J.D. Pendry 

In spite of the distraction of a wife directed (and supervised) bedroom remodeling project and the Super Bowl, I finally made it to the computer to tell you about my new best friend.  There was one other minor distraction.  While hauling the remnants of my remodeling project out for trash pick-up, a stray nail ripped open the right side of my shirt and a big, hairy, non-nipple-ringed breast burst into view.  The neighbors were shocked except for one, but her sobriety is usually debatable.  My wife yelled for me to cover up before I frightened the neighborhood kids.  It was over quickly, although, I fear the incident may have permanently scarred some unsuspecting child or senior citizen.


By his proclamation, Senator John Kerry is my new best friend.  In a New Hampshire stump speech, between the endless reminders (from him) that he is a Vietnam Veteran and war hero, he stated that he would be the best friend veterans ever had in the White House.  This is always good news for those of us that are veterans.  I figured I’d better get to know my new best friend a little.  May I share with you some of what I’ve discovered?


Senator Kerry is indeed a decorated Vietnam War Veteran.  He earned the Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.  That’s impressive and a record every veteran respects.  There is some more to the story, however.  After receiving his third Purple Heart, he requested a curtailment of his tour of duty and assignment as an Admiral’s aide, which he got.  I can’t verify the seriousness of his wounds, but being thrice wounded under Navy regulations allowed his curtailment.  While on assignment as an Admiral’s aide, he requested an early discharge so that he could run for Congress, which he also got.  His first attempt to gain political office failed.  Following that, he became a spokesman of an organization called the Vietnam Veterans Against War, a group receiving financial assistance from Hanoi Jane Fonda.*  He wasn’t, always so proud of his service. In one demonstration, Kerry tossed some medals over the White House fence.  It turns out, however, that they were not his medals.  His hang on his office wall now that it’s popular to be a friend of Vietnam Veterans.  Here is what my new best friend had to say about his brothers in arms who were still fighting and dieing honorably in the jungle when he said it:


“I would like to talk, representing 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, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command....

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in 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.” **

I know many Vietnam Veterans who take umbrage to the comments of my new best friend.  And that’s stating it mildly.


You would think that a Veteran’s best friend logically would be a Soldier’s best friend too.  The good Senator has a long history of voting against important defense issues.  For those of you now actively engaged on behalf of our country, you’ll be interested to know that:


Kerry in 1984 said he would have voted to cancel … the B-1 bomber, B-2 stealth bomber, AH-64 Apache helicopter, Patriot missile, the F-15, F-14A and F-14D jets, the AV-8B Harrier jet, the Aegis air-defense cruiser, and the Trident missile system. He also advocated reductions in many other systems, such as the M1 Abrams tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Tomahawk cruise missile, and the F-16 jet.”  ***


Don’t reckon any of those have been much use to us in recent years, have they?  If you are interested in learning more about my [our] friend’s record, go to your favorite search engine and type in “John Kerry’s Defense Voting Record”, you’ll quickly learn what a great friend to us he’s been.


I’d like to share one last Kerry quote.  While reading it, keep in mind that Senator Kerry was on the Senate Intelligence Committee and privileged to the same information as the President.


"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." ****

It is odd, isn’t it, that the President “misleads” America when drawing the same conclusion?


I’m getting to know my new best friend a little better each day.  As Mom used to advise, I suggest that you choose your friends wisely.


* http://www.worldhistory.com/wiki/V/Vietnam-Veterans-Against-the-War.htm


**Modern History Source Book:  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1972VVAW.html


***(Brian C. Mooney, “Taking One Prize, Then A Bigger One,” The Boston Globe, 6/19/03)


**** http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2003_0123.html


Copyright© 2004, JD Pendry, All Right Reserved