John Kerry an Unrepentant Opportunist
By Paul Conroy

Remember that photo of John Kerry sitting in Anti-Vietnam protest not too far from Jane Fonda that were all over the TV shows and the Internet? Whether or not these two are or ever were close friends, they have a lot in common. I mean besides both playing a vital role in undermining American support for the Vietnam War, and besides the fact that Fonda will most assuredly vote for Kerry. They share an ideological and elitist social connection and they are both unrepentant opportunists.

Consider Jane Fonda. The weak kneed, lily-livered elitists of this country have always refused to bring charges against Jane Fonda for aiding and abetting the enemy during the Vietnam conflict.  When a non-celebrity and non-darling of the liberals like John Walker Lindh pops up, nobody thinks twice about dropping the T-word (“treason”). The national discussion became “what should we charge him with and how should we punish him,” not “oh, but he simply represents mainstream America’s disaffection from Western, Judeo-Christian values” or whatever. But censor Jane Fonda? Nope, not even an option.

Hanoi Jane can make nicey-nice with the North Vietnamese behind enemy lines while John McCain and his fellow POWs are beaten within an inch of their lives just to put on a good show, and none of the elite ever seriously questions her actions. She and her unburdened conscience freely returned to the US and not only continued to protest the war, but also continued to make millions starring in insipid Roger Vadim films. That alone should have been grounds for harsh recrimination.

To this day Barbarella avoids discussing her enemy activities – although I’m sure she considers it one of her many ‘what does it all mean’ phases, like her religious experiences and her marriage to Ted Turner.  OK, so she has a loose screw. She is a Fonda after all.  Still, she has never given even so much as a sincere apology for her actions.  Of course at this point it would mean very little; although, she could at least follow her brother’s example and disappear for a few decades. Compared to all this, however, John Kerry looks even worse.

Now I confess that I still don’t entirely follow his “I’m a war hero, don’t question my record, and by the way I’m giving back your discredited ribbons from that abominable war,” refrain.  Now I’m sure the war in Vietnam was a horrible place to be -- except for Jane Fonda, whose accommodations were first class all the way.  But this begs a question for Johnny-B-Goode Kerry:  Why did you go? Given his quasi-elite background, Johnny Kerry could have gotten out of the war easily.  Probable answer: he knew it would not look good for his future political ambitions. He figured he could get away with a light tour of duty. His plans didn’t work out exactly, and he ended up with a bunch of medals. Not a great move for a future post-LBJ Democratic party star.

So Johnny being the opportunist he is, realized he needed to change his position on the war. He joined forces with the radical left and began to protest.  So while all those scrubs and misfits are protesting the war, little Johnny Kerry is dining out in high society Georgetown.  Even the Nixon crew thought this a tad funny.  Johnny recognized, however, that hanging out with un-bathed, pro-drug, anti-war riff raff gets old real fast.  Besides a Beacon Hill boy requires a good meal every now and then.

Which begs another question. If John Kerry is such an honorable and discerning man with good breeding, why did he not try to stop the awful war crimes he later claimed to have witnessed.  I mean, if the men serving under you are committing such terrible atrocities --  genital mutilation, ear hacking, raping, pillaging, murdering non-combatants,  etc. – don’t  you have a responsibility as the commanding officer to report such activities immediately. Why wait until you return to home and get your moment in the spotlight before the US Senate? Even then, he didn’t name any names, he didn’t accuse anyone, and he never tried to stop these things from happening – before or after. All he did was play to the growing anti-war sentiment by making unsubstantiated accusation against his fellow servicemen, or as he now prefers it, his “band of brothers.” But as with Hanoi Jane, it is rude and impertinent of us to even question his honorable record of service and valor. 

But then, that was a long time ago. I probably shouldn’t get too upset about his refusal to name names. He does that a lot, particularly these days. Any idea which “foreign leaders” have been silently encouraging him? [I mean besides former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, whose anti-Semitic tirade last year was personally rebuked by President George Bush. Besides, Mohamad’s endorsement was made publicly.] Of course Kerry also never gets around to naming who exactly is involved in the much touted but never seen “Republican attack machine” that keeps distorting his pristine, coherent voting record and his unassailable service to our country. 

Perhaps Hanoi Jane would like to visit the RNC while Johnny-B-Goode Kerry’s campaign team are being tortured and beaten to shake her hand and say how lovely things are as GOP captives? Would she be criticized? Would Kerry give a damn without TV cameras and a crooning crowd of syphilitic Senators to hang on his every word? Well, probably yes. After all, it is the RNC – real evil, not the trumped-up evil of Communist North Vietnam or Ba’athist controlled Iraq.

Come to think of it, I’m sure Kerry would allow his empathy to win out and do the right thing for his compatriots. After all, just because he resides in the most trendy and expensive real estate in all of Massachusetts doesn’t mean he can’t relate to the little people. He cares about them, his band of brothers. Just as Hanoi Jane never relinquished her patriotism.

Paul David Conroy is Senior partner at the T.E.M. Consulting Group.

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