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Hillary Endorsement from a Misfortunate Slaughterer of Enemy Children – A Gain?

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Monday December 17, 2007, all day on TV, “Hillary Clinton has picked up the endorsement of Bob Kerrey, President of New School University, former Senator and Governor of Nebraska!” Long repeating interviews of Kerry on CNN etc. Huh?

Back track to spring of 2002, Bob Kerrey on "60 Minutes", ashen faced trying to defend himself, “They, [18 massacred girls and baby] were at the very least, at the very least, [Viet Cong] sympathizers.”

Let’s reread the May 9-15, 2001 issue of the Village Voice:
“The New School’s Kerrey Crisis” - An Antiwar Institution Agonizes Over a President Who Killed Unarmed Vietnamese Civilians”

“Last week, in front of the New School auditorium, they gathered a thousand strong. They came to hear from a man who had recently admitted to killing Vietnamese women and children 32 years earlier, a man who was now their New School president and Congressional Medal of Honor winner…

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Bridget Francis, an education major, "He should be tried for what he did," she said. "It's disgusting that our government gave him an award for massacring large amounts of people. He shouldn't remain as president."

The accusation of atrocities threw the campus into turmoil over events that took place in a Vietnamese hamlet, 32 years ago and thousands of miles away.

"He's damaged goods," said Michael Hirsch, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology. "Do you want the leader of a hit squad with blood on his hands raising money for you?"

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… Their president's involvement in wartime killings is particularly poignant for members of an institution born of antiwar sentiment. In 1917, two Columbia University professors came out against American involvement in World War I and were promptly fired. The academics formed alliances with other intellectuals — notably John Dewey and Thorstein Veblen — and in 1919, the New School for Social Research was born. From the start, the college was radical and anti-establishment; in the 1930s, the legendary "University in Exile" was created, the faculty made up of 167 scholars rescued from Hitler's Europe.

By the winter of 1969, about the time 25-year-old Lieutenant Bob Kerrey was shipping out for Vietnam, the school had firmly established a reputation as a hotbed of antiwar sentiment and radical politics. "I doubt there was a single member on the entire faculty who was in favor of the war in Vietnam," said a former student and antiwar activist.

Kerrey's time in Vietnam was brief. The squad leader, who has stated many times that he intended "to take Hanoi with a knife in my teeth," led his first real mission in February of 1969. His team of commandos raided the hamlet of Thanh Phong in an attempted “takeout" of a Vietcong leader." [they did manage to cut the throat of an old man, with Kerrey holding him down, while two women were shoot in his 'hooch'] "The Navy credited his squad with killing 21 enemy soldiers that night and awarded Kerrey the Bronze Star. Just three months after his arrival in Vietnam, Kerrey was back in the States, hailed as a war hero,.. In 1992, a disastrous run for the presidency." [Even In 2000, Bob would still be mentioned in media as ‘presidential timber’]

"Or so it seemed until the April 29 New York Times Magazine article by Gregory Vistica. Through extensive research and interviews, Vistica established that the 21 Vietcong soldiers reported killed on Kerrey's first mission were in fact approximately 18 women and children and one old man, all unarmed.

Gerhard Klann, one of Kerrey's squad members," [actually Kerrey’s ‘point man’] "says about a dozen of these women and children were rounded up and executed. At least one Vietnamese woman has supported Klann's version of events. Kerrey says the civilians were killed at a distance, in the dark of night, as his squad was returning enemy fire. "Kerrey's account is dubious at best," says the historian Adolph Reed, professor of political science at the New School. "It strains credibility to believe they fired wildly into the black night and killed everybody. Look at how the bodies were huddled together. I've supported efforts in the Midwest to track down Nazi war criminals. There is really no difference between what they did and what Kerrey did. The difference is the scale."

"This brought home what we've been studying. It's right in our midst—it's up for debate if the president of our university is a war criminal," said Safiya Martinez, a cultural studies major. "If he was a Libyan government agent who killed Americans, we'd be dying to put him on trial."

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Kerrey, "The reconciliation of our peoples is the most important reconciliation of my life. Reconciliation is a difficult moral choice . . . it cannot be done without debate."

… several other faculty members interviewed, were incensed by the tone of the forum and its "let the healing begin talk." He sees the warm response as avoiding responsibility and cheapening Vietnamese lives. "What if the situation was reversed—if 30 years ago foreign combatants were creeping around the American countryside, slitting people's throats, do you think we'd be saying, 'Let bygones be bygones'?" asked a Prof. Reed.

Another professor, "what they really had was a fake conversation about Vietnam. Now they can sweep it under the rug again."

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Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC; First effort was a series of (more...)

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