This flap mainly revolves around two public statements Kerry has made about the Cambodia issue. The first was in a 1979: letter to the Boston Herald
On more than one occasion, I, like Martin Sheen in "Apocalypse Now," took my patrol boat into Cambodia. In fact, I remember spending Christmas Day of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese Allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real. But nowhere in "Apocalypse Now" did I sense that kind of absurdity.
The second was in a speech on the Senate floor on March 27, 1986:
"Mr. President, I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the President of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.”
The first problem with this, which is in no possible way a "right wing lie," is that Richard Nixon was not President in Christmas 1968 and the Khmer Rouge did not emerge until the 1970s, after a coup deposed Cambodia's hereditary monarchy.
The second problem is that Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley provided a contrary account in his sympathetic book Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War
. He states that Kerry told him he was in Sa Dec on the Mekong River, which is 50 miles from Cambodia, on Christmas Eve, 1968. Brinkley is not a right-winger by any means.
The Swift Boat Veterans book Unfit for Command
also alleges that Kerry's entire surviving chain of command, as well as three of the five members of his swift boat crew at the time, denied he was ever in Cambodia (the other two crew members refused to comment). (Link
According to the UK Telegraph
The Kerry campaign responded, initially, that Mr Kerry had always said he was "near" Cambodia. Then a campaign aide said Mr Kerry had been in the Mekong Delta "between" Vietnam and next-door Cambodia - a geographical zone not found on maps, which show the Mekong river running from Cambodia to Vietnam.
The Democrats have responded that the Swift Boat Veterans' charges are politically motived. Well, duh -- everything
in an election year is politically motivated. But this is beside the point: whether they are politically motivated or not is irrelevant. What matters is whether they are TRUE
. I'm not prepared to state that Kerry's claims on Vietnam are false or distortions, but he and his campaign need to factually refute the SBV attacks, not make allegations about their political leanings.
You guys are tipping over the "believe the lie" edge. But that's just how the right wing works. When all else fails, "lie lie lie until you believe it yourself". Words cannot describe lows that they will go through.
Attack all you like, but I notice that no one has made any attempt to refute the contradiction on Cambodia, or the very evident contradictions in Kerry's own statements on health care and Yucca Mountain cited in B757300's post, or the contradictions in Kerry's own statements on Iraq that I have posted several times.
Meanwhile, the same anti-Bush crowd that turns a blind eye to Kerry's contradictions continues to accuse him of lying about Iraq, despite Kerry's nearly identical statements on Iraqi WMD and despite the fact that five independent governmental inquiries in two nations have cleared him of this charge. Let's name them one more time: the David Kay Report, the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, the Lord Hutton Report, and the Lord Butler Report.
When Kerry's presence in Cambodia is confirmed by five separate official commissions, not just his own uncorroborated and contradictory accounts, then maybe the left will have just cause to whine. Until then, not a chance.
[Edited 2004-08-13 20:59:03]
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.