Vietnam Controversy

 

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"In my opinion, Hayden and Fonda were both heroes for opposing the Vietnam war. On the other hand, president Lyndon Johnson (who created an excuse to escalate the war by staging an event in the Gulf of Tonkin) should have been tried as a war criminal; along with that psycho, Richard Nixon, who needlessly caused many more American servicemen to die by prolonging the war."

I had to wait a day before I could respond to Mary's posting.  To say I was a little hot under the collar would have been an understatement.  The following is my response to Mary.

Mary, your note hit a raw nerve and I will try to be polite in my response. Since I know nothing about you, I don't know if you are talking from the personal experience of losing a loved one during the war, or if you were a demonstrator during the war, or even if you are basing your opinion on what you learned in school.

Hayden and Fonda in my opinion committed treason and sedition. I define treason as anyone who gives aid or comfort to the enemy (North Vietnam). In 1968, after the Tet offensive, we had severely crippled the NVA in their attempts to overtake South Vietnam. The Tet offensive was a major defeat to the NVA and would have probably brought the North Vietnamese to the Peace Table shortly thereafter if it weren't for the News media and their yellow journalism along with the much-publicized student demonstrators. Their actions caused the North Vietnamese to turn the TET defeat into a source of hope and encouragement for them to continue fighting. This, in turn, caused the needless loss of thousands of additional lives. The North Vietnamese, after TET were effectively defeated. With the unrest in the U.S. and people like Jane Fonda going over to Vietnam, not to work for peace, but to put on a show of support against American troops, this provided morale and propaganda support to the North Vietnamese.

Enrollment during this time in the colleges and universities was at an all time high just to avoid going to Vietnam. As student deferments began ending with graduation or flunking out, increased visible protests for the cowards became the way of life. The public demonstrations caused the politicians to interfere with the military in achieving their objectives. You either fight a war or don't fight a war at all. You cannot limit your military. Cambodian intrusion was a prime example. We were to destroy all enemy resources and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, but public response caused this operation to be limited to 30 miles and the troops out in 60 days. This was known to the enemy and they knew that they could fall back to their new sanctuaries and regroup. As the 60th day approached, they came back into the area and played havoc on the withdrawing troops, causing needless loss of lives.

I served my time in Vietnam as a medic who watched friends beg for life and die. I was one of the lucky ones who came home but bitterly scarred by the lack of support by the American public and also scarred by our government because they did not prosecute demonstrators under the federal statutes for treason and sedition*. I felt betrayed by my country for not giving complete and total support to the troops.

Today I do not believe in the war in Kosovo, but as long as Americans are there, I will give them my utmost respect and support. You will also notice that there are no longer any types of demonstrations because there is no draft. If this war continues and the draft is reinstated, you will find a whole new generation of cowards and demonstrators becoming vocal and highly public.

If you consider Hayden and Fonda heroes, then you may as well move to Vietnam, since it is now open for tourism. You should take them with you. Unless you have seen War first hand, you should keep your mouth shut and show respect to those who fought and served this country. If you want to have a hero, check out the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Those men and women are all heroes.


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* sedition - incitement of public disorder or rebellion against the government by speech or writing promoting such disorder or rebellion.

Jane Fonda's - Anti-War profile and photos

Mary Tracey posted her comments on a bulletin board run by Don Poss at War-Stories:

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