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Three Men Soldier Statue at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in the Mall in Washington DC.
Three Men Soldier Statue at the Vietnam Wall Memorial in the Mall in Washington DC.

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This column is on lactation and isn’t going to write a damned word until half-October. People are talking about some Vietnam series by Ken Burns, I think it is .I saw the original, so I’ll pass. But if we want opinions, I’ll contribute from long ago.

Harper’s, December, 1980

I begin to weary of the stories about veterans that are now in vogue with the newspapers, the stories that dissect the veteran’s psyche as if prying apart a laboratory frog — patronizing stories written by style-section reporters who know all there is to know about chocolate mousse, ladies’ fashions, and the wonderful desserts that can be made with simple jello. I weary of seeing veterans analyzed and diagnosed and explained by people who share nothing with veterans, by people who, one feels intuitively, would regard it as a harrowing experience to be alone in a backyard. Week after week the mousse authorities tell us what is wrong with the veteran. The veteran is badly in need of adjustment, they say — lacks balance, needs fine tuning to whatever it is in society that one should be attuned to. What we have here, all agree, with omniscience and veiled condescension, is a victim: The press loves a victim. The veteran has bad dreams, say the jello writers, is alienated, may be hostile, doesn’t socialize well — isn’t, to be frank, quite right in the head.

But perhaps it is the veteran’s head to be right or wrong in, and maybe it makes a difference what memories are in the head. For the jello writers the war was a moral fable on Channel Four, a struggle hinging on Nixon and Joan Baez and the inequities of this or that. I can’t be sure. The veterans seem to have missed the war by having been away in Vietnam at the time and do not understand the combat as it raged in the internecine cocktail parties of Georgetown.

Still, to me Vietnam was not what it was to the jello writers, not a ventilation of pious simplisms, not the latest literary interpretation of the domino theory. It left me memories the fashion writers can’t imagine. It was the slums of Truong Minh Ky, where dogs’ heads floated in pools of green water and three-inch roaches droned in sweltering back-alley rooms and I was happy. Washington knows nothing of hot, whore-rich, beery Truong Minh Ky. I remember riding the bomb boats up the Mekong to Phnom Penh, with the devilish brown river closing in like a vise and rockets shrieking from the dim jungle to burst against the sandbagged wheelhouse, and crouching below the waterline between the diesel tanks. The mousse authorities do not remember this. I remember the villa on Monivong in Phnom Penh, with Sedlacek, the balding Australian hippie, and Naoki, the crazy freelance combat photographer, and Zoco, the Frenchman, when the night jumped and flickered with the boom of artillery and we listened to Mancini on shortwave and watched Nara dance. Washington’s elite do not know Nara. They know much of politicians and of furniture.

If I try to explain what Vietnam meant to me — I haven’t for years, and never will again — they grow uneasy at my intensity. “My God,” their eyes say, “he sounds as though he liked it over there. Something in the experience clearly snapped an anchoring ligament in his mind and left him with odd cravings, a perverse view of life — nothing dangerous, of course, but… The war did that to them,” they say. “War is hell.”

Well, yes, they may have something there. When you have seen a peasant mother screaming over several pounds of bright red mush that, thanks to God and a Chicom 107, is no longer precisely her child, you see that Sherman may have been on to something. When you have eaten fish with Khmer troops in charred Cambodian battlefields, where the heat beats down like a soft rubber truncheon and a wretched stink comes from shallow graves, no particular leap of imagination is necessary to notice that war is no paradise. I cannot say that the jello writers are wrong in their understanding of war. But somehow I don’t like hearing pieties about the war from these sleek, wise people who never saw it.

There were, of course, veterans and veterans. Some hated the war, some didn’t. Some went around the bend down in IV Corps, where leeches dropped softly down collars like green sausages and death erupted unexpected from the ungodly foliage. To men in the elite groups — the Seals, Special Forces, Recondos, and Lurps who spent years in the Khmer bush, low to the ground where the ants bit hard — the war was a game with stakes high enough to engage their attention. They liked to play.

To many of us there, the war was the best time of our lives, almost the only time. We loved it because in those days we were alive, life was intense, the pungent hours passed fast over the central event of the age and the howling jets appeased the terrible boredom of existence. Psychologists, high priests of the mean, say that boredom is a symptom of maladjustment; maybe, but boredom has been around longer than psychologists have.

ORDER IT NOW

The jello writers would say we are mad to remember fondly anything about Nixon’s war that Kennedy started. They do not remember the shuddering flight of a helicopter high over glowing green jungle that spread beneath us like a frozen sea. They never made the low runs a foot above treetops along paths that led like rivers through branches clawing at the skids, never peered down into murky clearings and bubbling swamps of sucking snake-ridden muck. They do not remember monsoon mornings in the highlands where dragons of mist twisted in the valleys, coiling lazily on themselves, puffing up and swallowing whole villages in their dank breath. The mousse men do not remember driving before dawn to Red Beach, when the headlights in the blackness caught ghostly shapes, maybe VC, thin yellow men mushroom-headed in the night, bicycling along the alien roads. As nearly as I can tell, jello writers do not remember anything.

Then it was over. The veterans came home. Suddenly the world seemed to stop dead in the water. Suddenly the slant-eyed hookers were gone, and the gunships and the wild drunken nights in places that the jello writers can’t imagine. Suddenly the veterans were among soft, proper people who knew nothing of what they had done and what they had seen, and who, truth be told, didn’t much like them.

Nor did some of us much like the people at home — though it was not at first a conscious distaste. Men came home with wounds and terrible memories and dead friends to be greeted by that squalling she-ass of Tom Hayden’s, to find a country that, having sent them to Viet Nam, now viewed them as criminals for having been there. Slowly, to more men than will admit to it, the thought came: “These are the people I fought for?” And so we lost a country.

We looked around us with new eyes and saw that, in a sense the mousse people could never understand, we had lost even our dignity. I remember a marine corporal at Bethesda Naval Hospital who, while his wounds healed, had to run errands for the nurses, last year’s co-eds. “A hell of a bust,” he said with the military’s sardonic economy of language. “Machine gunner to messenger boy.”

It wasn’t exactly that we didn’t fit. Rather, we saw what there was to fit with — and recoiled. We sought jobs, but found offices where countless bureaucrats shuffled papers at long rows of desks, like battery hens awaiting the laying urge, their bellies billowing over their belts. Some of us joined them but some, in different ways, fled. A gunship pilot of my acquaintance took to the law, and to drink, and spent five years discovering that he really wanted to be in Rhodesia. Others went back into the death-in-the-bushes outfits, where the hard old rules still held. I drifted across Asia, Mexico, Wyoming, hitchhiking and sleeping in ditches until I learned that aberrant behavior, when written about, is literature.

The jello writers were quickly upon us. We were morose, they said, sullen. We acted strangely at parties, sat silently in corners and watched with noncommittal stares. Mentally, said the fashion experts, we hadn’t made the trip home.

It didn’t occur to them that we just had nothing to say about jello. Desserts mean little to men who have lain in dark rifle pits over Happy Valley in rainy season, watching mortar flares tremble in low-lying clouds that flickered like the face of God, while in the nervous evening safeties clicked off along the wire and amtracs rumbled into alert idles, coughing and waiting.

Once, after the GIs had left Saigon, I came out of a bar on Cach Mang and saw a veteran with a sign on his jacket: VIET NAM: IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Maybe, just maybe, he had something.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: American Military, Vietnam War 
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  1. Thank you, sir.

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  2. peterAUS says:

    Well…haven’t been in that war.
    Have, though, been in some other. An ugly one by common consensus.

    And, well….an excellent article, IMHO.

    Cheers.

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  3. Rurik says:

    “These are the people I fought for?”

    great reed

    thanks

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    • Replies: @Carroll Price
    Just think what it must feel like now.
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  4. After leaving the military, I interviewed for a job with a pillar of society in a big firm, who asked why I left the military. I replied that I wanted to make more money, to which he replied, “That’s not very patriotic.”

    Deciding that the interview was over, I asked, “Yeah. How long did you serve?”

    Hint: Goose egg.

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.
     
    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase "thank you for your service. It's not worth the 10% discount -- messican, asian, and african "immigrants" (replacements) garbling the strange words that Management requires they mumble while swiping the "Veteran" override on the scanner.
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  5. nsa says:

    Freddie is a typical Vietnam vet i.e. a whining egg sucker living in the past and coasting on government checks. Freddie knew it was all bullshit but went anyways…..lacking the balls to refuse. Tommie the Commie Hayden had the jam to refuse to go and gave the welfare / warfare state the middle finger…..and is 100 times the man Freddie the Fraud will ever be.

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    • Troll: Hu Mi Yu, anarchyst
    • Replies: @Quartermaster
    Typical post for a leftist. Hayden was a commie coward, and nothing but.
    , @Catholic Philly Prole
    Whatever pussy, just like every other generation since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats while the Leftists, degenerates, gays (same thing), Commies, children of the wealthy and other undesirables along with the genuinely disabled were at home hiding from the draft trying to corrupt our women. Hope it feels good for ya Backdoor Jodie!
    , @Ghost
    Shut up nsa. You are a nit-wit asshole. Go play in traffic.
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  6. Daniel H says:

    Great essay. I read a lot of WWII history, and one of the historians I consulted – can’t recall his name – upon interviewing German soldiers who served on the eastern, Russian front he noted that time and again, despite the ever present danger they faced, the very good chance of losing life or limb or – worse – falling captive to the Red army, the extreme discomfit of manning trenches and foxholes in sub-zero temperatures for weeks, months at a time, enduring filthy, damp quarters, despite the steady, enexorable westward retreat that they knew was their ultimate doom, despite all this they reported that the time served on the eastern front were the best years of their lives. They claimed that war heightened their sensitivity to life that nothing following in their peaceful, postwar lives could ever hope to match. During wartime, one’s nerves, neurons, synapses were crackling every instant. And the task at hand everyday was simple: kill or be killed. War distills into the mind the ultimate point of life: survive or die.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23
    True enough. I discovered this reading Stephen Fritz's "Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in WW II" https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=frontsoldaten

    He goes to original sources (letters and diaries) of German WWII troops and lets them speak for themselves. The advantage of his method is that it avoids later "interpretations" and reveals the reality of the Landsers in very rough conditions (mostly in Russia), dedicated to Hitler and 100% behind the classless Volksgemeinschaft national socialist revolution.
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  7. Daniel H says:

    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman delivered exemplary service to his country and the allied war effort during WWII, but he never saw combat. Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units. His superiors refused his requests because his intelligence and skill as a logistics officer were too great to be sacrificed as a mere combat grunt. This was to cause great regret for him. Famously, he is known to have said that the greatest regret of his life was to have not died in combat during the war.

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman
     
    prescient indeed!

    he was the one that warned England about massive non-white immigration, and it's inevitable destruction of the British character and culture. He called it "like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3643823/Enoch-Powells-Rivers-of-Blood-speech.html

    here's one of Fred's diversity Mexicans that Fred mocks us (as trying to protect our bodily fluids) if we don't open the borders to unlimited millions more of these charming citizens

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvYm9EpS6zo

    start at about 1:00 minute in, and watch as much as you can stand

    it gives you a glimpse into what they're teaching in the universities

    white men (especially the deplorables) = genocide to all non-whites

    huh Fred

    , @Parfois
    "Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units."

    I could have given dear Enoch some useful advice: just do some larrikin misdemeanours to invoke the military discipline code, and when your score is up to the critical level, you are demoted and sent to a disciplinary battalion - the forlorn hope - where you'll see non-stop combat action till your guts get their fill and oozed out of a flaccid corpse. It happened to me, except the denouement.
    , @anonguy

    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman delivered exemplary service to his country and the allied war effort during WWII, but he never saw combat. Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units. His superiors refused his requests because his intelligence and skill as a logistics officer were too great to be sacrificed as a mere combat grunt. This was to cause great regret for him. Famously, he is known to have said that the greatest regret of his life was to have not died in combat during the war.
     
    "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier or not having been at sea" - Samuel Johnson.
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  8. @nsa
    Freddie is a typical Vietnam vet i.e. a whining egg sucker living in the past and coasting on government checks. Freddie knew it was all bullshit but went anyways.....lacking the balls to refuse. Tommie the Commie Hayden had the jam to refuse to go and gave the welfare / warfare state the middle finger.....and is 100 times the man Freddie the Fraud will ever be.

    Typical post for a leftist. Hayden was a commie coward, and nothing but.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Hayden represented an area on the west side of Los Angeles that included Pacific Palisades. The latter holds a Fourth of July parade and often has attendance by celebrities or dignitaries of various backgrounds. Ol' Tom once graced the Sunset Boulevard parade route, riding and waving in a vintage convertible Thunderbird. Many spectators had the pleasure of giving Ol' Tom a one-finger salute. He seemed to take it all in good humor, as he had doubtless experienced far worse.
    , @animalogic
    Wow - I don't know whose comment I disdain more: yours or nsa's. You both jump to conclusions, provide no evidence & are self indulgently ad homenon.
    But seriously, nsa's comment is streets ahead in the Dreck Stakes: it's not about "supporting the troops" it's about showing a bit respect to an individual man who cared to share his deeply personal experiences in a literary form both moving & shot through with crystal imagery:
    "the shuddering flight of a helicopter high over glowing green jungle that spread beneath us like a frozen sea....never peered down into murky clearings and bubbling swamps of sucking snake-ridden muck....[&]monsoon mornings in the highlands where dragons of mist twisted in the valleys, coiling lazily on themselves, puffing up and swallowing whole villages in their dank breath...."
    Not to mention some neat bits of irony/satire:
    "The veterans seem to have missed the war by having been away in Vietnam at the time and do not understand the combat as it raged in the internecine cocktail parties of Georgetown."
    Good work Fred (though repeated references to jello etc men is not to my taste: reminds me of Trump & his "rocket man" snipes at Un)
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  9. @The Alarmist
    After leaving the military, I interviewed for a job with a pillar of society in a big firm, who asked why I left the military. I replied that I wanted to make more money, to which he replied, "That's not very patriotic."

    Deciding that the interview was over, I asked, "Yeah. How long did you serve?"

    Hint: Goose egg.

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.

    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase “thank you for your service. It’s not worth the 10% discount — messican, asian, and african “immigrants” (replacements) garbling the strange words that Management requires they mumble while swiping the “Veteran” override on the scanner.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Catholic Philly Prole
    I hear that and concur it is forced and awkward especially considering that the desert shit-holes I visited needed Neo-Con intervention like I need another hole in the ass and we accomplished little in the way of serving our own Nation's interests. But the awkwardness is worth the 10% discount at Home depot and Lowe's for me at least. Hint-I spend a lot of money at Home Depot and Lowe's.
    , @jacques sheete

    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase “thank you for your service. It’s not worth the 10% discount...
     
    You too? Gawd, I just hate it! I find it insulting and positively cringe. I even avoid places that offer the discount.
    , @Logan
    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?
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  10. Rurik says:
    @Daniel H
    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman delivered exemplary service to his country and the allied war effort during WWII, but he never saw combat. Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units. His superiors refused his requests because his intelligence and skill as a logistics officer were too great to be sacrificed as a mere combat grunt. This was to cause great regret for him. Famously, he is known to have said that the greatest regret of his life was to have not died in combat during the war.

    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman

    prescient indeed!

    he was the one that warned England about massive non-white immigration, and it’s inevitable destruction of the British character and culture. He called it “like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/3643823/Enoch-Powells-Rivers-of-Blood-speech.html

    here’s one of Fred’s diversity Mexicans that Fred mocks us (as trying to protect our bodily fluids) if we don’t open the borders to unlimited millions more of these charming citizens

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvYm9EpS6zo

    start at about 1:00 minute in, and watch as much as you can stand

    it gives you a glimpse into what they’re teaching in the universities

    white men (especially the deplorables) = genocide to all non-whites

    huh Fred

    Read More
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  11. TheOldOne says:

    From back when Fred could write…and think.

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    • Agree: jacques sheete
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  12. Ivy says:
    @Quartermaster
    Typical post for a leftist. Hayden was a commie coward, and nothing but.

    Hayden represented an area on the west side of Los Angeles that included Pacific Palisades. The latter holds a Fourth of July parade and often has attendance by celebrities or dignitaries of various backgrounds. Ol’ Tom once graced the Sunset Boulevard parade route, riding and waving in a vintage convertible Thunderbird. Many spectators had the pleasure of giving Ol’ Tom a one-finger salute. He seemed to take it all in good humor, as he had doubtless experienced far worse.

    Read More
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  13. Every time someone says to me, “Thank you for your service,” above my head appears a cartoon thought balloon containing a wisp of the smoke of exasperation.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It's weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend's dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn't expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

    Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were "deployed" (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they "defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans".

    The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you're more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

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  14. Thank you for posting this.

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  15. Stogumber says:

    Well, I never denied that war is a way of life which can be satisfying – to some men, not everyone. I only wish that they do war between each other and leave the rest of the population alone.
    Shuffling paper is not as satisfying, but gets houses built and humans healed. War only gets houses and humans destructed,

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    • Agree: Druid
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  16. Hu Mi Yu says:

    The jello writers would say we are mad to remember fondly anything about Nixon’s war that Kennedy started.

    Thus evading any mention of Eisenhower (who as I said before was divine) and his footstool Lyndon Johnson (who ramped up a few thousand troops to 550,000 when he left office).

    I missed out. I have no sweet memories of cockroaches or prostitutes. What I remember is being drafted and being told that Martin Luther King had been shot while I was in basic training. I was not surprised; I had expected it.

    A few of the new enlisted men were detailed to show a 16 mm film to the officers. It was a boastful exposition about how to carry out a successful coup: the Zapruder film.

    Then there is the memory of all of us restricted to quarters 24/7 for months at a time. We were not allowed to read anything, or even listen to the radio. There is the memory of food that made me ill, and the debilitating drugs our officers slipped into it. There is the memory of the letter they dictated to us to send to our next of kin. Don’t date it. Just slip it in the envelope and leave it unsealed. There is the memory of the men I trained with. Sent to the front and shot in the back. They don’t remember anything at all.

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    • Replies: @britishbrains1300cc
    You are just another violent british american scumbag hillbilly with IQs of 90 like your Irish brothers.
    , @Wizard of Oz
    Don't spoil a good story by displaying a poor memory. Or maybe ignorance?
    , @wayfarer
    [It's very poor commenting practice to just duplicate your remarks from one thread to another.]

    Ho Chi Minh, pardon me, I meant Hu Mi Yu.

    You mentioned in another thread that your pay was eighty-nine bucks a month.

    I don’t care if a pack of Marlboro cigarettes cost a quarter back in the day, and grunts were comped all the $hit-on-a-shingle they could eat.

    We're talkin' a serious ripoff, here!

    I’m surprised half the U.S. Army wasn’t going AWOL, buying one-way bus tickets and hopping Greyhounds to the Las Vegas strip, for some R&R.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZr07AYWLSo
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  17. you are just another small brained violent british american scumbag ,in your old days your trying to justify what you did when you were in vietnam, so how many children and women did you and your british american ilk kill there, – no matter how much you repent you and your ilk should never be forgiven.

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  18. @Hu Mi Yu

    The jello writers would say we are mad to remember fondly anything about Nixon’s war that Kennedy started.
     
    Thus evading any mention of Eisenhower (who as I said before was divine) and his footstool Lyndon Johnson (who ramped up a few thousand troops to 550,000 when he left office).

    I missed out. I have no sweet memories of cockroaches or prostitutes. What I remember is being drafted and being told that Martin Luther King had been shot while I was in basic training. I was not surprised; I had expected it.

    A few of the new enlisted men were detailed to show a 16 mm film to the officers. It was a boastful exposition about how to carry out a successful coup: the Zapruder film.

    Then there is the memory of all of us restricted to quarters 24/7 for months at a time. We were not allowed to read anything, or even listen to the radio. There is the memory of food that made me ill, and the debilitating drugs our officers slipped into it. There is the memory of the letter they dictated to us to send to our next of kin. Don't date it. Just slip it in the envelope and leave it unsealed. There is the memory of the men I trained with. Sent to the front and shot in the back. They don't remember anything at all.

    You are just another violent british american scumbag hillbilly with IQs of 90 like your Irish brothers.

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    • Troll: Rurik
    • Replies: @Hu Mi Yu
    Thank you for your slander of someone else's ethnicity, but I will not take your bait. Probably you are too young to know what being "drafted" means.
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  19. Hu Mi Yu says:
    @britishbrains1300cc
    You are just another violent british american scumbag hillbilly with IQs of 90 like your Irish brothers.

    Thank you for your slander of someone else’s ethnicity, but I will not take your bait. Probably you are too young to know what being “drafted” means.

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  20. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Auntie Analogue
    Every time someone says to me, "Thank you for your service," above my head appears a cartoon thought balloon containing a wisp of the smoke of exasperation.

    It’s weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend’s dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn’t expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

    Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were “deployed” (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they “defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans”.

    The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you’re more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    '"Today you’re more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid." You'd better hope no one leads them across the Rubicon.
    , @wayfarer

    Today you’re more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.
     
    Here are some facts, on the "white kids."

    Today they're still making the greatest sacrifice by far, in America's wars.

    “Demographics of Active Duty U.S. Military”
    source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/demographics-of-active-duty-u-s-military/

    “Distribution of Active-Duty Enlisted Women and Men in the U.S. Military in 2015, by Race and Ethnicity”
    source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/214869/share-of-active-duty-enlisted-women-and-men-in-the-us-military/

    , @Uebersetzer
    By the 1990s, US politicians suddenly began laying claim to Vietnam service they had never experienced - the sense is that prior to that there was no kudos to be had from such a claim.
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  21. dearieme says:
    @Anonymous
    It's weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend's dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn't expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

    Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were "deployed" (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they "defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans".

    The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you're more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

    ‘”Today you’re more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.” You’d better hope no one leads them across the Rubicon.

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    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    Hmmm... all this time I've been thinking that it would the Whites that would cross the Rubicon.

    If the PoS (excuse me, I mean PoC) cross it instead, well that takes out all the guesswork.
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  22. wayfarer says:

    Kids who grew up during America’s great depression, were drafted and sent off to fight during world-war-two. It was a very tough generation.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okie

    Their kids, the baby-boomers were drafted and sent off to fight during the Vietnam war. Although not as tough as their parents, still quite tough, nonetheless.

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  23. Parfois says:
    @Daniel H
    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman delivered exemplary service to his country and the allied war effort during WWII, but he never saw combat. Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units. His superiors refused his requests because his intelligence and skill as a logistics officer were too great to be sacrificed as a mere combat grunt. This was to cause great regret for him. Famously, he is known to have said that the greatest regret of his life was to have not died in combat during the war.

    “Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units.”

    I could have given dear Enoch some useful advice: just do some larrikin misdemeanours to invoke the military discipline code, and when your score is up to the critical level, you are demoted and sent to a disciplinary battalion – the forlorn hope – where you’ll see non-stop combat action till your guts get their fill and oozed out of a flaccid corpse. It happened to me, except the denouement.

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  24. Cato says:

    I was a 15 year old freak when I first met the returning vets, at the city park where freaks hung out. At that time I thought that I too would be sent to Vietnam, and, in a way, I (and my friends) had prepared for that our whole lives–our parents had stories about WWII, and many also had stories about Korea. Today I feel grateful that it didn’t happen (the draft ended the year I turned 19, and I got my adventure a different way). But at the time, the stories of the returning vets were all about drugs, and hot women, and power, and not about casualties. So, for some years I thought I had missed out on something. But think about it: 50,000 dead, four times what we’ve lost in the Bush-Obama-Trump wars. I knew some of those guys who died, and I also knew some of the guys who, like Fred, did things beyond what most of us have done. But none of the latter seemed particularly happy about having done those things. Overall, it seems that war sucks. A lot. Someone please inform Bill Kristol.

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  25. If Fred hasn’t lived as a young, White, working class man in the post-modern hell hole that is diverse America, maybe he should shut the fuck up about immigration.

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  26. wayfarer says:
    @Anonymous
    It's weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend's dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn't expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

    Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were "deployed" (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they "defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans".

    The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you're more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

    Today you’re more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

    Here are some facts, on the “white kids.”

    Today they’re still making the greatest sacrifice by far, in America’s wars.

    “Demographics of Active Duty U.S. Military”
    source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/demographics-of-active-duty-u-s-military/

    “Distribution of Active-Duty Enlisted Women and Men in the U.S. Military in 2015, by Race and Ethnicity”
    source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/214869/share-of-active-duty-enlisted-women-and-men-in-the-us-military/

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  27. The combat soldier who goes home or at least on leave and meets incomprehension is a literary theme going back some decades if not centuries. All Quiet On The Western Front has a main character who goes on leave and finds the civilians have no comprehension of the war although they are enthusiastic about it, sometimes offering him patronising advice about how to win it. Remarque’s book was banned in the Third Reich, though many German memoirs were not which extolled war as the highest of human experiences and expressed contempt for the Etappenschweine (rear echelon MFs) and, slightly less overtly, mere civilians. The scorned veteran who enjoyed the war or at least had trouble dealing with postwar civilian life was part of the soil in which fascism took root.

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  28. My uncle Tom who died very recently was a Vietnam veteran who did two combat tours in Vietnam as a helicopter machine gunner. He was drafted shortly after high school in 1965 or 1966. After basic training he was posted to the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii with the 25th Infantry Division. Soon after his posting in Hawaii, he and his unit were shipped to Vietnam. I don’t remember what part of Vietnam his unit was stationed but it was close to some of the hottest action of the war. My uncle was wounded twice and won two Purple Hearts. After he was wounded the second time, the doctors left shrapnel in his body which they believed was too difficult to remove surgically. Unfortunately for my uncle, the doctor’s made a bad judgement call regarding the shrapnel which caused an infection which nearly killed him. They removed the shrapnel which cleared up the infection and he was then honorably discharged from the army.

    My uncle like most veterans did not discuss his experiences much with the family except during rare occasions with my grandmother with whom he was very close. He came back from the war with severe PTSD compounded by being greeted by anti-war protesters who spit in his face and called him a baby killer. Many of the folks who have posted in response to Fred’s column related that serving in combat was easier than dealing with the peace. My uncle slept with a loaded 45 under his pillow for ten years after the war was over because combat made him paranoid. Being called a baby killer killed him inside. I don’t think he ever recovered from that completely but at least he made some peace with what he did in Vietnam and even forgave those who spit on him. Unless you have worn a uniform, you will never understand what these men endured. There are too many arm chair quarterbacks who criticize the play on the field who never participated in the game.

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  29. @Anonymous
    It's weird how or when this reverent, pro-military bullshit toward veterans of the military (NB: very few ever in life-threatening combat) began. It seemed to be right around when our wars were solely about Zionist interests. My dad saw combat as an Army infantryman in the most ferocious battles of WWII. He received Purple Hearts (injuries from grenades and bullets) and medals of valor. When I was growing up he never discussed it unless you asked him questions. He never sought nor thought he was ever entitled to any benefits from it. Never went to the VA. All of his friends were the same way. It was only at the funeral of a close friend's dad that I learned that he had been in the military, and the Battle of the Bulge! I used to see this guy daily for years and stayed at their house all the time. Never once did he mention it. But back then, when being in the military meant being in combat, it was just something all men were expected to do and move on. Even if you were a major leaguer like Ted Williams you had to put your pro baseball career on hold and go off to combat and then return and resume things. They didn't expect or want any adulation. These kinds of guys would be embarrassed by it.

    Nowadays every military veteran I know left with a disability and generous VA benefits and wears his military service on his soldier. Guys and gals who spent 3 years at Fort Huachuca or Lackland AFB or were "deployed" (PCS) to Okinawa, Japan or South Korea, expect to worshipped because they "defended freedom and put their lives on the line for all Americans".

    The modern military, which became a jobs program, has been disasterous for white middle America. It destroyed families and created a bunch of less-than-manly white males who are worse than welfare queens living large on the MIC. But nowadays the military of today, 2017, is very diverse and third world. Today you're more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid.

    By the 1990s, US politicians suddenly began laying claim to Vietnam service they had never experienced – the sense is that prior to that there was no kudos to be had from such a claim.

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  30. Che Guava says:

    Good article, Fred. I am posting a link to fan-fic, by another person.

    It was making me to laugh, but

    WARNING, DO NOT READING IF EASILY OFFENDED!

    http://www.jameslafond.com/article.php?id=2730&pr=1

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  31. Renoman says:

    Thanks Fred!

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  32. I spent a year in Rhodesia. Now I understand it was a race war. I’m glad the black guys with us didn’t know that. I never know what to say when people ask if I have been in the military. I once said yes to a counter girl I had come to know, Her first question “Did you kill anyone?”.

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  33. @Quartermaster
    Typical post for a leftist. Hayden was a commie coward, and nothing but.

    Wow – I don’t know whose comment I disdain more: yours or nsa’s. You both jump to conclusions, provide no evidence & are self indulgently ad homenon.
    But seriously, nsa’s comment is streets ahead in the Dreck Stakes: it’s not about “supporting the troops” it’s about showing a bit respect to an individual man who cared to share his deeply personal experiences in a literary form both moving & shot through with crystal imagery:
    “the shuddering flight of a helicopter high over glowing green jungle that spread beneath us like a frozen sea….never peered down into murky clearings and bubbling swamps of sucking snake-ridden muck….[&]monsoon mornings in the highlands where dragons of mist twisted in the valleys, coiling lazily on themselves, puffing up and swallowing whole villages in their dank breath….”
    Not to mention some neat bits of irony/satire:
    “The veterans seem to have missed the war by having been away in Vietnam at the time and do not understand the combat as it raged in the internecine cocktail parties of Georgetown.”
    Good work Fred (though repeated references to jello etc men is not to my taste: reminds me of Trump & his “rocket man” snipes at Un)

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  34. gdpbull says:

    I watched on line the portion of the Burns documentary that covered the period of time that I was in Nam to get a sense of its accuracy since I had direct knowledge of that time period. The coverage was completely perfunctory. I had hoped that the long multi-part documentary of the war would be a … well … an actual documentary of the war for a change. You know, showing not only the high level politics and overall strategy end, but also the nuts and bolts of the war. Well, it really didn’t even show the high level strategic aspects to much detail, let alone the nuts and bolts. It was just one more navel gazing piece of crap. So I didn’t bother watching any of the other segments.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    I agree. NOTHING was shown about the successful pacification efforts by the U S Marine Corps in "I" Corps. For more on this google USMC CAP. You may be surprised at what you find. It's a damned shame NONE of these so-called "historians" covered this aspect of the Vietnam war...
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  35. Joe Hide says:

    Reality writing. Experience without censureship. Good job Fred!

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  36. @Hu Mi Yu

    The jello writers would say we are mad to remember fondly anything about Nixon’s war that Kennedy started.
     
    Thus evading any mention of Eisenhower (who as I said before was divine) and his footstool Lyndon Johnson (who ramped up a few thousand troops to 550,000 when he left office).

    I missed out. I have no sweet memories of cockroaches or prostitutes. What I remember is being drafted and being told that Martin Luther King had been shot while I was in basic training. I was not surprised; I had expected it.

    A few of the new enlisted men were detailed to show a 16 mm film to the officers. It was a boastful exposition about how to carry out a successful coup: the Zapruder film.

    Then there is the memory of all of us restricted to quarters 24/7 for months at a time. We were not allowed to read anything, or even listen to the radio. There is the memory of food that made me ill, and the debilitating drugs our officers slipped into it. There is the memory of the letter they dictated to us to send to our next of kin. Don't date it. Just slip it in the envelope and leave it unsealed. There is the memory of the men I trained with. Sent to the front and shot in the back. They don't remember anything at all.

    Don’t spoil a good story by displaying a poor memory. Or maybe ignorance?

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  37. @John Jeremiah Smith

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.
     
    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase "thank you for your service. It's not worth the 10% discount -- messican, asian, and african "immigrants" (replacements) garbling the strange words that Management requires they mumble while swiping the "Veteran" override on the scanner.

    I hear that and concur it is forced and awkward especially considering that the desert shit-holes I visited needed Neo-Con intervention like I need another hole in the ass and we accomplished little in the way of serving our own Nation’s interests. But the awkwardness is worth the 10% discount at Home depot and Lowe’s for me at least. Hint-I spend a lot of money at Home Depot and Lowe’s.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    should probably try to avoid Home Depot -- its owner is a warmonger.
    https://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder’s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/
    jus' sayin'
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  38. @nsa
    Freddie is a typical Vietnam vet i.e. a whining egg sucker living in the past and coasting on government checks. Freddie knew it was all bullshit but went anyways.....lacking the balls to refuse. Tommie the Commie Hayden had the jam to refuse to go and gave the welfare / warfare state the middle finger.....and is 100 times the man Freddie the Fraud will ever be.

    Whatever pussy, just like every other generation since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats while the Leftists, degenerates, gays (same thing), Commies, children of the wealthy and other undesirables along with the genuinely disabled were at home hiding from the draft trying to corrupt our women. Hope it feels good for ya Backdoor Jodie!

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "children of the wealthy " avoiding war service may be an American tradition but not all nations share it.
    , @daniel le mouche
    'since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats'

    Yeah sure, everyone who's worth a shit mindlessly goes to war, thumps his chest, loves football. All this from a Prole that hates Commies, go figure that one geniuses.
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  39. Miro23 says:
    @Daniel H
    Great essay. I read a lot of WWII history, and one of the historians I consulted - can't recall his name - upon interviewing German soldiers who served on the eastern, Russian front he noted that time and again, despite the ever present danger they faced, the very good chance of losing life or limb or - worse - falling captive to the Red army, the extreme discomfit of manning trenches and foxholes in sub-zero temperatures for weeks, months at a time, enduring filthy, damp quarters, despite the steady, enexorable westward retreat that they knew was their ultimate doom, despite all this they reported that the time served on the eastern front were the best years of their lives. They claimed that war heightened their sensitivity to life that nothing following in their peaceful, postwar lives could ever hope to match. During wartime, one's nerves, neurons, synapses were crackling every instant. And the task at hand everyday was simple: kill or be killed. War distills into the mind the ultimate point of life: survive or die.

    True enough. I discovered this reading Stephen Fritz’s “Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in WW II” https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=frontsoldaten

    He goes to original sources (letters and diaries) of German WWII troops and lets them speak for themselves. The advantage of his method is that it avoids later “interpretations” and reveals the reality of the Landsers in very rough conditions (mostly in Russia), dedicated to Hitler and 100% behind the classless Volksgemeinschaft national socialist revolution.

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    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    German Wehrmacht soldiers were, contrary to what was later maintained, nearly as Nazified as the Waffen-SS and especially in the east, just as liable to kill civilians and POWs. The Wehrmacht was also responsible for looking after Soviet POWs and it was its dedication to Nazi theory as much as its logistic problems that caused it to starve large numbers of them to death, especially in 1941 and early 1942.
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  40. To see who was behind getting America into the Vietnam war , read the book JFK, THE CIA and VIETNAM by L. Fletcher Prouty, can be had on Amazon.com. This book also tells who killed JFK.

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  41. anonguy says:
    @Daniel H
    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman delivered exemplary service to his country and the allied war effort during WWII, but he never saw combat. Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units. His superiors refused his requests because his intelligence and skill as a logistics officer were too great to be sacrificed as a mere combat grunt. This was to cause great regret for him. Famously, he is known to have said that the greatest regret of his life was to have not died in combat during the war.

    Enoch Powell, the prescient and great British statesman delivered exemplary service to his country and the allied war effort during WWII, but he never saw combat. Several times he requested that he be busted in rank and sent to combat units. His superiors refused his requests because his intelligence and skill as a logistics officer were too great to be sacrificed as a mere combat grunt. This was to cause great regret for him. Famously, he is known to have said that the greatest regret of his life was to have not died in combat during the war.

    “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier or not having been at sea” – Samuel Johnson.

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  42. @Miro23
    True enough. I discovered this reading Stephen Fritz's "Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in WW II" https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=frontsoldaten

    He goes to original sources (letters and diaries) of German WWII troops and lets them speak for themselves. The advantage of his method is that it avoids later "interpretations" and reveals the reality of the Landsers in very rough conditions (mostly in Russia), dedicated to Hitler and 100% behind the classless Volksgemeinschaft national socialist revolution.

    German Wehrmacht soldiers were, contrary to what was later maintained, nearly as Nazified as the Waffen-SS and especially in the east, just as liable to kill civilians and POWs. The Wehrmacht was also responsible for looking after Soviet POWs and it was its dedication to Nazi theory as much as its logistic problems that caused it to starve large numbers of them to death, especially in 1941 and early 1942.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    Not true. My relatives who lived through German occupation in a certain Slavic country all remarked that the German soldiers were extremely professional and polite. When troop movements were in play, the residents of the various towns were politely asked to stay indoors. You see, German soldiers had a strong "code of ethics", unlike the Japanese, who regarded everyone not Japanese as being inferior...
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  43. I drifted across Asia, Mexico, Wyoming, hitchhiking and sleeping in ditches until I learned that aberrant behavior, when written about, is literature.

    That says it all right there. Fred’s entire purpose in life is simply to inflict his personal pathologies upon the rest of us. No effort made to control or correct himself, no higher ideal aspired to. It’s just, “I’m Fred Reed and this is my baggage, and you should shut up and learn to like it.” The attitude is all too typical of Boomer males.

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    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    That says it all right there. Fred’s entire purpose in life is simply to inflict his personal pathologies upon the rest of us. No effort made to control or correct himself, no higher ideal aspired to. It’s just, “I’m Fred Reed and this is my baggage, and you should shut up and learn to like it.” The attitude is all too typical of Boomer males.
     
    Jesus H. Mother-Humping Christ ... then DON'T READ IT, Dilbert. An attitude all too typical of beta wanker males (yeah, you) is their belief that bleating about the horror of other people's beliefs is something we all should give a shit about. STFU and go elsewhere to wank, chump.
    , @Rod1963
    Dude, this isn't COD or one of Sailer's commentaries.

    You don't get it, the war messed up Fred, like most people caught up in it. It f**ks them up in ways that are hard to explain. Even if they don't end up wandering the country it leaves them with very odd personality quirks and some no longer fit in society at all.

    Some are broken by it. They can't go to most psychologists because they don't have a f**king clue outside of peddling drugs that turn them into zombies. They have no frame of reference with these men. None

    And neither do you.
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  44. … like tears in the rain.

    Seriously, maybe Rutger Hauer read Harpers in 1980.

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  45. @Intelligent Dasein

    I drifted across Asia, Mexico, Wyoming, hitchhiking and sleeping in ditches until I learned that aberrant behavior, when written about, is literature.
     
    That says it all right there. Fred's entire purpose in life is simply to inflict his personal pathologies upon the rest of us. No effort made to control or correct himself, no higher ideal aspired to. It's just, "I'm Fred Reed and this is my baggage, and you should shut up and learn to like it." The attitude is all too typical of Boomer males.

    That says it all right there. Fred’s entire purpose in life is simply to inflict his personal pathologies upon the rest of us. No effort made to control or correct himself, no higher ideal aspired to. It’s just, “I’m Fred Reed and this is my baggage, and you should shut up and learn to like it.” The attitude is all too typical of Boomer males.

    Jesus H. Mother-Humping Christ … then DON’T READ IT, Dilbert. An attitude all too typical of beta wanker males (yeah, you) is their belief that bleating about the horror of other people’s beliefs is something we all should give a shit about. STFU and go elsewhere to wank, chump.

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  46. dearieme says:
    @Catholic Philly Prole
    Whatever pussy, just like every other generation since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats while the Leftists, degenerates, gays (same thing), Commies, children of the wealthy and other undesirables along with the genuinely disabled were at home hiding from the draft trying to corrupt our women. Hope it feels good for ya Backdoor Jodie!

    “children of the wealthy ” avoiding war service may be an American tradition but not all nations share it.

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  47. I don’t think Mr. Reed was a soldier in VN, strictly speaking, although seems clear enough he served in some capacity there during the Second Indochina War…likely a stringer journalist/photographer. But he doesn’t actually claim here to be a VN vet himself: other than of the era, place. and time.

    If I remember correctly (although the dude in question may have been one of the other major antiwar perps), during the Mayor Daley/Demo convention riots in Chicago in Chicago in 1968), Tom Hayden allegedly was in some other local safe house while a tape he had earlier made was broadcast from an open window in the convention hotel telling the freaks that it was their duty to storm the building. I wrote to his then-girlfriend asking if the story was true, but she never replied… Just the kinda dangerous but cowardly stunt a guy like Hayden would have thought up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chris Mallory

    I don’t think Mr. Reed was a soldier in VN, strictly speaking, although seems clear enough he served in some capacity there during the Second Indochina War…likely a stringer journalist/photographer. But he doesn’t actually claim here to be a VN vet himself: other than of the era, place. and time.
     
    To the best of my memory from reading his past work, Reed was a armored landing tractor (not sure of the model) crewman. He did somehow end up with shrapnel in his eyes and spent time in a hospital ward with some tankers who got boiled/steamed when the cherry juice in their tank cooked off.
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  48. anarchyst says:
    @gdpbull
    I watched on line the portion of the Burns documentary that covered the period of time that I was in Nam to get a sense of its accuracy since I had direct knowledge of that time period. The coverage was completely perfunctory. I had hoped that the long multi-part documentary of the war would be a ... well ... an actual documentary of the war for a change. You know, showing not only the high level politics and overall strategy end, but also the nuts and bolts of the war. Well, it really didn't even show the high level strategic aspects to much detail, let alone the nuts and bolts. It was just one more navel gazing piece of crap. So I didn't bother watching any of the other segments.

    I agree. NOTHING was shown about the successful pacification efforts by the U S Marine Corps in “I” Corps. For more on this google USMC CAP. You may be surprised at what you find. It’s a damned shame NONE of these so-called “historians” covered this aspect of the Vietnam war…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri

    "For more on this google USMC CAP. You may be surprised at what you find."
     
    Well, I tried it. They want to sell me a hat.
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  49. anarchyst says:
    @Uebersetzer
    German Wehrmacht soldiers were, contrary to what was later maintained, nearly as Nazified as the Waffen-SS and especially in the east, just as liable to kill civilians and POWs. The Wehrmacht was also responsible for looking after Soviet POWs and it was its dedication to Nazi theory as much as its logistic problems that caused it to starve large numbers of them to death, especially in 1941 and early 1942.

    Not true. My relatives who lived through German occupation in a certain Slavic country all remarked that the German soldiers were extremely professional and polite. When troop movements were in play, the residents of the various towns were politely asked to stay indoors. You see, German soldiers had a strong “code of ethics”, unlike the Japanese, who regarded everyone not Japanese as being inferior…

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  50. Paull says:

    Brilliantly vivid writing, yes. Great satirical comment on the ‘civilization’ we Americans claim to have foisted on a grateful world, yes.

    But what is the basic point here? That war is awesome because it’s the best adrenaline rush you can get? That war is the greatest carnival thrill ride you can imagine? That being so in love with war that you become a mercenary after leaving the regular military gives you the moral high ground in any discussions about war, to the point where anyone who hasn’t shared that experience with you should stfu?!!!!!

    See I think that what this article suggests is that war is something created for psychopaths by psychopaths. Was that the unspoken point? I hope so. I don’t think it was, but I hope it was.

    Btw, my grandfather was in both world wars. I never had the chance to talk to him about his experiences, but I’m pretty sure he saw war as a compendium of horrors. He was a brave man too, the bravest and best I’ve known.

    In my view, we should never allow those who condone/glorify wars to be the captains of our destinies. We should NEVER shut the fuck up as this writer demands we do. We shouldn’t blame the grunts for the wars, but then again, maybe we should. They could refuse to go and then there wouldn’t be any war. And maybe it’s because we who oppose war DO stfu all too often about war, silently condoning war if not overtly condoning it, that wars continue to happen.

    So, we should stfu about the evil of war? Hell no. This article makes it clearer, if anything, that we should never ever do that. It’s because we stfu about war, shamed into silence by those who love war and associate it relentlessly to patriotism, that psychopaths succeed again and again at driving us into the ‘next war’.

    Read More
    • Agree: jacques sheete
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    An.........interesting..........post.

    Common with "chattering classes". Makes them feel good.

    A couple of questions if I may.

    In your opinion, are all wars "evil"? I mean....all....wars....during known history?

    You'll probably pick one at least which was justified. I mean...nobody is that stupid. So....if there has been at least one...why that one? And, if there was at least one, why not another...and another? Who makes that decision? Justified or not? People like you? Why?

    The problem vets (and their families) have with "high moral ground chattering classes" is that those don't have problem with wars and armed violence as long as it serves their purpose.

    Have all combatants in all those wars been psychopaths?

    I mean, if there was at least one "justified" war, then the "justified" party couldn't have been full to the brim with psychopaths. So, again, who is that making that decision? "Chattering class". Those Fred calls "mousse" people?

    As for this:

    We shouldn’t blame the grunts for the wars, but then again, maybe we should. They could refuse to go and then there wouldn’t be any war.
     
    Why stop at grunts? How about blaming an average voter who voted for the politicians in charge? And, how about all those employed in producing means of war? Say, from engineers designing, what's "chattering class" favorite bad thing, ah, yes, napalm bombs to workers producing them? When we are there, shouldn't we blame their families too? So....where do we draw the line of responsibility for war? And, the really important, who makes that decision?

    Your group, "mousse people/chattering class"? Why?
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  51. whoever says: • Website

    Hi, Fred,
    I’ve been thinking about this column, and I went over to your site and read some of your other related columns. Thanks for writing them.
    The Viet Nam War still looms large in my family’s history, as I’m sure it does in very many others.
    It’s coming up on the 50th anniversary of my mother’s older brother’s death at Dak To. The other day, she was looking at some old photographs of him with his high school sweetheart and realized that she couldn’t remember what her name was. That really bothered her. She spent some time digging through old letters and papers trying to find it or jog her memory. It was important to her to remember it, but…nothing. One more link to him and his life gone.
    I don’t think she’s ever gotten over his loss. She joined the Army herself as a nurse and served at Cu Chi because…she had to do something. She just couldn’t let it go. Couldn’t let him go.
    Sometimes casualties didn’t reach the hospital till days after they were hit, and when she removed the bandages the wounds were seething with maggots. I know that because I have read letters she wrote home. She’s never spoken of her experiences beyond saying that she thought she would never be able to get the blood out from under her fingernails.
    Another of her brothers served much later in the war as an Army helo pilot, and was involved in Lam Son 719, where he was shot down while trying to take off from a hot LZ. He only spoke about his experiences to me once when I was a kid, after an off-roading accident that totaled his old IH Scout and left us upside down with the engine roaring and gasoline pouring on us. He got us out of that with cool efficiency and on the long walk back instructed me on how to manage your emotions and do what you have to do to survive when you find yourself in hell.
    My dad flew F4Js with TF77 in the early 1970s, a genuine Yankee Sky Pirate. Hundreds of missions over the North, and into the South during the Easter Offensive. He flew missions during Linebacker II, attacking targets in and around Haiphong.
    MiGs and SAMs and AAA, friends being lost over and over again, sortie after sortie until they mounted into the hundreds. And what has he ever said about any of it? Nothing.
    Well, once he said it was the most useless war in history. Otherwise, if you ask him, he will tell about this time on leave…, or some funny stories, or maybe he will discuss some technical aspects of flying the old bird. But that’s it, and don’t push him for more. You won’t get it.
    Well, here’s to you, my very dear male parental unit, and all the other Viet Nam vets; that war is a very long time passing:

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  52. BenKenobi says:
    @dearieme
    '"Today you’re more likely to see the children of immigrants from West Africa or Latin America at basic training rather than some white kid." You'd better hope no one leads them across the Rubicon.

    Hmmm… all this time I’ve been thinking that it would the Whites that would cross the Rubicon.

    If the PoS (excuse me, I mean PoC) cross it instead, well that takes out all the guesswork.

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  53. @John Jeremiah Smith

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.
     
    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase "thank you for your service. It's not worth the 10% discount -- messican, asian, and african "immigrants" (replacements) garbling the strange words that Management requires they mumble while swiping the "Veteran" override on the scanner.

    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase “thank you for your service. It’s not worth the 10% discount…

    You too? Gawd, I just hate it! I find it insulting and positively cringe. I even avoid places that offer the discount.

    Read More
    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith

    You too? Gawd, I just hate it! I find it insulting and positively cringe. I even avoid places that offer the discount.
     
    My Scottish ancestors allow me to take a pass on a 10% discount, but Roy Rogers gives 15%. For that, I can take a thank you -- but only once a week. ;-)
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  54. @jacques sheete

    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase “thank you for your service. It’s not worth the 10% discount...
     
    You too? Gawd, I just hate it! I find it insulting and positively cringe. I even avoid places that offer the discount.

    You too? Gawd, I just hate it! I find it insulting and positively cringe. I even avoid places that offer the discount.

    My Scottish ancestors allow me to take a pass on a 10% discount, but Roy Rogers gives 15%. For that, I can take a thank you — but only once a week. ;-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    You know, I've been thinking about this article and a lot of the comments.

    First, as far as people not talking about their war experiences, I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there's not really much to say.

    Also, since most of us aren't too skilled in storytelling, we'd be embarrassed to make stuff up only to be found out. Better to keep still and not make more of a fool of oneself. The dreamers who imagine the silence is some indication of some inexpressibly profound mystery harbored deep in one's soul, or some such fantasy, shouldn't imagine that the taciturnity has anything to do with any of that or some silent heroism. War may be Hell, but undoubtedly it's 99.9% Hellish boredom even for the grunts in the (rather smelly) trenches and hooches. Sorry if I've peed on anyone's parade.

    As for those who've never experienced combat, I must, though I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, advise that readers take this rather entertaining article with a grain of salt. I'm not criticising Fred here, but he is, after all a writer of sorts, and it's only natural that he spice it up a bit. To me, it's more than a bit melodramatic, but it does have mostly redeeming features such as the sarcasm directed at the prissy nincompoops who got us involved in that hideously deranged mess.

    Even though most of us went as suckers, my pity goes mostly to the people of Vietnam.
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  55. Bilbo2 says:

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

    The jello people don’t understand that.

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  56. @John Jeremiah Smith

    You too? Gawd, I just hate it! I find it insulting and positively cringe. I even avoid places that offer the discount.
     
    My Scottish ancestors allow me to take a pass on a 10% discount, but Roy Rogers gives 15%. For that, I can take a thank you -- but only once a week. ;-)

    You know, I’ve been thinking about this article and a lot of the comments.

    First, as far as people not talking about their war experiences, I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there’s not really much to say.

    Also, since most of us aren’t too skilled in storytelling, we’d be embarrassed to make stuff up only to be found out. Better to keep still and not make more of a fool of oneself. The dreamers who imagine the silence is some indication of some inexpressibly profound mystery harbored deep in one’s soul, or some such fantasy, shouldn’t imagine that the taciturnity has anything to do with any of that or some silent heroism. War may be Hell, but undoubtedly it’s 99.9% Hellish boredom even for the grunts in the (rather smelly) trenches and hooches. Sorry if I’ve peed on anyone’s parade.

    As for those who’ve never experienced combat, I must, though I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist, advise that readers take this rather entertaining article with a grain of salt. I’m not criticising Fred here, but he is, after all a writer of sorts, and it’s only natural that he spice it up a bit. To me, it’s more than a bit melodramatic, but it does have mostly redeeming features such as the sarcasm directed at the prissy nincompoops who got us involved in that hideously deranged mess.

    Even though most of us went as suckers, my pity goes mostly to the people of Vietnam.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Correction: I meant to write that war is undoubtedly Hell for the undeserving victims.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith
    I have a cliche or two, appropriate for the most part.

    "Twas ever thus."

    &

    "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

    , @anonymous

    I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there’s not really much to say.
     
    i think it was Niall Ferguson in his book about WWI, and how the British should not have fought it, and how the Brits lost the war a couple times, they just never quit, for god knows what reasons -- Ferguson said that contrary to the belief that the very young Brits who fought that war were sick to death of it, that's not the case: they loved it, they craved it, it gave them a sense of meaning, of belonging. WWI changed British society dramatically -- young men who enlisted did so eagerly -- because the farm or the sweatshop or a desk and a pencil in an endless row with other young men at desks with pencils was in-the-present-and-foreseeable- future- boring, so how bad could it be to "take the king's shilling" and see the world? In "Sons & Lovers" Arnold enlists because he's vain & would look good in the uniform. You think the people who run wars -- & design uniforms -- don't appeal to the vanity of testosterone-charged young males?

    I wonder -- maybe USA fought in Vietnam because there were too many young men that the society could not accommodate. The boomer generation just started leaving high school when VN went hot. Way to cull the herd.

    My best friend married a guy who had been in Viet Nam -- he had easy and safe duty -- doing accounting in a protected space w/ Vietnamese mama sans to cook for him & clean his underwear. He came back ok, jolly good time. They married & had kids, he got work doing accounting & was reasonably successful. My friend killed herself over the smugness of her 'hero' husband.

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  57. @jacques sheete
    You know, I've been thinking about this article and a lot of the comments.

    First, as far as people not talking about their war experiences, I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there's not really much to say.

    Also, since most of us aren't too skilled in storytelling, we'd be embarrassed to make stuff up only to be found out. Better to keep still and not make more of a fool of oneself. The dreamers who imagine the silence is some indication of some inexpressibly profound mystery harbored deep in one's soul, or some such fantasy, shouldn't imagine that the taciturnity has anything to do with any of that or some silent heroism. War may be Hell, but undoubtedly it's 99.9% Hellish boredom even for the grunts in the (rather smelly) trenches and hooches. Sorry if I've peed on anyone's parade.

    As for those who've never experienced combat, I must, though I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, advise that readers take this rather entertaining article with a grain of salt. I'm not criticising Fred here, but he is, after all a writer of sorts, and it's only natural that he spice it up a bit. To me, it's more than a bit melodramatic, but it does have mostly redeeming features such as the sarcasm directed at the prissy nincompoops who got us involved in that hideously deranged mess.

    Even though most of us went as suckers, my pity goes mostly to the people of Vietnam.

    Correction: I meant to write that war is undoubtedly Hell for the undeserving victims.

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  58. @jacques sheete
    You know, I've been thinking about this article and a lot of the comments.

    First, as far as people not talking about their war experiences, I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there's not really much to say.

    Also, since most of us aren't too skilled in storytelling, we'd be embarrassed to make stuff up only to be found out. Better to keep still and not make more of a fool of oneself. The dreamers who imagine the silence is some indication of some inexpressibly profound mystery harbored deep in one's soul, or some such fantasy, shouldn't imagine that the taciturnity has anything to do with any of that or some silent heroism. War may be Hell, but undoubtedly it's 99.9% Hellish boredom even for the grunts in the (rather smelly) trenches and hooches. Sorry if I've peed on anyone's parade.

    As for those who've never experienced combat, I must, though I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, advise that readers take this rather entertaining article with a grain of salt. I'm not criticising Fred here, but he is, after all a writer of sorts, and it's only natural that he spice it up a bit. To me, it's more than a bit melodramatic, but it does have mostly redeeming features such as the sarcasm directed at the prissy nincompoops who got us involved in that hideously deranged mess.

    Even though most of us went as suckers, my pity goes mostly to the people of Vietnam.

    I have a cliche or two, appropriate for the most part.

    “Twas ever thus.”

    &

    “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Yup.
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  59. peterAUS says:
    @Paull
    Brilliantly vivid writing, yes. Great satirical comment on the 'civilization' we Americans claim to have foisted on a grateful world, yes.

    But what is the basic point here? That war is awesome because it's the best adrenaline rush you can get? That war is the greatest carnival thrill ride you can imagine? That being so in love with war that you become a mercenary after leaving the regular military gives you the moral high ground in any discussions about war, to the point where anyone who hasn't shared that experience with you should stfu?!!!!!

    See I think that what this article suggests is that war is something created for psychopaths by psychopaths. Was that the unspoken point? I hope so. I don't think it was, but I hope it was.

    Btw, my grandfather was in both world wars. I never had the chance to talk to him about his experiences, but I'm pretty sure he saw war as a compendium of horrors. He was a brave man too, the bravest and best I've known.

    In my view, we should never allow those who condone/glorify wars to be the captains of our destinies. We should NEVER shut the fuck up as this writer demands we do. We shouldn't blame the grunts for the wars, but then again, maybe we should. They could refuse to go and then there wouldn't be any war. And maybe it's because we who oppose war DO stfu all too often about war, silently condoning war if not overtly condoning it, that wars continue to happen.

    So, we should stfu about the evil of war? Hell no. This article makes it clearer, if anything, that we should never ever do that. It's because we stfu about war, shamed into silence by those who love war and associate it relentlessly to patriotism, that psychopaths succeed again and again at driving us into the 'next war'.

    An………interesting……….post.

    Common with “chattering classes”. Makes them feel good.

    A couple of questions if I may.

    In your opinion, are all wars “evil”? I mean….all….wars….during known history?

    You’ll probably pick one at least which was justified. I mean…nobody is that stupid. So….if there has been at least one…why that one? And, if there was at least one, why not another…and another? Who makes that decision? Justified or not? People like you? Why?

    The problem vets (and their families) have with “high moral ground chattering classes” is that those don’t have problem with wars and armed violence as long as it serves their purpose.

    Have all combatants in all those wars been psychopaths?

    I mean, if there was at least one “justified” war, then the “justified” party couldn’t have been full to the brim with psychopaths. So, again, who is that making that decision? “Chattering class”. Those Fred calls “mousse” people?

    As for this:

    We shouldn’t blame the grunts for the wars, but then again, maybe we should. They could refuse to go and then there wouldn’t be any war.

    Why stop at grunts? How about blaming an average voter who voted for the politicians in charge? And, how about all those employed in producing means of war? Say, from engineers designing, what’s “chattering class” favorite bad thing, ah, yes, napalm bombs to workers producing them? When we are there, shouldn’t we blame their families too? So….where do we draw the line of responsibility for war? And, the really important, who makes that decision?

    Your group, “mousse people/chattering class”? Why?

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    • Replies: @daniel le mouche
    I reckon you watch too much t.v.
    So, nuts and bolts, Vietnam was justified? What was it, five million or so dead (completely discarding the almost irrelevant 50,000 US soldiers, a tiny number in comparison). All a big lie. Just like Korea. Just like Bosnia, El Salvador, and every war since 911. But we shouldn't have any opinion, no thoughts whatsoever. It's all just Beta Pussies, shaking in their boots, shitting their pants, jerking off, if they are sickened by the modern world, the surveillance, the great lies, the bombings, torture, slaughter.
    Thanks to you for the commentary, son of a son of a son of some Saxon murderer, blood runs thicker than water, eh?
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  60. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Catholic Philly Prole
    I hear that and concur it is forced and awkward especially considering that the desert shit-holes I visited needed Neo-Con intervention like I need another hole in the ass and we accomplished little in the way of serving our own Nation's interests. But the awkwardness is worth the 10% discount at Home depot and Lowe's for me at least. Hint-I spend a lot of money at Home Depot and Lowe's.

    should probably try to avoid Home Depot — its owner is a warmonger.

    https://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder’s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/

    jus’ sayin’

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    should probably try to avoid Home Depot — its owner is a warmonger.
     
    I suspect the bulk of 'em are.
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  61. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @jacques sheete
    You know, I've been thinking about this article and a lot of the comments.

    First, as far as people not talking about their war experiences, I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there's not really much to say.

    Also, since most of us aren't too skilled in storytelling, we'd be embarrassed to make stuff up only to be found out. Better to keep still and not make more of a fool of oneself. The dreamers who imagine the silence is some indication of some inexpressibly profound mystery harbored deep in one's soul, or some such fantasy, shouldn't imagine that the taciturnity has anything to do with any of that or some silent heroism. War may be Hell, but undoubtedly it's 99.9% Hellish boredom even for the grunts in the (rather smelly) trenches and hooches. Sorry if I've peed on anyone's parade.

    As for those who've never experienced combat, I must, though I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, advise that readers take this rather entertaining article with a grain of salt. I'm not criticising Fred here, but he is, after all a writer of sorts, and it's only natural that he spice it up a bit. To me, it's more than a bit melodramatic, but it does have mostly redeeming features such as the sarcasm directed at the prissy nincompoops who got us involved in that hideously deranged mess.

    Even though most of us went as suckers, my pity goes mostly to the people of Vietnam.

    I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there’s not really much to say.

    i think it was Niall Ferguson in his book about WWI, and how the British should not have fought it, and how the Brits lost the war a couple times, they just never quit, for god knows what reasons — Ferguson said that contrary to the belief that the very young Brits who fought that war were sick to death of it, that’s not the case: they loved it, they craved it, it gave them a sense of meaning, of belonging. WWI changed British society dramatically — young men who enlisted did so eagerly — because the farm or the sweatshop or a desk and a pencil in an endless row with other young men at desks with pencils was in-the-present-and-foreseeable- future- boring, so how bad could it be to “take the king’s shilling” and see the world? In “Sons & Lovers” Arnold enlists because he’s vain & would look good in the uniform. You think the people who run wars — & design uniforms — don’t appeal to the vanity of testosterone-charged young males?

    I wonder — maybe USA fought in Vietnam because there were too many young men that the society could not accommodate. The boomer generation just started leaving high school when VN went hot. Way to cull the herd.

    My best friend married a guy who had been in Viet Nam — he had easy and safe duty — doing accounting in a protected space w/ Vietnamese mama sans to cook for him & clean his underwear. He came back ok, jolly good time. They married & had kids, he got work doing accounting & was reasonably successful. My friend killed herself over the smugness of her ‘hero’ husband.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    WWI changed British society dramatically -- young men who enlisted did so eagerly -- because the farm or the sweatshop or a desk and a pencil in an endless row with other young men at desks with pencils was in-the-present-and-foreseeable- future- boring, so how bad could it be to "take the king's shilling" and see the world?

    In “Sons & Lovers” Arnold enlists because he’s vain & would look good in the uniform.
     

    All true according to what I've read. It was apparently all romanticism and adventure at first. The experience convinced some 80% of Americans of the wisdom of non intervention until the attack on PH.

    During the US war between the states, people actually would visit the battlefields to enjoy the show. I don't remember the details on that tho.


    My friend killed herself over the smugness of her ‘hero’ husband.
     
    For sure, the biggest heroes I've ever come across were the ones furthest from the action. I've even known of a couple "war heroes" who were never in the military, and I am not making that up. One, in fact, was a relative whose father saw real action in WW1, had a brother killed in WW2, and another one wounded in Korea, but this one never even tried to enter the military. He would sit in the local VFW and tell war stories with the rest of 'em, and they accepted him as one of their own.
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  62. @John Jeremiah Smith
    I have a cliche or two, appropriate for the most part.

    "Twas ever thus."

    &

    "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

    Yup.

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  63. @anarchyst
    I agree. NOTHING was shown about the successful pacification efforts by the U S Marine Corps in "I" Corps. For more on this google USMC CAP. You may be surprised at what you find. It's a damned shame NONE of these so-called "historians" covered this aspect of the Vietnam war...

    “For more on this google USMC CAP. You may be surprised at what you find.”

    Well, I tried it. They want to sell me a hat.

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    • Replies: @anarchyst
    Sorry about that...look up USMC Combined Action Program Vietnam...
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  64. @anonymous

    I think it comes down to the fact that even if one has firefight experience, the whole damned thing is mostly boring as Hell, so the truth is that there’s not really much to say.
     
    i think it was Niall Ferguson in his book about WWI, and how the British should not have fought it, and how the Brits lost the war a couple times, they just never quit, for god knows what reasons -- Ferguson said that contrary to the belief that the very young Brits who fought that war were sick to death of it, that's not the case: they loved it, they craved it, it gave them a sense of meaning, of belonging. WWI changed British society dramatically -- young men who enlisted did so eagerly -- because the farm or the sweatshop or a desk and a pencil in an endless row with other young men at desks with pencils was in-the-present-and-foreseeable- future- boring, so how bad could it be to "take the king's shilling" and see the world? In "Sons & Lovers" Arnold enlists because he's vain & would look good in the uniform. You think the people who run wars -- & design uniforms -- don't appeal to the vanity of testosterone-charged young males?

    I wonder -- maybe USA fought in Vietnam because there were too many young men that the society could not accommodate. The boomer generation just started leaving high school when VN went hot. Way to cull the herd.

    My best friend married a guy who had been in Viet Nam -- he had easy and safe duty -- doing accounting in a protected space w/ Vietnamese mama sans to cook for him & clean his underwear. He came back ok, jolly good time. They married & had kids, he got work doing accounting & was reasonably successful. My friend killed herself over the smugness of her 'hero' husband.

    WWI changed British society dramatically — young men who enlisted did so eagerly — because the farm or the sweatshop or a desk and a pencil in an endless row with other young men at desks with pencils was in-the-present-and-foreseeable- future- boring, so how bad could it be to “take the king’s shilling” and see the world?

    In “Sons & Lovers” Arnold enlists because he’s vain & would look good in the uniform.

    All true according to what I’ve read. It was apparently all romanticism and adventure at first. The experience convinced some 80% of Americans of the wisdom of non intervention until the attack on PH.

    During the US war between the states, people actually would visit the battlefields to enjoy the show. I don’t remember the details on that tho.

    My friend killed herself over the smugness of her ‘hero’ husband.

    For sure, the biggest heroes I’ve ever come across were the ones furthest from the action. I’ve even known of a couple “war heroes” who were never in the military, and I am not making that up. One, in fact, was a relative whose father saw real action in WW1, had a brother killed in WW2, and another one wounded in Korea, but this one never even tried to enter the military. He would sit in the local VFW and tell war stories with the rest of ‘em, and they accepted him as one of their own.

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  65. @anonymous
    should probably try to avoid Home Depot -- its owner is a warmonger.
    https://www.salon.com/2013/08/05/home_depot_founder’s_quiet_10_million_right_wing_investment/
    jus' sayin'

    should probably try to avoid Home Depot — its owner is a warmonger.

    I suspect the bulk of ‘em are.

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  66. @Been There Done That
    I don't think Mr. Reed was a soldier in VN, strictly speaking, although seems clear enough he served in some capacity there during the Second Indochina War...likely a stringer journalist/photographer. But he doesn't actually claim here to be a VN vet himself: other than of the era, place. and time.

    If I remember correctly (although the dude in question may have been one of the other major antiwar perps), during the Mayor Daley/Demo convention riots in Chicago in Chicago in 1968), Tom Hayden allegedly was in some other local safe house while a tape he had earlier made was broadcast from an open window in the convention hotel telling the freaks that it was their duty to storm the building. I wrote to his then-girlfriend asking if the story was true, but she never replied... Just the kinda dangerous but cowardly stunt a guy like Hayden would have thought up.

    I don’t think Mr. Reed was a soldier in VN, strictly speaking, although seems clear enough he served in some capacity there during the Second Indochina War…likely a stringer journalist/photographer. But he doesn’t actually claim here to be a VN vet himself: other than of the era, place. and time.

    To the best of my memory from reading his past work, Reed was a armored landing tractor (not sure of the model) crewman. He did somehow end up with shrapnel in his eyes and spent time in a hospital ward with some tankers who got boiled/steamed when the cherry juice in their tank cooked off.

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    • Replies: @David In TN
    Fred Reed was a Marine in Vietnam, but my understanding is that like the great majority was not an "in the bush" grunt.

    The theme of the column is those who were there can do without pious lectures by those who weren't.

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  67. anarchyst says:
    @Almost Missouri

    "For more on this google USMC CAP. You may be surprised at what you find."
     
    Well, I tried it. They want to sell me a hat.

    Sorry about that…look up USMC Combined Action Program Vietnam…

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  68. @Catholic Philly Prole
    Whatever pussy, just like every other generation since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats while the Leftists, degenerates, gays (same thing), Commies, children of the wealthy and other undesirables along with the genuinely disabled were at home hiding from the draft trying to corrupt our women. Hope it feels good for ya Backdoor Jodie!

    ‘since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats’

    Yeah sure, everyone who’s worth a shit mindlessly goes to war, thumps his chest, loves football. All this from a Prole that hates Commies, go figure that one geniuses.

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    • Replies: @Catholic Philly Prole
    IMHO, the young men who nut up and sign their name on the dotted line to fight for our country (no matter how dubious you or I may consider the mission) are better than those who stay home protesting and talking shit. You obviously disagree and side with leftists and others who would no doubt love to see us all replaced by the dusky hordes. Opinions...everyone has one. Not sure where you got the feetsball thing from hoss, but I'm a hockey guy.
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  69. How did things turn out like this?

    End of civilization as we know it.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/29-couples-boudoir-photos-almost-172445904.html?.tsrc=fauxdal

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  70. Rod1963 says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    I drifted across Asia, Mexico, Wyoming, hitchhiking and sleeping in ditches until I learned that aberrant behavior, when written about, is literature.
     
    That says it all right there. Fred's entire purpose in life is simply to inflict his personal pathologies upon the rest of us. No effort made to control or correct himself, no higher ideal aspired to. It's just, "I'm Fred Reed and this is my baggage, and you should shut up and learn to like it." The attitude is all too typical of Boomer males.

    Dude, this isn’t COD or one of Sailer’s commentaries.

    You don’t get it, the war messed up Fred, like most people caught up in it. It f**ks them up in ways that are hard to explain. Even if they don’t end up wandering the country it leaves them with very odd personality quirks and some no longer fit in society at all.

    Some are broken by it. They can’t go to most psychologists because they don’t have a f**king clue outside of peddling drugs that turn them into zombies. They have no frame of reference with these men. None

    And neither do you.

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    • Agree: Hu Mi Yu
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  71. @peterAUS
    An.........interesting..........post.

    Common with "chattering classes". Makes them feel good.

    A couple of questions if I may.

    In your opinion, are all wars "evil"? I mean....all....wars....during known history?

    You'll probably pick one at least which was justified. I mean...nobody is that stupid. So....if there has been at least one...why that one? And, if there was at least one, why not another...and another? Who makes that decision? Justified or not? People like you? Why?

    The problem vets (and their families) have with "high moral ground chattering classes" is that those don't have problem with wars and armed violence as long as it serves their purpose.

    Have all combatants in all those wars been psychopaths?

    I mean, if there was at least one "justified" war, then the "justified" party couldn't have been full to the brim with psychopaths. So, again, who is that making that decision? "Chattering class". Those Fred calls "mousse" people?

    As for this:

    We shouldn’t blame the grunts for the wars, but then again, maybe we should. They could refuse to go and then there wouldn’t be any war.
     
    Why stop at grunts? How about blaming an average voter who voted for the politicians in charge? And, how about all those employed in producing means of war? Say, from engineers designing, what's "chattering class" favorite bad thing, ah, yes, napalm bombs to workers producing them? When we are there, shouldn't we blame their families too? So....where do we draw the line of responsibility for war? And, the really important, who makes that decision?

    Your group, "mousse people/chattering class"? Why?

    I reckon you watch too much t.v.
    So, nuts and bolts, Vietnam was justified? What was it, five million or so dead (completely discarding the almost irrelevant 50,000 US soldiers, a tiny number in comparison). All a big lie. Just like Korea. Just like Bosnia, El Salvador, and every war since 911. But we shouldn’t have any opinion, no thoughts whatsoever. It’s all just Beta Pussies, shaking in their boots, shitting their pants, jerking off, if they are sickened by the modern world, the surveillance, the great lies, the bombings, torture, slaughter.
    Thanks to you for the commentary, son of a son of a son of some Saxon murderer, blood runs thicker than water, eh?

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Just like Korea. Just like Bosnia, El Salvador, and every war since 911.
     
    Getting there.

    So....WW2 WAS O.K.?
    And, how about those before?
    Let's start with Revolutionary War and work our way to Korea.

    So...which ones were justified and which ones were NOT?
    When you are on it, could you please clarify criteria for a war being justified?
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  72. Logan says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    At least nowadays they have enough propaganda beaten into them to thank you for your service.
     
    I now flinch visibly at the catch-phrase "thank you for your service. It's not worth the 10% discount -- messican, asian, and african "immigrants" (replacements) garbling the strange words that Management requires they mumble while swiping the "Veteran" override on the scanner.

    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?
     
    Sometimes I ask them why they feel that way and have yet to get much of an answer. Most just shrug and smile.

    If they do answer, (which is exceedingly rare), I state that I served a criminal state and am not a bit proud of it (even though I was clueless at that time that it was corrupt). The answer leaves them speechless though that's not my intent. My intent is to get them to think about what they're saying.

    I highly doubt that any of them ever does think about it. It's not really their fault since they really do not know how to think or even realize that they should question everything. I have corrected that problem in my younger relatives and intend to continue til the dirt's thrown on my curmudgeonly (bleep).

    The whole system is rotten to the core and has been since the beginning. The AmRev was co-opted right out of the box, and I have evidence.

    Here's one tiny bit. Please read it carefully and note that it was written in 1939. The situation, vis a vis freedom is much worse.


    After 1789, John Adams said that, so far from being a democracy of a democratic republic, the political organization of the country was that of "a monarchical republic, or, if you will, a limited monarchy"; the powers of its President were far greater than those of "an avoyer, a consul, a podesta, a doge, a stadtholder; nay, than a king of Poland; nay, than a king of Sparta." If all that was true in 1789 — and it was true — what is to be said of the American State at the present time, after a century and a half of steady centralization and continuous increments of power?

    A.J. Nock, The Criminality of the State, 1939
    [This essay first appeared in The American Mercury in March 1939.] http://mises.org/daily/2352

     

    To answer your question, what I would like them to do is discuss it with me. Never happens.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?
     
    Well, for starters, a 10% discount really isn't enough. ;-)

    The problem, in my opinion, with the "Thank you for your service" catch-phrase, is that no one (or no one deserving) benefited from the "service". So it's something of a "thanks for doing nothing that did anybody any good". Best to just say nothing at all.

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  73. MarkinLA says:

    What seems to be left out of all these stories of how great it was for the soldiers is the stories about how the people being “saved” felt. Too many people seem to have forgotten Robert E Lee’s warning:

    https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/robertele383271.html

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  74. The Song is over.

    Hedges rips the globo-’left’.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/06/hedg-o06.html

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Priss, that was an excellent article and hedges is mostly correct.

    What grates me about good guys like that is that they constantly mourn the subversion of democracy. Why are they all so hung up on that? Where do they get the idea that the US was ever a democracy or that a democracy has ever occurred, anywhere, for any length of time?

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.

    Where do people get their faith???
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  75. Mulegino1 says:

    One thing that is extremely ironic is that people who will fight for their own family hearths, homes, property and land are demonized and called “extremists” while those who fight the empire’s wars halfway across the globe are “thanked for their service” – even if they are promptly forgotten.

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  76. @Logan
    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?

    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?

    Sometimes I ask them why they feel that way and have yet to get much of an answer. Most just shrug and smile.

    If they do answer, (which is exceedingly rare), I state that I served a criminal state and am not a bit proud of it (even though I was clueless at that time that it was corrupt). The answer leaves them speechless though that’s not my intent. My intent is to get them to think about what they’re saying.

    I highly doubt that any of them ever does think about it. It’s not really their fault since they really do not know how to think or even realize that they should question everything. I have corrected that problem in my younger relatives and intend to continue til the dirt’s thrown on my curmudgeonly (bleep).

    The whole system is rotten to the core and has been since the beginning. The AmRev was co-opted right out of the box, and I have evidence.

    Here’s one tiny bit. Please read it carefully and note that it was written in 1939. The situation, vis a vis freedom is much worse.

    After 1789, John Adams said that, so far from being a democracy of a democratic republic, the political organization of the country was that of “a monarchical republic, or, if you will, a limited monarchy”; the powers of its President were far greater than those of “an avoyer, a consul, a podesta, a doge, a stadtholder; nay, than a king of Poland; nay, than a king of Sparta.” If all that was true in 1789 — and it was true — what is to be said of the American State at the present time, after a century and a half of steady centralization and continuous increments of power?

    A.J. Nock, The Criminality of the State, 1939
    [This essay first appeared in The American Mercury in March 1939.] http://mises.org/daily/2352

    To answer your question, what I would like them to do is discuss it with me. Never happens.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    Yup. The old question: would you prefer a Crowned Republic (e.g. Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, ...) or an Elected Monarchy (US, France, Vatican City, ...)?
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  77. @daniel le mouche
    'since the beginning of time the young men worth a shit were out fighting the war and sowing their wild oats'

    Yeah sure, everyone who's worth a shit mindlessly goes to war, thumps his chest, loves football. All this from a Prole that hates Commies, go figure that one geniuses.

    IMHO, the young men who nut up and sign their name on the dotted line to fight for our country (no matter how dubious you or I may consider the mission) are better than those who stay home protesting and talking shit. You obviously disagree and side with leftists and others who would no doubt love to see us all replaced by the dusky hordes. Opinions…everyone has one. Not sure where you got the feetsball thing from hoss, but I’m a hockey guy.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    IMHO, the young men who nut up and sign their name on the dotted line to fight for our country (no matter how dubious you or I may consider the mission) are better than those who stay home protesting and talking shit.
     
    Long ago I would have agreed with you on that, and that did apply to many of them. However, I've come to know many others who stayed home and protested, but they sure as Hell were not talking shit. They knew what they were talking about and what's more, it took a real pair to stand up for their beliefs, and I admire 'em for it. They were smart.

    As far as nutting up and signing on the dotted line, let me tell you that there are few things in the world easier to do than that. In my own case courage had nothing to do with it; I did it because I was convinced that our leaders were trustworthy and since I had many relatives that had gone to war, it was only the natural thing to do. It was simply my turn, and I was curious as Hell about it as well.

    It took no balls at all. In fact, the brief firefights and fire missions that I experienced were welcome relief from the ineffable boredom. Despite what the drama queens say, I never sensed a bit of fear in any member of my squad, ever. And that's not bravado, it's just that none of us really thought about getting hurt even after seeing it first hand, and we were all just ordinary kids. I call it the immortality of youth.

    Mark Twain distinguished the difference between moral courage and physical. The physical part is easy as I alluded to above. It's the moral courage that's the real test.

    I went willingly, but I ain't no hero because of it. Anyone that tells ya different is lying.

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  78. @Logan
    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?

    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?

    Well, for starters, a 10% discount really isn’t enough. ;-)

    The problem, in my opinion, with the “Thank you for your service” catch-phrase, is that no one (or no one deserving) benefited from the “service”. So it’s something of a “thanks for doing nothing that did anybody any good”. Best to just say nothing at all.

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  79. @Priss Factor
    The Song is over.

    Hedges rips the globo-'left'.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/06/hedg-o06.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSJ6EFvF4aU

    Priss, that was an excellent article and hedges is mostly correct.

    What grates me about good guys like that is that they constantly mourn the subversion of democracy. Why are they all so hung up on that? Where do they get the idea that the US was ever a democracy or that a democracy has ever occurred, anywhere, for any length of time?

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.

    Where do people get their faith???

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    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Agree.

    BTW, almost none of those think.
    They just regurgitate the latest fad about the topic.

    With healthy (sic) dose of "virtue signalling".

    True, every now or then you do stumble across somebody who is willing to think, but even those recoil from.....what's the world...ah, yes..."violence". Especially whey you go against that preconception about "war being Hell" they read somewhere.
    I mean, of course it's Hell for some.
    Its also Heaven for some else. And everything in between.
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.
     
    Democracy, or what is presented as democracy, preserves the illusion best. I think it is essential that people believe the government represents and protects their interests. Democracy provides the best illusion that such is taking place. However, beyond such natural cynicism lies the possibility that a government can exist that is not corrupt, and has the best interests of citizens as its goal. Does some form of democracy have a role in that effort? Possibly. At the tribal level, patriarchal government typically coexists with some circumstance of entitled rightful voice by citizens.

    How to translate that into a government that can administer a population of billions is the problem.
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  80. @Catholic Philly Prole
    IMHO, the young men who nut up and sign their name on the dotted line to fight for our country (no matter how dubious you or I may consider the mission) are better than those who stay home protesting and talking shit. You obviously disagree and side with leftists and others who would no doubt love to see us all replaced by the dusky hordes. Opinions...everyone has one. Not sure where you got the feetsball thing from hoss, but I'm a hockey guy.

    IMHO, the young men who nut up and sign their name on the dotted line to fight for our country (no matter how dubious you or I may consider the mission) are better than those who stay home protesting and talking shit.

    Long ago I would have agreed with you on that, and that did apply to many of them. However, I’ve come to know many others who stayed home and protested, but they sure as Hell were not talking shit. They knew what they were talking about and what’s more, it took a real pair to stand up for their beliefs, and I admire ‘em for it. They were smart.

    As far as nutting up and signing on the dotted line, let me tell you that there are few things in the world easier to do than that. In my own case courage had nothing to do with it; I did it because I was convinced that our leaders were trustworthy and since I had many relatives that had gone to war, it was only the natural thing to do. It was simply my turn, and I was curious as Hell about it as well.

    It took no balls at all. In fact, the brief firefights and fire missions that I experienced were welcome relief from the ineffable boredom. Despite what the drama queens say, I never sensed a bit of fear in any member of my squad, ever. And that’s not bravado, it’s just that none of us really thought about getting hurt even after seeing it first hand, and we were all just ordinary kids. I call it the immortality of youth.

    Mark Twain distinguished the difference between moral courage and physical. The physical part is easy as I alluded to above. It’s the moral courage that’s the real test.

    I went willingly, but I ain’t no hero because of it. Anyone that tells ya different is lying.

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  81. peterAUS says:
    @daniel le mouche
    I reckon you watch too much t.v.
    So, nuts and bolts, Vietnam was justified? What was it, five million or so dead (completely discarding the almost irrelevant 50,000 US soldiers, a tiny number in comparison). All a big lie. Just like Korea. Just like Bosnia, El Salvador, and every war since 911. But we shouldn't have any opinion, no thoughts whatsoever. It's all just Beta Pussies, shaking in their boots, shitting their pants, jerking off, if they are sickened by the modern world, the surveillance, the great lies, the bombings, torture, slaughter.
    Thanks to you for the commentary, son of a son of a son of some Saxon murderer, blood runs thicker than water, eh?

    Just like Korea. Just like Bosnia, El Salvador, and every war since 911.

    Getting there.

    So….WW2 WAS O.K.?
    And, how about those before?
    Let’s start with Revolutionary War and work our way to Korea.

    So…which ones were justified and which ones were NOT?
    When you are on it, could you please clarify criteria for a war being justified?

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    • Replies: @daniel le mouche
    Revolutionary War, yes.
    French Revolution, probably an English (Jewish?) plot.
    American Civil War, the same.
    Philippines (Teddy Roosevelt), mass murder.
    War with Spanish in Cuba, more corporate takeover shite.
    WWI, English plot.
    Spanish Civil War, the right side would have won if not for British and American blockade of food and amunition.
    WWII, read the Englishman David Irving's three volume 'Churchill's War' (or just watch him speak on youtube).
    As I said above, all lies. The real war is never ending, the war on The People, worldwide. Also, now anyway for sure, Jewish hate wars against Muslims and (the real war) Europeans.
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  82. I’ll make it short and sweet and to the point; The last American to die defending his country was the last Confederate soldier who died defended his. Contrary to what you have been told, all the others died for empire, including the Union soldiers who died conquering the South, which in reality, was the 1st victim of the US Empire.

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  83. @Rurik
    “These are the people I fought for?”

    great reed

    thanks

    Just think what it must feel like now.

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    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    Just think what it must feel like now.
     
    You got it.
    , @Rurik

    Just think what it must feel like now.
     
    bitter, I'm sure Carroll

    some excellent comments on this thread

    setting aside the morality of the war, a lot of young guys were drafted over there or went for their own reasons.. and it was a wrenching affair for this country, (I was a kid) and for the men who came back.

    I remember my (Depression era) dad fulminating over the 'radicals' and drug use and general hippy thing, while we watched the scenes of Vietnam on the TV in the evenings. with Walter Cronkite and Nixon in the White House. There were the Black Panthers and Charles Manson and Patty Hurst and new words like 'fragging', and the good Americans with the crew cuts who supported the president and the American institutions, as my dad did when he too was called to serve in the Pacific theater in his day.

    But for a kid, it was all just stuff those crazy adults were up to. Until I came of age in the Seventies, and grew up in a blessed time to be alive. No wars, the music, the freedom and experimentation, the 'free love', the music, a magical time. I'm glad we experienced it, but I'm sad that most people will never know such a serendipitous juxtaposition of the Aquarian stars in perfect alignment. [sorry] Especially as a young man. Even the blacks were happy. It was Motown! Not gangsta thuglife.

    But the wounds of Vietnam were all around. Young men who returned (often in pieces) to a country that often reviled them. There were no ticker-tape parades. The growing black rage, that expected them to fight a different kind of war here in their home towns.

    I knew and know a lot of the guys that went, who prefer not to talk about it. Good guys, but like my dad, never really wanted to talk about the war, I suppose for reasons of their own.

    If we take anything away from Vietnam, I hope it's that we never send young men (and now women) to fight in wars that are of murky justification. All our recent wars have been based entirely on lies, and unlike Vietnam, where there was at least a putative justification for opposing communism, all our recent wars are obviously war crimes. The millions of lives lost and destroyed are a massive karmic debt that somehow the perpetrators will avoid paying.

    Anyways, I'd like to again say a great reed.

    and I enjoyed a lot of the comments

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  84. peterAUS says:
    @jacques sheete
    Priss, that was an excellent article and hedges is mostly correct.

    What grates me about good guys like that is that they constantly mourn the subversion of democracy. Why are they all so hung up on that? Where do they get the idea that the US was ever a democracy or that a democracy has ever occurred, anywhere, for any length of time?

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.

    Where do people get their faith???

    Agree.

    BTW, almost none of those think.
    They just regurgitate the latest fad about the topic.

    With healthy (sic) dose of “virtue signalling”.

    True, every now or then you do stumble across somebody who is willing to think, but even those recoil from…..what’s the world…ah, yes…”violence”. Especially whey you go against that preconception about “war being Hell” they read somewhere.
    I mean, of course it’s Hell for some.
    Its also Heaven for some else. And everything in between.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    Thanks, and I agree.

    “war being Hell” they read somewhere.
    I mean, of course it’s Hell for some.
     
    That was made by some general and most take it in some inane romantic sense, usually meaning something like, "I'm a hero because I fought my way through Hell. Man, am I tough or what?" Instead, the Hell part is rarely, if ever, applied to the victims who were forced to live through the Hell through no fault of their own.

    The whole damned thing is sick.
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  85. @Chris Mallory

    I don’t think Mr. Reed was a soldier in VN, strictly speaking, although seems clear enough he served in some capacity there during the Second Indochina War…likely a stringer journalist/photographer. But he doesn’t actually claim here to be a VN vet himself: other than of the era, place. and time.
     
    To the best of my memory from reading his past work, Reed was a armored landing tractor (not sure of the model) crewman. He did somehow end up with shrapnel in his eyes and spent time in a hospital ward with some tankers who got boiled/steamed when the cherry juice in their tank cooked off.

    Fred Reed was a Marine in Vietnam, but my understanding is that like the great majority was not an “in the bush” grunt.

    The theme of the column is those who were there can do without pious lectures by those who weren’t.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    And vice versa.
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  86. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE, SHUT THE FUCK UP

    That pretty much sums up the feelings of my two closest friends, who were in Afghanistan on the Soviet side.

    Read More
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  87. @jacques sheete
    Priss, that was an excellent article and hedges is mostly correct.

    What grates me about good guys like that is that they constantly mourn the subversion of democracy. Why are they all so hung up on that? Where do they get the idea that the US was ever a democracy or that a democracy has ever occurred, anywhere, for any length of time?

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.

    Where do people get their faith???

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.

    Democracy, or what is presented as democracy, preserves the illusion best. I think it is essential that people believe the government represents and protects their interests. Democracy provides the best illusion that such is taking place. However, beyond such natural cynicism lies the possibility that a government can exist that is not corrupt, and has the best interests of citizens as its goal. Does some form of democracy have a role in that effort? Possibly. At the tribal level, patriarchal government typically coexists with some circumstance of entitled rightful voice by citizens.

    How to translate that into a government that can administer a population of billions is the problem.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    JJS, Thank you sir, and well said.
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  88. @peterAUS

    Just like Korea. Just like Bosnia, El Salvador, and every war since 911.
     
    Getting there.

    So....WW2 WAS O.K.?
    And, how about those before?
    Let's start with Revolutionary War and work our way to Korea.

    So...which ones were justified and which ones were NOT?
    When you are on it, could you please clarify criteria for a war being justified?

    Revolutionary War, yes.
    French Revolution, probably an English (Jewish?) plot.
    American Civil War, the same.
    Philippines (Teddy Roosevelt), mass murder.
    War with Spanish in Cuba, more corporate takeover shite.
    WWI, English plot.
    Spanish Civil War, the right side would have won if not for British and American blockade of food and amunition.
    WWII, read the Englishman David Irving’s three volume ‘Churchill’s War’ (or just watch him speak on youtube).
    As I said above, all lies. The real war is never ending, the war on The People, worldwide. Also, now anyway for sure, Jewish hate wars against Muslims and (the real war) Europeans.

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    As I said above, all lies. The real war is never ending, the war on The People, worldwide.
     
    There you have it. Nothing more need be said. Unfortunately the glory hounds among us will never get it.
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  89. dearieme says:
    @jacques sheete

    What should those of us do who really do sincerely appreciate your service and want to express that appreciation?
     
    Sometimes I ask them why they feel that way and have yet to get much of an answer. Most just shrug and smile.

    If they do answer, (which is exceedingly rare), I state that I served a criminal state and am not a bit proud of it (even though I was clueless at that time that it was corrupt). The answer leaves them speechless though that's not my intent. My intent is to get them to think about what they're saying.

    I highly doubt that any of them ever does think about it. It's not really their fault since they really do not know how to think or even realize that they should question everything. I have corrected that problem in my younger relatives and intend to continue til the dirt's thrown on my curmudgeonly (bleep).

    The whole system is rotten to the core and has been since the beginning. The AmRev was co-opted right out of the box, and I have evidence.

    Here's one tiny bit. Please read it carefully and note that it was written in 1939. The situation, vis a vis freedom is much worse.


    After 1789, John Adams said that, so far from being a democracy of a democratic republic, the political organization of the country was that of "a monarchical republic, or, if you will, a limited monarchy"; the powers of its President were far greater than those of "an avoyer, a consul, a podesta, a doge, a stadtholder; nay, than a king of Poland; nay, than a king of Sparta." If all that was true in 1789 — and it was true — what is to be said of the American State at the present time, after a century and a half of steady centralization and continuous increments of power?

    A.J. Nock, The Criminality of the State, 1939
    [This essay first appeared in The American Mercury in March 1939.] http://mises.org/daily/2352

     

    To answer your question, what I would like them to do is discuss it with me. Never happens.

    Yup. The old question: would you prefer a Crowned Republic (e.g. Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, …) or an Elected Monarchy (US, France, Vatican City, …)?

    Read More
    • Replies: @jacques sheete

    The old question: would you prefer...
     
    Myself, I'd prefer to be left alone, as would probably most folks. It'll never happen as you well know. Thank you for your always excellent comments!
    , @John Jeremiah Smith

    Yup. The old question: would you prefer a Crowned Republic (e.g. Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, …) or an Elected Monarchy (US, France, Vatican City, …)?
     
    Same old answer ... no. Monarchies are for societies composed of primitive savages.
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  90. @peterAUS
    Agree.

    BTW, almost none of those think.
    They just regurgitate the latest fad about the topic.

    With healthy (sic) dose of "virtue signalling".

    True, every now or then you do stumble across somebody who is willing to think, but even those recoil from.....what's the world...ah, yes..."violence". Especially whey you go against that preconception about "war being Hell" they read somewhere.
    I mean, of course it's Hell for some.
    Its also Heaven for some else. And everything in between.

    Thanks, and I agree.

    “war being Hell” they read somewhere.
    I mean, of course it’s Hell for some.

    That was made by some general and most take it in some inane romantic sense, usually meaning something like, “I’m a hero because I fought my way through Hell. Man, am I tough or what?” Instead, the Hell part is rarely, if ever, applied to the victims who were forced to live through the Hell through no fault of their own.

    The whole damned thing is sick.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS
    Well......

    War is a complex human activity.
    Humans are complex creatures.

    The first error in trying to understand war is oversimplification.
    Lazy generalizations.

    I get "intellectually challenged", people with agendas, kids and lazy. Women too.
    Never speak with them about the topic.
    True, sometimes takes a bit of time to recognize them.

    As I said before, "chattering classes" are the loudest talking about the topic.
    People who've been "there" are, most of the time, tight lipped.
    That's why serious conversation about the topic is always.....always......drowned by "chatters".

    I did expect a more...productive.....conversation here, but, obviously......

    Even people who've been "there" could be "intellectually challenged, people with agendas, kids and lazy. Women too.".
    At least they have, sometimes, something of value to add and, most of the time do not spout pure idiocy.

    And, it also depends who the vet is/was.
    Unit...rank, position......character.....education.......
    "Chattering class" likes to lump all them into one group. They, themselves, don't like being lumped with "undesirables" and precariat of course.
    Conscript grunt got all that different from a career soldier, Lt.Col, CO of his own battalion. Just one example.

    Fred touched couple of elements of that complexity in this article.
    I am sure that some vets recognized them and found them so familiar.
    Regardless of war they've been in.

    Here are those I found interesting:

    patronizing stories written by style-section reporters

    I weary of seeing veterans analyzed and diagnosed and explained by people who share nothing with veterans, by people who, one feels intuitively, would regard it as a harrowing experience to be alone in a backyard.

    What we have here, all agree, with omniscience and veiled condescension, is a victim

    a ventilation of pious simplisms,

    I was happy.

    If I try to explain what Vietnam meant to me — I haven’t for years, and never will again — they grow uneasy at my intensity. “My God,” their eyes say, “he sounds as though he liked it over there. Something in the experience clearly snapped an anchoring ligament in his mind and left him with odd cravings, a perverse view of life — nothing dangerous, of course, but… The war did that to them,” they say. “War is hell.”

    But somehow I don’t like hearing pieties about the war from these sleek, wise people who never saw it.

    There were, of course, veterans and veterans. Some hated the war, some didn’t.

    the war was a game with stakes high enough to engage their attention. They liked to play.

    To many of us there, the war was the best time of our lives, almost the only time. We loved it because in those days we were alive, life was intense,

    As nearly as I can tell, jello writers do not remember anything.

    Suddenly the veterans were among soft, proper people who knew nothing of what they had done and what they had seen, and who, truth be told, didn’t much like them.
    Nor did some of us much like the people at home — though it was not at first a conscious distaste.

    We looked around us with new eyes and saw that, in a sense the mousse people could never understand, we had lost even our dignity. I remember a marine corporal at Bethesda Naval Hospital who, while his wounds healed, had to run errands for the nurses, last year’s co-eds. “A hell of a bust,” he said with the military’s sardonic economy of language. “Machine gunner to messenger boy.”
    It wasn’t exactly that we didn’t fit. Rather, we saw what there was to fit with — and recoiled. We sought jobs, but found offices where countless bureaucrats shuffled papers at long rows of desks, like battery hens awaiting the laying urge, their bellies billowing over their belts. Some of us joined them but some, in different ways, fled.

    The jello writers were quickly upon us. We were morose, they said, sullen. We acted strangely at parties, sat silently in corners and watched with noncommittal stares. Mentally, said the fashion experts, we hadn’t made the trip home.
    It didn’t occur to them that we just had nothing to say about jello.

    IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Maybe, just maybe, he had something.
     
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  91. @daniel le mouche
    Revolutionary War, yes.
    French Revolution, probably an English (Jewish?) plot.
    American Civil War, the same.
    Philippines (Teddy Roosevelt), mass murder.
    War with Spanish in Cuba, more corporate takeover shite.
    WWI, English plot.
    Spanish Civil War, the right side would have won if not for British and American blockade of food and amunition.
    WWII, read the Englishman David Irving's three volume 'Churchill's War' (or just watch him speak on youtube).
    As I said above, all lies. The real war is never ending, the war on The People, worldwide. Also, now anyway for sure, Jewish hate wars against Muslims and (the real war) Europeans.

    As I said above, all lies. The real war is never ending, the war on The People, worldwide.

    There you have it. Nothing more need be said. Unfortunately the glory hounds among us will never get it.

    Read More
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  92. @John Jeremiah Smith

    Why do folks think democracy is such a worthy goal? It is, after all, just another highly corruptible form of rule and this is true not only philosophically but historically.
     
    Democracy, or what is presented as democracy, preserves the illusion best. I think it is essential that people believe the government represents and protects their interests. Democracy provides the best illusion that such is taking place. However, beyond such natural cynicism lies the possibility that a government can exist that is not corrupt, and has the best interests of citizens as its goal. Does some form of democracy have a role in that effort? Possibly. At the tribal level, patriarchal government typically coexists with some circumstance of entitled rightful voice by citizens.

    How to translate that into a government that can administer a population of billions is the problem.

    JJS, Thank you sir, and well said.

    Read More
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  93. @dearieme
    Yup. The old question: would you prefer a Crowned Republic (e.g. Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, ...) or an Elected Monarchy (US, France, Vatican City, ...)?

    The old question: would you prefer…

    Myself, I’d prefer to be left alone, as would probably most folks. It’ll never happen as you well know. Thank you for your always excellent comments!

    Read More
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  94. @Carroll Price
    Just think what it must feel like now.

    Just think what it must feel like now.

    You got it.

    Read More
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  95. @dearieme
    Yup. The old question: would you prefer a Crowned Republic (e.g. Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, ...) or an Elected Monarchy (US, France, Vatican City, ...)?

    Yup. The old question: would you prefer a Crowned Republic (e.g. Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, …) or an Elected Monarchy (US, France, Vatican City, …)?

    Same old answer … no. Monarchies are for societies composed of primitive savages.

    Read More
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  96. Great essay Mr. Reed….

    I am reminded of a story a friend told me of when he became aware of what Vietnam really was when he was a kid.

    He was playing with a friend and the guy next door, back from Nam, was mowing the lawn for his parents….the mower ran out of gas….

    My friend, with his friend watched the guy refill the lawn mower and watched him continue to pour after the tank was filled……then he stood away and threw a match and KABOOM~

    The parents of the soldier came running outside all dumbfounded while my friend said that he and his friend looked at one another and knew exactly what was up!

    My friend never joined the jello world….

    Read More
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  97. wayfarer says:
    @Hu Mi Yu

    The jello writers would say we are mad to remember fondly anything about Nixon’s war that Kennedy started.
     
    Thus evading any mention of Eisenhower (who as I said before was divine) and his footstool Lyndon Johnson (who ramped up a few thousand troops to 550,000 when he left office).

    I missed out. I have no sweet memories of cockroaches or prostitutes. What I remember is being drafted and being told that Martin Luther King had been shot while I was in basic training. I was not surprised; I had expected it.

    A few of the new enlisted men were detailed to show a 16 mm film to the officers. It was a boastful exposition about how to carry out a successful coup: the Zapruder film.

    Then there is the memory of all of us restricted to quarters 24/7 for months at a time. We were not allowed to read anything, or even listen to the radio. There is the memory of food that made me ill, and the debilitating drugs our officers slipped into it. There is the memory of the letter they dictated to us to send to our next of kin. Don't date it. Just slip it in the envelope and leave it unsealed. There is the memory of the men I trained with. Sent to the front and shot in the back. They don't remember anything at all.

    [It's very poor commenting practice to just duplicate your remarks from one thread to another.]

    Ho Chi Minh, pardon me, I meant Hu Mi Yu.

    You mentioned in another thread that your pay was eighty-nine bucks a month.

    I don’t care if a pack of Marlboro cigarettes cost a quarter back in the day, and grunts were comped all the $hit-on-a-shingle they could eat.

    We’re talkin’ a serious ripoff, here!

    I’m surprised half the U.S. Army wasn’t going AWOL, buying one-way bus tickets and hopping Greyhounds to the Las Vegas strip, for some R&R.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wayfarer
    I'll be more careful in the future, moderator.

    Not trying to spam.

    It's just that this comment didn't fit in the other thread, it barely fits here.

    Wanted to delete it in the other thread, but couldn't.

    Thanks for giving me a second chance.

    It won't happen again.

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  98. wayfarer says:
    @wayfarer
    [It's very poor commenting practice to just duplicate your remarks from one thread to another.]

    Ho Chi Minh, pardon me, I meant Hu Mi Yu.

    You mentioned in another thread that your pay was eighty-nine bucks a month.

    I don’t care if a pack of Marlboro cigarettes cost a quarter back in the day, and grunts were comped all the $hit-on-a-shingle they could eat.

    We're talkin' a serious ripoff, here!

    I’m surprised half the U.S. Army wasn’t going AWOL, buying one-way bus tickets and hopping Greyhounds to the Las Vegas strip, for some R&R.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZr07AYWLSo

    I’ll be more careful in the future, moderator.

    Not trying to spam.

    It’s just that this comment didn’t fit in the other thread, it barely fits here.

    Wanted to delete it in the other thread, but couldn’t.

    Thanks for giving me a second chance.

    It won’t happen again.

    Read More
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  99. “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used.”

    - Henry Kissinger

    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.”

    - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

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  100. Ghost says:
    @nsa
    Freddie is a typical Vietnam vet i.e. a whining egg sucker living in the past and coasting on government checks. Freddie knew it was all bullshit but went anyways.....lacking the balls to refuse. Tommie the Commie Hayden had the jam to refuse to go and gave the welfare / warfare state the middle finger.....and is 100 times the man Freddie the Fraud will ever be.

    Shut up nsa. You are a nit-wit asshole. Go play in traffic.

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  101. peterAUS says:
    @jacques sheete
    Thanks, and I agree.

    “war being Hell” they read somewhere.
    I mean, of course it’s Hell for some.
     
    That was made by some general and most take it in some inane romantic sense, usually meaning something like, "I'm a hero because I fought my way through Hell. Man, am I tough or what?" Instead, the Hell part is rarely, if ever, applied to the victims who were forced to live through the Hell through no fault of their own.

    The whole damned thing is sick.

    Well……

    War is a complex human activity.
    Humans are complex creatures.

    The first error in trying to understand war is oversimplification.
    Lazy generalizations.

    I get “intellectually challenged”, people with agendas, kids and lazy. Women too.
    Never speak with them about the topic.
    True, sometimes takes a bit of time to recognize them.

    As I said before, “chattering classes” are the loudest talking about the topic.
    People who’ve been “there” are, most of the time, tight lipped.
    That’s why serious conversation about the topic is always…..always……drowned by “chatters”.

    I did expect a more…productive…..conversation here, but, obviously……

    Even people who’ve been “there” could be “intellectually challenged, people with agendas, kids and lazy. Women too.”.
    At least they have, sometimes, something of value to add and, most of the time do not spout pure idiocy.

    And, it also depends who the vet is/was.
    Unit…rank, position……character…..education…….
    “Chattering class” likes to lump all them into one group. They, themselves, don’t like being lumped with “undesirables” and precariat of course.
    Conscript grunt got all that different from a career soldier, Lt.Col, CO of his own battalion. Just one example.

    Fred touched couple of elements of that complexity in this article.
    I am sure that some vets recognized them and found them so familiar.
    Regardless of war they’ve been in.

    Here are those I found interesting:

    patronizing stories written by style-section reporters

    I weary of seeing veterans analyzed and diagnosed and explained by people who share nothing with veterans, by people who, one feels intuitively, would regard it as a harrowing experience to be alone in a backyard.

    What we have here, all agree, with omniscience and veiled condescension, is a victim

    a ventilation of pious simplisms,

    I was happy.

    If I try to explain what Vietnam meant to me — I haven’t for years, and never will again — they grow uneasy at my intensity. “My God,” their eyes say, “he sounds as though he liked it over there. Something in the experience clearly snapped an anchoring ligament in his mind and left him with odd cravings, a perverse view of life — nothing dangerous, of course, but… The war did that to them,” they say. “War is hell.”

    But somehow I don’t like hearing pieties about the war from these sleek, wise people who never saw it.

    There were, of course, veterans and veterans. Some hated the war, some didn’t.

    the war was a game with stakes high enough to engage their attention. They liked to play.

    To many of us there, the war was the best time of our lives, almost the only time. We loved it because in those days we were alive, life was intense,

    As nearly as I can tell, jello writers do not remember anything.

    Suddenly the veterans were among soft, proper people who knew nothing of what they had done and what they had seen, and who, truth be told, didn’t much like them.
    Nor did some of us much like the people at home — though it was not at first a conscious distaste.

    We looked around us with new eyes and saw that, in a sense the mousse people could never understand, we had lost even our dignity. I remember a marine corporal at Bethesda Naval Hospital who, while his wounds healed, had to run errands for the nurses, last year’s co-eds. “A hell of a bust,” he said with the military’s sardonic economy of language. “Machine gunner to messenger boy.”
    It wasn’t exactly that we didn’t fit. Rather, we saw what there was to fit with — and recoiled. We sought jobs, but found offices where countless bureaucrats shuffled papers at long rows of desks, like battery hens awaiting the laying urge, their bellies billowing over their belts. Some of us joined them but some, in different ways, fled.

    The jello writers were quickly upon us. We were morose, they said, sullen. We acted strangely at parties, sat silently in corners and watched with noncommittal stares. Mentally, said the fashion experts, we hadn’t made the trip home.
    It didn’t occur to them that we just had nothing to say about jello.

    IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Maybe, just maybe, he had something.

    Read More
    • Replies: @wayfarer
    Had a “buddy” once, who was quite a bit older than me. Some time ago, we drove AAA tow-trucks together in San Diego, California.

    He was born and raised in Sheridan, Wyoming. A European American kid who grew up with some Native Americans, not too far from the Little Bighorn River. You know, that place where General George Armstrong Custer, made his last stand.

    Taught by Native Americans, he learned to shoot on a level of Alvin York, track and hunt wild animals. He also learned the amazing art of storytelling. Instead of a written language, Native Americans historically relied on verbal language to share their history and customs.

    He enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served (1967/1968) in the Vietnam central highlands with the Big Red One 1st Infantry. When he returned, he had lost interest in guns and hunting, but not in storytelling.

    For many years, I'd listen to his Vietnam stories. Although an ego was never involved, he demanded the respect of a careful listener, or else a story would quickly shut down. Didn't like too many questions, especially lame ones.

    Storytelling enabled him to process his experience, honor his army brothers, and pass the war's knowledge on to another. He had an amazing memory and a mind for detail, his vivid narratives were extremely compelling, more so than any history book or video documentary.

    In the same way that I appreciated his storytelling back then, I appreciate Fred's storytelling today.

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  102. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @David In TN
    Fred Reed was a Marine in Vietnam, but my understanding is that like the great majority was not an "in the bush" grunt.

    The theme of the column is those who were there can do without pious lectures by those who weren't.

    And vice versa.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David In TN
    Those who weren't there have done 90 % of the lecturing.
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  103. Sam J. says:

    To those that say the Vietnam war was a complete waste they are absurd and befit of all reasoning ability. Haven’t you people ever seen a map of Vietnam? Vietnam had one of the best ports in Asia and sits astride the major Asia, Western trade routes. The USSR had over 20,000 nuclear missiles pointed at us. They had guerilla wars all over the place. They were winning. We decided to fight them in Vietnam to slow them down and it worked partially. A lot of the Southeastern countries defeated their Communist guerilla forces while the Vietnam war was going on and now while they aren’t all perfect they beat the reeducation camps of the Commies.

    “…In Viet Nam the North sent 150,000 men south with as much armor as the Wehrmacht had in many WW II engagements. That was in 1973, and of that 150,000 fewer than 50,000 men and no armor returned to the North, at a cost of under 1,000 American casualties. Most would count that an outstanding victory…”, Jerry Pournelle.

    After the Tet offensive the Viet Cong were mostly gone. The attacks were mostly from the North. 1975 North Vietnam attacked and the South fell it was the biggest agglomeration of tanks since WWII and the battle of Kursk.

    The reason the South lost was the Democratic Congress refused to allow Ford to use American air power and Nixon was gone.
    There’s only a few roads leading to the South. They were completely jammed with tanks and troop trucks. It was a complete turkey shoot. Ford was told he would be impeached if he used air power to stop them so the South fell. The Democrats had been saying the war could never be won and by God they were not going to be proven wrong. The Democrats voted a completely inadequate amount of arms,

    “…the Democratic Congress voted our South Vietnamese 20 cartridges and 2 hand grenades per man, but refused naval and air support…”, Jerry Pournelle.

    , the South Vietnamese ran out of ammunition and were beaten. This did not have to happen. With a minimal of air power the North could have been completely routed. Let’s not even mention we could fire battleships off the coast and destroy the whole offensive. It might have set them back so far they would have never tried again.

    The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats. The South had defeated all the guerillas. All they needed was support to hold off the North and the Democrats sold them out. If the South Vietnamese had not fell it’s very likely that the Cambodian Genocide would have never happened.

    To those that were Vietnam vets know that you saved millions and millions of lives from Commie savagery. If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer. The whole South Asia sea would have been under attack. God forbid, and thanks to the Vietnam vets all of Southeast Asia didn’t have to go through what Cambodia did.

    Read More
    • Agree: anarchyst
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer.

    And you know this how? I heard all this BS from the old vets when I worked in defense. They just can't come to terms with the fact that the domino theory was simplistic, stupid, and they fell for it.

    It was a waste because even winning was losing for the average American. He got nothing out of it and didn't even know where the place was.
    , @daniel le mouche
    'The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats.'

    There is one corporate party in America with two right wings (G. Vidal).
    The difference between Democrat and Republican is psy-ops.
    The Cold War was psy-ops.
    There's a good chance the Cambodian Genocide you mention was psy-ops--google Israel Shamir on this and decide for yourself.
    Psy-ops is controlled by intelligence agencies, not the Democratic Party.
    Psy-ops has never been stronger than it is right now. Simply look to the phoney War on Terror, the phoney attacks (especially 911), the phoney War on Drugs run incidentally by the world's largest drug pusher (certainly the largest if considered to work together with Britain).
    All the continuing phoney wars: what that they said about Kaddafi and Libya was true? What of Assad and Syria? What of Saddam and Iraq? What of the Taliban and Afghanistan? What of Osama bin Laden (remember that old dinosaur?)? Well nigh nothing! Now there's Kim in North Korea of course, Maduro in Venezuela. Believe nothing, you are incessantly being lied to. It is abuse--from cradle to grave.

    Fifty thousand US soldiers died for nothing. Much more importantly, they killed several million Vietnamese, carpet bombing the country in the process, and extensively using such chemical weapons as Agent Orange and Napalm. Why defend that?

    , @nsa
    Save the revisionist bloviating for your fellow senile drunks in the VFW lounge. The US military completely collapsed.....fragging, rampant drug usage, rock bottom morale, chain of command breakdown, desertion, venereal disease, poorly trained officers, atrocities, and mainly an unwillingness to fight. And at least get the history right.....the US overthrew Sihanouk and supported the Khmer Rouge commies, who were eventually squashed by the Vietnamese.
    , @Anne Frank
    Sam J is a bloviating coward who was too ignorant or too murderous to refuse to go 7000 miles from his home to murder the people of Vietnam in their's.
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  104. wayfarer says:
    @peterAUS
    Well......

    War is a complex human activity.
    Humans are complex creatures.

    The first error in trying to understand war is oversimplification.
    Lazy generalizations.

    I get "intellectually challenged", people with agendas, kids and lazy. Women too.
    Never speak with them about the topic.
    True, sometimes takes a bit of time to recognize them.

    As I said before, "chattering classes" are the loudest talking about the topic.
    People who've been "there" are, most of the time, tight lipped.
    That's why serious conversation about the topic is always.....always......drowned by "chatters".

    I did expect a more...productive.....conversation here, but, obviously......

    Even people who've been "there" could be "intellectually challenged, people with agendas, kids and lazy. Women too.".
    At least they have, sometimes, something of value to add and, most of the time do not spout pure idiocy.

    And, it also depends who the vet is/was.
    Unit...rank, position......character.....education.......
    "Chattering class" likes to lump all them into one group. They, themselves, don't like being lumped with "undesirables" and precariat of course.
    Conscript grunt got all that different from a career soldier, Lt.Col, CO of his own battalion. Just one example.

    Fred touched couple of elements of that complexity in this article.
    I am sure that some vets recognized them and found them so familiar.
    Regardless of war they've been in.

    Here are those I found interesting:

    patronizing stories written by style-section reporters

    I weary of seeing veterans analyzed and diagnosed and explained by people who share nothing with veterans, by people who, one feels intuitively, would regard it as a harrowing experience to be alone in a backyard.

    What we have here, all agree, with omniscience and veiled condescension, is a victim

    a ventilation of pious simplisms,

    I was happy.

    If I try to explain what Vietnam meant to me — I haven’t for years, and never will again — they grow uneasy at my intensity. “My God,” their eyes say, “he sounds as though he liked it over there. Something in the experience clearly snapped an anchoring ligament in his mind and left him with odd cravings, a perverse view of life — nothing dangerous, of course, but… The war did that to them,” they say. “War is hell.”

    But somehow I don’t like hearing pieties about the war from these sleek, wise people who never saw it.

    There were, of course, veterans and veterans. Some hated the war, some didn’t.

    the war was a game with stakes high enough to engage their attention. They liked to play.

    To many of us there, the war was the best time of our lives, almost the only time. We loved it because in those days we were alive, life was intense,

    As nearly as I can tell, jello writers do not remember anything.

    Suddenly the veterans were among soft, proper people who knew nothing of what they had done and what they had seen, and who, truth be told, didn’t much like them.
    Nor did some of us much like the people at home — though it was not at first a conscious distaste.

    We looked around us with new eyes and saw that, in a sense the mousse people could never understand, we had lost even our dignity. I remember a marine corporal at Bethesda Naval Hospital who, while his wounds healed, had to run errands for the nurses, last year’s co-eds. “A hell of a bust,” he said with the military’s sardonic economy of language. “Machine gunner to messenger boy.”
    It wasn’t exactly that we didn’t fit. Rather, we saw what there was to fit with — and recoiled. We sought jobs, but found offices where countless bureaucrats shuffled papers at long rows of desks, like battery hens awaiting the laying urge, their bellies billowing over their belts. Some of us joined them but some, in different ways, fled.

    The jello writers were quickly upon us. We were morose, they said, sullen. We acted strangely at parties, sat silently in corners and watched with noncommittal stares. Mentally, said the fashion experts, we hadn’t made the trip home.
    It didn’t occur to them that we just had nothing to say about jello.

    IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN THERE, SHUT THE FUCK UP. Maybe, just maybe, he had something.
     

    Had a “buddy” once, who was quite a bit older than me. Some time ago, we drove AAA tow-trucks together in San Diego, California.

    He was born and raised in Sheridan, Wyoming. A European American kid who grew up with some Native Americans, not too far from the Little Bighorn River. You know, that place where General George Armstrong Custer, made his last stand.

    Taught by Native Americans, he learned to shoot on a level of Alvin York, track and hunt wild animals. He also learned the amazing art of storytelling. Instead of a written language, Native Americans historically relied on verbal language to share their history and customs.

    He enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served (1967/1968) in the Vietnam central highlands with the Big Red One 1st Infantry. When he returned, he had lost interest in guns and hunting, but not in storytelling.

    For many years, I’d listen to his Vietnam stories. Although an ego was never involved, he demanded the respect of a careful listener, or else a story would quickly shut down. Didn’t like too many questions, especially lame ones.

    Storytelling enabled him to process his experience, honor his army brothers, and pass the war’s knowledge on to another. He had an amazing memory and a mind for detail, his vivid narratives were extremely compelling, more so than any history book or video documentary.

    In the same way that I appreciated his storytelling back then, I appreciate Fred’s storytelling today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    he demanded the respect of a careful listener, or else a story would quickly shut down. Didn’t like too many questions, especially lame ones.
     
    Can relate.

    his vivid narratives were extremely compelling, more so than any history book or video documentary.
     
    Well, he was the man on the ground and, more importantly, didn't need to, literally, sell stories to audience.

    There is a thing with vets passing their perception of reality to people.

    In your case you were lucky.
    That's how vets, most of the time, speak with people they care for (as you notice they do demand respect back).

    But, in order to, say, "pass" that to the wider audience, no....just no.
    Especially no today.

    The best books about the war, IMHO (before I got into mine) were written just after WW2.
    When my thing started I was able to recognize elements from just 4 books in my....reality.
    And had read tons of them. Including obligatory by curriculum.
    Won't even mention movies/TV.

    As soon as a book, or God forbids, movie should go to wider public, forget about reality.
    Even if a vet says what he perceived as truth, no way it will pass through editing, management, sales and marketing.
    Because it has to be, ultimately, accepted by "chattering classes". Which are both scared of "violence" and despise "warriors". I mean....they pay for that.......
    So, they have to be catered for. Hence, no reality. Or, better, "reality" which is accepted by "chattering classes".

    It's sad (and Fred alluded here a bit at that) how vets, by doing that, actually lose their dignity.
    They, in essence, prostitute themselves to........"chattering classes".

    Of course, they have to pay their bills.

    Still, it's sort of.....sad, a bit demeaning and even bizarre (for a lack of better word).
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  105. @Anon
    And vice versa.

    Those who weren’t there have done 90 % of the lecturing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Maybe, but at least 90% of the remaining 10% is still an awful lot of hot air.
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  106. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @David In TN
    Those who weren't there have done 90 % of the lecturing.

    Maybe, but at least 90% of the remaining 10% is still an awful lot of hot air.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David In TN
    The 90 % already used up most of the hot air available and a good many of the 10 % are phonies who never set foot in Vietnam themselves.
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  107. MarkinLA says:
    @Sam J.
    To those that say the Vietnam war was a complete waste they are absurd and befit of all reasoning ability. Haven't you people ever seen a map of Vietnam? Vietnam had one of the best ports in Asia and sits astride the major Asia, Western trade routes. The USSR had over 20,000 nuclear missiles pointed at us. They had guerilla wars all over the place. They were winning. We decided to fight them in Vietnam to slow them down and it worked partially. A lot of the Southeastern countries defeated their Communist guerilla forces while the Vietnam war was going on and now while they aren't all perfect they beat the reeducation camps of the Commies.


    "...In Viet Nam the North sent 150,000 men south with as much armor as the Wehrmacht had in many WW II engagements. That was in 1973, and of that 150,000 fewer than 50,000 men and no armor returned to the North, at a cost of under 1,000 American casualties. Most would count that an outstanding victory...", Jerry Pournelle.

    After the Tet offensive the Viet Cong were mostly gone. The attacks were mostly from the North. 1975 North Vietnam attacked and the South fell it was the biggest agglomeration of tanks since WWII and the battle of Kursk.

    The reason the South lost was the Democratic Congress refused to allow Ford to use American air power and Nixon was gone.
    There's only a few roads leading to the South. They were completely jammed with tanks and troop trucks. It was a complete turkey shoot. Ford was told he would be impeached if he used air power to stop them so the South fell. The Democrats had been saying the war could never be won and by God they were not going to be proven wrong. The Democrats voted a completely inadequate amount of arms,

    "...the Democratic Congress voted our South Vietnamese 20 cartridges and 2 hand grenades per man, but refused naval and air support...", Jerry Pournelle.

    , the South Vietnamese ran out of ammunition and were beaten. This did not have to happen. With a minimal of air power the North could have been completely routed. Let's not even mention we could fire battleships off the coast and destroy the whole offensive. It might have set them back so far they would have never tried again.

    The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats. The South had defeated all the guerillas. All they needed was support to hold off the North and the Democrats sold them out. If the South Vietnamese had not fell it's very likely that the Cambodian Genocide would have never happened.

    To those that were Vietnam vets know that you saved millions and millions of lives from Commie savagery. If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer. The whole South Asia sea would have been under attack. God forbid, and thanks to the Vietnam vets all of Southeast Asia didn't have to go through what Cambodia did.

    If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer.

    And you know this how? I heard all this BS from the old vets when I worked in defense. They just can’t come to terms with the fact that the domino theory was simplistic, stupid, and they fell for it.

    It was a waste because even winning was losing for the average American. He got nothing out of it and didn’t even know where the place was.

    Read More
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  108. @Anon
    Maybe, but at least 90% of the remaining 10% is still an awful lot of hot air.

    The 90 % already used up most of the hot air available and a good many of the 10 % are phonies who never set foot in Vietnam themselves.

    Read More
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  109. @Sam J.
    To those that say the Vietnam war was a complete waste they are absurd and befit of all reasoning ability. Haven't you people ever seen a map of Vietnam? Vietnam had one of the best ports in Asia and sits astride the major Asia, Western trade routes. The USSR had over 20,000 nuclear missiles pointed at us. They had guerilla wars all over the place. They were winning. We decided to fight them in Vietnam to slow them down and it worked partially. A lot of the Southeastern countries defeated their Communist guerilla forces while the Vietnam war was going on and now while they aren't all perfect they beat the reeducation camps of the Commies.


    "...In Viet Nam the North sent 150,000 men south with as much armor as the Wehrmacht had in many WW II engagements. That was in 1973, and of that 150,000 fewer than 50,000 men and no armor returned to the North, at a cost of under 1,000 American casualties. Most would count that an outstanding victory...", Jerry Pournelle.

    After the Tet offensive the Viet Cong were mostly gone. The attacks were mostly from the North. 1975 North Vietnam attacked and the South fell it was the biggest agglomeration of tanks since WWII and the battle of Kursk.

    The reason the South lost was the Democratic Congress refused to allow Ford to use American air power and Nixon was gone.
    There's only a few roads leading to the South. They were completely jammed with tanks and troop trucks. It was a complete turkey shoot. Ford was told he would be impeached if he used air power to stop them so the South fell. The Democrats had been saying the war could never be won and by God they were not going to be proven wrong. The Democrats voted a completely inadequate amount of arms,

    "...the Democratic Congress voted our South Vietnamese 20 cartridges and 2 hand grenades per man, but refused naval and air support...", Jerry Pournelle.

    , the South Vietnamese ran out of ammunition and were beaten. This did not have to happen. With a minimal of air power the North could have been completely routed. Let's not even mention we could fire battleships off the coast and destroy the whole offensive. It might have set them back so far they would have never tried again.

    The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats. The South had defeated all the guerillas. All they needed was support to hold off the North and the Democrats sold them out. If the South Vietnamese had not fell it's very likely that the Cambodian Genocide would have never happened.

    To those that were Vietnam vets know that you saved millions and millions of lives from Commie savagery. If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer. The whole South Asia sea would have been under attack. God forbid, and thanks to the Vietnam vets all of Southeast Asia didn't have to go through what Cambodia did.

    ‘The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats.’

    There is one corporate party in America with two right wings (G. Vidal).
    The difference between Democrat and Republican is psy-ops.
    The Cold War was psy-ops.
    There’s a good chance the Cambodian Genocide you mention was psy-ops–google Israel Shamir on this and decide for yourself.
    Psy-ops is controlled by intelligence agencies, not the Democratic Party.
    Psy-ops has never been stronger than it is right now. Simply look to the phoney War on Terror, the phoney attacks (especially 911), the phoney War on Drugs run incidentally by the world’s largest drug pusher (certainly the largest if considered to work together with Britain).
    All the continuing phoney wars: what that they said about Kaddafi and Libya was true? What of Assad and Syria? What of Saddam and Iraq? What of the Taliban and Afghanistan? What of Osama bin Laden (remember that old dinosaur?)? Well nigh nothing! Now there’s Kim in North Korea of course, Maduro in Venezuela. Believe nothing, you are incessantly being lied to. It is abuse–from cradle to grave.

    Fifty thousand US soldiers died for nothing. Much more importantly, they killed several million Vietnamese, carpet bombing the country in the process, and extensively using such chemical weapons as Agent Orange and Napalm. Why defend that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @L.K
    Great posts, Daniel.

    However, one should entertain no hopes of getting such basic notions across to biased fools who can only think in terms of this idiotic democ-rats( "commies" in the eyes of these idiots) vs republican binary bs. Not to mention the brain dead ultra nationalist types, the 'usa, usa' types... and the little warmongering internet trolls.
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  110. L.K says:
    @daniel le mouche
    'The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats.'

    There is one corporate party in America with two right wings (G. Vidal).
    The difference between Democrat and Republican is psy-ops.
    The Cold War was psy-ops.
    There's a good chance the Cambodian Genocide you mention was psy-ops--google Israel Shamir on this and decide for yourself.
    Psy-ops is controlled by intelligence agencies, not the Democratic Party.
    Psy-ops has never been stronger than it is right now. Simply look to the phoney War on Terror, the phoney attacks (especially 911), the phoney War on Drugs run incidentally by the world's largest drug pusher (certainly the largest if considered to work together with Britain).
    All the continuing phoney wars: what that they said about Kaddafi and Libya was true? What of Assad and Syria? What of Saddam and Iraq? What of the Taliban and Afghanistan? What of Osama bin Laden (remember that old dinosaur?)? Well nigh nothing! Now there's Kim in North Korea of course, Maduro in Venezuela. Believe nothing, you are incessantly being lied to. It is abuse--from cradle to grave.

    Fifty thousand US soldiers died for nothing. Much more importantly, they killed several million Vietnamese, carpet bombing the country in the process, and extensively using such chemical weapons as Agent Orange and Napalm. Why defend that?

    Great posts, Daniel.

    However, one should entertain no hopes of getting such basic notions across to biased fools who can only think in terms of this idiotic democ-rats( “commies” in the eyes of these idiots) vs republican binary bs. Not to mention the brain dead ultra nationalist types, the ‘usa, usa’ types… and the little warmongering internet trolls.

    Read More
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  111. Thank you my friend, and Jacques as well. Cheers, at least some can cut back the layers upon layers of bullshit accumulated, scientifically–we’re constantly being studied–over a lifetime of Kulture: Hollywood (movies, tube and, er, music), New York and DC-based Media including internet (ok, Silicon Valley and LA there as well), and school (some now start nursery at 2 months) up through our abominations of places of Higher Learning. It’s no easy task, and no wonder few ever fully accomplish it. Master’s always a step behind, taking cutting edge thought and co-opting it, e.g. ‘fake news’. But the Agenda and the Narrative come pre-emptively from the highest places, State Department, CIA, Pentagon, and who knows what other secret agencies. You. Will. Not. Change. Shit. Sorry, very distracted at moment and must sign off.

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  112. peterAUS says:
    @wayfarer
    Had a “buddy” once, who was quite a bit older than me. Some time ago, we drove AAA tow-trucks together in San Diego, California.

    He was born and raised in Sheridan, Wyoming. A European American kid who grew up with some Native Americans, not too far from the Little Bighorn River. You know, that place where General George Armstrong Custer, made his last stand.

    Taught by Native Americans, he learned to shoot on a level of Alvin York, track and hunt wild animals. He also learned the amazing art of storytelling. Instead of a written language, Native Americans historically relied on verbal language to share their history and customs.

    He enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served (1967/1968) in the Vietnam central highlands with the Big Red One 1st Infantry. When he returned, he had lost interest in guns and hunting, but not in storytelling.

    For many years, I'd listen to his Vietnam stories. Although an ego was never involved, he demanded the respect of a careful listener, or else a story would quickly shut down. Didn't like too many questions, especially lame ones.

    Storytelling enabled him to process his experience, honor his army brothers, and pass the war's knowledge on to another. He had an amazing memory and a mind for detail, his vivid narratives were extremely compelling, more so than any history book or video documentary.

    In the same way that I appreciated his storytelling back then, I appreciate Fred's storytelling today.

    he demanded the respect of a careful listener, or else a story would quickly shut down. Didn’t like too many questions, especially lame ones.

    Can relate.

    his vivid narratives were extremely compelling, more so than any history book or video documentary.

    Well, he was the man on the ground and, more importantly, didn’t need to, literally, sell stories to audience.

    There is a thing with vets passing their perception of reality to people.

    In your case you were lucky.
    That’s how vets, most of the time, speak with people they care for (as you notice they do demand respect back).

    But, in order to, say, “pass” that to the wider audience, no….just no.
    Especially no today.

    The best books about the war, IMHO (before I got into mine) were written just after WW2.
    When my thing started I was able to recognize elements from just 4 books in my….reality.
    And had read tons of them. Including obligatory by curriculum.
    Won’t even mention movies/TV.

    As soon as a book, or God forbids, movie should go to wider public, forget about reality.
    Even if a vet says what he perceived as truth, no way it will pass through editing, management, sales and marketing.
    Because it has to be, ultimately, accepted by “chattering classes”. Which are both scared of “violence” and despise “warriors”. I mean….they pay for that…….
    So, they have to be catered for. Hence, no reality. Or, better, “reality” which is accepted by “chattering classes”.

    It’s sad (and Fred alluded here a bit at that) how vets, by doing that, actually lose their dignity.
    They, in essence, prostitute themselves to……..”chattering classes”.

    Of course, they have to pay their bills.

    Still, it’s sort of…..sad, a bit demeaning and even bizarre (for a lack of better word).

    Read More
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  113. I sent some .223 ballistics info to PCR that tends to contradict the expanding zone-of-conspiracy theory.

    Let’s see what happens. I’m just curious.

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  114. nsa says:
    @Sam J.
    To those that say the Vietnam war was a complete waste they are absurd and befit of all reasoning ability. Haven't you people ever seen a map of Vietnam? Vietnam had one of the best ports in Asia and sits astride the major Asia, Western trade routes. The USSR had over 20,000 nuclear missiles pointed at us. They had guerilla wars all over the place. They were winning. We decided to fight them in Vietnam to slow them down and it worked partially. A lot of the Southeastern countries defeated their Communist guerilla forces while the Vietnam war was going on and now while they aren't all perfect they beat the reeducation camps of the Commies.


    "...In Viet Nam the North sent 150,000 men south with as much armor as the Wehrmacht had in many WW II engagements. That was in 1973, and of that 150,000 fewer than 50,000 men and no armor returned to the North, at a cost of under 1,000 American casualties. Most would count that an outstanding victory...", Jerry Pournelle.

    After the Tet offensive the Viet Cong were mostly gone. The attacks were mostly from the North. 1975 North Vietnam attacked and the South fell it was the biggest agglomeration of tanks since WWII and the battle of Kursk.

    The reason the South lost was the Democratic Congress refused to allow Ford to use American air power and Nixon was gone.
    There's only a few roads leading to the South. They were completely jammed with tanks and troop trucks. It was a complete turkey shoot. Ford was told he would be impeached if he used air power to stop them so the South fell. The Democrats had been saying the war could never be won and by God they were not going to be proven wrong. The Democrats voted a completely inadequate amount of arms,

    "...the Democratic Congress voted our South Vietnamese 20 cartridges and 2 hand grenades per man, but refused naval and air support...", Jerry Pournelle.

    , the South Vietnamese ran out of ammunition and were beaten. This did not have to happen. With a minimal of air power the North could have been completely routed. Let's not even mention we could fire battleships off the coast and destroy the whole offensive. It might have set them back so far they would have never tried again.

    The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats. The South had defeated all the guerillas. All they needed was support to hold off the North and the Democrats sold them out. If the South Vietnamese had not fell it's very likely that the Cambodian Genocide would have never happened.

    To those that were Vietnam vets know that you saved millions and millions of lives from Commie savagery. If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer. The whole South Asia sea would have been under attack. God forbid, and thanks to the Vietnam vets all of Southeast Asia didn't have to go through what Cambodia did.

    Save the revisionist bloviating for your fellow senile drunks in the VFW lounge. The US military completely collapsed…..fragging, rampant drug usage, rock bottom morale, chain of command breakdown, desertion, venereal disease, poorly trained officers, atrocities, and mainly an unwillingness to fight. And at least get the history right…..the US overthrew Sihanouk and supported the Khmer Rouge commies, who were eventually squashed by the Vietnamese.

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    • Agree: Carroll Price
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  115. Sam McGowan says: • Website

    I was in and/or involved in Vietnam continuously from May 1965 to August 1970. I supported air strikes in North Vietnam and Laos and hauled trash and people all over South Vietnam. I knew people who were shot down but no one who was really close to me. Yes, Vietnam was the best years of my life. Those who weren’t there have no clue what it was really like. If I could go back to those times, I’d do it all over again.

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  116. Rurik says:
    @Carroll Price
    Just think what it must feel like now.

    Just think what it must feel like now.

    bitter, I’m sure Carroll

    some excellent comments on this thread

    setting aside the morality of the war, a lot of young guys were drafted over there or went for their own reasons.. and it was a wrenching affair for this country, (I was a kid) and for the men who came back.

    I remember my (Depression era) dad fulminating over the ‘radicals’ and drug use and general hippy thing, while we watched the scenes of Vietnam on the TV in the evenings. with Walter Cronkite and Nixon in the White House. There were the Black Panthers and Charles Manson and Patty Hurst and new words like ‘fragging’, and the good Americans with the crew cuts who supported the president and the American institutions, as my dad did when he too was called to serve in the Pacific theater in his day.

    But for a kid, it was all just stuff those crazy adults were up to. Until I came of age in the Seventies, and grew up in a blessed time to be alive. No wars, the music, the freedom and experimentation, the ‘free love’, the music, a magical time. I’m glad we experienced it, but I’m sad that most people will never know such a serendipitous juxtaposition of the Aquarian stars in perfect alignment. [sorry] Especially as a young man. Even the blacks were happy. It was Motown! Not gangsta thuglife.

    But the wounds of Vietnam were all around. Young men who returned (often in pieces) to a country that often reviled them. There were no ticker-tape parades. The growing black rage, that expected them to fight a different kind of war here in their home towns.

    I knew and know a lot of the guys that went, who prefer not to talk about it. Good guys, but like my dad, never really wanted to talk about the war, I suppose for reasons of their own.

    If we take anything away from Vietnam, I hope it’s that we never send young men (and now women) to fight in wars that are of murky justification. All our recent wars have been based entirely on lies, and unlike Vietnam, where there was at least a putative justification for opposing communism, all our recent wars are obviously war crimes. The millions of lives lost and destroyed are a massive karmic debt that somehow the perpetrators will avoid paying.

    Anyways, I’d like to again say a great reed.

    and I enjoyed a lot of the comments

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  117. peterAUS says:

    Probably related to the article.

    Job interview(s) in “Civy Street”.

    You go through loops, of course. Third loop is actually a hiring manager. The easy one. Problem are those first two.
    First is mid twenties girl from HR. To assess your “fit” in the “company culture”.
    Question:”what was the most difficult decision you had to make in your life?”.
    And you just look at her. And, of course, come up with a proper, well rehearsed answer.
    Question:”how well do you work under pressure?”
    And you look at her, thinking “pressure …HERE?!”. And also, fast, come up with a well rehearsed answer.
    Play the girl and try to play the game.
    Through all the hoops.

    Working in “normal life”.
    Performance reviews. By “corporate types”.
    You look at him/her and listen how well you kept to timelines, deadlines, TEAMWORK, objectives, goals…..They give you advice about all that.Even about life in general.
    And you do your best to keep your “mask” on.
    Then they ask you how you see them. You remember your superiors THEN and look at these….creatures….now.
    And you really, really try hard to keep that “mask” on.

    Sometimes, just for a fun of it you let the “mask” slip, just a little bit, and watch them squirm.

    But, at the end of the day, it is their game, “proper/normal” life, and you have to fit.
    We all have to pay our taxes.

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  118. @Sam J.
    To those that say the Vietnam war was a complete waste they are absurd and befit of all reasoning ability. Haven't you people ever seen a map of Vietnam? Vietnam had one of the best ports in Asia and sits astride the major Asia, Western trade routes. The USSR had over 20,000 nuclear missiles pointed at us. They had guerilla wars all over the place. They were winning. We decided to fight them in Vietnam to slow them down and it worked partially. A lot of the Southeastern countries defeated their Communist guerilla forces while the Vietnam war was going on and now while they aren't all perfect they beat the reeducation camps of the Commies.


    "...In Viet Nam the North sent 150,000 men south with as much armor as the Wehrmacht had in many WW II engagements. That was in 1973, and of that 150,000 fewer than 50,000 men and no armor returned to the North, at a cost of under 1,000 American casualties. Most would count that an outstanding victory...", Jerry Pournelle.

    After the Tet offensive the Viet Cong were mostly gone. The attacks were mostly from the North. 1975 North Vietnam attacked and the South fell it was the biggest agglomeration of tanks since WWII and the battle of Kursk.

    The reason the South lost was the Democratic Congress refused to allow Ford to use American air power and Nixon was gone.
    There's only a few roads leading to the South. They were completely jammed with tanks and troop trucks. It was a complete turkey shoot. Ford was told he would be impeached if he used air power to stop them so the South fell. The Democrats had been saying the war could never be won and by God they were not going to be proven wrong. The Democrats voted a completely inadequate amount of arms,

    "...the Democratic Congress voted our South Vietnamese 20 cartridges and 2 hand grenades per man, but refused naval and air support...", Jerry Pournelle.

    , the South Vietnamese ran out of ammunition and were beaten. This did not have to happen. With a minimal of air power the North could have been completely routed. Let's not even mention we could fire battleships off the coast and destroy the whole offensive. It might have set them back so far they would have never tried again.

    The idea that the Vietnam vets died for nothing is a huge psyops by the Democrats. The South had defeated all the guerillas. All they needed was support to hold off the North and the Democrats sold them out. If the South Vietnamese had not fell it's very likely that the Cambodian Genocide would have never happened.

    To those that were Vietnam vets know that you saved millions and millions of lives from Commie savagery. If they would have overrun Vietnam quickly think of all the other countries they would have moved quickly to conquer. The whole South Asia sea would have been under attack. God forbid, and thanks to the Vietnam vets all of Southeast Asia didn't have to go through what Cambodia did.

    Sam J is a bloviating coward who was too ignorant or too murderous to refuse to go 7000 miles from his home to murder the people of Vietnam in their’s.

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