If only Kerry’s fictional former Swift Boat crew members could be located and persuaded to appear at the convention and tell stories of Lt. Kerry’s courage and devotion to duty. If only they would describe his leadership skills and fire. If only there was a story of Kerry saving a fellow soldier’s life!!

If only retired career military officers could be found to relate more stories of courage under fire, stories of sound judgment, and patriotism. If only they could be found to endorse Kerry’s nomination. If only there were a former member of the joint chiefs of staff who would stand up on the stage and endorse Kerry’s courage.

War hero status would play so well in the entire country. There is no one anywhere in the country who can criticize or otherwise find fault with courage under fire, devotion to duty, saving a fellow countryman, volunteering for combat, public service, and all the rest of it. Not even the most far left-leaning peace freak would refuse to board the John Kerry Swift Boat patrol.

Matter-of-fact war hero status would overwhelm the lefty fringe of the Democratic party, denying it any wedge to embarrass the convention. The infamous Chicago convention of 1968 would not be allowed to rear its ugly head. No small radical band of brothers to foul up the well-ordered convention script.

If only combat footage from actual swift boat patrols on the Mekong River and canals could be shown to the conventioneers and the folks looking on at home. One picture would be worth a thousand votes. Even the most right-wing, war-mongering, liberal-hating. beer-guzzling Bambi killer would have to hand it to Lt. Kerry. Unlike George W., not only did he talk the talk, he walked the walk. George's defense might come down to the fact that the Viet Cong never attacked Selma, Alabama, or wherever he was, while he was on duty.

An authentic war hero would put the macho back into a Democratic Party famous for limp-wristed hang wringing, whining, and crying. This Democratic presidential candidate has wasted gooks. George W. Bush has wasted nothing but time at best and buckets of American blood at worst.

Even better: locate another living Vietnam hero who had been horribly wounded in the war, wheel him out, and have him introduce the nominee. Not a dry eye in the house. And, of course, this fictional story would be over reported, exposed, analyzed, written about, and commented on by the thousands of print reporters, radio and television correspondents, and talking heads. Columnists would have a field day.

Even though 95 percent of the membership of the Democratic Party is against the war in Iraq and want U.S. troops removed immediately, Kerry’s war hero status will allow the platform committee to blow off an anti-war plank. Kerry knows that any seeming appeasement on his part will give his Republican opponents a weakness to exploit, thus driving the dwindling group of undecided voters into the Republican camp. Kerry knows that the Republicans have got Mr. and Mrs. average American family scared to death. Seeming to negotiate with terrorism would be the political kiss of death.

Ralph Nader, on the other hand, is not a war hero. He is a member of the lefty left green party whiners who don’t like red-blooded American cars and other Detroit-Iron deathmobiles. Even Ralph’s friends in the Republican Party who are getting him on the ballot in the swing voter states know that a Kerry War hero campaign will render Ralph’s anti-American activism obsolete. That precious and ever-dwindling supply of undecided voters will not fly to Ralph. Nor will those left-wing Democratic voters seething with Bush hatred.

This fictional story of war heroes would force Kerry’s former primary candidate rivals for the nomination to drop their left-wing agendas for the duration of the campaign and to be on board the Swift Boat with everybody else.

War hero status would put all of the power and influence into John Kerry’s hands. Bill and Hillary Clinton would be squeezed out. A Kerry win will destroy Hillary’s presidential ambitions. A Kerry loss will be blamed on the subversive activities engineered by Bill and Hillary to keep Hillary’s presidential ambitions alive for 2008. The 2008 primary then will become a political bloodbath as the party splits back into its old schisms, leaving a power void that the Clintons can rush to fill. A Massachusetts liberal, flip-flopping eastern intellectual war hero future commander-in-chief could campaign in downtown Crawford, Texas, with nothing to fear. He’s killed commies for Christ, just like their hero and professional non-soldier-soldier, JOHN WAYNE.

Terrorists around the globe would be put on notice that, even though the man from Crawford is gone, there is indeed a new sheriff in town, a sheriff who will not hesitate to put more notches on the presidential M-16. Alas for the Democrats... if only it were true.

By Grady Hawkins

There was a rumor going around the Democratic convention floor last week that candidate John Kerry actually fought in the Vietnam war. This preposterous notion was told and retold until it had evolved into Kerry’s actually joining the U.S. Navy after college, getting a commission, the volunteering to go to ‘Nam as the skipper of a 50-oot patrol craft called a Swift Boat. During his abbreviated tour of duty, he came under fire on numerous occasions, was wounded, earned medals, saved fellow Americans, and killed the enemy. It is rumored that he actually beached his Swift Boat at one point, leaped ashore, and pursued a fleeing Viet Cong soldier, who had tried to ambush his crew and him, and shot the Viet Cong.

If only it were true.

A war hero Democratic candidate would go beyond merely trumping the so-called “war presidency” that George W. Bush has been touting for moths. The combat record boasted by the Democratic candidate would make the president, who has been credited with so-called national guard service, look like a pasty-faced Boy Scout trying to play soldier.