Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Former POW Speaks Out

Phillip Butler is a 1961 Annapolis graduate who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965. He spent eight years as a POW, so his opinions ought to carry some weight.

He has an excellent opinion piece on Military.com about his POW experiences at the infamous Hanoi Hilton, and the fact that, despite the lies spewing forth from a small group of rightwing ideologues among his fellow POWs, the truth was that their captors never told them about John Kerry's anti-war activities. Butler was in the Hanoi Hilton with three former POWs who now claim the opposite.

"I remember. I was there," Butler says, echoing the statements made by the Swifties during the 2004 campaign against John Kerry (the difference being, of course, that Butler really was there).

Excerpts:

As a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, I read with great sadness a recent article authored by retired Air Force Col. George E. "Bud" Day, and released from the "Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation," a group that was formerly known as the infamous “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." They may have changed their name, but they have not changed their tradition of lies and distorted facts.
* * * * *
[We were] stunned and sickened to see a small number of our former cellmates enter the political fray with the negative Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against John Kerry. Regretfully, many of us remained silent as a multi-million dollar political smear campaign diminished and denigrated Kerry's service in Vietnam.
I agree with Butler: Those fuckers in Swift Boat Liars for Bush or whatever the fuck they are calling themselves these days DO NOT speak for me, and they DO NOT speak for the vast majority of the Vietnam veterans I know. Even John McCain has called the Swifties and their ilk "dishonest and dishonorable".

BTW, I am proud to note that Butler is also a fellow member of Veterans for Peace. If you are a veteran who is fed up with the war machine and everything that goes along with it, please consider joining us. Not a veteran? No problem, we'll take you, too.

3 Comments:

spadoman said...

I am a proud member of Veterans for Peace. I also belong to Vietnam Veterns Against the War, or VVAW

http://www.vvaw.org/

Good article.
I feel that no matter what, the bottom line was that Kerry served over there. Earning the right to have any opinion he wants. In fact, isn't that what they told us we were doing? Defending freedom so we all could have our opinions?

Just don't make us out to be assholes because we don't agree with your war by telling lies.

Farnsworth said...

Spadoman, I also belong to VVAW, and proudly wear my VVAW patch on my denim vest. It's pretty much guaranteed to provoke a conversation wherever I go. Most of them have been non-confrontational, but I occasionally run into an asshole. So far it hasn't come to blows -- I can come off as a pretty reasonable guy once in a while.
Glad to see you are a member of both along with me.
Welcome home, brother.

Anonymous said...

Farnsworth, ...reference your profile; who did you serve w and when? TC,
sullivan