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Not Since Kennedy

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Posted on Nov 6, 2008

By Mr. Fish

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By Beverly, November 10, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Normally, I would not continue a thread either but your answers are fascinating.  Your manner of writing intrigues me.

I did not insist no war crimes were committed in Vietnam.  I asked if you were then saying - what John Kerry said upon his return to America and continued to claim about atrocities committed in Vietnam…was true.  My husband says it is all true.

My interest in this topic is the behavior of American soldiers…ours having been mostly a draft army sent to a country who never attacked us on our soil, Vietnam - versus what you suggest, imply or state is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan by American soldiers who joined the military of their own free will and are fighting within two countries who, allegedly, attacked our country on American soil September 11.

Why would you add Clinton to the war crime accusation when he was well out of office after Desert Storm and before September 11?

I do not watch television.  I watch few movies.  I read biographies and books pertaining to World War II - both sides of the Atlantic ocean.  I will look for the article (?) you reference.

I also live in a very small town which is much of a cultural void.

I proofread legislation at a state level but macular degeneration has rendered my error detection skills difficult to maintain.

Indulge me.  Thank you.

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By Winston Warfield, November 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Beverly,
Normally I wouldn’t keep this thread going, but you ask a fair question.  What would I have done?  I would have treated 9/11 as a war crime, and its perps as criminals, and initiated an international criminal hunt and roundup for OSB and company, to be hauled to The Hague to face trial (as should Clinton and Bush, by the way).  The Taliban were initially willing to cooperate in OSB’s capture, until we started bombing them.  More important, is what I would NOT HAVE DONE.  I would not have invaded Iraq or Afghanistan to exact some kind of racist, infantile revenge against all “ragheads”.  Further, I would have begun the Great Builddown of our empire, which we’re going to have to do eventually anyway (we cannot afford its upkeep), thus eliminating the cause of what we call “terrorism”.  By the way, if you’re going to insist that we Americans didn’t commit war crimes in Vietnam, then I cannot breach your fantasy about American behavior as an occupier.  Suffice is to say that no empire has occupied another’s land without employing the most ruthless measures to quell the inevitable resistance.  We are no exception.  I would direct you to “The Phoenix Program” by Douglas Valentine, or the excellent expose of mass terror and murder carried out by a unit of the 101st AB in Vietnam, in The Toledo Blade a few years ago.  Or, if you’re not into reading, Mel Gibson’s “Patriot” is a terrific movie on the subject of insurgency and counterinsurgency, or “The Battle of Algiers” (the French occupation of Algeria).

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By Beverly, November 9, 2008 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There are a lot of brother vets of mine, too, with Purple Hearts from that monstrous crime scene, who think just like I do.”

Winston.  Are you saying John Kerry, as a soldier returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam, told the truth about atrocities committed by American soldiers in Vietnam?

“the artillery, airstrikes, wanton destruction, animal racism by Americans, and it is being repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Winston.  What do you believe would be a proper response to the attack on America which occurred on September 11th, 2001?


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By Winston Warfield, November 9, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Beverly:
You are correct that it was not Kennedy who got us into Vietnam, that it had roots prior to his administration.  It was he who institutionalized and glamorized counterinsurgency, however, the cornerstone of imperial enforcement (Special Forces, etc.).  Unlike you, and about half of America still clinging to national arrogance, I am not a true-believer in American exceptionalism, which has become exalted to a secular-religion.  Whether anti-communism or anti-terrorism (it comes with many names), it is still imperialism.  What would you call 762 military bases around the world (read “The Sorrows of Empire”, by Chalmers Johnson)?  Sorry, but I was appalled and disgusted by our savagry in Vietnam in the name of “freedom”; the artillery, airstrikes, wanton destruction, animal racism by Americans, and it is being repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan.  There are a lot of brother vets of mine, too, with Purple Hearts from that monstrous crime scene, who think just like I do.  Thank you for considering this.

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CJ's avatar

By CJ, November 8, 2008 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

Or since Jimmy Carter, or since Ronald Reagan, or since Bill Clinton, or—far as this goes—since Shrub, thought by many BEFORE he lost wars to be a real cutie. A funster frat-boy, more-or-less folksy guy people wanted to have the beer with. A regular prankster, always ready with a cut and a smirk, and would-be-stud walk. After obtaining the presidency people came eventually to regard Bush as a moronic fool. At which point, he and his sidekick had us just where they wanted us, thinking those things of him—a cutie before selection, a moron after. He and sidekick are about to ride off into Texas and Wyoming sunsets, respectively, to enjoy same, though not before exercising muscle out of spite if for no other reason. It’s we who turned out moronic fools, not them as they hitch up at banks on their way to sunsets.

Bush DID have the exceptionally bad taste to lose two wars, a fact we cannot forgive him. (Thus, spite on his and sidekick’s parts.) G.W. Bush is nonetheless a true American hero. He’s worn and wielded power very well. Outside of a few LA, SF and NYC enclaves, his foreign policy has been exactly as demanded by we the people, particularly after 9/11 when lust for revenge reached a level previously not seen. He didn’t get Osama, but maybe Obama will, or so the latter intends to do soon as he can, evidently no matter cost in lives. Yes, the latter is very charming and very good-looking as well as smoothie. And the family seems normal. (Is any family “normal”? No, but we like to pretend.)

None of aforementioned were or are radically different from one another with regard to American foreign policy. It’s hard to distinguish between various “doctrines,” while important to have one in one’s presidential name. (I can’t blame Palin for not knowing of Bush’s. Exactly how is his really different from, say, Clinton’s? Monroe originated this kind of “doctrine,” and I’ve not noticed it’s changed since.)

Nixon/Reagan/Bushes, FDR/Truman/Kennedy/Johnson/Carter/Clinton, not much difference. Actually, none when it comes to American drive for supremacy/empire building in the holy name of capitalist democracy (which, incidentally just happens—by chance, of course—to coincide with the interests of America’s investor class, which is to say with those of American business, big and small and at large. Please, no pleading on behalf of petite bourgeois as it continues to make out like proverbial bandit despite claims of inability to pay the most paltry of minimum wages. Reputably, the business of America is business, but not really. Not so much as waging as war, which—far more than diplomacy—is business by other means).

Notable exceptions, relatively: Eisenhower and Ford, both Republicans.

Meanwhile, and speaking of back on the range, Obama in talks with Bob and Bob, Warren and Larry about how to salvage center of empire since doing that will be necessary to the perpetuation of empire, which by definition is a foreign kinda business.

Will we be able to tell the new old doctrine from the less-new and old old doctrine? I’m guessing distinction without a difference.

Well put—in picture and words, Mr. Fish.

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By Twinkle, November 8, 2008 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Iraq has been the shittiest foreign policy ever and it is unforgiveable no matter whom thinks Bush is charming and/or goodlooking. As for Obama. He hasn’t even take office yet, so let’s not throw preemptive stone’s.

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By Beverly, November 8, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Winston Warfield:

You are incorrect in blaming Kennedy for putting our soldiers in Vietnam. Read your history and biography books from the era.  Harry Truman actually initiated our presence in Vietnam and Dwight D. Eisenhower continued and enhanced Truman’s policy. 

Kennedy did NOT start the conflict with Vietnam.  John F. Kennedy INHERITED the nightmare.  Kennedy’s concern was for Laos but Vietnam became the main fighting field.

Thank you, Winston, for your service in Vietnam. 

As I type this I am sitting next to a Purple Heart for injuries received during battle within the Vietnam jungle.  Agent Orange keeps the wounds from healing.  My husband has walked many years in pain which will not stop.

Many say Vietnam was fought for in vain but I believe it proved to Communist China American soldiers were still willing to do what asked of them…sacrifice and fight.

I considerate it a tragedy Truman was not with us to send the Enola Gay to Hanoi.  And I feel there is good reason to visit the Middle East today in the same manner. 

If it is a war worth fighting it should be a war worth winning.

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By GW=MCHammered, November 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Favorite Bumper Stickers:

“Yeehaw, Maverick!”
Is NOT a foreign policy.

Monica had more president in her than Gdubya ever will.

Annoy a Republican.
Think for yourself.

Bush deserves a third term: prison.

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By 123456, November 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Gina, November 7 at 12:38 pm #:

“I have an idea!  Why don’t we at least wait until Obama has actually committed these so-called “foreign policy idiocies” before we start condemning or forgiving as the case may be?”


But Obama has already made it clear he intends to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and who knows waht else.

Basically every President we’ve had from FDR has used the military and/or CIA hit-squad in some manner. It’s silly to assume Obama will change this 67-year streak. Especially when he made it clear he won’t!

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By Arman, November 7, 2008 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You think Bush has good looks?

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By David, November 7, 2008 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gee, I thought the cartoon was about George W. Bush!

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By Gina, November 7, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have an idea!  Why don’t we at least wait until Obama has actually committed these so-called “foreign policy idiocies” before we start condemning or forgiving as the case may be?

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By Winston Warfield, November 7, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for B.H.O., to add my weight to turning back what seemed to be a resurgent white supremacy with the McCain/Palin ticket.  That, and because I think we’ll be (only slightly) better off under the Dems.  It does not mean I drank any Kool-aid.  Fish’s cartoon is on target.  It was Kennedy and the Best and the Brightest, recall, that got us into Vietnam, Johnson that kept us there.  I was there packing an assault rifle (infantry) along Bernard Fall’s “Street Without Joy” (Highway 1), in 1968-69.  We had turned the country to ruins.  I won’t go into detail, but only point out that charming and/or liberal CINC’s can be in charge of the most cold-blooded and systematic “organized industrial murder”, which is what our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has come to.

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By C Quil, November 7, 2008 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Precisely, Mr. Fish.

As Bill Moyers said, “There are going to be tears”.

It won’t take as long as it did with Kennedy, though. This may be the shortest honeymoon on record.

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By michele hemenway, November 7, 2008 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He’s not even the president yet.
Some people just want to be miserable no matter what.
Sad, but Mr Fish whom I used to really like, just needs someone to pick on I guess. Which, in school teacher’s terms, is a bully.

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By 123456, November 6, 2008 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

Mr.Fish nails it again!

Most main-stream liberals WILL no doubt ignore
or atleast forgive Obama’s foreign policy idiocies,
just as they Bill Clinton’s.

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