THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
Perhaps that title is a bit strong, but perhaps not.
For more than three decades, it has been argued that the elements of the Vietnam anti-war movement were assisted, and sometimes controlled by the government of North Vietnam. To those who call those claims preposterous, I can only say that one has to appreciate the context of the time as well as the mindset of many who populated the anti-war movement. This was a time during which patriotism was not only considered passe, it was viewed with utter contempt.
The North Vietnamese well understood and appreciated the value and the nature of the anti-war movement in the United States. Their plan was simple and effective; they would use the anti-war groups to manipulate American opinion against the war and the Americans would have no choice but to withdraw.
When I ask myself whether American citizens, including American soldiers, would actually cooperate with those responsible for killing our troops, the answer would be yes. These people, you have to understand, felt no loyalty for this country whatsoever. The only thing that they truly believed in was "the cause" which, of course, was to end the war in Vietnam or, more specifically, the removal of U.S. troops from Vietnam. Any course of action toward the ultimate goal was to be employed. They would not have seen it as treason and certainly not as collaboration with the enemy because in their minds, the U.S was the enemy. North Vietnam was seen as the innocent object of U.S. oppression.
As an aside, if that last sentence sounds familiar, it is. It's the very same argument we hear against the Iraq war and just about any war that comes along. Forgive my digression, I continue.
Simply look at the history of violence surrounding the ancillary groups that were loosely associated with "the movement" which included but was not limited to the Black Panthers, SDS and the Weather Underground (certainly a disparate collection of groups, but Vietnam was the common thread that connected them). It is a history of armed violence and bombings. Certainly, the vast majority of the college students that attended the many demonstrations of the time were happy, stoned kids having their first experience with political expression. The "true believers" on the other hand, the core of "the movement," were revolutionaries in every sense of the word and employed the violent tactics of revolutionaries, including violence. Do you actually think that people of this ilk would have any qualms whatsoever with collaborating with North Vietnam to further their cause?
The meme that fueled the anti-war movement was the perception of American soldiers as raping, pillaging baby killers. The perpetuation of this perception enabled "the movement" to assume the moral high ground and thus, in their mind, justify any actions they chose to take.
Enter John Kerry and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. After serving four months on a swift boat in Vietnam and earning the Silver Star, a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts, Kerry became heavily involved in the anti-war movement and became active in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. On April 22, 1971, Kerry testified before the Senate Committee on foreign Relations as to the atrocities that he had "personally witnessed." His testimony validated the position of the anti-war movement in ways they could not have dreamed.
The only problem was that many of the stories that he claimed to have "personally witnessed" were stories related to him by others, at least one of which had never even served in Vietnam. He also claimed to have "participated in" some of these atrocities, a claim which, if true would appear to make him liable for war crimes charges. He has yet to give a full explanation of the apparently bogus charges that he made in 1971, or an apology for having soiled the reputations of a generation of American soldiers.
Nonetheless, Kerry became the poster-boy for the anti-war movement and a folk hero to the American Left. He parlayed his celebrity into a political career which has now landed him on the threshold of the White House itself. To this day, the major media has had no taste for a close examination of his charges or his claims.
Now come this piece from the Mississippi Press (via LGF) which details, through captured North Vietnamese documents, the close relationship between the anti-war groups and the North Vietnamese government. It also poses questions as to meetings that Kerry had attended, apparently as a representative of the Vietnamese Veterans Against the War with Vietnamese government officials in Paris while he was still an officer of the U.S. Navy.
There are a number of questions concerning Sen. Kerry's past that pique my curiosity. Questions that are certainly more pressing than George Bush's 1976 DUI charge that the media found so enthralling in 2000. Alas, time is now short and it is clear that these questions will not be asked, or answered, before the election. The media has picked their man and it's time for America to pick ours.