You can learn a lot from a dummy
I just watched Kerry's Senate testimony at the Fullbright hearings in '71. C-Span online
deserves top ten ranking on the internet.
I thought the best part was when Senator Case, a Democrat, obsequiously asks for Kerry's opinion about the real reason we were in Vietnam-to fight communism:
Senator Case: Thank you, Mr. Chairman
Strategic Implication of Vietnam War
Mr. Kerry, thank you too for coming. You have made more than clear something that I think always has been true: that the war never had any justification in terms of Indochina itself. I wish you would take this question a little further and touch on the larger strategic implications. It is in these larger strategic implications, if anywhere, that may be found justification for our involvement. As you know, the President said the other day that it is easy to get out and to end the war immediately.
The question is to get out and leave a reasonable chance for lasting peace. We have to look at this because the American people are going to see the issue in the terms he has defined it. I would be glad to have your comment on this matter, although I won't press you to discus it because in a sense you have already said this is not your area.
Mr. Kerry: I do want to. I want to very much.
Senator Case: And I would be very glad to have you do it.
Mr. Kerry: Thank you, sir. I would like to very much.
In my opinion, what we are trying to do, as the President talks about getting out with a semblance of honor is simply whitewashing ourselves. On the question of getting out with some semblance for peace, as a man who has fought there, I am trying to say that this policy has no chance for peace. You don't have a chance for peace when you arm the people of another country and tell them they can fight a war. That is even criminal in the sense that their country, if we are really worried about recrimination, is going to have to someday face up to the fact that we convinced a certain number of people, perhaps hundred of thousands, perhaps there will be several million, that they could stand up to something which they couldn't and ultimately will face the recrimination of the fact that their lives in addition to all the lives at this point, will be on our conscience. I don't think it is a question of peace at all. What we are doing is very, very, hypocritical in our withdrawal, and we really should face up to that.
O...k. So we should never have encouraged the Vietnamese to fight against communism in the first place. And it will be our fault when they are punished for having stood against it. It's criminal to have given them guns to do this. Of course we know from his earlier words and later on the Dick Cavett show that he believes fervently in the goodwill of our enemies. He believes that our POWs will be immediately sent home, no locals will be in trouble once we are gone, and life will be flowers.
But this doesn't seem to be exactly what Case was fishing for. Though Kerry has given an honest answer, Case draws him out more. He seems to be wanting to bash something from a recent Nixon speech or something, just for points. Anyway, Case asks for general comments about whether Nixon was right, that the broad American interest in Vietnam was world peace. Kerry takes this opportunity to expand from merely trusting Vietnamese communists, but trusting communists everywhere. There was really no threat at all, unless you count the U.S. The number of times Kerry emphasized the word criminal
when speaking about the U.S. versus the number of times he cast mass murdering dictators in favorable light in his earlier testimony and elsewhere is...criminal
. In fact, he seems to think that until Canada and Mexico fall we shouldn't even break a sweat. In fact, as he is winding down he says it's all the same, democracy, communism and benevolent dictatorship(wtf?)so long as we feel our needs are met. In fact, he says democracy is not meeting the needs of the people and maybe a change is comin'. He says that any time an actual threat were to arrive at our shores he would be the first to take up arms, but he seems to downplay almost completely the idea that communism showing up at our shores might be
such a threat. Then he takes a shot a capitalism too. I have no idea if Case got exactly or way more than he wanted here, but this long winded tirade seems awfully...idiotic in retrospect:
Senator Case: May I press you just a little further or at least raise the question on which I would ask you to comment.
Mr. Kerry: I wish you would, please.
Senator Case: I think your answer was related still to the question of Indochina, but I think the President has tried to tie in Indochina with the question of world peace.
Mr. Kerry: I would like to discuss that.
It is my opinion that the United States is still reacting in very much the 1945 mood and postwar cold-war period when we reacted to the forces which were at work in World War II and came out of it with this paranoia about the Russians and how the world was going to be divided up between the super powers, and the foreign policy of John Foster Dulles which was responsible for the creation of the SEATO treaty, which was, in fact, a direct reaction to this so-called Communist monolith. And I think we are reacting under cold-war precepts which are no longer applicable.
I say that because so long as we have the kind of strike force we have, and I am not party to the secret statistics which you gentlemen have here, but as long as we have the ones which we of the public know we have, I think we have a strike force of such capability and I think we have a strike force simply in our Polaris submarines, in the 62 or some Polaris submarines, which are constantly roaming around under the sea. And I know as a Navy man that underwater detection is the hardest kind in the world, and they have not perfected it, that we have the ability to destroy the human race. Why do we have to, therefore, consider and keep considering threats?
At any time that an actual threat is posed to this country or to the security and freedom I will be one of the first people to pick up a gun and defend it, but right now we are reacting with paranoia to this question of peace and the people taking over the world. I think if we are ever going to get down to the question of dropping those bombs most of us in my generation simply don't want to be alive afterwards because of the kind of world that it would be with mutations and the genetic probabilities of freaks and everything else.
Therefore, I think it is ridiculous to assume we have to play this power game based on total warfare. I think there will be guerilla wars and I think we must have a capability to fight those. And we may have to fight them somewhere based on legitimate threats and that is what I would say to this question of world peace. I think it is bogus, totally artificial. There is no threat. The Communists are not about to take over our McDonald hamburger stands. (Laughter)
Senator, I will say this. I think that politically, historically, the one thing that people try to do, that society is structured on as a whole, is an attempt to satisfy their felt needs, and you can satisfy those needs with almost any kind of political structure, giving it one name or the other. In this name it is democratic; in other it is communism; in others it is benevolent dictatorship. As long as those needs are satisfied, that structure will exist.
But when you start to neglect those needs, people will start to demand a new structure, and that, to me, is the only threat that this country faces now, because we are not responding to the needs and we are not responding to them because we work on these old cold-war precepts and because we have not woken up to realizing what is happening in the United States of America.
Senator Case: I thank you very much. I wanted you to have a chance to respond to the question of Indochina in a large context.
Well, I could go on forever but I really just wanted an excuse to click submit on the Ping-o-matic. heh.
posted by M@ at 8:54 PM