In Memory of the Fallen

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic issued a proclamation:

“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

That first day of remembrance sparked a tradition known as Decoration Day. From that point on, Americans throughout the country would yearly gather to decorate the graves of the fallen soldiers of the Civil War.

Years later, as World War I came to a close (1918), a new generation of Americans bore witness to the emergence of a new generation of American heroes. Grandfathers who fought and survived the battles of the Civil War, outlived their sons and grandchildren. The scope of Decoration Day necessarily grew to include all fallen soldiers of all America’s wars.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson directed the federal government to declare Waterloo, New York, the birthplace of Memorial Day. After all, since General Logan's proclamation in 1868, Waterloo had transformed Memorial Day into an annual, community-wide event to observe the sacrifices of America's greatest children. Waterloo, however, was not alone in their annual commemoration of fallen soldiers. In fact, by the late 1800s, communities across the country began observing Memorial Day. In 1971, the members of congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday.

Looking back on America's short history, we are faced with two certainties: first, the themes of war are constantly changing; and, second, the heroes who fight them are not. The brave men and women of our armed forces are the lifeblood of American freedom. They are heroes, one and all, who have answered a higher calling and have chosen a higher path. While we grieve their losses, we must also celebrate their sacrifices. They will forever live through the spirit of America that they themselves created.

I offer a Memorial Day Prayer (by: Jessica Steinmetz):

Please God love our soldiers and guide them to do good. Protect them from all harm and be with them in weak moments. Love them so they are strong and follow Your will. Please watch over them and embrace them in your goodness.

Amen.

Learn more about Memorial Day here.

Posted by Dr Politico at May 29, 2006 2:40 PM
Comments
Comment #152470

Amen

Posted by: John at May 29, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #152508

Thank God and those fallen for our present freedoms and opportunities. May God and other brave men and women continue to preserve those freedoms and opportunities for the next generation.

Posted by: Don at May 29, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #152509

It’s a fine sentiment, full of fraudulent statements, but, still, a fine sentiment.

Jesus never sanctioned war, but, proclaimed it better to turn the other cheek. “Love them so they are strong and follow Your will.” If they follow God’s will expressed through his son, they would all drop their arms and come home vowing to never kill another human being.

How about praying for enemies. Pray that God love them and guide them to do good, as well. I would suggest they need that prayer as much, if not more than our own troops. For if they sought the good, they would stop killing our soldiers.

Many soldiers join and fight for patriotic reasons, but just as many if not more join for other reasons as well, and fight because they are ordered to, or their own lives depend upon fighting, for if they don’t fight, their comrades would likely not protect them. That is the psychological indoctrination of the military. Regardless of why you join, your survival in combat depends upon each and every soldier in the unit doing what is expected of them. Each soldiers survival depends upon it. But, even when all do their job to the utmost, many will still die, and many more will be wounded. But one’s odds are improved if each person does their job and does it well.

There is no question that our freedom demands defense and protection, but, not just from without, but from within as well. What good is it to die for freedom overseas if our brothers and sisters are willingly giving it up here at home? There can be no greater insult or injustice to our fallen soldiers than to give up the freedoms and liberties they died to protect.

They fight for our freedom overseas; the least we can do is demand that we keep our freedoms and liberties alive and well here at home, in their name if not our children’s. Fear causes us to give them up. We insult our fallen troops to allow fear to steal what they die to protect. We must be as brave and courageous about protecting liberty and freedom from politicians here at home as our soldiers are about protecting them from invaders abroad.


Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #152512

Wow, a whole six hours before someone posted an anti-military, anti-American, leftist rant. I’m surprised it took that long, given today’s political climate.

One minor theological quibble:

Jesus never sanctioned war, but, proclaimed it better to turn the other cheek.

Actually, contrary to what the pacifist, appeasement-first crowd would have you think, the “turn the other cheek” passage from the Gospel of Matthew is actually a call to social disobedience, to force the oppressor to treat the person being oppressed as an equal, not an inferior. If you don’t believe me, try this simple experiment: Try to strike someone else on their right check with your right hand.

Personally, on Memorial Day, I find comfort in the litany from the Book of Worship for United States Forces, as I remember friends and family who gave their lives in service to our country:

Let us give thanks to G-d for the land of our birth with all its chartered liberties. For all the wonder of our country’s story: We give you thanks, O G-d.
For leaders in nation and state, and for those who in days past and in these present times have labored for the commonwealth: We give you thanks, O G-d.
For those who in all times and places have been true and brave, and in the world’s common ways have lived upright lives and ministered to their fellows: We give you thanks, O G-d.
For those who served their country in its hour of need, and especially for those who gave even their lives in that service: We give you thanks, O G-d.
O almighty G-d and most merciful Father, as we remember these your servants, remembering with gratitude their courage and strength, we hold before you those who mourn them. Look upon your bereaved servants with your mercy. As this day brings them memories of those they have lost awhile, may it also bring your consolation and the assurance that their loved ones are alive now and forever in your living presence. Amen

Posted by: Michael Chance at May 29, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #152515

Michael,
” If you don’t believe me, try this simple experiment: Try to strike someone else on their right check with your right hand.”

It’s easy.

It’s called a backhand.

Posted by: Rocky at May 29, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #152518

Michael,

“Wow, a whole six hours before someone posted an anti-military, anti-American, leftist rant. I’m surprised it took that long, given today’s political climate.”

Did we read the same post?

I don’t see where David was anti-anything.

Posted by: Rocky at May 29, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #152519

Not to detract from the seriousness of honoring those who paid the ultimate price,but to set the record straight, biblically speaking David was a warrior-king who liked to screw around. Sounds like Clinton.

Posted by: jblym at May 29, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #152526

Amen, DP. Thank you.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 29, 2006 9:55 PM
Comment #152528

Michael, as a veteran, I am not anti-military. As for the rest of your interpretations, you are welcome to them, but, they are flat out wrong.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #152529

Rocky, don’t mind Michael, reading comprehension often comes late if ever for some folks. I question whether he even read my whole comment. If he had, he would have seen it was about how we here at home can honor our fallen soldiers who fought for themselves and us back home.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #152537

David,

I guess sometimes you just have to ask yourself, “what would Siddhartha do”?

Posted by: Rocky at May 29, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #152543

Doc,

It’s a shame that Memorial Day is mostly known now as the “Official Opening of Summer”.

I think the truest form of remembrance would be to strive to make war unnecessary.

Somehow though, I don’t think you go about that by starting more wars.

Posted by: Rocky at May 29, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #152548

Rocky, the UN needs to ban all invasions by nations which are not provoked by attack or threat of imminent attack. And the world’s nations in the U.N. should back it up with an overwhelming standing force not dominated in numbers or logistics by any one or 3 nations. It’s not fool proof, but, it might have deterred invasion of Iraq which was an immoral act if ever there was one. We have killed, maimed, and disrupted far, far more lives than Saddam Hussein would have during this period and for many years yet to come.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 29, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #152549

David,

Agreed.

The problem is to get all of these disparate countries to recognize the benefits of working together.

America cannot dominate the world stage forever, and we need a world body that actually acts for the world rather than in their own self interests.

It only took twenty years after the “War to end all wars” for the world to descend again into the depravity of another world conflict.
It’s been 60 years since the end of that.

Will we make 65?

Posted by: Rocky at May 29, 2006 11:47 PM
Comment #152554

Rocky
I think the truest form of remembrance would be to strive to make war unnecessary.

I’m with you on that.

I went to the cemetery today to pay my respects to two of my kin that were killed in action.
My cousin PFC John Wilson was killed on 21 March 1967 near Cantho when his patrol was ambushed.
My brother Lance Corporal Kenneth Brown was killed on 22 Jan 1968 in Hue City . My son is named in his honor.
I also had an uncle killed in WWII and a cousin killed in Korea.
While the country may not know their names all those that have died serving this great land live on in the hearts of those that they left behind.
These fallen heroes have given their all for our freedom. And for that they deserve our utmost respect and honor.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 30, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #152555

It would actually be more appropriate to ask, “What wouldn’t Siddhartha do?”

He’d pray right up until the moment he was slaughtered, unless some “friendlies” saved him from his earthly demise.

Posted by: Bruce at May 30, 2006 12:42 AM
Comment #152556

David,

Do you believe that the republican party is more or less likely than the democratic party to take away your freedoms at home? You have a very libertarian stance (from what little I really know about a truly libertarian stance), which I respect, but wonder if you feel that a truly conservative administration wouldn’t be your best bet to maintain personal freedoms, self-reliance, and the American way of life?

Posted by: Bruce at May 30, 2006 12:46 AM
Comment #152557

Bruce,

I can’t speak for David, but IMHO, the conservatives haven’t done squat for our liberties, our security, or the American “way of life” lately.

Posted by: Rocky at May 30, 2006 12:51 AM
Comment #152560

Bruce, you could replace Siddhartha in your comment above with Jesus Christ, and it would be just as true a statement. I take that back, that in fact IS what Christ did, just what you said Siddhartha would do. Interesting how much Siddhartha and Christ are alike on this. Perhaps Christ learned his faith from hearing of Siddhartha.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 30, 2006 2:09 AM
Comment #152563

Bruce, Talk is cheap,I dont think it is logical in the present time to use the words security and or liberty in the same sentence with the words conservative and or republican and have a positive statement. The republican leadership has no concept of liberty for all, and to actually determine what they are saying you have to turn the statement coming out of their mouths 180 degrees to find the truth. The answer to your question is the Democrats at this point in time would protect the liberties and safety of all. “True conservative administation” sounds like a joke after the last 6 years.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 30, 2006 2:26 AM
Comment #152577

David:

Perhaps Christ learned his faith from hearing of Siddhartha.

Anything is possible, but I’d think he might have mentioned it, don’t you, if it was such an influence on his life? :)

Posted by: joebagodonuts at May 30, 2006 8:31 AM
Comment #152580

I have a much loved son-in-law serving honorably in the Marines, a husband, son, and a daughter, who have served in our nation’s military, and I am extremely proud of everyone of them! Those who complain of our fallen heroes being honored appear to forget it is men and women such as these, who have sacrificed to GIVE them that right to complain! Those folks should learn what it is like to disagree publicly with the leaders and and governments of some foreign nations—-they would learn very quickly how foolish that would be! As for turning the other cheek, the Bible staes clearly we are to obey our nation’s laws. as long as they do not conflict with the laws of God, Who, by the way, called the Warrior King David, “A Man after My own heart!” He never commanded us to let an enemy government invade, kill our people, and NOT defend ourselves!

Posted by: Angel 1 at May 30, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #152585

Angel 1, didn’t know there was a religion founded on the teachings of King David. Yaweh said, thou shallt not kill. No conditions. Christ said, turn the other cheek, no conditions.

Kind David taught something else, so please inform me of this religion of King David to which you herald.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 30, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #152590

My cousin PFC John Wilson was killed on 21 March 1967 near Cantho when his patrol was ambushed.
My brother Lance Corporal Kenneth Brown was killed on 22 Jan 1968 in Hue City . My son is named in his honor.
I also had an uncle killed in WWII and a cousin killed in Korea.
While the country may not know their names all those that have died serving this great land live on in the hearts of those that they left behind.
These fallen heroes have given their all for our freedom. And for that they deserve our utmost respect and honor.
Posted by: Ron Brown at May 30, 2006 12:36 AM

Ron, I feel for your loss. I have to disagree with you however about fallen heroes giving their all for your freedom, as least in respect of Vietnam. This was a vicious war against a poor country, which caused massive loss of life and widespread destruction. I was in Vietnam in Feb this year, and you know, curiously, the Vietnamese call this war the American War, and they have an American War crimes museum. Different perspective eh?

The reality is, when the US decided this was a war you couldn’t win, you got out. Despite this, the heavens didn’t fall. Uncle Ho’s regime fell into its inheritance and lo and behold, American freedom was not in any way compromised, indeed, many might argue that the anti war movement actually increased American freedom. The fact that idealistic young people march off to war bursting to defend their country, does not of itself mean that the freedom of their country is threatened. It just means that they have been given to believe that is it. And that is why it is incumbent on all civilians in a democracy to ensure that their defenders are not sent off to a war they have no business in in the first place. God knows America, and even more so Vietnam paid a bitter price for that war. And at the end of it all, what was achieved? Have you learned nothing and forgotten everything?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at May 30, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #152592

David, I never said there was a religion built around King David. What I said, was that God loved His Warrior King David. If you will read the Book of 2nd Samuel, you will see how the Lord blessed him even though he killed many men, in DEFENSE of his country! That was all I meant by my comment. There is no condemnation before the Lord if you are defending what is right.Our fallen heroes died to right terrible wrongs, such as the murder of six million innocent Jews, and countless others in Nazi Germany: The bombing of Pearl Harbor in which eighteen hundred of our unsuspecting sailors lost their lives. We were not at war with Japan at that time. The men and women of the Korean conflict; the Vietnamese War—-all were following orders. What is wrong with honoring these soldiers? They gave their lives——now let us give them something back, even if it is too late!

Posted by: Angel 1 at May 30, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #152597

There is nothing wrong with honoring them. I honor them, immensely. But, as Bob Dylan said, were it not for the universal soldiers there would be no war. The Greeks dealt with the same question in a play named Lysistrata. If the women withheld sex from the men until there was no war, there would be no war. If young men took Christ’s teachings literally, they would not kill. As a Buddhist, I compromised my own values somewhat in enlisting in the Army during the Viet Nam War in 1972.

I am just pointing out that war is antithetical to the basic tenets of all the world’s great religions philosophically speaking. Yet, I would defend my daughter or wife’s life if killing were the only way. Why should it be different for one’s country which provides safe haven for one’s wife and children? When viewed this way one can say war is wrong, and killing is wrong, and still justify defense. What one cannot do, ethically or morally is justify attacking others without a clear and evidenced defense rationale based on imminent threat, as in Iraq.

Our 9/11 attackers came from Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, hence our defensive invasion against further attacks from Afhanistan was morally and ethically justified. It appears our decision to not invade Saudi Arabia was also justified despite the fact that most of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. But there was no defense of imminent attack of our homeland to justify invading Iraq.

Does that make our soldiers responsible for war in Iraq? NO! Absolutely not. 99% of them had neither the education nor authority to decide where they were to fight or why. They follow the orders of our civilian government believing they are defending and protecting our civilian society. Our soldiers should be honored.

I find the people who made the decision to invade Iraq honoring our fallen soldiers to be doubly due for our soldiers lives were directed to be lost or damaged by an unjust and unethical war of politician’s making, which harmed far more people than not invading Iraq would have.

And we still have not held those who attacked us to account. That too is reprehensible in the extreme. In fact, we shore up and send 100’s of millions of dollars to the very government that now harbors the primary sponsor of the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan. This too I find immensely reprehensible.

We should honor our soldiers and Iraqi soldiers who have died defending Iraq, as our soldiers would have done had Iraq invaded America. We should however impeach those who falsely, wrongly, unethically, and immorally made the decision to invade Iraq and hold them accountable for crimes against humanity. For that is what the Iraq War is. A huge crime against humanity every bit as bad as the crimes against humanity caused by Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 30, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #152613

Way to go, David R. Remer. Very well said.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #152615

Paul in Euroland
We were not at war with South Vietnam. We were at war with North Vietnam. A country very well supplied by China, Russia, and the rest of the Soviet Block. We were fighting against Communism which was and still is a threat to our way of life. So I ave to disagree with you on your assessment of Vietnam.
However I do agree that no country should ever send it’s troops to fight a war then tell them not to win it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 30, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #152629

David
If you talk to a Rabbi I’m sure he’ll tell you the same thing that one told me. The word translated kill in the commandment is actually the word murder in the Hebrew.
So the commandment is, Thou shalt not murder.
And why would God order the Israelites to go in and kill everyone in the land after telling them not to kill if it meant no killing at all?

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 30, 2006 12:30 PM
Comment #152634

Sigh… When Henry V invaded France, he first asked the Archibishop of Canterbury if his war is just and righteous.

Then as now… GOD is on our side so we can kill them.

Posted by: Aldous at May 30, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #152644

Two quotes for all that decided to turn Memorial Day into something other than what it should be — no matter your polotics!!

“These are the times that try mens souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

— Thomas Paine (The American Crisis, No. 1, 19 December 1776)

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, ‘What should be the reward of such sacrifices?’ … If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!” —Samuel Adams — August 1, 1776 @ State House in Philadelphia, PA

I would have strongly preferred to honor my comrades without your bickering although they died so you had the right to do so!!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Posted by: Doug at May 30, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #152649

David r remer This is all well and fine if you live in wonder land but it saddens me to inform you that we live in the real world.There are evel people who want to kill americans because for the most part we love our fellow human beings.From day one americans have fought and died to free human beings all over this earth that we live on.What scares me is the fact that some americans refuse to fight regaurdless of the cause.In my oppinion these americans make not only our country more dangerous but the entire world more dangerous.UNDERSTAND ONE THING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL WIN THIS WAR REGAURDLESS OF THE LEFT.History will not repeat itself,we will never run again for the likes of john kerry,teddy kennedy and the worst anti-american congressman of all rep.Mertha.

Posted by: lookingout at May 30, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #152681

Paul in Euroland
We were not at war with South Vietnam. We were at war with North Vietnam. A country very well supplied by China, Russia, and the rest of the Soviet Block. We were fighting against Communism which was and still is a threat to our way of life. So I ave to disagree with you on your assessment of Vietnam.
However I do agree that no country should ever send it’s troops to fight a war then tell them not to win it.
Posted by: Ron Brown at May 30, 2006 11:47 AM

Ron, you can colour it any way you want. The fact is, the US did not win in Vietnam, and the heavens did not fall. Despite this defeat for US foreign policy, Communism did not prevail, nor did it make any advances as a result of US withdrawal. I don’t really know how you can say that Communism remains a threat to US or indeed western ways of life. The only thing the US had to show for Vietnam, was I think about 56,000 dead servicemen, I don’t know how many injured, but on normal ratios, probably about 300,000, and a fortune in national treasure. Oh and I almost forgot, a deeply divided country.

Vietnam suffered even more in both combatant and civilian deaths, and being set back who knows how many decades in development. Despite the massive damage done to the country, and the many killed, the Vietnamese are not a bitter people. They welcome western people, including Americans. They are very much following the Western path to development, although at least nominally a socialist country. Having been there recently, I can attest to the fact that it does not have the feel of a police state. What I’m saying is, that the war achieved nothing positive, except for the arms industry. Isn’t that same industry doing very nicely out of Iraq right now? All those people killed for nothing. War seldom if ever, achieves its objectives.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at May 30, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #152701

Rocky:

Unless I am mistaken (and I know I am not)…

It only took twenty years after the “War to end all wars” for the world to descend again into the depravity of another world conflict.
It’s been 60 years since the end of that.

You are missing a couple of wars in there (before Iraq - although I know that is your flash point) namely korea and vietnam (started and continued by a democrat). dont forget serbia/kosovo too - again started by a democratic president. An interesting note about kosovo (for all you cut and runners…) we have been in kosovo for over 10 years, and kosovo still isnt independent or have a governemtn in place. 10 friggen years. Nato and US troops are still there. there is still a transitional government in place. Just a little fat for you all to chew on the next time you bring up that argument. (remember west germany was considered fully sovereign in 1955 - a full 10 years after WWII ended).

Relax on the Iraq thing. Its gonna take a while. And the “no war” thing - just aint gonna ever happen. Part of human nature. From the old testament or when we were crawling out of caves (whichever you prefer) - just part of our nature. accept it already - the 60s have been over for a long time.

Posted by: b0mbay at May 30, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #152711

b0mbay,

“You are missing a couple of wars in there (before Iraq - although I know that is your flash point) namely korea and vietnam (started and continued by a democrat).”

None of the “wars” you have noted were “world” wars.
In point of fact both Korea and VietNam were considered “police actions”.

Posted by: Rocky at May 30, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #152720

rocky - your “police action” had way more deaths than this current war. so if you want to lump iraq into other world wars - Im gonna include all the damn police actions I want. Dont argue symantics with me - the point remains the same.

Posted by: b0mbay at May 30, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #152755

b0mbay,

“rocky - your “police action” had way more deaths than this current war. so if you want to lump iraq into other world wars - Im gonna include all the damn police actions I want. Dont argue symantics with me - the point remains the same.”

Get a clue will ya?

Nowhere in the post you reference did I even mention Iraq.

“It only took twenty years after the “War to end all wars” for the world to descend again into the depravity of another world conflict.
It’s been 60 years since the end of that.”

What part of WORLD CONFLICT don’t you understand?

Frankly I don’t give a rat’s ass about your semantics.
If you want to have a discussion on what I actually posted you might want to PAY ATTENTION to what I actually wrote.

Posted by: Rocky at May 30, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #152770

David, you said if ‘Women would withhold sex from men to stop war there would be no war”. Alas, more wars are fought over ideologies than any other cause. The bitter hatred of the Muslims toward the Jews could never be stopped by such a ruse. The only thing that could erase the collective Islamic hate is to totally erase Jewish blood from the earth! War is here to stay…much as we would love to see the end of it. There is too much greed, envy, religious differences, and the need to dominate others in the human make up to allow us to live in peace and harmony with the rest of mankind.

Posted by: Angel 1 at May 30, 2006 6:45 PM
Comment #152781

Rocky,

Excuse me if I am reading between the lines, and jumping to a logical conclusion based upon your previous posts as well as the overall tone of some of your bretheren on the left.

“Somehow though, I don’t think you go about that by starting more wars”

and

“It’s been 60 years since the end of that.
Will we make 65? “

Maybe I am assuming that you were talking about another war when you mentioned us starting more wars. Maybe i am doing the math wrong in your 60 year calculations. maybe I am wrong in my conclusion of your post, whis is:

The US started the war in iraq, which will eventually drag us into a larger world conflict.

My response to that is:

1. we have been in world conflicts since WWII. Did they have a “world war” in the title? No, but here are some interesting factoids…

Americans killed in WWI, 53,513, wounded 320,710
Americans killed in WWII, 292,131, wounded 1,078,162
Americans killed in Korea, 33,651, wounded 136,935
Americans killed in Vietnam, 47,369, wounded 211,471
The 9/11 attack, 2819 killed

In nearly 4 years of fighting, while conquering and administering two seperate countries half a world away: Approximately 1700 killed, 6700 wounded.
Out of a population of 300,000,000.

But aren’t we spending a whole lot of money? For all military maintenence, aquisition, training and operations, 3.7% of our GDP. Lower than at any point during the Cold War. Even over most of Clinton’s peaceful terms with all the talk of a “peace dividend” defense spending was a greater percentage of GDP (averaging out to 3.725% of GDP) than now.

Posted by: b0mbay at May 30, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #152784

b0mbay,

We still have Iran, which may pull the whole planet down.

And which “liberal” brethren would you be referring to?

The last election I voted in I voted Republican.

I liked Bob Dole, and I would have voted for McCain, but there were no “lesser of two evils” in the last election.

Don’t assume too much.

Posted by: Rocky at May 30, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #152856

Paul
When did I claim we won in Vietnam? How can a country win a war when the leader of that country declares a no win policy? And why would that leader commit troops with a no win policy?
No we didn’t win in Vietnam and 101% of the blame goes to LBJ. Our troops did their jobs as best as they were allowed. But Lame Brian Johnson tied our hands behind our backs with his stupid no win policy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 30, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #152880

Ron:
“How can a country win a war when the leader of that country declares a no win policy? And why would that leader commit troops with a no win policy?”

Very timely questions, indeed.

“No we didn’t win in Vietnam and 101% of the blame goes to LBJ. Our troops did their jobs as best as they were allowed. But Lame Brian Johnson tied our hands behind our backs with his stupid no win policy.”

Yeah Paul, just try forget all about what Nixon did after Johnson. Ron obviously has.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 31, 2006 2:29 AM
Comment #152889

Adrienne, you mean there was actually a Republican Pres in office when the US pulled out of Vietnam?!!!

Ron, you imply that had the will been there to win in Vietnam, the US would have won. That is a very dubious suggestion. Despite the fact that the US won the battle for Iraq, it has still not won the war, and indeed cannot win it. It cannot win it because there is a sufficiently large body of the population that reviles a US presence in the country. No doubt the US could have taken Vietnam in the same way, but, like Iraq, you could never have pacified it.
All of this is straying a little from the original point. I note you have repeatedly not responded to my point about the Vietnam war having achieved nothing, that logically all of those lives were lost in vain. That in spite of the US losing that war, vital US interests were not damaged, communism did not prevail, and arguably the US was strengthened by the trauma and self questioning which followed that war. On topic, in led to the development of the Powell doctrine, which infortunately was ignored by the Bush admin, leading the the mess the US finds itself in now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powell_Doctrine

That doctrine was enunciated to ensure that US forces would not be put into a situation like Vietnam again, fighting an unwinnable war where US vital interests were not at stake.
To put soldiers into such situations is really not to honour their service, but to make them pawns in a game to serve narrow interests masquerading as national interest. The chickens usually come home to roost. Interestingly, many informed commentators are now suggesting that Iraq is likely to atomise into sectarian parts, and that it is likely that the Shia south will come under the control of Iran, Kurdistan may be attacked by Turkey, and the Sunni centre taken over by Saudi. It could well lead to a massive regional war. Bush 41 had it right in 90 - 91. He could have collapsed the Saddam regime, but he recognised that what might come afterwards, could be, at least from a US point of view, many times worse. Sometimes its better to leave well enough alone. In any case, most scenarios for the future of Iraq, do not suggest that US service personnel sacrifices will be shown to have been worth it. And for my money, that does not honour their service, and memorials to the fallen in such circumstances are a mockery.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at May 31, 2006 5:17 AM
Comment #152968

Adrienne
Nixon inherited the Vietnam war at a time when everyone wanted out. If Johnson had let the troop fight instead of pussyfooting around things would have been different. Nixon promised the nation what it wanted and delivered it to them. Peace at any cost. While I totally disagreed with Nixon on this it was Johnson that set the stage for it.

Paul in Euroland
The cold hard fact is that we may not have won however the troops were never given the chance to try.
The 101st lost over 1,000 men taking a hill in the A Shaw Valley and had to leave it for the enemy to reoccupy.
When 5,000 Marines hold off 40,000 NVA for 45 days at Kae Shun then they’re ordered to give the base to the enemy.
The NVA 68 TET Offensive was successfully stopped. But we didn’t pursue the enemy.
All because Johnson had this stupid no win policy.
And with a policy like that there’s no way any country can win.
And Vietnam did achieve something. It proved that troops can be sent to battle with their hands tied behind their backs.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 31, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #153163

Ron, you continue to evade my central points. The fact is that even if the US has achieved a military victory over the north, it could not have pacified Vietnam. The Vietnamese wanted their independence, and when a determined intelligent and resourceful people decide on this, there is no way on god’s earth you’re going to stop them. An Irish insurgent/terrorist, depending on your point of view, once said that it’s not those who can inflict the most, but those who can endure the most who will prevail.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I said that the sky did not fall with America’s failure in Vietnam. All of the things threatened, like the domino effect for example, never came to pass.Twenty years later, Vietnam was moving towards the international capitalist club by their own volition. So tell me Ron, what did that war achieve for the US? And what was all that waste of life and wrecked bodies and dead children and people traumatised for life and all the treasure squandered for?

ps, did you mean Khe Sanh?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at May 31, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #153231

Paul
So tell me Ron, what did that war achieve for the US? And what was all that waste of life and wrecked bodies and dead children and people traumatised for life and all the treasure squandered for?

When you figure that out, tell me.

Yeah I meant Khe Sanh. I spell half those places over there wrong.

We were supposed to be fighting to keep the South Vietnamese free. But they really didn’t care who was incharge as long as they got their bowl of rice every day. How can you keep poeple like that free?

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 1, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #153265

Angel 1 said: “The bitter hatred of the Muslims toward the Jews could never be stopped by such a ruse.”

That is what was said of the violence in India between Hindu and Muslim before Ghandi began his hunger strike. Saying “could never” is just a rationalization for never trying or finding the path that results in the word “success” or “did”. The basic philosophical tenets if Islam and Judaism and Christianity have very few differences. Focusing on the common ground of all three is a good beginning for all heads of state and religious leaders. But, the people must be ready for it, prepared for it. And the religious and state leaders have that responsibility.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 1, 2006 4:13 AM
Comment #153270

Yeah right Ron, that’s just like the Major who said we had to destroy the vill, to save it! For an American, it’s difficult to understand how you can have such incomprehension of a people’s desire for national self determination. If what you say it true, then surely every NVA who was on operations in the south, would have jumped at the chance to jump ship when in the south. And are you saying that the highly motivated fighters of the VC did it just for a bowl of rice?

As to figuring out what it was all for, surely that’s a no brainer. the following is an extract from a review of David Kaiser’s book “American Tragedy” as reviewed by Barron Laycock -

“Hopefully books like this will help us to come to understand and accept the reality of what the American government did in our name to Vietnam. We need to understand how we came to export our darkest emotional suspicions and a sense of national paranoia about a monolithic communist threat into an incredibly murderous campaign that almost exterminated a whole generation of Vietnamese by way of indiscriminate carpet bombing, deliberate use of environmentally horrific defoliates, and creation of so-called “free-fire” zones, where everthing and anything moving was assumed to be hostile, whether it be man, woman, child, or beast. All of this was visited on the world in general and the Vietnamese in particular for little or no reason other than the extremely aggressive and ultimately dangerous can-do macho world-view of the power elite. The sooner we recognize this, the better it will be for us as citizens of a democratic government, and the more likely it is we will stop the next set of so- inclined bureaucratic monsters from acting in this way again”.

Doesn’t this have some echoes of how the US found itself ensnared in the quagmire of Iraq?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at June 1, 2006 4:41 AM
Comment #153324

David, the reason I said the hatred of the Muslim for the Jew and the Christian will never be solved is in the Islamic Koran. I can give you the suras (verses )that call for the killing of everyone who is not Muslim, or will not accept the Islamic faith. Both the Koran and the Holy Hadith , the Muslim’s second sacred book, state that their mission is to make the entire world Islamic, whether by peaceful conversion, or by force. If refused, death is the only other option.

Posted by: Angel 1 at June 1, 2006 10:37 AM
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