John Kerry’s Bright Shining Lie

 Lying and hard truth: from Vietnam to Syria and Iran.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
Refrain from “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell

There is a God. Or, put another way, what goes round…comes round. The suddenly furious debate over Syria has two very blunt problems. Lying. And telling the hard truth. The latter also known as Iran. Let’s deal first with what can only be called John Kerry’s problems with what might be called a “Bright Shining Lie.”

“Bush Lied” was a lie. No matter. The anti-war left sold this leftist lie like corn flakes…and they had lots of help. And one of the people who recklessly helped sell the notion that “Bush Lied” was his 2004 Democratic opponent — John Kerry. And another? Barack Obama.

“We were misled. We were given evidence that was not true.” So said Kerry in one of his milder moments, giving no credence to the idea that the intelligence provided Bush — and Kerry himself as a Senator from Massachusetts — was simply wrong. Bush, said Obama in his campaign book The Audacity of Hope, had deliberately been “shading intelligence reports” and “grossly misstating” the facts of Iraq, refusing, again deliberately, to give “an honest accounting.”

The truth?

There was, in fact, no evidence that George W. Bush had lied to take the nation into the war in Iraq, as reported afterwards in any number of places, this story written by an editor of the anti-Bush New Republic being but one.

The TNR story was run in the June 16, 2008 edition of the equally anti-Bush Los Angeles Times with this headline:

The White House didn’t lie about Iraq
No matter what the Dems say, the evidence against Bush simply isn’t there.

In fact?

Too little, too late. And the “Bush Lied” fairy tale pushed by the Left with help from Kerry and Obama wasn’t helped by the Bush White House itself, with Karl Rove later admitting that it was a mistake to let this story be peddled out there repeatedly without a strong response.

But now?

Now John Kerry’s chickens — President Obama’s chickens — are coming home to roost.

Watching the travails of today’s-Secretary of State John Kerry as he struggles to explain the Obama administration’s Syrian policy — at times forcefully, at times haltingly — reminds of not just his playing the “Bush Lied” game in 2004. The hard fact is that this was the same play that catapulted a young anti-Vietnam War John Kerry to fame in the first place. That time in his famous 1971 speech to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in which he infamously accused his fellow soldiers as follows:

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

This incredible slander followed Kerry all the way through his subsequent political career — effectively ending his quest to be president. American voters unfamiliar with Kerry’s youthful debut, added to his romance with the “Bush Lied” crowd in the Iraq episode, took a pass on making him commander-in-chief.

Alas, Kerry was on to something in 1971. The United States had in fact been lied into war in 1964 — by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson.

And while Kerry didn’t mention the specifics of that lie, we’re happy to refresh with an assist from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam by Neil Sheehan, published in 1988 — long after the Vietnam War had ended.

On August 2, 1964, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was engaged by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. There was supposedly a second, similar incident although this was thought to be caused by radar “ghosts.” Within hours, President Lyndon Johnson went to the American people accusing North Vietnam and its leader, Ho Chi Minh, of an unprovoked attack on the U.S. Navy. Using the expression “high seas,” LBJ also wanted to leave the impression that the U.S. was in neutral waters. He quickly went to the U.S. Senate and got a “Gulf of Tonkin Resolution” that effectively was used to serve as a declaration of war. By the next year — in spite of winning re-election on a pledge not to send American boys to fight in Asia — LBJ was asking for the first of what would become 500,000 troops sent to fight in Vietnam.

The problem? The “bright shining lie”? Or more accurately the first lie?

In fact, never mentioned by LBJ was that the attack on the Maddox was not unprovoked, as he presented. It was in fact, as documented by author Sheehan and others years later, the North Vietnamese response to what was known in the shadows of the Johnson administration as Operation Plan 34A. Described in government memos of the day, 34A was a series of raids that were “destructive undertakings” designed “to result in substantial destruction, economic loss and harassment” to North Vietnam. Combined, all of this was more than enough to ignite the Vietnam tinderbox. The attack on the Maddox was decidedly provoked — and the entire ensuing Vietnam War, which claimed over 50,000 American lives, was built on that lie.

Combined with the “Bush Lied” campaign in which Kerry and Obama participated, the two have made the job of every American president impossibly difficult when there is a discussion about sending American men and women into war.


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commented 2013-09-07 08:24:09 -0400 · Flag
Marty writes:

Wouldn’t it be sweet irony if 0bama’s military adventure (you just gotta know it is going to happen, with or without congress) in Syria actually vindicates W’s claim of Iraqi WMD —>Syria? Talk about hiding the truth, the effort to keep that info away from the unwashed masses would make Benghazi look look like covering up a relatively straightforward tawdry marital affair.
commented 2013-09-07 08:20:29 -0400 · Flag
Delroi writes:

Here’s a question the media would never ask:

Where did assad get the chemical weapons? (Might this be part of the wmd stock that was convoyed over from iraq in 2003 and denied by the media in its a-priori judgment that ‘bush lied’?)

Also, why is there no mention that serious doubts exist as to whom released the chemical weapons…the rebels (al-queda) ‘allies’ or assad loyalists?

And why is there no mention that the saudis and qataris are financing the rebels, and the saudis and qataris are committed to getting a nat-gas pipeline constructed across syria that would take saudi/qatari gas across syria into turkey and ultimately up into europe, thereby breaking the effective nat-gas energy monopoly putin/russia have on europe? Within this context, the biggest supporter of syria is… Russia.

Any mention of all of this in legacy press? The absence of these perspectives, coincidence?
commented 2013-09-07 07:16:49 -0400 · Flag
V.M. writes:

watching Kerry fight for war is hysterical……