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cdestroyer
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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 2:56 pm 
RE: "every male child in the US is obligated to 6 years of service." RLY? news to me! and here I thought you were the all knowing... I did one year in national guard before going active in the navy for four more giving me 5 years fulfilling my military obligation...Upon seperation from active duty I still had one year remaining. In order to complete that obligation I reenlisted for another six years on the promise of a specific posting upon completion.

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reststep
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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 3:22 pm 
cdestroyer wrote:
"every male child in the US is obligated to 6 years of service."
Where is this quote from?

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir
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catsp
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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 6:52 pm 
There are at least two different though somewhat intertwined issues here. One is the soundness of US involvement in Vietnam. I don’t claim certainty on knowing whether the US’s decision to get involved in Vietnam was warranted. (Notably, how that involvement was conducted is an entirely separate matter.) But I am nearly certain that you people back then were at least as under informed and generally clueless about much of these matters as people are about things today. Yes, war is bad, killing people is bad (some say getting killed might even be worse), and if we would just lay down our arms then we’d probably all just get along. A beautiful thought, child-like in its simplicity and likely effectiveness, in equal measure.

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catsp
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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 6:54 pm 
But another issue is the proper response of citizens when their country calls on them. While I don’t believe in the fetishization of military service, it’s interesting how much in this and other threads people essentially trumpet their avoidance of service during the Vietnam era. I guess that actually makes sense, though, as whichever side you were on, you arguably have a vested interest in believing it was the right side. So the ones that avoided service (whether by actions or just “luck”) presumably have an interest in asserting that it puts them on the right side of history, rather than on the wrong side as unpatriotic, in breach of their obligations as citizens, or dishonorable in necessitating that others take their place. Similarly, those who did go arguably have an interest in believing they’re on the right side by, if nothing else, answering and sacrificing when their country called. I offer no opinion on whether either, neither, or both are on the right side of history with regards to Vietnam. But if the US makes a similar call to its citizens in the future, I must admit to gravitating towards the guiding principle of H. Simpson’s campaign for sanitation commissioner: “can’t someone else do it?”

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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 8:14 pm 
catsp wrote:
But I am nearly certain that you people back then were at least as under informed and generally clueless about much of these matters as people are about things today.
No they weren't, thanks in large part to Daniel Ellsberg.

First your legs go, then you lose your reflexes, then you lose your friends. Willy Pep

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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 11:12 pm 
The information was readable available in fact I did a report in high school on the Vietnam War. I was interested in shortwave radio and could listen to all sides. I was a Hawk when I started believing the war could be escalated and the VC could be easily defeated. After reading books by experts in guerrilla warfare by British and French authors as well as those by Ho, Giáp and Mao I accurately predicted what came to pass in 1975. The origins of the original partition after the French defeat at Dien Bin Phu and US response were publicly available, the Pentagon Papers only confirmed all this. In my naivety this was when I first found out my government lies. I never had any illusions about the VC or NVA or Arvin for that matter. It is near impossible to “Win” such a war on foreign soil where your opponent is the equivalent of George Washington and your allies are Roman Catholics in a predominantly Buddhist Country. In those years Radio Moscow had more accurate information than US news. For example the troops at sent ro Da Nang we supposed to be a few hundred to provide perimeter control. Radio Moscow said there would be about 500k true as it turned out. The Gulf of Tonkin attack turned out a fraud. For amusement some time lookup Dr. Tom Dooley a missionary who was influential in the run up to the war. Henry Kissinger and the Generals knew of all of this they were not stupid people. I have no regrets about this.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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Waterman
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PostFri Dec 08, 2023 11:19 pm 
Thing is back in the 70's everyone watched the same 3 networks, read the daily papers and had a common point of reference. Unlike today where algorithms push your bias and everyone does their own "research ". It was far easier to pay attention and Kissinger was central to world affairs. Coming of age during those turbulent times made many cynical towards our government and the many adventures of nation building. We who lived those times have a far different opinion from those who look at Vietnam from a historical perspective. That said it is bad form to speak ill of the deceased. Myself I will remember a remark in the NYT obituary. Speaking of his encounters with concentration camp survivors in Europe at the age of 23. "The intellectuals, the idealist, the men of high morals had no chance". Something to keep in mind from a master of history as Henry was.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 12:31 am 
catsp wrote:
"But another issue is the proper response of citizens when their..."
This statement begs the question of "What is proper?" I'll start with: We hanged men at Nuremburg for "just following orders, sir." Now where should I begin? I didn't know I was "trumpeting". I was just stating the facts as succinctly as I could. My mother wanted to send me to Canada. I have no use for Canada. I figured out another way. I didn't have to crap my pants and smell bad like Ted Nugent though. We were hardly "poorly informed". Not sure where you came up with that. There were all kinds of underground newspapers readily available at the local head shop that contained all the juicy details. Walter Cronkite and Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were, notwithstanding the myth, not the only sources of "news". Some of us had friends who came back with stereo speakers stuffed full of heroin or pot and told us stories about sneaking up on hooches in the middle of the night and opening fire with fully automatic weapons at sleeping bodies. Men? Women? Children? Kind of hard to tell in the dark, and if you're high enough, it doesn't matter, I guess. Used to buy pot from a guy who had his purple heart and the signed letter from Richard Nixon hanging just above his toilet, so every time he had to go take a dump he was reminded of his heroism. He was just a medic, so he didn't carry a rifle. Took a .50 caliber round in the forearm but still managed (à la "Forrest Gump") to carry his surviving buddies back to safety.
catsp wrote:
"...those who did go arguably have an interest in believing they’re on the right side ..."
Maybe I was just hanging out with the wrong crowd, because none of the guys I knew personally who came back from Nam thought it was "the right thing to do" when they got back. More to the point: almost to a man, they came back either crazy or addicted to heroin. (We had one who worked for us when he was in high school, and the old man hired him when he came back, and I'd swear he left at least half his brain over there.) Years ago, I read a very interesting essay - I really wish I'd made a copy - the gist of which was "what about those of us who did NOT go?" I previously noted that my aspirations from about age 12 to age 16 was to go into the navy and then hopefully into naval intelligence. (I wanted to be James Bond.) The reality of what Vietnam was all about put a big damper on that- I wanted no part of it. We had no business being there. Clearly, from your above statement, you were not of age during that time, and respectfully I have to say that I find that part of your statement a bit presumptuous. On September 12, 2001, I called the local recruiting office and asked if there might be any opportunities to serve. I was told I was too old. Not following all the rules and not complying with expectations of authority does not always equate to a lack of patriotism. Questioning others' "patriotism" in the context of Vietnam is ill-informed and repugnant. But then, making wild unfounded assumptions about other peoples' motivations seems to be a common theme among many nwhikers.net members, doesn't it? suggested reading for your spare time

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 1:05 am 
and besides..... It serves little purpose to debate the merits of Vietnam in 2023. Most people have their minds made up - the rest are completely clueless because they're not old enough to have lived through it. (Apparently they no longer teach children about "wars" in schools - their fragile little brains might melt.) A far better investment of your time would be to debate important matters currently on the table, like.... Is it REALLY okay to put ketchup on hot dogs? Or, as some suggest, those who put ketchup on hot dogs are heretics and should be burned at the stake?
Carry on.

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 1:07 am 
I like mine well done..

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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cdestroyer
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 7:31 am 
oooohhhh....I never said Vietnam was right. I posted the death of a person of prominence like we all do only to have yalls jump on some ancient bandwagon and condemn the person and what they may or may not have done 'in your opinions'!! The war and its ideology tore this country apart..But yall in my opinion start in saying you would not serve to protect this country in somebody elses war? what the hell did we do in wwi wwii korea???? these wars represented a clear and present danger to america..defeat the baddies or have no foreign trading partners, no rubber, no oil, no nickle, etc. and the boston tea party had very little to do with the revolution..our main reason for seperation from england was because of no representation and taxation...still being under the rule of the king of england..........

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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 8:04 am 
Read “All Quiet on the Western Front” or if that is too hard watch one of the films. In my opinion the original German one was best. Unreasoning participation in wars leads to disaster. The list I provided early in this thread shows it is not new. Nuremberg held the individual ultimately responsible. We have been lied into many wars, police actions, and war crimes in the 20th and 21st centuries. Young men kill and are killed by false patriotism at the behest of lying old men. Now I am an old man but my ideals have not changed. BTW where were those WMD in Iraq that little Bush joked about not finding, dark humor worthy of Catch 22. Probably best to let this thread die a natural death.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

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Cyclopath
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 10:43 am 
cdestroyer wrote:
defeat the baddies or have no foreign trading partners, no rubber, no oil, no nickle, etc.
If you think it's ok to kill people to get rubber and oil, who is really the baddie?

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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 12:18 pm 
cdestroyer wrote:
"...But yall in my opinion start in saying you would not serve to protect this country..."
Perhaps I missed something. Exactly where has that been stated by a nwhikers.net member in this thread?
cdestroyer wrote:
"...what the hell did we do in wwi wwii korea???? these wars represented a clear and present danger to america..defeat the baddies or have no foreign trading partners, no rubber, no oil, no nickle, etc. and the boston tea party had very little to do with the revolution..our main reason for seperation from england was because of no representation and taxation...still being under the rule of the king of england.........."
^ what? dizzy.gif

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 09, 2023 1:12 pm 
My grandfather fought in the Philippine Insurection he did not get Veterans benefits because congress decided it was not a war, he said, “It sure seemed like a war to me”. As Joan Baez said about WW1,” the reason for fighting I never did know. Congress again denied Veterans promised bonus during the height of the depression and General MacArthur torched their tent city with tanks. In WWII we were attacked by Japan and Nazi Germany declared war on US sinking our ships. My uncle was on a troopship when Hiroshima was bombed ending the war. Seems a just war to me. Korea was a UN police action allowed when Stalin walked out of the Security Counsel rather than vetoing the resolution, my brother was in the Air Force. Anyone here would almost surely volunteer if the U.S. was attacked.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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