The Vietnam Syndrome. "In the 1960s, the United States blanketed the Mekong River delta with Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant more devastating than napalm. Thirty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the poisoned legacy lives on in the children whose deformities it is said to have caused." Photo essay
by James Nachtwey, written essay
by Christopher Hitchens. [Previously discussed here and here, via C&L.]
posted by homunculus
on Sep 1, 2006 -
Now we're faced with a supposedly democratic
Russia where the opposition parties are established, crushed, united, their leadership changed
, all at the behest of the president. China, now clearly a capitalist state, albeit one without the democratic trimmings
, still calls itself communist
. Vietnam has gone much the same way
Some things remain the same, though. America's still meddling
in Latin America, just like it did during the Cold War
. The US Army is also fighting a guerilla resistance in Iraq, its leaders apparently ignorant of the lessons of history
, yet accusing others of exactly that
. It's just like the 60s, when it was just as obvious who had learnt lessons and who hadn't
posted by imperium
on Aug 30, 2006 -
Collection of Divine Messages, vol. 1.
In 1926, Vietnamese intellectuals tried to unify the religions of the world. After a year of intensive seance, here's what
they came up with: Spiritist mediumship, Taoist cosmology, Christian rhetoric, Catholic structure, Buddhist/Confucian morality, .....Masonic imagery? Their take on vegetarianism: "An impure physical body will create an impure spiritual body, which cannot conduct electricity well. As a result, it will then be struck by lightning and be destroyed in the atmosphere. Even if the impure spiritual body is wise and remains on the earth to avoid the lightning, it will remain an Immortal and never proceed to Buddhahood. This is why I recommend the practice of complete vegetarianism before attempting meditation." More via Sydney Centre for Studies in Caodaism.
posted by Laugh_track
on Aug 18, 2006 -
"We wired the Ho Chi Minh Trail
like a drugstore pinball machine and plugged into it every night." From 1965 to 1975, telemetry from thousands of microphones hidden in remote Vietnam jungles were fed to a massive data processing center in Thailand, where an IBM System/360 [wiki]
mapped real-time Vietcong movements to display terminals. The details
of Project Igloo White remained compartmentalized and highly classified until only several years ago.
posted by rolypolyman
on May 22, 2006 -
"I've been silent long enough...
My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time
magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging
) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir!
Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth
posted by digaman
on Apr 9, 2006 -
I don't believe they'll give up on the bases and the oil. Nor will its successors, Republican or Democrat. So I think that's what we will be doing, staying forever. Unless the rest of us, outside the government, force change on the leadership of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, which will be difficult and take a long time.
From DailyKos comes an excellent series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg
; leaker of The Pentagon Papers. Part 1: The Pentagon Papers and the Overlooked 1968 Leaks
, Part 2: Judith Miller, the New York Times and Government-Controlled Press
, Part 3: The Cult of Secrecy in Government and Its Undermining of Democracy
, Part 4: Whistleblowing and Effective Activism
, Part 5: Iraq/Vietnam Parallels and Other Foreign Policy Fiascos
and Part 6: Bush, the Next 9/11 and the Approaching Police State
posted by afu
on Mar 23, 2006 -
"Next, have those who lost legs crawl forward and neatly/ stack them. Then bowl the skull of your best killed buddy/ down the aisle / Finally, have the blind push the quadruplegics forward /
(they will have knives in their teeth to give to the legislators /
to use on themselves). We leave."
Or: "Today you reached retirement/ with a disturbed and primal conscience / .... / Drunk and stoned, down in your worst /
moment, you subpoenaed yourself /
into believing the mission /
was more important than the man."
Or: "Terrified, by the death grins. /
Afraid, I'll be one of the dead. /
Wondering, why did I ever think, /
it wouldn't be as bad as they said?"
Soldiers' stories told in the veterans' poetry, from the archives
of the Viet Nam Generation Journal.
posted by orthogonality
on Mar 20, 2006 -
In 1966, the MACV Recondo School
was established to train Special Forces Units in long-range recon tactics and commando operations. Graduates were called "Recondos"
and could infiltrate enemy-controlled territory for long periods of time without being resupplied. The school was well known enough to spawn a cheezy GI Joe character.
Apparently you can easily infiltrate Hollywood
as well with allegedly
false Recondo credentials.
posted by Smedleyman
on Feb 9, 2006 -
Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq?
Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.
The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars
, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money
? Also see here
posted by digaman
on Feb 3, 2006 -
60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam
with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site
devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter
on Dec 8, 2005 -
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers. An interview
with Martin Van Creveld. See also Nowhere To Run
posted by y2karl
on Nov 29, 2005 -
- from the London Review of Books, a review of Jane Fonda’s War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon
by Mary Hershberger.
So, what is the story behind Jane Fonda? You will find few people so reviled among macho warrior types. Back in the Depressingly Christian Private School (DCPS) that I went to, to hear some of the things she had been accused of you'd have thought she was the Whore of Babylon herself.
The truly interesting thing about this article isn't the discussion of the reality of Fonda's anti-war protesting measured against the myth, but as an illustration of the kind of pass-it-along info, whose truth is a matter of almost-scriptural faith, that serves as the conventional wisdom concerning the Left in the ill-educated backwaters that compose so much of our nation. This kind of thing is the political equivilent of the story of the midget who hanged himself on the set of The Wizard of Oz
Additional reading: the Snopes page on Jane Fonda
posted by JHarris
on Nov 13, 2005 -
"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney
, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood
. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they
told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
posted by drakepool
on May 30, 2005 -
Col. David Hackworth
, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week
at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall
wrote the Vietnam Primer
, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not
to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website
as a soapbox, a best-selling author
, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily
and Common Dreams
posted by snarkout
on May 6, 2005 -
"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today
is the thirtieth anniversary
of the Fall
A secret plan
to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect
with the Presidency of the World Bank
, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan",
to scare the Soviet Union
into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization"
, turning over responsibility for the war
to the South Vietnamese
, the North nevertheless won the war.
. Operation Frequent Wind
, the chaotic evacuation
of the American Embassy
, brought to a close
of American hubris
. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy
, then as farce
posted by orthogonality
on Apr 30, 2005 -
For young deserters, refuge is hard to find
It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland.
Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 25, 2005 -
is a charity training restaurant for street children set up in 1996 in Hanoi
by Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham
Of the more than 100 or so former street kids who have learned cooking, waiting and bar skills, 100% of KOTO graduates have since become employed in hotels and restaurants in Hanoi.
stands for Know One Teach One
provide uniforms, accomodation,
most meals and a small wage during the traineeship.
Even Bill Clinton
number something in the order of 20,000 or more in Vietnam
and most head to the city from poor villages in the countryside, seeking their own slice of the wealth that transition to a market economy is said to generate. Most
make little money shining shoes and selling postcards and many become involved in drugs, crime, prostitution or are harassed and arrested by the Police.
restaurant is another exemplary training enterprise (French affiliation) run along similar lines to KOTO excepting that they also have bakery outlets and embroidery training.
These organizations are hopeful examples of education combatting the cycle of poverty.
: but no contribution
to the Vietnamese economy will be forthcoming
from U.S. chemical companies who supplied agent orange
during the war)
posted by peacay
on Mar 11, 2005 -
The argument I make in my book is that what I describe as the new American militarism arises as an unintended consequence of the reaction to the Vietnam War and more broadly, to the sixties... If some people think that the sixties constituted a revolution, that revolution produced a counterrevolution, launched by a variety of groups that had one thing in common: they saw revival of American military power, institutions, and values as the antidote to everything that in their minds had gone wrong. None of these groups — the neoconservatives, large numbers of Protestant evangelicals, politicians like Ronald Reagan, the so-called defense intellectuals, and the officer corps — set out saying, “Militarism is a good idea.” But I argue that this is what we’ve ended up with: a sense of what military power can do, a sort of deference to the military, and an attribution of virtue to the men and women who serve in uniform. Together this constitutes such a pernicious and distorted attitude toward military affairs that it qualifies as militarism. An interview with Andrew Bacevich
, international relations professor and former Army colonel, and author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
--and here is a review
. Recently by Bacevich: We Aren't Fighting to Win Anymore - U.S. troops in Iraq are only trying to buy time
posted by y2karl
on Feb 21, 2005 -
Ann Coulter and the facts on Vietnam Its nice seeing Ann Coulter squirm
. While being interviewed by the CBC's Bob McKeown, Coulter displayed her lack of historical knowledge on Canada's involvement (or lack of) in Vietnam. What's even more telling is her inability or refusal to back down even when she is dead wrong.
Here is the video
posted by mountainmambo
on Feb 1, 2005 -
Vietnam Veterans for George W. Bush?
"This web site was created and personally paid for by a Vietnam combat veteran as a service to his country and has no financial connection with any political party or campaign organization."
...and he does not pussy foot around!
posted by Postroad
on Oct 19, 2004 -
SWIFT BOAT LIES
send this to 5 people! "Like most bloggers, I have my beefs with the mainstream media. But you know what? They produce an awful lot of damn fine original reporting.
Case in point. In August the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth charged that John Kerry had lied about the events that led to his Silver Star. In order to figure out if the SBVT account was true, Nightline sent a crew to Vietnam, where they visited the hamlets of Tran Thoi and Nha Vi and interviewed the local villagers to get their recollections of what really happened 35 years ago. You can read the resulting story yourself, but it's summarized pretty easily: Kerry was right and SBVT honcho John O'Neill wasn't.
But there was also this:..."
posted by Postroad
on Oct 15, 2004 -
Why Bush Left Texas Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet. A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing... If it is demonstrated that profound behavioral problems marred Bush's wartime performance and even cut short his service, it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values. It could also explain the incomplete, contradictory and shifting explanations provided by the Bush camp for the President's striking invisibility from the military during the final two years of his six-year military obligation...
There's that elephant in the living room again.
posted by y2karl
on Sep 15, 2004 -
George Bushes's Military record: a critical analysis
This pdf file is about as definitive a look as we are likely to get on the Bush military record. Clearly most post4ers/readers of Metafilter do not support Bush, but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics
posted by Postroad
on Sep 8, 2004 -
Bush's missing service year and missing records? no worries. Bush wearing a medal he didn't earn? no problemos. Kerry's 5 Vietnam war medals? Pentagon inquiry. [reg maybe required: use mefi/mefi]
posted by kv
on Sep 5, 2004 -
Canto do Brasil [Flash, sound, MiguelCardosoFilter]
is a street-level view of Brazil made by photographer Geoffrey Hiller, more precisely a view of Salvador Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.
Another amazing project of his is Burma, Grace Under Pressure [Flash, sound]
, exposing Burma's beauty and sadness.
Also check Eastern Europe: Visions & Icons [Flash]
,where Hiller's post-Berlin Wall photographs are accompanied by Lev Liberman's moving text, New York City: After The Fall [Flash, sound]
, an elegy to New Yorkers affected by 9/11, and his journal from Vietnam
posted by Masi
on Sep 1, 2004 -
My name is Scott Camile. I was a Sgt. attached to Charley 1/1. I was a forward observer in Vietnam. I went in right after high school and I'm a student now. My testimony involves burning of villages with civilians in them, the cutting off of ears, cutting off of heads, torturing of prisoners, calling in of artillery on villages for games, corpsmen killing wounded prisoners, napalm dropped on villages, women being raped, women and children being massacred, CS gas used on people, animals slaughtered, Chieu Hoi passes rejected and the people holding them shot, bodies shoved out of helicopters, tear-gassing people for fun and running civilian vehicles off the road.
Here is the Swift Boat related back story from The Sixties Project: Winter Soldier Investigation
- Testimony given in Detroit, Michigan, on January 31, 1971, February 1 and 2, 1971. Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. This testimony was published in the Congressional Record, "Extensions and Remarks," April 7, 1971: 2825-2900, 2903-2936.
(Much More Inside)
posted by y2karl
on Aug 30, 2004 -
Former Texas Lt. Gov. says he helped Bush dodge 'Nam. "I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people. And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial wall the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because it's the worst thing I did was help a lot of wealthy supporters, and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm ashamed. And I apologize to you, the voters of Texas."
Video available here
posted by insomnia_lj
on Aug 27, 2004 -
The Curious Case of George's Medals.
Does this picture
contain a medal that GW Bush did not earn? All day at the Democratic Underground they've been congratulation themselves for finding the smoking gun. Is it really that easy? Acutally looking at a picture? Must the president *now* release his records to prove that he wasn't wearing a medal that isn't documented in any of his records?
posted by tsarfan
on Aug 23, 2004 -
AP Seeks Release of Bush Military Records
Records destroyed? Ah, the other set! ..."Records released so far do not put to rest questions over whether Bush fulfilled his National Guard service for a period during the Vietnam War, the AP argued in papers filed in federal court in New York.
Those records came from federal records clearinghouses. Texas law requires separate record keeping for state National Guard service
, and those records should exist on microfilm in Austin, the AP said. ..."
posted by Postroad
on Jul 16, 2004 -