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Friday, August 10, 2007

Kerry's and Beauchamp's shared pre-traumatic stress disorder

Others have noted the parallels between fraud Scott Thomas Beauchamp and fraud John F. Kerry in their lies about their fellow servicemen, but it wasn't until I read Charles Krauthammer's op-ed today — in which he noted (as have others) that the "whole point of [the "melted face in the Iraq mess hall"] story was to demonstrate how the war had turned an otherwise sensitive soul into a monster" — that I suddenly remembered Sen. Kerry's own episodes of pre-traumatic stress disorder, about which I blogged at some length (albeit without that wonderfully descriptive diagnosis) on August 29, 2004, in a post entitled "The war-torn soul of John Kerry."

Although I wrote it during the middle of the SwiftVets controversy, that particular post — and the transparent phoniness it demonstrated — relied solely on Kerry's own wartime writing, and on the date and place from which he was writing to his then-sweetheart:

From biographer Douglas Brinkley's Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, we get this powerful portrait of young John Kerry's anguish, quoting a lengthy letter he wrote to his sweetheart (pp. 82-83; boldface mine):

Judy Darling,

There are so many ways this letter could become a bitter diatribe and go rumbling off into irrational nothings.... I feel so bitter and angry and everywhere around me there is nothing but violence and war and gross insensitivity.  I am really very frightened to be honest because when the news [of the combat death of his college friend, Dick Pershing] sunk in I had no alternatives but  to carry on in the face of trivia that forced me to build a horrible protective screen around myself....

The world I'm a part of out there is so very different from anything you, I, or our close friends can imagine.  It's fitted with primitive survival, with destruction of an endless dying seemingly pointless nature and forces one to grow up in a fast — no holds barred fashion.  In the small time I have been gone, does it seem strange to say that I feel as though I have seen several years experience go by....  No matter [where] one is — no matter what job — you do not and cannot forget that you are at war and that the enemy is ever present — that anyone could at some time for the same stupid irrational something that stole Persh be gone tomorrow.

You can practically hear the mortar rounds shriek overhead Kerry's foxhole, can't you?  Everything around him "is nothing but violence and war" — "endless dying," the enemy "ever present."

Except that this letter was written in Febuary 1968, while Kerry was an ensign aboard the missile cruiser U.S.S. Gridley as it plied the dangerous waters of war-torn Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.  The Gridley was still almost 6000 miles and many weeks away from the waters offshore of Vietnam....

Same sort of drama queens; same exaggeration; same self-aggrandizement; even the same bad writing (especially if the comparison is to Beauchamp's blog writing, which obviously lacks the benefit of TNR's copy editors). They're definitely birds of a feather, those two. Sort of a three-way cross between peacocks, vultures, and mocking-birds (although I suspect even vulture-lovers would object to that comparison, and it's definitely unfair to mocking-birds, but they're the first kind of bird I can think of who're frauds, sort of).

Posted by Beldar at 12:44 AM in Books, Global War on Terror, Politics (2007), SwiftVets | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Kerry's and Beauchamp's shared pre-traumatic stress disorder and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) narciso made the following comment | Aug 10, 2007 11:45:01 AM | Permalink

It was Beauchampesque, and ignorant of his friend's Richard Pershing's choice to become a Ranger; and join the
theatre of war, as his grand
father had done, first on the
Indian plains, Cuba, Phillipines & finally Europe.

(2) vnjagvet made the following comment | Aug 10, 2007 2:00:10 PM | Permalink

Kudos, Beldar, for capturing the essence of what has bothered me about Sen. Kerry.

Drama, drama, drama. Before, during and after his VN service. He never could tell fiction from fact.

(3) Jake made the following comment | Aug 10, 2007 9:56:20 PM | Permalink

I am surprised the 1968 "Darling Judy" letter didn't get more exposure during the election (I think I would have remembered it). The notion of having a Commander-in-Chief this conflicted is still scary. Thank you, Swifties! How fitting that "Three&Out" flew his true colors again by denigrating the intelligence and education of our troops in Iraq, thereby deep-sixing his 2008 presidential bid.

(4) The Drill SGT made the following comment | Aug 11, 2007 12:57:26 AM | Permalink


Guys have been writing their women (or the females they wanted to mate with) enthralling them with both the horrors of war and their heroism since Homer.

Basically, it's the coward's gimmick to get laid.

(5) David Rogers made the following comment | Aug 11, 2007 3:52:26 PM | Permalink


You are at your very best mocking JK! Bravo!

(6) Bill M made the following comment | Aug 12, 2007 7:10:42 PM | Permalink

You are at your very best mocking JK! Bravo!

Yeah, true, but really now, it is kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.

Go Swifties! Their service in Vietnam is only eclipsed by the service they wrought our country in 2004!!!

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