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A Real Vietnam Hero

If you plan on voting in the November election without hearing the story of John O'Neil, you are making a serious mistake.

Who's John O'Neill? He was the Vietnam veteran - a former commander of a Patrol Craft Fast, better known as the Swift boat - who famously debated one John Kerry, a fellow Swift skipper, for 90 minutes on The Dick Cavett Show back in 1971. C-SPAN excavated this particular television gem a couple of weeks ago and re-broadcast it.

[Read the whole New Republic National Review article]

Compare and contrast with John Kerry...

Update: There are two videos in this C-SPAN search for John O'Neil.

Update: More at JustOneMinute.


Comments (6)

Now why would I bother comp... (Below threshold)

Now why would I bother comparing John O'Neil to Kerry? John O'Neil isn't running for President. Bush is. I suggest instead we compare Bush and Kerry's war records. Or is the new tactic to compare Kerry against anyone not running who was in the war?

Spoken like a man is is a t... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Spoken like a man is is a tad bit worried huh?

When I saw your link, I tho... (Below threshold)
cbk:

When I saw your link, I thought..."The NEW REPUBLIC?" Did they change their tack? Has the world turned upside down?

But when the link led to the National Review I felt upright again. The dizziness subsided.

But no better way to insult two publications in one blow.

CBK

Come on now. Can't Carl Ro... (Below threshold)
van:

Come on now. Can't Carl Rove even dig up new people, but has to depend on Nixon, Halderman and Colson to do his dirty work. I'd like to see Oneill's medals and compare them with W's medals. How much does Rove ( the co-president) have to spend anyway.
Does Oneil assert that the US didn't kill women children, spray the contryside with dioxin, have free fire zones, etc. Lets get real and look at the issues.
1. ) the economy will be booming this summer. How can it not be if you spend half a trillion that you don't have. By next summer this will have sunk in and intrest rates will rise. The election will be over. Rove really is a genius. However I don't like W being dishonest with the americans and our future.
Really if there is dirt on Kerry I want to hear it too. But Lets drop this fat angry old white man who doesn't have anything to say except inneundo.

Well, of course, things get... (Below threshold)
Vincent:

Well, of course, things get crazy in war. People take on a different mentality and some get a little weird. I'm sure some bad things happened but that's not what O'Neil is stating at all. He's taking a stand against those that were making unproven claims that mass atrocities occured. If Kerry was/is correct with his statements that it did happen then he should have gone to prison... no questions asked. He stated on the Cavette show that he watched and participated in these horrible things. So he should have gone to prison as well as the others that he would have to rat-out as participants in these things. So either way then: he's lying or he's a convict.... or the worse yet :
a politician.

I saw the 1971 Dick Cavett ... (Below threshold)
IsawTHEdebate:

I saw the 1971 Dick Cavett Show "debate" between O'Neil and Kerry Sunday on CNN in it's entirety, and I have to say, it had a profound affect on me.

I encourage everyone to watch it and discuss it, as it is a great example of how Americans are being mislead and lied to by their government.

No veteran wants to return to a nation that knows he was ordered to, and commited, war crimes against another. The issue of weather or not war crimes were commited and weather or not people all the way to the top of the chain of command were aware and deliberate in doing exactly this is an issue which has been beaten to death in the past.

Apparently no amount of evidence is sufficent for the pro-government people to admit the facts - as was shown by Mr. O'Neil's remarkably bad behaviour on the aformentioned program. Several times Mr. O'Neil was caught in blatent lies during this program, and it was painfully clear that everyone knew it (even him). It was embarassing to watch Mr. O'Neill yank-out the "my country right or wrong" haughtyness and feigned offense at Mr. Kerrys activities to attempt to inform the American public of what was going on in Vietnam, and it was discrediting of Mr. O'Neil to refuse to take any responsiblility whatsoever for anything he did over there.

The "debate" consisted mostly of Mr. O'Neil hurling insults and using inflamatory statements with a clear intent to distract Mr. Kerry from the issues. To little avail, fortunately for us, as Mr. O'Neils true YELLOW colors were shown. Mr. O"Neill made groundless accusation after accusation, misrepresentation after misrepresentation, and showed his hypocrisy and lack of integrity. Frankly it was embarassing, even with the distracting fervour of the day expressed remarkably well by the program.

Don't take anybody's word for what happened on this program, you simply must watch it yourself. Pay close attention to Mr. O'Neil. I can tell a liar when I see one in a debate, and Mr.O'Neil is a liar. He did everything in his power to prevent key issues from being debated, obviously because he was unprepared to debate the issues. Or perhaps he knew that it wasn't about debate, but rather, about continuing to lie to the American Pulbic. The fact that the "anti-war" candidate which won office had been exposed as having been working right along with the government all along and never had any anti-war intentions and decieved the American people did not matter to him one iota. This is the true nature of the deception people like Mr. O'Neil perpetuate relentlessly to this day. The fact that the American government lied to the people, and intentionally made into war criminals our boys, is a fact too painfull for Americans to cope with even today....

In 1971 it was a pretty good political method, to just name-call and ignore these painfull facts.

Now in 2004 we just know better.




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