Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Kerry: running on record and out of credibility 

The Currency Lad comments on the latest John Kerry documentary screened at the Toronto International Film Festival:

"Directed by George T. Butler and narrated by Ben Affleck, the bio-pic is called Going Upriver: the Long War of John Kerry. Heh. Not bad for a man who spent roughly a Yale semester in country. I've been reading my grandfather's World War II service record today - he served in uniform on active service for 1261 days. He didn't throw his five medals away - he was too self-effacing to ever collect them. I did."
I'm sure many of us have similar family stories to tell. One of my grandfathers started off the Second World War fighting in the September '39 campaign in Poland, escaped to neutral Hungary, was interned as a foreign combatant, escaped to France, fought in the 1940 campaign, was taken prisoner, tried to escape, was captured again, spent a year building railways though Sahara, was liberated by the Americans, went to Scotland, joined the Polish Independent Airborne Brigade, was dropped at Arnhem, wounded, captured, escaped, captured again, liberated again by the Americans and ended up as a Military Policeman in the occupied Germany. He had served from the first to the last shot of the Second World War. Didn't get any medals, until decades later. My wife's grandfather joined the British Navy when he was 12, fought in the Boxer Rebellion and many other colonial engagements, then for Australia on several fronts of World War One, where he was bayoneted and gassed. He wanted to fight again during World War Two, but was told by the army that he was too old. What Admiral Nimitz said about the US Marines at Iwo Jima could just as well be applied universally to those days: "Uncommon valor was a common virtue."

This is not to demean John Kerry's service record. Hats off to all men and women who served their country in uniform. And in Kerry's defence, he's not the first ex-military man to capitalise on his service in the run for a high office. But Kerry has certainly tried to make more out of it than anyone else I can think of.


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