Roger L. Simon

Cambodia, Mon Amour

I just finished reading the sample chapter from the current No. 1 hit on Amazon. I also read the transcript of the interchange between Judy Woodruff, Jim Rassman and Larry Thurlow linked by Instapundit. And of course I saw the now infamous ad.

The chapter, not surprisingly, is the most detailed and undoubtedly the most important substantively. (The CNN interchange was on the usual banal he said/she said level one gets on cable.) In our lives we have seen a lot of political nastiness from both sides of the aisle, most of it repellent and brainless. But this is different. The chapter touches on a great number of matters. A whole series of events revolving around Kerry’s purple hearts and medals are reported upon. I have no idea how many of them are true–or if any of them are–but even a small percentage being accurate would constitute a damaging, if not devastating, portrait of the candidate and the man.

For some reason, among the many stories, a subchapter entitled “Christmas in ‘Cambodia’ – Vietnam, December 1968” struck a special chord with me. Apparently, on the floor of the US Senate in 1986, Kerry asserted he was ordered into Cambodia in Christmas 1968. As he later told the Boston Herald, “I remember spending Christmas of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.”

Never mind that Nixon was not yet president at Christmas of 1968, a whole slew of people, quoted in the chapter say it was impossible for Kerry to have been within fifty miles of Cambodia. They also say where he was and what he did. (It wasn’t pretty.) Are they lying? Well, consider this. Despite having been repeated by Kerry many times over the years, this story (according to the chapter) is curiously absent from the Senator’s recent laudatory campaign bio Tour of Duty. Why, if it was so important to him, so meaningful?

Now why do I find this kind of petty prevarication so disturbing? Well, I don’t like the idea of having a man who sounds like a pathetic barroom blowhard (and that’s what he sounds like to me) becoming President of the United States in a time of war. People like this start to believe their own lies. Maybe the greater good of Kerry’s “policies” outweighs this for some people. They’ll have to explain that to me. But they’ll also have to explain all the rest of this book… in detail.

UPDATE: A retraction has come in from one of the Swift Boat veterans. More of these will be good news for Kerry on this matter. I will now shut my mouth about this as I intended to do earlier and wait and see. On to contemporary matters.

OOPS: Now that same veteran, Elliot, is saying the Boston Globe got it wrong. Where is this all headed and will the Mainstream Media report it fully? Time will tell.

MEANWHILE: Hugh Hewitt has more on the mysterious incursion into Cambodia.