Tuesday, April 26, 2005

FEAR & LOATHING @ TTU: VVAW Faces Off With the Swifties in Texas


Several VVAW members from the early 70’s attended and presented at the Texas Tech Vietnam Project 5th Symposium in March, 2005. The preponderance of the attendees and presenters seemed to be there to defend the Vietnam Conflict and to blame the “loss of the war” on the anti-war movement in the USA. The general feelings seemed to be that we could have won the war, except for the likes of Jane Fonda, John Kerry, VVAW, and the antiwar people. There were many of the old “Ranch Hands” presenting much data that they claim proved their spraying of Agent Orange had no ill effect on our troops or the Vietnamese; not to mention the Swift Boat Vets and their types cherry-picking “facts” to support their arguments.

As one who participated in both the war and VVAW after I returned, I got the distinct feeling that there is an attempt rewrite the history of this era. It is as if they are angry that they “lost their war” and want to blame it on something/someone other than Cold War diplomacy run amuck.

Hope you historians are not letting the half-truths taken out of context influence you.

Please see:

Fear and (Self) Loathing in Lubbock
How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love Vietnam and Iraq

“Taylor's expressed his views recently at the 5th Triennial Symposium on the Vietnam War sponsored by the Vietnam Center at Texas Tech. That Taylor would offer his views at Texas Tech is not surprising, but it is a cause for concern that such ideas have become the de facto party line at the Vietnam Center in Lubbock and increasingly popular in public discussions of Vietnam. Unlike the Vietnam archives there, which remain a valuable resource with well-trained and professional archivists for anyone studying the war, the Center clearly resembles a right-wing think tank. On the surface, its ideological underpinnings are not a problem ­institutions should be able to reflect a variety of opinions ­but the Center also seeks academic legitimacy and claims to represent, as its director James Reckner says, opinions all along the spectrum of views on Vietnam. While it is true that Reckner has given a voice to officials from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and some antiwar groups, such as the Vietnam Veterans Against the War [VVAW], the vast majority of voices heard at Center events tend to represent the far right to the near right. Since it was established by a number of Vietnam Vets and has included a number of influential retired officers and government officials on its board, this might not be surprising, and is not illegitimate. But it seems to be imperative that the representatives of the Center in Lubbock make clear what their mission and purpose is. ”

Peace, Terry


PeaceVet said...

Thinking about our current situation. I am tending toward pessimism lately. I am not sure “the corporate culture” isn’t in control already. The elections are starting to look doubtful to me. We had always assumed that there was less statistical variation in the vote counting process than there seems to be now. It is complicated to organize a secure election in a country as large and complex as the USA. We may be among the luckiest of all generations in human history, we live at a great time-place in many ways. But I am afraid that our grandchildren are going to be in a “road-warrior” society. Ever notice how much the Iraq news looks like the movie “Road warrior”?

I think the neo-cons are plotting a takeover of the democracy, perhaps not consciously, but in the “corporation group-think" sort of way. I fear that those at the top of Big Bidness in the corporate culture are much more sinister than your run-of-the-mill Republican. They are playing the religious right with the abortion and gay issues, but I think they have given up on democracy. I think they are tired of the tax, environmental, human resources, health care, and all the rest of the policies that seem to change with every administration. They accept the Government’s roll in the Military-Industrial Complex because at this point in time their interests are the “national interests”, yet complain about “big government”… just wait until we have no government and really BIG BIDNESS.

I am afraid that they actually see the Chinese style of capitalism as a better alternative... if the government says you will build widgets, then you show up sober to build widgets, or go to jail. I do not understand how the corporate capitalist are dealing with the Chinese bureaucracy, but they seem to be working together just fine. Remember old Sam Walton had huge signs on WalMart proclaiming “We buy American Made”, now the WalMart CEO tells their suppliers to move manufacturing to China to be competitive. I'll wager we see a major corporate-Chinese presence in Cuba within a year after Castro dies.

Peace, Terry

Windbender said...

My Brother, Terry; Take Heart! Our voices are being heard...and listened to...and more and more voices are joining in the mission to present the Truth and expose the Republican/religious conservative/Orwellian assault on that Truth. This is evidenced, in but just one way, by the Blogsites that are now joined in principle to the mission that we set out for ourselves at the TTU 5th Triennial Vietnam Syposium in March of this year; where you yourself, along with others who had lived VVAWs history were panelists and led the first One on One face-off with these political sleazes; the Nixon era clones known as the Swift Boat Vets. Or, as I like to refer to them; the Not-So-Swift-Vets, or NSSVs. (Full length, complete streaming video of this Face-Off available at... http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/starweb/center/servlet.starweb?path=center/2005.web&id=2005symposium&pass=&search1=EVNTF%3D5thtriennial&format=format)

That was a very powerful statement that we made to the right wing mind-set and minions, and a harbinger of things to come for the rest of the sleazes who are currently attempting to revise our history, as well as assaulting the Constitution, all the while draping themselves in the stolen American Flag. Shots over the bow, so to speak.

Contrary to your momentary feelings of being overwhelmed by it all; you have every reason to feel heartened; the Battle is joined! A tough fight indeed, and a sometimes seemingly lonely one. But, as a mentor of mine once told us all; we Americans 'are very lucky', as we 'live in the heart of the Beast'...where else will Truth evolve from? And, at what cost? Uncertain; but, we Speakers of Truth To Power must remain strong and resolute and recognize that, in this struggle for the Heart and Soul of America, and the retaking of our Flag, our Culture, and our History; the enemy will stopat nothing, and suffer us great personal strife to silence our voices and our pens.

In those moments when our spirits sag, and we feel like we can't endure another minute of the madness and virulence of their tactics and attacks, and when we are feeling disheartengly alone...which will surely be forthcoming for each of us, at some point...remember the words of one of America's greatest Patriots... a mild man with a burning heart, a man who was committed to a seemingly overwhelming task...a man standing alone on a scaffold...spoken as the British placed the noose around his neck; "As for me; give me Liberty, or give me death'

You wrote; "Thinking about our current situation. I am tending toward pessimism lately. I am not sure 'the corporate culture' isn’t in control already." Sadly, My Brother, the 'Corporate Culture' is in control...not only of the economy and foreign policy, but of our institutions of government, as well. However, thanks to you personally, and the many others that I am discovering (out here in the blog-o-sphere) as we strive to include VetSpeak.com & vetspeakblog.blogspot.com in the current political dialogue leading into the 2006 and 2008 elections; The Truth Will Prevail, and we will wrest their tentacles from the helm.

As a result; the largest segment of the American people, known in news parlance as 'Those in the middle, without strong party ties' and as 'undicided voters' will ultimitely decide the future for our grandchildren, based on that Truth that we have pledged to defend and to carry forward into the current American political forum for their consideration. But only if we keep heart, and remember who we are, and what a powerful voice for Truth that we truly are, and continue to stand Together Again, as we stood Together Then...I've got your back, Brother.

You, and other Patriots like you have begun to turn the tide on what was a seemingly well entrenched and totally 'in control' Oligarchy composed of Political Elite, Corporate Culture, Big Money, and Right Wing Religious Fanatics. But, as you well know; the more you struggle and learn, the more ground you gain, and the more you sacrifice; the more they seem to find, and be able to afford (regardless of cost)to throw at you in an effort to break your spirit. Stay strong Brother, and take heart! The good news is; you are not alone, and Together "We shall Overcome" this fascist takeover of America.

Together Then...
Together Again...

Bill Hager

Bill Homans said...

Uh, Willie, Patrick Henry said "give me Liberty or give me death." But it was Nathan Hale, a teenager who, taken by the British as a spy, said with the noose around his neck, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Just sayin'...

Windbender said...

Dyslexia, I reckon, Bill...or, onward through the fog PTSD therapy...either way; thanks for the read and the comment.