PHOTO: frame:BOYS WHO SAID NO / helicopter:MIKE HASTIE
On the short roof outside the bedroom window, two black vultures sit, staring in. They have come to remind me of something. I put my book down and peer back at these strange looking creatures. The book: Our War: What We Did in Vietnam And What It Did to Us by David Harris. I had read it when it was first published in 1996 and it has stuck with me, as has the utterly savage U.S. war against Vietnam that killed so many millions, what the Vietnamese call The American War.
I am of the same generation as Harris, the courageous draft resister and anti-war campaigner who died on February 6. Like him, many of us who were of draft age then have never been able to extricate the horror of that war from our minds. Most, I suppose, but surely not those who went to Vietnam to fight, just moved on and allowed the war to disappear from their consciousness as they perhaps tried to think of it as a “mistake” and to live as if all the constant American wars since weren’t happening. As for the young, the war against Vietnam is ancient history, and if they learned anything about it in school, it was erroneous for sure, a continuation of the lie.
But it was no mistake; it was an intentional genocidal war waged to torture, kill, and maim as many Vietnamese as possible and to use drafted (enslaved) American boys to do the killing and suffer the consequences. It’s Phoenix Program, the CIA’s assassination and torture operation, became the template for Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA black sites, hybrid wars, terrorist actions, etc. up to today. Harris writes:
[that] . . . . “calling the war a mistake is the fundamental equivalent of calling water wet or dirt dirty. . . . Let us not lose sight of what really happened. In this particular ‘mistake,’ at least 3 million people died, only 58,000 of whom were Americans. These 3 million people died crushed in the mud, riddled with shrapnel, hurled out of helicopters, impaled on sharpened bamboo, obliterated in carpets of explosives dropped from bombers flying so high they could only be heard and never seen; they died reduced to chunks by one or more land mines, finished off by a round through the temple or a bayonet through the throat, consumed by sizzling phosphorous, burned alive by jellied gasoline, strung up by their thumps, starved in cages, executed after watching their babies die, trapped on the barbed wire calling for their mothers. They died while trying to kill, they died while trying to kill no one, they died heroes, they died villains, they died at random, they died most often when someone who had no idea who they were killed them under the orders of who had even less idea than that.
That’s the truth. Unvarnished. But such historical truth hurts to consider, for it reminds us that the belief in the U.S.A.’s good intentions is a delusion. The war against Vietnam was immoral, but even that word fails to grasp it. Pure evil is truer. And to consider that war on military terms alone, one must accept the fact the U.S. lost the war despite all its military technology.
Time, that truly mysterious bird, forces us back to the past as it perpetually opens to the future – all in the meditative present. I look out the window and think how each of us lives in the time circles of our days, morning till night and then the same again and again as these small carousels carry us like arrows to the day time runs out for us. Time is a circle and an arrow within a circle and . . . pure mystery. It encloses us. And when we are gone, as is dear David Harris, the circle game goes on and on as yesterday’s wars are resurrected today. An unbroken circle of human madness. Yet many carry on in hope because conscience calls. And now is all the time we have.
I am writing this on Ash Wednesday, the day Christians begin Lent and take ashes on our foreheads to remind us of our mortality – dust to dust. Six weeks later comes Easter, the Resurrection from the dead, the day of hope. Six circular weeks celebrated every spring within the circle of every year on a calendar that moves straight ahead with the clicking of the numbers. Death, hope, and resurrection, even as history suggests it is hopeless to stop wars. That the vultures always triumph. Yet many carry it on in hope because conscience calls. And all time is now.
Yes, I look out and the vultures’ gaze reduces me to a cataleptic state for a few moments. Then the thought of David Harris and his book on the table transports me back to the past, while my vulture visitors mouth the words “Evermore, Evermore” to remind me that the same war vultures are here now and are eager for prey in the future. They devour the dead. They have never left, just as the truth about the U.S. war against Vietnam has not, if one allows it to sink in. It is a lesson not too late for the learning, for the United States warfare state has continued to wage wars all around the world. None are mistakes. It would be a terrible mistake to think so.
Cuba, Iraq, Serbia, Nicaragua, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Chile, Indonesia, China, Afghanistan, Philippines, Yemen, Somalia, Russia via Ukraine, etc. – all intentional and all based on lies. It’s the American Way, just as it was for Vietnam.
Quoth the vultures “Evermore.”
Like David Harris, I refused to go to the war but the war came to me. When I became a conscientious objector from the Marines, I avoided killing Vietnamese but their killing by my countrymen has haunted me to this day. Unlike David, who was far more courageous than I, I didn’t go to prison, although I was prepared to do so. But I learned then, and have never forgotten, that my country is controlled by blood-thirsty vultures.
Flying back in time, I remember a conversation I had with a friend on the plane to Marine boot camp at Parris Island, that infamous torture chamber in South Carolina where boys are made into professional killers. I told him how confused I was since I hadn’t been raised to kill people. Actually the opposite. As a good Catholic boy, I was taught to love others, not to kill them. No one I knew ever said they saw a contradiction. Yet here I was going to do that. It was insane. I kept conflating the slogan “The Marines Build Men: Body, Mind, and Spirit” with the advertising jingle I grew up hearing from the New York Yankees’ announcer, Mel Allen, who would intone the sponsor’s (Ballantine Beer) slogan: remember fans “The Three Ring Sign: Purity, Body, and Flavor – So Ask the Man for Ballantine.” Then there was the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: let us pray; men built by the Marines; purity and impurity, body, God’s body, bodies denied and maimed, killing other bodies, “In the Name of the Father and the Son and… “ It all felt so bizarre and my mind was a confused whirligig of contradictions. What the hell was I doing on that plane, I thought. Whose life was it anyway?
October 6, 1966. Zippo Squads on CBS News, setting fire to peasant huts in Vietnam. When I was younger, a Zippo lighter seemed so cool and manly. Silvery and clicky, a cigarette in the corner of my mouth. A real tough guy. John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart.
presented themselves at a Veterans Day Parade
in Albany, Oregon in 1991. This parade was a few months after the U.S.
Military won Gulf War I, otherwise know as “Desert
Storm.” The people at the parade were overwhelmed with joy that the U.S.
had “ won ” another war. Little did they know
that the war was a slaughter. Like Viet Nam, the U.S. War Machine went
berserk with their systematic killing and
destroying infrastructure. Every time you buy a boy a war toy, you
trample his soul. In the film “ All Quiet On The
Western Front,” the key word in this title for me is the word, “ Quiet.”
Soldiers stayed quiet about the horrors of war, as
they were too traumatized to talk about it. The truth is never passed
down to the next generation. When it comes
their time to go to war, they are a patriotic blank slate. The
entertainment of violence in the United States is a
malignant disease. When boys come home from war, they stop growing
emotionally. PTSD is a state of being in
which the emotions have failed to grow to the stature of the intellect.
Without help, it is a slow death sentence.
Memories. That’s what vultures can do. One look and you are gone.
In the 1960s, things were simpler. Although there were many newspapers then, and people read much more, it was television with its few major networks that fixated people. Unlike today – when there is no military draft, the realities of U.S. wars are hidden from television viewers, and the internet is regularly scrubbed of the grizzly truth of our wars – in the 1960s, bloody images from Vietnam became a staple of the evening news shows. Harris writes:
We must not forget: it was a more simpleminded age, the information superhighway was still a deer trail, and network television was taken as reality, giving the folks back home a vivid, utterly riveting look at what some of their boys were going through, a kind of visceral access available to no previous generation of Americans.
To accompany those sights and sounds, the folks back home were also given a running explanation of what was going on from their government. And the latter created the war’s second front. Unprecedented visibility ensured that in this war, the government fought one war in the paddies against its NLF and North Vietnamese adversaries and another over the U.S. airwaves, trying to put the appropriate spin on events and convince America that there really was some important reason for going through all this. There wasn’t enough political support for the war to do otherwise, and television had too much impact. The obvious consequence was that Lyndon Johnson and then Richard Nixon spent a good deal of their energy playing to the cameras, just trying to make the war look like what America thought its wars should look like.
More simpleminded it may have been, but that so-called simplemindedness together with the visual imagery from Vietnam – despite all the government propaganda – did help turn many people against the war despite Nixon’s ruthless ability to keep it running so long.
Everything is different today, except for the propaganda and the wars. A look back to Vietnam is crucial for understanding what’s happening now, for it makes absolutely clear that the U.S. government has no compunction about killing millions of innocent people for its evil ends, whatever they may be.
Then, it would destroy a village in order to save it; today, it will destroy the world in order to save it. It is the logic of madmen in the grip of evil beyond description. Yet most people repress the thought that nuclear war is very close.
All the mainstream media headlines about Ukraine echo the U.S. propaganda about the American War against Vietnam. Just substitute the word Russian for National Liberation Front or Viet Cong. They are suffering extraordinary casualties. The tide is turning. “The enemy was being taught the hard way,” writes Harris, “that aggression does not pay. We were steadily destroying their capacity to fight . . . . Victory was just around the corner.”
It’s easy to laugh at the parallels until a vulture comes calling. The seeming unreality of their visitation is only equaled by the delusional nature of what passes for news today.
Quoth the Vultures “Evermore.”
David Harris was right about the 1960s when he said, “All that craziness had compromised the nation’s epistemology, rendering our accustomed patterns of knowing dysfunctional.” This is true a thousand times over today. If the ‘60s were simpler times, the digital internet revolution and AI have scrambled many people’s minds into a morass perfectly suited for today’s government lies. “Not only was it hard to know what was really going on,” he writes of Vietnam, “but it was even hard to know how we would know what was really going on if we stumbled over it.”
Then came a shocking surprise: the Tet Offensive that began on January 31, 1968 when everything became quite clear. This massive attack by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army was “the mother of all such epiphanies.” All official lies were exposed and any prominent dissenter to these lies about the war had to be eliminated, thus Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated in quick order by the government that would go on for seven more years to wage its genocidal war against the Vietnamese and neighboring Cambodia and Laos.
That was long ago and far away, but it’s worth contemplating. No one knows what exactly is around the corner in Ukraine. But then, I didn’t expect two vultures to visit me with their warning.
I’m just passing on their message. Epiphanies happen. But so do cataclysms.
All time is now.
Although David Harris has died, he and the many others, such as Randy Kehler, who were caged in federal prisons for resisting the draft and opposing the war against Vietnam, live on to inspire us to believe that if we resist the warmongers, someday all free birds might chant in unison “Nevermore.”
Here’s their story, a revelatory film about David and those who refused the siren song of evil: The Boys Who Said No
28 thoughts on “Quoth the Vultures “Evermore””
And why do those war vultures keep returning? Humanity stands on the precipice of another world war, unable to stop it. This is despite all the facts we know about the destructiveness of nuclear war. All wars are fought to fill the void of powerlessness. But power is an illusion. No empire has ever held on to it permanently, yet convinced itself it could. Until power is seen for what it truly is – transitory – those birds of prey will keep coming back.
Peter at a certainly level I completely agree.
But step back to view who’s investing in these wars. Wars are nudged into occurrence.
This article is a parallel read to a book I finished a few days ago
All is Quite on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque a most disturbing read on the atrocities of War and how so few send so many to a senseless death of killings without much justification . It takes place from 1915 – 1918 from the front lines written by a German Soldier . And so it goes here we are today Russian fighting there Ukrainians brother , nobody is right and nobody is wrong . Lord forgive us all .
It was very nostalgic to read about David Harris, and also sad to learn that he had just recently died. Being of the same generation, I remember well when he visited our college campus with his wife Joan Baez. I also remember how his somewhat jocular answer to a question from the audience did not go over well with her, and presaged their early divorce.
He is the one who reportedly said that he ‘learned more in jail than he did at Yale’ and his courage in actively resisting the military draft to the extent of even going to jail certainly deserves the greatest respect. I was grateful for the opportunity to read about him again.
Hello Wilfrid…”David Harris learned more in jail than he did at Yale” And this influenced Joan wanting a divorce?
I know little about Viktor Frankl who apparently survived the concentration camp. Why ? How ? What did Viktor Frnkl know or learn? I think it is inner not outer, which might explain why we’re a society lost in space with ruling barbarians! Of course, that’s simply my opinion ! We know gobbledegook but we don’t know ourselves (thy self) some might say.
The day the world is willing to work and sweat to build a better life for its sons rather than raise its sons to work and sweat and suffer for the supposed good of the world, is the day that it will earn my respect.
Thank you Matthew…I like your comment! It is unfortunate that apathy seems to be so widespread. I don’t understand why and I suppose there might be many reasons that cause this apathetic condition. I wonder if we delude ourselves and others while living a sort of lost in space experience? If we are lost in space, should we celebrate this by expanding on this condition or should we become more aware of our condition; our common experience and find some way of finding results of our activity? We don’t need to be reminded, the barbarians in suits are happy to give us marching orders! This also reminds me of the myths of being civilized.
Well, anyway, I don’t know how to perform a resurrection!
HI Matthew…I think there is another detail….there is no ‘human glue’ to make a bond. We’re like particles in space…occasionally coming closer to each other…then wondering away from each other. We’re distracted…we’re distracted even when we think we are focusing on something of substance, of human value. We give the external priority while ignoring what is happening inside of us. We think that we think. We can occasionally get a glimpse of this that might only last a few seconds, minutes…,
I was a conscience objector in the 1960s. For two years I worked for minimum wage at a state mental hospital. If my draft board hadn’t approved my plea, I was prepared to go to prison.
Several of my high-school classmates, not as lucky to me to have a college education and a few good connections, were killed in Nam. I still have a bit of survivor guilt, but I know I did the right thing. It helped that I had a year of seminary training. It helped that a Mennonite organization walked me through the whole process, even though I was not a Mennonite. It helped that there was a nationwide antiwar movement. It helped that in my civil rights work I had read sermons and essays by Dr. King.
Work for peace, my friends. And stop American imperialism.
Thanks Ed!!! … Again.
It’s so difficult to contain my anger and disgust at the lies being again inflicted on the people of Canada, the United States and Western countries generally. The fact that so many seem to be “willingly” taking in the vile propaganda and not questioning its utter falsehoods and nonsense is disturbing. Lost is any confidence I might have one time had in our systems of government and the accomplice news media (note, the “Canadian Broadcasting Corporation”) which have completely lost perspective and abandonned their obligations to truth, the people and, indeed, all of humanity.
So, so, so dangerous!!!
Many young Australians were also dragged into that horrific conflict via conscription, because we had, and still do, a lick spittle, arse licking government.
It was a ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, that stood up to the Empire of War Greed and Hypocrisy and pulled our troops out.
He was subsequently ‘dismissed’ a couple of years later, in what many believe was a CIA coup.
Vultures wear suits.
Great emotional rattling, as always, Ed. Thanks. Cảm ơn!
I was in Vietnam in 1994 and 1996. Working on bat studies, transect of forest near the Laotian border. Age 36, with Brits. My old man was 36 in Vietnam, as a Big Red Army crypto-signal corps guy. He was shot after the bullet hit the Huey pilot dead eye between the eyes.
He surived. I interviewed many Vietnamese, but one woman who ran a Pho shop in Hanoi was really deep. She was an orphan in Hanoi in a Catholic run orphanage. She showed me some wounds on her arms from F-4 Phantom bombing runs. You know, the John McCain drinking hard in Thailand, looking for another prostitute while his family and wife back home worried about him (before he was shot down). I saw photos of the courtyard of this orphanage with the dead bodies of children and a few adult caretakers.
That in a nutshell is the War on Vietnam. The War on Everything.
You list a few wars, leaving out the war that has not been declared over — against Korea.
The three-year Korean War resulted in the deaths of three to four million Koreans, produced 6-7 million refugees, and destroyed over 8,500 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals and 600,000 homes. Over 36,000 American soldiers died in the war.
From air bases in Okinawa and naval aircraft carriers, the U.S. Air Force launched over 698,000 tons of bombs (compared to 500,000 tons in the entire Pacific theater in World War II), obliterating 18 of 22 major cities and destroying much of the infrastructure in North Korea.
The US bombed irrigation dams, destroying 75 percent of the North’s rice supply, violating civilian protections set forth in the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
The Korean War has been called a “limited war” because the U.S. refrained from using nuclear weapons (although this was considered). Yet the massive destruction of North Korea and the enormous death toll in both North and South mark it as one of the most barbarous wars in modern history.
More than 180,000 Chinese troops died in the Korean War, or what Beijing calls the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.
Oh, Douglas Valentine, talking about that piece of human stain, Ken Burns, and Propaganda Broadcasting System’s lies and more lies about the great balance of U$A and Vietnam in that CIA conducted “war”:
Douglas Valentine: Expectations for PBS/Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” (2017)
Remember, calling people Cong was a racist PSYOP term of the Edward Bernays kind. They never called themselves Viet Cong.
The First Televised War was a book that proved that TV and those newscasts actually increased support for killing fields in Vietnam. You see, while in the country, journalists and videographers took hundreds and hudreds of hours of footage, but those Mad Men in TV turned deeply disturbing and telling and contextualized footage into one minute Dan Rather episodes.
U$A had already been preened to see war as a TV thing, with all those war TV series popping up during the killing fields of Vietnam.
I spent time with Ly Le Hayslip, and she was a keynote speaker at a 20th Anniversary of the Fall of Vietnam big event I organized in El Paso. She wrote When Heavan and Earth Changed Places, scripted into that Oliver Stone movie, Heaven and Earth. Her life, her struggle with mixed race children in California (you know, those woke ones called them spics and beaners and worse) as a divorced mother (from a US military white guy) and he dignity working to bring light to what the “war” meant to regular people is inspiring.
I was an English Department faculty, a communist, and when I worked with Robert Bly in Spokane when he read from a book railing against Bush’s war, he made it clear that the English Departments were the most vocally against his anti-War poetry.
He was soothing me in that I too was up against reactionary English Department chairs, many faculty and university provosts and deans.
Again, I was in Vietnam for more than a year, and I have studied the war for decades. I also was a college instructor at Fort Bliss (literature and composition) and at Fairchild AF Base and at White Sands and elsewhere. I got to know the heart and soul of many of those soldiers who did end up in Vietnam and then off to Salvador and Guatemala with the dirty tricks of the CIA/DoD/NSA.
As Valentine says, CIA is organized crime, but then so is the U$A. I’ve been with sicarios in Juarez and Chihuahua who have shown me more honor and respect than some of the ex-USA soldiers I met in Guatemala continuing the work of dirty economic hit men.
The Vietnam War heralded in eco-cide, PSYOPS, off shoring torture, attacks on food, water, electrical systems. This is where the proving grounds for US Military Complex Inc. really got a foothold.
And here we are today, with a military industrial complext that is vast and so imbedded in EVERYTHING that the average American is clueless that they have death coursing through their own veins and their future offsprings’ veins.
Joan Roelofs, author of The Trillion Dollar Silence, gives a run down at how pervasive US Military Incorporated is:
The Trillion Dollar Silencer investigates the astounding lack of popular protest at the death and destruction that the military industrial complex is inflicting on people, nations, and the environment, and its budget-draining costs. Where is the antiwar protest by progressives, libertarians, environmentalists, civil rights advocates, academics, clergy, community volunteers, artists, et al? This book focuses on how military largesse infests such public sectors’ interests.
“It is perhaps the most fraught question of our time, whatever happened to the anti-war movement? In this provocative and illuminating book, Joan Roelofs penetrates deep into the inner-workings of the vast political economy of war-making, revealing how the arms cartel has consolidated its power, captured our political system, infiltrated the media and stifled dissent. At a perilous moment in history, Roelofs has given us a call to action, loud and clear enough to awaken our anesthetized consciences.” JEFFREY ST CLAIR, Editor of CounterPunch, Author, Grand Theft Pentagon
Bruce Weigl in his tellingly brutal and straightforward poem, “Burning Shit at An Khe,” he describes in painful detail the repulsive task of cleaning makeshift outhouses:
I tried to light a match
And it all came down on me, the stink
And the heat and the worthlessness
Until I slipped and climbed
Out of that hole and ran
Past the olive drab
Tents and trucks and clothes and everything
Green as far from the shit
As the fading light allowed.
Only now I can’t fly.
I lay down in it
And finger paint the words of who I am
Across my chest
Until I’m covered and there’s only one smell,
Even more chilling is “Song of Napalm,” in which he tries to appreciate the wonder of horses in a pasture after a storm:
Still I close my eyes and see the girl
Running from her village, napalm
Stuck to her dress like jelly,
Her hands reaching for the no one
Who waits in waves of heat before her.
So I can keep on living,
So I can stay here beside you,
I try to imagine she runs down the road and wings
Beat inside her until she rises
Above the stinking jungle and her pain
Eases, and your pain, and mine.
But the poem continues, “the lie swings back again,” and finally:
. . . she is burned behind my eyes
And not your good love and not the rain-swept air
And not the jungle green
Pasture unfolding before us can deny it.
My short article, Call of Duty, about Bly:
You wrote quite an exquisite essay within an essay Mr. Haeder.
The one thing I didn’t notice with the The Trillion Dollar Silence (just ordered it) is the absence of mention of Operation Covid. The work of Katherine Watt can provide substantial insight into how the DOD has been running this operation, most clearly the injection drive. DoD has been running this for some time. Special legal arrangements were made to by pass testing, quality controls, and on and on (not as if pharma was ever interested in any of this). Pharma is the manufacturing/marketing arm. DARPA is in charge of the contractual arrangement and distribution. (mRNA/spike protein is all fictional. Nothing in the sampled vials suggest any such substance. There are self-assembly nanoparticles. The future looks very dim. And the walking dead won’t even know what hit them. Tragic. But when they went to sleep with those trillions, they just let it all happen.
The Korean war was a terrorist venture by the US empire. Empires seek to expand at all costs. Total destruction of NK was undertaken. I don’t think nukes were used because the real deal isn’t so real, but the threat and the fear it provides has been somewhat sufficient. Given the countless millions killed since WWII there never was need for MAD.) Napalm was unloaded on the North. Scorched Earth just like the total war referred to as the US Civil War. I think that and the genocide of the native Americans lead the learning process.
The skies are filled with DOD maneuvers dropping every kind of toxic metal imaginable on the planet’s living creatures (includes us).
Vietnam (along with Central America, and beyond) have all been laboratories, but the chickens have come home to roost…big time.
The terrible irony is that ALL of the contemporary American madness came to fruition during the Boomers’ watch, the very generation who saw through so much when they were young. Is it any wonder that many in later generations hate us? So much hope at the beginning; so much shame at the end. Idealism and hedonism brought to a head in a single generation, with the latter eventually winning the most important war of all, the one inside.
From your essay, Ed: “Then, it would destroy a village in order to save it; today, it will destroy the world in order to save it. It is the logic of madmen in the grip of evil beyond description. Yet most people repress the thought that nuclear war is very close.”
Ed you’ve alluded to the mounting confusion. I have suggested below that “we” are the target. All of the threats, the murderous wars, the political divisiveness, the complete institutional corruption. In a word the state that has morphed into a corporate holding company. It did not happen over night. It took centuries.
Let me take one example you’ve mentioned before. You’ve spoken of the horrible thought of nuclear holocaust. That’s the fear we were taught from very early on would hang over us like Damocles’ sword. It was to become our eternal nightmare. Duck and cover is now mask and 6 feet apart. It’s never made sense…it never was suppose to.
Are nuclear weapons real? This is an issue I ponder quite a lot. What is behind the claim of nuclear weapons so powerful they could “destroy the world”? What stopped the US from using them along the border of Korea and China – as a number of generals called for to stop the Chinese from coming across the China/Korean border? What stopped the US from using such bombs in Vietnam? After all the number of horrific weapons actually used amounted to a crime of the highest magnitude.
Given the countless millions murdered in these wars since mid-20th century to now, certainly we cannot say, “Mutual Assured Destruction” as a strategy has worked.
The ratcheting up the “annihilation” fear between the US/Russia is very old, and I truly wonder after over 70 years what has stopped their us (certainly not sanity). There are questions about the relationship between Russia and the US. The US is to this day is importing uranium from Russia. Russia is exporting uranium to a number of Western nations. How does that comport with the “Russia is our enemy” narrative?
One day Zelenskyy demands nukes. The next Putin claims to put such weapons on high alert. (The US has maintained this status for years.) What’s going on here? A better absurd script could not have been written by Ionesco. We have things happening in the US so bazar they defy repeating.
Meanwhile much of the world was put into an induced coma for 2+ yrs. by an invisible never proven particle that magically circled the Earth only to awaken to low intensity madness.
Well Ed….I can only speak briefly from ‘my experiences’….1967-1971. As part of a 3 stooges like production, I watched bombers take off from the flight deck of aircraft carriers for the most part of 2 years. People have asked me why I joined the service. I told them I was too frightened about not going in and having to watch my back from some agency for the rest of my life. I was too stupid and sheltered to know of a worthwhile alternative. This is NOT a confession. I can see that first hand experience being the best teacher is the only way to learn and probably the only qualification to teach.
The planes leaving the flight deck carried bombs, missiles, occasionally in air refueling tanks and arrogant officers who stepped out of the aircraft on their return as if western movie heroes. I wasn’t impressed. I was frightened, depressed, confused and only wanted it out of my prison sentence. The ‘other’ everyday details are not worth discussing in text. If I would have gone into the jungles with a rifle, I don’t know what I would have done. Perhaps swallow the muzzle? Don’t know. I think we need to wake up. And perhaps waking up is relative to how that term is heard and said. When I say wake up, I mean we are both made of flesh and blood and why don’t we realize this, know we are the same and communicate in a way that we can help each other so we can help each other. I will not quote anyone form the Vietnam era. I’m not interested in talking about protests songs. I asked a prostitute what she thought about ‘this’ war. She candidly and without hesitation said, america shouldn’t be hear. I agreed ! War is bullshit and so it how we live, how we teach, how we learn, how we eat, how we speak and the pathetic human relations we develop and some even call these relations family ! 500 years absolutely wasted ! You don’t need to read a book…stop, feel, think, feel…do not be afraid of what is going on inside you !
Another ‘story’….Lawrence ‘Buddy’ Lamont survived a tour in Vietnam only to….die at the hands of US. What a sad disgracing of humanity by us!
“The settlement came two days after Lawrence “Buddy” Lamont, an Oglala Souix from Pine Ridge Reservation, killed by federal gunfire, was buried in the mass grave that held nearly 300 India people who were killed in the original Wounded Knee massacre in 1893.”
Checkout Col Fletcher Prouty(Army Air Corps and UMass Grad) he spoke with people about shipping all the ammo after Japan surrendered back to US they said NO it’s going to stay in theater:) Apocalypse Now was about one Tony Po(Poshepny) a stay behind guy who worked w/ Col Victor Krulak in the Marine unit that created a diversion on Choiseul Island. After Krulak got injured one PT boat, 109 picked him up:) Said Krulak was sent with a Mendenhall to Reconnoiter the Vietnam Thing Sept 1963:( Bonus: did you know Seymour Hersh wrote a book about the US BIO CHEM programs in the Sixties, what could he have CONtributed to the COVID discussion?
I can’t remember when the kind of propaganda and psy-operations have been so persistent with the use of media saturated and censoring any deviation from the official word.
None of this is new. It started long before Vietnam. Look what happened in Korea, and after during Reagan’s rein in Central America.
Full Spectrum Domination isn’t just about “them”. It’s clearly about us with very few exceptions. We are the target. I really think we need to stay away from cinema versions of reality, past, present and future regarding our history. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn, but it must be discerning – particularly if we lived through it.
I don’t think today’s youth are hiding from the truth, from reality but are simply consuming what they’re told, how they’re told to react. Most of the movements have been completely infiltrated and shaped and fund by various billionaires and foundations.
This has become much more sophisticated as used on the American public which is a managed “democracy” or as Sheldon Wolin described it: Inverted Totalitarianism. Many of the official threats are smoke and mirrors. There are real limits. It’s not war on the governments of Russia or China but on the people of China and Russia and Ukraine and much of the rest of the world.
As we become aware of how we got here, historically, we’ll see that this has been planned for centuries. It comes down to how best to resist.
Thank you Ed.
It seems to me that elites learned an important lesson from Vietnam – and that was that “uncensored” media coverage could not be allowed to take place in America’s future wars. All the lies and posturing and spin of countless generals and politicians disintegrated into farce with that single image of a little girl. What could be “said” by any “authority” to counter the image of then 9 year old Kim Phuc Phan Thi burned by napalm running down a dirt lane with pain and horror etched in her face?
And so by that first Gulf War we had “embedded” journalists, whose work could be easily censored and sanitized, and by the second Gulf War the American people were spared even the sight of the return home of the flag draped coffins of dead American soldiers disturbing our conscience or our sleep. We live in a nation that can willfully and knowingly bring about the deaths of a half-a-million Iraqi children – and yet studiously hide each and every of those children’s faces from us. No more problematic Kim Phuc Phan Thi photos or video to show the true face of our barbarity. The only “images” of the casualties of today’s wars are of those attributed to the violence committed by our “official enemy’s” – photos that exist strictly for the propaganda purposes of demonizing “the other.”
Instead of the nation-wide campus anti-war protests that shook the nation when I graduated high school in 1970 – we have a very different campus atmosphere in response to today’s multiple wars about the globe. Today it seems the young are in full-retreat from reality and are obsessed not with protesting and stopping the endless war machine – but instead with “trigger warnings,” and “safe-spaces,” and “micro-aggressions” and “cancelling” any speaker whom they might disagree with, and with ever more rarified designer “identities.” Today’s campus youth appear more likely to wave the Ukrainian flag, quite unaware of how and why the West has come to war with Russia in Ukraine. The post-modern lens by which the modern campus views the world has no real use for “objective truth” – with all that entails in terms of a loss of moral reasoning and decision making.
I cannot blame or judge the young for such a retreat from the horrors that plague the world at large. It is certainly a very different world than the one I inherited out of high school in 1970. After those most recent assassinations of Martin and Bobby in 1968 I spent much of my 20’s lost in a haze of pot and psychedelics, doing my relentless best to escape the world I was inheriting and the despair of ever changing it. It was only after I’d work through my own navel gazing pity party that I could allow myself to see the world as it was, and to become active in the Central American Solidarity movement in actively opposing America’s counter-insurgency wars in Latin America.
Today I cannot help but wonder if the focus of the campus young on “micro-aggressions” rather than the actual murderous physical and psychological “aggression of war” somehow hasn’t been helped along, nourished, nurtured and supported over the course of even decades perhaps by that cadre of psychopaths at Langley. After all – a “left” fractured into a million pieces by “identity” just seems a little to perfect, too convenient, to have occurred all on its own. It is perhaps just today’s version of the late 1960’s – Timothy Leary / CIA nexus – of “tune in, turn on, drop out.” Another way to disempower the young and hide the true nature and locus of power from them. Perhaps as I, and many others of my generation did, today’s young will awaken one day – with a start – as if from a bad dream. One hopes that on that day they will begin to see their “commonality” and the strength possible in their unity – rather than see only their “differences.”
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