The Importance Of Kerry’s Cambodia Claim

As I have posted on this blog before, The Swift Boat Vets against Kerry have already caught Kerry in at least one lie; the claim that he was in Cambodia on Christmas of 1968.

Joshua Muravchik, writing in the Washington Post explains why that lie is so significant, he writes,

After his discharge, Kerry became the leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). Once, he presented to Congress the accounts by his VVAW comrades of having “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires . . . to human genitals . . . razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan . . . poisoned foodstocks.” Later it was shown that many of the stories on which Kerry based this testimony were false, some told by impostors who had stolen the identities of real GIs, but Kerry himself was not implicated in the fraud. And his own over-the-top generalization that such “crimes [were] committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command” could be charged up to youthfulness and the fevers of the times.

But Kerry has repeated his Cambodia tale throughout his adult life. He has claimed that the epiphany he had that Christmas of 1968 was about truthfulness. “One of the things that most struck me about Vietnam was how people were lied to,” he explained in a subsequent interview. If — as seems almost surely the case — Kerry himself has lied about what he did in Vietnam, and has done so not merely to spice his biography but to influence national policy, then he is surely not the kind of man we want as our president.

Addendum: For those interested in a good summary of the history behind the swift boat vets against Kerry, Larry Sabato, Director for University of Virginia Center for Politics, gives one of the best summaries I have seen.

Kerry Cartoon

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