Memo on John Kerry

On behalf of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Michael Finch has distributed this timely “memo on John Kerry” together with a video tribute to John O’Neill narrated by David Horowitz. The video presents a sort of Plutarchian illumination of Kerry’s character by means of parallel lives:

For the last weeks, John Kerry has prowled incoherently through the diplomacy of the Middle East, offering ratlines to the mullahs in Iran as they try to evade the demand to cease the quest for nuclear warheads while also getting sanctions lifted, and letting the Israelis know that he is willing to accept a deal—if not this one, some other equally bad. His tenure as Secretary of State has been marked by such intentional insults to our allies and conflicting signals to our adversaries, and doing business by inadvertence as in the case of backing the Obama administration into a policy on the decommissioning of Syria’s chemical weaponry.

What else to expect from someone who first gained fame as a standard bearer for a movement aiming to stigmatize U.S. power as immoral and its military as genocidal? A few months ago, not long after Kerry had been appointed Secretary of State the Freedom Center produced the following video…

…contrasting Kerry to a man to whom he was linked by circumstance and who became his opposite number, John O’Neill, a member of our board of directors. The contrast is not just between two very different individuals, but two clashing attitudes toward our country.

In 1967 Kerry left Vietnam after three months of combat and came home to join the antiwar movement. Soon after, O’Neill, a young lieutenant just out of the Naval Academy, took command of the Swift boat Kerry had just left. By 1970, Kerry, now a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, was building a political career for himself by calling his fellow American servicemen “war criminals” and charging that they had committed “genocide” and “crimes against humanity.” O’Neill believed that the men who had fought alongside him in Vietnam had served honorably. Standing virtually alone, he challenged the mainstream media that had made Kerry into a national figure to stage a debate between the two of them. When his opportunity came he made the most of it, attacking Kerry’s contention that America was an immoral nation and deserved to lose the war. He drew a line in the sand that was still visible more than three decades years later in 2004, when Kerry was nominated for President by the Democratic Party.

The U.S. was in the middle of another war, the War on Terror that began on September 11, 2001. Kerry had initially voted to authorize the Iraq invasion and then, along with so many of his liberal Democrat colleagues, savagely attacked the mission of the U.S. military there, as he had 35 years earlier when accusing his Vietnam comrades of war crimes.

Kerry made his own service the centerpiece of his campaign when he accepted his party’s nomination by saluting the convention and saying that he was “reporting for duty.” John O’Neill wrote a book called Unfit For Command which recorded how Kerry had filed phony claims of heroism under fire during his brief time in Vietnam, exaggerated his wounds, campaigned for medals he later threw away. O’Neill helped create television advertisements telling the truth about Kerry in which he appeared alongside other swift boat veterans who had served with the Democratic nominee.

John O’Neill helped stop John Kerry in 2004, but the antiAmerican movement Kerry had joined when he was first looking for a short cut to personal power in the late 1960s has continued its slow motion takeover of our political culture and has now not only captured the State Department but the White House itself. As John Kerry pursues engagement with the Iranian mullahs while punishing the Israelis, it is worth remembering yet again where he comes from and what he has believed since entering American political life.