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May 27, 2006

Comments

PeterUK

Richard,
"The Swift Boats were originally designed and deployed as coastal patrol boats, supporting the USN destroyers and Coast Guard cutters interdicting sea traffic and infiltration from the North."

There was a story that Kerry was in some sort of collision with a destroyer,before commencing riverine duties,I cannot find it again,it turned up at the time he ran for president.

Rick Ballard

"A scratch two small cuts and ran to the cheers of most all who had come to know him" is more accurate, Richard.

Kim,

You have to go back to the PT-109 Kennedy hagiography to get inside what passes for Kerry's mind. Capitano Bragadoccio had a vivid precombat imagination that had him courageously patrolling the waters 'off' Vietnam, as Richard mentions. He's an 'adopted' Kennedy, with all the freight that entails. Part of that freight is a total ineptitude concerning electoral politics outside of MA where the majority of the electorate appears to be composed of the most gullible fish ever to take an unbaited hook.

PeterUK

Linda,Just because you are an ignorant slut does not prevent you from enlisting.

Sue

Gosh Rick, just as soon as a republican runs on his war record, we'll be sure to attack it for you. How's that? ::grin::

Sue

Kerry lost before he began. 20 years in the senate and he had to run on his 30 year old Vietnam experience? That last 4 months? There is some irony in there if you were willing to look for it.

kim

DR: After Kerry beached the craft its fixed gun was pointing too high, necessitating Kerry's foolhardy run after the lone grenadier. I believe the enemy was carrying an empty launcher, I believe he was actively seeking another round, and I believe that John Kerry was justified, even demonstrated personal physical courage, to chase down and kill the grenadier, in hot blood.

Some of Kerry's problems were reckless decisionmaking, and poor fire discipline, cowardly, both. His beaching of the boat, the "taking it to them" was exceptionally dangerous tactics; he wrote them up heroically, and got a medal. A few weeks later his best friend was killed emulating those tactics. Yeah, I'd have twisted feelings, as a lot did.

Kerry bringing up Vietnam has serendipitously helped a lot of vets who never understood why so many, even among the vets, opposed the war. We were right to fight Stalinism there. But it came armored in nationalism and could still have been defeated, to the benefit of the us, the Vietnamese, and especially the Cambodians, but for people like John Kerry.

Yes, I'm talking to you. Today I am. I want you to remember John Kerry's service.
==============================

Sue

Linda,

Rootin tootin was Kerry's theme. We really don't want to steal his thunder. You know, reporting for duty, bring it on, floating in a boat to the convention? You really should be pissed at Kerry for lying about his service and using those lies to try and win the presidency. You should wonder why anyone was able to attack his lies. But you won't. ::grin::

fritz

Boy- You guys sure honor the service of veterans don't you? Unless they disagree with you of course. Then you smear, distort and twist-all the things you accuse Kerry of doing. And for what? To return to office a spoiled rich boy who got as far away from fighting as possible(where is your call for full disclosure of HIS service records? Oh, that's right- he's republican), to line the pockets of a nixon stooge and continue the fiction that if it weren't for those darn anti-war protesters we would have licked those naughty cong but good. I can't wait to see how you try to destroy veterans who challenge this administration's policies in Iraq. OOPS! You already have. Why not just admit that all of this, as o'neill has practically admitted, that it's Kerry's actions AFTER his service that really bother you-that is an honest debate. Face it,no matter what Kerry says, releases or does some people will never get over this, ever. So good luck swiftez! Hope you raise millions more for johnny o'neill I'm sure he'll spend it wisely. In the mean time, why not prove how much more patriotic you are than Kerry and volunteer for duty in Iraq? I hear they're looking for guards at abu garib.

Lurker

"Anybody else notice the Times didn't go anywhere near the Bronze Star story? This is the least defensible, the point where Kerry's cowardice became most public, and most obviously dangerous."

The last few posts honed in on the Silver Star with those in defense of the Silver Star attempting to disprove the cowardness of John Kerry based on that particular incident.

Coupling with other incidents, anti-war antics shows more of Kerry's cowardness.

Sue

fritz,

Okay, I'll admit it. It is his actions after Vietnam. Do I win a prize?

kim

Rick, I hate to burst anymore bubbles, because John F. Kennedy behaved heroically after his boat got hit by the much larger, slower-moving Japanese craft, but he only kept out of trouble for his negligence because he was a second favorite son.
====================================

anon

Sue, again I call Bullshit - the McCain smear job includes whispers that he is crazy from his time in the Hanoi Hilton and criticism for his 'confession' which was tortured out of him. I saw what the Bushies did to him in South Carolina. And Murtha was attacked for his service and questions raised about his military record. Or did you conveniently forget that?

And Lurker,
"I hope you understand what we went to the wars since the beginning of this country."
Really, so that means every war is justified? Please.

"Murtha, etc., their behavior and records deserve it."
No. Every vet irregardless of political affiliation or whether they agree with Bush deserves respect. I promise I would respect any Bush administration official who saw combat and served. I would give them their due, .... as soon as I can think of one.

And you want a book that tells how things really are? Try Cobra II.

But since I won't change your mind here, as you race to smear more vets on Memorial Day, I'll make you a deal. Meet you back here in six months. We'll measure how well Bush is doing with Iraq then. I hope I'm wrong, and Iraq is stable and more peaceful. If so, maybe the chickenhawks in the Bush administration had a point. But if Iraq devolves into civil war, if Iran is running most of the show, and if our guys died unnecessarily in this poorly planned, cavalierly launched war ... well, then maybe you need to shut up and listen to what those vets, who 'deserved it', have to say.

Lurker

"I can't wait to see how you try to destroy veterans who challenge this administration's policies in Iraq."

I would challenge this administration's policies if I don't agree with them. To date, their policies are SPOT-ON.

"I hear they're looking for guards at abu garib."

And Abu Gharib is in its final stage of being closed (or being considered).

Lurker

"And Lurker,
"I hope you understand what we went to the wars since the beginning of this country."
Really, so that means every war is justified? Please."

Nope.

richard mcenroe

PeterUK — I've always liked the B-40 story, but I read fantasy, too.

The Cong was knocked down by the twin .50 cal bow guns, then jumped up and ran. Presumably, if you've seen what a single .50 cal bullet does to a human body, on legs several yards away from his torso.

If any of you are lucky enough to have never seen a gunshot human body, there is video online of .50 cal sniper kills at over a kilometer in Afghanistan. Imagine how much more destructive that same cartridge is at point-blank range.

And the Kennedy PT-109 story is "interesting" from a tactical point of view, if you look at it in detail. But give JFK credit at least, he didn't cut and run from the rest of his tour.

BREAKING NEWS — Dissociated Press (Today) — Senator John F. Kerry's office announced this morning the hiring of political consultant Jessie Macbeth to handle paperwork issues for the Senator's possible second run for the Presidency. He will be working closely with veteran press professionals from the Boston Globe...

kim

I'd follow O'Neill into combat a lot sooner than I'd follow Kerry, oh Puttin' on the Fritz.

In fact, in this little battle, who's following Kerry? And just wait until O'Neill sounds the clarion. Kerry has now put out documents to destroy, also highlighting that he is still hiding parts of his military record. Why the losing strategy? Why the foolhardy tactics? Would you do that?
=============

Sue

anon,

Sue, again I call Bullshit - the McCain smear job includes whispers that he is crazy from his time in the Hanoi Hilton and criticism for his 'confession' which was tortured out of him. I saw what the Bushies did to him in South Carolina. And Murtha was attacked for his service and questions raised about his military record. Or did you conveniently forget that?

And I call double bullshit. ::grin:: Do you really have such a poor opinion of republicans that you think a whisper campaign, that I never heard about until I started posting with lefties, kept McCain from winning the nomination?

You certainly have your own double standard, don't you? Are you saying I can't call Murtha a dipshit because he served? I don't have a need to attack Kerry's service record. And I haven't. I attacked his 20 years in the senate and running on a 4 month experience in Veitnam 30 years prior. Get it? He's a nincompoop. ::grin::

Lurker

"Every vet irregardless of political affiliation or whether they agree with Bush deserves respect. I promise I would respect any Bush administration official who saw combat and served. I would give them their due, .... as soon as I can think of one.

And you want a book that tells how things really are? Try Cobra II.

But since I won't change your mind here, as you race to smear more vets on Memorial Day, I'll make you a deal. Meet you back here in six months. We'll measure how well Bush is doing with Iraq then. I hope I'm wrong, and Iraq is stable and more peaceful. If so, maybe the chickenhawks in the Bush administration had a point. But if Iraq devolves into civil war, if Iran is running most of the show, and if our guys died unnecessarily in this poorly planned, cavalierly launched war ... well, then maybe you need to shut up and listen to what those vets, who 'deserved it', have to say."

It was Murtha's post-war (his own) antics that dishonored him as a vet.

The Iraqi war is over. Al Qaeda is losing. The Iraqi government is firming up and taking on more responsibilities. In comparison to the post-WWII against the ex-Nazi insurgents and reconstruction, the post-Iraqi timeline is phenomenal.

PeterUK

Part One,of John Kerry's murky leftwing connections

PeterUK

"irregardless of political affiliation "

anon,this doesn't mean what you think it does.

Sue

I personally think Kerry didn't want to release his military records because they showed Bush got better grades. ::grin::

Bwahahahahaha!!!!!

Sue

Peter,

It isn't even a word. ::grin:: So how could it mean anything?

ed

Hmmmm.

Actually, the B-40 being carried by the VC was not empty. Apparently, it was reloaded by his assistant (there were two VC with that B-40, as it is a 2-person weapon) after being fired the first time. That assumes there was just one B-40 there that day.

The B-40 is a rocket launcher and it isn't a "2-person weapon"

Kerry characterised this guy as a "lone VC".

There was no assistant and you're simply assuming that there was because you're asserting that the B-40 is a "2-person weapon".

And the B-40 was empty because the VC missed his shot and couldn't reload because the .30 machinegunner was *shooting at him*.

...

Just go read the damn archives already.

Such utter garbage, what a waste of time. Please go right on ahead and nominate Kerry again. PLEASE!

Rick Ballard

I mentioned PT-109/Kennedy only for its relevance to Senator Walter Mitty's initial state of mind. Imagination is a wonderful thing and fantasy has its place - but the Oval Office isn't that place.

Beto Ochoa

No one should ever run for office or seek fame based on their military combat experience.
I have no problem with Lt Kerry and his service. In war, for those of you have never been shot at or bombarded, things go terrifically wrong more than they go terrifically right. People who are lauded as heroes have had to face their own cowardice at times. There is no proper metric to judge so it is untenable to present for self serving purposes.
My problems with Lt Kerry are based on his actions once he left the field of battle and politicized the war and his service. He lied to congress and gave the enemy aid and comfort. Those points are undisputable in indefensible. He built a career on his traitorous actions after he left the field and before his service was complete.
For these actions and these alone he has earned the collective disdain of the nation.

Rick Ballard

Excellent summation, Beto.

Lurker

Call sign: Boston strangler

Dwilkers

Dumbest post of the thread that I've seen so far:

Boy- You guys sure honor the service of veterans don't you?

Followed immediately by hypocrisy (in one post!):

And for what? To return to office a spoiled rich boy who got as far away from fighting as possible

Followed by ignorance (....or is it "smear, distort and twist"?):

where is your call for full disclosure of HIS service records?

No need for that since Bush signed his 180, but this genius is on a roll, don't stop him now.

What next? Conspiracy of course:

to line the pockets of a nixon stooge

And finishing up with the beloved chickenhawk meme of the left:

why not prove how much more patriotic you are than Kerry and volunteer for duty in Iraq?

The only thing that's missing is a Halliburton reference and something about Nazis.

anon

"The Iraqi war is over. "

That is, without a doubt, the single most delusional thing I have ever heard anyone say ... ever. Tell that to the 100,000 plus soldiers serving there. No wonder black is white and up is down to you guys.

PeterUK

"The Iraqi war is over. "

That is, without a doubt, the single most delusional thing I have ever heard anyone say ... ever. Tell that to the 100,000 plus soldiers serving there. No wonder black is white and up is down to you guys."

Yes and while you are at it tell those staitioned in Germany that WW!! is over as well.


Lurker

While these links are from Strata-Sphere, some of these posts link to other blogs, such as Captain's Quarters, etc. It's slowly becoming a common knowledge by many.

Lurker

"And Lurker,
"I hope you understand what we went to the wars since the beginning of this country."
Really, so that means every war is justified? Please."

Nope.

kim

So, anon, in this so-called 'Iraqi War' you say is going on, who is fighting whom?
========================

fritz

Dwilkers- Thanks for the your well reasoned rebuttal.

Lurker

Sorry for the messed up links and a dupe. Let me try again.

Iraq Stands Up And Takes Over Destiny

richard mcenroe

I must note a correction to my earlier. Altho the twin .50 calibers were the forward mount on the boat, (mount 51) they were mounted above the pilot house, not directly in the bow. There were a variety of improvised weapons, varying from boat to boat, installed by most crews in the bow.

Doug Reese — In the event that the weapon being used — in the even this story happened remotely as we're told it did — that's still one hell of a Cong. I've seen men shot at point-blank range with an M-60 (±10 feet), and I'd be amazed he had much of a leg left.

But just for for shits'n'grins, look at this Swift Boat. See the position of the forward M-60 gunner? Notice the high freeboard (clearance from the water) all around and the high bow? If that boat was run onto the shore, even slightly (since we know it got off), that bow is going to lift and make firing at close targets forward difficult for the M-60, which only has a couple inches clearance over the deck, and impossible for any other mounted weapon onboard.

kim

Sue, there is serious opinion that Bush's slightly higher scores hampered the pushback against the Swifties. Remember, an important meme then was what a dolt Bush was. Someone forgot to tell them that Harvard doesn't give away MBA's, even to legacies.
==================================

Lurker

"The Iraqi war is over. "

That is, without a doubt, the single most delusional thing I have ever heard anyone say ... ever. Tell that to the 100,000 plus soldiers serving there. No wonder black is white and up is down to you guys."

Yes and while you are at it tell those staitioned in Germany that WW!! is over as well."

How about Kosovo?

Richard McEnroe, I don't see how unless the boat went backwards? :)

PeterUK

"Richard McEnroe, I don't see how unless the boat went backwards? :)"

It is quite obvious that any boat of John Kerry's would go backwards,probably faster than forwards.

Other Tom

This is for Doug Reese. Go back and read what I said: "...the Swifts could come up into the rivers (but not most of the canals)..." This statement is, quite simply, true. The PBR's had a draft of slightly over a foot, and were not propeller-driven. Instead, they were powered by jacuzzi pumps that drew water through a grill in the bottom and sent it out aft to provide jet-type propulsion. The Swifts, on the other had, drew nearly five feet, and were propeller-driven. As a result, they were confined to the large, deep canals, and could not go into the innumerable narrow, shallow canals--the ones where the overhanging foliage often touched the boats as you went along, and the VC would hang Claymores from the branches.

In the incident where Kerry was awarded the Bronze Star, five Swifts were proceeding up a broad canal, three on the left side and two (including Kerry) on the right. When one of the three on the left struck a mine, three boats came immediately to the aid of their stricken comrades. Kerry, and Kerry alone, sped for the open sea, and only turned around when it was clear there was no enemy fire. It is no wonder that his colleagues detested him. As to Kerry's subsequent claim that there was intense enemy fire, consider that all the other boats lingered dead in the water for an extended period of time tending to the wounded sailors and the damaged boat and keeping it afloat, and not a single bullet struck a single boat or a single sailor (including Kerry's). It can't happen that way: I was there; I know. Incidentally, this claim was made in an after-action report drafted by Kerry while aboad the hospital ship while all the other officers were still aboard the Swifts. That report was the basis for his Bronze Star citation. If that asshole wants to re-fight this dispute, I am more than willing to accommodate him and his sycophants.

MikeinAppalachia

Doug-many, if not most, of the canals are (were) not wide enough to allow a Swift to turn and many became too shallow to navigate. Some were.

Lurker

Too late to surrender

Strata-Sphere isn't the only blogger making comments that the Iraqi war is over. Dare I say that your response would be that these are radical right wing bloggers?

Dwilkers

Fritz-

Ad Homs, innacuracies, conspiracy theories and self contradiction don't call for rebuttal. They call for exactly what you got - mockery.

MikeinAppalachia

Oh! Sorry-scrolled to bottom to post, didn't read Other Tom's explanation about canals 'til now.

Doug Reese

Nice try, Ed, but no cigar.

"Kerry characterised this guy as a "lone VC"."

"There was no assistant and you're simply assuming that there was because you're asserting that the B-40 is a "2-person weapon"."

"And the B-40 was empty because the VC missed his shot and couldn't reload because the .30 machinegunner was *shooting at him*."

"Just go read the damn archives already."

The B-40 IS a 2-person weapon. You may think it isn't, but I can assure you that is incorrect. And in this particular incident, we know that there were two people there that day because Bill Rood saw the second person. The surviving VC also said that there were two people with the B-40. B-40 guy #2 apparently split seconds before Kerry's boat hit the shoreline.

Yes, Kerry said there was "a lone VC". And he was referring to right there, in front (actually, off to the right 6-10 feet) of his boat. That isn't to say there weren't other VC in the vicinity, as there were.

"Read the damn archives"?

Good idea, Ed. Why don't you do that, as from what you've stated so far, you haven't done that yet.

I don't have to read the archives, Ed, because I was there. And I sure don't need people who weren't there, to tell me what happened.

And while I'm at it (and this is something from someone else, not you), the twin-50 on the top of the pilot house not being able to fire at the VC had nothing whatsoever to do with the angle of the boat after beaching. It had everything to do with the safety bar that surrounds the gun tub. Without that safety bar, if a person was at the front of the boat (as I was on Bill Rood's boat that day), they could be hit by the twin-50.

Go ahead, Ed, and cherry-pick comments by those of us who were there that day. You wouldn't be the first, and you certainly won't be the last. But at least try to get your facts straight.

Doug Reese

kim

Thank you, Other Tom, I was waiting for your perspective on the Bronze Star incident. It wasn't the wound that day, the ricible one, that got him out of the Nam, it was his behaviour.

I happen to be in the minority who believe there may have been minimal AK-47 fire that day. There are several who remember the distinctive sound, and it would have been reasonable to leave a mobile sniper at the site of an ambush. But all the more reason to damn Kerry's cowardice. He fled injured comrades in the water, under enemy fire! And he wants to report for duty? I've got some for him, servicing the needs of a very needy woman.
==========================

Sue

Doug,

Thank you for your service.

Don't you think John Kerry brought all of this on himself by running on the Vietnam theme? Don't you think it should have been a factoid but not THE factoid, considering the man had 20 years in the senate which should have sustained him during the campaign, but instead was never mentioned?

Sue

The running joke during the campaign was

John Kerry, did I mention I was in Vietnam?

A few times senator. But what you never mentioned was your 20 years in the senate. ::grin::

fritz

Dwilkers- Perfect. I'll forward your response to JFK. He can use it next time the swifties attack.

PeterUK

B-40 Rocket launcher Around about the size of an RPG-7

kim

So Doug, was it smart to beach the boat? And was he taking it to them? Was David Alston, the Man of God, there to see it, as he has testified at Kerry's public coronation? Did Kerry's best friend in Nam, another Swift Boat captain get killed shortly thereafter, possible trying to emulate Kerry's actions?

I believe you and Other Tom might be able to have a very interesting conversation.

Break.
=========

kim

Nobody's laffed at 'The Ricible Wound', yet. My best effort today.

Pouts.
==================================

Viet_Vet_Wife

Who the hell are you to pass judgment, Tom Maguire?

Doug Reese

Hmmm, Other Tom -- Do I know you? (If I do, how have you been?)

Anyway, yes, Swifts can't handle canals as narrow/shallow as the PBR's. Ignorant as I am about those boats, I at least know that.

But I also know this -- where we were, and the Swifts operated, there were just two rivers. Everything else was a canal. Some narrower than others, but all were canals.

The Bronze Star incident took place on the Bay Hap RIVER, upwards of 200 yards wide, depending on the location. It wasn't a canal. I lived on that river for about eight months, just two miles or so away from where that incident happened, when it happened.

Yes, four people present for that incident dispute what Kerry and/or the Navy said happened. However, there were about 11 guys who were there who disputed what those four claimed. And then there's the other 17-18 guys who were there . . . if Kerry was lying so much about this incident, why is it none of them would spill the beans to the privite investigator hired by the SBV"t" to get people to dispute what Kerry said about this incident (and others)?

Doug Reese

PeterUK

Doug Reese

kim

Good question, DR, but I support public examination of the Bay Hap RIVER incident. I believe it is the most damning of his three medal incidents, by far. How can you explain that all the boats but Kerry's responded to the injured sailors in the water?
=================

Lesley

It was the River Rat (over at Captain's Quarters blog) who first got me interested in the Swiftboat story.

Tom Mortensen
Patrol Officer
Rivdiv 92
Nov ‘68 - Nov’69

I honor you and your service, sir.

Fresh Air

Kerry and his liberal defenders are crybabies! There. I said it.

Face it, life sucks when you back a lying traitor for president.

Doug Reese

Kim -- Yes, it was smart to beach the boat, and Kerry was commended by a superior for this tactic.

And it was planned to beach, should the situation warrant it. That is the reason we (advisors and South Vietnamese) were on the boats that day. In fact, the Swifts came to our village the day before to discuss it, as the Vietnamese had not been on the Swifts before that day.

Which is to say that the Navy was quite aware of the tactic. The only people who were surprised by it were the VC who had the bad lck of being in that particular place, that particular day.

No, David Alston wasn't there. And he has never said he was. Yes, you can take a statement by him and infer that he claimed he was there, but he never said he was there.

It just like when I said, as a Colts fan "Boy, we really stuck it to those Steelers" (I wish!), and then someone would come forward and say I was trying to claim that I played with the Colts.

As for Kerry's friend, Don Droz, please scroll up a bit and see my comment on that.

Doug Reese

boris

Two of the people who claimed there was enemy fire were in the water. One of the gunners laying down supression fire immediately after the mine went off, claims there wasn't any he was aware of.

The facts remain that Kerry's boat fled while the others went to rescue crew from the damaged boat and that several hours of repair were required before towing it back.

Under enemy fire? Not likely.

The enemy fire wasn't the only detail where the swifts disputed Kerry's version. On those details, the swifts version is better supported.

richard mcenroe

Lurker, PeterUK — While I bow to no man in my misesteem for the Senator from Ketchup, no one in his right mind backs a boat into the shore unless he has no more use for those propellers and rudder. Even if Kerry wanted to, the helmsman would have questioned the order.

Kim — Kerry didn't flee the scene. He was busy fighting a two-and-a-half kilometer running gun battle with dug in forces (without sustaining a single wound or damage to his boat) that nobody on the other four boats even noticed. Just ask him.

That's how like Jack Bauer John Kerry is. Silent, but deadly.

Doug Reese

Kim, you ask "How can you explain that all the boats but Kerry's responded to the injured sailors in the water?"

Says who? Four out of 33 guys? I suggest you try to cut through the SBV"t" spin, as it's pretty thick in all of these incidents.

I was a couple of miles away, safe in my village, and not actually on the scene when this happened that day. However, from what I know as to who was where, and the distances involved, I doubt Kerry was fleeing the scene.

Doug Reese

kim

Doug Reese, I am perfectly willing to withdraw my comment about Dan Droz, and do apologize forthwith to any offended. If you are right about that incident, I have been misinformed, and you have more credibility about it than do I. You've also put Alston's comments in perspective, which I thought was impossible.

Were Kerry's, or the Navy's tactics, as used in the Silver Star incident continued and used as a standard, thereafter? Was it really wise to neutralize the Swift Boat's tactical strengths, which were firepower and mobility? This is not a landing craft, here, though I could see how you might think so, given your landlubber's perspective.
==========================

boris

I doubt Kerry was fleeing the scene.

Pretty hard to admit in your position.

Doug Reese

Richard -- I repeat -- Beaching the boat was discussed with the Navy and the Army beforehand. It was not an impulsive action on Kerry's part.

Apparently being anti-Kerry clouds the judgement of some people when it comes to this incident. That, and knowing nothing about the terrain, the VC of the area, and the particulars of the support (or lack thereof) the Swifts had in that area at that time.

Bottom line -- It was a good idea for that place and time, and a major factor in him being awarded the Silver Star.

Doug Reese

kim

Doug, I'm perfectly happy to have more public discussion of the Bay Hap incident. It's pretty clear that three boats clustered around the men in trouble and one took off so fast it dumped the landlubber in the water.

Who wrote the after action for that one? It should be in his records, and he's signed the 180, so it's out there. Show me.
=============================

kim

Doug, I have less quarrel with his Silver Star than I do his others, and I agree that of the three its almost a cheap shot. He did show personal courage that day. And I agree he was commended for that tactic. Was it a good one?
=================

Tom Maguire

Anybody else notice the Times didn't go anywhere near the Bronze Star story? This is the least defensible...

Personally I ranked the first Purple Heart as the most likely to be a major debacle; IMHO, the Brozne Star was next; and at this site anyway, we pretty much dropped the Silver Star, other than to point out that it was not "Kerry v. Swiftees", but "Kerry v. Kerry".

As to the fisrt Purple Heart - on the off chance that folks did not follow the links, there is an abiding mystery about whether Zaledonis and Runyon really were the two guys with Kerry in the skimmer.

A quick recap:

(1) These skimmer crews were tossed together on an ad hoc basis; however,

(2) Zaledonis served on Kerry's boat a few weeks after this incident.

(3) Kerry did not remember their names when he spoke to the Globe in 2003.

(4) Brinkley did not name them for his "Tour of Duty" book, even though he interviewed Zaledonis, who told tales of serving with Kerry but evidently did not mention that he met Tall John a few weeks earlier in a skimmer and had been there when Kerry got a Purple heart.

I find (4) to be very odd.

Anyway, Zaledonis and Runyon came forward in April 2004 when Jerry was getting whacked for his first Purple Heart. But I doubt anyone has seen any evidence of their involvement other than their say-so.

And could they fake it? Sure, one of them may have been on the boat and knows the third guy is dead.

Or they might have figured, we'll both swear to it, and who cares? Little did they know that Schachte would emerge.

Or they could be telling the truth and Schachte is a liar. Bit it seems odd that Zaledonis and Brinkley never hit on that story during the interview.

kim

I do quarrel with what made his Silver Star unique. That was phony enough to make you wonder about the whole thing. Got that explained?
=====================

Lurker

But, Doug, you don't know whether Kerry fleed or not. Kerry could've fled the opposite direction from your safe village. Two miles can make a difference. You weren't there as a witness.

richard mcenroe's post provides a better corroboration to the Bronze Story incident.

boris

Bottom line -- It was a good idea for that place and time

Somehow this doesn't sound like such a great strategery:

In an interview, Kerry added a chilling detail.

"This guy could have dispatched us in a second, but for ... I'll never be able to explain, we were literally face to face, he with his B-40 rocket and us in our boat, and he didn't pull the trigger. I would not be here today talking to you if he had,"

Sound more like a good way to get blown up without being extra lucky.

Specter

See...None of you get this. It was Rove that suggested to Kerry's campaign - anonymously - or maybe posing as Joel Loria - that Kerry should come out and salute and "report for duty" - and give out all those facts. Now it is Rove nudging Kerry-Kalb-Schacte group that now is the time for all real men.....

Happy Memorial Day - Give a vet a beer and a steak - just not Jesse MacBeth.....LOL

PeterUK

More on the Kerry's medals with a reference to Admiral Shachte

kim

I've always ignored that part of the first Purple Heart because I could not make sense of it, which should have been a clue.

I've keyed on the part that he was probably firing on frightened civilians, who did not fire back, but 'fled like gazelles'; then in his excess of fear, misused a grenade launcher self-inflicting a trivial wound, which he later, to the ignorant, used to justify the first of his three Purple Hearts, when he was within reach of his goal of three, and he could probably self-inflict the last.

I'd call him a bahstahd but it would unecessarily impugn his mother whose integrity failed to be passed on.
==============================

RLS

n his book about Kerry titled "Unfit For Command," co-author John O'Neill quotes an Army Veteran named Doug Reese who claims that when the enemy fire started, it was the boat he was on, not Kerry's, that first reached the beach.
He says that it was the troops on his boat that went on the land, killed enemy forces, and captured weapons, but none of them received Silver Stars.
He goes on to say that Kerry's boat was later hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and pursued a "young Viet Cong in a loincloth" who was eventually shot in the back on land.

This is you, Doug?

Lurker

So, PeterUK, how can that Cong walk away after being hit by a B-40 or whatever was used in that incident? Hop? If that guy hopped, no way he can escape quickly.

kim

Yes, Boris, make a sitting duck of a fierce bird of prey. I wonder who thought up that idea. Maybe a grunt named Doug.
===========================

cboldt

The issue with Kerry's Silver Star citation is not the single fleeing VC. It is whether Kerry beached in the face of a numerically superior enemy force (it was at least his swift boat crew against the enemy), and while under intense enemy fire.


One of the supposed debunkers, Mr. Rood, does not support Kerry's or the official record's contention in this regard. Neither does Brinkley's book. And that is why Mr. Elliott's sworn affidavit says what it does about why he (Mr. Elliott) would not have passed the recommendation letter along, if he had the facts as presented by Brinkley.

kim

Maybe a grunt named Doug, who really was a hero that day.

See, we remember. And thanks.
====================

kim

Well, cbolt, the after action on that one probably came from Kerry, too. Clever, that guy. By half.
=====================

Doug Reese

Kim -- Landlubber? Who, me? OK, you got me there. Did I give myself away when I said "front of the boat"?

As to your question -- was that tactic used again? Yes, many times.

The next time was March 13, up that very same canal where the Silver Star incident occured 13 days earlier. It was further up the canal, and on the other side, however.

We beached the boats again. This time we had a guy killed (one of Jim Rassmann's Nungs). Later, after we were dropped off at our village, the part of the day you were more familiar with occured.

Was it a wise tactic? I thought it was, and so did everyone else. As I stated, it was a major factor in him getting the SS.

Perhaps in other parts of Vietnam it would not have been a good idea. But this was a unique area, and a unique time for the Swift Boats.

Doug Reese

Doug Reese

cboldt -- There isn't a single word about a superior force in the after action report, nor in the citation presented to Kerry in March, 1969.

Nor has Kerry, or anyone else made such a claim.

That phrase is in a subsequent citation, probably added by a clerk who got carried away with himself.

Read that citation if you have access. Note that the person who wrote it up contradicts himself. A "score" of VC are mentioned, as are the Vietnamese soldiers. Then there's the three swifts and crew.

After all that, he sticks that phrase in the citation.

Elliott was well aware of the circumstances.

Doug Reese

PeterUK

Lurker,
Quite simple,if you look at the picture of th B-40 I posted,you can see that it is convenient enough to use as a crutch,unfortunately,this would prevent it being fired.Either way we are back to Kerry shooting an injured/unarmed or both boy.

Doug Reese

RLS -- Yes, I am that Doug Reese.

However, this is a prime example of "Don't believe everything you read."

I wasn't quoted in the book.

What you posted is a good example of the SBV"t" ability to misrepresent. It's not a very accurate portrayl of what I told them -- specifically, what I told Tom Rupprath, the private investigator hired by the SBV"t".

Furthermore, part of it isn't even close to anything I have ever said, to anyone -- the part about the VC being shot in the back.

In fact, I've never seen that particular piece, quote, mention (whatever you call it). Where did you get it?

Doug Reese

PeterUK

So to put this in perspective,kerry got the Silver Star for shooting a lone scrawny boy with a loincloth and a limp.

RLS

Doug,

I got it here. I just googled and several sites came up.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/k/kerry-swiftboats.htm

Doug Reese

PeterUK -- Totaly wrong, on all counts, except for the limp.

"So to put this in perspective,kerry got the Silver Star for shooting a lone scrawny boy with a loincloth and a limp."

His name was Ba Thanh, and he was 27 years old. But regardless of his age, he was a man that day.

And besides our guys, I remember those who we killed on that day . . . . on this, and every, Memorial Day.

Doug Reese

Other Tom

Doug--I don't think we ever met. I operated variously out of Vinh Long, mostly out of Binh Thuy, and a month in the Rung Sat Special Zone. I believe you are the army officer who was present on another boat during the Silver Star incident. I have never disputed Kerry's courage in that incident, but like many people I don't believe it warranted a Silver Star. Such an action in the PBR's would probably have warranted a Navy Commendation Medal with combat "V" (I believe you received the Army's equivalent of that award for the same event). Actions of that kind were not at all uncommon. The grade inflation, however, was not Kerry's fault. I know that Zumwalt wanted to be, and was, very generous with awards during that period as means of boosting the morale of guys who were catching a lot more shit than they bargained for, and sustaining some very high casualty rates. As you may have guessed, my principal beef with Kerry (apart from the Fonda-like stuff) was his shameless effort to acquire decorations, including a couple of purple hearts that most guys I know, particularly most officers, would not have accepted, and certainly would not have sought. And it is apparent that he sought them in order to further his political ambitions, and having got them used them for that purpose. It leaves a very bad taste that won't go away.

kim

Well, Doug, I thank you. You have improved my understanding of the events of the Silver Star day, by a lot. Have you looked at the link to Kerry's medals put up by PeterUK?
=================================

PeterUK

"His name was Ba Thanh, and he was 27 years old. But regardless of his age, he was a man that day."

No Doug,he was a dead man that day,someone got a medal for killing him.

Fresh Air

From Unfit for Command, page 82:

According to Doug Reese, a pro-Kerry Army veteran, and many others, what happened that day differs from the retelling in the citation (ed: Kerry's citation). Far from being alone, the boats were loaded with many soldiers commanded by Reese and two other advisors. When fired at, Reese's boat--not Kerry's--was the first to beach in the ambush zone. Then Reese and other troops and advisors (not Kerry) disembarked, killing a number of Viet Cong and capturing a number of weapons. None of the participants from Reese's boat received any Silver Stars. Indeed, most if not all of the non-PCF troops received no medals for this action. Doug Reese, who advised the South Vietnamese who were the first group ashore and who killed most of the Viet Cong, received a well-deserved Army Commendation Medal--a much lower medal than the Silver Star.
Fresh Air

More, from page 83+:

...most Swiftees do not consider this action to be the stuff of which medals of any kind are awarded...There is no indication that Kerry ever reported that the Viet Cong was wounded and fleeing when dispatched. Likewise, the citation simply ignores the presence of the soldiers and advisors who actually "captured the enemy weapons" and routed the Viet Cong. Further, the citation ignores the preplanned nature of the tactic and the fact that Kerry's boat did not beach first. Finally, the citation statement that Kerry attacked "a numerically superior force in the face of intense fire" is simply false.
kim

Bravo, Tom Mortensen and Doug Reese, a memorable duet.

Encore.

Gad, I'm glad I checked; I almost spelt it 'son'
==================================

Dwilkers

It doesn't matter anyway.

I was thinking earlier about how odd it was that all the buzz for the Dems for 2008 seems to be around Kerry and Gore.

I went digging around because I thought the last loser candidate to be allowed to carry the banner for his party was Nixon (1960 loss to Kennedy, 1968 win) and that was correct. Prior to that you have to go back to Adlai Stevenson and his runs against Eisenhower (1952 and 1956).

So in 2008 it will have been 40 years since a political party has handed the nomination to a prior loser and I am deeply skeptical that they'll do it. And even were the Dems tempted to go with a prior nominee I'd guess Gore is the more likely beneficiary of their largess.

Kerry was an awful candidate, truly abysmal IMO for a lot of reasons. When the most powerful ad your opponent runs against you is tape of one of your own campaign appearances you are toast.

The fact that he lost against Bush despite all the negative baggage Bush carried into 2004 (as well as, I would argue, what a weak national candidate Bush is in general) says it all. There's no way the Dems will give it to Kerry again to face a Pub like McCain or some similarly powerful political opponent.

PeterUK

There is also the slight problem of the B-40.If it is a two man weapon,which presumably means requiring two to fire it,why was the lone Ba Thanh shot by the skipper of a Swiftboat? There were after all sufficient ground troops to have routed the rest of the Vietcong.

ed

Hmmm.

1.

Go ahead, Ed, and cherry-pick comments by those of us who were there that day. You wouldn't be the first, and you certainly won't be the last. But at least try to get your facts straight.

Frankly I need a lot more evidence that you are who you claim to be than posting with the name "Doug Reese". For now I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But there have been many disinformation campaigns over these issues in the past, and I don't expect that technique to suddenly disappear now or in the future when it comes to Democrats.

2.

Was it a wise tactic? I thought it was, and so did everyone else. As I stated, it was a major factor in him getting the SS.

And how is this a "major factor" in Kerry getting an SS? His boat wasn't the first to beach. The soldiers fought the majority of the battle, not the naval crews or Kerry. The tactics had been discussed and worked out previously by both navy and army people.

So how *exactly* was this tactic a "major factor" in Kerry getting a Silver Star, which is solely a combat decoration?

Go ahead. I'd like to hear this one.

Doug Reese

"There is also the slight problem of the B-40.If it is a two man weapon,which presumably means requiring two to fire it,why was the lone Ba Thanh shot by the skipper of a Swiftboat? There were after all sufficient ground troops to have routed the rest of the Vietcong."

Why was just Ba Thanh shot by Kerry? I suppose because the other guy got the hell out of Dodge. Wouldn't you? I sure would have.

Ba Thanh didn't, for reasons known only to him. I would guess that he never imagined a Swift would beach (they never did before that day), so he felt safe in his hole. The other guy wasn't in the hole (there wasn't room for two), so he split.

It's difficult to say if Ba Thanh could see that our boat beached, or that he even looked. But he was there when Kerry's boat beached, and the other guy wasn't.

The Vietnamese soldiers would have been on the back of Kerry's boat. Getting Ba Thanh was a split second decision by Kerry. A decision that would have been made unnecessary had Tommy Beladeou's M-60 not jammed.

Kerry quickly jumped off the boat and killed Ba Thanh. Under the circumstances, the Vietnamese would have been unable to assist in that task.

Doug Reese

Bill

I wonder if any of those who were there on any of those days committed any of the atrocities that Kerry would later claim he witnessed.

I wonder how many atrocities involved Kerry.

I wonder how much it cost our government to have the NIS among others check out the stories in the Winter Soldier Fraud.

If Kerry had stood up at the Last River Run Reunion and has said what he said in 1971 was wrong the Winter Soldier investigation was a farce and that he had been fooled by others and apologized face to face to those he slandered he probably would have won in 2004.

Forget about the SBVT, when the Hillary machine gets going Kerry won't have a snowball's chance in hell.

Doug Reese

Ed -- Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt that I am, well, me. After all, how would I prove it?

Sooner or later someone, friend or foe, will probably come forward and vouch for me.

The tactic of beaching the boats was Kerry's idea, not the Navy. And that's apparently why it was a factor, major or otherwise, in him receiving that award.
Believe me, it shocked the hell out of the VC that day.

And considering the lack of support the Swifts had at that point in time, in that particular area, they had to do something. Otherwise, it was target season on the Swifts for the VC in that area.

For the following few months, the Vietnamese were on the Swifts numerous times. And then they developed a base down there, which at least gave them some level of support which just didn't exist before then.

Doug Reese

PeterUK

"Why was just Ba Thanh shot by Kerry? I suppose because the other guy got the hell out of Dodge. Wouldn't you? I sure would have."

Now thst is very disingenuous of you Doug,I did not say that,I said,

"why was the lone Ba Thanh shot by the skipper of a Swiftboat? There were after all sufficient ground troops to have routed the rest of the Vietcong."

I will ask you again why was it neccessary to shoot Ba Thanh,he was holding a two man weapon remember.

Why did the skipper of the boat need to go ashore when there were adequate ground troops.

If the soldiesr were on the back of the boat,who was doing the fighting with the Vietcong forces,remember those you were there to engage?

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Wilson/Plame