Don Bendell on John Kerry

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Jan 31, 2004
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I have written two widely-distributed editorials concerning the actions of democratic Presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry that have circulated the globe. In the first, the more popular, I wrote of my wife's rotator cuff surgery, but I wish to address much deeper wounds. Kerry's people have now said that I have slung mud, and I have. First, I was throwing it back, but more importantly; it was mud compiled from the dirt that has surrounded John Kerry since he first decided to run for President around 1970, mixed in with the blood and tears of those who fought in Vietnam, the men and women that he betrayed.

John Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran, but much more so is retired green beret Colonel (Ola) Lee Mize. Lee Mize, as an NCO, received the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Korean War, this nation's highest award for extreme heroism and gallantry in battle, and later retired as a full bird colonel after four full tours in the Vietnam War.

Retired army Sergeant First Class Sammy L. Davis also earned the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1967.

Generals, even Presidents, traditionally salute Medal of Honor recipients when they see them, as these men are so revered. Both of these very special men wanted to give me direct quotes specifically for this editorial concerning John F. Kerry.

Lee Mize said, "What he (John Kerry) did to our Vietnam veterans, throwing his medals over the fence, his testifying before Congress (in 1971), and hanging around with Jane Fonda. Then, never regretting his made-up lies and his testimony, that is a real shame. It is equally disgusting the way he put down our National Guard and our Reserves. He certainly is a two-faced individual."

Sammy Davis, the second MOH recipient I spoke with, said of Kerry, "He has done great disservice to every Vietnam veteran by his actions after he came home from Vietnam. He was in a position of power and could have implemented positive changes for veterans and active duty military personnel during the past 18 years, but he chose not to do so."

When asked on TV, in January, about George W. Bush's record in the Air National Guard, John Kerry mugged for the TV cameras and said, "I am not going to question someone's decision back then to join the National Guard, go to Canada, be a conscientious objector, or go AWOL."

Kerry did not stop to think, when he made such a statement, lumping National Guard service in with being AWOL or a draft dodger, that he was not only dishonoring the 6,077 men who died in Vietnam who were in the National Guard and Reserves, those who trained hard to protect our homeland and be a reserve force, but he also denigrated the 140 recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor in our nation's history who were members of the National Guard. That is what I said: 140 Medal of Honor recipients were in the National Guard.

My wife is the most beautiful, but also the toughest individual I know. She is public about being the victim of both acquaintance rape and gang rape, close to thirty years ago. Now, as a fifth degree black belt, a master, she has even been presented the prestigious Jefferson Award, in big part, for teaching women and girls how to fight back and win. In some ways, I have hated it when she prepares to conduct another Sexual Assault Prevention Clinic, as she emotionally is raped all over again, and I have to hold her many nights while she cries.

The few who have decried my attempts to call out about the emotional rape of Vietnam veterans by John F. Kerry, have said, "Vietnam was three decades ago. Why bring it up now? Let's talk about today's issues."

You cannot forget a rape. It is a life sentence for the victim. Just ask a Vietnam veteran.

I will not let people forget about the rape of our proud, long-standing strength of America, our military, and its leadership in Vietnam. It was conducted like an acquaintance rape. We were betrayed by one in a position of trust, and that hurts worse than stranger rape.

Let us talk today's facts: John Kerry called us his "Band of Brothers," and now flaunts his hero status to get elected. What has he done for his "Band Brothers?" Each session of Congress is 2 years in length.

In the eighties, in the 99th Congress, Kerry's first two years, when you would think he would be full of enthusiasm and eager to fix things, Kerry proposed 1 measly veteran-related bill, S1033. It died. In the 100th Congress, he proposed 1 measly veteran-related bill, S1510. It died, too. The 101st Congress, he proposed 1 measly veteran-related bill, S2128. It also died, but he did propose an amendment to a bill S2884. It died.

Then, in the 102nd , 103rd , 104th, 105th , 106th , and 107th sessions of Congress, 12 years, Kerry proposed ZERO bills related to veterans issues, his "Band of Brothers."

Finally, in the 108th Congress, closing in on two decades of seniority, but more importantly, deciding to run for the Presidency, Kerry sponsored 1 measly veteran-related bill, S1112. It died.

Now, Chief Hypocrite John F. Kerry, and his ardent supporters, attack Bush to divert his own miserable record, especially as it relates to those he calls his "Band of Brothers." When anybody like me fires back, they are pounced-upon and denounced as "mud-slingers."

Here is some factual mud: George W. Bush has increased military pay 21%. Kerry voted against military pay raises 12 times.

Kerry and his spinners have said that Bush is decimating the Veterans Administration. FACT: According to, Bush's 2005 fiscal budget increases VA funding by 40% over when Bush took office, Bush has cut administrative time in VA by half, the Annenberg Center says that funding for veterans under Bush is increasing twice as fast under Bush as it did under Clinton, and vets getting health benefits now has increased by over 27% under Bush.

Under previous Presidents, democratic and republican, I always was treated like a bastard stepchild at VA hospitals. Since Bush became President, I am treated like a veteran with respect and dignity and have never had to wait for more than a half an hour for an appointment.

Now Kerry, you and your cronies attack and belittle our commander-in-chief while we are at war, giving more propaganda to the enemy, all for what, . . . votes. Saddam Hussein? Iraq? Your own words and common sense answers that question, definitively.

"So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." - Sen. John F. Kerry 1/23/03

"disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."- Sen. John F. Kerry, 10/9/02

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and
developing weapons of mass destruction."- Sen. Ted Kennedy, 9/27/02

"Iraq is a long way from here, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use
nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the
greatest security threat we face." Madeline Albright, 2/18/98

FACT: George W. Bush volunteered for extra service time to be trained as a jet pilot, no walk in the park itself, and voluntarily requested the release of 450 pages of his own personal military records, and they have been misrepresented and propagandized to attack him. Kerry touts his war hero status but adamantly refuses to request the public release of his own military records. He is a decorated hero. Being a decorated hero, why would he not release his records? What does he have to hide?

Now, Richard Clarke, an eight-year Clinton loyalist, has conveniently released his supposed tell-all book against the Bush Administration. He now slanders a President he publicly praised in a recorded 2002 news interview for taking a much tougher non-nonsense stance against the Al Q'Aida than his predecessor. I am an author: I know the value of releasing a book that creates controversy; and at this time, releasing this book can potentially put millions into Clarke's pockets. I wish I was releasing a book right now. He said in his book that Bush did nothing militarily until November after the attacks on September 11, 2001. Clarke's words about our military action at that time show how much he was NOT "in-the-loop." Special Forces and Special Operations is a very, very tight-knit community, and most of us, even ones not on active duty anymore, knew that President Bush had two Special Forces (Green Beret) A-Teams on the ground in Afghanistan within 48 hours of the first jet slamming into the World Trade Center. Within two hours of the 9-11 attacks, military plans were underway at USSOCOM headquarters at MacDill AFB, Florida.

What about John Kerry? Once a predator, always a predator. We, the true Band of Brothers were his victims once, but we will be silent no more. We choose to be victors, not victims.

We, the 25,000,000 veterans in this country have power, and we have proven we have courage, can get the job done, and function as a team. We will call and write the major sponsors of NBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC and tell them we are sick of their news departments spinning the news with subtleties and outright lies against our Commander-in-Chief and in favor of the democratic presidential candidate. We will tell those sponsors we will boycott their products if this is not stopped immediately. We will write to, or e-mail, FOX NEWS and similar organizations, and insist that they have people such as me on to address these issues. I will be happy to go head-to-head with John Kerry, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, or whoever they want to represent their liberal agenda, instead of news reporting like they are supposed to do.

We will talk to our democratic and independent friends and relatives and tell them we all must put our country ahead of political parties. We all know who the foreign leaders are that want John Kerry in the White House: the leaders of North Korea, Spain, France, the Hammas, PLO, mideast jihadists, overly-zealous mullahs, and let's not forget Osama bin Laden. They are hoping and praying to get George W. Bush out of the White House and John Kerry in. Why is that?

If you actually believe Kerry would do better than Bush on the economy and that is more important to you than our defense, ask yourself this question: How many times have you seen a Brinks truck follow a hearse to a cemetery?


Don Bendell served as an officer in four Special Forces Groups, including a tour on a green beret A-team in Vietnam in 1968-1969, and was in the Top Secret Phoenix Program, is a top-selling author of westerns, science fiction, and non-fiction Vietnam books, with over 1,500,000 copies of his books in print worldwide, a 1995 inductee into the International Karate Hall of Fame, a 7th degree black belt master in four martial arts, and owns karate schools in southern Colorado. Site: e-mail: [email protected] . This editorial, and the other two, may be copied off my website and distributed.

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