Just Say Your Are Sorry!

Since Ken Burns released his newest documentary about the Vietnam War I have been following it up with some historic perspectives on the war.

I fought my way through 21/2 years in Vietnam and when I returned back to the US I became a staunch anti-war protester.

Over the years I have had many discussions with others about that war….some served others did not…..at one time some older gentleman told me that I need to apologize to the country for my activism.

I was taken aback and asked why should I apologize?

He told me that it was people like me that tore the country apart with all the protests to the point that the country was weakened by all the division.

My first reaction was…..BITE ME!

I said that I had nothing to apologize for and that he, a supporter of the war, should do it more than I.  Support sending in children to fight a bloody war that was NEVER meant to be won.

This event from my past came to m                                                                                                        ind after I read a piece on Common Dreams…..

How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, something like this:

It was beyond cruel what was done to Viet Nam vets. I protested the war but not the soldiers who’d been thru hell.

That’s a comment made on my Facebook page when I posted Jerry Lembcke’s very insightful review of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s series, The Vietnam War. Lembcke points out that the series promotes the established narrative that for Vietnam vets, the experience of coming home to a “hostile” public was “more traumatic than the war itself.” As I will discuss here, Lembcke, a Vietnam veteran and Associate Professor Emeritus at Holy Cross College, has dedicated much of his life to countering and disproving that narrative.

Now take a close look at the above statement. I protested the war but not the soldiers who’d been thru hell. The implication is, of course, that while this person didn’t do it, others must have “protested the soldiers,” referring to the ubiquitous stories of soldiers and veterans being harassed, hounded, called baby killers and spat on by a variety of protesters and, as the stories usually go, “long haired hippies.” Actually, this particular comment was part of a string of responses to someone who claimed he was “urinated on while in uniform.”

Source: Vietnam War Protesters have NOTHING to Apologize For | By | Common Dreams

In hindsight I still see NO reason for me to apologize…I did what I felt is morally right.


17 thoughts on “Just Say Your Are Sorry!

  1. (Thanks for serving, and thanks for your anti-war activism). I have a feeling these “baby-killer” and “spitting on the veterans” tales are exaggerated, and merely serve as a convenient weapon by people who hate anti-war activists. I’ve yet to see any video, or hear any audio. And I agree, Burns-Novick took the bait and played into that narrative, unfortunately. At the end of “The Vietnam War,” one activist started crying and apologized. But where are the apologies from the thugs who attacked the activists, activities that are extremely well-documented?? Unfortunately, America still wants to glorify the warrior, while denigrating the conscientious objector. And as JFK observed, until the two are on equal turf, we’ll always have war.

  2. According to the Constitution, the ‘right to address grievances toward the government by protest” is one of the basic foundations of a democratic republic, which was the intended form of our government. Thus, anyone who objects to protest, from anyone, regarding anything, is NOT an American patriot, and has no real understanding of protest, or why it is important…. But, then, they are the same people who refuse to acknowledge their own ignorance when it comes to their own government, or that they need to be educated and aware of what it is up to.

    Second, anyone who has not been in battle has no right to speak, at all, about anyone who has. That, to me, is just common sense… But, most ‘Amurricans’ wouldn’t know common sense if it slapped them, which it often does.

    That’s enough politics for me in one day….

    gigoid, the dubious

  3. That war was a long time ago and I believe people ought to have gotten over it by now — except perhaps for those families who lost loved ones to the Gooks.

    1. Sure, John Liming. Let’s just forget about that war. Let’s shut the dialogue and not learn from history. And, even better, show our immaturity by using racist terms.

  4. Chuq, the civilians, especially the rural peasants, are always the forgotten ones–two million of them from Vietnam. I have been receiving a 20% disability, for the past six years. On the VA web site, there is a list of some 13 different maladies, which are significantly more common among those who were there, as compared to our general population.

    Agent Orange is a defoliant, and I cannot prove that I picked my illness up for RVN, or just old age. From what I have read, 20% of the country is not capable of growing food. So, what about the Vietnamese who have been living with this stuff for the past 50 years. There is no one to provide health care, or to heal their sick land!

      1. Just a few months ago, the young girl, “Tanya”, who was shown running away from Napalm after her clothes hd been burned from her, was being treated at the University of Miami, for her umpteenth operation. That photo won the photographer a Pulitzer Prize.

      2. A university, not our government, took action to correct a wrong. Better yet, we should have never gone, and many of our comrades would also be enjoying their grandchildren too!

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