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August 26, 2004

The Big Lie: Still Going!

Lest any Kerry defender avow that the harm from Kerry's testimony before the Senate in 1971 was over 30 years ago and has no impact today, The Vietnam government is still using it as justification for accusing the United States of war crimes. (hat tip to The Corner) It's like the Energizer Bunny, except it's malevolent. As recent as June 11, 2004, the Vietnam News Agency, in an article titled "Invoking Viet Nam to Cover Up Iraq Abuses," includes as evidence for its claims the following:

Candidate in this yearís American presidential elections, John Kerry, who fought in the war, went further in his criticism. In a statement to the USí Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971, he said the war crimes committed by US soldiers in Southeast Asia "were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."

The testimony has been proven to have been based on fabrications of identities and incidents. None of Kerry's fellows in the Vietnam Veterans Against War presented any specific charges of any individuals as they were required to do under UMCJ. Many members were in fact not veterans of Viet Nam, nor were they even who they claimed to be. They assumed the identities of others in order to add credibility to their statements.

The whole basis of the VVAW campaign of was The Big Lie, which ironically comes not from the communist playbook originally, but from Mein Kampf.

All this was inspired by the principle - which is quite true in itself - that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.
Hitler, Mein Kampf (James Murphy translation, page 134)

Tell a lie that is so unbelievable that for anyone to dare to make the statement it must be true and repeat it often enough and it will become accepted as truth by many who do not know better. For years many Americans accepted as truth that our military in Viet Nam was a baby-killing bloodthirsty mob that committed daily atrocities with the acquiescence of the chain of command.

Indeed, the strategy of manufacturing witnesses, by giving false identities to individuals who never served in Vietnam, has a parallel in Hilter's tactic of dressing bodies in Polish uniforms and leaving them at the site of a faked Polish attack in German territory as justification for the invasion of Poland. However much this comes from Nazi methodology and Hitler's writing, I have no doubt the VVAW learned it from transmission through the CPUSA, which is still an ardent friend of Kerry. While the CPUSA disavows supporting any party in the 2004 election, in the article titled "Just Being Anti-Bush Is Not Enough To Win," by Sam Webb, the National Chair, we see this:

It was no surprise to me that virtually everyone I met during a recent three-week trip across the Midwest was quick to remind me that this election is the most important in their lifetime. While agreeing that the overriding political task is to defeat Bush and his counterparts in Congress and elect Kerry and a more people-friendly Congress, no one reduced this to simply a contest between the Democratic and Republican parties.

We know better now than believe that all of our military were war criminals in Vietnam. We know the numbers of real atrocities were very small, and those uncovered were prosecuted. We also know of the real atrocities performed by the other side, both the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese, and later the communist minions of Pol Pot. But much of the rest of the world, the opinion of which seems to be very important to Kerry, does not. A significant part of the reason that they do not are the words of Kerry himself.

Kerry's testimony which provides this "evidence" could be defanged. Kerry could make a clear and strong statement in public that his testimony before the Senate was a tissue of lies concocted to damage the morale of the United States and its military. He could apologise and denounce any who might cite that as evidence of American wrongdoing (except for his and the VVAW's lying) to stop a war with which they did not agree. That he is now the presidential candidate for one of the two major parties only lends more weight to his testimony of 30 years ago in the eyes for those foreign countries he claims to wish we could earn the respect of.

Lying is a poor way to earn respect. Lying about your country to make it look bad is an even worse way to earn respect for your country.

A man who truly had the best interest of his country at heart would step forward and admit that he lied and that as a result he harmed his country and its reputation. Such a man could be forgiven for past mistakes if he convinced the American public that he was sincere, and proceded to acts that would confirm his statement.

Kerry has had ample opportunity to make such a statement. Many have suggested that he do exactly that. He has instead made lame apologies and admitted no real guilt. He has chosen not only to harm his country in the past, but to continue to do so every day he does not come forward and admit he was chief spokesman for a propaganda campaign that was based on a Big Lie.

Posted by dan at August 26, 2004 09:38 PM

dan, you are absolutely right and spelled it out for me in the purest form-he lied about his country to make it look bad. an unconscionable act, especially for a man who wants to be the president. if i were a younger man i would think that no one with his standards could possibly win but now i am not so certain, so few people see it as clearly as i (we) do.

Posted by: scott holmes at September 5, 2004 09:59 PM

i was not there, but war crimes were committed and reported, and sometimes not reported, and sometimes investigated but never reported.


Posted by: anonymusrex at September 6, 2004 01:47 PM

The contention is not, and has never been, that no war crimes were committed in Vietnam. In any war there will be war crimes, just as in any civil society there will be crimes. Kerry did not say "Some people committed war crimes in Vietnam." He said (to quote from above):

...the war crimes committed by US soldiers in Southeast Asia "were not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."

That was not the case.

But have you read Kerry's testimony carefully? If not, go read it (it's linked). Then argue that his statement was fair, or even that it was mostly truthful.

I contend this is not a case of "the glass was half full" versus "the glass was half empty." It's a case of blaming hundreds of thousands for the sins of hundreds. It's like saying D.C. is a city of murderers because the murder rate is non zero.

If a "war crime" is committed, it should be punished. It does not mean the war should be stopped any more than we should halt heart operations because some die from the side effects.

Another point, not reporting a "war crime" when you have personal knowledge of the crime is a violation of UCMJ, making you a criminal also.

In the case of the Winter Soldier events, we thus have one of two situations:
1) individuals were guilty of complicity in war crimes through not obeying UCMJ and reporting those crimes as required, or
2) individuals were lying and accusing innocent servicepeople of war crimes.

That's a binary choice. Either way, those who made these accusations were not innocent. And some were later exposed as liars, when associated claims, such as having fought in Vietnam when they did not, were proven false.

It's fair to ask how much Kerry knew. Did he know that even one of those "witnesses" had not been in Vietnam? Or was he just a dupe who didn't perform due diligence before parroting serious charges?

Neither choice there works in his favor either.

Posted by: Dan S at September 6, 2004 02:42 PM

Yes, Dan -- Kerry's Big Lie -- part of the Politically Correct lying junk.

In my post http://tomgrey.motime.com/1093629194#330293

I claim even more -- this is a Moral Superiority War. And the really BIG lie on the Left is this: leaving SE Asia (and accepting genocide) is morally superior to staying, fighting, killing, dying, and killing some innocents.

Peace AND genocide is NOT morally superior.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at September 7, 2004 08:50 AM