Wednesday, August 11, 2004

New York Daily News - Ideas & Opinions - Zev Chafets: Kerry's Cambodia question
An interesting proposition: Kerry has said that he was in Cambodia in Christmas 1968. His commanding officers and other gentlemen (Swiftboat Veterans for Truth) who served beside Kerry have said that he was most definitely never in Cambodia, at Christmas or otherwise. Zev Chafets believes that whichever side turns out to be telling the truth will "win" this particular battle--i.e., who can you trust in recalling what happened in Vietnam?

Now, I have no earthly idea how easy it would be to find out the truth. Chafets seems to think it won't be too hard. So, let's play out both senairos. First, Kerry is telling the truth. He was in Cambodia on a top secret CIA mission (I think it was a CIA mission he claims). Then the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth are at best misguided and at worst despictable liars out to smear a man they disagree with. Then I would considered them no better than Michael Moore.

Second, the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth are telling, well, the truth. Kerry never was in Cambodia. Then he has used the fact that he did serve in Vietnam to political advantage, disregarding truth for exaggeration and lies when it will give him attention, votes, publicity, respect, whatever. (Incidentally, this wouldn't be the first time (if the second senairo is true) that he has done this. It can be argued that this is the exact same thing he did when he testified before the Senate right after he came home from Vietnam thirty some-odd years ago.) Then I would consider him a man that at best has a tenuous hold on the truth and at worst a flat-out liar who would do anything to gain political advantage. Not exactly someone I want leading the country.

(Disclaimer: It should be known (if it isn't already) that I will not be voting for Kerry, anyway. I don't agree with him on far too many subjects, abortion and gay marriage being two of the most prominent. But I would like to think that he is a good man, that if he wins he'll be a good president. However this Swiftboat Veterans for Truth hoopla plays out will have a large bearing on my opinion of the man.)

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