Saturday, September 10, 2005

Give 'Em Zell!

By Evan Coyne Maloney
2 September 2004

Depending on which version of the story he tells, John Kerry threw away his (or somebody else's) medals (or ribbons) in protest upon returning home from Vietnam. And if you ask me, that's when he threw away his right to shove those medals in our faces as though they alone were proof enough that he should be President of the United States.

Somewhere along the line, Kerry must have renounced his renunciation of those medals, because the same man who testified to the U.S. Senate that American soldiers were committing wholesale war crimes in Vietnam is now trying to embrace those "war criminals" and use them to prop up his latest persona, that of a war hero.

The problem with John Kerry isn't so much that he changed his mind about such a defining moment in his life, it's that he has no explanation for why he changed his mind. When a man undergoes a major personal transformation--such as President Bush's decision to quit drinking--there's usually a very telling biographical episode that gives us some insight into the man's character. But in the case of John Kerry, there is no explanation. We're just supposed to accept at face value that, one day, Kerry throws his medals away and the next he brandishes them as evidence of his heroism. One day he accuses his fellow soldiers of mass atrocities in Vietnam, the next day he stands on stage with a handful of them as evidence of his strength.

So, who is John Kerry? With just over sixty days to the election, we still don't know.

Last night, Senator Zell Miller, a Democrat from Georgia, broke away from his party to speak at the Republican Convention. Miller's speech sought to end the mystery of John Kerry by reciting more from Senator Kerry's voting record than Kerry himself cited at his own convention. After hearing Miller's speech, it's obvious why Kerry said only a few sentences about his two decades in the U.S. Senate: the real John Kerry is much closer to the John Kerry of 1971 than the John Kerry who saluted the Democratic delegates at his flag-and-fatigues-draped Boston convention a month ago.

After Senator Miller spoke, the TV talking heads of the old media decided that Miller was too heated, too over-the-top, and that it would backfire. Kerry's VP candidate John Edwards even referred to Miller's critique of his fellow Democrats as hate speech.

It's interesting to see that the press corps is sensitive all of a sudden to political hardball. While Senator Miller challenged Kerry's judgment, he certainly did not compare him to Hitler's brownshirts as Al Gore did to the Republicans. He did not stoop to the level of President Bush's opponents who said he "killed [James Byrd] all over again" because he refused to sign a flawed hate crimes bill.

No, instead Senator Miller spoke forcefully and passionately about John Kerry's record, a record that must be at least slightly embarrassing to Kerry given his reluctance to talk about it himself.

For years, President Bush has silently endured being compared to a murderer of millions. He's a complete idiot, his opponents say, yet he's somehow a scheming evil genius at the same time. He can steal an election by a few hundred votes, but he can barely count to ten. All of this has gone on with little comment from the traditional media--and with no complaints from President Bush himself--while George Soros and other Democratic moneymen contribute tens of millions to hard-left outfits like You may remember; last year, their website hosted two ads comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler. Yet despite such extremism, is embraced by the Democratic mainstream; during this campaign season alone, Al Gore has spoken to the group numerous times, and John Kerry appealed to them for help against "right wing ideologues".

So, you'll excuse me if I say that John Kerry sounds a little whiny when he wants a book publisher to pull Unfit for Command simply because it criticizes him. Has this nuanced intellectual been to a bookstore lately? Has he seen how many Bush-bashing books are on the shelves? Perhaps he's heard of a little film called Fahrenheit 9/11. If John Kerry is so sensitive that one book makes him go apoplectic, how can we expect him to have the fortitude to stand up to al Qaeda and all the other radicals around the globe who'd like to do much worse things to us than hurt our feelings with words.

Despite the protestations of the press corps, I think people are savvy enough to distinguish between Zell Miller's speech and the sorts of things that Democrats have been saying about President Bush for years. But don't take my word for it, judge for yourself. I've excerpted some highlights from Senator Miller's speech:

In the summer of 1940, I was an 8-year-old boy living in a remote little Appalachian valley. Our country was not yet at war, but even we children knew that there were some crazy men across the ocean who would kill us if they could.

President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer, told America "all private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public danger."

In 1940, Wendell Wilkie was the Republican nominee.

And there is no better example of someone repealing their "private plans" than this good man. He gave Roosevelt the critical support he needed for a peacetime draft, an unpopular idea at the time.

And he made it clear that he would rather lose the election than make national security a partisan campaign issue.

Shortly before Wilkie died, he told a friend, that if he could write his own epitaph and had to choose between "here lies a president" or "here lies one who contributed to saving freedom," he would prefer the latter.

Where are such statesmen today?

Where is the bipartisanship in this country when we need it most?

Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander in Chief.

What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in?

I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny.

It was Democratic President Harry Truman who pushed the Red Army out of Iran, who came to the aid of Greece when Communists threatened to overthrow it, who stared down the Soviet blockade of West Berlin by flying in supplies and saving the city.

Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today.

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.

And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.

Tell that to the one-half of Europe that was freed because Franklin Roosevelt led an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the lower half of the Korean Peninsula that is free because Dwight Eisenhower commanded an army of liberators, not occupiers.

Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers.

Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.

For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.


But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution.

They don't believe there is any real danger in the world except that which America brings upon itself through our clumsy and misguided foreign policy.

It is not their patriotism -- it is their judgment that has been so sorely lacking. They claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace.

They were wrong.

They claimed Reagan's defense buildup would lead to war.

They were wrong.

And, no pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

Together, Kennedy/Kerry have opposed the very weapons system that won the Cold War and that is now winning the War on Terror.

Listing all the weapon systems that Senator Kerry tried his best to shut down sounds like an auctioneer selling off our national security but Americans need to know the facts.

The B-1 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, dropped 40 percent of the bombs in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The B-2 bomber, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered air strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Hussein's command post in Iraq.

The F-14A Tomcats, that Senator Kerry opposed, shot down Khadifi's Libyan MIGs over the Gulf of Sidra. The modernized F-14D, that Senator Kerry opposed, delivered missile strikes against Tora Bora.

The Apache helicopter, that Senator Kerry opposed, took out those Republican Guard tanks in Kuwait in the Gulf War. The F-15 Eagles, that Senator Kerry opposed, flew cover over our Nation's Capital and this very city after 9/11.

I could go on and on and on: against the Patriot Missile that shot down Saddam Hussein's scud missiles over Israel; against the Aegis air-defense cruiser; against the Strategic Defense Initiative; against the Trident missile; against, against, against.

This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of our U.S. Armed Forces?

U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?

Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric.

Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside.

Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations.

Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending.

I want Bush to decide.

John Kerry, who says he doesn't like outsourcing, wants to outsource our national security.

That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician wants to be leader of the free world.

Free for how long?

For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure.

As a war protester, Kerry blamed our military.

As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military. And nothing shows that more sadly and more clearly than his vote this year to deny protective armor for our troops in harms way, far away.


From John Kerry, they get a "yes-no-maybe" bowl of mush that can only encourage our enemies and confuse our friends.


Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Fainthearted self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.

In this hour of danger our President has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him.

Irom Bill: I got this at: There's a lot of really great stuff there!


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