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The battle for the White House officially begins

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted March 1, 2004

Sure this presidential campaign has begun early, largely driven by President George W. Bush's declining poll numbers that were triggered by ongoing assaults from the Democrats during their primary season. The simple truth is that the Bush-bashers such as Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, can no longer spout their claptrap with impunity. Too bad, so sad for the Left-leaning crowd, which is about to get a taste of reality therapy. The president is now on the scene, ready to do political battle and define Senator Kerry for what he really is -- a profoundly liberal politico, and dishonest waffler, whose votes have been antithetical to our national security interests and the "war on terror." President Bush and fellow Republicans are certainly not alone on the frontlines -- Kerry's many critics, including veterans, POW/MIA families, and human rights activists, are girding for political confrontation with the Senator, too. Veterans groups particularly possess the moral authority to challenge John Kerry, who continues to boast about his Vietnam service. Ironically, Kerry began his political career by accusing American soldiers in Vietnam of committing unparalleled war crimes.

Kerry should take heed, as his extreme arrogance and condescension will not serve him well in this campaign. Moreover, he better look out for grenades being lobed his way by elite media types, or should I say "friends of Bill and Hillary." Kerry has just taken a major political hit due to the dubious distinction bestowed upon him by the National Journal: He has the most liberal voting record in the Senate for 2003! That's tantamount to the kiss of death in a national election. Knowing Bill and Hillary Clinton, and their legions of media cronies, you just have to wonder if the infamous couple had their hot little hands in the mix on this one.

Never underestimate Hillary Clinton and her unbridled determination to capture the White House in 2008. By that time, President Bush would have largely disposed of the terrorist nests throughout the globe, and Hillary would be poised to walk into a peacetime presidency -- which is what she wants. And as for John Kerry, he's just a bump on a side road in the grand scheme of things. Sure the GOP will attempt to fend off Hillary in 2008, but who will win the presidency four years out is anybody's guess. Importantly, after winning a war, the citizenry generally gravitates toward a peacetime leader -- Political junkies are cognizant that the great Winston Churchill was tossed out on his ear by the British citizenry right after WWII. I wouldn't count on public gratitude toward the Republicans in 2008 even if President Bush put every last terrorist to rest.

And, as I've noted, Kerry's critics are gearing up for intense political combat. Although presidential wannabee John Kerry righteously revels in his Vietnam "band of brothers" on the campaign trail, it would be foolhardy to give short-shrift to the many veterans who want to expose Kerry's ugly under-belly of deceit that began with his antiwar activism (circa 1970) and continues until today. Jerry Kiley, New York spokesman and coordinator for "Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry" graciously submitted to a short telephone interview with this writer regarding VVAJK's February 28th demonstration in front of John Kerry's campaign headquarters located at 373 Park Avenue in NYC. Kiley, who estimated that "over a thousand" were present at the event, enthusiastically stated: "The turnout was incredible! This is just the beginning of our efforts to bring him (Kerry) down." Kiley was particularly proud of VVAJK's alliance with Vietnamese Americans for Human Rights in Vietnam, and asked this pivotal question: "Why did Senator Kerry stop the Vietnam Human Rights Bill" from moving forward? Kiley also suggested that an investigation be conducted into "Kerry's shredding of government documents" that might have obfuscated the truth about Vietnam era POWs and MIAs. The subtext to these remarks is that Senator Kerry was more interested in cozying-up to the Vietnamese communist government than delving into human rights and POW/MIA issues.

There are other key remarks in VVAJK's February 23rd press release worth citing: "It's one thing," said New York Vietnam veteran Jerry Kiley, "to oppose a war for moral reasons, but it's dishonorable to take that extra step and support the enemy. That's what John Kerry did." Ted Sampley, founder of VVAJK averred: "I have personally dealt with John Kerry on the issue of US POWs left behind in Vietnam. Kerry is not truthful and is not worthy of the support of US veterans…To us, he is 'Hanoi John'." And Mike Benge, former civilian Vietnam POW stated, "In the Senate, Kerry almost single-handedly prevented a Vietnam Human Rights (and religious freedom) Bill from coming to a vote. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese communists continue to wage a war of repression against our former South Vietnamese allies and a war of genocide against the Montagnard ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands of Vietnam." Please note that the VVAJK coalition is not affiliated with any political party, as underscored by Jerry Kiley.

The obsession of the Left-leaning crowd (the Democrats and their cohorts, the elite liberal media) with President Bush's National Guard service might very well come back to haunt them. Whether they like it or not, the liberals have now set the standard for gleaning information from candidates' military records. Although the Bush campaign is not inclined to challenge Senator Kerry's wartime record in any manner, arguably, the American citizenry is entitled to various clarifications and answers to legitimate questions.

For instance, why did Senator Kerry only serve about four months in a Vietnam combat zone? Precisely, how did he orchestrate a transfer out of Vietnam? Did Kerry utilize an obscure policy to get out of Vietnam service or was it a commonly utilized policy? What is the medical documentation for Kerry's three Purple Hearts since his injuries were apparently so minor that, by his own admission, he only took a day or two off in total? Is it accurate that Kerry won his Silver Star by killing a wounded Viet Cong? Is it accurate that while commanding Swift Boat 44 he and his crew killed innocent civilians? Did the crew of Swift Boat 44 demonstrate any type of recklessness that resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians? Now these queries might generate thoroughly acceptable explanations from Senator Kerry, but we have the right to ask them of an individual who aspires to become President of the United States. Many feel that it's time for Senator Kerry to produce complete military records, just as President Bush was required to do as a consequence of relentless hounding by the press and the Democratic Party.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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