Analysis of John O'Neil's Unfit for Command -- a look at the military history of John Kerry.

Essay by AgordonCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2004

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John O'Neil, a fellow swift boats men with Kerry presents this campaign book to right the egregious wrongs he finds in the statements of Kerry regarding his Purple Heart. O'neil cites a variety of soldiers on the boats and engaged in combat with Kerry to provide an authoritative overview of the incidents leading to his early-departure aswell as the grand medal. William Frankie, a swift boat veteran, sums up the argument best when he notes, "That Kerry would seek the Purple Heart for such 'wounds' is a mockery of the intent of the Purple Heart and an abridgement of the valor of those to whom the Purple Heart had been awarded with justification." Herein the general premise for this book is laid, in which there was nothing justified or righteous about his awarding the Purple Heart, but was a mockery of the system and solely an attempt for Kerry to play the game.

O'Neil begins by presenting plausible rationality behind the awarding of the Purple Heart. He contends that the normal stay of duty for all personnel is one year, which is often unabridged except for death or serious injury. However, Kerry served only three months. Additionally, he would be coined playing the system after, "citing an obscure regulation that permitted release of personnel with three Purple Hearts," Herein, the presidential candidate would be allowed to leave duty, and be the only known historically to win the Purple Heart for self-inflicted wounds. In setting up his argument O'Neil often refers to the wounds as "self-inflicted" which bears a poor connotation or purposeful harm to self, but this is a fallacy and adds to the spin beneath this attempt to present truth.

O'Neil focuses his depiction on the first awarding of a Purple Heart, the incident...