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February 21, 2004

Questions Regarding Kerry's Medal

Emperor Misha linked to an article that asks some questions about Kerry's Silver Star.

Supposedly, a B-40 was fired at the boat and missed. Charlie jumps up with the launcher in his hand, the bow gunner knocks him down with the twin .50, Kerry beaches the boat, jumps off, shoots Charlie, and retreives the launcher. If true, he did everything wrong.

(a) Standard procedure when you took rocket fire was to put your stern to the action and go balls to the wall. A B-40 has the ballistic integrity of a frisbie after about 25 yards, so you put 50 yards or so between you and the beach and begin raking it with your .50's.

(b) Did you ever see anybody get knocked down with a .50 caliber round and get up? The guy was dead or dying. The rocket launcher was empty. There was no reason to go after him . . . .

(c) Kerry got off the boat. This was a major breach of standing procedures. Nobody on a boat crew ever got off a boat in a hot area. EVER! The reason was simple: If you had somebody on the beach, your boat was defenseless. It coudn't run and it couldn' t return fire. It was stupid and it put his crew in danger. He should have been relieved and reprimanded. . . .

Something is fishy.

Here we have a JFK wannabe . . . who is hardly in Vietnam long enough to get good tan, collects medals faster than Audie Murphy in a job where lots of medals weren't common, gets sent home eight months early and requests separation from active duty a few months after that so he can run for Congress. In that election, he finds out war heroes don't sell well in Massachsetts in 1970, so he reinvents himself as Jane Fonda, throws his ribbons in the dirt with the cameras running to jump start his political career, gets [Sen. Claiborne] Pell [D-RI] to invite him to address Congress and has Bobby Kennedy's speechwriter to do the heavy lifting. A few years later he winds up in the Senate himself, where he votes against every major defense bill and says the CIA is irrelevant after the Berlin Wall came down. He votes against the [first] Gulf War . . . then decides not to make the same mistake twice so votes for invading Iraq -- but that didn't fare as well with the Democrats, so he now says he really didn't mean for Bush to go to war when he voted to allow him to go to war.

Maybe it is fishy, but i'm not holding my breath for the media to look into this one anytime soon.

Posted by annika, Feb. 21, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


Test comment. Victor has beal.

Posted by: Pixy Misa on Feb. 21, 2004

Damn, your fast. I heard the same story from my father last night at a sushi bar. He is usually way ahead of the game.

Posted by: Steve S, on Feb. 22, 2004

Thanks Steve; that's a nice compliment for me.

Shelly S.

Posted by: Shelly S. on Feb. 22, 2004

Annie, you vile slandering surrogate Bush lackey skankpuppy. How dare you (& Bush) bring up Vietnam and question Kerry’s past:

In a letter to Bush, Kerry wrote: "As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation's history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to reopen these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do."
Posted by: d-rod on Feb. 22, 2004

hehe- is this another drudge story?

toss out the the silver star and you still have 3 purple hearts..

did w ever get a medal?

ya, sounds like someone has been going fishing all right, and locked the poor dog in the house while they were gone. Annie i'm not so sure it's fish you're smelling.


but i guess it's desperate measures for desperate times..

this is gonna be funny



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 22, 2004

The three Purple Hearts were, as one vet put it "Band-Aid" Purple Hearts. Just ask yuorself, if you are an enlisted man, what is your worst nightmare?

I'll tell you, an officer looking to collect medals. Kerry was there four months and got five medals. You do the math.

Posted by: Shelly S. on Feb. 22, 2004

For the record, I can't stand Kerry. He's a sea lawyer and a power hungry opportunist who decided to advance himself by betraying his fellow veterans. And he was probably a self-promoting, medal-hungry careerist (until he saw a better opportunity), which tends to be a very bad thing in a leader. And those are the nice things I have to say about the guy. So fuck him. However . . .

First, it's a little late for second-guessing Vietnam medals. By the time Kerry got wounded they were passing out medals like candy, particularly to officers. The Army was particularly bad about it, which probably only made the Navy all the more thrilled about the opportunity to decorate a non-snake-eatin' (i.e., non-SEAL) sailor. (I say that because the SEALS are and always have been viewed with a degree of suspicion by the rest of the Navy. They're, well, different . . .) Maybe Kerry didn't "deserve" the Silver Star, however one judges such things. But if so, it's still not his fault that he got it.

Second, the B40 may or may not be the same thing as the RPG-2, or it may or may not be the warhead fired by the RPG-2. (I'm having trouble confirming either way.) But at any rate it was, or was fired from, a reusable rocket launcher. Collecting enemy weapons -- like rocket launchers -- was part of what we did in Vietnam. It didn't work, of course, because the shit was coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail faster than we could take it away. Still, gathering it up was part of the job. So I can't bring myself to be too hard on the guy for going after the launcher; although it may have been foolish to risk his boat and men for the sake of one rocket launcher, a whole lot of medals are won by people doing things that seem foolish from a more remote perspective. He was there. He made the call. No good guys got killed, and he got the launcher. (And I give him credit for not sending one of his enlisted crewmen to do it.) Until I've been there and done that, I'm not about to start second-guessing. If we're going to nitpick Kerry on this front, there are a whole lot of other vets out there who also need to be nitpicked.

Finally, a Purple Heart is a Purple Heart. It says you've heard shots fired in anger, and one of them hit you. (Or at least it used to.) That's more than 99.9% of the population under 65 has ever done. Whether you were killed or got a hangnail doesn't matter; it's not part of the equation. (Moreover, the difference is largely a question of fortuity.) So I resent the fuck out of the term "Band-Aid Purple Heart," and whoever came up with it had better damned well be a catastrophic amputee or paraplegic himself.

Posted by: Matt on Feb. 22, 2004

i like Matt.

he's a smart guy, who thinks..



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 22, 2004

So, are the criticisms of Kerry's service record unfair?

As my friend in the service would say: "Wah fuckin wah!"

Posted by: annika! on Feb. 22, 2004

"i like Matt.
he's a smart guy, who thinks.."

Wow! How profound!

I wish I could think as deeply as that!

In utter awe...

Posted by: Radical Redneck on Feb. 23, 2004

Fair? I'm not worried about fair, although I'd like to think it matters even in politics. I'm more concerned with persuasive. If the criticism is that he didn't deserve his medals, it's grossly unpersuasive. If the criticism is that he was a ticket-puncher, it's unpersuasive based solely on the "evidence" that he was wounded three times and did one arguably stupid but also arguably heroic thing. (Nor do I think the "ticket-puncher" moniker matters much to many non-veterans. As best I can tell, Clark was the worst sort of ticket-puncher, as is just about anyone who makes flag or general officer rank. But I didn't hear much about that from his fellow Dems when he was in the race.)

Better to attack the guy on the basis of his post-return conduct; there's no doubt about what he did after he came home, and he richly deserves to be publicly pilloried for it. But the rest is rank speculation about stuff that happened 35 years ago. It reeks of desperation, which is why I don't think you'll see the Bush team publicly pursuing any of those lines of attack. (I'd add that even if some of his former crewmen were to come forward, I'd probably give that limited weight. If you can't find at least a few guys with something negative to say about a superior--be he an officer, NCO or staff NCO--that leader probably hasn't been doing his job.)

Posted by: Matt on Feb. 23, 2004

How do you like the way that Kerry is trying to innoculate himself from criticism of his voting record by twisting to his service record? Isn't his record in the Senate fair game for discussion?

Sen. Zell Miller, this morning, pointed out that in all the time Kerry has been in the Senate, he has offered @ 350 pieces of legislation and got only 9 signed into law, and six of those were naming bridges or something, two were resolutions, and only one was substantive, getting women business additional consideration.

He has also consistantly voted against intelligence and defense appropriations. I think this is a central issue for this campaign.

He also said that in the Senate, Kerry is known as "The Cave of the Winds".

By the way, Miller is the Democratic Senator from Georgia.

Posted by: Shelly S. on Feb. 23, 2004

it is funny to me that the vietnam war has come back full circle to be being an honorable and just war.

it was a war of politics and a war that was unwinnable in that politicos who had hardly an idea in their heads about winning wars made all the decisions, and those choices did not at all have the mission in mind.

i served my country and i think back on vietnam as a huge mistake of a war, a war that served no purpose and really did nothing for anyone.

you guys can rag on kerry's actions after the war all you like and not change my mind. he did the right thing by doing what he was ordered to do, and only after doing his duty did he return home and express his opinions about the whole mess.

they teach you in the military that when given an order, that order is to be carried out, if you have questions regarding the correctness of an order, they should be left until after the mission has been accomplished. in essence, that is exactly what kerry did.

i guess these issues are all the right can feel safe in bringing up, since the king has screwed up most of the other things that matter and they know that bringing up things like a balanced budget, clean air, education, and imperialism can only lead to bad press for the current inhabitant of the whitehouse.

ps.. will someone please make sure the redneck takes his medication?



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 23, 2004


I have no problem with anyone criticizing Kerry on the merits of his post-Vietnam record, certainly including his service in the Senate. I don't necessarily even have a problem with those who criticize him for bailing out early. (Thus my "sea lawyer" comment.) I just think it's a ridiculous stretch to try and make something negative out of his having won a Silver Star and some Purple Hearts. In any sane world, those are honorable things. Not so honorable that he deserves to be President because of them, but honorable nonetheless.


My problem with Kerry's post-Vietnam actions is that he betrayed the trust of his former comrades still overseas. The anti-war movement wasn't just anti-war; large portions of it were affirmatively pro-communist. It's one thing to say "this is war is a bad idea." It's another to say that the miserable little totalitarian fucks on the other side are the good guys. Make no mistake: they were not good guys. One can reasonably debate whether the United States should've been involved in the Vietnam War. One cannot reasonably debate the fact that communism was a disaster for the Vietnamese people, and that the world would've been a better place if every communist in Vietnam had died a slow, painful death in 1965.

And there's a good argument to be made that the anti-war movement prolonged the war and added to American casualty rolls, by giving the North Vietnamese a false impression of the strength of their bargaining position--a false impression that extended American involvement in the war. One of my colleagues is a former Vietnam POW. After 5 1/2 years of torture, and the anti-war movement's calls to, as a practical matter, abandon him and hundreds of others like him to the tender mercies of the communists, would you like to guess how he feels about John Kerry? If they're ever in the same room, Kerry better hide behind the Secret Service.

Finally, Kerry's public slander of his former comrades sickens me. He unjustly called into question the reputations of hundreds of thousands of men who served honorably, for the sake of gaining a little notoriety. It's because of people like Kerry that returning American soldiers were spat upon and called "baby killers" and worse--appellations that hardly any of them deserved. Platoon was not a friggin' documentary.

Posted by: Matt on Feb. 23, 2004


please don't get me wrong.

this election will be about putting the lesser of the evils in office. if edwards was not a plantiff's lawyer, i'd like him a lot better, but to tell you the truth, as long as whomever is running aginst bush wins, i'll be happy.

once bush is out, i'll start in on the problems of the next guy because as i see it, no one can do as much damage as w in the whitehouse.



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 23, 2004

One thing I'm curious about this Kerry incident:

Everything I've read, and no one has disputed, is that Kerry killed the wounded soldier (it has been disputed over who killed the soldier, but it seems to be accepted that Kerry did it, and he isn't arguing). OK, that's what happens in wartime.

But isn't it a violation of the Geneva Convention to kill a wounded soldier if he cannot fight back? Obviously, there are only two people who know what really happened (and one ain't talkin') but I'm sure the sailors on the boat can explain if there continued to be any type of fire from the enemy? The accounts I've seen say he had one expended rocket launcher, and no other arms.

I still think there's something fishy about it.

In full disclosure, I did not serve in the military, so I am not sure what the Geneva Conventsion says about wounded enemy soldiers. (I'm sure someone here will straighten me out if I'm wrong, and let me thank them now for the lesson.)

Posted by: Victor on Feb. 23, 2004

Wow, very good canine! All the world's problems can be blamed on one man. Get him out and we will all fly unicorns in the sky! Keep trying.

Of course, maybe Coyote could do a better job if he would actually take the horse’s cock out of his mouth before he starts typing… I can only imagine that sword-swallowing an arm’s length of sweaty stallion meat must be a little distracting.

So please, everybody: Cut Coyote some slack. I’m sure that he isn’t at top form, what with the belly-load of horse jism and all. Maybe he will do better next time.

And for the canine: A+ for effort! Keep trying! You can do it! Remember, you’re not “retarded,” you’re SPECIAL.

Posted by: Radical Redneck on Feb. 23, 2004

i love it when folks are so easily baited into acting out.



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 23, 2004

DISCLAIMER: As I have never served in the military, I have no desire to belittle any military service or honors and do not intend to do so now. I have nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for those who have served our nation in this manner. Even you coyote... :^)

However, when the subject of "band-aid" purple hearts came up, I was reminded of the thoughts of Richard Marcinko - one of the baddest men to ever walk the planet(imho) & therefore entitled to say whatever he wishes about the subject(http://www.navyseals.com/community/navyseals/famous_ns_marcinko.cfm). In his view, the purple heart was essentially "an enemy marksmanship medal" and he was proud to have never recieved one. To apply Commander Marcinko's views, Kerry was decorated three times for forgetting to duck.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me three times & I'm a slow learner???

Posted by: John on Feb. 23, 2004

the bad guys usually have some skill, and to use the logic you present, we should never ever have any casualties as long as our troops are always on guard and have their eyes open..

barny badass was bragging, mostly that he was lucky.

i personally know of cases when the wounded have not been awarded medals, due to national security implications..

are you saying that they were also guilty of failing to know when a bullet was headed their way and are somehow at fault for their injuries?

i really can't believe you can think that way.

tisk tisk..


Posted by: coyote on Feb. 23, 2004

Matt, I'm with you most of the way, but there are bandaid purple hearts, and bullshit medals. If Kerry had any real juice behind his, we'd have heard it by now.

NOW FOR THE REAL NEWS: This bullshit won't cover his Teddy Kennedy voting record.

Posted by: Casca on Feb. 23, 2004

Actually all of Kerry's Purple Hearts came from 'shrapnel' wounds. As I recall, two were from mines 'that detonated near his boat' - one grazed his arm, the other hit his leg. The leg wound had him out of service for 2 days - the other 2 injuries did not require him to stay off duty. So Kerry gets so hurt as to miss 2 days of duty, and uses an obscure regulation to beg off the rest of his tour. This service is supposed to impress me?

As for his Silver Star, the story is 'Kerry was only guy with a shot'. Kerry was the only guy with a shot - which he took after leaving his boat, or abadoning his command in combat - BECAUSE Kerry had ordered his boat beached - another violation of standing orders.

Why would his ship be safer stuck in one place, closer to the guy with the BP-40, instead of at speed on the river? And if his boat had been on the river, 2 .50 cals and an 81mm mortar could have been used on the VC instead of one .38 handgun.

Posted by: Eric Sivula on Feb. 24, 2004


sheesh, this is what happens whan you allow people who have no fucking idea what it's like to be shot at or kill someone to question what people who had actually been in a war should or should not have done while under fire in combat.

let me clue you in on a little know fact.

war is not about running away and being safe.

it's about killing the other guy and as much as possible, reducing his ways and means of fighting.

if i had someone like you in my unit, i'd shoot you myself.



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 24, 2004

Coyote - you are a condescending prick!

Just because you served does not mean that others who did not are incapable of understanding the realities of war.

Just because you have any opinion does not make you right.

The comment section of this CONSERVATIVE blog is a poor place for you to spew your hate towards the legally elected leader of OUR country. You want to run around saying he has no regard for the future of the country? You want to say that he is only seeking his own best interests? Do it on your own blog where no one has to put up with the bullshit unless they choose to do so.

I respect many of the arguments you have made over recent months, but the hysteria you've started to show recently is getting old. I promise - President Bush is not out to get you...

As for the reasoning of your comment, "sheesh, this is what happens whan you allow people who have no fucking idea what it's like..." I remind you of the following bumper sticker:


See, it's all a matter of opinion - ain't it?

(As for the tsk, tsk to my earlier comments - don't presume to EVER know what I am thinking. I issued my disclaimer and I do understand that just as many medals are awarded for dubious reasons, there are TRUE AMERICAN HEROES that have never been properly recognized for their actions. My comments were simply using the published words of a confirmed hero to mock the questionable circumstances behind Kerry's decorations. Besides, judging by his post Vietnam actions, Kerry found his time and actions there to be deplorable, so what's wrong if I finally choose to agree with him on an issue?)

Posted by: John on Feb. 25, 2004


you are correct, i am a condesending prick - when i'm dealing with people who talk about subjects that they have no clue about.
say something stupid, you'll get called on it.

grins.. you used legally and elected in the same sentence as "our president" when refering to w.
that's a laugh.

oh wait, i guess they are not "activist judges" when they are ruling in your favor..

and ya know, i DO talk about w's self serving BS on my blog.. what again is the URL of your detailed efforts to make your point known?

i've give you permission to skip over any comments i make here in the future.. don't like what i say, don't read it, and if you don't want an answer, you probably should not waste your time replying to my comments.

i agree, bush isn't out to get me, he could give a shit about me.. thats really the point - the mistake you make is thinking that he gives a rat's ass about you. keep believing it, maybe he'll toss you a few hundred in tax refunds, while at the same time fucking you kids out of their hard won future earnings.. maybe he'll toss a lil extra jab at the homosexuals that the bible thumpers hate so much. he's got a great scam going, buy votes now with money that gets paid back by your offspring.

as for your bumper sticker idea, it's a good one, but the real significance is lost on me. i never voted for clinton because i thought he too was a liar and a thief. he was a petty liar and thief compared to the shrub, but a liar and thief none-the-less.

but then again, if i judged myself on what idiots put on the bumpers of their cars, i'd be more fucked up that i actually am. :-)

yes it is a matter of opinion.

using the words of a seal to describe kerry's actions (or condem them) shows how little you know about the military and the various missions of the different groups.

seals do what they call "snoop and poop" missions. they use small teams to accomplish very specific objectives that for the most part leave no living witnesses. they use cover of darkness and steath to avoid contact with enemy forces and are usually long gone when the people realize that they were there in the first place. so for a seal to get shot does indeed mean that he or someone on his team screwed up. how exactly does this mission equate with the riverine patrol boats? ya- it doesn't. maybe once we get that romulan cloaking device it will, but in vietnam, those boats were nothing but relativly slow moving targets.
picture if you will, everytime you went past a certain bend in the river, some guy shot a rocket at you. sooner or later, you'd be pretty pissed and would do all you can to make him dead. i'm not saying this was the case with kerry, but those things happend often in vietnam.

questioning the actions of people in a war should be left to experts..

the experts at the time decided to give kerry some medals.. big fucking deal.. i have some too but they don't make me a better or worse person.

attack Kerry on his record in the senate. judge bush on his record of kept vs broken promises, the state of the union, etc.



Posted by: coyote on Feb. 25, 2004


Talk about not having a clue, Bush didn't go to the judges until after the Democrats did and the activist Florida judges tried take over the State legislators jobs, and another thing what about all of the MILITARY absentee ballots that the DEMONCATES got thrown out, talk about disenfranchising our military.
You are just sounding more and more like an old 60's reject, I can see way you would like a skuzz bucket like Kerry.

Posted by: lobo on Apr. 16, 2004