Wesley Clark and John Kerry seem to be at odds over their respective war records. Kerry proudly cites his Vietnam combat background, while Clark claims Kerry’s record can’t come close to his:

[N]obody in this race has got the kind of background I’ve got.”
“It’s one thing to be a hero as a junior officer. He’s done that, I respect that,” Clark said. “But I’ve got the military experience at the top as well as at the bottom.” (Via Drudge.)

I wonder whether the Clark campaign has seen this Newsmax.com piece on Kerry’s “war” record (an excerpt):

  • Those evil American soldiers: Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 23, 1971, Kerry claimed that U.S. soldiers had ?raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.?
  • ?We are not the best?: In his testimony, Kerry claimed there was no communist threat and said: ?In 1970 at West Point Vice President Agnew said ?some glamorize the criminal misfits of society while our best men die in Asian rice paddies to preserve the freedom which most of those misfits abuse,? and this was used as a rallying point for our effort in Vietnam. But for us, as boys in Asia whom the country was supposed to support, his statement is a terrible distortion from which we can only draw a very deep sense of revulsion, and hence the anger of some of the men who are here in Washington today. It is a distortion because we in no way consider ourselves the best men of this country ?.?
  • U.S. Veteran Dispatch noted in 1996: ?Kerry’s testimony, it should be noted, occurred while some of his fellow Vietnam veterans were known by the world to be enduring terrible suffering as prisoners of war in North Vietnamese prisons. Kerry was a supporter of the ?People’s Peace Treaty,?” a supposed ?people’s? declaration to end the war, reportedly drawn up in communist East Germany. It included nine points, all of which were taken from Viet Cong peace proposals at the Paris peace talks as conditions for ending the war.?

  • Throw as I say, not as I do: On that same day he led members of VVAW in a protest during which they threw their medals and ribbons over a fence in front of the U.S. Capitol.
    Kerry later admitted the medals he threw were not his. To this day they hang on the wall of his office.
  • Now, that’s Newsmax, and I haven’t verified it. But if it’s half true, I am not sure that Kerry will be able to keep the focus on his war record alone.
    I wonder whether Kerry plans to continue using the “draft dodger” smear; he’s already tried it with Dean….. Might it backfire against Bush?
    “INITIAL” AFTERTHOUGHT: Are the initials on this hat of any significance?
    UPDATE: Quite dismissively, I ran the “initial” idea past a good friend, observing that surely, Americans aren’t so dumb as to be persuaded to vote for a candidate because of his initials?
    “OH YES THEY ARE!” was the immediate answer.
    Were Barnum and Mencken right?