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Unfit for Command Audio CD – Unabridged, September 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786183276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786183272
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.6 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,018 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,050,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Due to the timing of its publication, Unfit for Command could be dismissed as the sort of controversial, loaded book typical in a presidential election year: Either courageous and necessary, or untruthful and malicious, depending on one's political point of view. Filled with interviews of men who served in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry, the book poses the following question: "Why do an overwhelming majority of those who commanded or served with John Kerry oppose him?" (Note that the issue of "service" has sparked investigation into its definition--in other words, just how close was the interaction between Kerry and those cited in the book during Kerry’s Vietnam tour of duty?)

The charges leveled against Kerry in this book are severe and include filing false operating reports; lobbying for and receiving three Purple Hearts for minor wounds, two of which were self-inflicted; receiving a Silver Star under false pretenses; offering false confessions of bogus war crimes in both print and testimony; and recklessness in the field, including the burning of a village without cause or direct order. The book also claims that Kerry left Vietnam after serving just four months instead of the usual one year tour and that he returned home and accused his fellow soldiers of atrocities without offering any evidence, endangering POWs in the process.

It is debatable whether the book will change any minds, or votes. Instead, readers will likely reach one of two conclusions: Either John Kerry grossly misrepresented his military service or the authors are spinning the interviews that they conducted for ulterior motives. There is a third option, however; readers will further investigate both sides of the debate, and by doing so, may reach conclusions independent of partisan extremes. --Brian Neff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"What sort of combination of hypocrite and paradox is John Kerry?" ask the authors in this heated critique of the Democratic presidential candidate’s Vietnam–era military service and antiwar activism. O’Neill, a lawyer and swift boat veteran, and Corsi, an expert on Vietnam antiwar movements, argue that Kerry misrepresented his wartime exploits and is therefore incompetent to serve as commander in chief. Buttressed by interviews with Navy veterans who patrolled Vietnam’s waters, some along with Kerry, the book claims he exaggerated minor injuries, self-inflicted others, wrote fictitious diary entries and filed "phony" reports of his heroism under fire—all in a calculated quest to secure career-enhancing combat medals. They also maintain that Kerry, whom they call a "moral coward," committed atrocities that alarmed his peers and superior officers during his four-month tour of duty. Yet his activities on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War clearly raises the authors’ hackles the most, and they present Kerry’s post-war actions as additional, damning evidence of his "total unfitness," claiming that his testimony against the war "caused more deaths and prolonged the war in Vietnam by undermining support at home and contributing directly to a Vietnamese Communist victory." The battle that lies at the heart of this book is the decades-old feud between antiwar veterans and their my-country-right-or-wrong counterparts. The authors’ conservative take on the war is palpable: the U.S. military failed to unleash "massive, indiscriminate bombing" to force North Vietnam’s capitulation; the conflict was a struggle against communism, not a civil war; and the dissenting soldiers undermined homefront morale. Consequently, this overwrought and repetitive polemic seethes with a resentment that compromises the otherwise eyebrow-raising testimonies. Further, without access to Kerry’s full military and medical records, the authors rely heavily on 35-year-old recollections and recent Kerry biographies by Douglas Brinkley and a Boston Globe reporting team. Those looking for a thorough, unbiased investigation into Kerry’s wartime record would do best to wait for more objective, methodical chroniclers who have access to the relevant documents.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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681 of 806 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Carpenter on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Since I wasn't there, let's take the word of a Republican and retired police officer who actually was. I print below the op-ed article from the Wall Street Journal's opinion page:

Shame on the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush

John Kerry saved my life. Now his heroism is being questioned.


Tuesday, August 10, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

I came to know Lt. John Kerry during the spring of 1969. He and his swift boat crew assisted in inserting our Special Forces team and our Chinese Nung soldiers into operational sites in the Cau Mau Peninsula of South Vietnam. I worked with him on many operations and saw firsthand his leadership, courage and decision-making ability under fire.

On March 13, 1969, John Kerry's courage and leadership saved my life.

While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.

When I surfaced, all the swift boats had left, and I was alone taking fire from both banks. To avoid the incoming fire, I repeatedly swam under water as long as I could hold my breath, attempting to make it to the north bank of the river. I thought I would die right there. The odds were against me avoiding the incoming fire and, even if I made it out of the river, I thought I'd be captured and executed. Kerry must have seen me in the water and directed his driver, Del Sandusky, to turn the boat around.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Elmore on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It amazes me that if you are a Vet and you support John Kerry then you are above reproach. If you are a Vet that doesn't support Mr. Kerry or have a different version of the story then you are a liar and a scoundrel. As a person who is a Vet and who does not support John Kerry I think that men that served and shed blood in Vietnam have a right to tell their side of the story. After all, the men in the book were there with Kerry and the people slamming this book were not. John Kerry has made Vietnam the center piece of his campaign. He is the one who started the debate and he is now getting the rebuttal to his version of what happened. He has already had to admit to a few lies already. He wasn't in Cambodia like he has been saying for over 30 years, his boat fled while the others stayed behind and he had to return to pick up a man that fell off his boat, his first purple heart was probably from an unintentional self inflicted wound. This has all been brought to light by this book and Kerry has had to take back water and is been proven as a liar. Kerry is the one having to change his story, not the Vets. Viet Vet '67 - '68.
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499 of 594 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Shouldn't we be talking more about the war in Iraq instead of talking about a war that happened 30 years ago? Something has to be wrong here.

John Kerry served in Vietnam. Bush did not... and that's it!

And why did Bush say that the war in Iraq cannot be won? Has he gone mad? Of course it can be won! I bet that if Bush would have stayed in Afghanistan and captured Bin Laden, that would have broken the confindense of these terrorists.

Again John Kerry can only do better than George W. Bush as I don't think any president can stoop that low. John F. Kerry is a confident man, and that is what we need in America... especially in these times of crisis.
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459 of 546 people found the following review helpful By Lori Shannon on August 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Karl Rove is a genius. He has all of you reading a book about Vietnam instead of reading the reports of what is happening in Iraq today, or what about the lost jobs to other countries, the increasing poverty level, the increasing number of unemployed and uninsured and the growing disgust the world has for America. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Look behind the George W. Bush curtain and you will find the mighty wizard Karl Rove controlling your every thought.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful By R. B. Crook on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I too will be boycotting Amazon (after spending around $1500 a year with them since they started)unless they apolgize for their hypocrisy and bias, fire the miscreant that allowed this outrage, and end the obvious political bias.

But I suggest that folks who agree with me do as I have been doing. I have been visiting the books sites for all the books that Amazon sells that "bash" George Bush and posting the same kind of ad hominem attacks that the Democrats (and Bezos) favor against the Swift boat vets. If everyone who has posted their outrage against Amazon for their party politics would innundate Amazon with similiar postings, we just might get them to see the error of their ways. At least you can irritate the Dems a bit!

As to the Swiftboat vets -- the Democrats and Bush haters who have posted their opinions on here are the liars, not the Swift boat vets who were there. They were on the same river that Kerry was and saw what happened. Furthermore, why are the Dems not worried about someone who went to Vietnam with his own videographer in tow? Can there be anything more self-serving and crass? John Kerry is a coward. He would sell our national sovereignity to the French puppet masters he serves. He is a very dangerous man and must be defeated if this country is to survive the war that Islamic fundamentalists have declared against us.

As for those who demean the National Guard and suggest that a lack of service in Vietnam must disqualify you for office -- I'm betting you all voted for Bill Clinton -- a coward if there ever was one. You lack the conviction that would permit anyone to respect you.

You folks just need to chill out in the cool environment of a repeat showing of Farenheit 911 -- you can get your bush hatred fix there and sop up all the lies you love to hear. You poor pathetic miscreants. After that, just crawl back under the rocks you live under.
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