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Tuesday, August 24, 2004


CHRIS MATTHEWS AND DAVID BRINKLEY PLUS OTHER OPINIONS ON JOHN KERRY, VIETNAM AND SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH 

Continuing conversation on Michelle Malkin's Hardball appearance, John Kerry's wounds and why the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are against Kerry's campaign

WE LINK. YOU DECIDE.

"HARDBALL": CHRIS MATTHEWS DISCUSSES MICHELLE MALKIN WITH DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, KERRY'S CHRISTMAS IN CAMBODIA WITH PAT BUCHANAN

Hardball Transcript from Monday, August 23, 2004: Chris Matthews asks David Brinkley, author of "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War," what he thinks of what Michelle Malkin had to say last Thursday about "Unfit for Command."

MATTHEWS: Let me go to Doug Brinkley on a hot point on this program.
Doug, there was a woman on the show the other night, Michelle Malkin or something, who was discussing in rather loose terms the idea that maybe John Kerry had purposely wounded himself to win a Purple Heart. Where would she get such an idea?

BRINKLEY: Well, from the Internet, from talk radio. This is a right-wing August takedown on John Kerry, and rumors, accusations, innuendoes flying. And that's just how gutter politics is played sometimes in America. I feel it is a completely irresponsible comment and she needs to apologize for making it. There's no evidence that says John Kerry ever shot himself.



Chris Matthews and Pat Buchanan argue over whether or not it is relevant that John Kerry was actually in Cambodia during the Christmas of 1968 as he has claimed on many occasions, until this month.

BUCHANAN: This is about truthfulness and credibility. Kerry came home, and these swift boats vets believe he lied through his teeth and smeared them. More important, he said he had a "road to Damascus" night at Christmas Eve in Cambodia.

MATTHEWS: OK.

BUCHANAN: That's a fraud, a phony!

MATTHEWS: OK.

BUCHANAN: He didn't tell truth!

MATTHEWS: Perhaps that -perhaps poetic license. It doesn't matter what night it was. Was he in Cambodia? If he wasn't ever in Cambodia...

BUCHANAN: He said again and again! He had never been...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I couldn't be less interested in that issue, on where he was on Christmas Eve.

BUCHANAN: But you've had...

MATTHEWS: The issue is, did he show courage under fire?

BUCHANAN: Chris...

MATTHEWS: Did he face the enemy? And let's move on from that. Pat, these are picking points.

BUCHANAN: They're not! It's about a road to Damascus moment, where he turned against the American government because his president lied to him...

MATTHEWS: OK. All right.

BUCHANAN: ... while he's fighting in Cambodia. He said it again and

again and again! He was never there!

MATTHEWS: Theater. I'm talking about character, not theater.



RALPH PETERS: REAL HEROES DON'T CALL THEMSELVES HEROES

NY Post: Ralph Peters is no fan of George W. Bush's domestic policy. But, he abhors John Kerry's self-aggrandizing style. Peters is not voting for Bush, he's voting against Kerry.

Kerry's lies - and they were nothing but lies - about "routine" atrocities committed by average American soldiers and sanctioned by the chain of command were sheer political opportunism. Kerry knew that none of the charges were true.

He'd been there. He may have done some stupid things himself, but atrocities were statistically very rare. Contrary to the myths cherished by film-makers, American troops behaved remarkably well under dreadful conditions.

John Kerry lied. Without remorse. To advance his budding political career. He tarnished the reputation of his comrades when the military was out of vogue.

Now, three decades later, camouflage is back in the fall fashion line-up. Suddenly, Kerry's proud of his service, portraying himself as a war hero.

But it doesn't work that way. You can't trash those who served in front of Congress and the American people, spend your senatorial career voting against our nation's security interests, then expect vets to love you when you abruptly change your tune.


JOHN PODHORETZ ON KERRY'S WAR RECORD

NY Post: John Podhoretz says life isn't fair.

He wasn't in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, and he almost certainly wasn't there at any other time. How can I be sure? Consider the history. In 1973, Kerry was a leader of the anti-war movement. That same year, the American Left went nuts when the Nixon administration admitted it had secretly invaded Cambodia in 1969 and 1970 to roust out Communist fighters.

It's hard to overstate just how big an issue this was in 1973. Cambodia was officially a neutral country, and it was the contention of the anti-war movement that any movement across Cambodia's borders constituted a violation of international law.

If Kerry is to be believed, then this leader of the anti-war movement remained silent in 1973 when he could have spoken out about how he was ordered to violate Cambodian neutrality as early as 1968. Which is why Kerry is not to be believed on this matter.


DAVID GERGEN ON THE IMPORTANT ISSUES OF THE CAMPAIGN

NY Daily News: David Gergen has had enough of the Vietnam war debate. He wants the campaign to address issues concerning terrorism, energy and the economy.

The presidential campaign is stuck in the muck over who did what to whom during the Vietnam War. John Kerry can be justly proud of his heroism but we have heard enough from him on the subject. And we are hearing altogether too much from President Bush's supporters as they try to smear Kerry. Bush should call off the attack dogs, and both sides should move on. We have far more urgent challenges to face as a people, and this campaign is where we should be hashing them out.


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