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Swift Boat Larry: The Kerry Master-Plan

Swift Boat Larry: The Kerry Master-Plan

by Doug Giebel

Interviewed by Lisa Myers on NBC's Nightly News (August 24, 2004), anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veteran Larry Thurlow set out to blow John Kerry's campaign out of the water. He said, ''He [Kerry] lied to manufacture that third Purple Heart. The plan was to use his Vietnam experience and use that as a platform basically for a career in politics.''

As did John Kerry, Swift Boat Larry also won a Bronze Star for his brave actions on the day when one of the swift boats was blown out of the water by a mine and crew members were injured. Unlike Kerry however, Swift Boat Larry apparently had no plan, at least not during the time he served in Vietnam. Maybe his plan was just to survive, as it was for so many others.

Kerry, on the other had, did have a plan. It involved volunteering for hazardous duty, risking his life, leading sailors on dangerous river expeditions: all so he could run for President 35 years later. Larry and his Swift Boat colleagues think it's time that plan came to an abrupt conclusion.

But shouldn't Larry and his colleagues also give Kerry the admiration due him, not for his military service, but for his ability as a young man to formulate this devious plan and then--fanfare, please--carry it out with an astonishing degree of success? Come on, Larry, admit it. This was one hell of a plan and a platform.

According to the [Southeast Asia] Combat Area Casualties Current File (CACCF) in the office of the Secretary of Defense, 38,520 American service people were killed in hostile action during the Vietnam War, 5,264 died of wounds suffered from hostile fire, and a whopping 7,458 died from "other causes."

Kerry and Larry were both in the Navy, serving in country, not on ships far offshore. They frequently encountered hostile fire. Many of their sailor comrades were wounded or killed. In all, however, "only" 2,555 Navy personnel were killed in Vietnam. Part of Kerry's complicated plan was clearly to serve in the Navy, because he knew in advance that not as many sailors would be killed as would (say) Marines, who lost 14,838.

On the other hand, Kerry clearly missed the boat by not joining up with the Coast Guard, since they lost but seven of their number in Vietnam. Surely in a follow-up interview, Swift Boat Larry and his angry crew will explain why Kerry joined the Navy instead of the Coast Guard. O.k., Larry?

Based upon the statements of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, it seems very possible that on the day when Kerry and Larry both earned their Bronze Stars, not only was there no hostile fire coming at them, but more egregiously, Kerry's boat was not the one blown out of the water because that, gentle reader, was part of his plan!

It seems as though the ever-thoughtful John F. Kerry would stop at nothing to make sure his rise from lanky swift boat leader to the White House ended in success. Reading between the lines of the Truthful Vets, it's now evident that Kerry also awarded all his medals to himself, something that especially during wartime requires very careful planning to be sure.

It now seems evident our President George W. Bush and his band of brothers had no plan at all to follow the invasion of Iraq. No plan was needed, because everything would fall into place once Bush had toppled Saddam and his statue. Too bad it didn't work out as unplanned.

And there we have the major difference between George W. Bush and John F. Kerry. Bush doesn't believe in plans. Kerry does.

So tell us, Larry, which would you rather have lead the nation in its time of crisis: a man who leads from his gut, or a your very successful man with a plan?

*** ENDS ***

Doug Giebel is a writer and analyst in Big Sandy, Montana. He will participate in a human rights conference at Rutgers University (Camden Campus) on October 23, 2004, and is currently writing an article for the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies (Dalhousie University). He welcomes email at

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