Some of us may have thought that Chris Matthews might have turned a corner during his recent evisceration of the ridiculous Michelle Malkin last week. Chris must have basked in the warm glow of love from blogistan, where he drew considerable praise for actually doing his job for once. While I added to the chorus of praise, I did not share the expectations that Tweety had seen the light. I found the following comment form tweety himself a likely case of premature ejaculatude
One of my jobs on 'Hardball' is to cut through to the truth. Tonight on 'Hardball,' one of our guests pushed the idea that John Kerry had won his Purple Heart by deliberately shooting himself. The charge was without merit and baseless, as our guest under close questioning herself admitted.
We'll keep covering the political issues and will stand up against any attempt to broadcast misinformation.
Here's to hoping that you can keep your word Chris, one question though, Why are excerpts from the third chapter of Unfit For Command, on this page
of your website.
Swiftees have remarked that, if Kerry faked even one of these awards, he owes the Navy 243 additional days in Vietnam before he runs for anything. In a unit where terribly wounded personnel like Shelton White (now an undersea film producer who records specials for National Geographic) chose to return to duty after three wounds on the same day, Kerry’s actions were disgraceful. Indeed, many share the feelings of Admiral Roy Hoffmann, to whom all Swiftees reported: Kerry simply “bugged out” when the heat was on
This fine paragraph is a wonderful example of writing that is meant to convey an impression, through inuendo, that Kerry was a coward, without actually presenting any evidence. "If Kerry faked..............he owes..." that would be like me saying that "if Laura Bush intentionally ran her old boyfriend
over, she should be doing 20 to life, before allowed to be the firat lady. And what does the National Geographic have to do with anything, Sheldon White notwithstanding. While Whites bravery may be laudible, what it has to do with Kerry's actions in combat passes understanding. So what is this crap doing on your page.
Last night Chris, who chose action in the peace corps, instead of Vietnam, Pat Buchanin, former Nixon speechwriter, who also avoided service in that war discussed Kerry's testimony before congress.
MATTHEWS: And we want to take you back to John Kerry‘s actual testimony before Congress. Here are his words without the music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - APRIL 22, 1971)
KERRY: Several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation in which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.
It‘s impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam. But they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They told the stories of times that they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam, in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Why any of this is still under dispute, astonishes me, though the attempt to whitewash the history of the war does not. This is just so much chaff released to divert attention from the curiously inconclusive record of bush's national guard service.
MATTHEWS: Pat Buchanan, is this the genesis of the storm, not whether he deserved this or that Purple Heart, but the anger a lot of Vietnam veterans feel right now about those very words?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It‘s the rage and anger and bitterness they feel that John Kerry came home and slimed their service as reminiscent of Genghis Khan and their belief that this man dishonored them and does not belong as president of the United States. That is what motivated them, I believe, to come out and go back and find all the data and charge that that man also was not a war hero but that he was a fraud and a phony.
It is certainly a displaced rage and anger. Their anger should be directed towards the chain of command, one that eventually required the use of the "Body Count" to demonstrate success. Is it really that difficult to appreciate that the calculus of body count warfare, in a country where the determination of friend or foe became increasingly difficult, would not lead to atrocity? That body count warfare would not result in the development of a means to prove the number, ears anyone. Warfare under the best of circumstances is horror, under the worst, unconcievable horror.
Later Matthews has a veteran on, Stanley Karnow author of "Vietnam A History", but hardly allows an edgewise word.
MATTHEWS: ... Bruce Capuno (ph) in New York who tried to do it both ways, and he was blown out of politics.
Let me ask you, Mr. Karnow, you‘re an expert on Vietnam, was the testimony of John Kerry accurate?
STANLEY KARNOW, AUTHOR, “VIETNAM: A HISTORY”: Listen, I have the advantage of being the only person who was in Vietnam at the time.
KARNOW: OK. Didn‘t spend a long time there. I think Kerry had a lot of courage to enlist. The overwhelming majority of students in the United States at that time were taking advantage of deferments.
KARNOW: They were staying on campus...
MATTHEWS: I‘m one of them.
Now as we follow this line let's see if Matthews is interested in the answer to his original question.
MATTHEWS: But is his testimony accurate? That‘s what‘s the issue here.
KARNOW: Let me get to the point. OK. So one thing is, he comes back with the credibility of having gone through the war. He‘s not like the kids running around waving Viet Cong flags and burning American flags and burning draft cards. He comes back with that credibility. He‘s—in my estimation, the war was unwinnable, and he realized it when he got there. The reason the war was unwinnable is you‘re up against an enemy that‘s prepared to take unlimited losses.
KARNOW: We called it a body count. We went out to the battlefields, and we see 5,000 dead Viet Cong or North Vietnamese. It wasn‘t a war for territory because you go back to the same area six months later...
MATTHEWS: But that‘s not what John Kerry said.
KARNOW: So when he comes back...
MATTHEWS: Everything you say is manifestly true...
KARNOW: Wait a second.
MATTHEWS: He came back and said, We were the bad guys.
KARNOW: I have personally seen guys wired up...
KARNOW: ... people wired up...
While Karnow is trying to answer his question, and even admits that he has personally seen at least one of the atrocities mentioned in Kerr'ys testimony, tweety seems interested in his pet of the evening that Kerry said "we were the bad guys." Well Chris that really is another issue, which you might want to deal with in a direct fashion, and maybe even have a show devoted to it. Could we stick to the question of whether the testimony from the clip was accurate.
MATTHEWS: OK. So we know.
KARNOW: ... with field telephones. Don‘t—the whole war was an atrocity. Atrocities were committed on both sides. The communist atrocities were awful. Look at the battle of Hue during the Tet offensive in ‘68. They committed atrocities. We committed atrocities. Individuals committed atrocities. Whether it was condoned or—guys in the field—the fog of war, the tensions...
KARNOW: ... the dangers were so...
BUCHANAN: But you know...
Allright, it looks like Karnow was able to spit out enough evidence to answer your question Chris. Kerry's testimony (comprised mainly of statements made by other veterans) was accurate. But you show remakable acumen as you tack your boat into a republican wind, and wind up GOP talking point doll Pat Buchanin.
MATTHEWS: Does that explain, Stanley, why the Vietnam veterans are embittered by this, because it really happened, or because it didn‘t happen?
KARNOW: Only a few. And I want to make this one point, and then I defer to my senior citizen here. These guys and a lot of other people have trouble reconciling themselves to the fact that we lost the war. The Vietnam war was the longest war in American history. It was the first defeat in American history...
KARNOW: ... and awoke Americans to the fact that we‘re not all John Waynes...
MATTHEWS: I hear you.
KARNOW: ... that we can‘t—and there‘s a certain bitterness that remains.
MATTHEWS: But are we all Lieutenant Calleys, is the different question...
BUCHANAN: No, we‘re not. And the Swift...
MATTHEWS: That‘s what he seemed to be saying there, didn‘t he?
KARNOW: That‘s—to say we‘re all—that‘s a kind of a rhetorical point, all Lieutenant Calleys. There were a lot of Lieutenant Calleys. We have scenes—Morley Safer did on CBS the famous scenes of the Camp Nay (ph)...
BUCHANAN: One year cut-off...
KARNOW: ... of the Marines lighting up the hutches.
BUCHANAN: Yes, what he—that was a hoked-up damn thing, if I‘ve ever seen it. I recall it very well. Listen...
Hoked up or not what can a man who was approximately 12,000 nautical miles from the scene of the crime, have to say about it that is not based on hearsay. Notice Pat champing at the bit to introduce some compelling swift boat testimony. Notice in the following, Karnow calling a spade, well, a spade.
KARNOW: Well, I mean, you‘re a partisan.
BUCHANAN: ... let me tell what you the problem is.
KARNOW: You‘re a partisan in this thing.
BUCHANAN: The guy comes home, and he‘s walking around with his swift boat—I mean, with his band of brothers. But when he came home, he said these guys and him and all of them were engaged in a dirty, immoral war, committing atrocities on a day-to-day basis, and their commanders knew about it. That‘s what he said then.
MATTHEWS: OK. OK. What he didn‘t say...
BUCHANAN: How now does he say we were over fighting for our country?
MATTHEWS: I hear you. I hear you. And what he didn‘t say is an unwinnable war. He said it was a bad war.
Man this is slowly degenerating into a quibble bee, and pat is ready to employ his phase distortion field. After a brief accounting of Dole's attacks of Kerry, and a brief lovefest for the old man, Chris, "..will stand up against any attempt to broadcast misinformation" Mathews, lets Pat do just that.
BUCHANAN: Well, i‘s—what you saw there is the Bob Dole that Richard Nixon wanted to be chairman of the Republican National Committee.
MATTHEWS: He‘s a great guy.
BUCHANAN: Well, he‘s wonderful. He was as tough as nails.
MATTHEWS: But he got a Purple Heart for the same...
BUCHANAN: Yesterday was the old Bob Dole.
MATTHEWS: ... kind of thing Kerry got one or two of them for.
BUCHANAN: Exactly. Kerry‘s first Purple Heart probably came from firing that rocket-propelled or that grenade, hit rocks in front of him, and he got a sliver from it. And as Hackworth, Colonel Hackworth, said...
MATTHEWS: Doesn‘t that happen all the time?
Excuse me Chris, is this not the shit that Malkin was trying to peddle last Thursday? At least Buchanin finishes his point backing Hackworths assertion that Kerry did deserve his medal. His column on the recent swift boat nonsense is here. Excerpt:
The stalwart Brown Water Navy warriors who fought at Kerry’s side say he was A-OK, which is good enough for me. The muckrakers such as John O’Neill and his Swiftboat snipers – who didn’t sail on his boat but served anywhere from 100 meters to 300 miles away – are now coming off like eyewitnesses when in fact not one of their testimonies would hold up in a court of law. A judge would call these men liars and disallow their biased statements.
Too bad that these are not the last words spoken in response to this smear campaign, as Matthews, continues his show attempting to suggest that Kerry's testemony was not brave because Massachusetts had voted for McGovern, and other stupidity that makes it clear that the recent threat to cut off his access from republicans
worked, and he is back to being a GOP song and Dance man. Too bad he could not keep his promise for even a week.