John Kerry, slanderer of the Vietnam vet?

Trunk, thanks for posting the piece about Kerry’s anti-war activity. I too recall when Kerry rode into Washington as the white knight of the peace movement. Although I ardently opposed the war, I didn’t think much of Kerry. But this wasn’t necessarily the result of uncommon discernment, as was the case with your fellow Dartmouth student. I think it had more to do with envy.
I’ve been wondering how Kerry’s role in the peace movement might play out if the Democrats nominate him for president. Kerry has made it plain that his apparently outstanding war record will be a major theme in the campaign. Will his subsequent role as a leading critic of the war enhance this theme, undercut it, or have little impact?
It seems to me that the fact of Kerry’s active opposition to the war will not hurt him much in and of itself. The war was, and remains, unpopular, and few will begrudge Kerry, the heroic veteran, his right to have worked to put an end to a war that, by the time Kerry spoke out, we clearly were not going to win. However, the Boston Globe article points out the Kerry made some controversial and inflammatory allegations before Congress, accusing our soldiers of engaging in horrible atrocities. These statements may not sit well with veterans or with the electorate generally. In a subsequent televised debate, according to the Globe, Kerry was unable to substantiate most of the specific allegations he had made, but argued that other acts he had seen amounted to war crimes. If Kerry gets the nomination, it will be fascinating to see what, if anything, voters make of all this.


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