For more than 40 years now I have listened with a certain level of bemusement as people in high and distant places commented on what happened in Vietnam, why we – meaning the military – "lost" and what it is that America's Vietnam veterans "need."
I have watched as the official take on the veteran demographic shifted from "saviors of our country" to poor, disaffected, mentally deranged, deficient individuals who were unalterably diminished due to our service, particularly our Vietnam service. Remember the late '70s and the Walking Time Bomb label?
That the official version of veterans is totally off the mark goes without saying – every legitimate survey shows that we are more stable, more productive, and more capable of dealing with the inconsistencies of humanity that our non-veteran counterparts. We were the best educated generation of veterans ever to go to war, two-thirds of the men who served were volunteers – as opposed to one-third of World War II veterans – and the death rate in combat was not disproportionate toward the poor and minorities, but rather was a mirror image of society as it existed in the 1960s and 1970s.
Decades after the slaughter of millions of Southeast Asians by communist forces in the mid- to late 1970s, there still are many Americans who have no idea of what really caused that debacle – meaning mentally and morally deficient American politicians and bureaucrats.
And unfortunately, now, in 2012, in Afghanistan, where often the only indication we have that a war is in progress is an occasional death notice – officially referred to as the death of a NATO serviceman or woman even when they are Americans – we are on the cusp of creating another generation of Veterans who will be tarred with the same brush.
In Vietnam not only did American forces win every major battle in which we fought, but our South Vietnamese counterparts were successful in defending their country against a vicious and overwhelming invasion by northern communists in 1972 – with the help of our advisers and air power. The communists sent 250,000 troops into South Vietnam and after months of bitter fighting and seesaw battles the final tally was 150,000 communists killed, half of all their artillery and armor destroyed, and the communist's number one national hero Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, who defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu, fired and placed under house arrest where he stayed until 1975.
This isn't just my viewpoint, especially the part about the US winning every major battle. Check this out:
Then with an unprecedented success in South Vietnam's immediate history the American Congress voted to accept the lopsided – in favor of the communists – Paris Peace Accords followed by passage of the Case-Church Resolution which cut off all aid – military, economic and humanitarian - to South Vietnam. Two years later, the north invaded again, and left to fend for itself, running out of ammo and bandages, the south fell.
For the next decade our former allies were imprisoned, tortured, forced out into the South China Sea, and butchered by the millions, while America's Vietnam veterans were labeled by the politicians and media alike as the primary cause for this travesty. Do you know the excuse America's politicians and bureaucrats used to justify the slaughter of millions of people?
They said the government of South Vietnam was corrupt! Yeah, our government said that! Can you believe it?
Know one of the major excuses America's politicians and bureaucrats are using to justify leaving Afghanistan before the job is finished, despite the overwhelming successes of our military? That the government of President Hamid Karzai is corrupt! Yeah, our government is saying that! Can you believe it?
So I guess if he is, then it comes down to a matter of degrees. Is Karzai more corrupt than the Obama Administration and Congress? How do you tell? Is it a matter of raw dollars or a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product?
Meanwhile, Americans are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, sometimes at the hands of the very people we are supposed to be protecting, all because the terrorists are fighting for an extremist form of a religion that calls for them to slay "infidels" wherever and whenever they can. And in the meantime our troops are performing magnificently in the field and are trying to put a sufficient beating on the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other versions of this religious terrorism so they can't reestablish themselves and put another hit on America and other allied countries.
This mind you with unprecedented Rules of Engagement hanging over their heads, and stupid politicians and bureaucrats making up the rules as they go, from back in their cushy offices, in between cocktail parties and urgent appointments with international level hookers – which means they look better and cost a lot more than run-of-the-mill hookers, but nonetheless are hookers.
The media, meanwhile, which frankly is a sad and unfunny joke when it comes to reporting on matters such as this, is saying we might just as well quit Afghanistan anyway because Americans are becoming war weary!
War weary Americans? Just how many Americans have been to Afghanistan to fight against the extremists and terrorists? One percent of the population? That would be more than 3 million people and I doubt that we have sent that many over there to fight.
How many Americans have fought in any war? I'll answer for you. Roughly 7 percent of the population. Excuse me, that's how many veterans there are, but not all veterans actually go to the war zone and engage in combat.
In fact, when you talk about people who took up arms and did the fighting the percent is miniscule compared to the overall veteran population not to mention the overall US population.
So exactly how did way more than 90 percent of the American population get war weary when they didn't leave home, didn't go to a distant land, didn't get shot at, didn't see anyone die, didn't put themselves in danger, and in fact, other than having to think for themselves in an economic recession, weren't inconvenienced in anyway.
War weary Americans?
Probably, but consider how most Americans will feel when we leave Afghanistan with the job unfinished, not because of any failure of our military – just as in Vietnam – but because of feckless politicians and a media that would rather cover internal violence in Syria than the potential resurgence of the terrorist network that attacked us on 9-11?
How weary will most Americans be if, within the next decade, we are hit again by the very same forces that our politicians – and particularly the Obama Administration – said were vanquished and neutralized, never to return? Oh, I bet we'll be weary, but I'll bet that most Americans will want heads to roll if we get nailed by a "dirty" nuclear device or a biological warfare weapon that unleashes diseases than can sicken or kill hundreds of thousands.
Then maybe we'll really be war weary. But then, the only alternative will be to surrender and commit our children's children's children to an eternity of slavery. How weary of that crap do you think our offspring will have to be before someone get's off their dead rear end and does something about it?
Or will the media and another generation of politicians and bureaucrats blame the military again and say it was all their fault? They'll get away with it too, just like they did between the 1960s and now because so few people have actually been to Afghanistan and our military is not allowed to speak out.
I can tell you two things that today's veterans want that are exactly what my generation wanted - Victory and respect. With the first comes the second. Go to every military installation that flies the American flag and tell the people stationed there that the United States is going to unleash the full force of its military power against any enemies anywhere in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and associated countries for one full year or until all terrorists are dead and see what happens.
I bet you'll see a massive surge in volunteers to take part, and the phrase "war weary" will be relegated to the junk pile of populist terminology right alongside "bee's knees" and "Oh you kid!"
Sunday, May 27, 2012