John Kerry obviously lied when he said he spent Christmas 1969 in Cambodia. There were too many contemporaneous reports that have contradicted his story. But having said that, he is getting pummeled for one line unfairly. He said:
“…being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas.”
Many bloggers and other pundits have mocked him because Buddhists don’t celebrate Christmas. That’s true. However, Vietnam is only about 70% Buddhist and is about 25% Catholic.
Back in the 1860’s while we were fighting the civil war, the French were busy colonizing Vietnam. The French catholics came in and established a very strong school system much like they did in the southern United States. Many of those schools are still in place today. In 1954 when Vietnam divided, many of the catholics were anti-communist and moved to the south to fight the war.
Vietnamese Catholics often celebrate Christmas with fireworks. It seems logical that in a war zone they’d use what they had on hand.
If I were a liberal blogger I’d cite this as proof that Kerry told the truth and Rove is the devil. It proves nothing.
But by the same token, Kerry saying South Vietnamese were celebrating Christmas does not, in and of itself, make the story any less credible.