“Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave. This chamber reeks of blood. Every Senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land – young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces or hopes.”
“There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes”.
Senator George McGovern, Sept 1, 1970
In another era, not so long ago, the Senate was still hosting intellectual giants like George McGovern, Bob Dole, Robert Kennedy, Mark Hatfield and William Fulbright. These men took up the challenge of a robust debate and spoke their minds, at times with fury, but always with authentic words meant for the man in Peoria. These days, you would have to pump the average “sound bite” Senator with a truck load of truth serum to get a little bit of what George McGovern could dish out, especially on the subject of the Vietnam war. Half of them can’t complete a coherent phrase any larger than a bumper sticker. Cloning humans has already been perfected. Just go watch these guys perform. It is, however, apparent from the 100 samples in the Senate, that cloning has dangerous side effects like losing that basic human touch. They mug for the camera like adolescent beauty contestants and hardly ever utter an unscripted word. The sad truth is, Kerrey was a cut above most of the ones that still serve in that chamber. I would hesitate to leave them in charge of the chamber pot.
Today the Senate, is little more than a private club for wealthy machine party brats who worked their way to office by ingratiating themselves with the Party’s treasury departments. A “little” love offering from Denise Rich is what gets you in the Senate or the House. How competent is Denise Rich to be a mover and shaker among America’s political elite? It doesn’t matter, its money and access that matter. Money makes her competent enough to receive regal treatment by our politicians, up to and including the President. With power brokers like Ms Rich, you end up with Senators who are in desperate need of presidential pardons for their speeches and their laws. Its just as well that we don’t hear much from the latest crop of ossified manure that has landed in the Senate chamber; people with such lofty price tags always think they can talk down to the rest of the word. It’s the high priced hooker syndrome. Here is a birdie for the lot of you. Close that whorehouse and go find something useful to do with what’s left of your pathetic lives. I would rather share an evening talking to a can of tuna than with one of these moral retards. So after they are done huddling around Kerrey, they can do us all a favor and disband. The Senate has become an obstacle to American political progress. Just merge it into the house and be done with it. We have had enough of this white supremacist organization, filled with many men who were openly segregationists, and have acquired a new vocabulary to achieve their unwavering goals.
Every Senator in that chamber understands that they all came to Washington on the strength of collection plates polluted with the currency of corruption to the tune of billions in campaign financing. These men and women cast every vote with an eye focused on their campaign war chest
Now, Bob Kerrey was by all accounts popular in this exclusively white fraternity. That is why they have rallied around him to protect his “mental health”, lest the over-agonizing over the ‘events’ three decades ago harm his ability to “heal”. Kerrey should give them a kick in the teeth, especially the few remaining Senators who voted on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The Senate is so very sympathetic to their old buddy. “Bob wouldn’t do things like that, he is one of us, and he needs to have time to heal, sort this thing through, maybe he should try acupuncture.”
Which brings us back to why Kerrey got this ‘unwelcome’ exposure. The Washington Post held the information under wraps for two years. They reasoned that since he would not be making a run for President, the story had no significance. Obviously that was a political judgement meant as a service to the Democratic Party, delivered courtesy of Kay Graham, the owner of the Washington Post Company. A few years ago, the same publishing company, which owns NewsWeek, squelched the story about the “stain on the dress”. Now, consider that Kerrey was fully aware for these last two years that the story was in the hands of these publishing moguls. When Kay Graham took a position on a policy issue, did it in any way remotely effect a senate vote by Kerrey? When he got a phone call from Kay, did he promptly return it?
When the New York Times got a hold of this story, it sat on it for months. Their judgment was to wait until Kerrey left the Senate and then have a go at him. The New York Times is certainly not out to expose Vietnam era war crimes and atrocities. Since the election of Sharon as Prime Minister, this media corporation has focused an intense campaign to bury even the slightest hint that Sharon has a well-documented record of carnage at Qibya and Sabra and Shatila. There are also allegations that he was involved in shooting disarmed Egyptian POWs in the 1956 war. This Israeli financed campaign portrays Sharon as a mature harmless “Arik”, a conservative war hero who bounces children on his knees and just wants ‘peace’. A conservative in America is for school vouchers, Ariel Sharon is the kind of “conservative” who gives out vouchers to kill Palestinian school kids.
While other media outlets have published scathing condemnations of Kerrey (visit Antiwar.com for dozens of articles published on the Kerry subject), the New York Times is focused on how Kerrey is handling his ‘trauma’. The very paper that exposed him is spending an inordinate amount of time making sure the public connects with Kerrey, his traumatic memories of the war, and his need for closure. William Safire writes “that is why the denial by the anguished Kerrey and his fellow veterans deserves respect” and he goes on to assure us that “Some Vietnam heroes in the Senate forgive Kerrey and his team any possible transgression in the fog of war.” (Syndrome Returns, by William Safire, 4//30/2001).
The Kerrey saga is just idle sport for the New York Times, the daily ruse. You stick the Senator’s nose in the dirt, provide him with a few wash cloths, put everyone else in the Senate on notice that “you have files”. If anyone doubts the existence of these files, remember the tit-for-tat “infidelity” revelations that outed the House Republican leadership. Kerrey should not take any of it, personally. He is just a ‘war-crimes’ commodity. They will brush him off, make the story disappear and bring out Sharon for another trip to Sulzberger’s laundry on 43rd street. You want to get out a war crime stain; these guys deliver. Presto. Kerrey, Sharon. War crimes happen. Lets move on. Sharon a war criminal? Kerrey a war criminal? Bad things happen in war, army snipers kill hundreds of unarmed Palestinians and maim thousands of others. Sharon is doing what Kerrey was doing; administering a pacification program against a native population. So, next time Sharon’s crime is in play, they are all ready with the defense. What is the problem here? Is it because Sharon is Jewish? Watch how Safire, Mona Charen and the other Israel Firsters rally to Kerrey’s defense.
Regardless of the spin at the Times, it would be slanderous to compare Kerrey to Sharon. Kerrey was in a war zone for all of two months; his actual combat experience lasted three weeks, and two engagements. He committed an inexcusable criminal act because he chose not to show any mercy to the ‘enemy’, even the baby ‘enemy’, who would probably have had VC sympathies etched into his DNA. But, he also went in to that hamlet as a superbly trained Navy Seal with a mission to terrorize the population. He did what his civilian and military leadership in the military sent him to do, as part of a campaign to inflict pain on civilians suspected of having VC loyalties. It was called pacification and the way they counted progress in that campaign was by ‘kill’ count. Now, this is ancient history that can readily be found and verified in hundreds of books available at your local library. It is history and extremely well documented history. There is one last point to make about Kerrey, In 57 years, 20 minutes of his life was spent actively engaged in a war-crime. Sharon has spent his whole adult life moving from one atrocity to the next.
Sharon’s criminal history was not confined to one isolated incident. He is a repeat offender who still thrives on wasting Palestinian lives. The slaughter at Sabra and Shatila did not last for a few minutes, it went on for four days and three nights. The New York Times had its correspondent on the ground, Robert Friedman. His mission was to cover up Sharon’s role in it for the American press. I have amply documented this in a previous article Believe Me, Ariel Sharon Knew Nothing.As for Qibya, Sharon blew up Palestinian villagers as they slept in their homes.
So, considering the amount of space allotted to the subject of Israel on the pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post; what exactly is it about Sharon’s war crimes that these two national papers don’t comprehend. Sharon’s criminal history is well documented, hundreds of witnesses are still alive and he continues his daily assaults against the Palestinians. Finally, Sharon was an architect of these policies and as such bears greater responsibility than those who carried out illegal orders. But at the New York Times, they stick by their own people and if their own people are committing war crimes, well than, the Palestinians must have had it coming.
Mr. Ahmed Amr is Editor of NileMedia.com in Seattle and a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN)