Friday, November 18, 2005

Dear Senator Kerry

I just saw you on CNN denouncing "another Swift Boat attack" on John Murtha's character by people who never chose to wear the uniform of the United States. I'm not sure what you meant by that.

The Swift Boat vets were themselves verterans - some of whom served alongside you, and who called into question your inflated version of your wartime service. If anyone had standing to question you about your claims, or your character under fire, they did. It's not their fault you lied about spending Christmas in Cambodia, or claimed to have served with a man you didn't, described covert operations for which no records exist and no corroborating witnesses have come forward, or wrote your own award recommendation. They just brought these facts to light.

The criticism of Murtha's proposal to abandon the Iraqis to the same fate as the South Vietnamese and Cambodians is simply pointing out that if retreat and surrender did not bring peace and freedom to Southeast Asia, it is unlikely to work in Southwest Asia. That's not an attack on the man's character, it's an attack on a very stupid idea.

To the best of my knowledge, the only charge against Rep Murtha's character has been that by proposing we cut and run, he has denigrated the sacrifice of those who have bled and died so that the Iraqi people have a shot at determining their own future. No one has intimated that he did not honorably serve his country in uniform.

Some of Murtha's harshest critics, by the way, are active-duty soldiers and Marines and their families. They have counted the cost, and paid the price, and see Murtha as selling them out. Do you consider their criticisms valid, Senator Kerry?

"Chickenhawk" disclosure: I tried to join the USAF in the late 80's. They didn't want a flatfooted, nearsighted asthmatic. My dad served with Nimitz. Had Truman not dropped the bomb he probably would have been taken out by a kamizake attack on a carrier during the invasion. One of my uncles was a paratrooper who jumped at Normandy and the Bulge, earning two Purple Hearts with an Oak Leaf Cluster. He carried shrapnel in his legs to his dying day. Another uncle was infantry in Italy I believe. Another uncle had three ships shot from under him in the Merchant Marine (*they* couldn't shoot back). Another uncle lost a finger to a Howitzer breech mechanism in the hedgerow country. My Scoutmaster was a mud Marine in Korea.

No, I was never shot at. But I knew them what was. And I believe that they would be repudiate Rep. Murtha without hesitation.

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