13 August 2003
“We were, like all those who came to Vietnam before us, nothing more than a bright shining lie.”
-United States Army Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann
I was inspired to come to Iraq by the experience of reading “A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam.”
I read the book in the peace of my country home in a small village in the Swedish countryside south of Stockholm.
The book is a monumental account of Vietnam written by Neal Sheehan, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was in Vietnam from the start of the American intervention until the time that the last Americans fled by helicopter from the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon and the bases in Soc Trang in the Mekong River Delta.
Lieutenant Colonel Vann, a soldier cast in the American hero mold, went to Vietnam full of confidence and America’s right to prevail.
Dubbed the Lawrence of Arabia of Vietnam, Vann went tearing around Vietnam in his Bell Helicopter.
He would land in isolated South Vietnamese Army forts that were under heavy fire and spend the night defending the forts.
He would jump out of his helicopter without a flack jacket, openly defying the enemy to kill him.
He would drive roads that nobody else would drive to prove that they could be driven.
Time and time again he took risks that would have killed any man and he always survived without so much as a scratch.
“The odds do not apply to me,” Vann told Sheehan many times.
It was not long before Vann began to speak out against the brutality and ineffectiveness of America’s strategy in Vietnam and against the venality and incompetence of the South Vietnamese Army.
His voice was not heard because Vann was haunted by a dark secret that was his superiors’ trump card.
Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann was born illegitimate in the world that Wilbur Joseph Cash made so famous in his book “The Mind of the South.”
Frustrated by his superiors’ refusal to listen to him, Vann resigned from the army that he loved and returned to Vietnam as a civilian humanitarian worker in the pacification program.
His role in the pacification program rose to such majestic heights that Vann became the first civilian to wield a general’s command in war.
When Vann died in a helicopter accident caused by pilot error in 1972 in Vietnam he was buried with highest honors at Arlington National Cemetery by the First Regiment of the United States Army, a regiment which has been preserved perfectly since the American Revolution in 1776.
Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann was mourned at Arlington by figures from across the political spectrum, from General William Westmoreland to Daniel Ellsberg.
Vietnam was the longest war in America’s history and only the Civil War divided America more than Vietnam.
Above all, Vietnam was a war without heroes.
Save, perhaps, Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann.
America promised the people of Vietnam protection.
America abandoned the people of Vietnam due in no small part to a crisis in America’s domestic security caused by millions of drug addicted and sex crazed “protestors.”
The cast of characters from the book “Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties” by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, two top former editors at “Ramparts” magazine.
After the “Destructive Generation” forced America to abandon Vietnam, untold millions of Vietnamese civilians were slaughtered as traitors.
Today there is a new “Destructive Generation” with dozens of “Ramparts” rip-offs called Independent Media Centers.
This “Destructive Generation” would like to force America to abandon the people of Iraq.
My Swedish-American grandfather, United States Army Lance Corporal George Irwin Lind, Junior, owned the printing presses that gave “Ramparts” the same full color glossy magazine quality that “Time” or “Newsweek” has.
I know that my grandfather would never print copy being produced by the Independent Media Centers.
The fact that the writers at the Independent Media Centers even have the audacity to call themselves journalists makes a mockery of the very concept of journalism.
“Do you even have any idea how much pussy I get as a leftist leader?”
-Bryan Atinsky, Editor-in-Chief, Israel Independent Media Center
I recorded the telephone conversation in which sex crazed and drug addicted Atinsky made this comment.
I made the recording using sophisticated Sony digital audio recording equipment.
Will this new “Destructive Generation,” with their rabid lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification against Israel and America force America to abandon the people of Iraq?
American General Motors Hummers patrol the streets here in Baghdad and Boeing Apache Longbow helicopters patrol the skies over Baghdad.
Are things perfect here?
When English journalist Bob Fisk questioned the need for the brutal killings of Sadaam Hussein’s two sons at an army press conference, his microphone was switched off.
Tony Blair is due here in Baghdad on Thursday and there is no doubt that Bob will ask the same question.
Blair’s response will pale in comparison to test of strength of this new “Destructive Generation.”
Collier and Horowitz should make their Magnum Opus available for free on every Independent Media Center.
We can only hope that this new “Destructive Generation” can manage to stop the drugs and to stop “shagging” like bunny rabbits with underage girls on their “backpacking” trips to Thailand and Mexico long enough to grab a good cup of coffee and sit down and read about how their predecessors are responsible for the deaths of untold millions of innocent Vietnamese civilians after they compromised America’s domestic security to the point that America was forced to renege on its promise to protect the people of Vietnam in order to restore domestic security back in America.
“Those who cannot remember the past are forever condemned to repeat it.”
-Professor George Santayana, Harvard University
Will this new “Destructive Generation” force America to abandon the people of Iraq and effect the deaths of G-d only knows how many millions of innocent Iraqi civilians?
If they do, then, to paraphrase Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann, America, the UK, Denmark, Canada and Australia will be, like all those who came to Sumeria, Babylon and Iraq before them, nothing more than a bright shining lie.
THIS ARTICLE IS THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF WRITER JONATHAN DALE RAPOPORT, A WRITER BASED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION MEMBER STATE OF THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN.
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