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I’ve just finished reorganizing some of my Election 2004 essays.  One, about John Kerry’s anti-war activities and the North Vietnamese, struck me because of how it applies today to opportunists like Jack Murtha, leftover Marxists, airhead celebrities, America haters, and virtually the entire Democratic congressional and party leadership.  Here’s what Erika Holzer and I wrote two years ago:

Fox News Channel has just reported that “in his 1985 memoir about the [Vietnam] war, communist Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap wrote that if it weren’t for organizations like Kerry’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Hanoi would have surrendered to the United States.”  This is not the first time Vietnamese communist leaders have credited the anti-War movement in the United States with bolstering the formers determination to stay the course.

In our “Aid and Comfort”: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, we wrote that “Fonda’s trip to Hanoi sent a message not only to the American public, but to the North Vietnamese as well.”  Here is an exchange between The Wall Street Journal and Col. Bui Tin, a dedicated Communist cadre for most of his life, and one of the first officers of the North Vietnamese army to enter Saigon on the day it fell. Q:  Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi’s victory? A:  It was essential to our strategy.  Support for the war from our rear [from China] was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable.  Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement.  Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda . . .  gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses.  We were elated when Jane Fonda . . . said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us. (Emphasis added).  Q: Did the politburo pay attention to these visits? A:  Keenly. Q:  Why?  A:  Those people represented the conscience of America.  The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor.  America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.

Bui Tin was wrong, and he was right.

He was wrong that the Fondas, Haydens, Spocks, Zinns, Lanes, Clarks—and the John Kerrys—“represented the conscience of America.”  To the contrary, they and their protests—the Fonda/Kerry Winter Soldier Investigation, the Dewey Canyon III protest, among others—represented the unpatriotic dark corner of American society.  Their lies about our conduct of the war knew no bounds, their hatred of our country no limits.

But Bui Tin was correct that opposition to the war—with John Kerry, who would be President and Commander-in-Chief, in the vanguard—sapped our strength and greatly contributed not only abstractly to “America’s loss,” but concretely to the loss of some 58,000 American lives, countless more psychologically and physically wounded, and literally millions of Southeast Asians murdered.

While [despite the clamor of many on the Right] candidate Kerry is not guilty of constitutional/criminal treason, he is guilty of undermining our war effort and his opposition, in turn, caused Americans (and others) to die.  As novelist Nelson DeMille said in endorsing “Aid and Comfort”: Jane Fonda in North Vietnam: “As a combat infantry officer in Vietnam, I can attest to the fact that Jane Fonda, and people like her, succeeded very well in lowering troop morale, and as any combat vet will tell you, low morale leads to lowered effectiveness, and that leads to battlefield deaths.”  (Emphasis added).

 Bui Tin’s “those people” and “people like Jane Fonda,” and Nelson DeMille’s “people like her,” is simply another way of referring to John Kerry.  And when the full truth reaches the American people about how Kerry and his cronies’ anti-War activities harmed not only American interests, but also gravely injured his countrymen, Kerry should be roundly repudiated and decisively defeated in his quest for the presidency—not because he committed treason, but because he is morally unfit to lead this country, let alone  troops.

Which brings us to the upcoming congressional elections.

If the Republicans are going to turn those elections into referenda on the War on Radical Islam generally and the War in Iraq in particular, as they now seem to be doing, it behooves them to name names and to paint those names with the color they deserve: yellow.  It behooves the Republicans to accuse the Pelosis, Murthas, Deans, and the rest of their craven, defeatist, opportunistic, and UN-loving cohort of undercutting our nation in wartime, weakening our resolve, and thus sending a message to our enemies that if only they hang on in the end they will prevail.

As terrible as the outcome in Vietnam was, a similar result in the Middle East will be even worse.

And if that happens, two or three decades from now, Osama bin Laden will be able to write in his memoirs, as Col. Bui Tin did, that “[t]hose people [Murtha, Pelosi, Dean, et al.] represented the conscience of America.  The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor.  America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.”

Unfortunately, history does tend to repeat itself.