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  • Kerry was wrong about Vietnam

    An interesting angle. I'm not sure if I agree with it.

    Here's the link: http://www.startribune.com/stories/1...32068.html#top

    David Pence: Antiwar activists who got it wrong
    David Pence

    Published February 27, 2004 PENCE0227

    In 1972, a few years after John Kerry was in Vietnam, I was in federal prison for draft resistance. Draft resisters were glad to have Kerry "on our side." Most vets hated us. My dad, a World War II Marine, did not speak to me for seven years after I refused military service. He saw draft resisters as cowards and traitors. One of his wartime buddies said, "Take your son to Chicago, strip him naked, and see if he comes back a pacifist." Draft resisters cheered when Muhammad Ali refused induction. Certainly he was no coward. We cheered louder when Kerry testified against the war. Certainly he was no traitor.

    But even as an activist, I was shocked at Kerry's characterization of American atrocities in Vietnam as commonplace. The image of the American solider as "babykiller" was being born. In a foreign country our men were shot for the uniform they wore. In their own country they could not wear it for shame. For other men, flag-draped boxes sealed them from such insults. After Kerry's testimony, he faced no such shame. To the McGovern Democrats, he became a hero. He was headed to elected office as the solider who hated the war. He had a receptive audience in Massachusetts for his stories of atrocities by soldiers and criminality by the government.

    Back in Minnesota I was headed for jail. There was no shame for me either. The judge was sympathetic and let me say good-byes at parties and rallies. I timed my entry to jail for noon on Good Friday. I had quit the church but in my own marijuana-enhanced brain the righteousness of our cause demanded the backdrop of Calvary. I went to prison as a local star at the antiwar rallies, a martyr to the growing pacifist movement in the Catholic Church and a good source to the friendly reporters who sympathized with our cause.

    By 1972 if a man would go to jail or a returning solider would repudiate the war, he was assured an influential community of support and adulation. For the men who returned from military duty, there was no such honor. Their shame came not from guilt about their actions as soldiers but from propaganda of the antiwar movement.

    The war against the Soviet Union was the great moral struggle of the post-WWII generation. Leaving Vietnam did not end the fight against communism but changed the battlefield to Catholic Poland and Muslim Afghanistan. The left's complaint was not about Vietnam as a particular battlefield but the Cold War as a worthy enterprise. Kerry described the Cold War as "the mystical war against communism" in his infamous Senate testimony (April 1971). It turns out that communism was not so mystical -- not in the killing fields of Cambodia or the captive nations of Eastern Europe or the Islamic southern rim of the Soviet Union.

    I am ashamed of my role in those not-so-glorious '60s. I honor John Kerry the solider. But in this time of war, we must repudiate his disgraceful depiction of the American solider in Vietnam, his mistaken understanding of the Cold War, and his equivocation in our present war.

    For those tempted to use a soldier's story to advance the worldview of the "peace movement," take pause. We were wrong then; you don't have to be wrong now.

    David Pence is a Minneapolis physician. He was sentenced to a year and a day in 1972 for draft resistance.

  • #2
    King,

    I know I'm taking a chance at really getting buried with flames here, but, I would have resisted the Vietnam War, myself. Thank God I was only 16 when it ended. I had two older brothers who served a stint in Nam. There was absolutely ZERO point to being there.
    Make America Great For Once.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Kev@Feb 28 2004, 08:00 PM
      King,

      I know I'm taking a chance at really getting buried with flames here, but, I would have resisted the Vietnam War, myself. Thank God I was only 16 when it ended. I had two older brothers who served a stint in Nam. There was absolutely ZERO point to being there.
      I think people will respect your honesty, Kev.

      You are a few years older than me. I thank God that I was not old enough to face that terrible dilemma, and I hope my sons never face it either.

      "Governments don't fight wars on behalf of their citizens, citizens fight wars on behalf of their governments." - Murray Rothbard

      Comment


      • #4
        Some interesting parallels don't you think?

        WMD, and there are none.
        Gulf of Tonkin? Never really happened at all.

        Both are the main reasons we were TOLD we went to war, both Lies.
        Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was to young to go but I would of because I think military service should be a must for young men. That's just my opinion and I know others will disagree and I respect that. There are a lot of things that happen in this country that I disagree with that happen on a daily basis. But if there is a draft you either go to war or jail, your choice.
          "They misunderestimated me."
          Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000


          "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."—Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004


          "If you're sick and tired of the politics of cynicism and polls and principles, come and join this campaign."
          -Hilton Head, S.C., Feb. 16, 2000

          Gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn't it?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by madyaks@Feb 28 2004, 08:52 PM
            Some interesting parallels don't you think?

            WMD, and there are none.
            Gulf of Tonkin? Never really happened at all.

            Both are the main reasons we were TOLD we went to war, both Lies.
            Sure yaks. Good point.


            And don't forget that "mystical war" parallel also.
            Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

            Comment


            • #7
              What a great picture.
              Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think there is something to the theory that main reason people demonstrated against Vietnam is because they were going to go.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Vietnam: An exercise in total futilty.

                  55,000 + plus killed, hundreds of thousands wounded, scores were imprisoned as POW's, untold numbers of MIA's, countless civilian deaths, and what did it serve?
                  Make America Great For Once.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lazydaze+Feb 28 2004, 09:55 PM-->
                    QUOTE(lazydaze @ Feb 28 2004, 09:55 PM)

                  • #11
                    Kev,

                    Don't tell it to Lee Kwan Yew.
                    And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                    -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      John,

                      If we would have went there with the intent on kicking tail and taking names, then I don't think we would have gotten so bogged down. Once the war started to become politicized, we would have been better off shutting it down right then and there.
                      Make America Great For Once.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by The Kev@Feb 28 2004, 09:01 PM
                        Vietnam: An exercise in total futilty.

                        55,000 + plus killed, hundreds of thousands wounded, scores were imprisoned as POW's, untold numbers of MIA's, countless civilian deaths, and what did it serve?
                        "War is the health of the state"

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by madyaks+Feb 28 2004, 09:03 PM-->
                          QUOTE(madyaks @ Feb 28 2004, 09:03 PM)
                          Originally posted by [email protected] 28 2004, 09:55 PM

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Soocrates+Feb 28 2004, 10:18 PM-->
                          QUOTE(Soocrates @ Feb 28 2004, 10:18 PM)
                          Originally posted by [email protected] 28 2004, 09:03 PM
                          Originally posted by [email protected] 28 2004, 09:55 PM
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