Thursday, April 08, 2010

**Ruth, this is beyond sad. Talk about Vietnam revisited. I get so frustrated because to me Iraq and Afghanistan remains two parrellel stupidities that make us realize over and over that we learned nothing from Vietnam. And, this young family as well as your own sacrifice made me know that noway can we say it is worth it. And, yet our pain seems to be oblivious to the powers that be. I read just today something I already knew but brought it back again. Nixon became the president on the idea that he would get us out of Vietnam. At that time we had about 17000 dead. Four years later, there were 58,000 dead. So much for keeping promises.

You know I feel so sorry for the families who are losing their sons, husbands, uncle, cousin...who ever to this war because they will get a certain amount of sympathy, care, concern and attention to distract from the fact that their loved one is never coming home. But after the pom and circumstances they are going to be alone, very alone and they will be confused as to why no one else cares while they are still during with that pain. That pain will soon turn into anger and eventually they will learn the truth that our government only sees their loved one as an acceptional loss of war and soon people will stop coming around and calling as they need to get back to their own lives, something the family will never be able to do. Yes...when it is suddenly all silent again the realization will set in.....your loved one is gone and no matter how much you wish.....he is not coming back. Then many years from now they will pull out of these countries like they did in Vietnam and you will have to search for a good reason your loved one give their lives to their country. There is no closure in losing loved ones to a death so violent in war.....there is just a very small amount of acceptance. Those of us who appreciate those who have lost their lives or have been wounded or have half their heads still partially at war and partially at home, we are so few that it is hard for them to see us. The glory to sacrificing for a war is short!!

Today I was just talking to my sister how Irag and Afghanistan is a repeat of Vietnam and how our government has learned nothing from it, only the families have. I was also disappointed to see the story of this killed soldier was number four on the news list and it did not even make the ten most read stories. How can we teach others what war is truly like, where is the media when all these soldiers are coming back with missing limbs, post tramatic syndrome and the large suicide rate. Bottom do you make people care!!!

And, Ruth as usual, I would like to use them. Afterall, in a sense, that is the eccense of where we are in our country, how do we make people care? Well, let's face it: we can't when less than one percent of our population's making the sacrifices. Sad. Plus, there are many, regardless, don't give a damn for anybody but themselves.

**Ruth's brother was killed in Vietnam

The Things They Carried

This is one question from Tim O'Brien's, author of The Things They Carried, interview in the book section of the SF Chronicle.

Chronicle. If one updated the contents of their rucksacks-the things they carried--it seems the soldiers you wrote about could in many ways be serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. What parallels. would you draw?

Tim O'Brien's Answer. They're carrying cell phones, and they're in much greater contact with the outside world than we ever were. I felt utterly isolated from anything having to do with family, civility, decency, events in America. However, the soldiers' combat experience in Vietnam seems eerily similar to what the men and women are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq. They're civil wars, who's your enemy, who do you shoot at, who do you kill? No front, no rear, no uniforms, inanimate land mines blowing you up. And then there are the echoes that are more meaningful to a fiction writer, the echoes of some mom In Dubuque holding her dead kid's clothes in her arms as she watches him go into the grave. Is it worth that? What is being accomplished that is worth that Mom's grief?

Sunday, April 04, 2010


The latest bunch of "Wingnuts" are some group of idiots demonstrating at fallen service members funerals. They are upset that gays are not universally condemned. What insensitive MFers. Their asses should be kicked till their noses bleed. Now a group of motorcycle types want to show up at the funerals and do just that: "kick some insensitive butt." Have at it is my view. Then apparently some judge in a free speech sense, said the father of the slain Marine who sued and lost had to pay legal feels of 19 thou. to the idiot group interrupting his son's funeral. Bill O'Reilly is paying. I've never liked O'Reilly mainly because he invites people on his show and then insults them, I thought. However, with me, he's now won bigtime points. I'm taking him off the "Wingnut" watch lists.

Saturday, April 03, 2010


On NPR recently, I heard a Twitter type talk to several GIs in the
101st Airborne who are about to deploy to Afghanistan. They are
playing soldier in a mock situation, probably back at Fort Campbell
where part of the exercise means playing an Afghan soldier. We had the
same thing during Vietnam. These mock villages where we were suppose
to kind of "get" the process of war. It didn't happen for us as we
viewed the mission as search and destroy always. It is what war is.

It was almost comical listening to young soldiers from the 101st.
Soldiers acting out what they thought Afghans would do. I think they
"get" it--at least what they are suppose to be doing. However, even
in these "play like" situations, making this work is like impossible,
not to mention stupid. Soldiers have rules before they can fire, etc.
For instance, they can't go into a suspected insurgent house where
possibly civilians are without an Afghan soldier with them. I can
understand in a way: the military wants to avoid what happened with
the 101st in Iraq, now a book called, Death Squad, where soldiers
experience a massive breakdown of the chain of command and killed an
innocent family. Sad and could have been prevented, possibly. War is

What the powers that be simply either don't get themselves or are in
denial. A strategy of unconventional warfare and in this case, counter
insurgency will work, given enough time
. How much time? Years and years. In Afghanistan, I would say ten more years minimally. Are we willing? No, I don't think so. Our political system will not allow for it.