Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Discover the Networks: John Kerry

  • Longtime Democratic Senator from Massachusetts and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee
  • In the early 1970s, he denounced U.S. for alleged systematic “war crimes” in Vietnam.
  • Organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against the War
  • Worked to cut off aid to anti-Communist guerrillas in Nicaraguadurin the 1980s
  • Proposed large reductions in U.S. defense and intelligence spending
After his discharge from the Navy in early 1970, Kerry became a prominent figure in the anti-America, pro-Hanoi crowd of antiwar protesters personified most visibly by Jane Fonda. Like so many of those activists, Kerry publicly maligned U.S. soldiers. He became a spokesman and organizer for the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and he developed close ties to Ramsey Clark, who had served as Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson.
During an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1970, Kerry, depicting the United States as a country whose aggressive impulses needed to be reined in by outside forces, said: "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations."…..In May 1970, Kerry met with North Vietnamese/Viet Cong delegations at the Paris Peace Talks, where they discussed a variety of proposals—especially the eight points enumerated by the top Vietnamese delegate, Madame Nguyen Thi Binh (a winner of the Lenin Peace Prize). Kerry strongly advised the U.S. Senate to accept those points.
At that time, Kerry himself acknowledged that his visits to Paris were “on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera.” This was significant because a federal law known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice prescribed severe punishment (including, in some cases, the death penalty) for any person who “without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly.”
During the ensuing months, Kerry became increasingly strident in his insistence that the U.S. accept Madame Binh's (i.e., the Viet Cong's) peace proposals. VVAW went so far as to sign a “People’s Peace Treaty (reportedly drafted in Communist East Germany in December 1970), whose nine points were all extracted from a list of Viet Cong conditions for ending the war. Kerry fully supported this treaty. According to Gerald Nicosia, a historian of the antiwar movement: “These [VVAW] people signed their own symbolic 'people's peace treaty' with the Vietnamese. As [VVAW co-founder] Jan Barry recalls, the gesture was intended as a means of embracing the people they had harmed, of asking forgiveness for those they had killed.”…..There’s a Whole Lot More Here…..

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