Monday, August 27, 2018

With the death of John McCain, he is being praised by politicians and media pundits for being a "war hero", but it concerns his involvement in the Vietnam War, and the only heroes in that war, on the American side, were the service men and women who refused to deploy. It was an illegal war; a criminal war; a war of aggression by the United States.  What had Vietnam done to us?  But, worst of all: we attacked civilians; we poisoned the land; we poisoned the water; we wantonly destroyed civilian infrastructure. Still today, there is a frightful level of birth defects in Vietnam because of our use of chemical weapons there. 

Four decades after Agent Orange - heartbreaking pictures show even now babies in Vietnam are being born with horrific defects
  • Babies in Vietnam still being born with birth defects due to Agent Orange, despite 40 years since conflict with U.S.
  • Chemical was sprayed on crops, plants and trees by U.S. military to destroy cover for guerrilla fighters
  • The dioxin can cause a range of birth defects as well as cancer and reproductive abnormalities
  • Heartbreaking pictures were captured by British-born photographer Francis Wade on trip to Vietnam
  • Said he visited the Thi Nghe and Thien Phuoc orphanages to show the devastating effects still being felt

So, there were no heroes among the Americans who fought in Vietnam. Some of those Americans were forced by their own government to fight. Remember, we had a military draft back then.  I avoided it only because my birth date drew a high number in the draft lottery. Many of you are too young to know this, because you weren't around, but we had a death lottery back then. And really, it wasn't much different from the lottery in the famous 1948 short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, which you should read, if you haven't. 

Approximately 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War. How many Southeast Asians did we kill? About 3 million.

But, what was wrought from all those deaths? Absolutely nothing. As you know, today, Vietnam is a Communist country. It is also a peaceful country and not a threat to anyone.     

I was a young man at the time, and I swore that I would not fight in that war if I was drafted, and let me tell you: I meant it. But, after the war, I naively thought that Americans would never allow the politicians to drag us into such a war again. Man, was I wrong. 

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