Re: VIETNAM: Re Old Wars

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 09 Mar 1999 22:25:16 -0500

Brian D Williams wrote:

> From: Jeff Davis <>
> > What the modern reader will also be unaware of is that joining
> >the navy at that time was an act of pragmatism bordering almost on
> >cowardice. Almost, but not quite.
> Why don't you try telling that to Admiral James Stockdale, who was
> tortured for 10+ years as a POW. Or any of the rest.

Or Senator John McCain, also a POW, and also a Navy pilot.

> > And this, this is the worst. No, no it's not. Two MILLION
> >Vietnamese murdered; 58,000 clueless American boys murdered.
> >Heroes all. Killed for profit, for the vanity of power, for
> >bigotry, and for stupidity; that's worse.
> Those who served honorably are heroes, on this we agree. You might
> also be surprised to learn that I agree that Vietnam was a bad
> idea. Even though I enlisted at the time.

The only reason I see for the war in Vietnam as a plausible reason is this: Failing to oppose communism in ANY theater during the cold war tended to encourage them to further expansionism. John Von Neumann only knows where we would be if we did not maintain such a policy for most of the cold war.As for policy conducting the war, the worst mistake, which caused more deaths than anything, was the cowardly and traitorous micromanagement and burdensome rules of engagement that the Johnson administration used in conducting the war (Nixon was not innocent of this either).

> > The people who, for various reasons, protested this crime, who
> >understood about injustice and war, and who tried to stop it, were
> >heroes as well; but more to the point, they were regular people
> >who retained the ability to distinguish right from wrong, and who
> >had the courage to act on this knowledge, at a time when cultural
> >influences worked almost overwhelmingly against them.
> Nonsense, Jane Fonda is a traitor, not a hero. Those who opposed
> the war on sincere moral grounds and acted accordingly also have my
> respect.

You know, Tokyo Rose served time as a war criminal, as did her Nazi counterpart. Here, Hanoi Jane not only gets the approbation of the liberals, but marries Ted Turner, makes hundreds of millions with her workout videos in the capitalist system she betrayed. I applaud those who stayed here and opposed the war. Those who went and gave succor to the enemy deserve no respect. I also agree it was a stupid war to get involved in for the purposes we did. We should have backed Ho Chi Minh after WWII when he asked us.

> Someone asked about extropian relevance. I feel it has to do with
> personnel responsibility. I enlisted because that is what I felt
> was right. I have always opposed the draft and cannot figure out
> how it can exist in a so-called democracy.
> The hypocrisy that some were forced to serve while others (based
> mostly on economics) were given a pass is something that should
> never again be permitted.

Its due to the concept of the militia and the citizen soldier. My own anti-statist views notwithstanding, the idea that you could stay completely out of a war effort simply by declaring yourself a concientious objector is false. It simply puts you into a non-combatant medical billet. If those who were opposed to the war were so philosophically opposed, why did they not register themselves as Concientious Objectors, as they were legally allowed to avoid combat duty? There were hundreds of times more people protesting than who actually registered as CO's. That indicates to me a high level of moral cowardice. They were too chicken to be publicly known as CO's.

Remember the old story of Roman matrons to their sons: "Come home with your shield, or on it."

On the subject of selectivity, well, the military can accept or deny anyone it wants to. Just because you are eligible to be drafted does not mean they must take you. They could decide in what capacity you could best serve the country. If you were a loner genius, they certainly don't want you in a combat platoon where teamwork and dumb obedience to orders is most important.

You also should not denigrate those who chose to be officers. A higher percentage of officers who served in the region died than enlisted men, and in the Air Force and Navy, unless you were in the SEALs or UDTs, you usually only did die if you were an officer pilot, unless you got ambushed during R&R in Saigon.


   Michael Lorrey, President
                        Lorrey Systems
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