Thursday, July 19, 2007

Deja Vietnam

I've been talking to a Vietnam vet, and it's bringing back memories I'd just as soon not revisit. I lived thru Vietnam, too, only I lived thru it in the relative comfort of the USA. No, I didn't pull the same one our Commander in Chief did. I'm a woman, and then women were not in primary roles in the military.

I lived Vietnam thru television news mostly, as did the rest of the nation. There wasn't all this muting of the news with crapola about Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears, et al. then. We got pictures out of Vietnam on the news shows nearly every night, and they were not happy pictures.

We were in the same bind then as we are now - no one wanted to admit that it was time to cut our losses, because no one wanted to admit defeat. So many of us bought into the war rhetoric back then (including me) and we prolonged the damn thing until, in the end, it was worse, much worse, than it would have been had we cut our losses and gotten out.

We were fighting something that was doomed from the beginning (just like we are doing now) and so many more men died in the meantime, so many more of their civilians died in the meantime, we suffered so many smaller defeats in the meantime, and things got so much uglier in the meantime.

I didn't start out as a pacifist during the Vietnam War, I started out with Goldwater, and the bomb-the-hell-out-of-them-and-get-out crowd. I saw the futility and the horror of what we were doing long before Goldwater admitted it publicly, but even he finally came to see that it was nothing but a futile, deep dark hellhole for American soldiers.

What it took for me was a few pictures of screaming, crying children fleeing the flames on their own bodies that would not be put out, screaming when there was no help and nothing left for them but the agony that was death by napalm. And a few more and a few more. It took a few stories like the one about the massacre at My Lai; a few thousand pictures of flag-draped coffins; a few thousand pictures of men without eyes, arms, legs. It took meeting returning vets who looked all right on the outside, but who were just as destroyed on the inside as some others were on the outside.

This is nothing but the same damn thing all over again and I am so weary of it. Different place, different people, same immoral, ill-conceived and and baseless war, American lives given up not for freedom or for the safety of our country, but for the enrichment of money- greedy corporations.

I never thought our country would make the same foolish mistake again in my lifetime, while there were still those of us who remembered what Vietnam was like.

Iraq, no thank you. I had more than enough last time.

God bless our troops, God's justice to those who sent them into harm's way.

Isn't it time we all stood up and said, loud and strong, "Enough, ENOUGH?"

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1 comment:

  1. Amen.

    It is indeed disheartening to watch as many in power fail to recognize that there is no good solution and that the problem only grows worse the longer we stay.