Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mindless Killing

Colin Powell’s "My American Journey" related the My Lai atrocity, when American soldiers "herded 347 old man, women, children and even babies into a ditch and shot them."

After years of mindless killing, dying and widespread atrocities in Vietnam, the moral of some components of our military plummeted and drug use became widespread.  Officers and N.C.O.'s were targeted for death by resentful enlisted men.

The reputation of our military, which had been meticulously rebuilt after Vietnam began falling victim to lowered standards in Iraq.  Breakdowns in discipline and a series of atrocities occurred, which was a betrayal of our honorable men and women.  Apparently, we hadn't learn from Vietnam.  Many of us were again reminded of the My Lai massacre, when Marines were accused of slaughtering 24 Iraqis, including women and children, in the western town of Haditha.  

The nightmare of Vietnam still haunts us, because it took from July 1959 until March of 1973 to quit.  In 1965, Under Secretary of State George Ball recommended that we cut our losses.  He recognized that it was a quagmire, but LBJ considered it unacceptable, because our national honor was at stake.  After, Ball’s recommendation an additional 55,000 Americans died, while LBJ and Nixon sought to save their honor.

Six months after the draft lottery started in December of 1969, four students in the vicinity of an anti-war protest on the campus of Kent State University were killed by National Guardsmen.  Those killings sparked hundreds of protest against the war across college campuses.

Nixon began a token withdrawal in June of 1969, but the withdrawal of combat troops wasn’t completed until March of 1973.  Since, leaving Vietnam we discovered that the dreaded domino theory was propaganda designed to frightened us into supporting the lucrative adventures of the military industrial complex.


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