Reader John Van Laer called my attention to this piece by Linda Chavez which points to a troubling aspect of John Kerry’s 1971 congressional testimony that has mostly escaped notice — Kerry’s open sympathy with the communist cause. Chavez notes that Kerry insisted on calling the brutal totalitarian North Vietnamese regime “by its oxymoronic official name, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and the murderous Viet Cong’s political arm by their preferred ‘Provisional Revolutionary Government.'” And he went on to argue that it was a matter of utter indifference whether the people in South Vietnam lived under communism. With the patronizing patrician tone we have come to know all too well, young Kerry intoned, “I think you will find they will respond to whatever government evolves, which answers their needs, and those needs quite simply are to be fed, to bury their dead in plots where their ancestors live, to be allowed to extend their culture, to try and exist as human beings. . .you can satisfy those needs with almost any kind of political structure, giving it one name or the other. In this name (sic) it is democratic; in others it is communism; in others it is benevolent dictatorship.” These statement give the lie to suggestions by Harold Meyerson and E.J. Dionne that Kerry was an anti-war moderate.
Unfortunately, as Chavez reminds us, “communist victory in Vietnam did make a difference. The communist victors killed hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon, forced more than 1.5 million into ‘re-education camps’ and caused two million others to flee Vietnam altogether.” Kerry, however has never expressed public criticism of the Vietnamese government’s human rights politcy. To the contrary, he bottled up a resolution in the Senate concerning human rights in Vietnam. Accordingly, Chavez concludes that “John Kerry deserves to make atonement to the Vietnamese people
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