City of Roses
Balladeer, thank you for clarifying. I apologize if you thought I was painting you as someone who still thought going to Vietnam was right and defend that war, which I wasn't intentionally trying to do by the way, for I was just trying to make the point there are veterans for Bush, veterans for Kerry, veterans for the war in Iraq, veterans against the war in Iraq, and we can't just speak for them all.
I was also trying to illustrate that in Vietnam, at first, a clear majority did defend the war, but in time as more and more bad news and news of losses piled up, approval ratings went down and disapproval ratings went up, and in time, those against the war were the majority, those still in defense the minority.
The case is the same for Iraq. Though it wouldn't be fair to say the anti-war group is the majority quite yet (it's consistently been split-even for months now) the approval ratings were much higher when it began last year. Now it is a polarized opinion. And despite a majority believing by a 2 to 1 margin usually that Bush could be a better fighter on the war on terror, Bush's approval ratings struggles to reach 50% now, a bad sign for any incumbent historically.
Again, I've heard and analyzed Kerry's testimony and I am certain he clearly referred to the administrations, and the chief commanders and the superiors who left many of their young boys behind. I am one who believes (and there are many who believe) that Kerry's testimony did not portray the average American soldier as senseless, lawless butchers. I find he didn't generalize the atrocities to the typical soldier in Vietnam. Indeed he was speaking fiercely of the 150 who confessed their crimes in Detroit of January 1971, and Kerry was just trying to get the dark truth across to the American people. At the time, many conspired to keep potential whistleblowers and activists from making their case and what Kerry brought the American public was essential by all means, to offer a refrain, "Never again!"
I'm sorry to hear of that experience you went through you've just shared, going out the back door, etc. It saddens me too to know of the reactions to veterans upon returning home, being spit at, boots being stomped on, cold emotionless faces of contempt staring at them. I think so many forgot then that soldiers are human beings, they are our own siblings and flesh and blood.
But, once again, I believe it's unfair to just generalize that it is because of comments like Kerry's that inspired this disgruntled, antagonist behavior of contempt to them. My veteran friend Richard at the PPRC believes it was rather that America had this reputation for never losing a war, and the purpose of America in war is to win the war, and the many who booed them upon arrival back antagonized those like himself because they were losers.
If I was in that very scenario you speak of, there's no question it would be difficult and so many emotions would be enshrouding me and my son. But first, I'd recognize how immoral and frightening war is, and how it seems the make the worst out of us and turn us into monsters out there on the fields, so it would be painful to imagine my son under that description, but I wouldn't take my frustration out on him, because I know he's still my little boy and know growing up, he was never under that same description and believe because I wasn't there myself and can't ever begin to imagine psychologically what he went through, the conditions and events he encountered, the people he had been with, etc. it couldn't have been him that was so rambunctious. And if anyone shrieked out accusing my son of such things, I would do what any father would do and hear the words but defend my flesh and blood, even taking flung beer bottles or stones or tomatoes if I had to.
Now, if I was living in this time and I heard Kerry's same words, I imagine it would indeed leave me frozen in contemplation for quite a while, it would indeed be heavy, and maybe the first time hearing it I may miss something and would have to hear it several more times to understand exactly what he said, and I guess I could understand how many may have took Kerry the wrong way after hearing it once because there was so much substance it's hard to take the whole and analyze it all at once and perhaps many hadn't heard the speech again since that April day, but hearing how he enunciated his statements pretty clearly, I would believe he was specifically lashing out at Agnew, Kissinger, LBJ, Nixon, and top military officials, NOT the young men, our very sons, my son, who were drafted and forced there under rigid orders.
Now, had Kerry or someone like him said everything otherwise and it obviously and bluntly was referring to ALL troops, I would resent that, and don't you think if that were the case Kerry or others who followed his lead would never have had a chance at a political career?
Huan Yi, you will win some and you will lose some. I think if Kerry elected, and am pretty confident he will be November 3rd or whenever everything is tallied up, those troops and military families who still believe going to Iraq was the right thing to do and that we can win this war could be demoralized, but about half the nation believes the war was wrong and I think their moral will increase.
All I can say in this impasse situation is, perhaps, "you'll thank him later!"
And Huan Yi, I absolutely agree with you that every soldier who refuses to serve in Iraq should have the right not to have to. Shouldn't that be the right under ANY administration, during any course of action?
Yes, just like that article you've shared, it shows just how terrible and horrifying war is, period.
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20