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vets coming home

 
 
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 03:41 pm
there appears to me to be a heightened interest in the welfare/treatment of vets returning home from the middle east. I sincerely hope that interest will result in improved services to returning vets. at the same time I wonder if some of those expressing concern for the vets today were around when vets returned home from Vietnam and what was their response to the vets then?
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 03:46 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

I wonder if some of those expressing concern for the vets today were around when vets returned home from Vietnam and what was their response to the vets then?


I should think that quite a lot of them were either not born then or in diapers. Why do you "wonder" this?

dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 04:10 pm
@contrex,
yeah true enough, I was just wondering. you ever just wonder? perhaps I should check with you before wondering about something.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 04:31 pm
I suspect that most people today assume the Vets will be cared for - not by them, of course, but by Uncle. I personally don't see any of the irrational blaming of it all on the troops this time around, as we saw in the Vietnam era.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 05:03 pm
@edgarblythe,
Troops must also take responsibility, Edgar. To take part in an illegal war of aggression means that the troops are committing war crimes too.

Of course, it is a virtual impossibility to charge all the troops but those high in command should be tried.

There was a great deal of blame to go around in Vietnam and while it may have been personally traumatic, it was a good thing for the troops to feel some of the heat.

You can't, you shouldn't, as a soldier, participate in a debacle where millions of innocent Vietnamese lost their lives and come home unburdened by what you took part in.

Having said that, I believe that returning soldiers deserve to be treated in an equitable fashion by their government. All the neocons government pensions should be diverted to the soldiers.
realjohnboy
 
  4  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 05:31 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Troops must also take responsibility... To take part in an illegal war of aggression means that the troops are committing war crimes too.

Of course, it is a virtual impossibility to charge all the troops but those high in command should be tried.

There was a great deal of blame to go around in Vietnam and while it may have been personally traumatic, it was a good thing for the troops to feel some of the heat.

You can't, you shouldn't, as a soldier, participate in a debacle where millions of innocent Vietnamese lost their lives and come home unburdened by what you took part in.


An interesting take, but total bullshit.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 05:49 pm
@JTT,
I would argue your points but that would only be from my personal opinion and, I don't believe, would get us anywhere.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  5  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 06:13 pm
@dyslexia,
You know, what used to frost my cojones was that those cheapskate sons-of-bitches in the Congress who wouldn't pony up for the VA after the late unpleasantness in Southeast Asia was full of veterans of Dubya Dubya Two and Korea who had attended university on the GI Bill. They acted as though the money were supposed to come out of their personal bank accounts.

Maybe the difference this time is that Congress has a lot of Vietnam Vets in it, and they haven't forgotten.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 06:45 pm
@realjohnboy,
rjb, I agree with you 100%. The vets perform some of the most life changing activities in our name in what they believe is the defense of our country. A president as CIC has the power to make them active on his command, and the soldiers to not question their civilian authority. The soldier has no choice but to follow what they are commanded to do.

They do all of that in our name, and many Americans question the necessity for most of the wars we got involved in since WWII. However, after conscription, our military is made up of volunteers. They should be provided with all the necessary equipment and health care that's needed without any question, but we have failed them much too often.

Our government expects them to perform their duty, our duty to them has failed.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 07:02 pm
@dyslexia,
Well I was not quite four years old at the end of the Vietnam War. My father was exempt from the war because my oldest sister had been just born. Something along these lines ... 3-A Registrant with a child or children; or registrant
deferred by reason of extreme hardship to dependents.

Not sure how I would have reacted to the vets coming home from Vietnam at such a very young age.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Mon 20 Sep, 2010 07:19 pm
Vietnam was an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. The "punishment" that returning Vietnam troops experienced was nothing, absolutely nothing compared to what the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians were put through. Many outright war criminals, both officers and enlisted, all of them are free today.

What does that say? There are some of these "men" who brag about the war crimes they committed and state they would do so again. This sort of gross national denial has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands since the Vietnam invasion. It is instrumental in causing the deaths of many innocent Afghans and Iraqis.

It is unconscionable that the guilty are not held to account. It is unconscionable that those who were asked to commit crimes against humanity are not speaking out for the higher ups to be held accountable. There's no time limit on war crimes.

Quote:
Superior Orders (often known as the Nuremberg Defense or Lawful Orders) is a plea in a court of law that a soldier not be held guilty for actions which were ordered by a superior office.[1] The superior orders plea is similar to the doctrine of respondeat superior in tort law where a superior is held liable for the actions of a subordinate, and the subordinate may escape liability.[2] Some legal scholars and war crimes tribunals will correlate the plea to the doctrine of respondeat superior; whereas others will distinguish the plea from the doctrine of respondeat superior.
The superior orders plea as often regarded as the complement to Command responsibility. [3]

One of the most noted uses of this plea, or "defense," was by the accused in the 1945-46 Nuremberg Trials, such that it is also called the "Nuremberg Defense." The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the main victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany.

It was during these trials, under the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal which set them up, that the defense of "Superior Orders" was no longer considered enough to escape punishment; but merely enough to lessen punishment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superior_Orders



contrex
 
  3  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 12:12 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

yeah true enough, I was just wondering. you ever just wonder? perhaps I should check with you before wondering about something.


But uou didn't "just wonder". Saying "I wonder whether..." in that way is a clich├ęd way of say of saying that you suspect the answer may well be "no".
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 01:17 am
@JTT,
Quote:
Vietnam was an illegal occupation of a sovereign nation. The "punishment" that returning Vietnam troops experienced was nothing, absolutely nothing compared to what the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians were put through.

That very well may be true, but then you're talking about eighteen year old kids in a lot of cases who were told under threat of prison that they had to go - right?
Were they given a choice?
You might expect them, with the benefit of hindsight that you have, to have known all about the illegalities of the situation and the atrocities that were being committed, but is it really fair to have expected them to know that then?
And yes, they could have dodged it, but again, do you think that at the age of eighteen these kids, because I don't call them 'men' yet at that age, even have the ability to have known or foreseen what they'd be asked to do?
And didn't a lot of them come back and blow some whistles about what exactly happened over there?
It's my impression, I may be wrong because I don't know anyone personally who served and I was a school-aged child at the time, but I did read the paper and watch the news and it's my impression that most of the men who came back from that war were disgustedly vocal about what went on over there.
Is that not true?

I mean, look - I'd never be a soldier. Because I would never be capable of killing anyone for any reason with any sort of forethought. If I walked in on someone raping my daughter - yeah - I'd be able to kill the mother ****** - but if someone asked me to put myself in a situation where it was very likely I'd have to kill another person I didn't know simply because they lived on a piece of land that was under dispute - NO!
But other people do not have the luxury of making that choice. A young friend of my son's joined the army straight out of highschool and was sent to Iraq. Takama joined because he was a smart kid who had no family support, wanted to go to music school and was recruited by the military men who came to the school I taught in to entice people by dangling the promise of tuition credit.
The huge majority of the kids I saw joining were kids who couldn't afford to do anything else and had no way to support themselves once they turned eighteen. Sad but true.
Luckily, Takama came back alive - but he will never be the same.

What do you think he should have known or done?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 04:39 am
For the whole of history, when a nation has called for troops to go to war, the citizens have responded, for better or worse. Citizens are not the cause of most wars. They are led into it by short-sighted leaders. When talleying the cost of the conflict, it is the leaders who ought to be held responsible, not the soldiers.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 05:50 am
Well, i never read posts by JTT, but, unfortunately, i still read posts by Aidan. Perhaps i should stop doing that.

If the clown JTT recognizes the Republic of Vietnam as a sovereign nation, than he/she/it implicitly recognizes one of the most fundametal rights of a sovereign nation, to enter into treaties. The Republic of Vietnam was a signatory of the Southeast Asia Treaty, and as a member of SEATO, had a right to allow Unites States troops to enter and to operate militarily in their territory. If, on the other hand, he/she/it denies the right of the Republic of Vietnam to allow U.S. troops to be based in and to operate militarily in their territory, then he/she/it beggars his/her/its own description of the Repbulic of Vietname as a sovereign nation. Either the Republic of Vietnam was a sovereign nation, and the presence of U.S. troops was not illegal, or it was not a sovereign nation, and the question is moot.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) was anything but democratic. Neither Ho Chi Mihn, nor any other participant of the government of the DRV was ever elected to office in a free and open election. The composition of the national assembly was determined in advance of the 1946 "election." Furthermore, the DRV sponsored in the RV (the Republic of Vietnam, i.e., South Vietnam) an armed insurgency, essentially a terrorist insurgency. The DVR infiltrated troops of their national army into the RV. If there were any illegal occupation of a sovereignn nation going on, it was the illegal occupation of the Republic of Vietnam by the NVA (North Vietnamese Army).

The attempt to use Laos and Cambodia as "privileged sanctuaries" for the supply of NVA regiments and the Viet Cong, and for infiltation routes for the NVA lead directly to the ill-considered bombing of the so-called Ho Chi Mihn Trail. Although that decision may have been callous, and not very bright, it was not an act of unilateral aggression on the part of the United States or ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam).

JTT is, essentially, an idiot on any subject with the least hint of a political character. What he/she/it is engaged in here is an attempt to shoehorn the historical facts into a preconceived political position. This is not a case of looking at the historical record and coming to a conclusion--it is a case of taking a political position, and then making warped, revisionist statements about history in support of the political position which was decided upon in advance of any consideration of the historical record.

The entire history of the American participation in SEATO and in the Republic of Vietnam was unfortunate, but it is understandable why Eisenhower behaved as he did. Ho and his cronies were participants in and signatories to the treaty known as the Geneva Convention. They then promptly began to subvert the terms of that treaty by their sponsorship of the terrorist insurgency known as the Viet Cong. Soon thereafter they began to infiltrate NVA regiments into the Republic of Vietnam as ARVN had proven effective in dealing with the Viet Cong with American assistance. Long before accusations made against Johnson or Nixon, Ho was escalating the war in Vietnam.

It is reasonable to see the entire American participation as a regretable mistake. It is ludicrous to see American troops as the evil agents of an evil agenda. It is even more tragically ridiculous to see the DRV as the legitimate representative of the aspirations of the people of Vietnam, or to deny the complicity of the government in Hanoi in dragging Laos and Cambodia into the war. It is tragically stupid to ignore the support of the Pathet Lao and tbe Khemer Rouge by the DVR, and China and the Soviet Union using the DVR as an agent in situ.

JTT hasn't said a goddamned thing about history which is worth reading. He/she/it has made very clear, however, what his/her/its political obsessions are. He/she/it appears to either be a very young college student, or someone older who has never intellectually matured beyond that ignorant, naive and uncritically idealistic state of mind. If any participant in that war is seen as a bad guy, then there is no reasonable way to see any participant as a good guy. The people of southeast Asia were victimized primarily and initially by Ho's DRV government and its terrorist activities. It's a shame we got involved, but it is understandable.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 05:53 am
@Setanta,
Quote:
unfortunately, i still read posts by Aidan. Perhaps i should stop doing that.

I think that's a good idea. Less unpleasantness for both of us.


Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 05:56 am
@aidan,
You found it unpleasant for me to have criticized JTT's stupidity? You're too sensitive by half. My suggestion that i stop reading your posts was referential to your unfortunate decision to quote JTT. I read a lot of your posts. Most are silly, a lot of them appear to be of a dubious honesty, but in general, i comment on very, very few of your posts. Don't get your panties in a twist.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 06:01 am
and let's not forget, it's election season, and trying to look like you care for people is a great politician/carny trick
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 06:06 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
and let's not forget, it's election season, and trying to look like you care for people is a great politician/carny trick


Good point. The veterans' vote is large, and is not restricted to just those who are coming home from Iraq.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Sep, 2010 06:14 am
@Setanta,
My panties are fine - in fact I was just thinking how comfortable these particular panties are-I'm gonna have to look at the tag and remember where I bought them so I can get some more just like these - maybe in a different color.

How's that for a silly post?

And just for your information - I don't find JTT stupid. I find him quite intelligent - sometimes a little misguided in his willingness to take the extreme view to the exclusion of all the mitigating circumstances - but I can see why he thinks what he thinks many times.

I was asking him an honest question about a subject he seems to care about quite a lot and one that I do to.
I was thinking he might have an answer that would make me think.
That's what I'm here for - for differing viewpoints that enlighten and stretch the parameters of my day to day communication.
That's why I would never ignore anyone - even rude assholes who think I'm silly or a liar (present company excluded).

So anyway - if JTT answers my question - I will be taking part in a discussion with him so for your own comfort you might want to put me on ignore for right now - then later you can read my silliness and lies to your heart's content.
0 Replies
 
 

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