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November 30, 2007 [ More archived home pages here ]

Vietnam War Feelings


The above image, Marooned is also available as a Desktop

Today's song is Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, released in 1969.

I'm reading the new book, Lions of Medina because my friend, Mark Anderson, is interviewed in that book. Mark was a Marine during the Vietnam War and he was involved in a major battle back in October 1967. Mark recommended this book to me when I met with him last June during my trip to Chicago.

I've read eleven chapters so far. Those written words already have stirred the old tumultuous feelings I had about that war. Most of the words I've read about Vietnam previously were in news magazines, newspapers, other short stories. This is the first book about that war I've read and it is raw in its disclosures.

The book starts out with this perspective from John Stuart Mill:

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.
The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.
The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

Stirring words to be sure.

I've written before that the only war I supported in my lifetime is the current War on Terror, in all its forms and locations. The other wars from 1950 to 2001, America should have stayed out of regardless of the outcome to the people in those battles in other places in the world. The Vietnam War was the worst of those mistaken missions and the Korean War is second on my list of mistaken American policies.

However, my support of the military is never in doubt. I am proud of every American that has served in all battles and wars. I am not against the military service that protects my freedom. My war problems are with Presidents: Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton. Those men got or kept us involved in wars we had no business being involved in.

Hence, a lot of complex feelings exist inside me. So I read, watch, listen, think, and feel about wars now-and-then. About seven years ago I resolved that no matter how anyone felt about the Vietnam War, they were right. That war was so screwed-up for Americans that the only way for me to find peace about it was that everyone's view was equally valid. Keep in mind I proudly served in the U.S. Naval Reserves, in uniform in 1970 and 1971.

Now I read my first book about the Vietnam War because my friend asked me to do so. I will write more about my thoughts when I am done with it.

I often wonder what my nation would be like had we had Presidents who kept us out of the wars I listed above (excluding the War on Terror). By Presidents who allowed America to mind its own business instead of sticking its nose into other nations business.

I think if we would have kept an internal focus, we would be the most respected nation in the world. We would trade with everyone and have the most powerful sustaining economy the world has ever seen. Our citizens would all be very prosperous and healthy. We would enjoy 6-8 week paid vacations a year and be able to retire at age 45 from all our accumulated wealth.

Instead we have what we have. I'm a proud American but not proud of what my nation has wasted over the last 57 years in terms of people, treasury, and national respect. I don't expect much positive change in the next four years. I think a lot of negative change will take place over the next four years no matter who gets elected. The next best opportunity for America to change towards a positive course will be after the 2012 election, by then a lot of American foolishness will have run its course, in my humble opinion.

Maybe then we can start out the way we should have at the end of World War II and let the rest of the world go its own way. It does anyway, the Vietnam War taught me that...

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The American economy struggles with the results of very bad credit policies. It will get worse before it gets better.

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Then there is a chance the Earth is being lined up for a large impact in the year 2036. Just wait and see if it is determined to impact the Earth, how much effort is put into calculating where it will hit the Earth and what the effects will be.

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Is Iceland really the best place to live?

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You've got questions?

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Price drops predicted for solid-state drives.

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My friend, Stela, tells me this San Diego organization has a great idea for adopting Christmas trees.

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My friend, Nicki, sent me this Heroes for Children link.

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If you like Italy, take a look at the blog written by the daughter of our friends Angel and Linda. Their daughter and her husband are in Italy for two years while he serves in the U.S. Navy as a surgeon.

They have great pictures of the places they are visiting there.

Don


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