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    Sunday, August 22, 2004

    The Talented Mr. Kerry: I used to think that John Kerry's constant reference to his Vietnam service was akin to an accident victim who can't stop talking about the accident. Have you ever met anyone who miraculously lived through a horrible accident? One in which their car is left a mangled tangle and yet somehow they walk away with only a few minor scratches and sprains? I have. I've met quite a few. And each and every one of them brings up the story of their accident at every given chance. Many of them even carry around a photograph of the wreckage and show it, over and over again, just as Kerry reportedly does with his Vietnam home movies. It's a way to deal with the shock of a sudden, mortality-confronting catastrophic event - and perhaps a way of giving constant thanks to God for unexpected favors. And with each retelling, the car goes a little bit faster, the escape grows a little more narrow, just as Kerry now admittedly has embellished his own story.

    It used to make sense, this theory. After all, Kerry was in some very heated combat situations, including one in which he chased down an armed enemy - and killed him. One on one. That had to be traumatic.

    But then, amid all the Swiftboat Vet controversy, a different picture of Kerry began to emerge. Pictures like this, and this and this. (And don't forget this.) These are not portraits of a man traumatized by war. These are portraits of a man without a conscience.

    UPDATE: Evidence of a conscience:

    When Kerry is asked about the nightmares that haunted his sleep for years after he returned from Vietnam, he shrugs. "I don't think I've had a nightmare in a long time," he says. But then Heinz begins to mimic Kerry having a Vietnam nightmare.

    "Down! Down, down!" she yells, patting her hands down on her auburn hair.

    "I haven't gotten slapped yet," she says. "But there were times when I thought I might get throttled."

    Kerry quivers his right foot and steers the discussion to the counseling programs he has supported for Vietnam veterans. Asked if he has been in therapy himself, he non-answers. "It doesn't bother me anymore, I just go back to sleep."

    Heinz presses him. "Not therapy for the dreams, therapy for the angst," she says, and looks quizzically at him, awaiting an answer. Kerry shakes his head "No."

    Maybe my first theory was right after all. Which brings up the next question. If Kerry is that ashamed of any angst the trauma of war may have caused him, why would he make his service in that war the centerpiece of his campaign? Does that not show a stunning lack of judgement and of insight? (via this article from The American Thinker.)

    UPDATE II: John Ray thinks the second theory is more plausible.

    posted by Sydney on 8/22/2004 06:13:00 PM 0 comments


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