Monday, August 16, 2004

Review Of "Unfit For Command"

"Unfit For Publication," August 16, 2004

Reviewer: Mark A. York "Reporter" (Sunland, CA United States)

I just watched O'Neill's performance on the Dick Cavett Show with John Kerry in 1971 the year I graduated high school with alarm at his defiant rudeness and continued illogical attack on not only Kerry, but even Cavett. This attack-dog zealot has one view and that is this: John Kerry degraded the mythical heroic mission that he and other veterans "felt" they were on.

"We're for freedom," he said.

Hmm? Where have I heard that one lately?

Since O'Neill, who comes from a multi-generational Naval family served after John Kerry, how in the name of reason can he know what went on in the river patrols that Kerry commanded?

Moreover, how can he disparage those who served and were rescued by John Kerry who WERE on his swiftboat? This is a clear case of a pro-war veteran against one who decided the policy was unjust and chose to work to end it. There isn't one piece of logic within the covers of "Unfit For Command." I don't doubt the conviction they have, but it is unfounded and faith based. They believe Kerry was against them, which he wasn't and they believe he was and is anti-American. He isn't. "Some believe 'my country right or wrong,'" Kerry said. "I believe 'my country right,' I'm with you, but 'my country wrong' it's my job to point that out and work to set it right."

Given the lack of evidence for his position O'Neill, who needed help from Mr. Corsi to write this for what reason? PR? Hell if I know. O'Neill and his minions use ad hominem to make their case. "The purple heart is the most coveted award by veterans and their families" he says in chapter 3. "The Purple Heart Hunter."

Hogwash. As the son of a Silver Star recipient from the Battle of the Bulge I beg to differ. Silver Stars are THE medal of valor next to the Medal of Honor. All the PH does is say you were wounded in some way. My own father said he was awarded one that he turned down because a concussion caused him to vomit blood temporarily, and he didn't want his mother to know and worry needlessly. Kerry was wounded three times in the river skirmishes and this is enough to warrant the three PH's. Why libel him in this failed effort to discredit his service?

The fact of the matter is one has to be wounded in combat to get the PH. Period. If you fire a grenade launcher at the enemy and you get shrapnel in your arm then technically yes that isn't a bullet from an enemy weapon, but nonetheless you're engaged in combat with the enemy. No return fire was reported according to the gunners on the 'skimmer' with Kerry that night, but they freely admit they can't see squat when firing those things. Just because some upper-level commander doesn't think it qualified as a matter of bravado opinion isn't relavant.

O'Neill has no purple hearts or Silver Stars to my knowledge. His argument lacks credibility and is an embarassment to the country and our forefathers. O'Neill should be the one who is ashamed, not John Kerry, who has my respect on a number of levels and my vote. He earned it.


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