Tuesday, April 5


Wingnut radio today is full of Jane Fonda-bashing. I gather in my today-only catch-up-to-the-news there was an interview wherein she semi-apologized for her anti-Vietnam-War activities.

Like most of the anti-war movement of that era, I didn't give much more than a tiny flip about the Fonda flap at the time. She was a movie star, she was against the War, and she apparently to some people went over the top in that effort. We didn't pay much attention.

But I DID pay attention on my commute home today to callers who insisted that the "blame" be shared by "ALL anti-war protesters," declaring that we ALL shared in the "crime" of abetting "the enemy," harming our soldiers and prisoners-of-war, and betraying our country. The premise, over and over as I heard it, was that "the anti-war movement didn't condemn Fonda's actions." As if there was a monolithic organization opposing the war instead of a gradually more-informed citizenry that came to realize the futility and immorality of an undeclared war against a tiny, undeveloped country that never threatened or harmed the United States in any way but yet our war efforts resulted in tens of thousands of deaths of American troops and that of many more innocent indigenous peoples.

Shades of criticism of Iraq invasion protests!

EXCUSE ME, but in light of post-Vietnam War revelations, we now know, by the words of many of the architects and executors of that war, that our government (including our Defense Secretary Robert MacNamara) deliberately and consistently lied to the American public about not only our conduct of the war but the progress of it. I am, and was, distraught by the horrors that our prisoners of war suffered at the hands of the Viet Cong. But I am a human being, not just an American, and I was equally dismayed by the ugliness and terrors that we Americans inflicted upon the indigenous population -- there are are countless (and many more instances than American sufferings) documented atrocities of U.S. attacks on villagers, primarily oldsters, women and children. And as as the scion of a military family I can even understand how an undeclared war with a murky enemy can result in terrible tragedies undeliberated by frightened young men put in a position of uncertainty.

To label all anti-Vietnam War protesters as "traitors" is to deny history.

So what are these Americans excoriating? Do they believe that any time our country -- or let us be realistic, our governing body -- adventures in a war posture, no matter how ill-advised, we are to be cheerleaders or else be declared a "third column"? Sorry, that's not the America I was raised to respect or to revere. And I AM a Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR).

I will never apologize, never regret, criticizing and acting to the best of a teenage college student's ability to defeat that war effort. I have tried for three decades now to explain to my fighter jock brother that it was to SAVE American (and, collaterally, Vietnamese) lives that we protested that war. I have never blamed our armed forces for their actions; I will always blame our political leaders.

I would have thought that by this time, with all we have known for several decades now, that those opposed to that illegal war would have acquired some respect for the legitimacy of our position.

But then, it's still a matter of "honor" that we insist that Iraq had WMD's and played a pivotal role in 9/11.

For all too many people, the facts are inconvenient.


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