That "great statesman", Henry Kissinger revealed what the government thinks of members of the armed services when he said, "...they are dumb, stupid animals, to be used as pawns to further US foreign policies".
Donna Shalala, Secty. of Health and Human Services under Clinton made the statement that those who went to Vietnam " ...weren't the brightest nor the best, not the cream of the crop" (which earned her a nasty letter from my mother, for she had two sons in the Marines during the Vietnam war). Cuts in funding for the VA hospitals, the resistance of the government to help the victims of Agent Orange, depleted uranium, and their discharging of wounded veterans before their treatment is complete is further evidence of our government's disdain for the serviceperson. Actions speak louder than words...
The truth has come out; the alleged attack on the USS Forrestal never happened, it was just lies used to ramrod the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution through Congress to authorize the war. A Navy pilot who was in the air above this attack said that all he saw was "US firepower shooting into a black empty sea." A year later Pres. Johnson made the statement that "...for all I know, they could have been shooting at whales".
The only attack on a US vessel during that time was the attack on the USS Liberty by the ISRAELIS in 1967. The ship was torpedoed, napalmed, and strafed, killing 34 US servicemen and wounding 171 out of a crew of 297, the worst loss of life aboard a US vessel since WWII.
As one of those dumb stupid animals, one of the not so bright, I find myself awake, wide awake, and very, very angry that they lied to us.
I look around and I see my brothers in arms waking up too.
...and when they all wake up, they will be a force to reckon with.
The Vietnam war, based on deliberate lies, that cost Humanity 3,058,000+ lives was not a "tragic mistake" as Robert McNamara recently stated, but an atrocity and a crime of the highest magnitude. It may be too late for my Brothers and Sisters whose names appear on the Vietnam Wall of Death in Washington DC, but it's not too late to stop these current atrocities in the Middle East.
All Veterans took an oath to Preserve and Defend the Constitution of the United States. We need to do so...NOW!
Thomas C Rockriver firstname.lastname@example.org is a Viet Nam veteran. His son is a GI in Iraq.