posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 02:23 PM
“Let me say this about that.” To recall Mr. Nixon.
Yes, it is true, the US is out of Vietnam. It is also true that Vietnam is not out of the US. If you have a doubt, just reflect for one moment
on the 2004 election and the Swift Boats. Anyone who thinks the US is “over” Vietnam has a short memory. The Democrats lost the 2004 election by
120,000 votes cast in Ohio. Perhaps as few as 61,000 of those Ohio voters were persuaded by the scurrilous ads sponsored by the unregulated Section
527 Bush-ites. If true, then the election was won or lost in Ohio. By the narrowest of margins out of more than 103 million votes cast nationwide.
It is obvious (to me) the same divisions that cost the Dems the 1968 election - after Chicago’s Mayor Daley debacle - are still lurking just under
the very thin skin of hurting memories. I have no sure prescription of a cure to offer other than waiting until the parties deeply engaged in the
struggle best exemplified by “1968" have died. OTOH, if this division lingers like the bad memories of the Old "Stars and Bars" South still
lingoer over Gen. Sherman, we may be forced to deal with Vietnam even into the next century! With two distinct and irreconcilable views of the war and
those who fought in it. You could call it the Red view and the Blue view.
The worst case scenario is that Vietnam will play yet another significant role - though unlikely to be as decisive as in 2004 - in the 2008 election.
I say this because the oft questioned National Guard service of the sitting president will not again be in issue nor will the heroism or lack thereof
of the Democratic nominee running against him be subjected to even less authenticated criticism. Missing records versus how many wounds will not be
argued again decades after the fact.
Yet, while retired Navy Captain now Senator John McCain, a carrier pilot whose bad luck made him a POW in the Vietnam War, is touted as a probable GOP
candidate so also Army 4 star General Wesley Clark may end up as the Democratic nominee. Like 2004's Sen. Kerry, Gen. Clark was wounded in Vietnam
and received the Silver Star. Like former Pres. Clinton, Gen. Clark is a Rhodes Scholar. The issue is whether he, Clark, unlike another Army 4 star
Gen. Colin Powell, has the “fire in his gut” to be president. Unless a person works 24/7 for 365 for 4 years, he or she cannot be our president.
Hmm? I surely hope this does not mean the chosen person is “worn out” before Inauguration Day?
There is no good purpose to be served by re-hashing the origins of the Vietnam War or how America got there or why America lost the war. War is a lot
like God and religion; it is born with you. Rational argument has not much to do with what you believe about it. This has been re-demonstrated in
Iraq. Half the population remember WMDs were said to be there, the other half recalls that it was said, WMDs may be there. We can’t agree on what
was said barely 3 or 4 years ago and we were all alive and well. So how could we possibly come to an agreement over the fundamental issues of what
took place some 40-50 years ago?
I do hope the Internal Revenue Code’s Section 527 is eliminated. However weak and ineffectual the other sections of the IR Code have been in giving
us “clean” elections, the worst sins were committed by renegade groups hiding behind Section 527. There is on-going electioneering many people
claim is violative of the spirit if not the letter of the 501(c)(3) groups. Non-profits. Mostly churches. Whether we can get any meaningful electoral
reform before the 2008 election is problematical. Neither side wants to give up a perceived advantage. There is only one thing both sides agree on.
Third parties are to be kept out by joint efforts of the 2 major parties. So much for democracy.
Conclusion. Will the Vietnam War again play a role in 2008? I would suggest we use 1954 as a criteria. I choose 1954 because anyone born after that
year is unlikely to have served in Vietnam. I’d say anyone born before 1954 will be forever “fixed” by the event whether or not he or she served
on the ground. If the candidate is older than 54 years, the likely answer is “yes,” but if the candidate is younger than 54, then I’d say
“no.” This in what we call the Vietnam War and which the Vietnamese call the “10,000 Days War of Liberation.
[edit on 6/16/2006 by donwhite]