42 Years After Opposing Vietnam War In Stirring Speech John Kerry Sells Syria Attack On Shady Evidence
John Kerry saw combat in Vietnam between 1968 - 1969 and was awarded combat medals that include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.
He later joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the War. In April 1971 he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he said the United States war policy in Vietnam had led to "war crimes."
It's ironic that now, 42 years later as Secretary of State, Kerry is the chief spokesperson for an attack on Syria. Here are some excerpts from his 1971 testimony:
"We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything.
An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, "my God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people," and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we think this thing has to end..."
Here are some more: "We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them..." and "people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties" and "We fought using weapons against 'oriental human beings,' with quotation marks around that...." and "We watched the U.S. falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts.." and "..there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America.." and "I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war aswe would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally" and "Suddenly we are faced with a very sickening situation in this country, because there is no moral indignation.."