explain it…on a comedy show. Sorry, but I don’t think it’s funny.

For this entire campaign Senator Kerry and his supporters have been so convinced that all they needed to do was present a warm body to get rid of Bush that they have refused to discuss Kerry’s twenty-year voting record in the Senate. Refused to discuss his votes on the intelligence committee that made our country more vulnerable. Refused to discuss his votes that refused military service members a pay raise when I was in the Marine Corps right after he voted for a 35% pay raise for himself. In fact the only thing Kerry has wanted to discuss is that he was in Vietnam. Well, now he has that discussion.

Scott Wacholtz can be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu.

August 31, 2004

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