Vietnam Redux

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Posted by parhad ( on October 03, 2001 at 08:38:47:

During that time we were all supposed to march off quietly and patriotically to War too. We were not to question authority, hurl no insults at America...we were told "America, Love It Or Leave It"..."My Country Right or Wrong" etc. And we got chased and hit and jailed for simply doing what America promises us the freedom to do, "Question Authority". This is what makes America great, not the Malls or the can work and shop in Turkey and Beijing.

And how wrong were we? The nation was lied to back then by its own president, I mean the "attack" in the Gulf of Tonkin that was used as a justification for our increased involvement...and as it turned out, the then secretary of War knew we weren't going to win any such War but kept quiet while thousands died for nothing. So, who was disrespectful of Life and the rule of Law and "America" REALLY?

How were those American soldiers perceived by the Vietnamese and the rest of that part of the world? Their country used a lie to get them there, turned them loose among the villages and hamlets and farms of a country which had been fighting for its freedom for forty years, first against the Chinese then the French. Several generations had known only War, only invasion and cruel death and a hard life. And what was it for?

For what reason did Lt William Calley kill all those innocent villagers, women and children, in cold blood? What was it supposed to achieve? For what reason did all those other boys and girls, those "potential" soldiers, get killed? Why was their country naplamed and burned and poisoned with Agent Orange and other chemicals? Where was the threat to America...where was the dire need necessitating such brutality and abuse and theft, murder, rape and wanton destruction?

There was none, none at all. The Vietnamese posed no threat to anyone...and they won the War. The United States finally ran out one night when they'd had enough. They accomplished none of their stated goals...the Vietcong took over and reunited their country and they now work alongside the United States and other nations. They were not "tamed" or "pacified"...they fought for, and won their right to self-determination...the same thing the United States did in 1776.

We come to today. Anyone who cares for this country will ask the hard questions some Americans are willing to ask. They seem to be increasingly wondering why they are hated so roundly by "that" part of the world. And in a real shock to our own Muslim haters and insulters, Americans want to understand Islam better, their own president of all people has told them that these terrorists are not "true" Islam...that they've "hijacked" Islam as well...that Islam is a religion of peace. Talk shows have featured Islamic speakers, good and educated ones, for the first time EVER, and people are learning and listening in increasing numbers, because they want to learn and not be brainwashed any longer. It's one positive thing to come out of this tragedy, and may go the furthest way of all in bringing peace not only to that region, but security to Americans themselves.

More guns and bombs wont do it, as even the president seems to be addmitting. I know many of our activists are disappointed, they were hoping America and Falwell and Robertson would lead a Jihad against EVIL Islam...but that possibility seems to be fading rapidly. America will be saved, made secure, by what is best about the American system...the free and open exchange of ideas, even painfull ones. They have opted, some of them, to take a look inside their hearts and policies for an answer they know wont come from more bloodshed.

The only thing that saves America each time is the conscience of her people, a significant portion of them, and that amazing Constitution those rebellious "traitors" drew up in 1778. She has never been well served by her zealots and flag waving "patriots". As she wont be now.

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