News Analysis
Cutting thru the Propaganda
Fog
Hall of Shame
Evil GOP Bastard of the Month
John O'Neill
Vietnam Revisionist
and Smear Monger
Nixon's hand-picked
foil against John Kerry
in the 1970's, John O'Neill is back in the
Since the New Deal, Republicans have been on the wrong side of every issue of concern to ordinary Americans; Social Security, the war in Vietnam, equal rights, civil liberties, church- state separation, consumer issues, public education, reproductive freedom, national health care, labor issues, gun policy, campaign-finance reform, the environment
and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident.
The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical "family values" propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people
in favor of plutocratic and corporate interests, and absolutist religious groups. 


Why? Because they're evil GOP bastards!
news with the election-year smear
of Kerry's Vietnam War record. Apparently, O'Neill's willingness to
lie and love of media notoriety hasn't abated since the Nixon years.
O'Neill (along with Freeper wingnut
Jerry Corsi) is the author of the hit piece "Unfit for Command" and is the front man for the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth propaganda campaign.  MORE
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Bob Novak? Sissy boy.
Richard Perle? Wussy.
My Switch Vote Veterans  smear will ensure that
I rightfully be acclaimed as the one and only true "Prince of Darkness."
 
September  2004
Need more proof that the Republicans are evil bastards?

Not So Swift Vets - Rebuttal to the Swift Boat smear

It's official: Gore won Florida in 2000


The Florida Republican Recount Riot: A Consortorium report on how paid GOP operatives circumvented the democratic process through mob violence

Timeline of Bush administration's Iraq war lies


Caught on Film: Bush rhetoric versus reality

The October Surprise: 
The Reagan campaign committed treason against the US to ensure the defeat of Jimmy Carter in 1980, and got away with it


How heretical cult leader / convicted felon Sun Myung Moon achieved such influence over the Republican Party (and shameless televangelist lackeys like Jerry Falwell)

Bush & Cheney corporate sleaze: The encyclopedia of Harken and Halliburton Scandals

Theocracy Watch: American Taliban endangers freedom from religion

List of influential right-wIng think tanks & foundations

Mythology versus Reality:
Re-Fighting the Vietnam War



T
he controversy over the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear against John Kerry's record during the Vietnam war proves two things. First, the history of the Vietnam War seems to have been forgotten or ignored by a large percentage of the American people. Second, the Republicans will stoop to any depth of despicable sleazery to win another four years for the presi-
dency of George W. Bush.

Santyana wrote that those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. As can be demonstrated by the current US debacle in Iraq, the neocon geniuses in the Bush administra-
tion have obviously ignored those lessons.

For the true history of US involve-
ment in Vietnam -- as opposed to the mythology created after the fact (more on that later) -- the parallels with Iraq are obvious. Both wars were sold under false pretenses. In Vietnam it was the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident. For Iraq, it was the bogus charge of the threat of Iraqi WMDs. 

American involvement in Vietnam was based on real Cold War geo-
political rivalry with the Soviets
and Chinese and the fear of the Domino Effect.  By contrast, the Iraq war seems to have been sparked by a desire to control Iraqi oil, and worse, for purely domestic political advantage to be exploited by Bush and the Republican Party.

For those too young to have experienced the national trauma self-inflicted by US involvement in Vietnam, and for those old enough to remember but who prefer the mythology, the facts are cold, hard and inescapable. The government of the United States attempted to impose its imperial will on the people of Vietnam. This was undertaken through the assassin-
ation of South Vietnam President Diem, the installation of an accom-
modating puppet government, and the occupation of 500,000 American troops. 

President Lyndon Johnson
let himself be convinced by the
CIA and Pentagon that massive
US force could defeat the North Vietnamese militarily on their own turf, but later realized the enormity of his mistake and declined to run for a second term.  By 1968, with hundreds of American soldiers killed every week, American public opinion had begun to sour on the war. The Democratic Party, already fractured by the war, was crippled by their disastrous 1968 convention in Chicago. Richard Nixon was elected based on his "secret plan" to end the conflict ("peace with honor") but ultimately escalated
the war to involve Cambodia, and dropped more bombs on North Vietnam than were dropped on Germany and Japan combined during WWII.

Nixon's imperial hubris extended the war for another four years -- with over 58,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed -- and provoked greater domestic political division than at any time since
the Civil War.

Against the backdrop of American international political isolation and widespread anti-war protests and their frequently violent suppression by authorities, a young Vietnam combat vet named John Kerry came forward. As one of the most articulate spokesmen of one of the most credible anti-war activist groups, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, young John Kerry courageously denounced the war with eloquence and conviction based on his own first-hand experiences.

Ultimately, the vast majority of Americans came to agree with Kerry's assessment. Forced by that new political reality, Nixon began the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam under the smoke-
screen of "Vietnamization" (i.e.,
the training and equipping of
South Vietnamese forces). Victory was declared and we got the hell out. 

That the North Vietnamese were later able to roll into Saigon virtually unopposed proved the folly of American policy as well as the total lack of support by the South Viet-
namese people for their puppet government.

After the triumph of the North Vietnamese, the mythology of our involvement in Vietnam began to germinate.  Rather than being an overtly imperial war with a US-
installed puppet government as a client, the war became a fight to preserve democracy in South Vietnam. Rather than a military
that inflicted indiscriminate carnage on unarmed civilians, our forces were all heroic defenders of liberty against the Communist menace. Rather than ordering massive waves of devastating carpet bombing of North Vietnam, our military's "hands were tied" by politicians that prohibited the use
of nuclear weapons. Rather than being worn down by an implacable and resourceful enemy, the "defeat" of America was the result of the actions of countless American peacenik traitors in general, and 22-year-old actress Jane Fonda in particular.

Mythologizing a military defeat is nothing new.  After WWI, German nationalists had to rationalize their loss as the result of a "stab in the back" by Jews and Communists. It is this same type of mythology that motivates the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Another aspect of the Vietnam mythology is that anti-war activists condemned US soldiers sent to fight in that war. "They spit on me at the airport and called me a baby killer," is the script often recited by archetypal Vietnam War veterans that (due either to their preference for the myth over the reality or
Exposing the ugly truth
about the Republican Party's diabolical plot to replace constitutional democracy with an oligarchic
fascist theocracy...

It's the only rational explanation!
Why does the Republican Party zealously pursue policies so obviously counter to the best interests of ordinary Americans? 

It can only be
because they're...
because they were simply too dumb to understand the historical currents swirling around them) supported US actions there.

This myth has been
thoroughly debunked in the book "The Spitting Image."  The anti-war movement never  criticized the soldiers who fought in Vietnam, only the government that sent them there.

When the young John Kerry addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971, he told the truth (
click here for full transcript). In his noble and coura-
geous attempt to end that divisive war, Kerry did not,
as the Bush campaign and the Swift Vote Veterans  allege, condemn the soldiers who served in Vietnam. He simply reported the facts on the ground and urged the Senate to end the unnecessary bloodshed.

It is also a fact that by the end of US involvement in Vietnam, the vast majority of Americans realized the war was a mistake and there was virtually no support for continuing the slaughter. In 1977, when President Carter pardoned all Vietnam-era draft dodgers as one
of his first acts in office, it precipitated little or no controversy. Memories were fresh then, and the mythology had not yet begun to corrupt the national consciousness.

America suffered no adverse national security effects from the fall of South Vietnam. American involvement in Vietnam was a total waste of lives, limbs and wounded psyches. The lessons that should have been learned were: 1) That nationalism always trumps imperialism. 2) American military force should only be used in critical instances of real and imminent threat to our national security. 3) If the decision to unleash America's awesomely lethal military power is contro-
versial enough for serious debate, options other than war should be pursued.

These are apparently lessons lost on George W.
Bush, the radical neocon architects of the Iraq war,
and those who support Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq. In Iraq as during the Vietnam War, the most important way for Americans to "support the troops" should be obvious: Don't let our leaders waste American soldiers' lives in unnecessary wars.

Which brings us back to the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the hit piece, "Unfit for Command" by John O'Neill and Jerry Corsi.  Even a cursory examination of their smears against John Kerry's military service should prove to all but the most credulous that their claims are
ridiculously false. Their slanders conflict with the official Navy record and the corroboration of Kerry's heroics by the men that were actually with him in Vietnam.  To top it all off, O'Neill and the SBVFT are even advancing the claim that Kerry lied in his Senate testimony -- arguing that there were no atrocities or war crimes committed by American armed forces in Vietnam.  This proves how divorced from reality they are, or their willingness to lie to support George W. Bush, or both.

Ironically, considering the ambiguous (at best) military
record of their hero, how many 50-something male (and their children and grandchildren) Bush supporters are alive today because of the actions of anti-war activists like John Kerry to end that unnecessary war?

There should be
no doubt that the SBVFT smear campaign is a creature manufactured by the Bush/Rove propaganda machine. Republican spin doctors erupt in feigned outrage at the mere suggestion, but it's obvious. These guys have a track record (the trashing of John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary).  Who else could be sleazy enough or desperate enough to mount a smear of this putrescent magnitude?  Who else has so little regard for truth and such contempt for the electorate? 

Since Bush has only a
dismal record on Afghanistan, Iraq, jobs, the deficit, the environment, on education,
on health care and on foreign policy -- and to reveal
his true agenda for his second term would repulse the electorate -- smears, lies and
distortions are his only available strategy for re-election.

It's not just the courage and idealism that John Kerry demonstrated by volunteering to fight in Vietnam that proves his fitness for the presidency. Contrary to the lies of the SBVFT and those who blindly prefer the mythology over the reality of the Vietnam War, it was Kerry's principled efforts to end that war that proves
he is, by far, the better man to lead this nation.
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