Kerry tried to delay his Vietnam tour

Kerry tried to delay his Vietnam tour
: A report in the Telegraph, via the Harvard Crimson, says John Kerry tried to delay his tour of duty in Vietnam.

And who the hell could blame him?

Senator John Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential candidate who is trading on his Vietnam war record to campaign against President George W Bush, tried to defer his military service for a year, according to a newly rediscovered article in a Harvard University newspaper.

He wrote to his local recruitment board seeking permission to spend a further 12 months studying in Paris, after completing his degree course at Yale University in the mid-1960s.

Hmmm. Paris/Vietnam, Paris/Vietnam…

Seems like he passed that sanity test.

I hope we put an end to Vietnam history with both Bush and Kerry and get on with the war that matters, the one against terrorism.

  • TomK

    I think Kerry could have short-circuited this issue by making some statement about the past being the past and such, but he clearly opted not to. Since the whole “Bush AWOL” talking point got little traction after Bush’s pay records were released, Kerry might be regretting his strategical decision. Or at least I’d regret it if I were him.

  • Jim

    Jeff –
    I’m with you on this…to a point…
    Here’s the rub…Once the Democrats began the bogus “Bush was AWOL” talking points and tried to smear the president then this was no longer a story about Vietnam per se…
    The entire rationale behind Kerry’s candidacy is that his service in Vietnam is what qualifies him to challenge the president in the War on Terror. He can barely keep the word “Vietnam” out of every other sentence. In fact, the “Vietnam!” rally cry is often used at Kerry campaign events.
    So what we have is a Democratic campaign strategy which is directed at getting voters to examine Bush’s character (as illustrated by his supposed AWOL status) versus Kerry’s character (as illustrated by his brave, heroic, blah blah blah service in Vietnam).
    It’s *Democrats” who very intentionally have tried to use Vietnam as a campaign issue in order to shield Kerry’s extraordinarily weak Senate record on defense from public scrutiny. His plan has always been to gird up in his best “I Served in Vietnam” armor and dare Bush to say he’s weak on defense. And the under-handed attacks on Bush were part and parcel of that strategy.
    (I will grant that his campaign hadn’t planned on using it at this point in the campaign, however. No..they had made a strategic decision to pull this dirty little trick out of their hat closer to election day when they could better benefit from it, and they’re not at all pleased with Mr. McAuliffe for ruining their scheme.)
    So Kerry has essentially pulled a Gary Hart and challenged the media to examine his character in and around Vietnam in the hope that they will find George Bush wanting in the comparison.
    In a repeat of the Gary Hart episode, the public is going to watch as the media compares the facts to Kerry’s biography. And what they’re going to find in many cases is that Kerry has been less than forthcoming with what Paul Harvey used to call “The Rest of the Story.”
    I wish I could depend on the media to be efficient about fleshing out the “real” story with a quick succession of stories so we could be done with this.
    Unfortunately, what I think is the more likely scenario is that Kerry and the media are going to do their own version of the Dance of the Seven Veils. Kerry’s “Vietnam biography” is going to be revealed one piece at a time, and not a whole lot of people are going to like what’s underneath.
    Get some popcorn and settle in, we’re gonna be a while at this…

  • Eric

    4 Months in Vietnam on a swift boat. He got a bucket full of medals…in 4 months…on a swift boat.

  • No

    Right-O…now that’s Kerry (and Jeff) have extracted every possible advantage by flogging voters with tales of JFK’s incredible (I’ll say!) 4 month tour of duty in ‘Nam…ah, fuhgetaboutit. Not to mention Kerry’s cynically deployed flogging of Bush on his National Guard record…after defending Clinton’s lack of service.
    Could it be that stories will come out to test Kerry’s accounts of ‘Nam? Not pretty, one hears. Could it be that the words of famed Admiral Zumwalt commenting on and evaluating Kerry’s ‘war service’ back in the 60s are coming back in advertisements by Bush?
    So let’s take the whole off the table, now that JFK’s gotten maximum mileage…typical.
    Dr. No…Vietnam War Service, Sargeant
    17 February 1968-19 January 1970

  • John

    This in itself isn’t going to hurt Kerry, but while you can given him an “A” for effort, he cannot make the 1967-70 period of his life the abiding focus of his campaign due to his military service, and then pretend as if he was put in some sort of cryonic deep freeze like Austin Powers for 30 years, to be thawed out just in time to vote in favor of the final Clinton defense budget.
    Going after Kerry’s war record is probably a losing strategy for the Bush people. Going after his voting record and his political statments between 1970 and 1999 is not.

  • Eric

    No one will care. They’ll say he was fighting the good fight against the Evil Republican’s & the like.

  • BAM

    Terry McAuliffe has inspired me to ask:
    When will Kerry open his military records to the public? What is he hiding?

  • No

    Well, BAM, his records, if reports of Admiral Zumwalt are to be trusted…and they’ve been published elsewhere, (‘natch, not linked to by Jeff!) JFK’s records indicate a man ‘out of control’ in the war theater. Also, he filed his own recommendation for combat decorations and received his Purple Hearts for non-combat ‘wounds’…what, did he cut himself shaving? As a temp duty 71Lima during Vietnam, I recognize the latter as offenses against the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Let’s see if they’re true. After all, we had to explore every nook and cranny of GW’s records; what’s fair to the goose and all that.
    Sgt No

  • Trump

    So if you want to forget Vietnam, I presume you’re going to call on Kerry to delete all Vietnam references from his ads and speeches….?

  • How about hte War in Haiti. Apparently Kerry thinks Bush was on the wrong side of that and should have defended Aristide (I guess it depends on where you’re getting your coke.)

  • john

    It was actually five months, and here’s the record:
    November 17, 1968:
    Kerry arrives in Vietnam, where he is given command of Swift boat No. 44, operating in the Mekong Delta.
    December 2, 1968:
    Kerry gets his first taste of intense combat, and is wounded in the arm. He is awarded a Purple Heart.
    January, 1969:
    Kerry takes command of a new Swift boat, completing 18 missions over 48 days, almost all in the Mekong Delta area.
    February 20, 1969:
    Kerry is wounded again, taking shrapnel in the left thigh, after a gunboat battle. He is awarded a second Purple Heart.
    February 28, 1969:
    Kerry and his boat crew, coming under attack while patroling in the Mekong Delta, decide to counterattack. In the middle of the ensuing firefight, Kerry leaves his boat, pursues a Viet Cong fighter into a small hut, kills him, and retreives a rocket launcher. He is awarded a Silver Star.
    March 13, 1969:
    A mine detonates near Kerry’s boat, wounding him in the right arm. He is awarded a third Purple Heart. He is also awarded a Bronze Star for pulling a crew member, who had fallen overboard, back on the boat amidst a firefight.
    April, 1969:
    According to Navy rules, sailors that have been wounded three times in combat are eligible to be transfered to the U.S. for noncombat duty. Kerry is transferred to desk duty in Brooklyn, NY.
    Meanwhile, our sitting president was being flown to the whitehouse for dates with Nixon’s daughter, etc etc.

  • john

    Now, that posted: what that says to me is a lot about how dangerous it was there during that time. Which is pretty much what I’ve been told all my life by my father and the few surviving classmates he has who went there. That area and that period of time, was nuts, and casualties were high.
    I too wish that we were more focused on issue like the horrible state of our economy; the fact that our deficit is sky-high and was driven there by ill-advised tax cuts pushed through by elitist neo-conservatives, but, since the republican party is apparently determined to raise issues of character, I have no problem pointing out that Mr. Kerry is in fact an honest to [insert diety of preference here] war hero, wherease the location, behaviour, and general whereabouts of our current commander-in-chief during that same time period are still under-documented.

  • Trump

    location, behaviour, and general whereabouts of our current commander-in-chief during that same time period are still under-documented
    If you want to use that standard of proof, he Kerry adultery charges haven’t been disproven either….

  • john

    I don’t give rumors peddled by Matt Drudge much credence, and thankfully, neither does most of the rest of the world. The media did its dury and checked that one out. If the story had any legs it’d be doing laps right now — notice: it isn’t.
    What is STILL an issue is whether or not our current leader, who used his class privs to avoid combat duty during Viet Nam, is in fact guilty of base hypocrisy in the form of standing on an air force carrier deck and declaring “mission accomplished”.
    What is STILL an issue are the 500+ dead soldiers’ families who have no good answer to the question of “why did you send our sons and daughters to die, when, by the admission of your own investigators, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and prior to our attack there were no documented ties between Al Quaeda and Iraq — why are our children dead while Osama Bin Laden still alive?”
    Those are issues, man. Whether or not George or John did a bunch of blow when they were 25 or not — I don’t care. Whether they screwed around or not — I don’t care.
    Neither, I wager, does the voting public. I believe the substantive issues of this time are the economy, the security/unsecurity of our peace, and the protection of our civil liberties.

  • Sandy P.

    No documented ties??
    That’s funny, I thought the NYT linked them in an article wayyy back in 1992. And what about WTC#1?
    Laurie Mylroie’s been following that. Come to think of it, there’s some really fun conspiracies floating around about Oklahoma City. Jayna Davis has those.

  • john

    Newspaper articles don’t constitute evidence, and in the case of the NYT, I don’t personally accept them even as “documentation”, due to recent events (see: Jayson Blair).
    Safire, Hoagland et al were engaging in vitriolic sabre-rattling, yeah — but AFAIK only after 9/11. You can read a critical review of their articles a href=””>here. Ultimately all of the reported “links” amount to nothing more or less than allegations made by one, possibly two, “captured” defectors.
    There’s nothing “fun” about conspiracy theories, IMO, and I’m disinclined to waste any time looking them up. If you found something relevant, worth sharing, in one, please, tell us what it is..?
    Otherwise, I refer you back to the subject at hand: George Bush used his class privs to avoid combat duty during Viet Nam and John Kerry is a bonafide war hero. We are a nation at war and this has bearing on who we choose to lead it. The neoconservative minority in this country has used, for years, the foil of defense to impugn the leadership credibility of those who do not agree with them; this has not served the people well, yet for years, it has been tolerated. It will not be tolerated any longer. Anywhere and everywhere that tired old line is replayed, it will be met with the cold hard light of the truth. We have before us a candidate who understands what War is like and understands directly the consequences of going to it. Faced with a situation wherein we have lost 515 american soldiers’ lives to a war action directed by our current president, that was thoroughly unjustified and un-necessary, the choice is clarified. People who have for years stood silent are electing to not do so anymore. This includes a fair number of ‘nam vets who have felt disenfranchised for decades, and many of whom are only now returning to an active role in determining the direction of the country, and leading it.
    The symbolism runs deep, but, thankfully, so does the meaning. We approach the eve of real change in this country, and it will not be halted by the smear tactics, the lies, the disinformation and the distraction that have served some so well in the past.

  • Person of Choler

    Mr. Jarvis, Shuffling off to Paris to avoid the draft would have been a lot smarter than joining the National Guard. This shows that Mr. Kerry is a good deal brighter than GWB, as all intelligent people realize.

  • Now look what you’ve done, John: your heavy breathing has misted up the all the pictures on your St. John Kerry altar.

  • James Stephenson

    Well John, how come there are no VietnamVetsforKerry website? There appears to be a website.
    We will see in November. The election will decide the next President. I for one will take what we decide and be done with it.
    Then if Kerry wins and he gets Stern knocked off the Air, I imagine Jeff will not say a peep.