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Thursday, August 19, 2004

WSJ Opinion Journal

VIETNAM LIES

We wish this Presidential election had nothing at all to do with Vietnam. There were good people who served and good people who didn't, good people who supported the war and good people who protested it. What happened really shouldn't be an issue more than 30 years later unless you lie about it. So why do the Democrats keep bringing Vietnam up, and to their own detriment?

John Kerry, for starters, has made his four-month service in that country the centerpiece of his campaign. But just last week his staff was forced to admit the Senator had been inaccurate, to put it charitably, when he claimed on multiple occasions to have spent Christmas Eve of 1968 in Cambodia while (he also said) the U.S. government was lying about his presence there.

Now comes Tom Harkin. On Monday the Iowa Senator lashed out at Dick Cheney, claiming the Vice President had no right to criticize Mr. Kerry's policies for the war on terror because Mr. Cheney had a deferment back then: "When I hear this coming from Dick Cheney, who was a coward, who would not serve during the Vietnam War, it makes my blood boil."

"Coward"? Such a comment would take chutzpah coming from anyone. But Senator Harkin is a proven fabricator when it comes to his own Vietnam-era record, as shown during his own failed 1992 Presidential bid. . . .

One would think that the post-1991 Tom Harkin would know better by now than to assail anyone else's Vietnam record. As for our media colleagues, is it too much to ask that they finally take notice of which party is responsible for keeping Vietnam front and center in our Presidential campaigns?

Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry salutes the delegation after taking the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Boston to formally accept the party's nomination and announcing 'I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty', July 29, 2004 AL REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

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(I support the President.)