Jewish World Review May 6, 2004 / 15 Iyar, 5764

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Consumer Reports

Is John Kerry fit to be commander in chief? | You know, a group of veterans who served with John Kerry in Vietnam say the former war hero is not fit to be commander in chief. Veteran groups have been angry with Kerry since he testified before Congress more than 30 years ago and claimed that American soldiers in Vietnam were war criminals. Now, he specifically accused American G.I.s of committing unspeakable atrocities and then admitted to committing war crimes himself.

Now, standing alone, Kerry's postwar words could disqualify him from being president of the United States. But there are also a group of veterans who worked alongside John Kerry in that war and saw in the future senator a war hero who fought bravely under fire and risked his own life to save the lives of others.

As someone who's never served in the military, has never seen enemy fire and who has never turned his boat directly toward incoming fire to save the life of a shipmate, I'm going to be the last one to say that John Kerry is unfit to lead our country and our troops. But there are others who served in Vietnam who are making those claims. These vets just simply didn't appreciate being called war criminals by John Kerry in 1971, and they don't appreciate John Kerry standing by those claims today.

The presumptive Democratic nominee's Vietnam record is so complex because John Kerry was as reckless with his words in 1971 as he was with his own personal safety in Vietnam risking his life to save his fellow troops. Expect this debate to continue for a long, long time.

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Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts “Scarborough Country,” 10 p.m. ET, weeknights on MSNBC. Comment by clicking here.

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