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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:09 PM
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Vietnam and its complexities haunt race for White House
Vietnam and its complexities haunt race for White House
Iraq makes war a defining issue for Kerry, Bush

Mark Simon, Chronicle Political Writer
Saturday, April 24, 2004


It is a war that will not end.

More than 31 years after the United States withdrew its last troops from Vietnam, the war and the domestic fight to end it remain a bramble of emotions and opinions still capable of snagging a presidential candidate.

The unresolved issues of the Vietnam War assumed the center of the political stage this week because it was 33 years ago that John Kerry, now the Democratic presidential candidate, made an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that propelled him immediately and permanently into the nation's consciousness.

As a highly decorated veteran of Vietnam, Kerry told the senators in dramatic and eloquent terms that the war was corrupting the soldiers who were fighting it, devastating a country we were purporting to help and alienating the generation of Americans that were supposed to be doing the fighting.

Kerry told the senators the military men and women in Vietnam were being asked "to die for the biggest nothing in history. ... How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:22 PM
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1. As involved as I was with anti-war protest way back when,
I never realized exactly what war was about. All I knew was it was a terrible way to spend two years. I am new a few years older and much wiser on the way things work, and I am seeing Iraq with a different set of eyes - the eyes that found out what happened in Vietnam.

I am so totally disgusted with my government. Words cannot even begin to come out of my mouth. That these bastards should sit there and play war games - and never even been in a war - and kill all those innocent people just to try and shut them up like they did in Vietnam - it's beyond understanding. Bush will definately be remembered - right up there with Hitler and Stalin.
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Catt03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:54 PM
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2. If you remember the War in Viet Nam
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 10:56 PM by Catt03
you know that Kerry and the vets who spoke out were right to do so.

I was a young kid but this war was all around me; on the television, newspapers, conversations and generally my immediate environment. The nightly televised images of broken, dead and injured men; images of military funerals non stop. It was a nightmare of national anguish.

I say this because it is not just Kerry and veterans of that war who I believe were desperately trying to stop the insanity; there were
many of us, at least those who felt deeply about our country, who were effected. It was impossible to detach.

Those of us who marched and protested did so for survival of a sort.
And when it was a fact that the government and administration were lying about the numbers and the policy, I think the public became one critical mass of anger.

Thirty three years later,I am a professional, respected in my field and well known in my specialty. Not many people know about my early activism. They probably would be surprised to hear about some of the things I participated in.

Kerry and the Viet Nam vets who were brave enough to speak up for America should not be out there alone. If you remember, speak out.

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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 04:56 AM
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3. I lived the era and Kerry exemplifies a true leader of that time.
He is exactly the kind of leader that would have been fostered in that generation. The older generation never could accept someone like Kerry because, in order to take him seriously, they would have to admit that they were wrong. That's why Vietnam War protestors get such a bad rap. "The greatest generation that ever lived" can only hold onto that title by denouncing the most promising of their own children.
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