Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fragging the Troops

Continuing to review the role of the American Legion as worker bees for the right wing, Rick Perlstein has an informative post detailing who actually was "spitting on" Vietnam Vets back in the day. Recent attacks on Iraq veterans who have begun criticizing the Iraq slaughter are just the latest installment in an established, despicable tradition.

Perlstein also raises a very cogent point. For all the hagiography about the greatest generation, little recognition is given to the fact that WWII was a generational trauma. The boys who went off to defeat fascism on the battlefield, in the air and on the seas, came back as indelibly scarred men. For good or ill, they've lived the balance of their lives viewing the world through the lens of that experience. For many, every military conflict since then has simply been an extension of their own war. I remember one such vet being quoted in the aftermath of 9/11 saying that he'd seen it all before but this time he knew what the outcome would be: "We win."

North Korean invasion of South Korea=Pearl Harbor, Korean War=WWII
Tonkin gulf incident = Pearl Harbor, Vietnam = WWII
9/11=Pearl Harbor, War on Terror/Iraq=WWII

It's really no surprise that the US has allowed itself to be misled into one bloody morass after another.


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