I have surprised myself in many ways of late. For instance, I have developed an appreciation for John Lennon the man, and his politics, or absence of same, if you will. I regret not being man enough early on in my life to accept his right to speak out, rather than just his music. This quote is epic, if not sadly out of reach for this world gone mad.
“When we say ‘War is over if you want it,’ we mean that if everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, we’d have peace.” – John Lennon (1940-1980)
I don’t know why, but back in my chest thumping youth, I was not a fan of this particular Beatle. I suppose it had everything to do with my
Senior Trip tour of duty in Vietnam. You see, I was an Army Aviator . . . . an Officer and a Gentleman . . . . and as such in 1966, was not well received outside my family when I returned home from this cluster ***k. Back then I was a team player. Now I see more clearly than ever what a lie that whole conflict was.
Wondering why government lies to us. When did it start? What will it take for our puffed up politicians, REGARDLESS of which wing they profess to favor, to see that our country is broken. And you know what? Vietnam broke it! Been on a downhill skid ever since, and I guess I was part and parcel to it . . . no other way to look at it. Before you judge me, know that I come from a family steeped in military service. My father was a charter member of Brokaw’s Greatest Generation, a veteran of 10 combat war patrols in the Pacific Theater aboard SS-195 Sailfish. The experience changed him forever. More on Pop another time. He hated the Vietnam war, and I can only imagine both my parents suffering at having sent 2 sons in country. At least we both came home, at least as much as a couple of kids can come home from something like that. I also was eventually changed . . . . another kink in the rusty nail that is my life. I support our military, but I feel that I have earned the right to denounce the politicians of that time . . . . of ANY time . . . . who feel they must lie to us in order to govern us.
The Vietnam War resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million to 3 million Vietnamese and other Indochinese and 58,000 Americans. It served as the crucible for Richard Nixon’s self-induced disgrace. And it broke three of the other U.S. leaders associated with it: Johnson; his secretary of defense, Robert McNamara; and Henry Kissinger. You can read the rest of Henry’s lament over the 58,000 in one of his many books. He is old now, and rich, and feels the weight of history. Sad part is that later administrations opted not to learn from the egregious miscalculations of LBJ, Henry et al. Very sad indeed
Here are some quotes I like from that era. Food for thought is a good thing.
“You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at
those odds, you will lose and I will win.” – Ho Chi Minh
Sure enough, Uncle Ho told the truth!
“I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I
learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service.” – John F. Kerry
Yeah, Kerry has had his problems and I used to completely dis him. But here, John speaks gospel truth!
“Our numbers have increased in Vietnam because the aggression of others
has increased in Vietnam. There is not, and there will not be, a
mindless escalation.” – LBJ
And I thought the Devil was the father of all lies . . . .
“Because the GIs were sent massively to South Vietnam, maybe it’s a good
idea to have a broadcast for them.” – Hanoi Hannah, our version of Tokyo Rose
“Vietnam was a lie but at least there was a political agenda. It was the
domino theory. Iraq is about nothing but George Bush’s ego laced with
imperialist ambitions. And it was helped by your government.” – Donald Sutherland
Yeah, yeah . . . I know. He’s just an actor from another country, but even actors can tell the truth from time to time. Just imagine if someone actually listened . . . . .