Behind Bars Again

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I’ve written about my time in the US Army, and about spending time behind bars getting out of the Army, in my story called It’s Not About Me. In that story, I discussed a bit of my view on the Vietnam war, the view echoed by many who have studied it since—that it was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. My experience was that the Vietnam war damaged every single person it touched, on both sides of the Pacific, and more than anyone it damaged some of the veterans who’d actually done the fighting. I know, I spent months in the nuthouse assisting the physically crippled and the memory damaged, my friends were the shell-shocked refuse of the carnage. It’s not my wish to refight the war or what I did regarding the war, just to tell my story about it, so please, let’s not turn this into a referendum on some imaginary “right” response to the Vietnam War—there weren’t any of those, just levels of wrong responses, plus pain and suffering enough for all.

mymummie smallChristina Dorothea Dyer Greene, and looking at that lovely old granny, you’d never guess she’d once put a voodoo death curse on a man … another story I should tell sometime.

A couple years after I got out of the nuthouse and the Army, I went to live with the Captain’s Daughter, my beloved grandmother we called “My-mummie” whom I’ve written about before. It was a great experience for me. It was after my grandfather’s death, and my oldest cousin was living there as well and she and I have always been close. We cooked dinner and washed and dried the dishes and kept up the grounds and did house maintenance and such for My-mummie. The best part was that I could hear her stories again (and some for the first time) as an adult and not as a seven-year-old kid. I lived with her about a year, it was fascinating, I’ll write more about her sometime.

After a while, though, I wanted my own place. I loved My-mummie, but eventually I had to move out on my own. A friend of my cousin’s said she needed someone to caretake a tiny one-room cabin she owned near Santa Cruz, totally enclosed by a state forest. I said sure, and moved out there. It was an enchanted place, it always reminded me of Snow White’s pad. It was quite close to Santa Cruz, but totally hidden. You’d drive through the protected forest, and there was an little clearing with a little house in the sunlight, the famous “bee-loud glade”. I continued making and selling sandals.

This was also the first time I ever made money from my art. I mean as opposed to my music. I started making and selling mobiles. I made light fixtures that were mobiles, using glass, and candelabras, and railroad lanterns, and pieces of cut steel, and crystals, and found objects. They moved and spun, casting an ever-changing, entrancing light. They were beautiful, and they were easy to make and sell, people snapped them up as fast as I finished them, so I generally had a bit of money, not much, but enough.

Of course, the Vietnam War was still going on, it hadn’t stopped because I’d managed to get my invitation cancelled. I met some people who were in a loose confederation called “The Resistance”. The Resistance was founded by David Harris, who was married to the singer Joan Baez at the time. Some of the Resistance guys rented a house just behind the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on Second Street. We called it the “Resistance Commune”. We were hippies, we were opposed to the Vietnam War, we believed in peace and love. Bored middle-aged housewives brought food to the house and gave money, so we’d be free to work to end the war. And we did work, we did what we could, and we worked hard at it.

It was a strange time. We believed in something vague called “The Revolution”. We weren’t sure what that was, but we knew we were at the forefront of it. It involved throwing out everything that our parents believed. That much was obvious from the terrible hole it left behind. Beyond that, we were making up the song as we were singing it.

It was also the time of “free love”. I later learned that (for me at least) love is rarely free, but we were young and didn’t know that yet. At the time I was sexually involved with three women. Not at the same instant or in the same bed, you understand, but at the same time. They all three lived in a commune called the “River Street House”. They all knew each other, they were good friends, they all knew about me, there were no secrets between us. None of us thought much about it, it went on for a couple months, it was great … well, it was actually fantastic until I came down with the clap, and I had to tell all three of them.

Gonorrhea. Ugly word, I know, and an ugly reality, but I have to be honest about the bad as well as the good. I’ve said I am telling my tale warts and all, and having the clap definitely qualifies as more than a wart in my world.

I got the usual symptom, a leaky faucet, went to the doctor, got tested, and I got the bad news. So I called the three lovely ladies all together, and told them all at one time so there was no misunderstanding and we could get it clear. I said that I had the clap, and that I must have gotten it from one of them, because I hadn’t had sex with anyone else, and I was willing to swear to that.

Now, after I published my story about hopping freight trains, people wrote in the comments to say I should issue clear warnings in my stories, so fools don’t try to follow my path. They said I should do that to keep a bunch of maroons from cluttering up the rail yards with their corpses and body parts and drowning in the Kenai and the like trying to follow my lead. Seemed excessive to me, like the sign on my aluminum foil reflective car screen that keeps the sun off of the dashboard when I park, covering the front window entirely. The sign says, no bull, it says “WARNING! Do not drive the car with this sunscreen in position”.

Really? We’ve fallen that far?

In any case, to keep folks from complaining about this story, here’s my Official Warning—kids, don’t try this one at home. Do whatever you have to do in order to avoid telling three women at the same time that one gave you gonorrhea and you might have given it to the other two. I assure you, Miss Manners classifies it as a major social blunder.

Plus it’s not an easy subject to bring up, regardless of how you lay the groundwork, and I’ll tell you, gonorrhea is a real bitch to just casually slip into a conversation without groundwork, like “Oh, yeah, guess what, ladies, funniest thing happened to me yesterday, I was passing by my doctor’s and I thought I’d drop in, you’ll never believe what he told me …”

That wasn’t the hardest part, though. As uncomfortable and painful as it had been for me to tell the three of them that I’d gotten the clap from one of them and I might have passed it on, there was worse. First, though, we all had to walk on eggshells around each other, no sex for anyone until they got their results back from the lab, from memory that took three four days.

injection

Now, for those men out there who have had the unfortunate luck to be falsely accused, and who have had to try to convince a furious woman of your actual innocence, that you have been true to her and only her, you have not been cheating on her, and that you are telling her the 100% facts of the case, I’m sure you all can testify how just how hard and painful that is …

Well, just be thankful that you have not had to try to convince three furious women, who have just gotten out of the car after driving back from the clinic together, three furious women who have been discussing your shortcomings and lack of honesty because all of their tests turned out negative. Consider trying to convince them that you have been true to them and only them, that you haven’t been unfaithful to the three of them in either thought or word or deed, and that you’re telling God’s own truth. I don’t recommend it for the weak of heart.

Of course, they didn’t believe a word of what I was saying, understandably, they had the medical proof, the three of them got in my face all at once, shouting, punching my shoulders … it was truly not a pretty picture, folks, your narrator did not appear in a good light at all. First my faucet starts leaking, then my sacred word is being seriously questioned, and now I’m in the doghouse and getting thumped on by not just one but all three of the beautiful women that I care about … it was a very bad week for me.

Much battered in spirit, not to mention somewhat bruised about the upper torso, I went to the library and studied up on the tests they’d been given. As always, the science helps. It turned out that the test they used for men back then was pretty good, but in women, you got a false negative about one time in four. That is to say, for one woman in four who actually had gonorrhea, the test didn’t show it. I’d always been a good mathematician, I took out my pencil and figured that if there was one chance in four of a false positive for any one of them, there was an excellent chance that one or more of them had a bad test result.

So I went back and told that to the good ladies. They were skeptical, but they all went and got retested. It turned out that one of them actually did have the clap, so my honor was restored, I had been telling the truth. I really had been faithful to the three of them and the three of them alone just like I’d sworn to them, and the very best news was … I hadn’t given the disease to either of the other two. And in the end they all told me they forgave me, although I’m still not clear what I’d done that needed forgiving, but I accepted it with an open heart anyhow, they were wonderful women … but I digress, I’m just happy I was young after penicillin and before AIDS …

As part of our Resistance work, we arranged all kinds of protests against the war, against imperialism, against poverty. We though of ourselves as Dadaist revolutionaries, though. I liked to carry random signs in the marches, signs advertising weird stuff, signs just with pictures, strange signs. On one march, I was face to face with the riot police, with everyone waving signs to end the Vietnam war, yelling slogans. Everyone had their signs, “END THE WAR”, “END THE INVASION”, than kind of thing.

Me, I was in front, hollering at the cops, and I was waving a lovely international orange road sign with black letters I’d found mounted on a post along the protest route, and had brought with me … I was a bit unclear on the “let’s all protest something” concept, I guess, but I knew how to have fun. I used to say that a Revolution you couldn’t laugh at wasn’t worth having.

The Vietnam War went on and on. In December, The Resistance leaders, based in Palo Alto, arranged for the second big mass sit-in at the Alameda Induction Center. At the first Resistance sit-in, everyone had gotten arrested, it was all peaceful, and they all had to do five days at the Santa Rita prison farm. The papers picked it up, it was a one-day wonder, we were all abuzz about how the war machine was cracking and how the Resistance was famous and we were starting to win …

However, the first sit-in had had absolutely no larger effect of any kind that I could tell. After the one day of news, that was it, no follow-up articles, the entire sit-in and the arrests and the jail time just vanished, and the war rolled on without the slightest change.

end road work

So the decision was made to do the exact same thing again, another identical sit-in, same time, same place.

Hey, don’t look at me like that, they didn’t solicit my opinion, although at the time I might have agreed. I likely was dumb enough then to do something a second time expecting a different result. So the Santa Cruz Resistance Commune (those of us who could) went up to Oakland for a sit-in in at the Army Induction Center to see if we could raise a public outcry and get arrested. “Clog up the gears of the war machine”, I believe was the catchphrase of the time.

I gotta confess, I wasn’t crazy about the whole idea. After spending a month or so locked up in the Navy nuthouse, and then five months behind bars in the Army nuthouse, I was kinda over the whole razor wire and cells and bars and guards experience, the thrill was gone. I’d done my time. But I went along. We were part of The Revolution, so no sacrifice was too great.

Our friends drove us up to Oakland early in the morning. We all got together around six AM, maybe 120 people or so, and we sat down all around the doors of the Induction Center. It was funny, that’s exactly where I’d been inducted a couple of years before. I was one of the few guys in the crowd who’d actually been inside, I’d spent hours in the place.

A “sit-in” is a non-violent event. It’s also, for that very reason, boring as hell. First off, we figured they’d open at eight, but they didn’t even open until nine … so we sat around and told each other stories about how noble our cause was, and how wrong the pigs and the war merchants were, and how much difference we were making. Like I said … booooring.

Eventually, the cops came. The Oakland Police were practiced at the action by then, it wasn’t their first rodeo. They backed up the paddy wagon, the police prisoner van, right up to the mass of sitting people, and just started tossing us in the back. As one wagon got full and left, another pulled right in. It was assembly line arrests, Henry Ford would have been proud. We thought we’d clog up the gears of the war machine? No worries, they had them well greased. By noon we were all hauled away and they were back to inducting draftees into the Army as though nothing had happened.

induction centerI’d never been in a paddy wagon, the “Black Maria” van the cops use to transport prisoners. But as you know, I’m always up for new experiences. The main thing I remember about it was that it smelled like vomit, no surprise there, it served as the rolling drunk tank most nights of the week. Given a choice, I’d advise taking alternate transportation. They hauled us away to the Justice Center by the packed van load.

We were put in a big cell. No windows, kind of dark. We waited for hours and hours. Waiting bothered some people a lot, they walked and paced, rattled the bars. I’d been locked in rooms like that before in the nuthouse, so I knew waiting of old, waiting was a good friend of mine, I could wait with the best of them. One by one people left the room to go before the Judge. None came back. We had no idea of our fate.

When my name was finally called, after the darkness of the holding cell the courtroom was blindingly bright. I blinked and looked around. The Judge was on a high dias, I had to look way up to him. He said “You are charged with Disturbing the Peace. How do you plead?” Like all of us, I plead guilty to Disturbing the War. The Judge looked just like a frog, puffed up, obviously frustrated by the unending long line of people waiting to come before him and mock his court. He sentenced me to twenty days like everyone else before me, and they started to take me … say what? Twenty days?

Twenty days? We’d figured on getting five days like the last bunch … and since that day was December 13th, that meant we wouldn’t see freedom until the second of January. We’d miss both Christmas and New Years. Pinche cabrón, I hadn’t planned on that, but there it was, my choices were dig it or bitch about it, and besides, no sacrifice was too great because we were making such a difference, it just made us more noble. Plus any mathematician could tell you, if we stayed in twenty days we’d make four times the difference that the folks made who stayed five days … of course, that had been zero difference, but we were comforted by the thought that we’d do four times as much.

So I reset my mental retirement clock, my next retirement wouldn’t be in time for Christmas, no, no. I reset for twenty days. No problem, I’d done months inside, I could do twenty days “standing on my head” as they say.

They took us, busload by busload, out to Santa Rita Prison Farm. They had two big connected barracks set aside for us, likely to avoid trouble with the cons. Or maybe to keep us from talking to them about sit-ins, I don’t know. I believe they’ve torn those barracks down since and built something else. We were over 100 guys, including David Harris, the founder of The Resistance. The much smaller number of women went elsewhere.

Being locked up this time wasn’t too bad. I was in a big barracks surrounded by like-minded friends. And best of all, I never once woke up lashed down to a bed, as had happened before several times, and that’s always a huge plus in my world. We talked stories and compared lies.

The best day in jail for all of us was Christmas, but not for the usual reason. I woke up and my friend Rodney said “Hey, check this out!”, with a big grin. He held out a box and told me to look inside. Damn, it was a treasure chest!

What happened was that some guys from the San Jose Resistance had broken into the jail late Christmas eve. That’s right, not out of the jail, but into the jail, like some lifer’s fantasy of Santa Claus for cons. They cut through the outer wire, came across an open area dodging the searchlights, cut through another fence around the barracks area, made it to our barracks, cut through the wire around our barracks, and came right inside.

Zowie. Tip of the Hat.

I talked later to one of the San Jose guys who had done it. He said going that direction was much easier than the alternative, because they’re never looking for people breaking into jail. He tried to down-play the whole thing, but I was still very impressed, because even if getting in was easier, the guys had still had to get back out again … that took some serious stones. I told him what a great gift it had been and what a difference it had made.

In any case, I woke up Christmas morning, and Rodney said that the San Jose guys had awakened him about 2 AM. They had brought in boxes and boxes of cookies, along with several cigarette packs full of joints. Damnbetcha, regular cigarette packets full of cigarettes of the mystery herb of the ancient Hindus, the eponymous “Indian Hemp”. Plus, there were a few tabs of blotter acid (LSD).

Of course, at that time marijuana and LSD were very illegal, particularly in jail, duh.

But we were in a funny place. Our barracks were the last two in a long row of similar barracks. There was only one way to get to us. It was a long path visible all along its way from the main street to us, and it had four locked gates with long walks in between. So they couldn’t rush us or do anything fast, it took them a couple minutes from when they appeared at the end of the row, out at the far end of the path with four locked gates, to the time when they arrived at the barracks, after they had walked and unlocked and relocked and walked and …

So we made no attempt to hide the dope. Instead, we distributed all the joints as fairly as possible, then we all went outside to the veranda. We all lit up at once, and we stood around sharing joints and eating cookies. We knew that we’d have plenty of time to laugh at the guards if they tried to stop us, and that the cookies and joints would be long gone by the time they got there. The guards did finally show up, late to the party as usual, the weed and the cookies were gone, the acid well hidden. We razzed them, told them they’d missed the party, if only they’d come half an hour earlier we’d have given them cookies and offered them a joint … somehow they didn’t see the humor in it. They ran us all back inside, and lectured us, and searched the veranda area, and then ran us all outside again, and shook down the whole barracks, and found nothing …

The best story of the whole Santa Rita farce, though, happened to one of my friends. He was put in solitary confinement for fighting, not his fault, somehow he’d ended up in a regular cell and his cellmate had attacked him. We smuggled in messages to him, letting him know he wasn’t forgotten.

After Christmas, through our contacts in the joint, we were able to smuggle him one of the tabs of blotter acid that the San Jose guys had brought in. My friend figured, hey, best place in the world to drop acid, nobody can mess with me. What are they gonna do … throw me in solitary?

He liked to meditate, that’s what he’d been doing in solitary the whole time. So he took the LSD and figured he’d spend his time doing some really intense meditation. Sat down on the floor, crossed his legs, pretty soon he was soaring.

Just as the main rush was starting to come on to him, and the cell walls were starting to melt, and the paisley colors were starting to appear on the backs of his hands, he had the very realistic hallucination that his cell door was opening. Of course, being on acid, from the time he first hallucinated hearing the aliens coming towards his door to the time he hallucinated the door finally opening was something was something like five or six weeks … at least it sure seemed that long, but it was hard to tell, there was that wooshy-wooshy noise that kept coming and going that distorted time too. It seemed to him in his elevated state that two aliens came in, they looked kinda like guards, he said, but you could tell the difference, he knew they weren’t guards. They said they had a directive from the home planet or something, their words kept echoing and bouncing around his head, or maybe it was just the echoes in the cell, but they were very hard to understand. They said to come with them, so he followed them meekly, wondering vaguely, where were the aliens taking him? But he didn’t wonder long, because the prison walls of the corridor were so interesting. How come he’d never noticed before that the walls flexed slightly inward and outward when he breathed? He tried to tell the aliens about his discovery, but they told him to shut up.

alien prison guardsThe faces of the aliens kept changing and melting, but he said he wasn’t afraid, he could tell they were friendly. At one point, the aliens lost the form of guards and then assumed the form of prison officials. They put a paper bag on the counter, had him sign some papers. One of the alien official people talked to him, he couldn’t hear him at all but there were little cartoon balloons over the alien’s head. He tried to read them, but they were hard to follow. They said something about how the warden  was letting him out two days early because my friend was such a wonderful person, or that he got extra credit for meditating while in the hole, or something, he was never clear on that part, but the aliens walked him right out of the front gate of the prison and left him there. He said he thought they had some power over the guards to let him go.

So before he knew it, there he was in front of the prison farm, let out two days early because of getting credit he didn’t know about for good behavior, all alone, peaking on acid, and gazing at the world in total wonder as the miraculous sun shone, and the grass grew, and he was free, free, free! He sat down in the grass right there in front of the Santa Rita prison farm, and started talking to the grass, and in a while the grass grew right through him, he could hear the grass taking over his body, and he became just another part of the very grassness of the world … and after while he fell asleep.

In the morning, he woke up next to the paper bag containing his wallet and his possessions, and didn’t know where he was. He sat up, looked around, saw he was outside the prison, and the memories of the acid trip and his miraculous escape and the aliens came back to him. He got up, walked to the road, and hitchhiked back to Santa Cruz.

And ever after that, he was convinced that LSD could do anything, melt steel bars, open jail doors, and nothing we could say about time off for good behavior would ever convince him different. The belief never seemed to do him any harm, he never tried to fly off of buildings on acid or anything stupid. He just had an unshakeable faith that everything would turn out right for him … and as is sometimes the case for folks who believe that, for him it always did. Go figure, he got out in time to celebrate New Years Eve.

They let the rest of us out the day after New Years, a cold windy day. The year had turned while we were away, we’d given stopping the War our best shot, and the War didn’t seem to notice at all. We’d missed Christmas. We’d missed the New Years party. We’d even missed our fifteen minutes of fame, we were in the slam the next day when the newspapers hit the streets … and by the time we were let out, after twenty days, the world had totally forgotten the sit-in, the story was dead on arrival …

“Oh, you were in a sit-in? I didn’t realize there had been one. Was it exciting?”

On that last day, we went through the standard drill, lines for this, sign here, lines for that, initial the form, put our civilian clothes back on, they handed us our wallets and belts and out the door with you, boyo.

Two of my three girlfriends picked me and a couple other Santa Cruz Resistance guys up outside the jail, and we all went back to Santa Cruz to plan the next step in the noble fight against the war. One thing was clear, though. Throwing my skinny okole in jail, whether they did it or I did it to myself, didn’t seem to change the war one bit. I’m a slow learner sometimes … but I never tried that brilliant plan again.

w.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Willis Autobiography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

222 Responses to Behind Bars Again

  1. Monroe says:

    My friend got blown up in Vietnam then he tried to kill me when he got home. What a bunch of bullshit. I whent to Canada.

  2. Timo Kuusela says:

    Strange, something deep inside me wished that You had been fighting in Vietnam.
    It is not disappointment, just more like feeling of confusion.Expectations are a mysterious thing.

  3. Interesting! THX for posting it.

    I turned 18 the Spring after they ended the draft for S.E.A. and am grateful to have missed what so many unwillingly suffered and so many proudly endured and from which so many returned wounded and still others did not return.. God bless them all, their families and their friends.

  4. eworrall1 says:

    The first time I had an um experience, I was was in an industrial estate. The factories – they were so beautiful! I could see we had to clear the forests to make way for more factories.

    When future historians analyse the peculiar events of our age, I wonder how much they will blame our age’s hangup on green issues with the fact powerful hallucinogens are illegal, and are often found in forests.

  5. markx says:

    That seems pretty useful advice re relating contentious issues of the extremely personal kind to a group of three girlfriends. And not something just anyone can tell ya. Thanks Willis. :-)

  6. u.k.(us) says:

    Acid trips, should have a separate thread.
    Or, is that just me ?

  7. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Monroe says:
    February 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    My friend got blown up in Vietnam then he tried to kill me when he got home. What a bunch of bullshit. I went to Canada.

    My best friend in high school told me he wanted to go overseas to kill gooks. He didn’t mean it, he meant he just wanted to fight and kill for what he thought was a noble cause, stopping the spread of Communism.

    When he landed in the Nam, there was a big flap going on, the base where he landed was under attack. They were all riflemen in the plane, so they were hurriedly issued rifles and sent to the perimeter. No sooner had he gotten there and was diving for safety, a bullet passed through his navel on one side and exited his rectum on the other.

    He thought he would die right there, but a Huey, not a rescue Huey but the regular kind, landed for some reason, and they strapped him in. They flew him to some evacuation airport, he was transferred directly to a Tokyo-bound jet, and was in the operating room only a few hours after he’d first touched the soil of Vietnam … he was lucky, he lived, but his internal plumbing has been rerouted ever since. Maybe the shortest tour of duty on record.

    And all I could think when I heard the news was, what a tragic waste. What a sad, sad thing.

    Some went to Canada, some went crazy, some went to Vietnam for one hour and came back evacuating into a bag strapped to their side like my friend, and I cannot say whether what any of them did was right or not. I’d been in and back out before my friend went in. I begged him not to go, I told him take any other path, just don’t go. He thought that honor required that he fight for his country. I thought he was going to die meaninglessly in a futile unwinnable war, and he damn near did.

    Was he right or wrong to go fight? I do not have a clue. I can only honor and support the decision he made, just as I honor both your decision to go to Canada, and your friend’s decision to go to war. No one made the right decision in that war, we all just made different kinds and degrees of wrong decisions.

    w.

  8. Great Story says:

    Having grown up during the ’60′s, I can identify with your story. Just living during that period was an adventure in itself.
    In EVERY combat arena, not just Vietnam, there are always the mentally affected, PTSD and otherwise, in addition to the other horrors of death and physical wounding. One of the hardest realizations is that politicians have little incentive to care about human factors and usually take little serious personal interest in the misfortune of combat soldiers. Those in combat support and not seeing actual fighting also usually have little appreciation of front line conditions and the results. Horribly, there is even less concern for the many more civilians and combatants on the other side who obviously end up worse off with similar issues. This is why any military action should have thorough moral and integrous justification.
    Unfortunately WWII, which was one of the few wars fought rightly, convinced most “patriotic” Americans that this country’s leadership would not possibly enter future conflicts for the wrong reasons. In addition to the tremendous cost of wars such as Vietnam and Iraq (Vietnam/Social Security Fund, Afghanistan & Iraq/3.7 trillion unfunded) , they have also reduced credibility and resulted in major inroads into personal freedoms through the “patriot act” and “Homeland Security”. Sadly, I don’t see anything improving in this arena in the near term.

  9. Willis Eschenbach says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    February 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Acid trips, should have a separate thread.
    Or, is that just me ?

    Thanks, u.k. It’s three paragraphs in the entire story. How does that make up a separate thread?

    Plus which, I’m telling the story of what happened to me and my friends in the Santa Rita Prison Farm, and that was one of them … unfortunately, life itself doesn’t offer us separate threads for these things, they just happen where they happen, and as an honest witness, I can’t just ignore them.

    w.

  10. Jerry says:

    Damn, Willis! Your adventure with the clap and those three women was far more dangerous to life and limb than hopping a freight!

  11. John Coleman says:

    Willis, I cannot simple read this part of of your Autobiography and let it pass because you say you do not want to debate the issues. You have not let your views and actions fade with time, so I cannot simply let this post stand without comment.
    I must express my total repugnance with your positions, your actions and your life style during this part of your life. We all have made mistakes and have low points in our lives. It is my observation that most of those who opposed the Vietnam War and who lived the hippie, drug fueled, anti establishment age of protest have never come to the realization that they were wrong and distructive. To this day most of them still think of themselves as heroes.
    There are several essential elements separating those who fought proudly (and bravely) in Southeast Asia and those at home who supported them throughout this horrible time from those who self-righteously opposed the war. I think there are three big lies that they continue believe and expond about the war. Here they are
    1. The Vietnam War represented an unconstitutional conflict based upon American imperialism and a desire for world dominance
    2. The military lost the war on the battlefield, and in the process committed horrendous atrocities
    3. Anti-war protestors became the true heroes of that turbulent era, and their efforts ultimately brought peace to both the US and Indochina.
    I contend that each of these three claims is not correct and slanders this nation.
    Willis, I continue to admire most of your life as told in your autobiography and thank you for your work countering the bad science of global warming and I am still a “friend” via WUWT. My guess is that this difference will forever, however, cloud our relationship. So be it. You chose to not let this part of your life rest. I cannot simply let it stand uncountered. Regrets.

  12. kirkmyers says:

    I registered for the draft in December 1969 in Santa Ana, Calif., but not long after the Selective Service folks shifted to the lottery system, picking birth dates out of a hat or something or other. My birth date was chosen No. 348. No way I was going to the Vietnam hell-hole.

    When I worked at Disney World in the early 1970s, one of my fellow Jungle Cruise skippers had a low draft number and was inducted into the Army. He wrote back to the rest of us, describing his not-so-pleasant experience: “I think I’m in a bad dream.”

  13. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jerry says:
    February 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Damn, Willis! Your adventure with the clap and those three women was far more dangerous to life and limb than hopping a freight!

    That’s why I provided the Official Warning …

    w.

  14. joe griffin says:

    I was about 10 years too young for Viet Nam, but I did work with some friends that were directly involved and some days I would see that 30 mile stare, I can only think that if I were unnerved that they must have gone straight through a living nightmare! great readthanks Willis!

  15. David Davidovics says:

    As someone who never smoked anything, its a little hard for me to relate to why anyone would try LSD but much like the whole era, its still a part of the real world. Although I avoid sunglasses because I like to see the world as undistorted as possible. Takes all kinds, I suppose.

  16. Athelstan. says:

    Britain, only just avoided being dragged in to South East Asia and Vietnam. My problem with politicians – they don’t learn, nor read history.
    If British politicians, had read any history – particularly British military history of Afghanistan – we would not be there now. From Alexander and throughout history the Afghan combatant has been an indefatiguable opponent.
    The forces of Ho Chi Minh, were far more than capable fighters, the south was corrupt after the wayward years of French occupation. The warriors of the Foreign legion expeditionary force were stuffed at Dien Bien Phu.
    Not learning any lessons, the CIA thought it a good idea to interfere – the Vietnamese were teak hardened troops and had been battling the Chinese for a thousand years – nobody was going to beat them on home turf and the rest as they say – is history.

    History, learn it – it is the sum total of man’s mistakes.

  17. denniswingo says:

    It was a strange time. We believed in something vague called “The Revolution”. We weren’t sure what that was, but we knew we were at the forefront of it. It involved throwing out everything that our parents believed. That much was obvious from the terrible hole it left behind. Beyond that, we were making up the song as we were singing it.

    Speaking as one of the younger brothers and sisters of your generation we thought you all were pretentious arrogant farts who thought you knew everything and the last 40+ years has not changed that opinion.

    By throwing out everything your parents believed we have opened up a cultural wasteland that will take generations to repair, if ever.

  18. Hoser says:

    An adventure with a particular fungus provided an opportunity to illuminate some issues I had buried deeply in my head. Why is it these things are always about mothers? Anyway, without that experience, I would not have properly dealt with them.

    The active components allowed me to experience descending through different layers of conciousness, getting down into parts of my mind I didn’t know existed. I know they are there now, but they are usually silent. And I am sure they can be accessed if you use very controlled breathing methods. I suspect it could take years to learn how to do that without psychotropic help.

    What I did was dangerous, and not something to be done regularly, and possibly not without (medical) supervision. Otherwise, whatever you discover deep inside your mind might be your last thoughts.

  19. Brad Ervin says:

    War is certainly one of the more horrific of human endeavours. (It pales in comparison to some of the more personal horrors humans are capable of inflicting upon each other, though) But, is one war a more horrific adventure than another? Would that we could, any of us would abolish war. Yet, walking away from a war won’t cause an outbreak of peace. The victory of WW2 set the stage for 80 years of peace whereas the armistice of WW1 set the stage for WW2.

    Which wars in our past were worth the expenditure? Korea; WW2; WW1; the Civil War? Some were popular at the time, some not. History has draped some wars, and their combatants in glory but forgotten others.

    By applying personal anecdotes from a particular war there is a risk we will replace the essential meaning of any conflict with laudable hand-wringing over individual strife. The cost, in human terms, of the Civil War was extreme. But the unknowable cost of not fighting that war could have been worse. Certainly, the human costs of a century of slavery was horrendous. Would anyone suggest that that slavery was not a war of a different kind?

    What defines a noble war? In WW2 we were attacked. No doubt many were maimed by that war just as surely as any other less noble war. Are some things worth fighting for?

    Most whom suggest that the Vietnam War was the wrong war or an illegitimate war drag out war stats or point to the debacle of 1975, three years after Nixon effectively “won” the war or point to the demonstrations. None bring up the situation leading to the beginning of the war. None address the fact that the war was negligently prosecuted. None admit that the anti-war demonstrations were largely orchestrated by the same Left (itself animated by the same juggernaut that was backing the Viet-Cong) that hungered for the defeat of American interests. Like the American Communists of the 1930′s that were pacifists until Uncle Joe was attacked, the American Left was again used as political carpet bombing in the anti-war movement serving a purpose named peace but driven by a desire for conquest.

    If war is politics by another name then politics is war by another name.

  20. Alaska John says:

    We are all in this together my friend. Well done, and well written.

  21. johnryer says:

    [snip . . posting under different names is against site rules . . mod]

  22. Willis Eschenbach says:

    denniswingo says:
    February 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Speaking as one of the younger brothers and sisters of your generation we thought you all were pretentious arrogant farts who thought you knew everything and the last 40+ years has not changed that opinion.

    So … you’re saying that your whole generation was right and my whole generation was wrong?

    Thanks for the info, Dennis … any other ridiculously over-generalized boasts you’d like to make about how wonderful you and your entire generation are, and how terrible I and my entire generation are, or is that it for now?

    The fact that you think this is a right/wrong, arrogant/not arrogant, black/white, your generation/my generation kind of deal is not just sooo last century. That two-valued point of view, generation vs. generation, is much more primitive than that … reading your claim is like seeing a dinosaur walking down the street.

    Life doesn’t work like that, my friend. Some of what my generation did, and I myself did, was foolish, wrong, stupid, or bad. And some of it was inspired, correct, brilliant or productive. We’re all both saints and sinners, this is not a tale for six-year-olds where one man is all good and another is pure evil. I write about life in all its complexity.

    Same with your generation. They have the same pluses and minuses as any generation, they are not all black or all white, they are good folks and bad, geniuses and idiots.

    So get off your high horse, Dennis, you and your generation are just fools like the rest of us, no better, no worse.

    More to the point, who appointed you the judge of the actions of an entire generation? Was there a special election for the post of inter-generational judge, or did you win the judgeship by acclaim?

    Let me invite you to let it go, Dennis, and just enjoy the stories. I’m certainly not claiming that everything I or my friends or my generation did is right. I’m telling the good, the bad, and the ugly about my own life. This is not some morality play, it’s the story of what I did and what I saw and experienced. Whether you love it or hate it means nothing, it is simply a record of a vanished time.

    Best regards,

    w.

  23. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Saw “Behind Bars Again” under “Recent Posts”, clicked on it.

    And this is not about James Hansen.

    Oh well, this should be more entertaining than a boring “There he goes again” post about the “arrested development” of NASA’s chief Climate Scientist.

  24. markx says:

    denniswingo says: February 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    “…. all were pretentious arrogant farts who thought you knew everything …”

    That’s odd. My impression is that most of the pretense, arrogance, farting, and know-all attitude resided mainly in the minds of the warmongers who proclaimed SE Asia needed saving from the domino effects of communism and that propping up “their man” even if he was a crook was better than any and all alternatives. (And some of ‘em still believe it now).

  25. Mike Ozanne says:

    ” …..telling three women at the same time that one gave you gonorrhea and you might have given it to the other two. ”

    Jesus Willis, I’m impressed you made it out of there alive…..:-)

  26. David in Michigan says:

    Willis, you write very well. Coincidentally, I too grew up in San Jose and am very familiar both with the places and the times you write about. I was in Viet Nam 69 to 70 as a draftee though with full disclosure, I was essentially a REMF. I’ve got to tell you, I’m with Denniswingo………. you can rationalize it as a personnal story but it really fits a lot of people, especially in California. The damage done by the “boomers” is what we are now living and it’s a mess.

  27. Stephen Wilde says:

    Well written and entertaining as always but are we not in danger of losing sight of the primary purpose of this site ?

  28. AlexS says:

    WW2 was good Vietnam was bad why?

    “…are we not in danger of losing sight of the primary purpose of this site ?”

    Precisely. I expect climate news or discussion not Willis life story, no disrespect intended.

  29. rogerknights says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    u.k.(us) says:
    February 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Acid trips, should have a separate thread.
    Or, is that just me ?

    Thanks, u.k. It’s three paragraphs in the entire story. How does that make up a separate thread?

    Plus which, I’m telling the story of what happened to me and my friends in the Santa Rita Prison Farm, and that was one of them … unfortunately, life itself doesn’t offer us separate threads for these things, they just happen where they happen, and as an honest witness, I can’t just ignore them.

    I don’t think he was wishing you had left those three paragraphs out, but that you had expanded on that topic in a dedicated thread. (I second the motion.)

  30. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @markx
    (denniswingo says: February 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm
    “…. all were pretentious arrogant farts who thought you knew everything …”)

    “…That’s odd. My impression is that most of the pretense, arrogance, farting, and know-all attitude resided mainly in the minds of the warmongers …”

    Coming from Willis’ generation, I have had a reasonable opportunity to see both sides of the argument.

    During the 1960s I agreed strongly with the poster who bemoaned the “throwing out everything our parents believed in” and “opening up a cultural wasteland”. As a kid, it amazed me that any generation could sing ‘We don’t need no education..’ and expect to continue to live in a civilized society. If I had met Willis, we could have enjoyed arguing deep into the night, fueled by our respective mind-altering drug of choice (Waddies 6X in my case…)

    On the other hand, you had to be there (and a teenager!) to really experience the stultifying social pressure to conform to social norms of the late 1950s, which drove this rebellion. But perhaps that was better than the technologically-imposed pressure to conform to activist norms that we are starting to build in the 2010s…

    I think that the works of Julian Simon should be studied much more closely than they are. He pointed out that EVERY new generation thinks of itself as special, as suffering greatly as a result of the policies of the generation before it who are currently in charge, and that if only they could go back to the generation before that everything would be sweetness and light. While at the same time the lot of humanity generally improves across all generations, and continues to do so unabated, and generally unnoticed….

    There really are, however, fundamentals that all generations should hold dear. These are fairly simple and straightforward – the classical philosophers generally agree on this. One pretty basic one is that you shouldn’t build a policy based entirely on lies. If you do, everything you have done, including the good bits, tends to fall apart in you hands. And that is really the big problem I have with AGW….

  31. mareeS says:

    Willis, you’re correct when you say the Vietnam war damaged every person it touched, but you’d have to agree the damage has been to a greater or lesser degree for every individual and takes many forms, and that people affected by it deal with it in different ways.

    My husband did his time there, he’s reasonably sane for a former infantry scout, has lived a reasonably disciplined work and family life, but has sent the rest of us as his wife and children into a form of PTSD that is now recognised by the Australian Veterans Affairs Dept as a consequence of that war.

    Your post-war narritive is quite a read.

    None of us in our family could be classified as mainstream people. The spouse has some behaviours, and after 40 yrs of living with him I have some as well. Our children have a few of their own, none of which are particularly difficult or destructive, but which make them a challenge in relationships. The interesting thing for us is that we’re both professionals, our children have quite interesting occupations, but “ordinary” people always seem to find us a bit off-putting, don’t really know how to take us, and so our friends tend to be a bit “out there” as well.

    Your take on the war in your penultimate and final paragraphs is nicely put.

    mareeS

  32. William Truesdell says:

    ” John Coleman says:
    February 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I contend that each of these three claims is not correct and slanders this nation.
    Willis, I continue to admire most of your life as told in your autobiography and thank you for your work countering the bad science of global warming and I am still a “friend” via WUWT.”

    A a vet of that war, I support John’s comments. There is a lot of self justification in the essay, which is not unusual for those who took that path.

    Willis’ recent spat of essays have little to do with weather and dilutes the main purpose of this site. All of us could write about life and our lives, and all have a story to tell. But they are better placed in a frame that fits the narrative.

    Let this site “keep the main thing the main thing”. Rabbit trails are interesting but unproductive.

    W. Truesdell

  33. Alan the Brit says:

    Your candour, Willis, is admirable as always. I may not necessarily agree with you, but, (please forgive), I would defend your right to say them to the death! War is a terrible, terrible, thing! I have thankfully never experienced it first hand & never want to! However, some wars are just & necessary. WWII is a prime example, where a bully, thug, & lunatic, arouses the feelings of like minded degenerates, into an active body hell bent on global domination, & the extermination of a race of people Europewide, seems reasonable to react against to me! I don’t like thugs or bullies, as they seek to impose their will over mine & others, regardless of whether I want it or need it, or not! Those believers in Human Rights usually are those who seek to impose authority upon others, with little talk of Responsibility Obligations towards others or even themselves! The American Foreign Policy of the time was to prevent the spread of Global Communism, with all that that would have done to wealth, health, freedom, liberty, & justice around the world! Communists & Socialists never ever think things through, they see idealism as just that, but they never think of the Human element, someone somewhere will always want to take charge, exert control, & that is where the abuse of power arises! Nuff said!

  34. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    I got the usual symptom, a leaky faucet…

    Apparently that must your usual symptom. CDC’s Gonorrhea Fact Sheet doesn’t list that one. Good chances of not having any symptoms at all, or ones you don’t notice except as a passing bug. The woman who infected you sure didn’t seem to know she had it.

    With the possible lack of any noticed symptoms, the increasing prevalence of drug-resistant versions so a case of “the clap” may be untreatable and permanent, many also-silent and possibly lethal STD’s like Chlamydia and HPV

    I wonder if the “Free Love” generation will ever acknowledge the enormous burden they’ve thrust on those after them, as their behavior is being relentlessly promoted by their generation as “normal” and “natural” by their movies and TV shows, with anything but unprotected one-nights and “whomever’s available” bed-hopping portrayed as prudish and old-fashioned.

    Heck, it’s no longer allowed to matter which and how many partners someone else had before, it’s impolite to ask, it’s their personal business and none of yours… They could have been drug-addled party animals who’d do anything anyone wanted for a hit or a giggle, could have half a dozen silent incurable infections as mementos from the last one hundred 5-minute thrills… But true love means never asking who all they bonked before you, if you love them then the past never matters, right?

    Sorry to go on, but the “Ah shoot, gotta get a shot before getting back to partying” mindset is painfully naive, stupid, and borderline maddening.

    Do whatever you have to do in order to avoid telling three women at the same time that one gave you gonorrhea and you might have given it to the other two.

    And this long sordid yet disappointing tale of horrendously misspent youth, ultimately banal and predictable, that echoes possibly hundreds of forgettable 1960-70′s “teenage rebellion” movies of dubious production values… Is made even duller by not even entertaining the barest possibility of one woman getting it from another.

    Bummer.

  35. Joe Born says:

    Not at all gung-ho–in fact, thinking we were making a mistake–I served only because I was not as successful as many of my contemporaries at getting my conscience to align itself conveniently with my fear. And, in the event, I was only too happy to end up being little more than an REMF (interdicting Communist supply lines in the Gulf of Tonkin), so I had no experiences as harrowing as many I’ve heard–or, frankly, even as interesting as some of Mr. Eschenbach’s diverting tales.

    But not the least harrowing among those I’ve heard have been told by Vietnamese who recount what they endured at the hands of the regime that came to power because we withdrew our support without making sure that Red China withdrew its. And convincing analyses I’ve seen since suggest that my more-able and -valiant comrades had (after an admittedly bumbling start) left things in a state in which the further support necessary would have been modest.

    So what does that have to do with this blog’s topic? I’ve become convinced that the mainstream media’s performance on the war then was as execrable then as it is on global warming now.

  36. eco-geek says:

    Wow! Behind bars three times. I could only manage six short stays in police cells for stuff like alleged car and alcohol theft and armed robbery and sundry crimes of violence. I got out without the use of acid. In fact I never did any of it. I did make “Police Five” once.

    Can we have a bragging contest?

  37. Max Hugoson says:

    Never, never, NEVER, fight a war of attrition with an Asian country. Think the the “Terra-Cotta Army” the one Chinese emporer was buried with. THAT is what they will do to you, and it won’t be pretty! There was a REASON we had to “bomb the crap” out of Japan to lead to surrender. The two “bright white” flashes made them realize they could be “eliminated” as a race, and lead to surrender. Alas, in Viet Nam we did NOT have a final objective, and we did NOT have the will to be as brutal as in Japan. Oh, and please remember the objective fact (despite what they claim at the Edo Museum, in Tokyo, i.e. 90,000 killed by the firebomb raids, early 1945) that 260,000 to 300,000 were killed by CONVENTIONAL weapons. The Japanese knew it. We had complete air control over Japan, yet they fought on.

    Again, to my point…war of attrition, in Asian countries don’t “win” per say, but keep fighting. Do you want a contrast with the European societies? Review the films of the North Africa campaign. The Germans surrended in DROVES when they knew they had lost those battles and that territory. Different mind set, different culture in any of the Asian countries.

  38. mkelly says:

    I really liked the spitting and baby killer rants from the anti-war crowd. It did not matter whether you were a baker or a sniper you were all baby killers.

    If you did not want to refight the war then why use the word “wrong” four times in the first paragraph. Or for that matter write the first paragraph at all telling us it was wrong.

    There are those among WUWT readers who don’t think as you do about the wrongness of the war. Who served honorably for a cause and a nation. Who don’t need to be told by extention that we were wrong.

    But I guess you reap what you sow and now we have John Kerry for secretary of state.

  39. Mr Lynn says:

    Re Viet Nam: Willis is right that there are no easy answers. My late friend Sinc observed at the time that “we are fighting on the wrong side,” and that was a sentiment widely shared by the college youth, who saw Ho Chi Min as a the George Washington of his nation. But in hindsight, was it true? The North Koreans were not Jeffersonians. Once the US retreated the dominoes did fall (as the ghosts of some four million Cambodians can testify). And the US military suffered mightily in the estimation of the American people.

    Would the ‘flower-power’ movement have flourished except in reaction to Viet Nam? The draft, and an ‘undeclared war’ put enormous pressure on young men (I was lucky, I guess, to have had a lenient draft board, which left me exempted as a graduate student). The ’60s in the US were a time of great fervent: the Cold War (I remember guys scheming to drive to the North Carolina coast and steal a boat to escape the nuclear hell threatened by the Cuban Missile Crisis), the convulsions of the Civil Rights Movement, the traumatic assassinations, and the glories of the Apollo program, all leaving ordinary people torn this way and that. Some youngsters were getting in station wagons and driving south to sit in at lunch counters. Some were putting on uniforms (some willingly, some not) and heading to Southeast Asia. And some, maybe most, were just scratching their heads, and wondering what the hell was going on.

    I agree with Willis that it makes no sense to generalize about ‘generations’. There really aren’t any such things, no dividing line between one ‘generation’ and the next, as if people stopped breeding for a few years between them. And they don’t explain the twists and turns of history, especially the ironies, like an ambitious anti-war spokesman (who lied before Congress about his comrades committing atrocities) now the Secretary of State of the United States.

    /Mr Lynn

  40. There are no “just” wars. Some like WWII are necessary. It is questionable that using the military to promote a political cause is ever necessary, or even effective. What will we learn from our experience with our “War on terror”? Terrorist do not play by the “rules of war”. Why should we? I’m in favor of using covert small groups of well trained dedicated individuals to do the dirty work. It may not be legally “justfied” but seems economically “necessary”. The same could apply to our “war on CAGW” Well trained scientist armed with the truth should be able to defeat the politically motivated CAGW team. However, we may need to use some covert political methods to counter their political activity such as Washington rallies.

  41. JohnWho says:

    @ John Coleman -

    I agree. To me, there has always been a difference between those who “did their duty” and may have been in a situation where they acted in a “difficult manner” and those who made the personal decision to act as they did. mkelly’s reminder of the “baby killer” attitude speaks volumes about those who Willis was a known associate.

    Wonder what difference there would be today if Walter Cronkite hadn’t told us we were losing the war?

    Times have sure changed though, just think Cindy Sheehan – when she was protesting “the War” and Bush was President she was all over the main stream media but when she continued her protesting of “the War” once Obama became President the main stream media almost totally ignored her.

    It would seem that we no longer need to be admitted to the “nuthouse”, the “nuthouse” has simply become so large that it encompasses all of us. Unfortunately, those who have been in the “nuthouse” the longest are now running the facility.

  42. more soylent green! says:

    Willis,

    Well-written as always, but not sure what it has to do with the mission of WUWT.

  43. Keitho says:

    Thanks Willis, as always a good read.

    I too have spent some days locked up. It was unpleasant and political but you always meet some good people in the cells.

    I also spent time in the 60′s and 70′s fighting in a nasty war in Central Africa. I too was a conscript but as is so often the case it was easier to go along rather than whinge . We were fighting against encroaching Communism as our country was just another pawn in the Cold War. Unfortunately we were white and the insurgents were black so we were portrayed as simple racists and the Communists were allowed to win and subsequently took over and promptly set about destroying everything that worked.

    A few Americans showed up in our world. They had come from the war in Vietnam in the 70′s and they were very committed to the concept of fighting Communists. They were good at their job and had an ideological commitment that seemed genuine and they were very motivated. We still lost because firstly the Communists took over in our immediate neighbour and so we had a huge new front to fight on. Secondly because Henry Kissinger convinced the South Africans that we needed to be sacrificed for the greater good.

    Well here we are with all the bad things we predicted having happened. The war against Communism was real but it was portrayed as a racist war. Same as Vietnam and most other wars since, where the media guides perception and most folk don’t really understand the reality. Willis was misguided in his political outlook and became one more “useful idiot” to the cause. Not a criticism because , frankly, war sucks and very few men actually enjoy it although I know a few who did I am not one.

    For all of us war is a defining experience whether you fight or object and avoid. It all takes courage of one sort or another and at the end losing always messes with your head. “If only” replays many times. Unlike Willis my “decision” wasn’t active it was passive. Perhaps we were both wrong for different reasons but my “take away” was to be a lot more cynical and questioning of authority which was the point Willis had got to before, rather than after the event.

  44. jc says:

    You have, Willis, asserted the right to propound your views and then insist that no one takes issue with them. As John Coleman states above, you do not have that right.

    I turned 18 in 1976. As such I was never obliged to have any personal identification with any “side” in relation to the Vietnam War. Or for that matter any element of the 1960′s “culture” as a matter of practical choice or action since it was dead and gone. The ramifications of the 1960′s have however continued to this day.

    By the mid 1970′s it was obvious that from any perspective the Vietnam War was a disaster, which is not at all the same thing as saying it was wrong in itself. Apart from this, my experience was in being aware how the Vietnam Vets were vilified whilst actually serving and then on their return.

    Even as a 12 or 14 yo what little I heard of the actions in opposition to the war, shown in the behavior to the soldiers, I knew to be terribly wrong. These men were after all simply doing their duty. In doing so, they were prepared to suffer and perhaps die.

    For others.

    The pure viciousness with which they were attacked – personally – by those apposed to the war I simply could not understand.

    I do understand it now.

    I have to congratulate you Willis for, in the space of just this posting by you, and one or two of your responses to comments, unintentionally encapsulating the core nature of the ’60′s generation as expressed by your cohort, and thereby allowing people to see quite clearly how it has impacted on the existence of billions of people from that time through for the next 100 years.

    Pure poison.

    It is beyond grotesque that you seek to co-opt a part of the suffering caused by that conflict to yourself and those you associated with at that time. The combatants suffered and, if not killed then, in many cases were destroyed later. You weren’t. Your friends weren’t.

    You existed in your nirvana supplied with the essentials of life by a willing coterie of females: food, sex.

    You have inadvertently provided the definitive description of the base reality underpinning all of the manifestations of the the ’60′s urges which had and have their greatest “cultural” validations and achievements in a handful of 3 minute pop songs.

    You positioned yourself to have possession of three females for your sexual gratification whilst those males they might otherwise be mating with were exposing themselves to obliteration. And those males were doing so on behalf of the wider society of humans they were born of and were part of, and had obligations to.

    Nothing could be more Primaeval. This is the DEFINITION of Primaeval.

    They die. You get.

    You had a choice. You chose yourself.

    This idea that it is generally understood that this war was “the wrong war; at the wrong time; in the wrong place” has been propagated relentlessly for 40 years, NOT as an historical evaluation but as a vindication for those like you.

    With the clear intention that this confers on those of your age who would not participate a Superior Knowledge and in fact a prescience as to the course of human affairs.

    The proposition that not all SE Asian countries became communist after the end of the war is paraded as “proof” that this war had no validity at all.

    The idea that 10 years of human intervention has no effect at all on any outcome is a defeat for the entire concept of responsibility.

    It is a repudiation of any relationship between action and result. Cause and effect. Rationality.

    The results of this are with us now.

    No 18, 20 or 22 year old has ever had the capacity to understand the full implications of waging a war or not. EVER. On a previous post you described your reactions on being obliged to be part of this conflict. You made no claim to having objections based on your comprehension of the necessity or otherwise of this conflict as indeed no honest human at that age could.

    Instead, you say you didn’t like the realty of being dictated to by the organizational structure associated with war. It didn’t suit you.

    You described an incident in which you said to an officer that you don’t take orders or instruction from those you don’t know. As if this is supposed to be a homily to the virtues of the Independent Man of which you were an expression in that benighted situation.

    Far from showing that, it shows your profound limitations in your preparedness to actually be properly part of the world that has allowed you to exist in the first place.

    The idea that you should not be obliged in any way to anyone not of your circle and whom you have personally vetted is a defeat of the entire basis for civilization which allows for complex interactions across a wide range of people and responsibilities.

    It does not even qualify as tribalism. Within a tribe there are obligations. For the 1960′s Independent Man of your construction there are none. If those encountered are not congenial: that is, prepared to accede to your requirements, they can be disregarded.

    In a nutshell, you spruik the Virtue of only acknowledging the importance of those things that it is advantageous for you to do so, and only those things within your ambit that might have immediate consequences for you.

    You can claim in the life you have lived to have been consistent with that, but so can the Wall St trader. And the Climate Change devotee.

    This is not an independence of mind. It is not an expression of the free agency of individuals.
    It is the opposite of those things. It is a reliance in entirety on the efforts of others.

    Your cohort came of age at a time when the efforts of others over hundreds of years allowed you to see yourselves as being exempt from contributing to that. You will claim that you have stood on your own two feet through the life you have led. Only the most self-interested to the point of complete blindness would claim that.

    Your entire existence as described by you, in outlook and incident has transpired on a platform created by others. As a white American of your age the world was your oyster and this could be prepared and consumed in the manner of your choosing.

    You spent 17 years in the South Pacific. Do you think this possibility eventuated because of your intrinsic virtue? It didn’t.

    You tout the virtue of adventure in the manner you have undertaken. What you define as adventure is mostly the option of placing yourself in, to you, novel situations created and lived by others.

    The seeking of gratification through episodes of sensation is something anyone might enjoy. Have you asked the average 20 yo American of today – the inheritor of what has been created or destroyed over the past 40 years – whether their sense of what is possible in life allows for such a freedom?

    Your cohort has never been interested in seeing yourselves as part of humanity at large.

    Instead, from the outset, you marked yourselves as different – and more entitled. This shows itself in the cultural artifacts of the day. The 3 minute tune. An apt example might be Joni Mitchell: “they put up a parking lot in paradise”. Translation? I’m here. I’ve got what I want.
    Anyone else can keep out. Who are “they”?. Anyone not like me.

    Your attacking Denniswingo above demonstrates the nature of your cohort in an almost laughable manner. The instinctual impulse to attack anything and anyone who dares to even raise the prospect that your conception of yourself might not be completely valid reminds me of the reportage around Kurt Cobains death in 1994. Personally this meant little to me but it plainly meant a great deal to a whole generation of young people. And that was just not to be tolerated was it?

    Here was the death of a rock star who was emblematic for certain people. But how dare they try and supplant Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin! You owned Youth and no-one would take take away from you. You, Willis, may well protest: not me! And that may be true.

    But your cohort did. They were prepared to crush their own children to preserve their primacy of importance. This is pure evil.

    Your response to Denniswingo is an attack on him and degradation of his perspective followed by the demand dressed as a sagacious expression of worldliness that he conform to your perspective – Climate Change anyone? – whilst ignoring the last sentence which contains the substance of what he had to say – Climate Change anyone? – is prototypical.

    You even have the gall – and the delusion as you approach the age marked for death – to claim for yourself the mantle of 21st Century Man as you trash any “inconvenient truth”.

    The abandonment of responsibility by your cohort 45 years ago; the elevation of self-interest cloaked in virtue; the twisting of reality; the exclusion of inconvenient facts; the fraud of not acknowledging the foundational basis for your own existence either in values or material reality; the relativist “morality” that has been created and crafted to preclude judgement on the the implications of any behavior at all; the ridiculing and demonization of any who might seek to present a point of view which threatened all this, are all writ large across every part of society today.

    Denniswingo is completely correct in identifying the consequences of what YOU yourself volunteered above as being at the heart of the sensibility of your cohort – the rejection of the imperative of values -, and which you evaded, showing you DO NOT have the honesty or courage to address him or the issues properly.

    And that sums up what your cohort, stripped of all its cover, actually is.

    You can demand all you like that you not be judged. Too bad. You are and will be.

    The generation of ’68 whether in the US or Europe will be seen starkly for what they are. It is only necessary to look at the carmakers of the US putting on new workers at half the pay of established ones – its allright, I’m in – or the aging protestors of Europe demanding all their “entitlements” whilst ignoring the fate of their own children to see the nature of such people.

    This is the legacy of the generation of ’68. They will be judged savagely. For the looting and destruction of Western Civilization.

    “Climate Change” with its attendant hysteria, perversions of reality, and destruction of the capacity of humanity to sensibly interact with the world could not exist but for the generation of ’68.

    You, your cohort, are responsible. And the world cannot possibly hope to retrieve a sound basis let alone progress without this being clearly seen and acknowledged.

    So even now, you in the above comments, along with the multitude of the like minded, stand as an impediment to society being able to function properly.

    And I have no doubt the intention is to carry this to the grave. God forbid that it could be your problem.

  45. Gareth Phillips says:

    In those days we had a brave a assertive prime minister who refused the pressure to involve UK troops and personnel in Vietnam for much of the same reasons outlined by Willis. His name was Harold Wilson and it is to the UKs regret and sadness that no Prime minister or President since has shown the same judgement and understanding. The other point that Willis makes is that the less known injuries, those of mental health are still being treated but while not as obvious as a missing limb, can be just as disabling to the victim and their family. Unfortunately problems like PTSD and depression are not as image worthy as physical injuries. They may be referred to as ‘nutters’ or just ‘nuts’ but they are as much victims and heroes as any other combatant and deserving of our respect.

  46. In an interview against the war protesters, catroonist Al Capp, of “Little Abner” fame was asked what he thought of “free love”….he said….”i think the price is right”….the protest agains the war machine was right as well.

    A John Coleman….with regrets that you are the JC of KUSI.com fame.

    On a clear day in May, 1915, the J P Morgan owned Lusitania liner was sunk in the Irish Sea by one forward hold torpedo, after being ordered to half speed and having their destroy escort removed by head of the Royal Navy, Winston Churchill. Despite Woodrow Wilson’s best efforts to force war, the fact that the German Embassy had posted a notice in the New York Times on April 22, 1915 that this ship was being ILLEGALLY loaded with war material from J P Morgan’s munition plants. A passenger steam ship can only sink from a single WW I era torpedo with a direct stike on the boiler. Numerous secondary explosions caused the sinking. In the early 70′s Skin Diver magazine showed the first ever photos of the 200 ft deep wreckage with unexploded munitions all around the sea floor. The Royal Navey declared this a shipping hazard and blew up the evidence before any further documentaion could take place. The wreck photos clearly showed outward blast damage.

    Humanity has been systematically LIED to about all of our history to empower the few who control the ar machine. FDR lied about Pearl Harbor. LBJ lied about Gulf of Tonkin. Baby Bush lied about 9/11. You might review the 14 second, free fall collapse of WTC 7 that was 300 ft and 7 hours after the WTC 1 & 2 attacks. It is the same feudal war machine that has declared war on Carbon….only this time the lie will not hold.

    John Coleman, your ‘normalicy bias’ is preventing you from seeing the real Truths of our real problem.

  47. apachewhoknows says:

    Notwithstanding the misplaced PR/Selfserving copouts herein above by many.

    The vietnam war was not a vietnam war it was a proxie war between the Russians, assisted by the ones in China and the poor North and South Viets used as cannon fodder by the Russians and ones of China aginst all freedom on the planet earth with the U.S.A. as the primary target.

    U.S. Navy found me via the Iowa Placement Test given, scored way high, so high they sent some one to wild west Texas to the 1-A High School and to meet with my parents.

    Unknown to them I’m the great, great, great gandson of the Apache Chief Mangus Colorados.
    (See the book, “Apache” by Will Levington Comfort).

    Any how my 1/2 breed uncles, aunts, grandfather informed the U.S. Navy not so fast.
    This branch of the Apache tribe never went to the reservations and we still remember why.

    Then off to EE degree in 3 years from UT and then the loss of my II-S.

    Draft notice, got wind of a way to beat the draft. Join the Navy as an E-6 and do electronics for a secret system with some Col. by the name of Starbird. So I ass u and me took the deal with some other guys in the same boat.
    They did ask us our hobbies, made the mistake of telling them “scuba diveing” , “parachuteing”, and hunting.
    OK, they said.
    “Littlecreek Va” with “those people”, Benning , pushed out of planes and told I knew how to jump, and Twenty-Nine Palms to learn how rattlesnakes taste and how hot sand can be to crawl in.
    To Danang, to Monkey Mountian, to a hot igloowhite, a 12 man former Korean Marine security detail to keep our EE degrees alive and in use. To a F.O.B. east side of Ka-song base/ and or a q-hut at the rear of the Red Beach Station M.A.S.H. Da Nang, often with some real nice Air Force Majors with instrument rateings in helos and into and out of Laos for 2 years and 8 months installing an attempt at an electronic border fence in a full rageing war, in a triple canopy mountain jungle, in monsoon rains with NVA tracking units with hunt dogs on our trails.

    Russian and ones of China every where, 10,000′s of thousands of poor consript NVA’s walking and rideing bicycles, driving trucks full of ammo down the “Whore-Who-S*i* His-Men Down Trails” to be killed by B-52′s directed by LBJ.

    You can not belive the courage, fighting ability, never give up people who did the S.O.G. unit work that got us “techs” and our Korean security unit in and out of Laos those 2 years and 8 months.

    Ya, I was armed, ya used the apache way, used the gene code of Mangus and the apache knowing. Was very good at it.

    Never have had one moment of regret.
    Had the USA not stood up at the time, you Willis would not be free now in my opinion.

    Russia still wants U.S. dead.

    John F. Kerry is a liar and a fraud.

    Every word he says about Vietnam is a lie.

    Gen. Lewis M. Walt was a hero of Vietnam no one knows his name.

    Sgt. Jerry Micheal Shriver is MIA to this day in fact and by the lies of people like Kerry and the rest of the “In my opinion” usefull fools of the “Anti-Vietnam War Left” keep him an unknown.

    The fight put out and by “Recon Team Kansas” is almost total unknown due to the lies of the Kerry cult, the liar msm, ( who as a matter of fact are the same liars who now keep the new lie of the Commie American left (Global Warming/Climate Change/CO2 is death) alive.

    It is another msm myth that so many vietnam vets went anti-war, that they thought the war was wrong.
    We just came home and went to work and made good Americans.

    Now we stand with guys like Mr. Watts herein as he attempts to prevent another lie like the one on Vietnam from being made into fact when this CO2 fraud is much the same.

    LIes by Democrat Party leftist.

    Just some of the stuff this apache knows

    Have a nice day,

  48. apachewhoknows says:

    Odd,

    The prior post gone.
    So,
    Willis etal herein above notwithstanding.
    Will try to make this short to see it i will post this time.
    I’m a great, great, great, grandson of Apache Chief Mangus Colorados. He had at least 4 wifes and many children. My great grandmother understoon that she was an off spring of the Spanish gril Mangus took as a captive wife late in life.
    So when my very high grades in math and stuff in my way West Texas High School in the year 1963 attracted the attention of the U.S. Navy and they came calling about the U.S. Navy Accadmey my grandfather, the uncles all 1/2 breed and not reservations indians told the U.S. Navy, sorry we still remember and he will not just join. So off to UT for an EE degree in three years and the loss of my II-S. Several of us in that same boat, so one did hear of a U.S. Navy enlistment for EE degree people (only a three year sign up, in at E-6, and ya “you may go to Roada Spain and install electrical stuff). Not. Started to go bad with a simple little form , what were you hobbies? So we put down what we thought was silly stuff we had done on weekends. Scuba Diving, Parachute jumps and hunting. Wrong response. Littlecreek VA. with “those people”, hell week (it was in our opinion 12 weeks of hell). To Ft. Benning to be pushed out of planes and told we knew how to jump, then to “Not” Enough Palms, to do advanced rattlesnake crawling.
    To DaNang S. VN. to Monkey Mountain, to the protection of 12 former S. Korean Marines (fake Philco/Ford people from Canada to fool the press etal (Russian and S. Viet spies) and the tender care of the S.O.G. units who inserted and retrived us as we placed electronic stuff to track the 10,000′s of thousands poor unknowing poory trained , poorly protected NVA and some VC types who the Russians and ones of Chinas were using in the PROXIE war with the U.S.A..

    Now, all this msm , John F. Kerry, Jane Fonda based lies and fraud on the Vietnam War and the people who served with great courage, great honon and in the great American way.

    Example the S.O.G guyss who kept me alive.
    The U.S. Marines of Gen. Lewis M. Walts I-coprs.
    Sgt. Jerry Michael Shriver
    Recon Team Kansas
    Lt. Terrance C. Graves

    In my opinion you nor the current msm would not have the freedom to say and do the things you do had they not stood the ground back then.

    Yet it is the lie, the John Kerrys that are known.

    The msm lies on it all that is so sick and wrong.

    The same msm that made that lie, is the very same evil msm that enables this CO2 fraud.

    But if it is OK with you fine , just do me and others a kindness and save this kind of stuff for other blogs.

    Thanks,

  49. _Jim says:

    FauxScienceSlayer says February 25, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Humanity has been systematically LIED to about all of our history to empower the few who control the ar machine. FDR lied about Pearl Harbor. LBJ lied about Gulf of Tonkin. Baby Bush lied about 9/11. You might review the 14 second, free fall collapse of WTC 7 that was 300 ft and 7 hours after the WTC 1 & 2 attacks. …

    Please, you are wrong on so many points in that ONE paragraph; your very judgement on any issue henceforth should be in doubt, especially when it comes to the evaluation of ‘facts’.

    .

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    Don’t know which is more interesting. The story, or the rabid / rampant responses. Clearly some folks have not been able to “learn and move on” and have not let go of their fixations. (On both ‘sides’).

    Particularly interesting are the folks who, again, can’t bring themselves to click the ‘next story’ button and yet have plenty of time to complain about how they wasted their time reading a story when they could have been steeped in “Hate AGW!!!” for the zillionth time. Unable to read even the first few words ot the actual ‘purpose’ of the blog on the masthead “Commentary on puzzling things in life”… War and ‘relationships’ are certainly two I’d put high in that category…

    Some people never learn… worse are those that don’t try…

    Which was one of the main threads of the story, IMHO. That Willis DID learn, and many do not. That there is a voyage we all take, and some of us end up realizing it isn’t as clean a world story as we were fed (and sometimes swallowed) at various stages. Some of us learn that, others not so much.

    That, for me, does tie in to the “Global Warming Scare” story and process. The same “protest” and “be part of the movement” and all manifesting among the True Believers. Some, like Hansen, retreads from the earlier protest era. Others just “useful idiots” being manipulated by their government stooges for government ends. (Curiously similar to how other government stooges manipulated people to fight and die over ‘concepts’ many could not even define if pushed.) In the end, if the government is telling you do do something, odds are it isn’t the best thing to do. In reality, it is the thoughts of some petty system-manipulator sort working for their own ends, not some high virtue. Doesn’t matter what “cause” or which government, really.

    And I think that is the point of this story (or one of them). That we all live through cycles of life. That we all are told lies by our government (embodying as it does the lies of the folks grasping after power inside of it), and tell lies to ourselves. That’s not the bad part though, that bad part is folks act on those lies. We’d all be better off if that didn’t happen. But it does.

    So we have a government that is once again out to remake and shape the world to the ends of those grasping after power. This time they are using NGOs and the UN and Laws and Mandates. Less bullets and bombs. This time they are more from the ‘aging radical looking for meaning’ side (ala Hanson) where last time they were more from the ‘I have God and Tradition on my side and you are wrong self righteous’ side. (Things change, the side in power changes, things move on…) What I hear in the story from Willis is that some ‘aging radicals’ realize there isn’t any meaning in such things. That the original ‘search’ was in the wrong place. That “meaning” is more often found comforting a friend and watching the sun rise, making a flute or playing one. I think that matters.

    I’ve never been as prone to taking the exotic path as Willis. I’ve always been too prudent. Never more than one girl friend at a time. Never locked up. Never too far into the weeds. In the end, I find his stories more interesting than my own. (And I do have a few… from being blown up and recovering to some things where the statute of limitations may not have run out…) but always with more cushion of safety and less whole hearted commitment. I find myself admiring the commitment to live life a bit more fully than I did. Even the hard and painful bits.

    And from those bits I think we can all learn a few things. Let go of some old pains. Look at some present Powers That Be and see them making the same mistakes; so “just say no”. Was the Viet Nam War right? Yes and No. So maybe we could find a better way to handle such things. Was communism out to use social manipulation to turn ‘useful idiots’ into a 5th column via war protests? Yes, and it worked. Was that a ‘bad thing’? Depends on what would otherwise have happened, and that can not be known. But what can be known is that those same plotting and planning social manipulating skills are hard at work, still, using NGOs and the UN and all to make more ‘useful idiots’ promoting the agenda of yet more power hungry governance sorts. Arguing over who is ‘right’ vs ‘wrong’ is not nearly so important an understanding as realizing that the whole fight is a ‘put up job’ for other ends.

    So yes, my friends who went off and fought bravely showed great heroism and patriotic zeal, doing an unimportant thing… AND my friends who protested and got arrested showed great heroism and a bit of ‘useful idiot’, but at least were not patsies to “the machine” enriching others through the misery of the less fortunate. Me? I could never quite chose between them. Both have much truth in their view of things; yet both failed to see the whole sordid sad picture. That there is no ‘good solution’. That “Stupid With Power” was driving the bus of two opposed governance machines, and all of us were just being ‘greased’ between them. That we would all be better if they both would just stop, but they won’t and we can’t stop them.

    So I “made a hard turn” away from both and went off to other things. (Aided by a very large lottery number, but had been making plans if that didn’t pan out). Maybe I just reached the same point Willis is illuminating without needing to walk in those halls. That I didn’t need to have the ‘story experience’ to see where it would end. I’m not so sure that was the best choice. Had I gone the Green Machine route, I know I’d have gone to the “nuthouse” (or been killed in the process). I know myself. I knew that would happen. I found a way to avoid it. During the ‘free love’ era, I knew the biological risk; so didn’t take them. (Probably a good thing, as on one occasion was on an island with, um, a reputation and an offer from someone in a tight slinky… but said no – with some ‘encouragement’ from my friend who likely saved me from a large medical bill… But yet the ‘story’ passed up of a night with a native in a place…) So where does ‘prudent’ end and ‘dull life’ begin? Eh? Wisdom has its own cost if it comes too soon…

    By a very different path, I think I’ve arrived at many of the same conclusions as Willis. Wars are stupid and to be avoided at all costs, except when they can’t. Right and wrong are defined by the winners and have little to do with the actual process or original motivations. Loads of folks will try to control your life for their ends, it is better to “just say no” (and go say “yes” to something you want to experience.) “This life is not a dress rehearsal, take Big Bites!” (One I’ve tried to follow, but started a bit late…) And maybe most of all: Enjoy the ride with all your fellow travelers; even the ones who call you idiot and hate you or what you believe. Often they are wrong-but-entertaining, and sometimes they are even right… but in any case the world would be a less interesting place were they gone; and a world full of folks in agreement is a police state… So “Viva La Revolucion!” in a tepid kind of ‘pass the tequila’ kind of way ;-) And be ready to reevaluate if you find out your Government Idiot Minder is wrong and the other side Government Idiot Minder is a tiny bit more right… or maybe that the guys in the weeds with no Government Idiot Minder are most right…

  51. Willis Eschenbach says:

    John Coleman says:
    February 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Willis, I cannot simple read this part of of your Autobiography and let it pass because you say you do not want to debate the issues. You have not let your views and actions fade with time, so I cannot simply let this post stand without comment.

    Thanks, John. It was certainly not my intention to prevent you from commenting.

    I must express my total repugnance with your positions, your actions and your life style during this part of your life.

    This is the problem with the war. It tends to polarize people, far beyond the reality of their positions. For example, I number among my good friends several men who, like you, went and fought in Vietnam. They have no problem with my position, because they don’t see it as a caricature … and in fact, they see your kind of right/wrong point of view as entirely inappropriate for either their lives or the war itself. Like me, they do not think of themselves as doing right and others doing wrong.

    We all have made mistakes and have low points in our lives. It is my observation that most of those who opposed the Vietnam War and who lived the hippie, drug fueled, anti establishment age of protest have never come to the realization that they were wrong and distructive. To this day most of them still think of themselves as heroes.

    I’m sorry, but again this is just a cartoon of real people. I certainly don’t think of myself as either a hero or a villain, nor do most people I know. Except perhaps in your world, life is not black and white like that.

    For example, we weren’t “wrong and destructive”. Some things some people did were totally wrong and very destructive, and other things some people did were spot on and hugely constructive … nothing is as simple, as two-sided, right/wrong, as you are saying.

    There are several essential elements separating those who fought proudly (and bravely) in Southeast Asia and those at home who supported them throughout this horrible time from those who self-righteously opposed the war.

    I think there are three big lies that they continue believe and expond about the war. Here they are
    1. The Vietnam War represented an unconstitutional conflict based upon American imperialism and a desire for world dominance

    I do not believe that in the slightest. I think that is a totally incorrect reading of the Constitution and of American motives for entering the war.

    2. The military lost the war on the battlefield,

    I think that is absolutely untrue. I don’t think the war was ever winnable. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Ho Chi Minh started fighting when he was 15. For 45 years, he and his men fought, eventually successfully, to throw out a string of foreign countries who had invaded Vietnam: first the Chinese, then after them the French, then after them the Japanese, then after them the French again. It was a brutal war, driven by the desire of the Vietnamese to rule their own country. And that was all BEFORE the US was even in the picture.

    He was 60 when the Americans started trying to tell Vietnam what to do, and thus became the latest in a long list of countries who underestimated the determination of the Vietnamese. Most military historians that I’ve read agree: we weren’t going to win that fight to throw out the foreigners. It was a land war of attrition in Asia, and smart folks know not to get involved in those.

    So I agree totally with you, John. The war was not lost by the US Military in any sense, they won most of the engagements … but that wasn’t enough. It was lost long before the military ever got there.

    …. and in the process committed horrendous atrocities

    This is the only place we disagree. I know that the atrocities are true for a fact, that our guys committed atrocities both big and small, because often it destroyed the people who committed those atrocities, and I was the guy sitting up at 2 AM in the Army nuthouse weeping with them about their lost innocence … please don’t try to tell me about atrocities, my friend. I know the men who committed them, I’ve heard them described in tear-filled, soul-searing detail, and I know what they cost their souls …

    3. Anti-war protestors became the true heroes of that turbulent era,

    Absolutely untrue from my perspective. To me the heroes were those on both sides who followed their own conscience, regardless of whether it led them to war or to jail.

    and their efforts ultimately brought peace to both the US and Indochina.

    Also not true on my planet. We did what we could, but peace came despite the best efforts of the anti-war movement, not because of them.

    I contend that each of these three claims is not correct and slanders this nation.

    I, too, contend that all (excepting your curious claim that there were no atrocities) those claims are not correct, and some slanderous … and I also know very few people who actually hold that those claims are true.

    Now, I want you to stop and consider where we stand, John.

    I DO NOT BELIEVE ANY OF THE THINGS THAT YOU CLAIM THAT I BELIEVE!

    And this is why I did and do not wish to re-fight the war. People are all too willing to attack each other for things they have not said, positions they have not taken, and claims they do not believe. Folks get off into their minds about some fantasized position that reasonably enrages them … except it’s such an emotional issue for them that like you, they don’t notice that I DON’T HOLD THAT POSITION.

    Willis, I continue to admire most of your life as told in your autobiography and thank you for your work countering the bad science of global warming and I am still a “friend” via WUWT. My guess is that this difference will forever, however, cloud our relationship. So be it. You chose to not let this part of your life rest. I cannot simply let it stand uncountered. Regrets.

    John, as I point out above, I am absolutely not the man you mistake me for. Your opinions are about some other people that obviously you don’t like, and from the description, I wouldn’t like them either … but they’re not about me.

    And that’s the war in a nutshell. We found out that the people we were fighting were not the men we mistook them for …

    Finally, in parallel to the claims made above, let me state what I do believe:

    1. The US entered the Vietnam War, against the strong advice of the French who actually understood it, and in the face of a very pointed and prescient warning from Charles DeGaulle who predicted the eventual outcome of the war, because of a combination of the best intentions, and misunderstandings about how the Vietnamese viewed the underlying nature of the conflict. We thought it was a commies versus free men deal. They saw it as an endless war against hated foreign invaders, 45 years of war before we showed up, in which we were only the latest of said hated invaders.

    1a. The conflict was Constitutional, although Johnson lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. It had nothing to do with either imperialism or world dominance.

    2. The US military neither won nor lost the war on the battlefield, although in general it fought bravely, courageously, and as honorably as one can in a war with no black and white, with nothing really separating the combatants from the civilians, and with everything in shades of gray. The military also bore the major cost of the war, both the cost to the individuals of their acts both honorable and less-than, and the cost to the military itself of engaging in such a circumscribed, misunderstood, unpopular war of shadows. It took the US military itself years to recover from the war.

    Rather than losing (or winning) on the battlefield, the military was prevented by the civilian part of the US Government, for political reasons, from ever fighting the kind of war that the military wanted to fight.

    It’s not clear whether releasing the military would have won the war either, it never happened so we’ll never know. After (as you might imagine) extensive research on my part, my opinion is that we were fighting against people who, rightly or wrongly, were convinced to their marrow that they were trying to throw foreign invaders out of their ancestral land … and fighting against men and women who believe that to their core is a very, very hard fight, whether they are correct in that belief or not.

    I would certainly hope that if a series of countries invaded the US, that we’d fight for sixty years to throw them out one after the other, and I’d think it would be damn hard to stop us after forty-five years if we did. A man fighting to defend his own soil is a hard man to beat, and whether we like it or not, and whether with or without communism, that’s how the Ho and all of the people fighting with him saw the war—as a fight to throw out foreign invaders.

    2a. And as in any war, atrocities were committed by both sides.

    3. Anti-war protesters were by no means heroes, but neither were they villains. Generally, they were just like the people who went and fought—people doing the best that they could to follow the dictates of their own conscience.

    So in fact, John, other than the atrocities, I agree with you completely regarding your three points … and that to me is the enduring tragedy of the war, that nearly a half-century later the damn thing still manages to divide people who actually agree with each other.

    My best regards to you, and my sincere congratulations and condolences to you and the other veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. I know for a fact, because I’ve known so many veterans, both from the Army, from the nuthouse, and from after the war, that you men and women who went to fight in Vietnam followed the dictates of your conscience as best you knew how, in a difficult situation filled with shades of gray. I know that going to war was not an easy decision for many to make, that the decisions were made somewhat blindly, with incomplete information, and were fraught with shadows and unguessed-at consequences … and I say congratulations and condolences because have seen what the veterans I’ve known both gained and lost in the process, what they reaped and what it cost.

    And the same is true for me, my friend. I also struggled with the decisions. And like you, at the end of the day I followed the dictates of my own conscience as best I knew how, and I have both gained and lost from my choices, just as you have from yours.

    … so as I said to start with, could we agree to that much, wish each other the very best, and just enjoy the story? I’m neither a hero nor a villain, John, I’m just a guy like you trying to make sense out of a complex and confusing world.

    w.

  52. Beta Blocker says:

    Willis, as I understand it, you are a civil engineer by education and work experience. But I have to ask, how did you find the self discipline needed to get through engineering school?

    In the late 1960s an early 1070s, while they were in college, one of my cousins and his wife were deeply into the anti-war movement and somewhat into the casual drug scene.

    In 1975, they both decided that their lives had no real meaning or direction, and that they were drifting aimlessly into the future. They needed a drastic change of some kind to break out of the pattern.

    So my cousin enlisted in the US Navy and spent most of the next six years with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, while his wife and the children lived in Naples. He was a reservist for some number of years thereafter.

    Both children are now officers in the US Army.

  53. Martin A says:

    Er – why is this stuff on WUWT? It’s not what I came to read.

  54. Gareth Phillips says:

    Willis, you can be a miserable old so and so at times, but your responses to John Coleman et al are an excellent summary of where things went wrong, and a useful example of the concept that we think in subjective ways, and things are very rarely, if ever, black or white, right or wrong. If it’s ok with you I will in future ask my students to review the ideas you outline to prepare them for representation in difficult circumstance. Cheers G

  55. apachewhoknows says:

    w.

    It is your guilt than now drives you.
    It is your guilt keep it.
    After reading your 11:17 am response herein above I will never click on one of you post ever, as you are just a voice over of the lies imprinted on you prior by the msm lie machine.
    In fact of the matter your post has and will do great damage to Mr. Watts great site.
    You are a danger to yourself and wattsupwiththat.

    Nave a nice long guilt.
    awk

  56. Willis Eschenbach says:

    apachewhoknows says:
    February 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Odd,

    The prior post gone.
    So,
    Willis etal herein above notwithstanding.
    Will try to make this short to see it i will post this time.
    I’m a great, great, great, grandson of Apache Chief Mangus Colorados. He had at least 4 wifes and many children. My great grandmother understoon that she was an off spring of the Spanish gril Mangus took as a captive wife late in life. …

    Thanks, Apache-Who-Knows. Posts have to be approved by the moderators before they appear. So if you refresh the page immediately after posting it, it will disappear. Assuming that (like your post) it contains nothing objectionable, it will appear when the next moderation is done. In a desire to keep the site functioning near real-time, there are volunteer moderators in most of the time zones of the planet … however, sometimes it takes a little while.

    Regarding your story, my congratulations to you, it sounds to me like you considered the issues, and followed the dictates of your own conscience and did what you thought was right.

    As did I …

    w.

  57. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Beta Blocker says:
    February 25, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Willis, as I understand it, you are a civil engineer by education and work experience. But I have to ask, how did you find the self discipline needed to get through engineering school?

    And I have to reply, do you have a habit of asking your friends unpleasantly posed questions about what your high moral position allows you to judge as their lamentable personal short-comings … or am I just lucky?

    w.

  58. Jenn Oates says:

    My late husband served in Vietnam, and his problems afterwards weren’t the result of what he saw over there, but how he was treated by his fellow citizens when he came home.

  59. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jenn Oates says:
    February 25, 2013 at 11:59 am

    My late husband served in Vietnam, and his problems afterwards weren’t the result of what he saw over there, but how he was treated by his fellow citizens when he came home.

    I’m sorry to hear that, Jenn. Another tragedy of the war was how the returning servicemen were treated by war protesters.

    I was very opposed to people doing that at the time and spoke out against it, and I remain so today. My view was unpopular then among my friends, but after my experiences in the nuthouse, I had nothing but compassion for all of those who served. I thought they should be welcomed back and supported, not reviled.

    w.

  60. apachewhoknows says:

    This is the end with Willis for me.
    Willis, not only are you a enabler of lies and fraud, your a know-it-all who knows way to much of the condecending smirk.
    You do not know me, you do not even know yourself.
    Go know thyself.
    Stop your ongoing damage to Mr. Watts great site, please.

  61. peterkar says:

    What has this to do with anything? It (and the comments which ensue) diminish the value of the site.

  62. Luther Wu says:

    Most of my physical scars are faded, now.
    I came to understand much about the enemy during my 6 yrs. in the US Army during and after that war and I’ve come to know them better, since then.
    I came to know them as enemies of free men and women, everywhere.
    One thing about those doing the actual fighting- they end up fighting for their buddies, no matter how they got there to start with.
    As a good friend who had just been denied an extension in country because of what he had told his interviewers… he came to feel a kind of camaraderie for Charlie because he was probably drafted or duped into the fight just as many of us were, and that the ones he really hated were the profiteers and the politicians and the protestors and the news media @$$hole liars back in the world.

    ‘Clueless minions of the puppet masters’ sounds like a B- movie cast of characters, but they are decidedly real and are still playing their parts, in some ways, even bolder than they’ve ever been.They still harbor and enshrine and cover for the Walter Cronkites and Jane Fondas in their midst and I can watch those hidden- agenda- driven liars speak to Americans any time I turn on news from MSNBC, CNN etc.

    Tell me that they aren’t out there building on the footholds which they carved out during the war years and then tell me of the open and honest reporting in the MSM about man- made- climate-whatever- it- is- now and show me the supporting actors behind the scenes now and the supporting actors behind the SDS and similar anti- war shills then and I’ll show you the inheritors of the method and/or ideology or the ones who figured out just how to play it…

    Barely mention to me about former anti- war activists who are now in the Gov’t. actively trying to disarm the American people, but who claim that isn’t their goal. Don’t tell me much about POTUS’ stated goal of building a ‘civilian armed force to rival the military’ and then don’t speak of his arming and equipping Big Sis’ DHS with enough ammo to fight a war of the same intensity as Iraq for 25 years. Excuse Hillary Clinton’s transgressions (Benghazi, anyone?) and hide or ignore the intellectual and emotional ties between Uncle Frank and young Barry and downplay Lisa Jackson and the like and those others within the administration who openly identify themselves as Commies and Socialists and then poo- poo any talk that those terms have meaning or that we might have a problem.. see if I care. We get played like a fiddle on a daily basis.
    F.O.A.D.
    Ps I probably shouldn’t have added that last line, but I’ve got a burn going and am letting it flow.
    One thing I’ve noticed by observing my friends and others… anything which I notice them doing, it’s an odds- on bet that I’m guilty of the same thing.
    For instance, if i were to see a friend of mine chastising someone for making a wishy- washy feel good Cali- hipster statement that nothing much matters and then do something which reminds me of that a week or so later, then somehow, I must be guilty of it, too.
    War is hell, so what.

  63. Jason Calley says:

    Hey Willis, thanks for another great post. I was reminded of my friends, my relatives and my classmates who were swept away overseas — some by the draft, some by choice. Most of them came back — mostly.

    I was blessed with an unusually high draft number, 316. I did not enlist. Why? Because my friends who had gone before me, people who were still overseas, sent me letters begging me not to, advising me not to, ordering me not to. One kept telling me that if I were drafted he would send me the money to buy a ticket to Canada instead. Luckily I did not have to make the choice.

    Now here’s the odd part. It is forty years later, and I still know some of the people who sent me those letters way back then. Some of them now tell me how proud they were to be there, how exciting it was, how it was the most alive they have ever been, how they were so concerned with protecting their country. It is not what they said at the time.

    I am still glad I did not go. I have never forgiven the men who sent my friends there.

  64. Luther Wu says:

    peterkar says:
    February 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    What has this to do with anything? It (and the comments which ensue) diminish the value of the site.
    ________________
    Read what I just had to say about those who are lying to you and trying to control you through the guise of AGW…
    Truth is where you find it.

  65. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 25, 2013 at 11:17 am: “…the Americans started trying to tell Vietnam what to do…”
    =============================================================

    There was no Vietnam. There was North Vietnam ruled by communists and this communist state, supported by the communist Soviet Union, invaded South Vietnam. The Americans and other countries defended the South Vietnam.

    As for the so called “anti-war protesters”, I have never heard anything about them protesting against communists invasions anywhere. Which indicates that it was a pro-communist movement.

  66. McComber Boy says:

    Willis,

    I’ve read your story of the day, (and all the comments) and would offer to all the advice that my uncle Bob gave to my dad around Christmas 1943. Their older brother, Bill, had been shot down over the Netherlands in November 1943 and my father wrote to uncle Bob expressing hatred for the Germans who had killed their brother. Bob was a B-25 pilot, flying missions deep into German, but his council was this: “Don’t hate the Germans. They are fighting for their country just like we are. Don’t hate the Germans.”

    Bob was shot down on January 4, 1944. He tried to land the plane in a field on the Danish border, but all 10 crewmen were lost when the wheels of the plane were caught in a creek concealed under the snow. The plane rolled up in a ball and burned. Two gold stars and one blue star hung on the porch on Edyth Street in Dunsmuir. I have the stars and still cherish the heart of a man who would not hate those whom he fought and who, in the end, killed him and his crew. One of my most memorable moments in life was the day I took my father to the cemetery in the Netherlands where both of his brothers are buried.

    pbh

  67. talldave2 says:

    I think everyone agrees it was wrong for the North Vietnamese to invade South Vietnam.

  68. Jason Calley says:

    @ Greg House

    “As for the so called “anti-war protesters”, I have never heard anything about them protesting against communists invasions anywhere. Which indicates that it was a pro-communist movement.”

    I will go complain to my local city council if they begin to violate the law. On the other hand, why should I complain to my local city council if the government of Pyongyang violates the law? Does that mean I approve of the North Koreans?

  69. Jesse G. says:

    Hi Willis,

    You seemed to have stirred up a lot of emotions. Personally, I find your life to be an interesting one and I enjoy your stories. I arrived in Vietnam in mid December 1967 and left in mid February 1969. Thirteen of those months were with the Korean 9th ROK Infantry performing field illumination and perimeter security. If I ever killed anyone, I’m not aware of it, but I did see the Koreans do a couple of questionable things.

    Like a lot of people, I had some some less than welcoming experiences when I came home. To a large degree I felt out of place with my peers. Eventually I made friends who were pretty much neutral on the whole war thing and I acclimated back into society. I also had friends who avoided the draft due to student deferments and later wasn’t drafted because of their lucky lottery numbers. We used to party together and there were never and conflicts to speak of.

    Eventually I returned to SE Asia and spent several years in construction management as a scheduler and cost accountant. I wrote three books about my life with the Asians and expats. A few years back I had the opportunity to return to Vietnam on business. As I told my friends, I finally invaded Hanoi. I was surprised at how warmly I was treated. By chance I spent an evening drinking beer with a man whose father was an NVA soldier during the war. His father hated Americans but the man said that was his father’s war and he didn’t hate anyone. I feel the same way but many Vietnam vets don’t. I intend to return to the area in Vietnam where I spent a big piece of my life. This time it will be far south of Hanoi. I hope I am treated as well there as I was in Hanoi.

    Best of luck with your writing and keep up the great posts on the global warming scam.

    Jesse

  70. AlexS says:

    “As for the so called “anti-war protesters”, I have never heard anything about them protesting against communists invasions anywhere. Which indicates that it was a pro-communist movement.”

    Some were. But most were leftists that didn’t cared about Vietnam one way or the other their propose was local. And Vietnam was a tool to help in their propose to get power to control the lives of others in US.
    Btw if Vietnam brought the end of coercive military conscription demanded by the Government and the majority that votes it, when there will be a Fiscal Vietnam that will end the coercive tax conscription by the Government and the majority that votes it?
    Or the conscientious objector is only for leftists ?

  71. Carl Brannen says:

    As to the question of whether the Vietnam war was winnable, the best argument “for” is the Korean war where we managed to obtain a sort of draw. But a look at a map will show how different the situations are. Infiltration into South Vietnam is easier than South Korea because of the geography.

    And “winnable” needs to be understood in the context of what the people of a country are willing to do. If the people aren’t willing to fight forever, then a war can be won by the side that is. The US did just fine in pulling out of the war. We won the cold war. This is not the first time a world power has won a war but lost a battle. The British invasion of Turkey didn’t turn out so well but the British were nevertheless on the winning side of the first world war.

    I’m reading the book on the politics of the Vientam war started by McGeorge Bundy, a Republican who worked for Kenedy and Johnson and who generally argued in favor of escalation. It seems clear that the military didn’t have a reasonable plan at any time during the war and that the politicians kept the thing going as a way of postponing the pain of pulling out until after the “next” election.

  72. BFL says:

    The problem with wars is that the “masses” are too easily led down that primrose path without critical examination or protest. Being from the ’60′s, I didn’t approve of the war but I wasn’t upset at the soldiers either as they were just doing what they had to do, sometimes to extremes because of circumstance or fear. Except for the “war mongers” I consider them all heroes (this is excepting LBJ/officer core running the show who in my opinion made too many negligent mistakes). I also don’t begrudge the ones that left for Canada, as you have said, they were following their conscience and at least remained mostly undamaged. The problem is that the general public is either not interested or too easily accepts that the leadership is always correct out of misguided “patriotism” and as a result provides little negative feedback until things have gone completely to hell.
    One of the things I miss from that period are the muscle cars (unfortunately I’ve outgrown them). I owned a ’66 GTO which I later traded for a ’70 Dodge Charger R/T 440 HP. That was a fairly reliable car under power and unlike say a Mustang, had an extra rear suspension leaf to prevent wheel hop. It was also power balanced well from the factory as on dry pavement it would lay 2 black lines without excessive wheel spin or smoke. It was also not uncommon at that time to short distance drag race in the country side for money (although I only did it occasionally just for fun/no cash). One guy with a hopped up Camero coated his engine with a light layer of grease and dust to make it look beatable and won often.
    One day I was at a 4 lane red light, left lane, when a Chevelle SS pulled up in the right lane, romped his engine and waved his hand forward to signal a desire to race. Now this was a crowded street with a fair amount of traffic and there was no way that I was going to do that. But I gave him a nod any way just to tease him. A few seconds later I looked over and he happened to be looking at/talking to his passenger. Sensing an opportune moment, I held the brake (automatic) and revved my engine. He immediately jump started intending to race and then realized that the light was still red. I imagine it was rather embarrassing to be part way out in traffic with cars having to pull around, especially when the car behind him pulled forward to prevent a backup.
    On another occasion I was driving home at night when a Thunderbird pulled beside wanting to race (night time is another bad idea as one cannot tell where a patrol car might be). Again I gunned it for a short distance to be rid of him but then passed him soon on the Interstate ramp, yes, stopped by a patrol car.
    Now I was young and doing this kind of thing was somewhat risky, but even then I tried my best to minimize my odds for an accident. I would also occasionally do risky endeavors if I considered the pleasure of the event worth the trade off. But that is the disconcerting thing, that there are so many that take, or support, high level risks without any critical consideration at all. One thing that would help is to have required courses in logic and critical thinking starting in high school. But I suspect the reason that these courses don’t exist is that a thinking populace would hinder politicians excessively.

  73. Monty says:

    Between North and South there was a race of people who had a real stake in that war. They fought for survival, and they were largely exterminated. For them there was no grand ideological philosophy, simply survival.

    They lost, and if ever they were known, are now long forgotten. Those who fought with them bear the scars. I know one of these people. I don’t think they would have a problem with w.

    Time has a way of changing the narrative. We all want to be heroes. Few want to remember how it really was.

    Fortunately for me, somebody was honest with self, the universe and me.

    I thank him every chance I get.

  74. feet2thefire says:

    John Coleman – Sorry to read your reactionary POV. I side with Willis. The war was definitely unconstitutional. Only the Senate can declare a war. It’s in the Constitution, clear as day, and you know it. LBJ used the Gulf of Tonkin Incident to expand our advisorship into much more, and 56,000 US boys died – for noting but the fable of The Domino Theory. You know all that, too. You were plenty old enough to know what was happening.

    I was a HUGE fan of yours when you did the weather in Chicago. I side with you on global warming. But don’t go telling us that the Vietnam War was legal. And when the USA gave the middle finger to the UN Security Council and still went to war in Iraq, that one was even worse. Bush et al are still at risk for their torture there. I sure hope you didn’t support that, too, because I would still like to think I am a huge fan of yours.

    I spent three years in the Army – 1967 to 1970 – at the height of it all, and never got sent to THAT “over there.” But every fellow troop I served with did, with only one exception. Not one who ever talked to me (and they all did) said anything except this: His one and only reason for fighting was to hopefully come back in one piece. There was no “Save the world from bad guys” mentality about it at all. Most all did come back alive and in one piece, and I am as happy for them as I can be. None of them – MY generation, MY brothers in arms – deserved to be fodder, to be put into a kill-or-be-killed situation – for nothing at all. As my fellow trainees arrived in Vietnam, they got there just in time for the Tet Offensive. We (they, actually) arrived just as the tipping point happened. After that, no one connected with the war had any illusions about some grand purpose.

    Years later. in 1997 in a bar in Cicero, IL (which I know you know), I ran into a Vietnam vet who was still wearing a field jacket. He kept badgering me to look at the photos he had. I finally relented, and what I saw were his personal photos of the kind Lieutenant Calley would know all about – Vietnamese women and children in ditches and on the road, all bloody and dead. An entire village killed. By that GI’s platoon. 30 years later he was still totally haunted by it and was seeking absolution – absolution I was in no position to give him. I wished I could have.

    BTW, every GI I knew sided with the demonstrators. Without exception.

    denniswingo -

    By throwing out everything your parents believed we have opened up a cultural wasteland that will take generations to repair, if ever.

    Being a member of that generation, one who spent 3 of those years in the Army, I can tell you that, yes, we rejected everything our parents stood for, at least at the time. I would also ask what generation doesn’t? The 1950s? Maybe. THAT generation swallowed the whole white picket fence thing. Most don’t. But we all came around in the end, those who lived long enough. Most of us ended up in the suburbs, with the same kinds of jobs and responsibilities our parents had. There is no cultural wasteland.

    Basically it is always a matter of what Sam Clemens went through with his Pap. Four years out on his own, he was amazed how much Pap had learned. MY POV is that if you don’t rebel to some good degree your development is a bit slower. Those rebellious (or not) years are when we choose up sides between the adventurers (WIllis’ term) or the safety-first folks. Like I just said to John Coleman – I will side with Willis: Get out there and experience life, at least for a while. Life is about a lot more than just being safe. Gawd! Who wants to go to the grave never having done anything but be responsible and square and following all the rules?

    Steve Garcia

  75. feet2thefire says:

    Willis -

    The acid trip was so true to life I almost had a flashback. I was laughing my ass off. Aliens and cartoon balloons and walls breathing with him. Yeah, sounds about right. . . ROFL

    Steve Garcia

  76. feet2thefire says:

    StephenWilde and AlexS -
    “Well written and entertaining as always but are we not in danger of losing sight of the primary purpose of this site ?”

    And
    “Precisely. I expect climate news or discussion not Willis life story, no disrespect intended.”

    Guys, read the header for WUWT. The first thing listed is what? Nope, not climate change. Sorry.

    The first one is Commentary on puzzling things in life.

    Climate change is fifth on the list.

    Steve Garcia

  77. Greg House says:

    feet2thefire says, February 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm: “I side with Willis. The war was definitely unconstitutional. Only the Senate can declare a war. It’s in the Constitution, clear as day, and you know it. … But don’t go telling us that the Vietnam War was legal. And when the USA gave the middle finger to the UN Security Council and still went to war in Iraq, that one was even worse.”
    =================================================================

    I am not an expert on the US Constitution, but my guess would be that no declaration of war is needed if the US has already been attacked, this includes any attack on the country’s military outside the country, where it is legally deployed.

    As for the Iraq wars, the first one (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991) was U.N.-authorized and ended only with a ceasefire accord, therefore no additional U.N.-authorization was needed to continue it after the ceasefire accord was violated by Iraq.

  78. feet2thefire says:

    E.M Smith -

    Some good points, but I’d like to comment on one and add one perspective. You said:

    “Was communism out to use social manipulation to turn ‘useful idiots’ into a 5th column via war protests? Yes, and it worked.”

    No, E.M. We didn’t need no stinkin’ commies to lead us around by our noses. We had reason to not trust the government.

    You did mention governments lying to us. So let’s not forget the Kennedy Assassination and the Warren Commission. It isn’t so much that the Warren Commission lied for whatever reasons. What is important is that we, the people, came to believe that they lied to us. (I certainly think they did.) The combined shock of the assassination itself, which cut short a very hopeful time – Peace Corps, the space race, etc. – and the feeling that, DAMN! we can’t trust the government! If the government hd been able to show some clear reason to be there it might have been different.

    But let us also not forget that for WWI and WWI there were HUGE conservative efforts to keep us out of those wars. Foreign soil was NOT, they said, where American boys should be, fighting someone else’s war. In both wars those efforts were successful for a long time. FDR would have had us in the war much earlier if there weren’t some people resisting for all they were worth.

    You also suggest that WUWT itself is a rebellion. That is a terrific realization!

    We here are not in principle any different from the demonstrators of the ’60s. Our politics here is mostly different, just as theirs was different from those trying to keep America out of the two big wars. But our main POV here is that we aren’t going to let them get away with what amounts to lying the world into something that is WRONG.

    What is different between us and them? We haven’t taken to the streets.

    Yet.

    And I don’t think we will have to. But if Climategate hadn’t happened, where would we be now? Painting placards?

    Steve Garcia

  79. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    “….There was no Vietnam. There was North Vietnam ruled by communists and this communist state, supported by the communist Soviet Union, invaded South Vietnam. The Americans and other countries defended the South Vietnam….”

    Geez Greg, please go a and read a few books on the matter. With all due respect you seem to be stuck on 1965 era US Government standard issue propaganda…..

    Now the Vietminh were no angels, and were pretty sure they should run the place (and there were plenty of other takers, except Ho Chi Minh and his men were the best organized). In the very early days he had the support of the OSS (later to become the CIA), and the declaration of independence echoes some wording of the USA declaration……

    Far more complex than you think; Even Wikipedia gets you off to a good start:

    In 1946, Vietnam had its first National Assembly election (won by the Viet Minh in central and northern Vietnam[15]), which drafted the first constitution, but the situation was still precarious: the French tried to regain power by force; some Cochinchinese politicians formed a seceding government the Republic of Cochinchina (Cộng hòa Nam Kỳ) while the non-Communist and Communist forces were engaging each other in sporadic battle. Stalinists purged Trotskyists. Religious sects and resistance groups formed their own militias. The Communists eventually suppressed all non-Communist parties but failed to secure a peace deal with France.

    Full-scale war broke out between the Việt Minh and France in late 1946 and the First Indochina War officially began. Realizing that colonialism was coming to an end worldwide, France fashioned a semi-independent State of Vietnam, within the French Union, with Bảo Đại as Head of State.

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

  80. Greg House says:

    markx says, February 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm: “Geez Greg, please go a and read a few books on the matter. With all due respect you seem to be stuck on 1965 era US Government standard issue propaganda… Far more complex than you think; Even Wikipedia gets you off to a good start:…”Full-scale war broke out between the Việt Minh and France in late 1946 and the First Indochina War officially began. Realizing that colonialism was coming to an end worldwide, France fashioned a semi-independent State of Vietnam, within the French Union, with Bảo Đại as Head of State.””
    ===========================================================

    Yeah, “France fashioned”, I see. You’d better be careful reading Misleadipedia.

    And why your “history” quote stopped by 1946(rhetorical question)? Read this, please: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Vietnam: “The term “South Vietnam” became common usage in 1954, when the Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into communist and non-communist parts.”

    But then the communist North Vietnam wanted it all, and America and other countries defended the South Vietnam. Understandably, the (pro-)communists protesters did not like it and protested.

  81. R Ortiz says:

    BFL “One thing that would help is to have required courses in logic and critical thinking starting in high school. But I suspect the reason that these courses don’t exist is that a thinking populace would hinder politicians excessively.”

    All too true. It’s hard to find a college course in logic now-a-days. When I went to school, logic was a freshman course for philosophy, but now in some colleges a senior optional course. All too often what passes for “critical thinking” is some aging hippy indoctrinating a captive audience in his version of reality.

    Concerning that government in the district of criminals, most people would be horrified if they knew all that it is doing “in our name”. There are very evil people there, and the more I learn about what they’re doing, the more I’m disgusted. I can’t say more, or it’ll spill out into a book.

    As for the Vietnam war, in spite of our politicians hindering our boots on the ground, they won it, but those lying, crooked politicians snatched defeat out of the mouth of victory. The South Vietnamese were willing to fight, so we gave them planes, but no fuel or bombs; we gave them guns and tanks, but no bullets; those became runway decorations and parade accouterments, but useless when the North Vietnamese sent their tanks southwards. Sam Erwin and his cohorts have the blood of tens of thousands of my generation as well as millions of Asians on their hands.

    I had already been introduced to socialists by that time, through Herr Hitler and his National Socialists (members of the socialist international) and (“In one two year period I killed more people than the over 20,000,000 we lost in WWII”) Tovarishch Stalin and his leninists, so I had no illusion what sort of savages we were fighting in Vietnam. But I was 4-F, only later thankful that I wasn’t wasted by those lying politicians.

    The DC corruption has been going on for a long time. Wilson lied us into WWI. FDR gave Japan a choice, attack or have their economy revert to pre-industrial age, then lied about it—WWII in the Pacific could have been avoided but FDR wanted it. LBJ and his Gulf of Tonkin lies. And so on and so forth.

    To get back to the original point, our education system has been deliberately dumbed down, training in logic and critical thinking distorted, because an uneducated populace is easier to demagogue, by issues such as AGW…

  82. R Ortiz says:

    Steve Garcia:

    “Who wants to go to the grave never having done anything but be responsible and square and following all the rules?”

    It’s precisely because I’m “responsible and square and following all the rules” that I’m now a rebel against that lying government in the district of criminals. It’s my sincere hope and desire that that rebellion never goes beyond a war of words.

  83. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 25, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    “..And why your “history” quote stopped by 1946? Read this, please: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Vietnam: ..”

    Hi Greg,

    Not stopped, that was the start. And it is important to consider the start and what might have been… 1965 was a ‘reset’ that didn’t work …More wiki from your ref tells a little more about the validity of the South Vietnamese govts of the time:

    In 1949, non-communist Vietnamese politicians formed a rival government in Saigon led by former emperor Bao Dai.
    Bao Dai was deposed by Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem in 1955, who proclaimed himself president after a referendum.
    After Diem was deposed in a military coup in 1963, there was a series of short-lived military governments. General Nguyen Van Thieu led the country from 1967 until 1975.

    Having said that, the southerners don’t particularly like the northerners today, and probably less so then. It would appear that a complicating factor was that quite a number of southerners hated the regimes that had set up more than they disliked the northerners. The 1965 divide had sent a significant number of southern Viet Minh to the north, determined to return. And of course Ho Chi Minh and his men were determined to craft a single nation out of it one way or the other.

    Seeing the rapidity with which they have embraced (re-embraced?) capitalism now, and how much they like everything American and western, one can only wonder how much more quickly this current state of affairs would have arisen had the Americans provided support instead of opposition in those early French Colonial days. Sure as hell the Vietnamese where not going to put up with Russians or Chinese telling them what to do for very long. (Oh, the wisdom of hindsight).

    Remember in spite of later Nth Vietnamese/Chinese co-operation that they were at war with Communist China in 1979.

  84. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 25, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    “The term “South Vietnam” became common usage in 1954, when the Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into communist and non-communist parts.”

    When it became clear that a peaceful reunification through the plebiscite scheduled for 1956 would be indefinitely blocked by Washington and the government in Saigon, the Vietnamese Communist leadership decided in 1959-60 to resume “armed resistance” in the South.

    http://www3.nccu.edu.tw/~lorenzo/Jian%20China%20Involvement%20Vietnam.pdf

  85. Luther Wu says:

    feet2thefire says:
    February 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    “Not one who ever talked to me (and they all did) said anything except this: His one and only reason for fighting was to hopefully come back in one piece. ”
    _______________________
    You said it much better than I could.
    That moment when you “get it” that there are determined people aggressively trying to kill you is a huge shock. It all becomes very personal at that point and the only thing external that you are fighting for from then on becomes your buddies who are in peril with you.
    —————————————
    As far as all of the GIs embracing the protesters… you and I moved in different circles.
    Speaking for myself, I emerged from those years with conflicts to overcome.
    Most of us individually were trying to do the right thing.
    So many of the comments in this thread reflect what was going on at the time and what continues to this day.in the resistance to the lies of the power manipulators which is evident in this site. It is ironic, but not a bit funny that many of the young folks who view themselves as today’s ‘social justice seeking’ revolutionaries of a sort and saviors of the world, are such complete and utter pawns. Maybe someday they will catch on.

  86. Peter Hannan says:

    Nice (a while ago I asked if there were any other lefties frequenting this blog – I don’t know how you’d define yourself now). As a British observer who was young at the time of the Vietnam war, now I can’t take a hard stance on it. Tragedy and error, yes, ongoing hardship for the Vietnamese, much suffering for the veterans on both sides. In the end, I think, ‘hate war, respect the warriors.’

    For those who want only climate issues, Anthony’s header includes ‘puzzling things in life’, so if you’re not interested, tune out, there’s plenty on climate!

    On Vietnam war vs World War II, what was happening in Vietnam was really an internal, civil war over politics and economics; there was no threat to any other country, except in the perception of US strategists of the ‘domino effect’ (actually originally formulated by Lenin). On the other hand, both Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan had clear and serious intentions of conquest, and of imposing their screwed up values and practices wherever they could.

    Nearly everyone in Britain is eternally grateful to the USA for its support and active involvement during WWII; critics of the US (for example, many Mexicans with whom I live) would do well to consider what their lives might be like if the Nazis had succeeded in their plans for conquest.

  87. Greg House says:

    Peter Hannan says, February 26, 2013 at 1:05 am: “On Vietnam war vs World War II, what was happening in Vietnam was really an internal, civil war over politics and economics; there was no threat to any other country, except in the perception of US strategists of the ‘domino effect’ (actually originally formulated by Lenin). On the other hand, both Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan had clear and serious intentions of conquest, and of imposing their screwed up values and practices wherever they could.
    ============================================================

    Well, communists as well had clear and serious intentions of conquest, and of imposing their screwed up values and practices wherever they could, and after taking over a territory they had a habit to murder their so called “class enemies” and enslave other people.

  88. More to the point, who appointed you the judge of the actions of an entire generation? Was there a special election for the post of inter-generational judge, or did you win the judgeship by acclaim?

    In the course of some research recently I have been able to dig up online come copies of the Village Voice from 1967 and 68. I was researching a person who today is a leading climate change “We must deindustrialize the world because we are destroying it” person. It turns out that in 1968 he was invited to spend time in the Soviet Union and this was his article extolling his time there.

    The entire thing infuriated me as it was patently bullshit. He was talking about spending time in coffee shops, watching the Bolshoi, and other activities that led the reader to think that Moscow was not much different than living in lower Manhattan at the time. There is a life magazine from about that same time that had a similar viewpoint. There was some slight discomfort in the article about the lack of freedom of expression and those that got taken away by the KGB but no real criticism. Fast forward in time and we know how completely corrupt and repressive the Soviet Union was and that these trips like this were carefully orchestrated campaigns by the Russians to sew a meme that it was the U.S. warmongers that were the world’s creeps.

    Another article was by a Village Voice writer that had gone and spent time with the Viet Cong and was extolling their back to nature type lifestyle and contrasting that with the materialistic and imperialistic Americans with all of their technology who were fighting against basically the people of the Earth.

    A third meme of your generation was anti-technology. Though the meme of your generation in reporting has been that Richard Nixon was responsible for the demise of the Apollo program, the truth is (and this was my research) that funding for NASA began to be dramatically cut as early as FY 1967 and money shifted to anti-poverty programs, mostly at the insistence of your generation that could not see the value of mankind’s move into the solar system. I wrote about that here.

    http://denniswingo.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/reclaiming-our-future-in-space/

    I still remember a comic from the Village Voice showing a picture of Buzz Aldrin on the Moon with a sign saying “So What”.

    Read my article and take a look at where we were at at the beginning of 1967 in space. We were building nuclear powered rocket stages, we were preparing for an advanced campaign of lunar exploration leading to economic development. Read the 1965 book by Neil Ruzic “The Case for the Moon” where he outlines the revolutions in manufacturing, resources, and freeing mankind from our cradle through the economic development of the Moon.

    Your generation rejected this and ironically used the picture sent back from the Moon of the Moon and the Earth from Apollo 8 as your touchstone for the environmental movement. The book “Limits to Growth” from a bunch of European bankers who were fellow socialist travelers with the redistribution of wealth dismissed space and basically said that we had to deindustrialize and all live like a bunch of French farmers.

    This attitude that flowered in your generation is what now dominates the political scene in the form of the climate change crisis, which is no more than the ultimate appeal to authority bludgeon that is being used by those who in the history of mankind could not stomach freedom and who use science as a means whereby to implement an agenda that the Reagan generation forstalled for a couple of decades.

    The Ironic thing Willis is that now you see part of the problem. You and I are fellow travelers to extoll a realist view of science, disdaining the political feel good politics that are destructive to the world (that your generation embraced wholeheartedly then). The whole essence of the AGW movement today is the logical outgrowth of the ethos that your generation embraced in the 1960′s, a feel good emotional appeal to help your fellow man, that in reality is being used as a mean to re-establish the control over humanity that a group of people that fought for liberty and who set up our constitution freed us from over 200 years ago.

    Even you see the flaws and I love your work in the science, you do a great job most of the time in that regard. But think about this. How much better off would we be today if the technological progress of the 1960′s in opening the solar system not been thwarted? We would have colonies on Mars, industries on the Moon, and our fears of energy and resource depletion would be quaint alternative fiction about what could have happened.

    I am very glad that you have managed to look beyond the slogans and have embraced the science that refutes the feel good politics that underpins the whole AGW movement. James Lovelock did as well and look what happened to him. There is a struggle for the heart and soul of humanity right now and a positive outcome is absolutely in doubt. Once we get to far down a road of deindustrialization, we can’t stop it and billions will die and at the end of the day it is because of the ethos bread in that fateful time of the late 1960′s and our inability today to overcome it.

  89. Dennis Ray Wingo,

    Thank you very much from a point man who has met them inside Earth First meetings.

    If you do not toe the line you may not have all your toes afterwards.

  90. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dennis (Wingo), I had asked you …

    More to the point, who appointed you the judge of the actions of an entire generation? Was there a special election for the post of inter-generational judge, or did you win the judgeship by acclaim?

    Rather than answer me, or deal with that issue at all, or simply discuss the interesting questions and move the ideas forwards, instead you’ve just gone back on the attack, telling me your judgements on my entire generations once again, how we were the spawn of demons or ruined the world for you or something.

    Since it seems clear that you didn’t get my gentle hint, let me put it in plainer terms— nobody appointed you the judge of my generation, and your repeated attempts to set yourself up as the divine arbiter of the actions of others are repulsive, unpleasant, and unwanted.

    Is that clear enough?

    You’ve destroyed your credibility with me by your insistence that you are the man with the inside scoop on me, my generation, and the world, Dennis. As a result, I have absolutely no interest in your views on the subject. You say “Read my article and …”

    I’d likely have done so … if you weren’t trying to play God …

    w.

    PS—There is no “my generation”, and even if there were, I’m hardly representative of it. In fact, reading my stories should have shown you long ago that I’m hardly representative of any group or generation—I’m the wild card your momma warned you about, regarding whom all generalizations such as yours ultimately fail …

  91. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Luther Wu says:
    February 25, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    … Most of us individually were trying to do the right thing.

    Thanks, Luther, that is what I see as the basic truth of the war, and could definitely serve as my epitaph …

    w.

  92. Luther Wu says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 26, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Luther Wu says:
    February 25, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    … Most of us individually were trying to do the right thing.

    Thanks, Luther, that is what I see as the basic truth of the war, and could definitely serve as my epitaph …

    w.
    _____________________
    We often don’t know what the right thing is, but muddle ahead anyway, using whatever tools we have to guide us. The younger we are, the fewer tools we have. I can’t believe the bonehead things I’ve done or that I’ve made it this far.
    I am the dumbest guy I know.

  93. jc says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach. Feb 26, 2013. 9.45 am.

    “Rather than answer me, or deal with that issue at all …”

    You are on the edge of being held in complete and permanent contempt by any and all who read through your exchanges with Denniswingo above, and review what else you choose to avoid and evade in this post.

    YOU are the one dissimulating. Trying to force others to accept your credo as legitimate without question and then trashing them even though they proffer points, freely given, in support of their own.

    Your prim dismissal of someone who has gone to some length, in a generous manner to you as a person, to explain their position, is INFANTILE, and then to use that as excuse to ignore them is COWARDLY.

    I’ve had a gutfull of your positioning yourself as some sort of Universal Man, beholden to none, seeing only truth, gazing independently over the landscape of human experience.

    I have been sympathetic to the idea that you like others were thrown off balance by what was actually the collapse of society – not an excuse for a never ending party – in the late ’60′s, and that you made of that what you could.

    You need to hear some basic home truths.

    Your conception of yourself is a fantasy.

    You, like a multiitude of others at that time, were purely a product of mass market consumerism, whether this showed itself in a pair of Levis or off-the-shelf marxism. All adopted to strike a pose, feel distinctive, know you were Significant. All very normal for an adoloscent.

    Thats all.

    All of these postures were Standard Issue. All generated by those older than you with an eye to financial or other advantage. Choose what fits.

    Sausage Factories.

    In your case your template is obvious. Jack Kerouac. A good buy for a restless and uncommitted 18 yo.

    You have got his instruction manuals down pat. And faithfully followed them.

    On the road. Riding the rails. Right through to an apparently decades long re-reading of Dharma Bums and its tedious meanderings in the world of Zen.

    “Your” supposed philosophy of “retire early and often” and everything else you use as a structure for your decisions is purely and simply taken from these pages.

    You are not an Original. You are an imitator.

    Kerouac as the manufacturer of the template at least had the dignity to die an alcoholic in his 50′s as being the natural end for someone whose approach to life is episodic, and after years becomes increasingly undeniably pointless.

    You don’t have to do that because this positioning is not organically yours – you can take what you want from it.

    You are old now and are not going to be able to change.

    So stick to your stories – without claiming that they are strictly true – you write well, and your anecdotes, which are not parables but just a description of your memories of yourself, will evoke responses at least from those who find a commonality of association.

    Don’t pretend the faux wisdom you are inclined to trot out is anything more than inanities printed on greeting cards.

    You, like many of your generation -yes – have learnt very little of value over 40 or 50 years. It could hardly be otherwise as you considered yourselves fully formed in all important particulars by the time you were 20.

    If you now can contribute something to science that’s good – I suspect that you are motivated by the unacknowledgeble realization that you might have had a very different life, or since you plainly have a very high opinion of your capacities, at least what you think you could have, but that really is something you can claim is a truth distinctive to you, and it is your problem.

  94. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Luther Wu says:
    February 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

    … I am the dumbest guy I know.

    Dang, you’re just chock-full of excellent one-liners today, statements that could apply to us all, the mistakes I’ve made are legion. Heck, I list a bunch of mine in the post above …

    w.

  95. Willis Eschenbach says:

    People have asked me if The Captain would have approved of my actions regarding my voyage into and out of the Army, which as I mentioned is detailed here, and I haven’t known how to answer. I never knew the man, he died decades before I was born.

    I realized on re-reading this thread, however, that I had a very good guide to the answer to that question—the woman who knew him the best, and lived her life strictly by his principles, my beloved grandmother, My-mummie.

    As I said above, I lived with her after I was in the Army. She hated the Vietnam War with a passion. She was fiercely anti-Communist because of the horrors she had fought against behind the Iron Curtain … and yet she felt, as many did, that Vietnam was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, against the wrong people. She saw it as one of the most colossal mistakes the US Government had ever made.

    She was not opposed to war per se, she knew we’d had to fight the Nazis for example. She’d lost one of her own brothers in WWI, but counted it a worthy sacrifice. And she, like I, had great respect for the warriors who actually did the fighting—she had seen, even more than I have, both what they had accomplished and what it had cost.

    On the other hand, she was overjoyed that none of her grandchildren had to fight in Vietnam, and had no problem at all with my actions—she was glad I’d escaped, regardless of the means, from having to support killing people in what she saw as a useless, tragic, and ultimately futile sacrificial madness, with a huge human cost in life and limb and sanity on both sides.

    So I can’t say if The Captain would have approved of my actions … but My-mummie certainly did.

    w.

  96. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jc says:
    February 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    @ Willis Eschenbach. Feb 26, 2013. 9.45 am.

    “Rather than answer me, or deal with that issue at all …”

    You are on the edge of being held in complete and permanent contempt by any and all who read through your exchanges with Denniswingo above, and review what else you choose to avoid and evade in this post.

    YOU are the one dissimulating. Trying to force others to accept your credo as legitimate without question and then trashing them even though they proffer points, freely given, in support of their own.

    jc, please re-read what denniswingo said, and my response to him, and what John Coleman said, and my response to him.

    I have no problem with Dennis proffering points, freely given, in support of his own position.

    But instead of stating and then supporting his own position, Dennis wanted to judge an entire generation, as if that were even possible. I quote his opening sentence, the idea he came in the door with, the first words out of his mouth:

    Speaking as one of the younger brothers and sisters of your generation we thought you all were pretentious arrogant farts who thought you knew everything and the last 40+ years has not changed that opinion.

    How on earth you interpret that as him “proferring points in support of his own position” is a mystery to me … and I fear that regardless of whether you threaten me with the unbearable lash of your stinging contempt, I’ll continue to treat that kind of action as the shallow, arrogant, supercilious, over-generalized, unsupported, patronizing, unpleasant, untrue, and generally nasty attack that it actually was.

    John Coleman, on the other hand, did espouse a position, and proffered reasoned support for it, he moved the conversation forwards. My response to him is here.

    I deal with people as individuals, jc, depending on how they deal with me. If they come in attacking me with all guns blazing, doing their best to trash my name, I treat that with all of the contempt it deserves. This is a discussion, not a shooting gallery, and I refuse to be the target.

    w.

  97. jc says:

    You can read.

    You cannot possibly be so incapable of absorbing at least the rudimentary meaning of what you have read above.

    The techniques, methodologies, posturings of those wanting to manipulate are daily paraded by a legion of public figures.

    I’m not buying.

    As far as I am concerned you have revealed and defined yourself as implacably dishonest in dealing with basic human exchanges.

    End of story.

    Groovy man.

  98. Luther Wu says:

    @jc
    Fully formed in all- important particulars at the age of 20? That’s beaucoup dinky dau. Haven’t you been paying attention?

    Ps I’m not sticking up for Willis or anybody… I’m wondering what you’ve been drinking and if you got any more?

  99. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jc says:
    February 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    You can read.

    You cannot possibly be so incapable of absorbing at least the rudimentary meaning of what you have read above.

    The techniques, methodologies, posturings of those wanting to manipulate are daily paraded by a legion of public figures.

    I’m not buying.

    That’s great, jc … but I haven’t a clue what any of it means. I have explained why I answered denniswingo as I did. He, like you, showed up to attack me, not to move the discussion forwards. You seem to want me to pat him on the tummy and blow in his ear … sorry, when a man shows up just to attack me, I treat him accordingly.

    I also categorically reject your accusation, viz:

    As far as I am concerned you have revealed and defined yourself as implacably dishonest in dealing with basic human exchanges.

    Since you are a man who has not provided a single quotation or example of how you think I have not been honest, being seemingly content to spew your own nasty opinions of my actions in place of showing what I’ve done that you think is dishonest, I fear your willingness to cast unsupported, uncited, and untrue aspersions on my honesty reveals much more about you than me.

    I’ve told the truth about what I did as best as I know it and to the fullest of my abilities, warts and all, jc … and the fact that you don’t approve of what I did doesn’t make me a liar as you seem to believe. I know many of the things I did were wrong, I wouldn’t do them again, no man is the same at 66 as he was at 20, and I’m happy to discuss any of that … but not with a man who calls me a liar, or who just shows up in rabid bulldog attack mode. Sorry, not gonna happen.

    I invite you to throw off your cloaking mask of anonymity, the veil that allows you to cast nasty aspersions without ever having to take responsibility for your ugly words now or in the future, and to publicly reveal a host of the foolish things you’ve done over the course of your life, as I have done, before you start getting on your high moral horse and lecturing us plebeians on our supposed dishonesty …

    All the best,

    w.

  100. jc says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach. Feb 26th 2013 at 2.18 pm.

    My god you really are a case study in the art of manipulation.

    Right down to the implication of deceit and underhand behavior in those who simply reflect your own statements back to them and point out your evasions.

    A lifetime spent just keeping the talk up in the hope of getting the sale.

    I am way, way, beyond seeking or accepting claims to sincerity of intent from those who have repeatedly demonstrated they have none.

    It is completely pointless expecting you to do be other than you have demonstrated, you don’t know how.

    Oh, and by the way don’t try to accrue support from others by pretending I was referring to anyone else but YOU, and if you actually think this requires a “high moral horse” then you clearly failed to even get to the moral development of a 10 year old.

    Great Karma. Good luck with it.

  101. w.

    I give you an A+.

    You have memorized all the 60′s radical anti Vietham war talking points and know how to slip in a dirty dig with the best of them. Worthy of notice which seems to be the thing you seek the most, just notice me,, just notice me, se what I have done, look its me, w..

    Thing is you sort of stand out, you know over noticed.

  102. jc says:

    @ Luther Wu. Feb 26th 2013 at 2.15 pm.

    The Wal-Mart that was 1968. Some have moved onto other stores, some haven’t.

    Those that haven’t merely drape whatever variations on the original theme have come to hand since over the original purchase.

  103. jc says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach Feb 26th 2013 at 2.18 pm

    Since I sent through a response which has not been listed and have subsequently responded to Luther Wu above which has, I assume that it was considered “inappropriate” in some way by the moderator, who may well be you for all I know.

    I wont bother trying to repeat or rephrase myself, other than to say I know manipulation when I see it, and that I have no intention of treating someone as sincere who demonstrably isn’t.

    I will add that amongst the various characteristics you have revealed in this post that I had not mentioned is shown in your complete (apparent) inability to distinguish between being held to account for something you wish to assert and an attack on you as a person. I wont give a specific example: this post and others you have made are replete with them.

    Pathological narcissism.

    And I will repeat my closing comment of the earlier unlisted post.

    Great Karma. Good luck with it.

    [Reply: Your last comment was in the Spam folder. That often happens for known and unknown reasons. — mod.]

  104. denniswingo says:

    More to the point, who appointed you the judge of the actions of an entire generation? Was there a special election for the post of inter-generational judge, or did you win the judgeship by acclaim?

    Look around you today, it is the result of what your generation put into motion, aided and abetted by the pointy headed intellectuals of the rich white northeastern elite. Look at the utter confusion in our government today, which for the most part is run by fellow travelers of your generation.

    I have had the pleasure of spending some time hanging out on this old ferry, the S.S. Vallejo in Sausalito.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vallejo_(ferry)

    There is an interesting historical tidbit about a meeting between some of the luminaries of the counter culture movement as it was called at the time…

    Zen Buddhist Alan Watts bought Ford’s share of the houseboat in 1961.[5][6] Varda’s parties and salons continued. The most famous party, thrown in 1967, was known as the “Houseboat Summit”, and featured Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Watts discussing LSD; it was featured in the counterculture magazine the San Francisco Oracle.[7] The Vallejo deteriorated heavily during the 1960s. Varda died suddenly in 1971, as did Watts in 1973.[3]

    There were other more political conversations that happened there related to the dark direction that Leary, Watts, Ginsberg, and Snyder saw coming. There was an incipient split in the movement between those what wanted nothing to do with the dominate culture (Leary, Watts, Ginsberg, and Snyder) and those that wanted to forever change society by infiltrating the political class until they took it over and used it to help change things “for the common good”. Those ware those like Alinsky, John Kerry, and even a then unknown named Hillary Clinton. We see the ultimate expression of that movement in our current dysfunctional government. It is as easy as the lyrics to the Ten Years After song by Alvin Lee “I’d love to change the world”

    I would love to change the world, but I don’t know what I’d do, so I leave it up to youuuu”

    The next line is the ominous one.

    “Tax the rich, feed the poor, till there are no, rich no more”

    All of that mindset started by your generation or at least part of your generation. The subculture that did not fall for that were the ones working on technology, the Apollo program, nuclear power, who after the death of Apollo gave us our current technological world by building silicon valley out of the ashes of the 70′s.

    The 60′s generation see our current administration as their last best hope to remake society in their image, to tax the rich, to redistribute wealth, to break down suburbia, to finally rend the ties that bind us together as a nation by divisive politics that pit brother against brother because it is only in chaos that opportunity arises. You see that chaos playing out in Washington today, with the lurching from crisis to crisis breeding further instability by using the bludgeon of climate change to turn the young against the old, the anti-humanist movement that sees humans as a waste and a blight.

    The funny thing about this is that I got to meet and talk to Timothy Leary in the last couple of years of his life at the Electronic Cafe in LA during the early explosion of the Internet. We hosted a teleconference between Leary and students at the University of Toronto as Leary was still persona non grata in Canada. Leary waxed poetic about how the Internet (1995) and Virtual Reality (Mark Peche, one of the inventors of VRML was there) was bringing about the opening of consiousness that he had preached about in the 1960′s. I may have had a bit of influence on him as well as he became a believer in the opening of the space frontier by those of us who wanted private spaceflight (I helped Dennis Tito the first space tourist six years later on his trip to ISS). He wanted to colonize the galaxy and lamented that he would not live to see it (he had already been diagnosed with Prostate cancer by then).

    So no your ENTIRE generation was not at fault, just the meme that you laid out that I responded to as we as kids had to listen to all the pontificating and pissing on the good things that were all around us that none of you saw.

    We are reaping that whirlwind today and I see almost everything that you guys were preaching for back then dominating the political discourse today. This is why it is so hard to have a conversation about climate change as it has become the religion of the left. Read Gore’s Earth in the Balance” It is almost an exact copy of Meadows Limits to Growth. Data is adjusted in the climate community and models fudged because it is for the good of the cause, damn the truth. Our secretary of state today said that Americans have the right to be stupid. He is talking about most of the people on this blog who post.

    Pretentious, Arrogant, uttery convinced of how right they are, look no further than John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Steve Chu, and even Barak Obama, that absorbed all the bad lessons of the 1960′s and few of the good ones.

    Am I right or wrong? Look around you at the world today, it is a testament to that sixties credo that your generation lived by.

  105. Willis Eschenbach says:

    fobdangerclose says:
    February 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    w.

    I give you an A+.

    You have memorized all the 60′s radical anti Vietham war talking points and know how to slip in a dirty dig with the best of them. Worthy of notice which seems to be the thing you seek the most, just notice me,, just notice me, se what I have done, look its me, w..

    First off, I am writing my autobiography because literally dozens and dozens and dozens of people have begged me to do so. Yes, I talk of what I’ve done … it’s an AUTOBIOGRAPHY, who do you expect me to talk about? You?

    And in fact, many of my stories, like Blackmailing the Japanese Ambassador, are really not about me at all, other than as an amused and awed participant in the doings of people I admired in my life. That story was about Billy Bennett, one of my personal heroes. Heck, I tell stories I’m not even in, stories I was told by my grandmother … not sure what you’ve seen in the autobiographies you’ve read, but that’s what’s in mine.

    As to your claim of my supposed “talking points” and “dirty digs”, since you give me no examples to either defend, or explain, or admit my errors as the case may be, I fear that so far you are simply flinging mud in the vain hope that some will stick.

    I’m a smart guy for a fool, fob, and I’ve thought long and hard about the choices that I’ve made in my life, both before and after I made them, the unexamined life is not worth living. Some choices I’d never make again. Others have stood the test of my scant years of re-examination, I’d do it again in a second.

    To be sure, it might have been and still be a mistake, I’m anti-omniscient. But I’d do it again, because I’ve seen nothing since then to change my mind … and if the facts change, I change my mind, as the man said. What do you do?

    In particular, writing these pieces, with the strong addition of insights from comments from those folk that do move the conversation forwards, has allowed me a fresh look my actions and their repercussions, including things I’d never considered. For a man obsessed with learning like myself, that’s a huge opportunity.

    All the best,

    w.

  106. denniswingo says:

    First off, I am writing my autobiography because literally dozens and dozens and dozens of people have begged me to do so. Yes, I talk of what I’ve done … it’s an AUTOBIOGRAPHY, who do you expect me to talk about? You?

    Please let me say that I enjoy your recollections of your past. That we disagree vociferously on some things does not make it less entertaining.

    It is just that the thing that I read there struck a nerve as it goes to something that I strongly feel started to lead to the unraveling of our nation.

  107. jc says:

    @ denniswingo. Feb 26th 2013. 3.54 pm.

    An excellent precis of the direct connection between the “culture” of the 1960′s and its consequences, largely in what you describe from being conciously applied, but also in effect by osmosis.

    And as you rightly make clear the original proponents of all this were those of a previous generation who came out of the woodwork as societal reference points collapsed and found ready adherents in the ambitious and credulously self-interested.

    A core element – or the core element – underpinning it all is the creation of a culture where the implications of actions either cannot be seen or that no one is interested in seeing them.

    Todays world.

  108. Philemon says:

    Willis, keep your stories coming, please. They are very well told, and, judging from the comments, they touch nerves and elicit strong responses, as good stories should.

  109. markx says:

    Dennis Ray Wingo says: February 26, 2013 at 8:41 am (italics)

    Fast forward in time and we know how completely corrupt and repressive the Soviet Union was and that these trips like this were carefully orchestrated campaigns by the Russians to sew a meme that it was the U.S. warmongers that were the world’s creeps.

    You forget that very very few fully embraced the doctrines of communism, and probably deliberately ignore the fact that very very few believed the picture painted. If it had in fact been ‘the whole generation’ the USA would only be now climbing out of its own ‘communist hole’…
    Another article was by a Village Voice writer that had gone and spent time with the Viet Cong and was extolling their back to nature type lifestyle and contrasting that with the materialistic and imperialistic Americans with all of their technology who were fighting against basically the people of the Earth.

    This was a good and necessary thing to do. It to some extent countered the good military practice of ‘de-humanizing’ the enemy (which makes it a lot easier to get our young men to kill them, and a lot easier to draft the necessary cannon fodder). And truly, this was in fact truthful reporting: the technologically advanced, massively air-supported Americans were fighting a people in their own lands, who were living in and living from the land (no airdropped C rations for them).

    I still remember a comic from the Village Voice showing a picture of Buzz Aldrin on the Moon with a sign saying “So What”.

    Oh, the horror …….Man, you gotta get out a bit more … comics, cartoons, satirists always have their say, and always will. And should do so (and that’s damn funny, too …. Go, on. Put down ya flag, take ya hand of ya noble heart and grin!)

    ….and money shifted to anti-poverty programs, mostly at the insistence of your generation that could not see the value of mankind’s move into the solar system. …How much better off would we be today if the technological progress of the 1960′s in opening the solar system not been thwarted? We would have colonies on Mars, industries on the Moon, and our fears of energy and resource depletion would be quaint alternative fiction about what could have happened….

    Bozo, you are dreamin’, bigtime…. If you can’t afford to do something, you can’t afford to do it. I’ve driven through your mighty nation, and, with my poor navigating skills, managed to get lost in the outskirts of small towns, and discovered that America is full of ghettos …. A great nation genuinely holding out the promise of hope to its citizens and falsely telling them anyone can succeed, if only they work hard.

    Those who discover that hard work can be trumped by bad luck, a few bad or ill-timed decisions simply vanish, erased by time and poverty.

    The very same processes that Willis’ generation were reacting to (yes, and you could say overreacting to) ARE STILL GOING ON TODAY! Powered by the same military industrial structures: Don’t you see this NEED to keep a war or two ticking over somewhere in the world at any time? Soon you will have to pull out of Iraq because public opinion weighs more and more heavily against it … but don’t worry, we’ve got Iran lined up and we can PROVE they are bad guys, so THIS time it’s REALLY justified!
    (Hey, are those flower children over there peacefully protesting? Ah, no, it is a different era so the memes and the themes and the ideas are a bit different, but the desire to right perceived wrongs is still there).

    …. your generation …. your generation…. at the insistence of your generation.. This attitude that flowered in your generation….. that your generation embraced…..
    This is one of the most misguided, shallow thinking, blame allocating bits of indoctrinated thinking I have ever seen.
    Every generation reactes to the events of their time, and to the events preceeding their time. Each is subject to all the effects of the government propaganda of the time, the societal beliefs and values of the time, and the happenings of that time.

    And they react and respond to those events. Sometimes correctly, sometimes they overreact, and sometimes (often) react wrongly.

    Think for a moment: Should the ideas of the CAGW crowd prevail, and the taxes are established, and expensive energy sources are built, and the economy tanks, etc etc, how are you going to feel in 50 years time as the masses point at you and proclaim how “your generation” (because, yes, you were here, and an adult, and active then) f***** it all up with such a stupid concept?

  110. markx says:

    Dennis Ray Wingo says: February 26, 2013 at 8:41 am

    The very funny thing is that had they NOT gone to war (yes, the very war that many of Willis’ generation were correctly opposing ) they probably could have gone to settle on the damn moon!

    Instead, it was easier to maintain the status quo rather than try to dismantle an every expanding cold war indoctrinated military structure and all the lobbying, wealth churning industrial structure needed to support it.

  111. Philemon says:

    Markx has a point. War is a racket. Some people make good money off of it.

    Also, I ain’t no psychiatrist, but I doubt jc is either…

    Willis, as psychological defense mechanisms go, I don’t think you have the narcissism going for you.

    A narcissist would only trust their autobiography to people they could pressure or manipulate to agree with them, even just in the comments. And the only ones they would respond to would be the ones agreeing with them. (The others would disappear.)

    You may be full of yourself in other ways, but I’ve known narcissists, and you are no narcissist!

  112. Willis Eschenbach says:

    denniswingo says:
    February 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    First off, I am writing my autobiography because literally dozens and dozens and dozens of people have begged me to do so. Yes, I talk of what I’ve done … it’s an AUTOBIOGRAPHY, who do you expect me to talk about? You?

    Please let me say that I enjoy your recollections of your past. That we disagree vociferously on some things does not make it less entertaining.

    It is just that the thing that I read there struck a nerve as it goes to something that I strongly feel started to lead to the unraveling of our nation.

    Dennis, thank you for the tone and spirit of this comment. I’m sorry that I was taken aback by the ferocity of your opening attack, and please accept my apologies for touching a nerve in my writings—my intention was much more to touch the funnybone. Let’s see if we can reboot the conversation.

    Here’s my problem. Picking a date for the “unraveling of our nation”, or assigning the blame to a single generation doesn’t seem like a very productive way to move forwards.

    What people who didn’t live through it seem to forget is that the 1950s, when I grew up, were a time of economic plenty allied with huge problems. When I was a kid, in many states, black people still had separate (and highly inferior) schools, beaches, and even drinking fountains, and that was 100% legal. Newspapers still had ads for “Help Wanted-Male” and “Help Wanted—Female”. Women and minorities of all types were way under-represented in the corridors of power. In some states, it was illegal for blacks and whites to marry.

    Indeed, we protested against these, and we were successful, we threw them out. They were a pathological distortion of the American way of life that denied full public, political, educational, and economic participation and opportunity to well over half of the American public.

    So yes, we fought against those things, and I’d do it again … and no, I don’t see that action of mine and others as being the start of some mythical decay, because the prior system, denying opportunity to more than half of the people, was far, far worse.

    Now, did we make some mistakes in that process? Did the baby sometimes get thrown out with the bathwater?

    Of course, we’re human. How can any generation, including yours, not make mistakes?

    But the system we have today, where women and minorities are free even to be the President of the US, is a huge improvement the institutionalized racism and denial of opportunity of the 1950s, complete with police dogs and bombing schoolgirls and women secretaries who could never be the boss … and yes, I’m glad as hell that I fought for that.

    Finally, let me say that I am not the man I was at 20. I do not believe the things I believed then, or make the choices I made then. And I assume the same is true for you. So please don’t assume that I think Chairman Mao was a good guy. Here’s what I think.

    The modern man responsible for the largest number of human deaths and starvation and executions and tortures and mass murders is …

    Karl Marx. His flawed understanding of the ruthless nature of human beings led directly to Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and Che Guevara and all the other vicious, cruel, rapacious, murderous Communist tyrants large and small, and thus led directly to the murder of millions of innocent people.

    Not only that, but in my youth I thought he was one of the good guys, how dumb was that? Like I said … I’m not that man any more.

    I don’t know whether you agree or disagree with that, Dennis, but it’s something to mull over when you think you know what it is I believe today … I’m full of surprises.

    My best to you, and I do thank you for changing the tone of your comment, much appreciated.

    w.

  113. Bill Curry says:

    Sir, as a child born in 1968 of hippie parents, I find it hard to express how much I detest your narcasistic generation. The damage you have caused around the world far exceeds what you imagined you were protesting.

    It is hard to swallow your story, told with a certain pride despite the sheer horror your thinking unleashed. You abandoned your parents. Your abandoned the people of South East Asia to hell and let millions die. You abandoned your children in divorce and self gratification. And even now you abandon your grandchildren to financial malaise.

    You will die thinking you did something good with your life. The same narcisism taken to your graves. And you will leave it to us to clean up your mess.

    You should be ashamed. If you were to march down my street I would spit on your old and broken frame just as you spit on those brave men who did the right thing.

    You deserve all the criticism you face here. We will never let you get away with perpetuating the fantasies of having done good things. You’re history is being written by your children and we will not be kind.

  114. Bill Curry says:

    And your cloaking of your actions as somehow offset by movements that had nothing to do with your generation is frightening. Again, a distorted sense of self if your think that movements that began decades or centuries before your verbatim somehow came to fruition because your code to reject wholesale your parents values.

    Women and blacks have no reason to thank your generation. They improved their lot before you guys were born and will continue to after you die.

    Do you not see how this myth you have sold yourselves about what good you did is false? Is it STILL all about you?

    Shame.

  115. denniswingo says:

    You forget that very very few fully embraced the doctrines of communism, and probably deliberately ignore the fact that very very few believed the picture painted. If it had in fact been ‘the whole generation’ the USA would only be now climbing out of its own ‘communist hole’…

    Very few where? The readers of the village voice and the protesters on the west coast were obviously not convinced. If there is a spread in Life Magazine that echo’s that sentiment there has to be some currency for it.

    And truly, this was in fact truthful reporting: the technologically advanced, massively air-supported Americans were fighting a people in their own lands, who were living in and living from the land (no airdropped C rations for them).

    Uh huh, tell that to the families that had relatives fighting over there.

    Bozo, you are dreamin’, bigtime…. If you can’t afford to do something, you can’t afford to do it. I’ve driven through your mighty nation, and, with my poor navigating skills, managed to get lost in the outskirts of small towns, and discovered that America is full of ghettos …. A great nation genuinely holding out the promise of hope to its citizens and falsely telling them anyone can succeed, if only they work hard.

    So now we are already down to name calling. You missed the point with your excerpt, we could afford to do it, but we shifted resources to programs that frankly after an entire generation have proven themselves to be completely useless for anything other than buying votes. You don’t bring people out of poverty by giving them money, you bring people out of poverty by creating the conditions whereby they can gain employment. All giving money does is make them your dependent, and of course a reliable voter for your policies. If the resources that have been wasted on failed social programs had been instead channeled into technological investments the problems that we have with energy, resources, and poverty would mostly be quaint relics of a bygone age. The problem would be that these people would not be dependent on hand outs and thus not reliable voters.

    ARE STILL GOING ON TODAY! Powered by the same military industrial structures:

    The so called military industrial complex is a pale shadow of what it was in the 1960′s. In the mid sixties the military budget was fully half of federal expenditures. Today it is barely over 22%. However, we do have the medicare industrial complex and we do have the welfare industrial complex that both of them are larger than the military budgets. The generals did not want any of these wars over the past decade that have been foisted on them and the current occupant of the whitehouse is executing a proxy war of drones across half the planet, supported by their fellow hippies. Ironic isn’t it but the facts are that up until the 1990′s every single war the U.S. got into was done by a democrat administration. When congress wanted to go to war in Vietnam in the 1950′s Eisenhower required that they pass a formal declaration of war before he would order troops into a combat zone. The dems waited until they had a do gooder in the white house before trying to justify it on humanitarian grounds.

    Every generation reactes to the events of their time, and to the events preceeding their time. Each is subject to all the effects of the government propaganda of the time, the societal beliefs and values of the time, and the happenings of that time.

    It turns out that generation basically chucked the baby with the bathwater. It was the first generation that never had the pressures and the problems of our forefathers. It was rich, bored, and with the stupid move to war in Vietnam the excuse was there to chuck it all. We live with the after effects of it today as their children and grandchildren have no concept for the most part on how to raise a child. We have 20 MILLION children on ADD drugs because parenting is a lost art and drugs are the way to keep kids quiet. We have tens of millions of adults on pharmaceutical drugs provided by doctors and psychologists that have become little more than pill pushers to deal with depression, repression, or whatever the hell it is that makes your generation and now their children and grandchildren to think that they can’t get through a day without some kind of mind altering drug.

    Think for a moment: Should the ideas of the CAGW crowd prevail, and the taxes are established, and expensive energy sources are built, and the economy tanks, etc etc, how are you going to feel in 50 years time as the masses point at you and proclaim how “your generation” (because, yes, you were here, and an adult, and active then) f***** it all up with such a stupid concept?

    Actually I would agree with them! It IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY to not allow this to happen. There is much that can be done by a small but committed group of people. Anthony Watts, Steve MacIntyre, John Christy and a few dozen more have brought the entire edifice of the AGW movement to a point to where it is very difficult for them to make the progress in deindustrializing the world that they want to do. I tell my friends in the commercial space business that if we had half the commitment of the anti-abortion crowd we would be half way to Alpha Centauri by now.

    It is not a stupid concept at all to blame our generation IF we fail in stopping the AGW political juggernaut. It just so turns out that the climate is helping us, thus helping to show who is right. The same thing about space.

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm Eastern time space tourist Dennis Tito will announce that he is committing his wealth to put together a private flyby of humans to Mars. I have had a very very small part in this effort and I will continue working on advanced space concepts. That is our future and our means to transcend the limits to growth and the limited viewpoint that you represent.

  116. Bill Curry says:

    Errors from my phone. I am saying that smoking pot and free love had nothing to do with women and blacks. Taking credit is part of your narcasism.

  117. Mark Bofill says:

    Willis,

    Just writing express moral support. I don’t really understand the venom and outrage being expressed against you. Maybe I’m an idiot, but it seems to me that those who are throwing stones must have either sprung like Athena from Zeus’s forehead as teenagers and young adults, fully armed and wise, or they are indulging in a fairly vicious form of hypocrisy.
    I don’t think I’m a cowardly person or an evil one. Yet I can’t say I’ve always followed my conscience. I’ve done things I knew perfectly well were wrong in the past for various reasons. At least, if you were adhering to your convictions and what you believed to be right, you’ve done better than I. And while I don’t think I’m a coward I know I don’t have the balls to put my past and my life (warts and all) up on display for fools like these to spit on. For that I applaud you.
    I don’t have the first damn clue whether your past is admiral or despicable. Frankly I don’t care. Thanks for sharing your story with me, this one and the others. I can’t easily express the value I’ve find in reading them, but at least I can say I very much appreciate it.

    Best regards.

  118. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Curry says:
    February 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Sir, as a child born in 1968 of hippie parents, I find it hard to express how much I detest your narcasistic generation. The damage you have caused around the world far exceeds what you imagined you were protesting.

    It is hard to swallow your story, told with a certain pride despite the sheer horror your thinking unleashed. You abandoned your parents. Your abandoned the people of South East Asia to hell and let millions die. You abandoned your children in divorce and self gratification. And even now you abandon your grandchildren to financial malaise.

    Egads, sirrah, is that your idea of how to enter a peaceful discussion? That’s the first words out of your mouth? Really?

    You abandoned your parents.

    I have not abandoned my parents or my wife’s parents. I spent two hours yesterday reading to my 85-year old blind father-in-law … can you say the same?

    Your abandoned the people of South East Asia to hell and let millions die.

    To the contrary, we rained flaming hell on innocent children and massacred entire villages. Where do you think the phrase “We had to destroy the village in order to save it” came from? … you sure we’re discussing the same war? Both sides committed atrocities, and far from “abandoning” anyone, we recognized the reality that given the constraints of modern warfare, we would never win the war.

    Ask any military man if the war should have been prolonged given the surrounding political reality. Unlike you, military folk don’t like throwing men into a meat grinder in an unwinnable struggle against a fanatically dedicated enemy passionately committed, not to communism or any ism, that was an accident of history … but to throwing out foreign invaders.

    We totally misread the motivation of our enemies. We thought they wanted to spread communism. Had nothing to do with it. They had ALREADY BEEN FIGHTING AGAINST OCCUPYING FOREIGN ARMIES FOR 45 YEARS on the day we foolishly entered the war—first the hated Chinese, then the hated French, then the hated Japanese, then the hated French again … and then the final idiots in the line, the hated Americans. And if Communists helped them kick out the latest occupying foreign army, because you cannot deny we were that, well, they’d take it along with its costs … all the poor buggers ever wanted was for everyone to just get the hell out of their country.

    And that is an incredibly difficult army to overcome, it melts like quicksilver in your hands, and the US has proven that. Because what we didn’t realize at the time is that we were fighting against our own history—in the minds of the enemy, right or wrong, they spent sixty years as Patriots and Minutemen doing what we did in our Revolution, overthrowing the armies of the occupying power, throwing them out so they could be free men. Pity they ended up with Communism … but by god, it’s Vietnamese communism, not Chinese or French or any other kind.

    Knowing all of that … do you really think that we’d just walk in the door and kick some butts and take names and straighten things out? Kennedy thought that, he thought it was just some communists. So we tried it, and we got our asses handed to us just like the Chinese, and then the French, and then the Japanese, and then the French again before us were defeated and thrown out of Vietnam …

    Kennedy was too young and idealistic to see it coming, but Charles De Gaulle, himself a General, told him plainly we’d lose if we went to war in that place, time, and against those people … and he was right. We didn’t abandon anyone. We got our butts kicked by a combination of geopolitical reality and an unwavering enemy.

    You abandoned your children in divorce and self gratification.

    Jeez, don’t tell my daughter, she’s under the illusion she’s loved and protected. And I’ve been with the ex-fiancee for 35 years now … divorce? Abandonment?

    And even now you abandon your grandchildren to financial malaise.

    My friend, unless you know something I don’t, I do not have any grandchildren, my daughter is 21 and in college.

    As you can see, Bill, I don’t know who you’re talking about … but it’s sure not me.

    Now I don’t know you, but it sounds like you have some serious family issues you need to resolve involving abandonment, all the talk of divorce and abandoning parents and children and grandchildren … but again, that’s not me. You’re clearly very mad at your mother and father, for I know not what … and still that’s not me.

    Please, I invite you to take a deep breath, reboot, and enter the conversation in the manner of a gentleman, rather than blaming me for a host of abandonments and divorces I know nothing about. If you have a problem with something I said, quote my words so we know what we’re talking about, and tell me why you think I’m wrong. That way we can have a conversation.

    My best to you,

    w.

  119. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Curry says:
    February 26, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    … Women and blacks have no reason to thank your generation.

    Speak for yourself, please. My women friends and black friends thanked me personally at the time for supporting their cause and for my work in their behalf, how on earth would you know their reasons? And why would you claim they had no reason to do so? It wasn’t OK with me that black people got dumped on and that the laws were antediluvian, I tried to help, I got thanked … so sue me. Sounds like perhaps you’re just jealous that they didn’t thank you, or that you didn’t join in the struggle like I did.

    But in any case, once again, you’re talking about someone else, not me.

    There is no “my generation” and “your generation”, Bill, just you and me. How about you forget about the generations, and stop with the generalizations. They go nowhere. If you have a beef with something I said, QUOTE MY WORDS, because your protests are both content-free and have nothing to do with me.

    I want you to be very clear about one thing, Bill—I’m not the man you mistake me for. I’m not guilty of the crimes you think “my generation” committed, and I dislike being falsely accused of them. I’m not the guy abandoning and divorcing people. I’m not that man. You’ve got a big beef with whoever that man is, and reasonably so from the sounds of it …

    But I’m not that man.

    w.

  120. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm: “And if Communists helped them kick out the latest occupying foreign army, because you cannot deny we were that,”
    ==========================================================

    Really, America occupied South Vietnam?

    Unbelievable.

  121. Bill Curry says:

    OK Willis:

    “If you have a problem with something I said, quote my words so we know what we’re talking about, and tell me why you think I’m wrong. That way we can have a conversation.”

    I am now at a keyboard and not on a phone where quoting you is more difficult. I am going to take the time to educate you on a history you were too high to understand. I may break this into several posts (to avoid losing too much) and will explicitly indicate when I am done.

    Take the time to read what I write. It is only fair as I invest in writing it.

    “Please, I invite you to take a deep breath, reboot, and enter the conversation in the manner of a gentleman”

    Would that be similar to how you approached the conversation on the vietnam war when you were protesting? I am sure you were the perfect gentleman.

    “I’m not guilty of the crimes you think “my generation” committed, and I dislike being falsely accused of them.”

    Perhaps not, but you ARE guilty of providing a defense for them. A false veneer of coolness to what was disgusting behavior. And these accusations are valid and the problems arose out of the same mentality you hold now.

    Therefore, you are guilty by proxy. If you choose to defend doing drugs or abandoning the people of South East Asia, then you are one of those who took the shameful path. Your continuing defense of the indefensible only clarifies why you should be detested.

    More in the next post.

  122. Bill Curry says:

    “I have not abandoned my parents or my wife’s parents. I spent two hours yesterday reading to my 85-year old blind father-in-law … can you say the same?”

    No. My father in law died (in South East Asia) before I was born.

    But your generation DID abandon its parents. You spit on their values and wanted a “revolution”. You sent them to nursing homes while you partied to disco and snorted coke.

  123. Bill Curry says:

    “we would never win the war.”

    And here is the beginning of where I have to say you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Let me be clear. I am (now) ex-military. I saw combat and led men in Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I know war. And you know only your distorted view.

    More importantly, in the 1990′s – for nearly a decade – , between Desert Storm and Iraq, I was stationed South East Asia and lived and traveled that region extensively. I speak Bahasa fluently (Malaysia and Indonesia) and I spend about 1 month a year in South East Asia to this day.

    I have spent extensive time in Vietnam and have discussed the war with many Vietnamese. I have seen the captured American equipment and toured the tunnels.

    “Ask any military man if the war should have been prolonged given the surrounding political reality.”

    I am a military man. And I have spoken to many. The war was more than “winnable” and in fact – there was no “war” at the time of the American withdrawl. We had protected South Vietnam. A stabilizing force was in place. It was withdrawn too quickly.

    ” not to communism or any ism, that was an accident of history … but to throwing out foreign invaders.”

    You have no idea what you are talking about. They were completely dedicated to communism. In fact there were communist insurgencies throughout SEA. And they were viscious. The British were fighting one in Malaysia for example. The Chinese and Russians were dedicated to the expansion of Communism and the dominoe theory was not a theory. It was the deliberate strategy of the Soviet Union.

    For you to deny the reality of communism as part of the motivation only shows how little you know. Go to Saigon today. Go to the museums to the war. And then tell me that they did not fight for communism.

    ” And if Communists helped them kick out the latest occupying foreign army, because you cannot deny we were that”

    I CAN deny that. You are conflating things that are beyond your comprehension. You cannot call the invited support of an ally in a war an “occupation”. We did not occupy any part of Vietnam. You can’t make up your own words.

    “all the poor buggers ever wanted was for everyone to just get the hell out of their country.”

    NO THEY DIDN’T. And this is where you show your absolute ignorance of the region and its history. They begged us to stay. I remember talking to a taxi driver in Saigon, who was 8 at the time of the fall. He told me about his parents being summarily shot by the invading communists and the decade of hell he went through. He asked me why the Americans abandoned them so quickly and without support. He was not angry. Just mystified.

    YOU are personally responsible for that 8 year old boys parents being killed. YOU pressured the US into an unnecessary withdrawl before stabilization and demilitarization. YOU may not have pulled the trigger, but you cared nothing of what would happen to him when the war “ended”.

  124. Bill Curry says:

    It may be hard for you to understand how much damage you did. How many people suffered at the hands of your ideas about “Peace”. You created the boat people. Let’s see… How many people did your actions lead to the death of

    Few vietnamese were dying right before the US withdrawal. Only 25000 died in the year before the American withdrawal.

    155K were killed in the final NVA offensive.
    200K died in “reeducation camps”
    50K died in forced labor camps.
    400K boat people died escaping.
    30k+ suicides in the aftermath.

    If you count all the deaths between the American withdrawal in 1974 and the eventual stabilization in 1987, around 2.4 million died and 2.1 million fled their country.

    The implementation of communist ideals led to famine that killed several million more in the next decade.

    The American withdrawal destabilized the whole region. 3 million Cambodians died subsequently and 100K Hmong died in Laos.

    Yes, unrepentant Willis. This blood is on your hands. If you had let the military stabilize the south, you would have seen Korea 2 at worst. But you wanted to protest something. You wanted peace and love for yourself.

    And death for millions of others.

  125. Bill Curry says:

    Final point in this post.

    Enough of this myth of an undefeatable enemy. There is no such thing. No matter how they are motivated or how they are structured, they are defeatable. Any military man will tell you that. It is a question of how and at what cost and for how long.

    How long will the myth that Afghanistan has never been defeated last? Or that Vietnam was undefeatable. Tell the Siamese that!

    Every part and country in the world has been defeated in war. If you want to argue that the presence of resistance means the country is not defeated, then I guess the French have never been defeated.

    Willis,

    Stick to stuff you know. Your lack of shame for your role in the killing of millions is typical of your self-centered generation. Claiming to not have anything to do with the high divorce rates that folllowed. The latch key kids.

    It is nonsense. Your thinking is EXACTLY what led to these things. Worse yet, you want credit for a civil rights movement that began in the 1600′s and is ongoing today. And for a women’s rights movement that has gone on for at least 100 years. You think somehow YOUR generation made that better?

    It was your parents making and passing those laws. It was your parents (The greatest generation) who were doing what was right. YOU were smoking pot and dropping acid and holding up random signs.

    It is BS to avoid the problems caused by people around your age (since you hate the word generation). You have created a litany of problems while doing nothing to contribute to society. And now, you will suck us dry in your old age by stealing money from your grandchildren to fund your social security and medical costs.

    Thanks.

    Peace, man.

  126. Luther Wu says:

    Some have mentioned the ascendancy to power in the US of those who were the apparent fifth column of the Communists, on the TV within our own living rooms and on our campuses. Such things are seldom mentioned in public. Why is that? Is “Communist” just a word which is sooo 1969?

  127. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    ….Really, America occupied South Vietnam? …

    Depends where and who you were. If you were a bar owner or a hooker in Vietnam, or to be fairer, ARVN, or a merchant/supplier to the military, the Americans were your friends.

    If you were a poor bloody villager 15 minutes helicopter flight from a Saigon airbase in a free fire zone, you just wanted everyone with a gun to get the hell out of the place and leave you alone.

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking the USA were sitting in Saigon and flying up to fight a war at the 17th parallel – they were fighting in all the areas of the south, divided into different military zones, all with their own contact rules which even the military could barely understand. The poor bloody villager usually had less idea when he was in a free fire zone and when he was not.

    Sure the USA could have won the war … politics (especially at home … and those were the guys Willis was protesting against) were the major issue. And the international politics more so – China was morbidly afraid of having US forces on their doorstep (Thanks, General MacArthur, ya maniacal pumped up idiot) … it would have been a nice big war if that was what you wanted, Korea bears witness to that.

    With the great wisdom of hindsight, No, they should not have been there at all, and one helluva lot less people would have died.

    That blood is not on the hands of Willis’ generation, and anyone who says it so is indoctrinated beyond all comprehension.

  128. markx says:

    Another thought:

    That generation were protesting against a war in the way it was being fought at the time, not against Bill Curry’s ‘idealized war which really should have been fought, and anyway then we would’ve won for sure’.

    And they protested rightfully – it was just an unsustainable meat-grinder for the young, with no endpoint strategy. Absolutely abysmal decision making by the leadership and the high command at every level going in, and absolute procrastination and avoidance of committed decision making all the way through. Then not even a decision at the end, just a brush of the hands and a walk away.

  129. markx says:

    Some History:

    Jack Kerouc was born in 1922, so in his mid 40s in the late 60s – surely a member of the greatest generation. Ginsberg; born in 1926.

    Recreational drug usage:
    Cocaine:

    …[…]… the main active ingredient in a wide range of patent medicines, tonics, elixirs, and fluid extracts. It is believed that the original formula of Coca-Cola® that was developed in 1886 by Georgia pharmacist John Pemberton contained approximately 2.5 mg of cocaine per 100 mL of fluid (Coca-Cola Bottling of Shreveport, Inc., et al., vs. The Coca-Cola Company, a Delaware Corporation, 769 F.Supp.671). This formula was sold as a headache cure and stimulant. Another pharmacist bought the rights and founded the Coca-Cola Company in 1892.
    By the early 1900s, public health officials were becoming alarmed by the medical, psychiatric, and social problems associated with excessive cocaine use. These concerns from health officials and legal authorities played a major role in initiating and supporting the effort to pass the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914. This Federal legislation severely restricted the legal uses for cocaine and, for all practical purposes, ended the extensive use and abuse of cocaine in the early part of the 20th century. Interestingly, cocaine hit a low during the 1930s when the advent of amphetamine almost eradicated demand. http://www.neurosoup.com/addictions/history_of_cocaine_use.htm

    Amphetamines:

    The history of Benzedrine begins in the late 1800s, when chemists first began to produce synthetic amphetamines. [….]
    [….] Benzedrine, along with many other stimulants, was extensively used by soldiers from all of the nations involved in the war, and it was especially popular with pilots. In fact, advertisements for this drug stressed this point, saying that it would make people more alert.
    Benzedrine was widely available in tablet and inhaler form in most drug stores, and people from all walks of life used it. Movie stars, flight crews, and truckers consumed large amounts of Benzedrine in the course of their work, and the drug also proved popular with bored teens, housewives, and many others.
    By the late 1940s, Benzedrine abuse had attracted attention, and “Bennies,” as the pills were known, began to face serious scrutiny. The US Food and Drug Administration first tried banning the inhalers, and in 1959, it ruled that the drug would be sold by prescription only. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-benzedrine.htm

    Thoughts on ‘the generational blame game’:

    Born in the 1900’s generation – sent off to WW1 – to be slaughtered in the trenchs by incompetent generals ; the fault of the preceding generations no doubt.
    Born in the 1920s, young years in the great depression, then off to WWII; undoubtedly the fault of preceding generations.
    Born in the 1930’s, you are growing up with all the deprivations of WWII; spend your 20’s under the threat of the cold war; the fault of the previous generations. S
    Born in the 1940’s the cold war is in full swing. Kids re being taught at school to dive under desks to survive a nuclear blast (yeah, that was going to help, and no-one was drilling the factory workers, did they not matter, or ah! This was indoctrination at its finest. More so when you find out Truman, the CIA and senior US military knew damn well Stalin had about two bombs and few missiles, and later Kruschev a creaking military machine … but with inflation, lack of work, labour conflicts and housing shortages any distraction was a welcome thing. Truman did some grat things too, but his government also came under some severe corruption accusations. And yep, you are heading off to a vaguely defined war in SE Asia; Fault: – the previous generations.
    Born in the 50s’s – Growing up with a cold war and Korea … fault: Preceeding generations.
    Born in the 60’s – Wall to wall hippies and marijuana, you sure as hell don’t wanna be like that; fault: preceding generation.
    Etc etc … and so now we have a generation coming into leadership roles who blame everything that happened in their youth on the previous generation and everything that is happening now on the terrible influences of the previous generation.

    They think they are the only generation to be affected by events good and bad preceding their arrival. No-one else ever had it so tough. They shall make no errors of judgments, nor be at any fault, for if they are it shall be deemed the fault of others.

    They shall name themselves “The Blameless Generation”.

  130. jc says:

    @ Mark Bofill. Feb 28th 2013 at 8.28 pm.

    You don’t seem to have grasped the substance of the comments that you refer to, whether they are by Vietnam War era people who take issue with Willis’s CURRENT position on the war, or of others whose comments on the thinking and decisions of that time also extend to the CURRENT CONSEQUENCES of that.

    Far from having the nature of suggesting that the comments come from those who have sprung fully formed into maturity – a very very weird proposition, or inversion, from anyone inclined to identify with the glory days of ’68 as you seem to be – virtually all the comments you refer to show very clearly that they understand the process of maturation. Do you?

    It is difficult for me to understand how you could be so obtuse, so I must accept your proffered possibility that you are, in fact, an idiot.

  131. jc says:

    @ Philemon Feb 26th 2013 5.48 pm.

    Narcissism……psychological defence mechanism…..other……other….

    As you like.

    Whatever it is, it is not based on the reality presented to him. And it is not useful to anyone else and shows no regard for others at all.

  132. Luther Wu, jc, Denswingo, Bill Curry, Greg House, others.

    On the anti war unAmerican ones, the mad dog bombing SDS William Ayers types, lust to be a go along traitors like John Kerry, the commie underground in the media, full committed commies in the PHD University crowd all of them stand guilty before the truth of history.

    Now they doth protest to much and seek to wash the blood stains off their hands by a re-write of history that work is evidenced herein. Yes their work product now sits in the White House, with a make up built upon the codes of ones like Al Gore, Bill Clinton and his wife who made him, John Kerry and to many to list here.

    Desperate to avoid the judgment of truth they misdirect and reach back into time to put up false road signs to send truth seekers from later times down the wrong trails.

    To admit to the sin is not want they can or will do.
    God has his problem of his judgment. If he forgives them on the grounds they did not know enough to know better, that is the universe of Gods.

    For me and millions of others, we and history know. As of now that is all we have.

    Thanks to all who stood the ground, honor those who sent their souls to God in the fight aginst the evil in those jungles, often alone, badly hurt and yet still fighting. So must we as we do what we can to make sure the real history gets written.

  133. markx says:

    To those such as Bill Curry who would write their own version of history, I recommend reading a little history: This is a good start; “The Wrong War. Why We Lost in Vietnam.” By JEFFREY RECORD Naval Institute Press.

    And a point. Primarily it was a political war, more about internal US politics, but, all the political and military decisions (largely wrong) were made by “the greatest generation”. Bill Curry absolves them and puts the blame only on the baby boomers, whilst now allocating all blame for all current events only on the preceding generation. Illogical hypocrisy in spades.

    http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/r/record-war.html

    Mainly it was political but were the generals were against the war?

    The profound misjudgment that propelled the United States into the Vietnam War was captured in two November 1961 cables from Gen. Maxwell Taylor to President Kennedy, which are reprinted in The Pentagon Papers. Taylor, the president’s special military representative and later chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam, recommended the introduction of U.S. ground combat troops into Vietnam. He did so despite his own estimation: that the “strategic reserve of U.S. forces is presently so weak that we can ill afford any detachment of forces to a peripheral area of the communist bloc where they will be pinned down for an uncertain duration”; that “U.S. prestige is already engaged in SVN [South Vietnam]” and “will become more so by the sending of troops”; and that if “the first contingent is not enough to accomplish the necessary results, it will be difficult to resist the pressure to reinforce.”
    [….]

    Fear of falling dominoes was certainly pervasive among U.S. civilian and military officials working in Vietnam. Shortly after my arrival in Vietnam, I was lectured by my nominal Mekong Delta regional boss, an Air Force lieutenant colonel named Beaulieu, on just how extensive the domino effect would be if the United States gave up in Indochina.

    […]
    The insistence by JCS Chairman Earl Wheeler and others that “the essence of the problem [in South Vietnam] is military” rather than “primarily political and economic” both served the Pentagon’s desire to fight the only kind of war it really knew how to fight, and encouraged an aversion to dealing with the more difficult political challenges of the war.

    Simply a communist war?

    Communism’s spread to Vietnam changed little. In 1946, Ho Chi Minh was confronted with the choice of acceding to the return of French forces to the northern half of Vietnam, which was then occupied by Nationalist Chinese troops (for the purpose of receiving the surrender of Japanese troops), or letting the Chinese stay on without a firm departure date. Ho chose the return of French colonialism rather than letting the Chinese stick around. “It is better to sniff French dung for awhile,” he said, “than to eat China’s all our life.”

    A communist war fully backed by the Russians and the Chinese?

    In 1954 the Chinese and Russians sold out their communist comrades in Vietnam by pressuring the Viet Minh to accept a political settlement of the French-Indochina War far more favorable to Paris than the nearly hopeless French military position in Indochina warranted. Specifically, the Chinese pressured the Vietnamese communists at the Geneva Conference to make two concessions–concessions that paved the way for the establishment in the South of a rival, anticommunist regime which, with U.S. assistance, delayed Vietnam’s reunification under communist auspices for another twenty-one years. The Chinese, who for their own reasons wanted an end to the French-Indochina War and were prepared to threaten their Vietnamese comrades with a cessation of military assistance to obtain it, insisted that Ho Chi Minh and his Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) accept a negotiated settlement that (1) mandated a military truce but postponed a resolution of political issues until nationwide elections scheduled in 1956, and (2) delimited the DRV’s southern boundary at the Seventeenth Parallel. Ho and his colleagues felt–and were–betrayed.

    Could’ve won the war?

    the administration, pre-occupied with salvaging American prestige, also chose to pursue a policy of defeat avoidance, though one based on the combination of a less restrained application of U.S. air power and a “vietnamization” strategy premised on the assumption that an expanded and better equipped South Vietnamese army could somehow succeed where American arms had failed.

    With conscript forces on one year rotational deployments?

    To sustain, without a reserve call-up, a deployment of over five hundred thousand U.S. troops in Vietnam composed largely of draftees serving only one-year tours there, the Pentagon had to strip to the bone its forces deployed to Europe and withheld in the United States as a strategic reserve. By January 1968…[…]….the strategic reserve contained only one combat ready division (the Eighty-second Airborne), and U.S. forces deployed in Europe and Northeast Asia were so enervated they could not perform their assigned missions.

    By that time, moreover, the post-World War II U.S. Army had been largely superseded by a conscript force.

    Did you ever see a better way to not win a war? 12 month rotational deployments? After all military experience which already existed about how long a unit can be effective in combat, what time and loss thresholds must be points to pull them out and rebuild them as a functioning unit again? Dropping kids into a war in the middle of a unit half full of people days off going home and often with no regard for anything except surviving those few days?

    Tell me; was that rubbish a military or a political decision? Sure as hell anyone would be sensible protesting about being drafted into that war.

  134. Mark Bofill says:

    jc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 6:07 am

    @ Mark Bofill. Feb 28th 2013 at 8.28 pm.

    You don’t seem to have grasped the substance of the comments that you refer to, whether they are by Vietnam War era people who take issue with Willis’s CURRENT position on the war, or of others whose comments on the thinking and decisions of that time also extend to the CURRENT CONSEQUENCES of that.

    Far from having the nature of suggesting that the comments come from those who have sprung fully formed into maturity – a very very weird proposition, or inversion, from anyone inclined to identify with the glory days of ’68 as you seem to be – virtually all the comments you refer to show very clearly that they understand the process of maturation. Do you?

    It is difficult for me to understand how you could be so obtuse, so I must accept your proffered possibility that you are, in fact, an idiot.
    —–

    You are quite correct in suggesting that I have not grasped the substance of the comments of the posters who have been attacking Willis. If I may quote you,

    My god you really are a case study in the art of manipulation.

    Right down to the implication of deceit and underhand behavior in those who simply reflect your own statements back to them and point out your evasions.

    A lifetime spent just keeping the talk up in the hope of getting the sale.

    I am way, way, beyond seeking or accepting claims to sincerity of intent from those who have repeatedly demonstrated they have none.

    conveys your contempt and very little else. I have no interest in wading through your emotional tirade in search of solid content. If you would like for your argument to be examined on the basis of factual merit, perhaps you should consider posting in a more appropriate style.

    Your suggestion that I seem to be inclined to identify with ‘the glory days of 1968′ are without basis and are incorrect. I have no use for and in general very little respect for hippies. However, in the face of your contempt and personal attacks, I can honestly say at this moment I wish I did JC. I don’t care enough about the discussion to try to figure out where you are coming from, but based on a quick glance at your tactics, I’m sure I’d end up disagreeing with you.

    I’m glad you took advantage of my idiomatic expression intended to express my acknowledgement of the possibility that I was making an error as an opportunity to indulge in an ad hominem attack, as this underscores my point.

  135. markx says:

    fobdangerclose says: February 27, 2013 at 7:50 am
    “….Thanks to all who stood the ground, honor those who sent their souls to God in the fight aginst the evil in those jungles, often alone, badly hurt and yet still fighting. …”

    Well said fob…. no doubt you mean to include these poor souls:

    NVA/VC KIA 1,100,000
    NVA/VC WIA 600,000

    http://www.rjsmith.com/kia_tbl.html

    Respect and thanks are deserved by all men who die, or who survive serving their country. Even if their leaders are wrong.

  136. jc says:

    @ Bill Curry. Various posts.

    There is an impressive clarity to your passionate convictions based on your own life observations and experiences.

    As I am pretty confident you know, you are unlikely to get a frank response that gives any meaningful legitimacy to your position or perspective.

    Whilst Willis at any convenient moment claims only to represent himself, but has lived according to a creed that was archetypical of ’68 and claims it as his own, and maintains attitudes that only ever had currency to someone of that period, he has asserted previously in this post that he represents 21st Century Man, and any challenge to his perspective is in effect by definition antediluvian – made by a “dinosaur”.

    Bizarre, preposterous – unnatural even – but made with a sense of complete certainty that this in itself constitutes a satisfactory response. This, of course, is a direct descendant, varied by words only, to the sum total for justification of anything that couldn’t easily be validated in the ’60′s – that someone should “get with it”. Such is the sophistication of the ’60′s mental landscape.

    Nothings changed. If someone stands as an impediment to any desired course of action, or any sense of moral and cultural superiority, that is the attitude.

    Anyone much younger, including their children, who was not “there” is automatically “not with it”, and will be dealt with only to the degree that this is acknowledged implicitly or explicitly, and the completeness of their outlook validated and accepted.

    This has been applied to everything, as you have obviously been in a position to know first hand. Children, social relationships, the lot.

    Reality as applied to others has never mattered, and any that touches themselves will be modified to suit: 50 was the new 40; 60 the new 50 – 30 was probably the new 20.
    I don’t think they will be able to pull off the almost on us 70 is the new 60.

    You understand in a way they are not capable of, that they invented nothing of the “progressive” elements that had been developing based on values they repudiated, and that, in fact these came to a full stop with their ascendancy.

    They will never admit this since their fine opinion of themselves is beyond questioning.

    It is a truly extraordinary thing that collectively, or at least those who reflect those times best, will be the first generation in history to grow old and die having not grown wise. The opposite will be true, they will demonstrate greater and greater demands typical of an infant, and expect the same level of attention. They are not prepared for death of old age having never properly moved into adulthood.

    To indulge them in this will only continue to compound the damage and should not occur.

    Your specific comments about the military, demonstrating as they do an exponentially greater experience and knowledge than Willis’s, will cut no ice. Even if acknowledged fully and simply – “I was wrong”- which I would not hold my breath for, “the military” of real legitimacy will always be that experienced or judged by him then.

    Willis’s admonition to enter the conversation in “the manner of a gentleman” is standard fare in deprecation and control.

    Your original post was a passionate denunciation yet was intelligent, coherent, controlled, and not impolite.

    Willis himself frequently cuts loose on this site in a much less structured and more personally virulent manner. In your post there was plenty to respond to, in his outbursts, nothing. But that is how it should be apparently.

    The translation of your viewpoint as being inherently based on you having “personal issues” is utterly typical and serves, intentionally, to render the substance of any uncomfortable truth moot. This trashing of legitimacy of human responses that are unwelcome has had and continues to have a degrading effect on life itself, as is illustrated by the drugging of children whose behavior is “inconvenient”.

    People devoid of values cannot recognize them in others and cannot, without undermining themselves, see any legitimacy in translating the world with reference to them.

    They have been able to live without values because the scaffolding of civilization has provided a structure for them to hang off. Now that the scaffolding is collapsing under their weight, their only concern will be to ensure it lasts long enough in the manner that it effects them, to see them out.

    After that, not their problem.

    And yes it is still about them and always will be if they can help it.

  137. markx says:

    jc says: February 25, 2013 at 9:16 am (etc etc)

    [.... a lot...]

    I’d like to respond to jc, I think he is anti-everything, but I can’t understand what he is getting at; anyone out there want to chance a succinct summary? Pro Vietnam War? Anti hippie? Jealous of Willis’ early love life? Did he swallow a thesaurus?

  138. D.B. Stealey says:

    markx links to this statement:

    The profound misjudgment that propelled the United States into the Vietnam War…

    President Kennedy used advisors, but did not send half a million troops into Viet Nam. That was President Johnson.

    Johnson rejected outright the advice of his Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recommended mining Haiphong harbor, using B-52′s to bomb Hanoi, and destroying the railroad bridges connecting China with North Viet Nam. [At that time the North lacked an anti-aircraft defense that could a reach B-52's altitude.] The pressure on the North would have been immense, allowing the South to build up it’s military. U.S. troops would not have been used extensively, and South Vietnamese soldiers were fully capable of dealing with the local Viet Cong.

    Instead, Johnson played armchair general, and unilaterally decided to ramp up U.S. ground troops to a half million. By the time President Nixon used B-52′s, the North had SAM misiles. But the effectiveness of the B-52 was demonstrated: when the bombing began, the North immediately began negotiating in earnest, instead of arguing over the placement of flags on the negotiating table, as they had done for many months. No regime can withstand its civilian population if it turns on them. The bombing campaign got immediate results. Had it been used in the beginning as the military recommended, the widespread use of American soldiers would have been unnecessary. History would have been written differently.

    Johnson was an incompetent disaster. He believed that since he was successful as a politician, he would be successful in other arenas. Johnson disregarded the sound advice of the military, believing that he knew better how to prosecute a war. History has been far too kind to him.

  139. jc says:

    @ Mark Bofill. Feb 27th 2013. at 8.44 am

    Your original post, as you stated honestly at the outset, was for the express intention of offering moral support to Willis.

    Him Good. Others Bad.

    You offered absolutely nothing in support of this judgement except that those taking issue with him were plainly possessed of an inflated conception of themselves or were “vicious hypocrites”.

    No examples. Nothing.

    This was a purely partisan association you volunteered and decided to throw in a couple of justifications based on nothing to support it.

    To make this comment you presumably read through both Willis’s comments and others. Alternatively you just made it up out of thin air.

    I pointed out a simple fact: that many if not most comments you classified as being condemnation of youthful decisions were not that at all. A point you still refuse to address.

    As to highlighting my comment to Willis as being typical of my “tactics” as you call them, I suppose i am expected to believe that you happened upon this particular comment and have no idea of what it referred to through this post. I don’t. That comment was a summation as you well know.

    You have abjured from actually finding out as though to do so would taint you. It would be futile to suggest you might, since I expect, if you have actually read enough posts to have formed an opinion for your original post, you have already done so. If you have or did you will find the basis for my conclusions.

    Tactics indeed.

  140. markx etal defenders of the Russians, ones of China, and the blood thirsty commie leaders of North Vietnam,

    It is odd that the anti war co-commies of the U.S. anti war ones never list Ho Chi Mein as the evil mad dog commie killer he and Mao in fact were.

    Markx, the list you blame me for, yes and proud of it, no guilt, would do it over only more.

    I am on the anti war co-commie list from 1966 to this hour. I am proud of it, do not want off their list. Met them at LAX Los Angless, Feb. 1970, they threw human feeces at U.S. called us baby killers. Not one NVA I shot and killed was a baby, each of them had a gun, ammo, and lust for my death and all those in my unit.

    Yes, I do take credit for a very large percentage of the KIA of the NVA out in Laos on the trails of death Ho Chie Mien filled up daily with glee and mad commie lust for his brand of re-distribution of wealth.

    It is odd that Russian commie mad dog commies to not get the same blame as American fighting men as it was Russian advisors, Russian guns, Russian ammo, Russian aid that made Ho Chie Mein possible.

    I have never heard or seen one of these American anti Vietnam War crowd throwing feeces at a Russian leader, or a North Vietnam leader, or a leader from China.

    Odd to say the least.

  141. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Curry says:
    February 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Final point in this post.

    Enough of this myth of an undefeatable enemy. There is no such thing. No matter how they are motivated or how they are structured, they are defeatable. Any military man will tell you that. It is a question of how and at what cost and for how long.

    Agreed … and I didn’t mean the Vietnamese were undefeatable under any imaginable set of circumstances, only that there was no way that the US, France, Japan, or China would defeat them … but you knew that.

    How long will the myth that Afghanistan has never been defeated last?

    So far, we’re up to centuries and counting, and we don’t know how long it’ll last … but the Americans are packing up and leaving … and? So what?

    Or that Vietnam was undefeatable. Tell the Siamese that!

    Vietnam first defeated China, then France, then Japan, then France again, then the US. You’re right, nothing lasts forever … but they were willing, after 45 years of constant war, to fight us until we too gave up and left …

    So I’m not clear what your point is here. They were defeatable, anyone is … but not by us. We didn’t have the stomach for it, and after 45 years of war, they were happy to continue until we left.

    So they certainly may not have been undefeatable … but they certainly left the battlefield after nearly sixty years of war having defeated four large, rich, industrialized nations …

    And despite that, you think we should have continued the war, it seems, and thus you accuse me of causing “the killing of millions” for wanting to stop the war … millions are dying, I want to stop the unwinnable war, you want to continue the killing … …

    … and I’m the bad guy? I’m responsible for the deaths?

    My friend, I can’t tell you how backwards your theory is.

    Every part and country in the world has been defeated in war. If you want to argue that the presence of resistance means the country is not defeated, then I guess the French have never been defeated.

    By “defeated” I mean they kicked our asses out of the country like they did the rest … I call that “defeated”, what do you mean by it?

    PS—Costa Rica hasn’t ever been defeated in war. Doesn’t even have an army now, fought one tiny war with Nicaragua, never defeated … and one black swan makes all your white swans useless …

    Willis,

    Stick to stuff you know. Your lack of shame for your role in the killing of millions is typical of your self-centered generation. Claiming to not have anything to do with the high divorce rates that folllowed. The latch key kids.

    1. I had no role in “the killing of millions”, I fought to stop that killing.

    2. I had nothing to do with the divorce rate, are you mad? I’m not divorced, nor are most of my friends.

    3. Latch key kids? Say what? I’ve done right by my kids.

    I fear that you are just lashing out in pain. Obviously, you or someone close to you was mistreated as a child … but your incessant claim that I’m the one to blame for your pain is, well, ludicrous.

    It is nonsense. Your thinking is EXACTLY what led to these things.

    Aaaah, wrong thinking. I knew I was guilty of thoughtcrimes, Winston, where’s the cage with the rats been since 1984, we need it know?

    Worse yet, you want credit for a civil rights movement that began in the 1600′s and is ongoing today. And for a women’s rights movement that has gone on for at least 100 years. You think somehow YOUR generation made that better?

    I don’t want “credit” for those, that’s your sick fantasy. My friends, both women friends and black friends, thanked me for helping them advance the civil rights and women’s movements, that’s all. I didn’t claim to start them, thats your twisted ideation at work.

    Why did they thank me? Because I did help them advance the work. That seems to drive you ’round the twist, Bill. I’m not sure why.

    It was your parents making and passing those laws. It was your parents (The greatest generation) who were doing what was right. YOU were smoking pot and dropping acid and holding up random signs.

    Do you actually think in caricatures like that, generations and all? I did what I did, and I helped change the laws. I know that because unlike you, I was there, and you’re just making things up …

    It is BS to avoid the problems caused by people around your age (since you hate the word generation). You have created a litany of problems while doing nothing to contribute to society. And now, you will suck us dry in your old age by stealing money from your grandchildren to fund your social security and medical costs.

    What is BS is to blame all the problems of the world, or of the US, on me, or on any “generation”. Every generation has done good things and bad things. Your obsession with the “generation” is just a way for you to avoid personal responsibility.

    If you believe that all of the bad things come from someone else or from their generation, you commit two errors.

    First, you blame people for things in which they had no responsibility. I am not responsible for say Charles Manson any more than you are responsible for Ted Bundy, despite the timing …

    And second, you avoid taking responsibility for your own life, preferring to say that other people are responsible for your pain. It’s clear that you are desperately looking for someone to blame, Bill … but I have not “created a litany of problems while doing nothing to contribute to society.”

    That’s your sick fantasy about my life, Bill. I’m sure people have done that, but …

    I’M NOT THAT MAN.

    Thanks.

    Peace, man.

    Why do you have to go out of your way to close in such an ugly, mean-spirited fashion, Bill? It only makes you look both worse off than you are … what’s the point?

    Look, I don’t think you’re a bad guy. But blaming other people for your own personal pain is no way to go through life, my friend. Your constant obsession with “abandonment” and “divorce” are clear signs that your life has not been an easy one …

    … but that has nothing to do with me, BIll, nothing at all. You’ve set your sights on the wrong man, I’m not the cause of your clearly evident pain.

    w.

  142. markx says:

    D.B. Stealey says: February 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Johnson was an incompetent disaster. He believed that since he was successful as a politician, he would be successful in other arenas. Johnson disregarded the sound advice of the military, believing that he knew better how to prosecute a war. History has been far too kind to him.

    Agree entirely on Johnson … and he was voted in on the understanding he would not send kids to war.

    True on the lack of commitment too… spoke to a guy the other day who said was shipboard late in the war on a tanker filling up with aviation fuel in Singapore, destination Saigon. Next in line was a Russian tanker, destination Hanoi.

    But again, there weren’t hippies making these decisions, this was ‘the greatest generation’ at work.

  143. Luther Wu says:

    Since 9/11, I’ve actually had people thank me for my service, all of those years ago.
    I didn’t see anyone welcome or acknowledge any of us troops until after 9/11, so all of you extra- special patriots (now), where were you then?

    I don’t see a single one of Willis’ detractors making as much of an impact against the forces trying to screw us all through the AGW meme as Willis does.
    Some are even trying to lambast all of us from that time- and that line of reasoning is shallow and just plain dumb.
    Do you really believe yourselves capable of seeing clearly from a distance of decades?

    All of this talk of those times has stirred up things normally best avoided… too late- I shouldn’t have gotten so drunk last night. If you think I’m cranky now, just keep it up and see what happens.

  144. Luther Wu says:

    Ok, ok, I just read Willis’ latest treatise in this thread, so I take it all back…
    IT”S ALL WILLIS’ FAULT!!!

    lol

  145. jc says:

    @ markx Feb 27th 2013. 8.59 am

    I have read through your previous contributions, and I accept as true that you don’t understand what I am “getting at” as you call it.

    I am a bit surprised by that since I don’t think my points are very obscure.

    There’s nothing I can do about that, but I can at least alleviate some of your bewilderment shown in the questions posed desperately seeking a category for reassurance.

    I am not pro Vietnam War, nor am I anti – hippy, in fact in itself I have no particular interest in that time or those manifestations of it. As to Willis’s love life, I have no interest at all, as anecdote of then or reality of now, whatever that might be.

    My appetite for a thesaurus is not as strong as you imagine.

    I gather from this last, and your apparent prostation in the face of my output {(etc etc) and [a lot...]} that there is something impenetrable about my comments that relates to the expression and the volume of them. I am a little surprised by the latter since you yourself have been posting a vast amount of no doubt worthy material, but I suppose some have more of greater legitimacy to say.

    If i wasn’t convinced of your sincerity in all this, I might wonder whether your post was intended to call up a mob to deal with something you didn’t like but were incapable of handling yourself. Thankfully this site is not the sort of place where such people might be encountered.

  146. Mark Bofill says:

    jc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 9:37 am

    @ Mark Bofill. Feb 27th 2013. at 8.44 am

    Your original post, as you stated honestly at the outset, was for the express intention of offering moral support to Willis.

    Him Good. Others Bad.

    You offered absolutely nothing in support of this judgement except that those taking issue with him were plainly possessed of an inflated conception of themselves or were “vicious hypocrites”.

    No examples. Nothing.

    This was a purely partisan association you volunteered and decided to throw in a couple of justifications based on nothing to support it.

    To make this comment you presumably read through both Willis’s comments and others. Alternatively you just made it up out of thin air.

    I pointed out a simple fact: that many if not most comments you classified as being condemnation of youthful decisions were not that at all. A point you still refuse to address.

    As to highlighting my comment to Willis as being typical of my “tactics” as you call them, I suppose i am expected to believe that you happened upon this particular comment and have no idea of what it referred to through this post. I don’t. That comment was a summation as you well know.

    You have abjured from actually finding out as though to do so would taint you. It would be futile to suggest you might, since I expect, if you have actually read enough posts to have formed an opinion for your original post, you have already done so. If you have or did you will find the basis for my conclusions.

    Tactics indeed.
    ——————————————–

    jc –

    There is some truth to what you say, and some rubbish. Let’s dispense with the garbage first. When you state I pointed out a simple fact: that many if not most comments you classified as being condemnation of youthful decisions were not that at all., it appears to be at odds with your earlier statements, I quote:

    You existed in your nirvana supplied with the essentials of life by a willing coterie of females: food, sex.

    You have inadvertently provided the definitive description of the base reality underpinning all of the manifestations of the the ’60′s urges which had and have their greatest “cultural” validations and achievements in a handful of 3 minute pop songs.

    You positioned yourself to have possession of three females for your sexual gratification whilst those males they might otherwise be mating with were exposing themselves to obliteration. And those males were doing so on behalf of the wider society of humans they were born of and were part of, and had obligations to.

    Nothing could be more Primaeval. This is the DEFINITION of Primaeval.

    They die. You get.

    You had a choice. You chose yourself.

    We could bicker about this and other items of small relevance (I suppose i am expected to believe that you happened upon this particular comment and have no idea of what it referred to through this post. I don’t. That comment was a summation as you well know., see no point in arguing this absurdity), but I’d prefer to get to the part you’re correct about.

    Willis has established more than simple credibility in my eyes. He’s demonstrated moral character in his posts, in admitting errors when he was wrong, in attacking positions taken with dishonest intent, and in exhibiting sensitivity and judgment in responding to honest errors. He appears to do his homework, and makes a good honest case for whatever it is he’s talking about. I therefore do indeed assume a-priori that moral attacks against Willis are flawed. This credit only goes a certain short ways; if I caught Willis with his hand in the cookie jar or in bed with my wife it’d run out pretty darn quickly. In a similar vein, I have an expectation of the invalidity of the arguments of certain regular trolls that post here that predisposes me to examine what they are presenting in a more critical way. If this is partisan, OK; I’m partisan.

    IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in communicating with people in a rational way, I once again suggest you mute down your ad-hom and accusatory tone. If your goal is merely to intimidate or bully people into accepting your assessment because they don’t wish to be embarrassed by giving you a chance at a clever ad-hom reparte or because they have no interest in subjecting themselves to ridicule, by all means continue. These are indeed blog tactics; I have used (and when appropriate continue to use) them myself, and they are not appropriate now.

  147. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

    … Whilst Willis at any convenient moment claims only to represent himself, but has lived according to a creed that was archetypical of ’68 and claims it as his own, and maintains attitudes that only ever had currency to someone of that period, he has asserted previously in this post that he represents 21st Century Man, and any challenge to his perspective is in effect by definition antediluvian – made by a “dinosaur”.

    You say that I’ve I’ve “asserted previously in this post that I represent 21st Century Man”? Really? Let’s just do a fact check to see if you’re telling the truth here, jc … hang on …

    OK, a search for “21st century man” in this thread reveals that the only person who has used that phrase has been you. I had no memory of using it, but I had to check.

    As a result, your statement about my assertions is a BALD-FACED LIE, and you are a liar.

    YOU asserted previously that I represented 21st Century Man, not me.

    Not only that, but having used the exact phrase yourself, so that people were familiar with it and would remember it being used in the post, now you’re trying to claim that I was the one who said it, in the hope that people will vaguely remember you using it and falsely ascribe it to me …

    Nice try. I don’t deal with liars, jc. We’re done here. You’re talking to the hand from here out. Dealing with liars has always been a loser for me, so I’ve given it up entirely.

    And I advise others to avoid them as well, and despite the prohibition on Onanism, simply leave JC to play with himself. He has proven that he will lie about what you said, to achieve his own ends. I strongly advise not having any truck with that kind of action.

    So, if any of you continue to answer him, please know that you are dealing with a dishonest man, a man who is quite willing to say things himself and then flat-out lie and claim that I said them … so do be careful, friends, I keep a hand on my wallet when dealing with folk like that …

    w.

  148. w.,

    Does it follow in that case that Ho Chi Min was a liar, a dishonest man, a person who sent millions of his own people to die for his cause of redistribution of weath. Then after the fact use others of an even more evil commie kind to use blunt force to the back of millions of heads for the redistribution cause.
    Was he out to achieve his own ends?
    Earth First that group, the leaders therein, where did they get their guide lines?
    Any of the 1960′s anti war types start that up, any in Greenpeace?

  149. jc says:

    @ Mark Bofill Feb 27th 2013. 11.04 am

    As you did, to deal with the issues of your original post first.

    In the example given by you of a previous post of mine, point taken. This is certainly a judgement by me of a decision made at that time. And that judgement can be taken as condemnatory. You have however excluded consideration of comments made by him prior to that to enable the basis for that to be seen and judged.

    As to the final statement I made there: “You had a choice. You choose yourself” this is a simple statement of fact which he, in candor, has illustrated in a previous post. Anyone is free to make a judgement on that without qualifying as a “viscous hypocrite” or similar.

    This does NOT alter the fact in any case that the majority of “negative” comments I have read at least do not relate specifically to decisions made at that time. And I still fail to see your basis for dismissing commentators as you did particularly as you (appear to) indicate that you did not read them extensively beforehand.

    As to your desire to stick up for Willis, I don’t quible with that. As you say when you come to know someone and their character, you base your responses on that, at least initially. But that does not extend to arbitrarily attacking others with no basis. That is both mindless, and dare I say, to purloin your terminology, viscous.

    I too, have read Willis’s comments and arguments, and – am I allowed to say?- attacks on what he has perceived to be faulty. And I too appreciate that he has an independent mind and is able to more often than not apply it effectively.

    But this is not a one-way street. You don’t get the option of applying one standard to others and reserving the option of a different one for yourself when convenient, which is what I have seen in this particular post. So I am not going to “make allowances” for “good behavior” in other circumstances.

    I can’t say I appreciate your imprecation to demonstrate rationality. Whether this is part of the “tactics” you then go on to admit you are partial to, or whether we have a different conception of rationality is an open to question. I do not consider it an offense to rationality to draw conclusions and then then use clear and categorical words designed to communicate an exact meaning to state them.

    I find your comments about seeking to intimidate and bully not just offensive but absurd. If someone is being evasive or less than frank I am not going to pretend that is not the case. And I am going to say so and illustrate it. Why don’t you ask Willis if he thinks this reasonable since I have not noticed him being shy in this way.

    Don’t try to incorporate me within your standard of “blog tactics”. I don’t play such games.

  150. D.B. Stealey says:

    jc,

    Relax. Nothing you can do about it now, anyway [btw, I served my year in Viet Nam. Tuy Hoa, '67 – '68].

    It doesn’t matter. Nothing much matters, because when these things proliferate in countries like China, Russia, N. Korea [or even with Obama the Drone King], anyone who gets out of line will be served an injection of ricin.

    Maybe that’s why there’s no one else in the universe.

  151. Mark Bofill says:

    jc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    ——–
    Ok. There is still quite a bit of apparent misunderstanding here, but fair enough.

  152. jc says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach. Feb 27th 2013. 11.22 am.

    The following is from a post here by Willis Eschenbach on Feb 25th 2013. 12.26 am. Anyone is free to go and look at the wider context if they wish.

    “The fact that you think this is a right/wrong, arrogant/not arrogant, black/white, your generation/my generation kind of deal is not just sooo last century. That two-valued point of view, generation vs. generation, is much more primitive than that … reading your claim is like seeing a dinosaur walking down the street.”

    Thank you Willis for the opportunity to have your comments clearly and starkly judged by others.

    Anyone can compare the above paragraph written by you with your post of Feb 27th 2013. 11.22 am where you paint me as the scum of the earth and draw their own conclusions.

    For me, your statement in the first sentence finishing on the mid second line with “just sooo last century” is unambiguous.

    The last century was the the 20th. You in your statement deride another for thoughts you attribute to that century. Ergo, you don’t yourself exist in your thinking in that century. Unless you want to claim that your thoughts reflect the 19th or earlier centuries, you are claiming that your thoughts are representative of the 21st Century. Therefore your respondent is dismissed purely on the basis that they are out of date in their thinking being reflective of the 20th Century, and that you, as a representative of the 21st Century in your thinking, automatically win the point.

    In short, you are 21st Century Man. And he is not.

    I do not apologize for expressing your claim more concisely than you.

    You further insist on your modernity as a 21st Century Man by expostulating that you are so remote from the 20th Century that to merely encounter supposed evidence of that century puts you in mind of dinosaurs.

    I think that is pretty clear.

    I also think it is pretty clear from your post exactly how you go about dealing with something you don’t want to face.

    How to describe it? Dishonest? Evasive? Manipulative? Deceitful?

    I’ll settle for despicable.

    BTW is that the best thing you could find of all my comments to try to trash me in this inimitable way?

  153. Willis Eschenbach says:

    fobdangerclose says:
    February 27, 2013 at 11:48 am
    w.,

    Does it follow in that case that Ho Chi Min was a liar, a dishonest man, a person who sent millions of his own people to die for his cause of redistribution of weath. Then after the fact use others of an even more evil commie kind to use blunt force to the back of millions of heads for the redistribution cause.

    Thanks, Fob. You make the same mistake as did Kennedy and Johnson. They, too, thought the war was a “Commies vs. Free Men” battle. But in the heads of Ho and the Vietnamese, what they wanted to do was to throw out the hated foreign occupiers of their country.

    I can’t even imagine what that would be like, but I would certainly hope that if the US were taken over and occupied by some foreign power, that we would fight against that occupying force. I don’t know whether I’d have the stones to continue that fight, year after endless year, from the time I was 15 until just before my death.

    Ho started fighting the hated invaders when he was 15 … and that was in 1905. Since communism wouldn’t even be invented for another decade, it’s clear what drove the man. He continued that fight all his life. Heck, the US OSS supported him during the war because he was driving the Japanese mad.

    Was he a good guy, a nice guy? No, by no means. He was a ruthless man, as he had to be to fight for nearly sixty years. And he, like Mao and Stalin, following Karl Marx’s lethal ideas, and imprisoned or “re-educated” or executed many of his own people.

    Was he out to achieve his own ends?

    He believed, rightly or wrongly, that he was fighting for the liberation of the Vietnamese people from foreign overlords … not sure if that was his own end, or the end shared by millions of his countrymen. Most Vietnamese peasants couldn’t have cared less if Ho was a communist, a fascist, or a Buddhist … as long as he was kicking foreign occupying armies out of Vietnam that was fine with them.

    Sadly, as I said, that landed them with Communism in addition to being in charge of their own country for the first time in sixty years …

    Earth First that group, the leaders therein, where did they get their guide lines?

    The sure as hell didn’t get them from me … but then I know little about them, other than that they use bombs, a means of settling disputes that I and most of my generation abhorred … so I’m not clear what you’re saying here.

    Any of the 1960′s anti war types start that up, any in Greenpeace?

    Haven’t a clue, never been much interested in Greenpeace or Earth First, don’t even know what the charter of either one says. You’re the expert, I guess … so why are you asking me?

    Fob, my point is simple. We totally misjudged the motivation of our enemy. And when you do that, and his motive is mostly a burning Vietnamese patriotism shared even by his Vietnamese opponents, and he’s already been playing the game for 45 years … well, you get your ass handed to you, and that’s what happened to us.

    People say, well, if he didn’t have his bases in Hanoi, if we could have mined the harbor, we could have won. Or if we could have bombed North Vietnam, we would have won.

    I think that is the most wishful of thinking. Remember that Ho had spent years fighting the French and the Japanese without a base in Hanoi, where the occupying army occupied all of Vietnam, not just half of it … and he STILL beat them bloody until they left, with no Hanoi, no bases, no nothing.

    Here’s a joke from that time that I heard in the army. The grunts at least understood the war. Here’s the joke.

    Charlie is a South Vietnamese teenager. An American bomb kills his sister, so he decides to go north to fight the occupying army. After many months of struggle, he gets to Hanoi. He wants to fight the Americans, but Ho has other plans for him. In Hanoi, they say “Glad to see you, here’s a bicycle and an 80 pound mortar shell and a bag of rice, you’re on your way back down south. Here’s the address we want the shell delived to, just outside of Saigon.”

    So Charlie starts south on the eponymous Ho Chi Minh trail. His path leads through all kinds of dangers. They’re bombing the DMZ, so when he gets to the border he has to wait to get across. But crossing the DMZ just gets him into danger.

    He comes to hate the damn mortar shell, there’s no easy way to pack it, and he feels like he’s a walking bomb ready to explode … mostly because that’s exactly what he is. So he sneaks and hides, walks at night, and the endless miles inch by. Some weeks they can’t move South at all, the trail is blocked by troops. Always there is the rain, at times he has to carry both the bicycle and the mortar shell through the mud. And still, he’s only halfway to his destination.

    The final half of the journey is not as physically hard, but now he has to sneak and hide, he’s down in the plains deep in the South where every man is an enemy.

    Finally, at the end of an endless, agonizing journey, he arrives at his destination, and he tracks down the mortar team. They are in the midst of a battle. Charlie proudly brings in his precious shell, and carefully lays it down on the table, his task is done, and he waits for maybe an “attaboy” and a chance to finally actually take part in the noble fight against the invading army.

    The head of the mortar crew shoots off a mortar shell, comes over to the table, picks up Charlie’s precious, hand-delivered shell, the one he risked his live over and over to deliver, and he drops it in the mortar. KABOOM, off it goes, and the head of the mortar crew says, “Thanks, kid, … now go get me another one.”

    The grunts knew the truth. They knew that although it was a joke, in the real Vietnam that kid would indeed go back and get another mortar round, and spend six months taking it south again, and repeat that until he died, driven by a desire to throw out the invaders … while our guys just wanted to get home alive, nobody but Charlie was voluntarily signing up for the kind of hell that kid had to go through on every trip … and the GIs knew that was very bad news, it meant their enemy would never surrender, just dig more tunnels and continue the fight, and thus we’d never win. It was news to be discussed in bleak humor like the joke above.

    The GIs understood the problem with the war, even if the Generals and politicians didn’t. They knew that with an enemy protecting his own precious sacred homeland with that kind of insane dedication and drive, they would not give up even if we “reduced North Vietnam to the Stone Age” as some recommended. They were fighting foreign invaders before they had North Vietnam, they fought them before Communism even existed, and by God they were going the finish the job and reclaim their own destiny, regardless whether North Vietnam ended up a burnt cinder … and then we naively, with the best of intentions and the worst of understandings, stuck our own poorly motivated foot in the bear trap, and paid the price.

    I think you can predict the outcome of such a war, where one side would (and did) fight for almost sixty years for the right to decide their own destiny, and the other side was only motivated by some romantic anti-Communst chivalry …

    Yes, they did end up with Communism, and they’re now paying the price … but my guess is, it’s a hell of a lot better than under Japanese occupation …

    And yes, Ho was a thoroughly cold and cruel man, he was engaged in a life-or-death battle for his country for 55 years … you don’t end up being Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood after that. Not a nice man at all.

    And yes, he believed in Communism … they were the only ones who ever helped him, everyone else tried their best to kill him, which would hardly endear Western political systems to him … and so his followers suffered from all of the usual Commie repression and re-education and secret police and executions.

    The man the left used to call “kindly Uncle Ho”, who wasn’t at all kindly in the slightest, did just like I (and perhaps you), would have done. He made a deal with the devil to help him throw out the people who kept the Vietnamese enslaved for decades … and Vietnam is now paying the price.

    But I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same, I’m a patriot, if someone were to take over and occupy the US, I trust that I’d be in the resistance, and anyone who wants to give me guns and support, I’d take them, I’d take any help where I could get it, and hold my nose and hope for the best.

    My best regards to all, and please, guys, be clear—I’m not dissing you, I’m not dissing the US, and I’m not dissing the men who served. I’m just another poor fool trying to make sense of the choices that I’ve made in my life, so I’d appreciate it if you’d cut me some slack.

    w.

  154. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jc says:
    February 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    @ Willis Eschenbach. Feb 27th 2013. 11.22 am.

    … [followed by the usual lies about me, he's clearly getting desperate] …

    That was addressed to me … so obviously you don’t understand that I don’t hold discussions with liars. Addressing your words to me is a joke, jc … what part of “you’re talking to the hand” escaped your piercing intellect?

    And trying to convince the rest of the folks here of your claimed noble purity and honesty? Good luck with that Quixotic quest … even Denniswingo has been holding an interesting conversation with me, as have many others, so good luck in passing off your usual chicanery and doublespeak with them, people here see through that stuff.

    Buh-bye …

    w.

  155. jc says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach Feb. 27, 2013 at 1.51 pm.

    People can read.

  156. w.

    No Slack.

    Ho was just the useful fool the Russians and other commie killers used to feed the poor NVA troops to the 36 B-52′s at a time.

    The thing is Kissinger lied, LBJ lied, Dan Rather lied, Kenney lied, Ho lied, Mao lied, and sorry to say you and 100,000′s of thousands of the 1960′s anti war types were lied to.

    American fighting men were lied about. Still are.

    You speak of what Grunts knew. How so.

    Grunts re-took Hue.

    The VC and NVA by the time they did had all the school teachers shot dead, the city leaders all shot, the guys who ran the power generation station shot because they helped to make the electricy work, the large and small bussiness owners in the whole of the city all shot.

    Now I ask you, were those foreign invaders?

    Who where the men of RECON Team Kansas, who was Lt. Terrance C. Graves, where is Sgt. Jerry Michale Shriver , where did John Walton son of the Sam Walton serve.

  157. markx says:

    fobdangerclose says: February 27, 2013 at 11:48 am

    “….Does it follow in that case that Ho Chi Min was a liar, a dishonest man, a person who sent millions of his own people to die for his cause of redistribution of wealth. …”

    fob, you demonstrate here that you have failed to consider the most likely alternative case: Had the USA stayed the hell out of there, very few may have died. And in regard to his motivation, you should consider the possibility he may have been primarily a nationalist and a patriot.

    Your characterization perhaps far more closely fits the appalling Lyndon Johnson.

  158. markx says:

    fobdangerclose says: February 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    “….The thing is Kissinger lied, LBJ lied, Dan Rather lied, Kenney lied, Ho lied, Mao lied, and sorry to say you and 100,000′s of thousands of the 1960′s anti war types were lied to….”

    Ya start’n to see the problem now, fob… and the 1960′s antiwar types (and the grunts) were mainly lied to by their own government ….. I guess that is what they were arguing about.

  159. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm: “Ho started fighting the hated invaders when he was 15 … and that was in 1905. Since communism wouldn’t even be invented for another decade, it’s clear what drove the man.”
    ============================================================

    Communism was invented long before 1905.

    The “Communist Manifesto”, originally titled “Manifesto of the Communist Party” was written in 1848, a year after the “Communist League” was established.

  160. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm: “Thanks, Fob. You make the same mistake as did Kennedy and Johnson. They, too, thought the war was a “Commies vs. Free Men” battle. But in the heads of Ho and the Vietnamese, what they wanted to do was to throw out the hated foreign occupiers of their country.”
    ================================================================

    There were no foreign occupiers in the South Vietnam, nor were any in the North Vietnam.

    Like in other countries, communists took over a part of the territory (North Vietnam) and wanted to take over the rest of it (South Vietnam). And the whole world, of course.

  161. markx says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    “….You make the same mistake as did Kennedy and Johnson. They, too, thought the war was a “Commies vs. Free Men” battle….”

    “Yes, they did end up with Communism, and they’re now paying the price …”

    All well said, Willis.

    I’d argue however that Jeffrey Record probably has it correct, and for both of them it was more about the way they were perceived by the voters and how they would win the next election. Even Nixon managed to waste tens of thousands more American lives and countless Vietnamese lives while he vacillated for four years worrying about the internal political effects. http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/r/record-war.html

    And re the second statement, sure they paid a heavy price, but now capitalism is thriving there and the place is booming. Saigon is a delightfully pretty city (in the central area) other than the millions of motorcycles and a rapidly increasing number of cars clogging the roads. Hanoi is a little more serious in nature, but completely welcoming to everyone … the whole country seems to like and admire all things American.

    Oh, if only the USA leadership had followed the OSS recommendations and Ho’s early requests for support in 1945 and 46 …. My opinion is that Ho Chi Minh’s ideas of communism would have lasted about six months with those determined, hardworking, entrepreneurial, admirable people. And the USA would have been their best friend.

  162. So, we meet once more, same old LAX deal, same old, same old it gets old.

    Your all correct to fear the truth, your all on your game, your all the same as before.

    Ho the mass killer was my fault.

    Hue was just a misjudgment of the use of death and does not fit the profile of the liars base line.

    Russia was never the killer kings.

    Just those 17 year old kids from Texas farms and ranches, the 18 year olds from the hills of West Va. the big old lumber jack’s kids from Minn. .

    Just some more misdirected men who defended freedom only to have the gene pool set up then to morf into this CO2 re-distribution fraud, that is once more just a front for commie lust for death of freedom.

    Your not going to get the last word no matter how long the lie or how long you finger fight here and forever.

    Mean old mr history knows as do you, self deception the final lie solution.
    Now you judge and prove up yourselves for all time.

  163. Bill Curry says:

    “there was no way that the US, France, Japan, or China would defeat them”

    Incorrect and mythical fantasy of what was possible. This is at best your undeucated opinion of something you have no expertise in.

    “So far, we’re up to centuries and counting,”
    Wrong. The Afghans have been conquered a dozen times. Most notably by Alexander the Great. Most recently by the British.
    “Vietnam first defeated China, then France, then Japan, then France again, then the US. ”
    First of all, your knowledge of the history of the region is flawed. Your list is wrong and missing one country. It is also very narrow. The Vietnamese were conquered many times including by the Siamese.
    The point of this is that you – and people like you – use these myths to perpetuate the futility of a war. It is simply not true. All areas of the world have been conquered.

    “And despite that, you think we should have continued the war, it seems, and thus you accuse me of causing “the killing of millions” for wanting to stop the war … millions are dying, I want to stop the unwinnable war, you want to continue the killing … …”

    You still believe this in the face of the FACTS of history? The war didn’t end when we left. Did you not see how many people died. Imagine 50K died a year for the next 10 years if we were there as a stabilizing force. That would have been half a million. And that is an overestimate given that far fewer than that were dying before we left.

    In those 10 years following your “peace”, nearly 5 million humans suffered and died. Conservatively, 10 times as many as if we had stayed. That blood IS on your hands. 4 million or more people would have lived out there lives if we had remained to stabilize. You played a role in that historical decision to withdraw and you PERSONALLY are responsible for 4 million deaths.

    I know that is harsh. I know it is shocking to you to contemplate that the actions you took – fully intending the oppoisite – had an unintended and opposite consequence. You mean no harm. But you quite literally allowed that 8 year old boys parents to get shot. All in the name of peace.

    I would understand and forgive you for your youthful foolishness if you understood now the full impact of the side you took and your part in these deaths. But you don’t. You see what you did as noble. You didn’t stick around to see the aftermath of what you did. You left those people to hell. And then went and got high with your buddies.

    “My friend, I can’t tell you how backwards your theory is.”

    It is not a theory. It is a historical fact. I quoted the casualties to you. You chose to support the takeover of a communist of a country. We never occupied it and were not viewed as such by the population we were protecting. Why do you think millions fled?

    “By “defeated” I mean they kicked our asses out of the country like they did the rest … I call that “defeated”, what do you mean by it?”

    They defeated us. But they were not undefeatable. They were – in fact – defeated. As someone else pointed out, the bombing campaign was highly effective and the Northern population was turning. The conflict levels were very low and the NVA was in serious talks.

    “PS—Costa Rica hasn’t ever been defeated in war.”
    You sir – are an idiot and should stay out of subjects of war and politics. Costa Rica was a Spanish Colony. They were controlled by the Spaniards.

    “1. I had no role in “the killing of millions”, I fought to stop that killing.”

    Unintended consequences. You wanted peace. But peace killed millions. I know this is counterintuitive to you. And certainly does not square with your self image or intentions. But it IS THE REALITY. 4 million or more people died that NEVER WOULD HAVE.

    “2. I had nothing to do with the divorce rate, are you mad? I’m not divorced, nor are most of my friends.”

    The thinking you espoused of free love, etc… certainly did. Whether you are an exception, you helped create the rule.
    “3. Latch key kids? Say what? I’ve done right by my kids.”

    Perhaps. Same point as 2 though.

    “I fear that you are just lashing out in pain.”
    Wrong. I am attacking your role in history. Trying to personalize the effects of hippie culture to my life or to ignore it by pointing out your exceptions does nothing to be honest about the negative impact of a movement you seem proud to have been a part of.

    “Obviously, you or someone close to you was mistreated as a child”

    Wrong. Don’t try to divert again.
    “Why did they thank me? Because I did help them advance the work. That seems to drive you ’round the twist, Bill. I’m not sure why. ”

    Because too many of your type seem to imagine that you held a special role at what you imagine was a special time in civil rights. Your generation was just one of many that did so and will do so in the future.

    ” I know that because unlike you, I was there, and you’re just making things up …”
    So since you weren’t in Vietnam are you just making that up? I have been there. Others on here (heroes to me) fought there. You held up random signs and did drugs. You are no hero.

    I will be blunt with you Willis. You should feel shame for the period you right about in this post. You acted in a dishonorable way and failed to even pay attention to the horrors which followed on from your movement.

    You have done nothing to go to Vietnam and talk to those people in South Vietnam. Who in whspers will tell you how wrong you are. Go there Willis. Instead of writing a self-serving narcasistic autobiography, get off your butt and go investigate what really happened as a result of this period. Go out into the world and experience the impact. Study the history and talk to the people who lived more of it than the narrow part you saw.

    Don’t just read books by others. Go out and check out what I am talking about. Go to Afghanistan. Go to Iraq. Go to Vietnam.

    Whatever you do, stop fantasizing that what you did was right. I am spitting on you and throwing the blood of those dead Vietnamese parents on you over this blog. How does it feel? Well your compatriots did that to some very good people who had good intentions too.

    I hope they haunt you as they have haunted me since I stepped out of that taxi in Saigon. They are the ones I am angry for. I am speaking for them.

    I will continue to live my life as best I can with honor and to actually do things to make the world a better place. You will take another toke while imagining your glory days.

  164. Greg House says:

    markx says: February 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm: ” …My opinion is that Ho Chi Minh’s ideas of communism would have lasted about six months with those determined, hardworking, entrepreneurial, admirable people…”
    =========================================================

    The problem is that people who do not like ideas of communism in countries under communist rule get killed or imprisoned. I recommend this Russian film (with English subtitles): CHEKA (Soviet Extraordinary Commission) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxujYNp2q10).

  165. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Upon re-reading, I thought I might explain my position regarding jc and other commenters.

    First, I am a decent, responsible, hard-working, honest, patriotic, caring, compassionate, thoughtful family man. Hundreds of people that I have worked for and with and been friends with in my life will tell you the same. All of the stereotypes of people who went to jail in the 1960′s, I’m not them—I’m me, with a whole ‘nother set of things going on.

    Second, I’m not the person I was at twenty-two any more than you are. As I mentioned above, I was so stupid then I thought Karl Marx was one of the good guys … can’t get more wrong than that. So please don’t try to decipher what I believe now from my stories. I’m telling them as they happened to me.

    Next, I’m telling the story of my life here on the web, a curious enterprise to be sure. And I’m happy to discuss it with anyone willing to move the discussion forwards. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned already from people’s comments and their stories and ideas and their views on what I’ve done and how they see it.

    However, I’m absolutely not willing to be the target of decades of pent-up feelings about the war and it’s surroundings.

    So let me lay out my own criteria for the discussion, ground rules to keep us from dumping old resentments on each other.

    1. If I say something you disagree with, QUOTE IT. I’m happy to defend and explain my own ideas. I cannot defend or explain your interpretation of my ideas. Quote what you object to, and that alone. That way, everyone knows just what you don’t like, and why.

    2. I will not discuss motives. For example, what was my motive for going to jail? Heck, even at this late date I’d be hard pressed to say why I did it, I sure didn’t want to go to jail … so your speculations are even more useless than my own. Leave all speculation as to motive out, none of us know that about the other.

    3. If you don’t understand something I say or are not sure of the meaning, ASK. Don’t make assumptions, because I’m not like most folks, I have my own curious and strange reasons for what I do, and your assumptions may well be wrong. In addition, what seems perfectly clear to me may touch a nerve or be totally misunderstood by others, so ASK if my words aren’t clear.

    4. I’m a damn prickly curmudgeon about my word of honor. I do not tell lies. I have made every effort to tell the truth as I know it. I have been wrong many times here in the harsh glare of the public eye, but I have always told the truth as best I know it. I don’t misquote people, I don’t to put words in their mouth, I endeavor to be as honest and truthful as I can. Be cautious with your accusations.

    5. Don’t ever misquote me or claim I said something I didn’t say. That is one of the worst offenses in my book, lying about what I’ve said or claimed. For example, jc started with this nonsense:

    You even have the gall – and the delusion as you approach the age marked for death – to claim for yourself the mantle of 21st Century Man as you trash any “inconvenient truth”.

    Bad enough, since I had said nothing about either 21st Century Man (whatever negative image he might represent in jc’s head) or about “inconvenient truth”, it was all made up by jc … but then he went on to say (emphasis mine):

    Whilst Willis at any convenient moment claims only to represent himself, but has lived according to a creed that was archetypical of ’68 and claims it as his own, and maintains attitudes that only ever had currency to someone of that period, he has asserted previously in this post that he represents 21st Century Man

    No sir, that’s a damned lie. I said nothing of the sort, nor did I assert it. I called something, I can’t even remember what, “sooo twentieth century”. This is one of the common modern hyperbolic ways of saying something is way out of date, outmoded, past it’s use-by date.

    But I never claimed anything about being the capitalized, idealized “Twenty-first Century Man”, that’s a total falsehood. jc took his fantasy about what I said, and then claimed that I had asserted it …

    I’m sorry, but I can’t deal with a man when he’s doing that. That’s just rabid attack dog madness, it’s a total misrepresentation of my position, there’s no discussion in there, nothing of value. Why should I participate? There’s nothing for me to learn in there.

    So, jc and others, I’m as willing as ever to discuss these issues. But QUOTE MY WORDS, not the whole post but the exact words that you disagree with, and tell me why I’m wrong. Leave out all the tired old ethical judgements about what you fancy are my motives, I’m not that man. And please, if something I say seems strange or touches a nerve, ask me to explain it.

    I will do my utmost to adhere to these rules as well. So I’m happy to reboot the conversation … but this kind of thing won’t get any traction:

    Speaking as one of the younger brothers and sisters of your generation we thought you all were pretentious arrogant farts who thought you knew everything and the last 40+ years has not changed that opinion.

    Please take care how you enter the conversation. The unpleasant attack above was someone’s first words … dang, there’s no need for that. I often judge people on their first words, I have to, not enough hours in a day. You come in like that, I’ll probably treat you with contempt. That’s likely not the correct response, but it’s the likely response. jc came in, first thing he did was to announce that he agreed with the above attack … I look at that and think ok, another angry man who just wants to bite whatever he misconceives my position to be … and yes, I fear I was right.

    So let’s reboot this conversation, come in and ask intelligent questions, and question my less-than-intelligent statements, and explore the subject, you’re more than welcome.

    But if you show up firing heavy artillery accusing me of being the reason for all of the ills of America and the cause of increasing divorce and child abandonment … not so much.

    My best to all,

    w.

  166. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Greg House says:
    February 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm:

    “Thanks, Fob. You make the same mistake as did Kennedy and Johnson. They, too, thought the war was a “Commies vs. Free Men” battle. But in the heads of Ho and the Vietnamese, what they wanted to do was to throw out the hated foreign occupiers of their country.”

    ================================================================

    There were no foreign occupiers in the South Vietnam, nor were any in the North Vietnam.

    Huh? There were foreign occupiers in Vietnam, and had been for years, when we waltzed in the door to seize the faltering flag from the departing French.

    We brought in our army, half a million strong, occupied the country, established our own rules about who would be killed and where, set up free fire zones, established curfews, sprayed large areas with defoliants containing teratogenic chemicals, “resettled” (meaning forcibly evacuated) villages, assasinated village leaders under the Phoenix program, invaded neighboring countries, and even tossed out their President and replaced him with our own tame poodle … seems a whole lot like an occupation to me …

    And more to the point, it seemed exactly like an occupation to millions of Vietnamese. You might debate the fine points, but to them we were just like the French and the Japanese and the Chinese who had ruled over Vietnam for decades … we were just the latest in a string of hated foreign overlords claiming the right to kill whoever we wanted.

    That’s why they were so hard to beat. We were fighting against the Vietnamese equivalent of the Minutemen of the American revolution, people impelled more by a wish to throw off foreign domination than anything else. Sure, they had other motives, as did the American revolutionaries, but what drove the Vietnamese to fight for sixty years was the common human desire to rule their own destiny.

    And people doing that are really, really hard to whup, especially when they’ve had 45 years to get ready to fight you, warming up with the preliminary contenders, and as a result they have practiced all their killing moves and have them down pat …

    Thanks, Greg, always appreciated.

    w.

    PS—Again, folks, if you disagree with what I said, more power to you, that’s how I learn, but please DON’T say something like “No, Willis, how dumb can you be, you’re totally wrong.” I can’t learn anything from that except that you have an opinion …

    Instead, do what Greg did, and QUOTE MY WORDS, just the ones you disagree with, and show us why you think that one point I made is wrong. One clearly defined issue at a time, we can move forwards. Thanks.

  167. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm: “We brought in our army, half a million strong, occupied the country, established our own rules about who would be killed and where, set up free fire zones, established curfews, sprayed large areas with defoliants containing teratogenic chemicals, “resettled” (meaning forcibly evacuated) villages, assasinated village leaders under the Phoenix program, invaded neighboring countries, and even tossed out their President and replaced him with our own tame poodle … seems a whole lot like an occupation to me …”
    ========================================================

    American military were in South Vietnam, but not as an occupying power. I can not believe that you do not understand that, sorry.

    South Vietnam was a sovereign state called “Republic of Vietnam” (1955–75). Its capital was Saigon. America (and other countries) helped Republic of Vietnam to fight against communists who wanted to take over the country. America’s help was needed and welcomed by the government. No trace of occupation there, because occupation suggests a military control and rule against the will of the sovereign.

    Now, please, tell us that you did not understand the difference.

  168. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    “…The problem is that people who do not like ideas of communism in countries under communist rule get killed or imprisoned. I recommend this Russian film (with English subtitles): CHEKA (Soviet Extraordinary Commission) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxujYNp2q10)….”

    Sigh. We know all that, Greg. Question is whether the US of A made the correct decisions at the correct time and if it carried them out as planned and if they reached a satisfactory conclusion.

    My score on that is four fails.

    Did they really do it for noble reasons, or were military, and political motives behind it?

    Well, you know what I think there.

    Were there possible alternative courses that may have given a better result?

    Well, its hard to imagine a worse result.

    Did the process as carried out manage to prevent deaths and suffering to the extent that that it was an improvement over what may have a happened under an internal transition to Hanoi rule?

    With 58,000 American deaths, that of several thousand of their allies, more than one million NVA and VC deaths, and somewhere between 200,000 to 500,000 civilians, that is a little hard to imagine, right?

  169. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Greg, let me ask you to be more specific in your claims. For example, which of my statements do you say are not true, and which would you say are true:

    • We brought our army to Vietnam
    • half a million strong
    • established our own rules about who would be killed and where
    • set up free fire zones
    • established curfews
    • sprayed large areas with defoliants containing teratogenic chemicals
    • “resettled” (meaning forcibly evacuated) villages
    • assasinated village leaders under the Phoenix program
    • invaded neighboring countries
    • and even tossed out their President and replaced him with our own tame poodle

    Yes, we were “invited” in, just as the Russians were “invited” into Afghanistan … but for the average Vietnamese peasant whose farm just got defoliated by American chemicals dropped from an American bomber, I fear that didn’t give him a warm fuzzy feeling about Americans …

    Because at the end of the day, whether you or I think or thought that America was an “occupying power” is totally immaterial. The issue is that the Vietnamese themselves, after 45 years of occupation by foreign powers, saw no difference in the actions of the Americans—just like the French, Japanese, and Chinese, we came in, kicked out their President, put in our own puppet leader, assassinated opposition leaders, destroyed villages in order to same them, ripped people out of their ancestral homes … what are you calling “occupation” if that’s not it?

    Because that’s assuredly what the Vietnamese called it, and why they fought just as hard against us as they had against the previous occupying powers. Johnson made the same mistake. He assumed that what he saw as friendly aid and opposition to communism, the Vietnamese saw the same way … but that wasn’t true in the slightest. They saw us as foreign oppressors, and responded in that manner, whether it was true or not. And that’s the only thing that counts, what they believed they were fighting for … not what you or I or Johnson thought was going on, or even what was actually going on, but what they believed they were fighting for.

    All the best,

    w.

  170. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    “…American military were in South Vietnam, but not as an occupying power. I can not believe that you do not understand that, sorry….”

    Greg, you are correct. They were ‘invited’ by those in power (a fairly dodgy lot, reliant on US support). But to villagers in the countryside, they probably looked a lot more like invaders, and the bullets and bombs may feel different too, but I ain’t sure about that:

    Ambassador Maxwell Taylor informs South Vietnamese Premier Phan Huy Quat that the United States is preparing to send 3,500 U.S. Marines to Vietnam to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang.
    Three days later, a formal request was submitted by the U.S. Embassy, asking the South Vietnamese government to “invite” the United States to send the Marines. Premier Quat, a mere figurehead, had to obtain approval from the real power, Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the Armed Forces Council.

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/us-informs-south-vietnam-of-intent-to-send-marines

  171. markx says:

    And by the way; It is called “The American War” in Vietnam.

    I think those who contributed the most pain, and yet still achieved their aims, get naming rights, correct?

  172. Greg House says:

    markx says, February 28, 2013 at 12:05 am: “And by the way; It is called “The American War” in Vietnam.”
    ================================================================

    There was no “Vietnam”, as I said previously. Second, it was a typical communist war, and America and other countries provided military help against those savages.

  173. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 28, 2013 at 12:00 am: “Greg, let me ask you to be more specific in your claims. For example, which of my statements do you say are not true, and which would you say are true [a long list follows...]…”
    ========================================================

    I prefer to stick to the key points. What apparently is not correct from what you said is this:

    1. “the Americans started trying to tell Vietnam what to do…” – wrong, because here was no Vietnam, there was North Vietnam ruled by communists and this communist state, supported by the communist Soviet Union, invaded South Vietnam. The Americans and other countries defended the South Vietnam.

    2. “And if Communists helped them kick out the latest occupying foreign army, because you cannot deny we were that,” – wrong, because there was no American occupation there, occupation suggests a military control and rule against the will of the sovereign.

    3. “Ho started fighting the hated invaders when he was 15 … and that was in 1905. Since communism wouldn’t even be invented for another decade, it’s clear what drove the man.” – wrong, because communism was invented long before 1905. The “Communist Manifesto”, originally titled “Manifesto of the Communist Party” was written in 1848, a year after the “Communist League” was established.

    Now you can ask yourself, who is going to believe that you did not know that.

  174. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Greg House says:
    February 28, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 28, 2013 at 12:00 am:

    “Greg, let me ask you to be more specific in your claims. For example, which of my statements do you say are not true, and which would you say are true [a long list follows...]…”

    ========================================================

    I prefer to stick to the key points.

    And I prefer people willing to answer questions rather than dodge them.

    Now you can ask yourself, who is going to believe that you did not know that.

    And you can ask yourself, why am I so stupid as to call Willis a liar, right after he said don’t do that?

    Greg, that is a slimy, underhanded accusation. You have no idea what I don’t know and how I don’t know it. As far as what I was talking about, I consider that modern communism started in 1917 when the first communist country emerged, and so that’s the date I picked. And no, I didn’t know there was some meeting of some proto-communist dickweeds in eighteen hundred whatever … so sue me. I spoke of when Communists first came to power and were in a position to help Ho.

    Now perhaps I’m wrong to say he wasn’t affected by communism early on, maybe he was … but by god I’m not making it up or saying it to deceive, and you are a nasty scumbucket to accuse me of that without a scrap of information to back up your unprincipled dishonorable mouth.

    Who else wants to play? This Greg guy is a jerkwagon, and stupid to boot, calls me a liar right after I advised against it …

    w.

  175. jc says:

    @ fobdangerclose says: February 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I have copied your above post here:

    fobdangerclose says:
    February 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    “So, we meet once more, same old LAX deal, same old, same old it gets old.

    Your all correct to fear the truth, your all on your game, your all the same as before.

    Ho the mass killer was my fault.

    Hue was just a misjudgment of the use of death and does not fit the profile of the liars base line.

    Russia was never the killer kings.

    Just those 17 year old kids from Texas farms and ranches, the 18 year olds from the hills of West Va. the big old lumber jack’s kids from Minn. .

    Just some more misdirected men who defended freedom only to have the gene pool set up then to morf into this CO2 re-distribution fraud, that is once more just a front for commie lust for death of freedom.

    Your not going to get the last word no matter how long the lie or how long you finger fight here and forever.

    Mean old mr history knows as do you, self deception the final lie solution.
    Now you judge and prove up yourselves for all time.”

    This has the quality of real poetry.

    By real I mean REAL.

    I have long ago given up taking any interest in contemporary poetry, even though an old friend is a published poet, since, as is consistent to the age, it is all basically about the feelings and processes of someones Terribly Important concerns about how their own intestines are working, or if they venture out from that, a regurgitation of cliche jumbled up to disguise the fact, which in the end is gibberish.

    What you have written comes from something much deeper and broader than that and pushes out beyond yourself to show things all people can then make part of their own understanding.

    That’s REAL poetry.

    Good stuff.

    I’d suggest you try to find someone to publish it (and no doubt more) although I realize, as I think you do from some of your comments above, that finding someone in the System to do that, who would not be struck dumb by social embarrassment or automatically head for the door with their eyes fixed firmly on the ceiling, is likely to be a tough road.

    Things are on the turn though, and have been building for quite awhile as is shown by a whole pack of cowards who have recently been trying to worm their way into humanity by making out they had something to do with the war effort in Vietnam, apart from undermining it which is what they actually did.

    So I’d say your time is just about here, but it will take awhile to work its way into the bastion of self-interest that is the Cultural Class.

    Keep it up. The value of things such as you have written reduces 1000 pages of self-justification to the nothing that it is.

    If you can eventually get a book published I’d buy it, which would make it the first book of poetry for a quarter of a century.

  176. jc says:

    @ Greg House says: February 28, 2013 at 12:59 am

    So there you have it.

    You have been told you “nasty scumbucket”.

    I mean, how DARE you make any assumptions at all about such an honorable man? How can you possibly justify drawing any conclusions at all about anything he says or claims without first clearing it with him as being in accord with his requirements? Do you really think you have the right to think independently of his directions?

    Who can possibly think it is reasonable that you believed that he knew communism originated as a specific, documented doctrine in the mid 19th Century? Or that the ideology of the Russian Revolution didn’t spring fully-formed from Lenin’s mind in 1917? Or about the multitude of radical socialist/communist/anarchist groups that existed in Europe from the late 19th Century?

    Just because his claim as a fact that communism “wouldn’t even be invented for another decade” is given as the basis in entirety for proof that his learned construction of reality was incontravertably true, how can you read anything into that, even if you and virtually all literate people with the slightest interest at all in what has happened in the world over the past 200 years know that as completely untrue?

    Do you really think such an honorable man would be capable of an evasion, an omission, a slight of hand, just to try to assert his preferred version of events? You have seen his way of dealing with such things on this post, so how could you possibly think that?

    Just because he has expounded at length on his knowledge of world history as it relates to this conflict, the greater implications through the region, the workings of the US government and society around all these issues, does that mean he has to know something like when and where communism originated?

    Just because he said in his post of Feb 26th 2013 at 4.57 pm that in his youth he thought Karl Marx was “one of the good guys” what gives you the right to think he knew anything about him? Like when he lived? Or that he wrote the Communist Manifesto? Or that “Marxism” is based on his name?

    With all that how could possibly entertain the thought that he was being less than honest with you?

    You know that can’t be right. How? Because HE TOLD YOU BEFORE THAT how honorable he is, how he never lies. And if he says something – anything – it is Gods Honest Truth and don’t you forget it.

    You need to get your head right. Following his lead in any discussion, according to his directions, is the way to do it.

    Otherwise you will remain a “nasty scumbucket” and as he also points out a “jerkwagon” and “stupid” to boot. Get with the agenda.

  177. For what it is worth to some,
    No value to many,
    Many do retell the information they have recived, the information not exactly selected but the information too often that was pre-selected by what now can be called the mouth parts of the commie recon units inside the U.S.A., the free to lie U.S. Press.

    To re-tell that sort of information does not convert that information to the whole correct truth in my humble opinion.

    One more odd thing, all those boat people, if they were so invaded by the U.S.A. and the troops of the U.S.A. so horrid and such agent orange mad dogs, why did they often die trying to get here and or spend 5 to 10 years to do become U.S. Citizens. Were they just “brain washed” or what?

  178. Bill Curry says:

    Yes. This occupation idea is pure fantasy. His definition would make every military action an occupation. It also does not comport with millions of boat people. And the opinions on the ground of the vietnamese in the south. He is making it up with no personal knowledge.

    Willis,

    Did the war end when the US withdrew? How many people died as a result of the turmoil in the 10 years that followed? Do you not care about them? Did your ever protest the actions of the NVA whom you wish to give a positive veneer to? Do you regret that your protests for Peace led to millions more dead than all of the Vietnam War. Did you protest the Khemer Rouge? If not, why not?

  179. jc says:

    @ Bill Curry says: February 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I notice you haven’t had any response to this from any Knowers Of Truth Through Affirmation Of Self (Continuously). I don’t expect you will.

    You have articulated things too clearly. And you shown you have a passion behind that that eviscerates their convenient self-rightousness.

    Mainly, you have shown that you will not acceed to them setting the terms of engagement.

    They have been able to get away with that all their lives. If it doesn’t work, they slink off.

    Its good to see people who can stand up backed by real values, rather than excuses and manouverings based on looking for self-gratification.

    The days of these people are over. They are 5 minutes away from being a handful of old men (and women) sitting in a corner gibbering to themselves. They will be lucky if they are ignored completely.

    There’s a lot to be done after they are swept into their corner. Although not many speak up as coherently as you have done, there are a lot of people – pretty well the whole population – who are becoming increasingly aware of what these people have done, even if they don’t yet realize how it’s happened and who is responsible. That will soon come.

    So there’s not just hope there’s certainty. Even if they can’t imagine an existence without their mark on it, this like everything else about them, is a convenient delusion.

    This post, and the comments, have provided a fascinating record giving a real insight to anyone as to the underlying nature of all this. Willis of course considers himself unique. Like everything else about this, he has no clue at all that that is a stock-standard conception to hold. For a type of people who pride themselves on self-knowledge (amongst everything else of course) this lack of it is a defining characteristic. These are very superficial people.

    Funnily enough I do think that Willis probably stands out from most of them, and has the fundamental decency to know that there are things other than himself and his cohort in the world, even if he doesn’t know how to deal with them properly. So he’s a long way ahead of most.

    But this whole thing is not about individuals, and that, absolutely none of them understand.

    So anyway, I have kept a copy of this post, and will continue to update it, since it without doubt can serve as an education for anyone who really wants to get a grasp on the real underlying reasons the world is as it is today.

    Good luck with any further engagements here or elsewhere. Nothing will alter them, but they will slink off in the face of blunt truths given without allowing them holes to hide in.

  180. markx says:

    fobdangerclose says: February 28, 2013 at 7:09 am

    “….One more odd thing, all those boat people, if they were so invaded by the U.S.A. and the troops of the U.S.A. so horrid and such agent orange mad dogs, why did they often die trying to get here and or spend 5 to 10 years to do become U.S. Citizens. Were they just “brain washed” or what?…”

    Nope, just being logical in a desperate situation – anyone linked to the southern government or military was given special treatment – re-education camps, often resulting in death. If they survived, they could get no decent job, their children were discriminated against too. If they could manage to get a visa to the US, they could only take their spouse, no children unless under exceptional condition of a single child with no other close relatives. Some fled to avoid arrest, some fled after release to avoid a life of poverty and often in an attempt to keep a family together.

    And fleeing was often a disaster – we only hear about the ones who died or vanished or made to places like Australia. You don’t hear about the other unfortunates who often spent many years in the refugee camp in Indonesia on the then isolated Galang Island…. anyone who landed in Malaysian, Singaporean or Indonesian waters or who were picked up by boats in the region ended up there. Often from there they found they could get refugee status, but could not reunite with family members. It was UN supervised (interesting Indonesia was chosen, it was not a signatory to the UN charter on refugees) – I went to the camp a few years after it was shut and abandoned – there is a substantial graveyard there, many graves of children and babies too – I wandered through the old hospital building and picked up a batch of treatment notes lying in the ruins – person after person treated for malaria – no bed of roses.

    Had a guy working for me near there – said he was part-Chinese, and it was very unusual for a Indonesian Chinese to be working in that job. Had a funny accent too, and after a few years a couple of the Indonesian guys told me – he’d slipped out of the camp and bribed and conned his way into local documents papers – all they guys knew, no one minded and no-one mentioned it to the authorities. They said he had no family left and no desire to go back.

    Met a guy on a flight on a business trip to Vietnam. Now an Aussie and doing business in Vietnam – mentioned he’d been processed through the camp – I told him some of it was still there and naively asked if he’d ever been back. He said no, and that he never would, as it was the saddest place he’d ever seen, full of broken lives, broken families, broken dreams.

    But, they are flooding back to Vietnam now for business trips, some are moving there to set up business, and more so the children of those who fled. I sometimes get told, hey, you should meet the guy who runs that or this – he’s an Aussie! Walk around there expecting to see some big guy with a hat, instead meet a well dressed Vietnamese looking guy with an ocker accent.

    But I digress:

    What were the choices?;

    1.Don’t go in at all, provide support where requested – make business links when possible. Would there still have been deaths? Yep, very likely. Would it have remained a communist state for very long? Well, it is still one now, run by a a president presiding over a legislative assembly of insiders. All that presides over what is now one of the most capitalistic, entrepreneurial, business orientated societies you’d see anywhere. My take is the ten years or so of the US war and the following events just put the country back about 25 years – a wasted generation without even including those who died.

    2. Go in half-a**ed thinking about your own internal elections and your presence on the world stage, build up a huge government structure in the south, right down to village level, build a multi- layered military right down to a village level, support a series of corrupt governments that encourage corruption through every one of those layers, make sure you kill several million of your enemies and trash their economy and infrastructure over a decade to make them really pi**ed off, then heed the opinion polls at home where the voters want you out of there (Yeah, the voters being the hippies in their teens and twenties, and their parent, and their grandparents … hey, that’s three generations …but I digress again..). Then get out, leaving a huge army, a great heap of military hardware and a suddenly gutted economy, and then cut off the free supply of fuel and ammunition.

    3. Go in full blast. Bomb the harbours (dang – Chinese and Russian ships? – be careful buddy!) and the infrastructure. Beat them back to the border and fully occupy the south (hey didn’t that get attempted?) Well you are gonna have to fully occupy Laos and Cambodia. (The hell you say?,there are Chinese troops in northern Laos? Tread carefully). We might need a few more men and a bigger budget. Hey, How long we gonna do this for? Ya reckon they might just wait us out? Tell ya what, let’s occupy the north too! That should be easy and I doubt the Chinese will get very tense. (Oh yeah, More men and money, again, please! Ya reckon conscripts will do it? Again – how long we gotta stay? We’d better completely rebuild the political structures from the ground up. Shouldn’t take more than a decade or two, right? And they will stop fighting while we do that, eh? Do they know much about guerrilla warfare? Hey – this is not imperialism is it? Is this still diplomatically OK in this world? Will we kill less people this way? What happens when we do inevitably leave? Ya reckon there will be any bloodletting then?

    No easy solutions. Except Point 1.

  181. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 28, 2013 at 12:45 am

    “…. it was a typical communist war, and America and other countries provided military help against those savages….”

    No, it was a typically chosen USA bite sized conflict where they thought they could briefly flex their muscles and impress the voters at home, the world in general, and probably most importantly, the Russians.

    If the intention was really to fight communists they would have put U.S. ground forces in to help the Nationalist Chinese government in the late1940s or gone in full blast and kept going in the Korean war in 1951 (as MacArthur wanted) … Or have even helped out the French who were fighting Viet Minh forces in the early 50s.

    Nope – It all came about when and how it did because of internal political points and posturing on the world stage.

  182. R Ortiz says:

    Now that I’ve read through the whole list, let’s chill a bit.

    Bill Curry: Don’t blame all the evils on my generation—many of us, if not the majority, have lived decent lives. Already at that time some of us were fighting the good fight, and paying for it. I had a classmate in college who had a nervous breakdown after the second attempt on his life from the SDS types on campus.

    For me, one of my big disappointments was to talk to many of “the greatest generation” only to find the attitudes acted out by the hippies already in them, only not acted on. People like terrorist Ayres were “red diaper babies” fulfilling the dreams of his father. By the 1950s, the country’s psyche was hollowed out, and many young people felt it. But the only advice they got from their elders was to follow their feelings—if it feels good, do it. Many young people rebelled against that empty consumerism that had robbed them of parents too busy grasping after things to be good parents, but in a way that ended up being destructive instead of constructive. Then there were the lies. I trusted them, I was a slow learner, but I now know that much of what government types told me then were lies, lies, lies. Add to that the lies told by fifth columnists in the media, the most famous being Walter Cronkite. That level of deceit ate away at the soul of the nation.

    There are very evil people out there, moral zombies, who have weaseled their way into positions of power in government and business (often the two are the same thing). One prominent group are the bonesmen from Yale, but there are plenty of others as well. Bonesmen have been working to destroy this country for well over a century, so you can’t put all the blame for our present malaise on our generation. Instead of blaming, we need to work to push back, reclaim our nation. If any blaming is to be done, blame the destructive ideas, not the people. (Famous bonesmen include Papa Bush and Baby Bush, as well as Kerry.)

    Willis: I enjoy reading your stories. I don’t agree with your decisions then, but then as you now say, many of those were done in the foolishness of youth.

    If you had stuck with your narrative, we would merely shake our heads saying not to do such foolishness. Where you slipped up is to defend some of those actions in your comments above. You were wrong then, and still wrong now. I knew the communists. I had met their work while living in Europe. This was a fight against communism, and to protect the people from a blood bath should the communists take over. Just as I knew, once the communists took over, there was a blood bath and millions died.

    But there were fifth columnists in the military as well as government and press, and those traitors devised tactics designed to engender enmity from the small townspeople and farmers: tactics like forced relocations and fire free zones. Yet in spite of those, our troops defeated the North Vietnamese invaders. They were on the ropes, ready to throw in the towel, the only thing that kept them going was the work of traitors such as John Kerry and Walter Cronkite working with their allies in Congress to change the political landscape. When we left Vietnam, we left behind a battle hardened military ready to finish the job. Congress intervened and denied those troops the supplies they needed. All the North had to do was to wait for the South Vietnamese to run out of their supplies that we left them, then send their tanks southwards.

    So you may ask, did I go? No, I was 4-F, physical reject. Part of my enjoyment of your stories is describing adventures that I physically can’t do.

    Today we are fighting on the same side, still a battle against communists. Instead of guns in the hands of troops, the communists are watermelons. But the goal is still the same. If they win, we can expect a blood bath here too. Good to have you on our side. Now it’s a battle of ideas, and we can win it.

  183. markx says:

    R Ortiz says: February 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

    there were fifth columnists in the military as well as government and press, and those traitors devised tactics designed to engender enmity from the small townspeople and farmers: tactics like forced relocations and fire free zones.

    Well. Now I have heard everything.

    What a freakn complex construct that is with not a chance in hell of furnishing any proof.

    What a load of elaborate tripe.

  184. markx says:

    A summarized History:

    An excerpt – worth reading the whole thing – the link is below:

    “… After much negotiation the following was agreed: (1) Vietnam would be divided at the 17th parallel; (2) North Vietnam would be ruled by Ho Chi Minh; (3) South Vietnam would be ruled by Ngo Dinh Diem, a strong opponent of communism; (4) French troops would withdraw from Vietnam; (5) the Vietminh would withdraw from South Vietnam; (6) the Vietnamese could freely choose to live in the North or the South; and (7) a General Election for the whole of Vietnam would be held before July, 1956, under the supervision of an international commission.

    After their victory at Dien Bien Phu, some members of the Vietminh were reluctant to accept the cease-fire agreement. Their main concern was the division of Vietnam into two sections. However, Ho Chi Minh argued that this was only a temporary situation and was convinced that in the promised General Election, the Vietnamese were sure to elect a communist government to rule a re-united Vietnam.

    This view was shared by President Dwight Eisenhower. As he wrote later: “I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held at the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh.”

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/VietnamWar.htm

  185. Willis Eschenbach says:

    R Ortiz says:
    February 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Now that I’ve read through the whole list, let’s chill a bit.

    … Willis: I enjoy reading your stories. I don’t agree with your decisions then, but then as you now say, many of those were done in the foolishness of youth.

    If you had stuck with your narrative, we would merely shake our heads saying not to do such foolishness. Where you slipped up is to defend some of those actions in your comments above. You were wrong then, and still wrong now.

    I swear to God, is stupidity contagious? If you disagree with what I’ve said, QUOTE MY WORDS.

    I can’t defend myself against this vague, nasty BS, like you think it’s wrong to “defend some of those actions”. WHICH ACTIONS, FOOL?

    Quote my words if you want a civil response. I’ve had it with this kind of bullshit nasty zero-content handwaving about stuff I’m supposed to have done. If you don’t have the balls to state what you’re talking about EXACTLY by quoting my words, then please, just go away.

    w.

  186. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Curry says:
    February 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Yes. This occupation idea is pure fantasy. His definition would make every military action an occupation. It also does not comport with millions of boat people. And the opinions on the ground of the vietnamese in the south. He is making it up with no personal knowledge.

    Once again, accusations without support, without citations, without anything.

    Willis,

    Did the war end when the US withdrew?

    The war with the US ended when the US withdrew. Which war are you referring to?

    How many people died as a result of the turmoil in the 10 years that followed?

    I have no idea, but I would assume in the hundreds of thousands. The aftermath of nearly sixty years of war is very unlikely to be pretty.

    Do you not care about them?

    Oh, please, you’re not really dumb enough to try to play the “you krool man, you don’t really care about puppies” card, are you?

    Did your ever protest the actions of the NVA whom you wish to give a positive veneer to?

    1. No, I was overjoyed that the War was over and the US was out of it.

    2. Quote where I’ve said anything giving the NVA a “positive veneer”. See, here’s a perfect example of the problem, Bill. As far as I know, I’ve said nothing in this post about the North Vietnamese Army. If you had QUOTED MY WORDS as I’ve repeatedly asked, then I wouldn’t be standing here saying you’re an idiot for making yet another unsubstantiated attack without a scrap of information to support it.

    Do you regret that your protests for Peace led to millions more dead than all of the Vietnam War.

    I do not agree that my protests (which were not for “Peace”, whatever that means to you) caused one single death. The war in Vietnam was lost before we ever went in the door, Bill, nothing I did killed a single person.

    It sounds like you just wanted to keep the meatgrinder going, keep throwing body after body into it, so you could say we really tried or something, I don’t understand it … but I thoroughly reject your allegation that I caused a million deaths. Thats a stupid joke.

    Did you protest the Khemer Rouge? If not, why not?

    No, because I can actually spell, and I never could find any Khemer Rouge to protest against …

    Seriously? Is that a real question? I was sickened and horrified by the actions of Pol Pot and his followers, as I’m sure you were. My estimation was that protesting against them would have done absolutely nothing, zip, zero … so no, I was young and dumb at the time, but I was not that dumb …

    w.

  187. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jc says:
    February 28, 2013 at 8:46 am

    @ Bill Curry says: February 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I notice you haven’t had any response to this from any Knowers Of Truth Through Affirmation Of Self (Continuously). I don’t expect you will.

    Yeah, jc, it’s shocking—nobody had answered Bill’s nonsense for a whole … what … eight hours and fifty-two minutes when you wrote to complain about the poor table service, where are all the waiters anyhow?

    I think you’re right, jc, it’s clearly a sure sign Bill will never get answered and another reason to abuse folks.

    I mean people wouldn’t be off sleeping or having a life when there’s a chance to respond to attacks from unpleasant fools, would they? …

    jc, my man, you are truly a piece of work.

    w.

  188. Luther Wu says:

    This thread presents a good picture of the reasons why humanity has had such an abysmal record of failures of societal leadership…
    http://www.theplanisphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pogo.jpg

  189. mkelly says:

    Willis says: My best regards to all, and please, guys, be clear—I’m not dissing you, I’m not dissing the US, and I’m not dissing the men who served. I’m just another poor fool trying to make sense of the choices that I’ve made in my life, so I’d appreciate it if you’d cut me some slack.

    w.

    Willis, as one who lived thru the spitting and the baby killer taunts, I can and will cut you some slack. I know you didnot mean the above as apology, but that is the way I will take it.

    At least you didn’t run and hide in Canada or Sweden. I have a lot of respect for Ali since he at least had the courage of his conviction and went to jail.

    I won’t forgive Jane Fonda, Jimmy Carter, and those that left to the afore mentioned lands. They won’t ask for it anyway.

    But I figured out long ago that holding grudges will eat you up inside and turn you into someone your friends wouldn’t like. So I stopped. I let it go.

  190. Bill Curry says:

    “I’ve had it with this kind of bullshit nasty zero-content handwaving about stuff I’m supposed to have done. If you don’t have the balls to state what you’re talking about EXACTLY by quoting my words, then please, just go away.”

    Very nice Willis. This is approaching it like a gentleman. Not.

    “Once again, accusations without support, without citations, without anything.”

    Are you denying you said that we occupied Vietnam? If you can’t follow your own conversation without having it quoted constantly then perhaps senility is setting in. You cannot hide behind a constant whining for quotations. Do you deny saying the US occupied Vietnam?

    “The war with the US ended when the US withdrew. Which war are you referring to?”

    The Vietnam war. Which did not end when the US withdrew. That is factually false and I challenge you to prove that the war between North and South ended when no US troops were there. You are playing games in your own mind to protect it from what you did. People died the minute after the last US troops left and millions more died for 10 more years.

    “I have no idea, but I would assume in the hundreds of thousands. The aftermath of nearly sixty years of war is very unlikely to be pretty.

    You are showing your sheer lack of intelligence as well as your inability to read English. Perhaps math is not a strong suit for you either. Read the statistics I quoted. Add them up. It is MILLIONS. Many more than died per year on average during any other phase of conflict.

    “Oh, please, you’re not really dumb enough to try to play the “you krool man, you don’t really care about puppies” card, are you?”

    Yes. Because it is valid. You allowed them to die. Without protest. You didn’t care. You cared only about your cause. Not the effects.

    “1. No, I was overjoyed that the War was over and the US was out of it.”
    You are a sick man. You deserve all the spit I spit on you here. You felt joy as that child’s parents were slaughtered by NVA. As the reducation camps started. As starvation set it. All you could think of was “joy”. Sick, Sick, sick. And why those from your generation like you deserve only scorn. You cared only for yourselves.

    “As far as I know, I’ve said nothing in this post about the North Vietnamese Army. ”

    You need to go read what you write and stop playing lawyer. Did you not refer to the enemy of the US. Did you not call them freedom fighters or refer to them only fighting to remove a foreign occupier?

    Your words:

    “We were fighting against the Vietnamese equivalent of the Minutemen of the American revolution, people impelled more by a wish to throw off foreign domination than anything else. ”

    This is a positive veneer that is completely false. You are the idiot (to use your words). You spent no time in Vietnam and yet consider yourself an expert.

    “but I thoroughly reject your allegation that I caused a million deaths. Thats a stupid joke.”
    No. It is a fact. You underestimate. I am accusing you of helping to kill 4 million more people than would have died if we had stayed “in the meatgrinder”. Yes – Not a joke. You don’t see the connection between your protests and those deaths because you can’t stomach that psychologically. But you reinforce here why you should be personally held responsible. You cared NOTHING. You felt joy. You are a sick and amoral man. And you are personally responsible for the deaths of millions. However small your role was, it is historical fact that you played a role. If a stabilizing force had been left in place, we would have had Korea 2 and 4 million people would have lived out there lives.

    This is where my passion comes from. It is your absolute lack of responsibility. Your absolute unwillingness to see that there were unintended consequences to your actions. When you were protesting, did it cross your mind that if you got your way that millions would die?

    “No, because I can actually spell, and I never could find any Khemer Rouge to protest against …”

    Idiot. Spelling in SEA with Latin characters is variable. In fact, culturally they do not consider spelling important. But you wouldn’t know that. You were high – not doing something good for the world.

    “Seriously? Is that a real question? I was sickened and horrified by the actions of Pol Pot and his followers, as I’m sure you were. My estimation was that protesting against them would have done absolutely nothing, zip, zero … so no, I was young and dumb at the time, but I was not that dumb …

    I was a child. I knew nothing. But I have been there and have seen the skulls stacked up. I have looked into the eye sockets of those people and felt their horror.

    So you did nothing? Sick. You only cared about your “cause”. Not the effect. You didn’t protest an embassy? Write a letter? No. You went and got high while people were dying.

    You are a selfish bastard. History has now clearly shown how selfish. More importantly, you have made it clear to all readers here that you were capable of feeling joy while millions suffered as a side effect of “ending” the war.

    We are writing history. Not you. You will be dead. We will be sure to give you your proper place.

  191. u.k.(us) says:

    Luther Wu says:

    February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    This thread presents a good picture of the reasons why humanity has had such an abysmal record of failures of societal leadership…
    http://www.theplanisphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pogo.jpg
    ==============
    I’m sorry, I didn’t even read it.
    Didn’t need to.

    Without limits, our worst traits come out.

  192. jc says:

    @ R Ortiz says: February 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

    It is certainly true that people of a certain age at any time don’t just collectively erupt into one thing or another. So in that sense, it is correct to say it is unreasonable to blame a particular age group for this or pretty much anything.

    And it is also certainly true that not all members of a particular age group adhere to the zeitgeist of any particular time. That is obvious just in this post, but has always been evident in this case.

    But it is also true that influences tend to come to a culmination at a particular time amongst particular people when “conditions are ripe”, the main one – or really only one – being that there is a core group of people dedicated to that, and that there is at least some resonance with the majority of the balance.

    So it is certainly true that the ground was prepared for all that erupted in the mid-late 60′s over previous times, and that in fact the most influential individuals in this were older than those who took it up so completely, and that other, older, people had formulated justifying “philosophies” which could serve as a structure. So it is true that those who came to be seen as the 60′s generation – and who themselves defined themselves by this – originated absolutely nothing beyond (in part) the fashions that gave color to this.

    But people of that age WERE the “full expression” of these influences. It DID reflect them rather than influence them in part as might have been the case for older people.

    And the core difference – which can’t be divorced from the people themselves – was that in, for example, 1960, there were REFERENCE points outside of this that could NOT be denied legitimacy, which had to be given precedence in societal interactions and which at any time any individual could be judged against. It DOES NOT MATTER if these were often breached in practice, they were there. These could generally be called values. And about 1968 this came to an end for a significant part of society, very much focused in people of a certain age.

    Whether this was concentrated in its fullest expression in just a section of that age group (15%?) or not, it effected virtually all people of that age – even if they rejected it and tried to make do in its shadow. And it effected to a greater or lesser degree those average people not self-conciously this or that, but who had as people of a certain age at a certain time some affinity with it.

    So it is fair and reasonable to describe all this as a generational issue – and when it comes down to it that’s exactly how it was seen by the participants at that time who defiantly proclaimed it. So there is no getting away from this fact.

    And the defining characteristic of this generation is the failure of responsibility.

    EVERY age, group, generation, has seen that what the world is supposed to be is not what it is. Through history, this has spurred the desire to improve that. This generation as a whole walked away from that. That was the choice.

    This has allowed the worst of that generation to prosper: people, attitudes, ideas.

    Are there people of that age who are “innocent”? Of course. When the numbers are overwhelmingly against you you can hold your patch but not influence the general tide of events. Most, however went along with the dominant ethos and those who were most committed to it.

    This is important because the whole GW thing could not exist otherwise. And the GW thing is actually about what is true, how to discover it, and what to do when known: values.

  193. Bill Curry says:

    By the way. I am moving on. I have productive things to do. You are nearing death anyway and clearly do not have the intellectual honesty to recognize the difference between what you hoped would happen and what actually happened. We will continue to clean up your messes. You will go to your grave with a false sense of reality.

    And I will spit on your grave.

  194. jc says:

    @ Willis Eschenbach says: February 28, 2013 at 10:55 am.

    Well: I think Bill Curry comprehensively dissects the value of your “answers”.

    None.

  195. Luther Wu says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    February 28, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Luther Wu says:

    February 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    This thread presents a good picture of the reasons why humanity has had such an abysmal record of failures of societal leadership…
    http://www.theplanisphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Pogo.jpg
    ==============
    I’m sorry, I didn’t even read it.
    Didn’t need to.

    Without limits, our worst traits come out.
    ________________________
    First, your comment “Without limits, our worst traits come out.” is very much on target.
    Second, I clumsily wrote “This thread… meaning THIS THREAD, and then linked to a popular cartoon at the end of the thread, thus causing confusion.
    The cartoon was the famous “Pogo: We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  196. u.k.(us) says:

    Bill Curry says:

    February 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    By the way. I am moving on. I have productive things to do. You are nearing death anyway and clearly do not have the intellectual honesty to recognize the difference between what you hoped would happen and what actually happened. We will continue to clean up your messes. You will go to your grave with a false sense of reality.

    And I will spit on your grave.
    ==================
    How, pray tell, could a “sense of reality” be false.
    It is an experience, not a teaching.
    The flowers will appreciate the added moisture, the bile will be wasted.

  197. Willis Eschenbach says:

    mkelly says:
    February 28, 2013 at 11:26 am

    … Willis, as one who lived thru the spitting and the baby killer taunts, I can and will cut you some slack. I know you didnot mean the above as apology, but that is the way I will take it.

    Please be clear, mkelly, that I opposed that kind of thing as strongly then as I oppose it now.

    See, unlike most of the protesters, I’d seen at least one of the horrors of war. I’d spent six months in the Army nuthouse at the height of the Vietnam War. I saw what it had done, not to one man, but to the hundreds and hundreds of men who passed through the nuthouse while I was a resident.

    So then as now, I could have nothing but compassion and understanding and support for any US military man during that time, I knew the choices every one of them had made, in a swirling grey fog of lack of experience, lack of information, lack of time … I always thought it was crazy to have anything but support for the soldiers, what I was against was further death in an unwinnable war.

    I also opposed it because it seemed like really divisive, stupid, piss-poor tactics … but that was secondary.

    At least you didn’t run and hide in Canada or Sweden. I have a lot of respect for Ali since he at least had the courage of his conviction and went to jail.

    I wish I’d had his balls, but I was young and stupid and scared, so I took the King’s Shilling … and fortunately, I lived to regret it and learn from it. A number of my friends from high school weren’t so lucky.

    w.

  198. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Curry says:
    February 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    By the way. I am moving on.

    Thanks, Bill, I appreciate it. Your presence, like that of jc, has been incredibly divisive.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck,

    w.

  199. R Ortiz says:

    Willis:

    Here I thought I could have a gentlemanly disagreement with you, but it appears you are too riled up. You want direct quotes? Here:

    February 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm “Ask any military man if the war should have been prolonged given the surrounding political reality. Unlike you, military folk don’t like throwing men into a meat grinder in an unwinnable struggle against a fanatically dedicated enemy passionately committed, not to communism or any ism, that was an accident of history … but to throwing out foreign invaders.

    We totally misread the motivation of our enemies. We thought they wanted to spread communism. Had nothing to do with it. They had ALREADY BEEN FIGHTING AGAINST OCCUPYING FOREIGN ARMIES FOR 45 YEARS on the day we foolishly entered the war—first the hated Chinese, then the hated French, then the hated Japanese, then the hated French again … and then the final idiots in the line, the hated Americans. And if Communists helped them kick out the latest occupying foreign army, because you cannot deny we were that, well, they’d take it along with its costs … all the poor buggers ever wanted was for everyone to just get the hell out of their country.

    And that is an incredibly difficult army to overcome, it melts like quicksilver in your hands, and the US has proven that. Because what we didn’t realize at the time is that we were fighting against our own history—in the minds of the enemy, right or wrong, they spent sixty years as Patriots and Minutemen doing what we did in our Revolution, overthrowing the armies of the occupying power, throwing them out so they could be free men. Pity they ended up with Communism … but by god, it’s Vietnamese communism, not Chinese or French or any other kind.

    Knowing all of that … do you really think that we’d just walk in the door and kick some butts and take names and straighten things out? Kennedy thought that, he thought it was just some communists. So we tried it, and we got our asses handed to us just like the Chinese, and then the French, and then the Japanese, and then the French again before us were defeated and thrown out of Vietnam …”

    You made other statements along the same line, but this is wrong, straight out of the communists’ propaganda handbook. You were lied to and believed those lies (the same way I believed the lies told by our government). By agreement, all the dedicated communists were to have moved to North Vietnam. That they were already fighting a guerrilla war directed by North Vietnam in South Vietnam in the late 1950s when there was no U.S. presence to speak of is a de facto invasion from the North. Neither side was then prepared for the larger scale battles that came later.

    I cannot defend the U.S. government’s response to this. It was half-assed and incompetent, Like Korea, it appears to have been designed for us not to win, yet our troops whipped North Vietnamese ass. What we were not prepared for was the political battle, waged not only by the communists in Asia, but also their allies in the U.S. media and even Congress. In losing the political battle, our troops were stabbed in the back and defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory.

    That our government was lying made it impossible for it to make a good case for why we were in Vietnam. I knew about communists and the atrocities they do (theirs were deliberate and pre-planned, ours through incompetence and stupidity), but government lies fogged up the communications so no message got out. Some caught on faster than others (I was one of the slower ones) about government lies. Now I realize I’ve been lied to so often that I no longer believe anything a government spokesman says, without independent confirmation.

    I read a book, “The Guerilla and How to Fight Him” put out by the Marine Corps in 1962, and long wondered why the lessons described there were not put into practice in Vietnam. Years later I read a report that even named names, that the general who devised the forced relocations and free fire zones had posthumously been revealed to have been a communist mole. There was my answer.

    I didn’t call you names nor diss you as a person, I’ve tried to be a gentleman about this. Will you disagree as a gentleman?

  200. Luther Wu says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Here’s a joke from that time that I heard in the army. The grunts at least understood the war. Here’s the joke.

    “Charlie is a South Vietnamese teenager…”
    ______________________
    Hello Willis,
    I heard that story too, a long time ago, but diametrically different from your version.
    I heard it as a report of the fighting at Khe Sanh, like this:
    A young NVA soldier gave as one of his reasons for surrendering to a US support group trying to relieve the besieged Marines at Khe Sanh, that after enduring weeks carrying 2 mortar shells to Khe Sanh, watching them fired and then being ordered to go get two more, saw the futility of the fight and gave up.

    As GI BS stories go, which version is likely closer to the truth?
    The noble cause- heroic youth resisting the bad old Americans who had killed his poor helpless sister, spurring him to the long march all the way North and back, determined to never give up? or… the other version? or, which side had the best propaganda?
    ———————–
    ———————–
    Any teenagers in the South wishing to fight the Americans would have merely joined up with the local Viet Cong units, rather than make some “heroic” trek all the way to the North. Any NVA troop in the fight would have very likely been conscripted and indeed could have served as bearer to bring munitions south… we killed them by the thousands, up and down the Ho Chi Minh trail.
    ———————
    ———————
    I had a job in the late 80′s which put me in contact with many in the Vietnamese immigrant population, here in OKC. I can still speak some of the language, so that helped me become acquainted and friends with several of them.
    Among my friends, was a former NVA soldier, born and raised in Haiphong. We would have tried to kill each other, in previous times. After the US pullout, his unit was sent into Cambodia, where after a time, he and another friend became so sick of it all that they deserted into Thailand, eventually making his way to Oklahoma.

    Several others have told me the horror stories of their lives after the US withdrawal, and yet, just a month ago, I asked a Vietnamese lady friend about mutual friends and learned that those friends had recently decided to ‘retire’ and move back to Viet Nam.
    I wonder about their chances of success… another friend just returned from a visit home and told stories of the near universal corruption of the local Commie officials, and how dangerous they could be… some things never change.
    ______________________
    We took different roads to get here, yet in the pages of WUWT, we are now standing together against those who would usurp the liberties of mankind and who currently appear to hold sway in world governance, even and especially in our own nation, against all the truths which illuminate them as what they truly are.

  201. Greg House says:

    Willis Eschenbach says, February 28, 2013 at 2:59 am: “You have no idea what I don’t know and how I don’t know it. As far as what I was talking about, I consider that modern communism started in 1917 when the first communist country emerged, and so that’s the date I picked. And no, I didn’t know there was some meeting of some proto-communist dickweeds in eighteen hundred whatever … so sue me. I spoke of when Communists first came to power and were in a position to help Ho.”
    ==========================================================

    No, you did not refer to the Russian communists being able to help Ho first after they came to power.

    You were talking specifically about Ho’s <b<motivation in 1905, not about help (“it’s clear what drove the man”), claiming that it could not have been communism, because communism, as you put it referring to the year 1905, “wouldn’t even be invented for another decade”.

    Here are your own words, again: “Ho started fighting the hated invaders when he was 15 … and that was in 1905. Since communism wouldn’t even be invented for another decade, it’s clear what drove the man.”

  202. markx says:

    “…You were talking specifically about Ho’s <b<motivation in 1905, not about help (“it’s clear what drove the man”), claiming that it could not have been communism, because communism, as you put it referring to the year 1905…”

    Greg is correct in that all of Ho Chi Minh’s early education and support and experiences was in communist ideology.

    Willis is correct in stating that his communist leanings began to take shape in 1917 –

    “…From 1919–23, while living in France, Nguyễn began to approach the idea of communism, through his friend and Socialist Party of France comrade Marcel Cachin. Nguyễn claimed to have arrived in Paris from London in 1917, but the French police only had documents of his arrival in June 1919.
    …[….]….
    In 1923, Nguyễn (Ho) left Paris for Moscow, where he was employed by the Comintern, studied at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East,[9][10] and participated in the Fifth Comintern Congress in June 1924, before arriving in Canton (present-day Guangzhou), China, in November 1924.
    Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh

    In a society of peasant farmers dominated by large landholder/landlords with deep government connections on can understand why at the time communist ideology would have seemed to provide a far preferable structure.
    But following a now discredited theory /doctrine in no way whatsoever makes a man any less of a nationalist or says anything about his primary motivation.

    Following World War I, under the name Nguyễn Ái Quốc (“Nguyễn the Patriot”), he petitioned for recognition of the civil rights of the Vietnamese people in French Indochina to the Western powers at the Versailles peace talks, but was ignored.[6] Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ho_Chi_Minh

  203. Greg House says:

    markx says, February 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm: “Greg is correct in that all of Ho Chi Minh’s early education and support and experiences was in communist ideology.
    Willis is correct in stating that his communist leanings began to take shape in 1917″

    ==========================================================

    I did not say that. Willis did not say that.

    It would be nice, if you could make your point without putting words in someone’s mouth.

  204. markx says:

    R Ortiz says: February 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    “….later I read a report that even named names, that the general who devised the forced relocations and free fire zones had posthumously been revealed to have been a communist mole….”

    This appears to me to be an Orwellian rewriting of inconvenient history of an appallingly managed policy and war and is a massive charge.

    You can’t make accusations of this scale without citations.

    Details, please, Sir.

  205. markx says:

    Greg House says: February 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm
    “…I did not say that. Willis did not say that….”

    Fair enough, overly simplified and and over summarized on my part. But you are laboriously debating historical facts related to the history of communism and not remotely related to the issue under discussion – point scoring, I guess.

    From all of this however do arise some useful indisputable facts:

    1. Ho Chi Minh was a communist.

    2. Ho Chi Minh was primarily a nationalist.

    3. Ho Chi Minh was a popular figure: “I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held at the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the communist Ho Chi Minh.” President Dwight Eisenhower. Memoirs.

    4. All evidence seems to point strongly towards the case that Willis was never a communist, or a student of communism, or ever studied communist history in detail!

  206. markx says:

    jc says: February 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    It is certainly true that people of a certain age at any time don’t just collectively erupt into one thing or another. So in that sense, it is correct to say it is unreasonable to blame a particular age group for this or pretty much anything.
    …..[……]…..
    But it is also true that influences tend to come to a culmination at a particular time amongst particular people when “conditions are ripe”, the main one – or really only one – being that there is a core group of people dedicated to that, and that there is at least some resonance with the majority of the balance.
    …..[……]…..
    So it is fair and reasonable to describe all this as a generational issue – and when it comes down to it that’s exactly how it was seen by the participants at that time who defiantly proclaimed it. So there is no getting away from this fact.

    Everything you say in the above from start to finish is well worded and I largely agree with you.

    Everything you say below is a vaguely theoretical oversimplification, and contradicts much of what you say above;

    “….And the defining characteristic of this generation is the failure of responsibility….
    EVERY age, group, generation, has seen that what the world is supposed to be is not what it is. Through history, this has spurred the desire to improve that. This generation as a whole walked away from that. That was the choice…..”

    You have already stated that every generation is shaped by preceding generations and events.

    So no-one bears nay responsibility for four presidents and their executive structures consistently lying to an up and coming generation and their parents? Johnson for example was voted in on the basis he would end or limit the war, but behind the scenes he had already promised the Generals “You can have your war your way, as soon as the election is over”. (Sounds to me like :…”…the defining characteristic of this generation is the failure of responsibility….”)

    No-one bears any responsibility for lying to, maiming, destroying and dividing a generation, bar that generation itself?

    You forget that the electorate Nixon was responding to in exiting Vietnam was not just the young, it included their parents and grandparents.

    And societal behaviour is not simply driven by ideology and beliefs of the young of the time, and then magically by the influences of that generation thereafter!!; There are huge number of technological political and other influences in play: (re Bill Curry’s appalling simplifications in discussing immorality, divorce rates, and ADHD kids and blaming it on a single generation):

    How about we consider the advent of simple effective contraception, increased mobility (away from family- cars, planes automobiles), the increased number of women with independent lifestyles and jobs not locked into domestic life; how about ubiquitous easy communication, how about fast food and changes in dining habits (families not eating together or at home), how about a now ubiquitous mass media all pedalling their own particular distortions, how about the brain altering effects of modern film making methods, screen grabs of 2 to 6 seconds spliced into a continuous narrative (or even shorter splices if you are talking about modern music videos), How about modern advertising methods and ubiquity, how about the ready availability of copious information ‘proving’ (truly or falsely) that our government is lying to us, how about a greater rich/poor divide brought about by political machinations and a propensity to always keep a war ticking over somewhere in the world, how about the ubiquitous presence of plastic and other chemicals in our lives and foods, how about the continued usage and availability of more and more recreational drugs which started in the early 1900’s and continues until today………

    “…the whole GW thing could not exist otherwise. And the GW thing is actually about what is true, how to discover it, and what to do when known: values….”

    Sure enough. Vietnam at least proved to you your government will lie to you without compunction to uphold its own beliefs and purposes. And it takes a concerted effort to say an unthinking public one way or the other.

    CAGW is a similar case.

    You should probably start protesting.

  207. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Wow, you guys have been going back and forth for days about how right or wrong the Vietnam war was, how you responded to the rightness and wrongness…

    And I still haven’t heard from even a single damn real Vietnamese person from that time how they felt about the war being fought in their name.

    Half a century later, nothing has changed. It was your war that you people fought amongst yourselves, on all possible fronts, between family, friends, allies, and distant enemies. What the locals think didn’t matter then, still doesn’t matter now.

    It was never then, and you sure can’t make it so now, their war for them to fight for their own country.

    Congratulations, your continuous bickering and inability to set aside grievances and reach compromise after four-plus decades of theoretically increasing maturity, has lead me to an inescapable conclusion:

    Your entire generation sucked.

    Now feel free to continue quibbling yourselves into further obscurity, as those of us who came after you continue to clean up your messes and work hard to keep others of your ilk from making more.

  208. markx says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: February 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    “….Congratulations, your continuous bickering and inability to set aside grievances and reach compromise after four-plus decades of theoretically increasing maturity, has lead me to an inescapable conclusion:

    Your entire generation sucked….”

    At least half of the debate in here would appear to be by people of younger generations, making substantial more contribution than you have to the debate.

    I would hate to assume that you are a presumptuous idiot with nothing to say, sir.

    Ah, sorry my mistake, you do have something to say:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: February 25, 2013 at 4:24 am

    I wonder if the “Free Love” generation will ever acknowledge the enormous burden they’ve thrust on those after them, as their behavior is being relentlessly promoted by their generation as “normal” and “natural” by their movies and TV shows, with anything but unprotected one-nights and “whomever’s available” bed-hopping portrayed as prudish and old-fashioned.

    Is there no logical thinking left in this world?

    I see you too hold to the modern ‘blame everyone else’ meme that everything the flower children did in their teens and twenties irreversibly inscribed their doctrines and morality on the time and somehow on subsequent generations. Who now somehow bear no responsibility for what you see as their current ‘immoral behavior’…… however all behavior of said hippie was NOT due to the lies and missteps of preceding generations, it was somehow only fault too.

    I’ve said it above, but with the short attention span of youngsters and the apparent inability to comprehend these days it probably bears repeating :

    Consider a few factors at play on modern society which are simply a product of continued technological development and not due to the hippies’ behavior in the 1960s or since:

    The advent of simple effective contraception,
    Increased mobility (away from family- cars, planes automobiles),
    The increased number of women with independent lifestyles and jobs not locked into domestic life;
    Ubiquitous easy communication,
    Fast food and changes in dining habits (families not eating together or at home),
    A now ubiquitous mass media all pedalling their own particular distortions,
    The brain altering effects of modern film making methods, screen grabs of 2 to 6 seconds spliced into a continuous narrative (or even shorter splices if you are talking about modern music videos), (and video games!)
    Modern advertising, methods and ubiquity,
    The ready availability of copious information ‘proving’ (truly or falsely) that our government is lying to us,
    A greater rich/poor divide brought about by political machinations and a propensity to always keep a war ticking over somewhere in the world,
    The ubiquitous presence of plastics and other chemicals in our lives and foods,
    The continued usage and availability of more and more recreational drugs which started in the early 1900’s and continues until today………

    And this one really cracked me up:!
    “… wonder if the “Free Love” generation will ever acknowledge the enormous burden they’ve thrust on those after them…”

    Ya clown. If you don’t want to live like that, take some responsibility and don’t do it.

  209. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From markx on February 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm:

    At least half of the debate in here would appear to be by people of younger generations, making substantial more contribution than you have to the debate.

    Bad behavior by those older is not sanctified through repetition by those younger.

    You cannot fight your way to peace. But you can fight to cease the fighting, when needed, from there you may then build peace.

    You want to fight, but not to cease the fighting. You have decided to remain the problem. Perhaps you will decide to be something else later.

    Good bye.

  210. R Ortiz says:

    Markx:

    ,“This appears to me to be an Orwellian rewriting of inconvenient history of an appallingly managed policy and war and is a massive charge.

    “You can’t make accusations of this scale without citations. ”

    Sorry, this was in an article I read 15–20 years ago and I no longer remember where. This charge was in documentation the author came across, and it appeared to me that the author himself didn’t recognize the full impact of what he wrote. I know had I written that article, I would not have written only one paragraph on that finding, as was in that article. The only reason I recognized the import of that finding was because of my interest in military tactics that I had at that time.

    I had long realized that the tactics used in Vietnam were about the worst that could have been done, from reading about guerilla tactics that worked and those that didn’t even from Mao Tse Tung and Ho Chi Minh, and one of the failures was in how to deal with civilians. This little paragraph answered that question for me.

  211. R Ortiz says:

    Kadaka wrote:

    “And I still haven’t heard from even a single damn real Vietnamese person from that time how they felt about the war being fought in their name.

    “Half a century later, nothing has changed. It was your war that you people fought amongst yourselves, on all possible fronts, between family, friends, allies, and distant enemies. What the locals think didn’t matter then, still doesn’t matter now.

    “It was never then, and you sure can’t make it so now, their war for them to fight for their own country.”

    The purpose sold to the American public in 1965 for going into Vietnam was to do right by the local people. That we didn’t do so was an epic failure on our part.

    First, the tactics we used during the war were designed to alienate the local people from us.

    Then, when we left, we left behind people ready and willing to fight, but refused to give them the supplies they needed to fight: second failure.

    In 1955 the local people had no idea what is communism, all they knew was that Ho Chi Minh was a hero for fighting the French. By 1975 the people knew what communism meant if the North took over the South, and were willing to fight, but then we (our government, i.e. Sam Erwin and his democrats) left them defenseless in the face of the coming bloodbath. Millions died. The blood of those millions is on the hands of those who abandoned them to their fate and on the hands of those who approved of that abandonment. In that abandonment, we also threw away the blood of our men who bled, died and fought over there.

  212. jc says:

    @ markx says: February 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    As an introduction I reproduce your only previous comment directed to me, or alluding to me, to be precise:

    “markx says:
    February 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

    jc says: February 25, 2013 at 9:16 am (etc etc)

    [.... a lot...]

    I’d like to respond to jc, I think he is anti-everything, but I can’t understand what he is getting at; anyone out there want to chance a succinct summary? Pro Vietnam War? Anti hippie? Jealous of Willis’ early love life? Did he swallow a thesaurus?”

    And the last two paragraphs of my response, having provided you with what reassurances I could in answering your questions:

    “I gather from this last, and your apparent prostation in the face of my output {(etc etc) and [a lot...]} that there is something impenetrable about my comments that relates to the expression and the volume of them. I am a little surprised by the latter since you yourself have been posting a vast amount of no doubt worthy material, but I suppose some have more of greater legitimacy to say.

    If i wasn’t convinced of your sincerity in all this, I might wonder whether your post was intended to call up a mob to deal with something you didn’t like but were incapable of handling yourself. Thankfully this site is not the sort of place where such people might be encountered.”

    Since there were no further comments by others in response to your plea, I gather your capacity to now engage directly has been enhanced by this, and/or further deciphering of my comments, to a degree that has allowed sufficient clarity of understanding for your originally stated desire to respond, to blossom. I’m glad.

    Much of your comment relates to details of the political and societal process around the war.
    As I said in my previous post to you, I have no particular interest in either the war or other specific manifestations of the time. Others, who either experienced the war, or the times and issues, or have taken an active interest to the degree that they feel they have something to contribute to discussion of particular details, do. And it is their business to pursue that as they will, not mine.

    My core interest, as expressed in the post you quote, and, dare I venture, consistently shown in my previous posts that apparently left you bereft of bearings adequate to direct you, is in the nature of the times generally and the implications of that.

    Obviously, the fact of the war existed. As did any political response. Or any level of support or not across the whole population for any particular thing as a whole or in part.

    So far as the war is concerned, in terms of the formative impact of it, I see it not as the cause in itself of anything, rather as a focal point or touch point for all the elements at work in any case. The fact of the war certainly threw these into high relief, and became the vehicle for a division in society and a demarcation between the apposing perspectives on what, much more generally, life was about and how that should be shown in behavior and decisions made.

    So I have no doubt at all that any distinctions in approach to life which are commonly attributed to the war – perhaps as a shorthand in many cases – would have been made manifest anyway.
    Jack Kerouac knew nothing of this war when he lived as he did and wrote On The Road.

    The expression of these things would theoretically have been more muted, although that is very debatable, since the nature of what for simplicities sake I will call two apposing philosophies, made them incompatible, mutually exclusive. So I think if not for the war, events would have unfolded in such a way that this was crystallized in any case. The outlook of the the ’60′s generation, [I will continue to use this to describe, collectively, those who adhered to this creed regardless of age: Timothy Leary and Willis Eschenbach being examples of those of different age], demanded a capacity to claim moral validity, no matter how ill founded.

    If muted, it would have still existed and worked its way through society as it has done now. The fact of the war, was undoubtably significant in another important way in that it played a part in drawing a line between the 60′s generation and those who followed thereafter.

    Speaking as someone who turned 18 in the mid 1970′s I can attest that this was an emergence into a wasteland. Neither the values repudiated by the 60′s generation nor the positions that were adopted in its stead, had any validity whatsoever. Both, in their own ways, gone. This distinction may not have been so obvious if the war had not served as such a defining event.
    So someone of my age had a familiarity with both but a capacity to adhere to none, or more exactly to expect general society to adhere to anything, at least collectively. So perhaps my comments here are made possible by that or compelled by that. I too, may be merely a victim of my age and times (!).

    For that reason there is a line in the sand based on age and times.

    And there is a line, much more savagely drawn, between those of a certain age who could be said to constitute the 60′s generation and those of the same age who were not.

    And this is where it gets nasty.

    The adherents of the 60′s generation in effect went to war on those who either weren’t, or who were uncertain. The nature of this is shown in attacking the serving soldiers directly and in belittling and deligitimizing them and the basis for their actions or decisions: denying the validity of their existence by denying the validity of their basis for meaning in life.

    This displays sheer viciousness. A viciousness that can only come from a depth of self-interest that excludes all other considerations.

    It won’t wash for anyone who identified with what is now described as ’60′s generation precepts to say “not me! I didn’t attack others”. To simply make clear through word, deed, or omission that you are apposed to “the other side” is to be complicit in all acts committed in that name: it is to be culpable.

    The 60′s generation won that battle, although insofar as there is any interest in what comes after, they will find they have ultimately lost the war. The cost of that battle was the loss from that age group in particular but extending to others, of those best able to represent the alternative basis for dealing with life: through death in the war, and afterwards; through demoralization and incapacity; through confusion and questioning of what certainty can be given to any course of action.

    The result has been the primacy of the underlying compulsions driving the ’60′s generation, even after many of the guises and expressions of the time have fallen away:

    Pure self-interest.

    Observably illustrated in countless ways since, from the “What do we want (everything). When do we want it NOW” of the early and mid 70′s demonstrations to the “Greed is good” iteration in the 1980′s, these being just two sides to the same coin, which to a large degree have abandoned this false distinction and live triumphant in the organism known as Al Gore.

    That the capacity for viciousness did not diminish over time was shown in an example I quoted in an earlier post where an element of reportage around the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994 was the occasion for this cohort to crush their own children. This is unnatural to the point of opening the question of whether such beings qualify as human rather than just homo sapiens.

    It also shows the relentlessness with which this group or mentality has sought to establish itself as the dominant factor in societal relations. Such an influence can only be profoundly negative and so it has proved to be.

    This gives a context for my judgements about decisions made, actions taken, by people at that time.

    I understand that people make mistakes, misjudgements. That they can surrender to peer group or wider influences. That in uncertain times these things are magnified.

    But they can, and must, review those things at a point where they are able. And themselves make a judgement. And, if necessary or possible, put things right. Collectively, the ’60′s generation never did this. Many if not most individuals never did this in a manner that materially altered their outlook or actions.

    For this they can only be condemned.

    To return to your comments.

    “Everything you say below is a vaguely theoretical oversimplification, and contradicts much of what you say above;”

    “You have already stated that every generation is shaped by preceding generations and events.”

    Your second statement being supposedly that element which contradicts my preceeding comments of which you approve.

    I would not claim that the comments you refer to are comprehensive. Just as I would not claim that this post is. To be so would require, not a book, since the fundamentals are actually quite simple, but perhaps 10,000 words, which this forum obviously is not suited to. I do, however expect that people respond to the substance of anything said and to infer what that is derived from, which can later be clarified if need be. Perhaps this post goes some way to doing that.

    It is not at all true that there is any contradiction. At any time. In any circumstance.

    In this case this is amply shown by the fact that a substantial part of that generation by age did not identify with the characteristics defining the ’60′s generation to the degree that they abandoned other reference points or values. The fact of many serving in the war gives indisputable proof of that.

    This commonplace or cliche of justification will not fly.

    We are in general accord regarding the impact of technology of people and therefore culture. In particular in this instance, your reference to contraception I agree with. The advent of The Pill ushered in a hitherto unknown level of possibility for sex without apparent implications. And certainly this was taken up with gusto and allowed a plank for elements of what was to follow.

    Where we might disagree, I think, is that you seem to be proposing that the direct implications of that could only end in one thing. I do not agree. People can and always have, utilized technology in such a way that allows different expressions in actions.

    It could possibly be claimed (I don’t know the history) that the desire to create The Pill in the first instance was driven directly by a growing desire for sexual nirvana in the ’50′s and that therefore its existence was in fact as a result of a cultural impulse with direct links to “free love”, and so this was a manifestation of culture.

    Regardless, the mere advent of such things does not in itself inevitably demand just one course of action. The response will be determined by the priorities of the society in which it appears.

    As to your finishing points, and taking into account your first response concerning me, reproduced at the beginning of this comment, and also your comment to kadaka (KD Knoebel) at Feb 28th 11.59 pm, on which, in itself, I will comment later, you are becoming increasingly transparent.

    Your conflation of CAGW with Vietnam War protests, or the nature or behavior of government was not my point. You know that.

    My point was that if not for the attitudes and characteristics exhibited, developed, and applied by the ’60′s generation the issue would not exist in the first place. But you do know that.

  213. jc says:

    @ markx says: February 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Some quotes from your post:

    “Is there no logical thinking left in this world?”

    This in response to a statement or opinion in which there was no internal logical disagreement.

    This opens the question of whether your understanding of the word “logic” in itself, or knowledge of any process that might comprise of define “logic”, differs from that maintained by the general run of sentient beings.

    Alternatively, you made this statement, perhaps reflexively, or perhaps after calculation, in order to dismiss the statement you applied it to in what can be described as a bogus manner.

    Reviewing your following statement, contained within a paragraph, the first sentence makes clear that you would merely supplant the supposedly “illogical” statement that has prompted your despair, with your own opinion.

    A curious process for someone committed to logic as generally understood. Your second sentence as support for this I find, in detail, more than a little disjointed, but I take to mean that you confirm your disagreement.

    Following directly on:

    “I’ve said it above, but with the short attention span of youngsters and the apparent inability to comprehend these days it probably bears repeating :”

    This is remarkable.

    A Tour-de-Force.

    The “short attention span of youngsters” being what? Well, nothing at all!

    The “apparent inability to comprehend” actually referring to the requirement to accept the propositions that follow! Comprehend = Acceptance of what you say! Marvelous!

    And to finish:

    “Ya clown. If you don’t want to live like that, take some responsibility and don’t do it.”

    The sneer.

    Which I personally do take as being the response that logically can be attributed to a certain type of person.

    The assertion that someone is not obliged to live according to or subject to the mores of the time from someone who in just the previous post to me has maintained that the ’60′s generation were helplessly entwined in the societal currents of the day. You demonstrate an extraordinary flexibility of mind.

    I haven’t examined your profuse posts in detail, but beyond these three dealt with here and in my previous post I don’t think it is really necessary.

    The pattern has emerged. The underlying form is coming into focus.

    I await your subsequent posts with interest. As you may have picked up by now I have an abiding interest in kicking over rocks to see what lies beneath.

  214. markx says:

    jc says: March 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    “……I have no particular interest in either the war or other specific manifestations of the time. …..My core interest …..is in the nature of the times generally and the implications of that…..”

    In my view it is difficult to discuss the nature of the times without taking into account he profound influence of the politics, the war, and the protest movement and the effects this all had on society as a whole.

    “….Jack Kerouac knew nothing of this war when he lived as he did and wrote On The Road….”

    I never had any desire to read Kerouac’s “On the Road”, for some reason the theme of aimless wandering and the concept of ‘flow of consciousness writing’ turned me away from it. But I did read it last year, and now regard it as a carefully crafted piece of art. It gets a bad rap in the description of how it was written; I researched it a bit and found it was written and re-written for years before and after he sat down full of benzedrine and coffee and committed it to his scroll.

    What most fail to recognize (perhaps even Kerouac) is it is more a story of young men (Kerouac and Neal Cassady,) vaguely seeking to escape the drudgery of the lower working class poverty they were born into or drifted into, rather than simply some sort of escape from societal norms of the time.

    “….Observably illustrated in countless ways since, from the “What do we want (everything). When do we want it NOW” of the early and mid 70′s demonstrations to the “Greed is good” iteration in the 1980′s, these being just two sides to the same coin,….”

    Perhaps a natural development of a developing society. Look at China. Look at Deng Xiaoping “..To be rich is glorious…”

    “…Kurt Cobain in 1994 was the occasion for this cohort to crush their own children. …It also shows the relentlessness with which this group or mentality has sought to establish itself as the dominant factor in societal relations..”

    I’m unfamiliar with this event or how it relates to the discussion. I include comment on it to make the point that gathering isolated reports of isolated incidents is no indication of societal attitudes. Every few years people die in crowds following the haj in Mecca, too. I fail to see how isolated events can help you to reach such a sweeping conclusion.

    ”….And, if necessary or possible, put things right. Collectively, the ’60′s generation never did this. Many if not most individuals never did this in a manner that materially altered their outlook or actions. For this they can only be condemned….”
    I’d be interested to see a short list of the major points you want “the 60’s generation” to apologize for, or to set right.

    “….The nature of this is shown in attacking the serving soldiers directly and in belittling and de-legitimizing them and the basis for their actions or decisions: denying the validity of their existence by denying the validity of their basis for meaning in life……This displays sheer viciousness. A viciousness that can only come from a depth of self-interest that excludes all other considerations. …”

    And how many did that? Apparently very, very few. Do an online search – some regard that as in urban myth, though I’d expect somewhere it may have occurred. The fact it created wide-spread publicity, almost totally condemning the acts, shows the real attitudes of society at the time. It is very hard to find any reports of this actually happening.

    On the contrary, most protesters were concerned for the safety and that the lives of those soldiers were being wasted for nothing. The emphasis the attacking/spitting stories received is more about anti-protester propaganda than concern for the soldiers. Right wing, rural kids like me had no time for hippies, and we lapped this rubbish up. The repeating of this story is more an indictment on the propensity of the general public to succumb to propaganda than it is an indication of attitudes of the sixties.

    “….a substantial part of that generation by age did not identify with the characteristics defining the ’60′s generation to the degree that they abandoned other reference points or values. The fact of many serving in the war gives indisputable proof of that….”

    There you have it. With my rural, right wing upbringing had I been old enough I’d have gone to that war unhesitatingly, because I’d have believed what my government was telling me. Some, less naive than I, benefited from having a bunch of protesting hippies (including returned servicemen!) telling them what was happening and gave them a broader view.

    …It could possibly be claimed (I don’t know the history) that the desire to create The Pill in the first instance was driven directly by a growing desire for sexual nirvana in the ’50′s …People can and always have, utilized technology in such a way that allows different expressions in actions.

    A real stretch of the imagination. There was a need. Scientific understanding developed to the point it could be met. Potential market; Every adult female in the world. A commercial and scientific cause. And, as you say, the younger generation now can make their own choice on how to utilize such technology. They are not magically “locked in” to a certain course of action just because it was done that way before.

    …“free love”, and so this was a manifestation of culture….Regardless, the mere advent of such things does not in itself inevitably demand just one course of action. The response will be determined by the priorities of the society in which it appears….

    Following the events of WWII where many women were suddenly thrust into the workforce, the follow on of the naturally increased promiscuity of war time men and women, the
    natural development of women escaping the confinement of domestic housekeeping as a societal norm, increased mobility, the government and media promoted (perhaps realistically, perhaps not) mood of a dark and foreboding nuclear war future, increased mobility coming with availability of vehicles and increasing wealth, combined with the invention of the pill, were only ever going to lead to one thing.

    “…My point was that if not for the attitudes and characteristics exhibited, developed, and applied by the ’60′s generation the issue would not exist in the first place. But you do know that…”

    Yes, I know what you meant. And I think it is a spurious conclusion. Governments are forever finding ways to regulate and tax people. And big business is always happy to step in and sell them that which was previously free.

  215. markx says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: March 1, 2013 at 12:38 am

    “…You cannot fight your way to peace. But you can fight to cease the fighting, when needed, from there you may then build peace…..You want to fight, but not to cease the fighting. You have decided to remain the problem. Perhaps you will decide to be something else later….”

    You misread me.

    When I was younger I was strongly of the opinion that we should have “gone in and done it properly”.

    Now I am older, more widely read, more widely travelled, and with the wisdom of hindsight, I know we should simply have never have gone there in the first place.

  216. markx says:

    jc says: March 1, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    “…This in response to a statement or opinion in which there was no internal logical disagreement…”.

    Some definitions:

    log·i·cal (lj-kl)adj.
    Reasoning or capable of reasoning in a clear and consistent manner.
    capable of or characterized by clear or valid reasoning
    reasonable or necessary because of facts, events,

    logi·cal·ly adv. Synonyms: logical, analytic, ratiocinative, rational
    These adjectives mean capable of or reflecting the capability for correct and valid reasoning: a logical mind; an analytic thinker; the ratiocinative process; a rational being.

    Are you perhaps being a little too pedantic in your definition?

    Re the statement: “….acknowledge the enormous burden they’ve thrust on those after them, as their behavior is being relentlessly promoted by their generation as “normal” and “natural” by their movies and TV shows….”

    The statement itself puts forward the illogical premises that somehow the preceding generation is solely responsible for the behavior of the current one, and implies they (younger generation) bear no personal responsibility for their actions. It also ignores the logical (there is that word again) conclusion that if its premise is true, the 60′s generation can be forgiven because they were simply the children of a wartime generation with all the effects that has, including unrecognized at the time PTSD, and they grew up under the shadow to the cold war and associated government indoctrination.

    The behavior and experiences of one generation undoubtedly influence the later generations, but if the current generation decided they disapprove of the current set of morals, they need to start defining and encouraging what they do want, not simply make a scapegoat our of an entire generation.

    But, please be selective: I don’t think you want to go back to a time where unmarried mothers were spurned, children born out of wedlock were forcibly taken away, racism was the norm, homosexuals were not tolerated, priests had unfettered sexual access to their flocks…. etc etc

  217. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Dear markx,

    You have many unresolved issues.

  218. jc says:

    @ markx says: March 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Your character and mindset are clear. Although this seemed likely to me when I first took in your initial post alluding to me, (not having looked very closely at your others as dealing with the war itself in detail), its reasonable not to prejudge the extent of such things without further confirmation. Now supplied across a breadth and depth.

    Although your mind may be set, what issues from it is obviously variable on any given point according to circumstance, and along with the rest of your bag of tricks makes conversation futile, and probably worse, is only ever encouraging of that.

    Being obdurate, perhaps obtuse, is OK. That not.

    So that’s that then.

  219. markx says:

    kadaka (KD Knoebel) says: March 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    “Dear markx…..You have many unresolved issues…”

    Ah, at last we have a point we can agree upon.

    And a lot of those issues have to do with lying politicians and a gullible easily swayed public.

    jc says: March 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    …Your character and mindset are clear. …….. Although your mind may be set, what issues from it is obviously variable on any given point according to circumstance, and along with the rest of your bag of tricks makes conversation futile, and probably worse, is only ever encouraging of that. …Being obdurate, perhaps obtuse, is OK. That not…”

    Apologies if my thoughts were unclear; Here they are in point form:

    1. I think Ho Chi Minh was initially and primarily a nationalist.
    2. We should never have gone into Vietnam in the first place.
    3.The whole region would have been better off. The “domino effect” which we were purportedly battling to prevent did occur anyway in Laos and Cambodia (of sorts), triggered by the unrest of an extra two decades so war and chaos in the region.
    4. The generational blame game is an abomination. Every generation is subject to and reacts to the culture, events, lawmaking and economic decisions which precede it, and react to the cultural, technological and economic changes of their own time. To single out a generation and to solely blame them for the events of their teens, AND for all the disliked behaviors of subsequent generations is illogical.

Comments are closed.