Thomas Friedman Comes In From the Cold War: Vietnam Was About Liberation!

A Water Buffalo FEA

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has discovered that the Vietnam War was not really about stopping communism. That was an emotional delusion. The Vietnam War, he writes, was about anti-colonial nationalism, what the Vietnamese called liberation from a French/American military yoke. When the Vietnamese beat the French, its patron, the United States of America, took up that … [Read more...]

Where the Real Dangers Lie

A waterinfrastructure

By W. D. Ehrhart The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is violent, fanatical, barbaric, brutal, intolerant, and . . . add whatever other adjectives you’d like to throw in.  I won’t argue that these characterizations are not true.  But over the summer and into the fall, I have watched and listened with increasing dismay to the shifting sands of the US approach to the situation. Not so many months ago, we were … [Read more...]

The Arrogance—and Ignorance—of Power

VIetnam

As I watch events unfolding in Iraq over the last weeks, I find myself wondering if Iraq War veterans are feeling the way I felt in March and April of 1975 when the fiction that was South Vietnam collapsed like a house of cards. Eight years earlier, I had arrived in Vietnam as an 18-year-old Marine, convinced of the rightness of our cause, and eager to save the Vietnamese from the scourge of communism. I left … [Read more...]

Vet Rants

2013 - Our San Francisco chapter of Veterans for Peace is sitting in a circle at our monthly meeting.  Bill, our president, is conducting the meeting and as vice president I am sitting next to him.  One of our members is reporting on the success of our recent event honoring African American veterans, and describing the catered dinner of delicious Soul Food that was served. One member suddenly interrupts saying, "I … [Read more...]

War’s Never-Ending Aftermath

Dennis stares out window

In 1970, British documentary film maker, Michael Grigsby made one of the first films to examine the impact of war on American soldiers recently returned from brutal jungle combat in Vietnam. Entitled I Was a Soldier, the film focuses on Dennis, David and Lamar in their attempts to readjust to “normal” life after a year of combat in bloody Vietnam upon returning home in the barren and desolate Texan hill country near … [Read more...]

Guantanamo Poem

rawlings FEA

  GUANTANAMO POEM (Second Poem For the Veterans Peace Teams, wherever they are) By DOUG RAWLINGS It is legal, you know The state even grants permits Of course there are limits And you do need the landowner's permission Here's how he does it up in Maine: He cuts a good sized sapling Then he augurs a hole through the ice Sticks the steel trap on to one end And lowers it to the pond floor The … [Read more...]