Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has denied ever accusing American troops of committing war crimes in Vietnam. But his remarks during an interview on CNN on Thursday are at odds with the excerpts of a book that Mr. Kerry authored in 1971, Marc Morano reports at www.CNSNews.com.
“The New Soldier,” which is so difficult to find that it was selling on the Internet for about $850, featured the following passage by Mr. Kerry about his experiences in Vietnam: “We were sent to Vietnam to kill Communism. But we found instead that we were killing women and children.”
In the book, Mr. Kerry stated that Vietnamese citizens “didn’t even know the difference between communism and democracy,” and he blamed the United States for causing chaos in Vietnam.
“In the process we created a nation of refugees, bomb craters, amputees, orphans, widows and prostitutes, and we gave new meaning to the words of the Roman historian Tacitus: ‘Where they made a desert they called it peace,’” Mr. Kerry wrote.
But when asked by CNN anchor Judy Woodruff on Thursday about reports that he had accused “American troops of war crimes,” Mr. Kerry issued a denial.
“No, I was accusing American leaders of abandoning the troops. And if you read what I said, it is very clearly an indictment of leadership. I said to the Senate, ‘Where is the leadership of our country?’ And it’s the leaders who are responsible, not the soldiers. I never said that. I’ve always fought for the soldiers,” he said.
Mr. Kerry was referring to his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971 as part of his involvement with the antiwar group Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
But “The New Soldier” reveals Mr. Kerry’s direct criticism of American soldiers, including charges that they committed atrocities against the Vietnamese while on patrol.
“During his campaign for the Democratic nomination, Sen. John Edwards has been a trial lawyer arguing for his client’s cause as he did in private practice for 20 years,” Kate O’Beirne writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
“The stump speech that we’re told wows audiences is the senator’s summation on behalf of his present client — his candidacy. As I have previously noted, John Edwards is now passionately railing against the unconscionable divide between the rich and poor Americas. The reason he seems more advocate-for-hire than committed activist for the poor is that he kept his current burning desire to redress this gross inequality in check when he could have been launching his own version of a war on poverty,” Mrs. O’Beirne said.
“Sen. Edwards was elected in 1998. By my count, during his first four years in the Senate, he introduced a single bill aimed at alleviating material poverty. Apparently unmoved by the plight of the urban poor, in 2000, and again in 2002, Edwards introduced a bill to promote the development of affordable rental housing in rural areas. That’s it. And, the emotional exhortations on behalf the poor that are his standard fare on the campaign trail must represent a wholly new John Edwards to his Senate colleagues. While pet causes are typically the stuff of Senate speeches, Sen. Edwards appears to have kept his current obsession to himself.”View Entire Story
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