discuss, debate, decide

VietNam

Obama, Vietnam, and Afghanistan

I've spent a good part of the last week re-reading Neil Sheehan's book, A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. Partly, this is just happenstance; I found a nicely annotated hardback copy in a local used book store. But it's also because I wanted to look again at the 1962-64 period of the Vietnam War to see how much it resembles our current situation in Afghanistan. I don't have good news to report.

Starting in earnest in 1962, the U.S. began arming the Viet Cong inadvertently through the strategic hamlet and strategic outpost programs. The communist side in the South was not relying on Chinese or Soviet supplies, except for heavy weapons that could not easily be captured. They got all the guns and ammo they needed simply by taking them from the people the U.S. handed them out to. The strategic hamlet program turned the peasants against the Saigon regime for good. Indiscriminate bombing of villages turned the rural populace into mortal foes of the United States. The cities were lost because the Catholic regime was brutal, corrupt, and attempted to crush the power of the Buddhist leadership.

The parallels to Afghanistan are not perfect, but the situations have enough commonality to give serious pause. The most worrisome feature is the corruption and illegitimacy of the Karzai Regime. If this was 1963, our ambassador would be plotting a coup to make sure Karzai and his opium-selling brother were assassinated and replaced by a (hopefully) more competent and popular successor. But, with hindsight, we know that that gambit didn't save South Vietnam and it probably wouldn't save Afghanistan either.

Veterans Day Town Meetings

A drumbeat of recent news reports has called attention to rising rates of suicide among soldiers, post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and hardships of military families facing multiple deployments to war zones. How communities can help address these often shattering effects of war is the focus of public forums in several cities on or around Veterans Day.

In Hoboken, NJ, the Nov. 11 event is being held at the high school under the sponsorship of Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the Board of Education. It features a showing of “Leave No Soldier,” a documentary by Donna Bassin about veterans helping one another deal with troubling war legacies; a staged reading from a new play, “Flashback,” by Penny Coleman, about the emotional turmoil in families of veterans who killed themselves; and a panel discussion of veterans and counselors with the audience.

Military Enthusiasts Re-Enact Vietman .. Why For God's Sake ?

First let me say it's been a month since I posted anything here on ePluribus, mostly because my other blogs, including a couple of new ones have kept me quite busy and I really hadn't found any subject matter to lend itself worth some commentary here.


That is until now.

Beneath the Spin: America: Are We Really that Exceptional?

 Well, there's that arrogant, xenophobic, and divisive phrase again - "American Exceptionalism."


President Obama is being roundly criticized by many conservatives for refusing to go around the world promoting the conservative vision of American superiority. Their shortsighted idea of effective American diplomacy is for the President of the United States to trot around the globe telling the people of the world that we're better than they are.

Vietnam War Era is the Focus.....

Vietnam War Era is the Focus of Three Exhibitions at the Virginia Historical Society this Summer

Imagine being a black Army soldier serving your country in the jungles of Vietnam knowing that when you return to the states, your life and culture will be in complete upheaval because of the Civil Rights Movement. Imagine being a Marine lying on a canvas bunk on a troopship with thousands of young men on a three-week journey to Vietnam. Imagine being shot down over Vietnam in 1966 and being a prisoner of war for seven years. You do not have to imagine these situations—they will be presented at the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) from June 6th to August 30th in three exhibitions about the Vietnam era: Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era, Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam, and Bring Paul Home: Phyllis Galanti and Vietnam War POWs. In addition, the society is offering free admission to all while the exhibits are on display this summer as a way to honor military personnel who served in the Vietnam War and their families...........Press Release Here

For anyone in the area interested in attending!

D-Day: Another Side of All Wars

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-06-06 08:15:56 -0400. -- GH

Back on the 25th, of last month, for Memorial Day I put up a post to cover an interview about a new book release I caught on NPR's WBUR Here and Now, out of Boston.

While waiting for them to put up the stream link after the show I did some searching, for information on the book as well as some back information on what's covered in same.

Below you will find that post but UpDated, with a few more links and audio discussion, I've found since the posting.

Today is the Celebration for Europe and the United States of D-Day President will address veterans at American cemetery on Omaha Beach, this is not to celebrate but to Remind, and in many cases Instill in everyones minds, there's other sides, long living results, of All Wars Waged and not only for those who serve in them!

The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming

I had a first hand view, though very young than, and like the rest of the extended family didn't realize it, of what War does to those that serve in them, and you then have to extend that to those that live in where they occur.

Legacy of Wars............

Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin

Backround From 1961 to 1971, U.S. military forces sprayed more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides on forests and crops in southern and central Vietnam. The campaign had both human and environmental consequences. The immediate effect was to defoliate and destroy vegetation over wide areas. The delayed impact came from dioxin, a highly toxic chemical in Agent Orange that is critically harmful to humans................

"Capture the Flag"

 

‘Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism’

The flag is not powerful in spite of its ambiguity; it is powerful because of its ambiguity. It has stood, at different times, for radical democracy, opposition to immigration, the abolition of slavery, unregulated capitalism, segregation, integration, and a hawkish war policy, among many other things.



Read a selection from the introduction of "Capture the Flag: A Political History of American Patriotism" by Woden Teachout

A winter wind swept across New York Harbor on a late after noon the day after Christmas in 1971. Tourists riding the last two ferries from Manhattan to the Statue of Liberty huddled against the bulkheads, sheltering themselves from the gusts. Among the passengers were clusters of long-haired adults in well used army-surplus clothing, looking for all the world like hippies taking in the world-famous landmark. The mission of these fifteen men, however, went far beyond tourism.

Immediately upon docking at the island, the men performed a quick reconnaissance. They wedged open a few doors and then took refuge from sight; some crouched behind the massive supporting columns in the base of the statue. Some found storage closets and tucked themselves away......................Read Rest Here


Another Loooong Battle Getting Attention/Action

Kudo's Barrack, Kudo's, But Much More Still Needed! US Doubles Funds for Agent Orange Cleanup

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The United States government has doubled its funding for dealing with the environmental and health consequences of its wartime use in Vietnam of the toxic herbicide Agent Orange, the embassy said Friday. President Barack Obama recently signed a bill increasing the funding from $3 million to $6 million, embassy officials said. Most of the money is being used in Danang, where U.S. troops used to mix and store Agent Orange at an Air Force base before loading it onto planes.

The Greatest Generation’s Troubled Homecoming

I had a first hand view, though very young than, and like the rest of the extended family didn't realize it, of what War does to those that serve in them, and you then have to extend that to those that live in where they occur.

Homeless Heroes: Veterans Struggles

Like a recent tragic event in Iraq brought out a number of reports on PTSD around the country there have also been a number of other reports as well that focussed on the homeless veterans, the first one just below is in and around this Nations Capital:

 

Homeless War Veterans Abound in D.C. Region

 

A new report is giving sobering statistics about how homeless veterans are treated in the Washington area.

 

The report says beds are available for only 10% of the homeless vets in Virginia, 8% have beds in Maryland and in the District, there is room is less than 2%.

 

From the Iraq War with the Army's First Calvary Division to fighting a battle to find homes for fellow veterans, Chad Lego says he never imagined when he came home, he would find some 200,000 service members homeless. >>>>>More

 

 

On The Anger Over The DHS Security Report {UpDated}

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-04-18 10:15:15 -0500. -- GH

Yesterday I put up a post you can find here {this link takes you to my site} on the recent DHS report that came out and many were extremely angry about as to labeling OIF and OEF Veterans as possible recruits to fanatical rightwing hate groups. The spin being it was labeling All Returning Vets as a possible problem, it didn't, but a few Veterans Groups and The talking heads and Congressional members of the Republican party wanted the spin to come out as that.

Today a friend posted a link to editorial from a Vietnam Vet, at my facebook page, which hits on some of the winger responses himself, and I responded about a Real Incident of Actual Negative Labeling of Many Veterans, these with Honorable Discharges. As you all know less than already gives the negative in the civilian world.

There was a huge stink with us returning Vietnam Veterans when this was found out and there was a re-issue of new DD214's to any who requested or even found out about this.

Copyright © 2005-2017. Some Rights Reserved.

The commentaries posted on this site are copyright the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ePluribus Media.


 

User login