The Last Word | January 24, 2013
>>> not a black america , and a white america and a latino america there is the united states of america .
>> we can thank john kerry for that. and we can thank john kerry for a lot more. he made that happen. he chose barack obama a then unknown 42-year-old senate candidate to give the key note address the most important address at the democratic national convention . barack obama hukan't get the credentials to get into the last convention made that speech. we had seen the person who could be the first african- american president without that speech, it is very hard almost impossible to imagine barack obama launching a campaign three years later. today barack obama made this happen.
>> i know there is a lot of ground to cover. i look forward to that dialogue.
>> john kerry 's place to history is almost already assured. his contribution occurred at that seat 42 years ago. long before he actually ran for senate he testified to the foreign relations committee as a leader of vietnam veterans against the war . he was decorated in saving the lives of men who came forward to tell their stories, but he saved many more lives than that. he saved thousands and thousands of lives when he testified on april 22nd , 1971 , 56,000 american soldiers had been killed in vietnam . in each of the years he was in vietnam , more american soldiers were killed there than in the entirety of both wars in iraq afghanistan. it was a death toll that is unimaginable to any one who didn't live through those years. richard nixon had won the presidency on the lie that he had a plan to end the war. john kerry gave us more young americans ip including nixon knew was a lost cause. it was personified then by hippies. kids who were experimenting with new ways of living and dressing and the attitude that they had no duty to serve in a american war . the anti-war movement to be successful needed squon kerry. it was as if he was a character delivered to us by a novel ellist. he shared john f kennedy 's initials and some of this accent and was a decorated navy war hero . he was clean-cut for a hippy. he didn't have a stragley beard. but no other man appears before the committee had long hair covering his ears. he had a choice to make. he could have gotten a haircut and gre dressed like a senator. he chose to look like a war protester against the war. the sen tarred had never heard testimony like that. as did the white house . the day after his testimony. president nixon had this conversation with his chief of staff who would later go to prison.
>>> extremely effective. was nixon going to do that? i doubt it. not as fast as he did it. more than 2,000 americans were killed after john kerry 's testimony. that number was going to be higher, much higher but it was going to be higher. if john kerry hadn't become the most extremely effective war protester in american history . the only war protester who the war president richard nixon thought was what he called extremely effective. there are men alive today in this country thanks to john kerry and they don't know it. i have brothers who are alive today thanks to john kerry . because of john kerry . didn't play it safe when he testified against the war. he personally attacked by name the defense secretary along with the other democrats s in the johnson administration who failed the country and the world so miserably. on april 22nd , 1971 , at the age of 27, he assured his position in history. and that is war hero . the hero who saves lives by helping to end the war.
>> each day to facilitate the process by which the united states washes her hands of vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the united states doesn't have to admit something that the world already knows. someone has to die so that president nixon won't be the first president to lose a war. and we are asking americans to think about that. how do you you ask a man to be the last man to die in vietnam we are here to ask and ask where are the leaders of our country. where is the leadership? we are here to ask where are bundy, gilpatrick and others where are they now that we the men they sent off to war have returned. these are commanders that have deserted their troops. the army says they never leave their wounds and the marines never leave their dead. they have retreated and left the real stuff of their reputation s bleaching hind them in the sun. and this administration has attempted to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country. they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served. we do not need their testimony for ourselves we wish that amersful god to wipe away our own memories of that service. but all that they have done and can do by this denial, is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbarick war. to copknquer the hate and fear of this we're. so in 30 years when our brothers go down the street and small boys ask why we will be able to say vietnam . not an obscene memory but mean instead the place where america finally turned and where soldier soldiers like us helped it in the