Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, July 26, 2004  

There's a passage from this week's New Yorker all Kerry supporters should have handy, in case they encounter a wavering Republican. It's absolutely amazing.

He also resists speaking publicly about the incident that won him the Silver Star, but his surviving crewmates have told how, when they were ambushed by a Vietcong guerrilla firing rockets from the riverbank, Kerry made an instantaneous decision that evasive action was impossible, turned his boat directly into the fire, beached it, and leaped ashore, to the astonishment of the man with the rocket launcher, who popped up from his spider hole and fled. Kerry chased him and killed him. Navy men were not supposed to leave their ships during combat, and before recommending Kerry for the medal his commanding officer quipped that he wasn’t sure whether he shouldn’t court-martial him instead.

Reading Brinkley’s book, one wonders why Kerry’s campaign does not make more of another occasion when Kerry was sharply reprimanded for having stepped ashore. On a narrow tributary of the Duong Keo River, he and his crew came upon what looked like a deserted village. Then someone thought he saw a man running away. There was no response to a call for surrender, and Kerry took his gun and went to have a look. As he approached, forty-two Vietnamese—women, children, and old men—appeared with empty hands raised. They were in desperate shape, hungry and sick, and although Kerry received radio instructions to leave them and get on with the business of killing enemy combatants, he herded the villagers onto boats and took them to the nearest American base to receive food and medical care. "For an afternoon," he told Brinkley, "it felt good to really be helping the Vietnamese instead of destroying their villages."

Philip Gourevitch, 7/26 New Yorker

If their guy had either of these items on his bio, Bush supporters would fall down in ecstatic displays of rapture. Good to make them aware that our guy has both.

posted by Jeff | 7:30 AM |
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