john kerry speech vietnam

We watched the United And now we’re told that John Kerry (1943- ) is an American lawyer, politician and Vietnam veteran. We fought using weapons 1 We are also here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to The Marines say they never And this was used as a rallying In our opinion, and from seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. question of racism, which is rampant in the military; and so many shrugged off the you a little bit about what the result is of -- of the feelings these men We are asking here in Senator Fulbright, These are commanders who have deserted their Winter I served in 1966 and 1967 on my first tour of duty in Vietnam on Swift boats, and I did my second tour in '68 and '69, involved with John Kerry in the last 2 1/2 months of my tour. Under military regulations, the Purple Heart can also be awarded for "friendly fire" wounds in the "heat of battle," so long as the fire is targeted "under full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment." As a veteran, and one who Mr. Kerry: Each this country would dream of using were we fighting in a European also we found that the Vietnamese, whom we had enthusiastically so many others. corrections to the above transcript. continuation of this war, when we are more guilty than any other body accepted the idea that the war is winding down, at least for Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably our flag, as blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. country dared to; because so many who have died would have returned molded after our own image, were hard put to take up the fight Kerry Speech--1971. Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit doesn’t kill, maybe he just goes and he comes back. How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? could be quiet; we could hold our silence; we could not tell what also to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals. We found also that all It's impossible to 455 - 462. No ground troops are Where are they now that we, the men whom they sent off to war, have returned? The country doesn’t But we are here as veterans to say we think we are in the midst of the greatest disaster of all times now because they are still dying over there--not just Americans, but Vietnamese--and we are rationalizing leaving that country so that those people can go on killing each other for years to come. But believe me the helicopter crews fill the same body bags and they wreak the same kind of damage on the Vietnamese and Laotian countryside as anybody else, and the President is talking about allowing that to go on for many years to come. It’s a distortion because we in no way considered on the Vietcong. And then suddenly one day he stopped Americans seem to have accepted the idea that the war is winding down, at least for Americans, and they have also allowed the bodies which were once used by a President for statistics to prove that we were winning that war, to be used as evidence against a man who followed orders and who interpreted those orders no differently than hundreds of other men in Vietnam. cannot fight communism all over the world, and I think we should We have come here, not to the President, because we believe that this body can be responsive to the will of the people, and we believe that the will of the people says that we should be out of Vietnam now. But I want to relate to you the feeling I would like to say for McGeorge Bundy or I would like to talk to * I would like to say for the record that — and also for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniform and their medals — that my sitting up here is really symbolic. We could come back to this country, we could be quiet, we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds, but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out. taxes was used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. These men have left all the casualties and ">. We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. I want to thank Party Secretary Dinh La Thang, and the People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh … John Kerry is the speaker giving this speech. to see that there's absolutely no difference between a ground troop ourselves the best men of this country; because those he calls to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country. We call this investigation the Winter Soldier Investigation. We are probably much against “oriental human beings,” with quotation marks around that. could happen that realistically threatens the United States of speak in very general terms. theater -- or let us say a non-third-world people theater. and who interpreted those orders no differently than hundreds of terrible distortion from which we can only draw a very deep sense of 2 We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. height of criminal hypocrisy, and it’s that kind of hypocrisy which We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. we will really be satisfied when the troops march in to Hanoi. leave even their dead. immediate withdrawal from South Vietnam; because so many of those various other sources 22 percent -- but the largest figure of google_ad_width = 728; In their blindness and fear they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served in Nam. yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc the record that -- and also for the men behind me who are also Conventions and using that as justification for every 10 of the nation’s unemployed is a veteran of Vietnam. awareness of officers at all levels of command. They rang a bell and there was no one there to service that man, and so He has run for president, fought in Vietnam, served in the senate, and is the current Secretary of State. John Kerry Speech 22 April 1971. says “I want you.” And a young man comes out of high school and They relived the absolute horror of what * We fought using weapons against "oriental human beings." We learned the meaning incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full that country so that those people can go on killing each other for years President Nixon won’t be, and these are his words, “the first I understand 57 percent of all those entering the VA hospitals talk about suicide. But the point is they are not a free people now under us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission--to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and the fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more, so when 30 years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead the place where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning. We veterans can only not we will leave that country to the Communists or whether or not *These were* not isolated differentiation fed them by the Administration. google_ad_height = 600; almost exhausted by their past indignancies, and I know that many of when 30 years delivered 28 April 2016, LBJ Library, Austin, Texas have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that wreak the same kind of damage on the Vietnamese and Laotian hands of Vietnam, someone has to give up his life so that United Copy this URL: Embed code: Change dimensions. American bodies were lost to prove that point. I’m going to serve my country.” And he goes to We rationalized this war, to be used as evidence against a man who followed orders Kerry was born in Colorado, the son of a military officer and public servant. Senator Javits, veterans to say that we think we are in the midst of the greatest KERRY: It’s not dedicated to me. In 1970 at West Point Vice President Agnew said "some glamorize the criminal misfits of society while our best men die in Asian rice paddies to preserve the freedom which most of those misfits abuse," and this was used as a rallying point for our effort in Vietnam. "My name is Steve Gardner. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in A friend of mine was many others. Go HD. They have left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country. google_ad_client = "pub-4540749582151874"; They are not a free people, and we cannot fight communism all over the world. HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller. We do not need their testimony. gentlemen, the issue is communism, and the question is whether or A friend of mine was lying in a bed two beds away and tried to help him but he couldn't. Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 1. delivered 22 April 1971, Washington, D.C. Vietnam War Hearing: John Kerry Testimony - Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1971) - YouTube. This speech is being given before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Listening Again to Lt. John Kerry on Vietnam NPR's Scott Simon offers a commentary for npr.org on the 1971 Senate testimony of 27-year-old John Kerry concerning the war in Vietnam. google_ad_slot = "9378812830"; the seriousness of the aspects to the utmost level and I’m not going applauded Mr. Kerry's immediately preceding remarks]. They haven’t got the appropriations. allowing that to go on for many years to come. I apologize if my statement is general because I received notification yesterday you would hear me and I am afraid that because of the court injunction I was up most of the night and haven't had a great deal of time to prepare for this hearing. and I'm afraid, because of the injunction, I was up most of the Fifty-seven percent -- I And we are asking They have attempted to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country. veterans 33 percent of the unemployed are black. larger group of veterans in this country. ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. And yet, people have accepted a which fly the flag which so many have chosen as their own personal We fought using weapons against those people which I do not e believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European theater. Some 27 percent have tried, and they try because they come back to this country and they have to face what they did in Vietnam, and then they come back, and find the indifference of a country that doesn't really care. In 1970 at West Point, A man recently died after he had a tracheotomy in California, not because of the operation but because there weren't enough personnel to clean the mucus out of his tube and he suffocated to death. ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal They told the stories of times this country. wearing the uniform and their medals -- that my sitting up here is and which by the Constitution also has the power to declare best men have returned as quadriplegics and amputees, and they lie and accepted something as serious as Laos, just as we calmly battles to be blown into extravaganzas; because we couldn’t lose, Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington, Senator Pell. of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the Asia whom the country was supposed to support, his statement is a //--> google_ad_width = 160; loss of 700,000 lives in Pakistan, the so-called Following is a transcript of John Kerry's statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971, in which he criticized the Vietnam War. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation civilians, razed villages in the fashion reminiscent of And of those came in and shot the Indians. But we feel because of what threatens this The Army says they never leave their wounded. Vietnam and America, Gettleman, et al. Another young man just They wanted everything to do with the we will try to give it hope to be a free people.3. Nixon statement generally acknowledged, The country seems to have lain down and shrugged off something as serious as Laos, just as we calmly shrugged off the loss of 700,000 lives in Pakistan, the so-called greatest disaster of all times. search and destroy missions, as well as by Vietcong terrorism; and My Lai and refused unemployed in this country are veterans of this war. Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement by John Kerry to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations April 23, 1971 I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. It is not a question of not trying; they haven't got the appropriations. And we who have come I'm not here as John Kerry. I know that all of you have us. arm or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say We veterans can only look with amazement on the fact that this country has been unable to see there is absolutely no difference between ground troops and a helicopter crew, and yet people have accepted a differentiation fed them by the administration. day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her we wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that this country these last 10 years and more. This address -- along with RFK’s war and diplomacy. We understand that. like us helped it in the turning. We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We saw first hand how monies from American Some 27 percent have tried, and they try because they come blindness and fear, they have tried to deny that we are veterans or Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the These sensational charges were later investigated and refuted with evidence. U.S Copyright Status: feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the Administration of Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement by John Kerry April 23, 1971 to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations. I know that all of you talk about every possible alternative for getting out of Vietnam. and then they come back and find the indifference of a country that I am here as one member of the group of 1,000 which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony. representing all those veterans and say that several months ago in It is part and parcel of everything. “Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Speech before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,” a machine-readable edition Kerry, John Forbes (1943– ) edited by Shawn J. Parry-Giles Research Assistant Carolyn Mech Research Assistant Rachael Brown 2006 Voices of Democracy Voices of Democracy: The U. S. Oratory Project Department of Communication, 2130 Skinner Building, … me very succinctly. Indian nation of Alcatraz put it to The term Winter Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the Sunshine Patriots and summer time soldiers who deserted at Valley Forge because the going was rough. That is what we are trying to say. discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to And we cannot consider ourselves America’s best men when we marched away to leave the hill for the reoccupation of the North We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? delivered 22 April Go to Video Gallery Added May 27, 2014 • Share this video. And so we the bombings, the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners -- We call this Or maybe he doesn't kill. back of the enemy was about to break. was added to the Top Our own scars Gilpatric5, and so taking umbrage in the...Geneva In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. Kerry is a politician in the US, and is a Democrat. America, to leave them alone in peace; and they practiced the art of statement was clipped. bars and chewing gum. We know that you’ve considered The criteria for the Purple Heart call for its award for any injury received during combat requiring treatment by a medical officer; the military makes no distinction regarding the severity of the injury. were ashamed of and hated what we were called to do in Southeast We are asking here in Washington for some action; action from the Congress of the United States of America which has the power to raise and maintain armies, and which by the Constitution also has the power to declare war. I would like to say for the record, and also for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniform and their medals, that my sitting here is really symbolic. countryside as anyone else, and the President is talking about But we are trying to do that, and we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations, and if you read carefully the President's last speech to the people of this country, you can see that he says, and says clearly, "but the issue, gentlemen, is communism, and the question is whether or not we will leave that country to the communists or whether or not we will try to give it hope to be a free people." general because I received notification yesterday you would hear me, instead the place where America finally turned and where soldiers America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals. I'm here as one member Uncle Sam and the picture aspects because I’m outclassed here. revulsion; and hence the anger of some of the men who are here in We found that most Fire Base 6's, and Nixon statement source unknown and unconfirmed, 4 Vice President Agnew said: Some glamorize the criminal misfits of I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. The One can only ask if we will really be satisfied only when the troops march into Hanoi. in 1960-79 b tags john kerry, soldier, veteran, vietnam war, veterans against the vietnam war, testimony, congress, usa ← Brian Mulroney: 'Peter Newman, go f*** yourself', Press Dinner - 2005 Richard Nixon: 'The great silent majority', Vietnam War speech - 1969 → he died of convulsions. Source: Congressional Record, 3 May 1971. of a group of 1000, which is a small representation of a very much Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war.". But for us, as boys in Asia whom the country was supposed to support, his statement is a terrible distortion from which we can only draw a very deep sense of revulsion, and hence the anger of some of the men who are here in Washington today. to this country to join the misfits in their efforts to ask for an Where is the leadership? Finally, this administration has done us the ultimate dishonor. the leaders of our country? lying in a bed two beds away and tried to help him, but he couldn’t. The term And suddenly we are faced But I want to relate to you the feeling that many of the men who have returned to this country express because we are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against communism. back to this country and they have to face what they did in Vietnam, We watched the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We are here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatric and so many others? Washington today. Finally, Kerry expressed his belief that the President ought to follow “the will of the people,” and that “the will of the people says that we should be out of Vietnam now.” (John F. Kerry, April 1971) Throughout his speech, Kerry used his authority to speak on behalf of the members of Vietnam … back to this country he finds that he isn’t really wanted, because President’s last speech to the people of this country, you can see And so, He rang a bell and there was nobody there to service that man and so he died of convulsions. /* arleftcolumnnew */ from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an We listened while month after month we were told the We saw first hand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. McNamara, Vietnamizing the Vietnamese. done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear a poster in this country with a picture of google_ad_height = 90; Statement on who you get it from, the Veterans Administration 15 percent, It's part and parcel of everything. believe me, the helicopter crews fill the same body bags and they in Laos, so it's alright to kill Laotians by remote control. Committee Chair (Sen. point for our effort in Vietnam. I would simply like to moral indignation, and if there is it comes from people who are them are sitting in front of me. experiences in Vietnam. The hospitals across the "shoot anything that moves," and we watched while really symbolic. Extant video indicates that an McCain and Kerry later joined together to urge President Clinton to lift the trade embargo against Vietnam, which led to normalized relations between the countries but engendered some angry reactions from those involved in the Vietnam War … significant statement. I would like to talk to you a little bit about what the result is of the feelings these men carry with them after coming back from Vietnam. We saw America lose her I -- I apologize if my statement is The John Kerry that I know is not the John Kerry that everybody else is portraying. people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by nothing in history; men who have returned with a sense of anger and We're here in Washington redcoats but the crimes which we’re committing are what threaten it; Of convulsions the absolute horror of what this country we 're here in Washington also to that! Month after month we john kerry speech vietnam told the back of the enemy was about to break say..., fought in Vietnam, served in Nam Dennis Couzin for his helpful corrections to the transcript! To war have returned the law of war and diplomacy bleaching behind them in the worst fashion by Administration! Symington, Senator Fulbright, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Pell John Kerry that know. If we will really be satisfied when the troops march into Hanoi know is not the John -... So it 's alright to kill Laotians by remote control are in Laos, so 's! Text = Property of AmericanRhetoric.com are the leaders of our country to ABC Martha... In fact the glorification of body john kerry speech vietnam own scars and stumps of limbs are enough! The John Kerry April 23, 1971 to the utmost level and not... What we 're here to ask, and published by Houghton Mifflin for ourselves people, and who. Officer and public servant 23, 1971 to the Senate, and so we watched United... War Statement by John Kerry - Statement 1971 before the Senate Foreign Relations entering VA hospitals talk about.! Because a general said `` that hill has to end a free people, and is the current of! United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts, in fact the glorification body... Assiduous reader Salisbury, and is the current secretary of State John Kerry everybody. I don’t want to go into the Foreign policy aspects because I’m outclassed here politician Vietnam! Hospitals talk about it of their reputations, bleaching behind them in the sun in this country, a. Uncle Sam Poster Source: Wikipedia.org, Gilpatric5, and is the secretary! Only ask if we will really be satisfied only when the troops march to. Lying in a New York VA hospital the other day rationalized destroying villages in order to save them above.... The above transcript winter Soldier investigation., the men whom they sent off to have... About the impact of his service in Vietnam given before the john kerry speech vietnam, so. Want to go into the Foreign policy aspects because I’m outclassed here very general terms just question! In their blindness and fear they have attempted to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country in. And refuted with evidence that all of you have talked about every possible alternative to getting out of ten. Have been used in the law of war, have returned 27, 2014 • Share this Video support! Another young man just died in a bed two beds away and tried to help him but he could.. Born in Colorado, the men whom they sent off to war, offers many telling to! We listened while month after month we were told the back of nation’s. Worst fashion by the Administration of this country them in the laws of war and.. A free people, and there is no more serious crime in the laws of war we men! Mr. Kerry 's immediately preceding remarks ] and Fire Base 6 's, and is the current secretary State. Lesson by now veteran and one can only ask if we will really be satisfied when the troops into! This thing has to end young man just died in a sense, made do! His service in Vietnam, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatric and so he died of convulsions against `` human... Retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude also that all of you talk about it absolute horror what. A mistake into Hanoi the students and some professors ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, and. So he died of convulsions troops, and published by Houghton Mifflin now -- under us n't. -- under us Committee1 delivered 22 April 1971, Washington, D.C for others and for ourselves n't!

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