Obama Fails the John Kerry Test

by RAYMOND S. KRAFT July 1, 2008

Just four years ago, Sen. John Kerry strode onstage at the Democrat National Convention and declared, "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty." In the course of the contest between Kerry and Bush, John Kerry and the Democrats set up the John Kerry Test for Presidential Qualification, one which George W. Bush could only fail, and one which only John Kerry could pass. There are three points to the test:

One: To be qualified to be president, a candidate must have military service.

Two: Active duty service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, in a war zone,trumps National Guard service in the states.

Three: Active duty service in actual combat trumps service that did not see combat.

George W. Bush served in the Air National Guard, and despite the persistent unprovenrumors that he went "AWOL" by missing a last meeting in his enlistment, he was elected anyway, for which Democrats will never forgive him. John Kerry indisputably served in Vietnam, in country, on a Riverine patrol boat in the Mekong Delta for three or four months, and he has the Purple Hearts and a Silver Star to prove it.According to the John Kerry Test, John Kerry should be president today.

Democrats have longsince forgotten all aboutthe John Kerry Test andwill soon nominate Barack Hussein Obama, who fails to meet any of the three points of the John Kerry Test, for president. Obama has never been anywhere near the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, or National Guard, in war or in peace.He has no active duty service, no reserve service, no militaryservice of any kind, yet he may soon be Commander-in-Chief.He has never served in a war zone and he has never been in combat. He has been a community organizer (whatever that is); a lawyer for slumlordTony Rezko, thenewly convicted felon; the loyal parishioner of Rev. Jeremiah Wright who hates whitey and America; a lecturer at a law school for twelve years (althoughI do not know that he has ever tried or appealeda case, maybe he has);a state legislator and a senator for two years.He fails the John Kerry Test in every respect.

John McCain, however, meets the John Kerry Test inspades, far better than John Kerry does.

John McCain is the son and the grandson of Navy admirals.He graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Anapolis - near the bottom of his class academically, but with a finereputation as a scrapper.Obama has never been anywhere near a military academy.After graduating McCain went to Pensacola and became a carrier-qualified naval aviator in 1960, the year before Barack Obama war born, flying A-1 Skyraiders from the carriers USS Enterprise and USS Intrepid.

In 1966, at his request, McCain was reassigned to the USS Forrestal flying A-4 Skyhawks, a light attack jet that the Blue Angels flew for many years. In the summer of 1967 Barack Obama was six years old, and John McCain went to war.McCain and many other pilots were frustrated by the micromanagement of the war from Washington, and he later wrote: "In all candor, we thought our civilian [Democrat] commanders were complete idiots who didn't have the least notion of what it took to win the war."

John McCain was almost killed on July 29, 1967, when a fire broke out on the USS Forrestal. He escaped from his burning jet, and was trying to help another pilot escape when a bomb exploded, striking McCain in the legs and chest with bomb fragments.The fire killed 134 sailors and burned for 24 hours before itwas brought under control and extinguished.With theForrestal out of commission, McCain volunteered for duty on the USS Oriskany.

Barack Obama was six years old.

John McCain was shot down on October 26, 1967, on his 23rd combat mission over North Vietnam. He fractured both arms and a leg and nearly drowned when he parachuted into Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi.As he regained consciousness, a crowd attacked him, bayoneted him, and crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt.He was then taken to Hoa Lo Prison, the "Hanoi Hilton," where he would spend most of the next five years.

His captors refused to treat him and proceeded to beat and interrogate him, until they found that he was the son of an admiral, with great propaganda value, and thengave him medical care. Over the next six weeks in a Hanoi hospital, he lost 50 pounds and his hair turned white. Upon discharge he was sent to another camp, into a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live.

In March, 1968, McCain was put into solitary confinement, for two years.Barack Obama wasseven years old.

In 1968, McCain's father became commander of all U.S. forces in Southeast Asia.The North Vietnamese offered McCain an early release for propaganda purposes, to show the POWs that elites like McCain got preferential treatment.McCain refused, stating he would only accept the offer if every other man taken prisoner before him was also released.In August, 1968, a period ofsevere torture began, during which McCain was subjected to repeated beatings while suffering from dysentery.After four days he reached his breaking point and gave a "confession," which he regrets, but has since written what we all know, instinctively,that every man has a breaking point.

Would Barack Obama have withstood such torture?For five years?

McCain was released on March 14, 1973. Barack Obama was 12. He remained on active duty, undergoing months of treatment and physical therapy for his injuries, attended the National War College during 1973-1974, and had his flight status reinstated in 1976 when he became commanding officer of a training squadron in Florida. He turned around a low-performing unit and won the squadron its first Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Barack Obama was 15, attending high school in Hawaii.

McCain retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981, after 21 years on active duty. He had been awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and the Navy Commendation Medal, for conduct before, during, and after his years as a POW.

McCain passes the John Kerry Test with all flags flying.

Obama doesn't.

On June 29, 2008, retired General Wesley Clark gave an interview on Meet the Press in which he disparages John McCain's service, saying he doesn't "getting shot down and spending five years as a POW qualifies a man to be president."Clark didn't mention the other 16 years of McCain's distinguished service, obviously a deliberate attempt at deception, by omission of relevant facts.

To General Wesley Clark, I reply:Five years as a POW on the receiving end of the torture, beatings, starvation, solitary confinement, and theother physical and psychologicalabuse John McCain withstood, is five years of combat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. His captors had the guns; he was unarmed. His captors had the ropes andtruncheons to beat him with.His captors controlled his freedom, communication, food, water.

All he had to fight with was his will.

If the John Kerry Test tells us who should be president, Barack Obama should stand down now andconcede the election to John McCain, today.

Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Raymond S. Kraft is an attorney and writer in Northern California. He can be contacted at rskraft@vfr.net.

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