I was in high school when I first became convinced the Vietnam war was upside-down-inside-out wrong. Up until then, I was pretty much convinced the Johnson administration was doing the right thing. After all, the communists had to be stopped somewhere. And a resolute policy of containment kept us out of World War.
It took Buddhist self immolation and public mocking of those deaths by laughing members of the ruling Diem family to convince me that the conflict was not as simple as pushing back against the reds. It was a civil war with a religious base. It took accounts of a divide between China and the Soviet Union to convince me that Communism was less than a monolithic conspiracy directed from the Kremlin. It took spectacular routs to put the lie to Johnson, then Nixon, administration claims of growing military supremacy. It took Congressional investigations to expose the dubious circumstances of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that legalized the escalations.
The cost of war was astonishing and growing every day: tens of thousands of American lives and hundred of thousands of Vietnamese, in a conflict that never singed the whiskers of a single Russian commissar. The domino theory became ludicrous on its face. We were fighting them there so we wouldn't have to fight them here. Nice.
It was painful to conclude that it was a war with no reason except that of pride. We had to double down with American lives, because we owed it to the troops. Those supporting the war fell back on simple minded insult. To suggest anything other than unconditional support for war was unpatriotic. We who questioned were hippie traitors.
Last week Michael Steele, chair of the Republican National Committee, let lose with a volley of anti-war sentiment that was, at least, consistent with his general approach to opposition. Afghanistan cannot be won. It is "a war of Obama's choosing," a war with no cause.
It was vacuous at best. Forgotten was 9/11 as a cause for war, and the Taliban decision to shield the mass murderers responsible. Forgotten as well was the name of the President who launched the invasion. Republicans are beginning to call for Steele's ouster. Chances are he will survive.
Especially jarring, though, was the response of Brad Woodhouse, speaking for the Democratic National Committee. "It's simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement." What followed was no better.
And so, a foolish Republican attack on the President and the war is answered by an attack on Michael Steele's patriotic duty to support the troops. Steele is to be regarded as today's hippie traitor.
Dumb and Dumber.
Trackback address for this post
No feedback yet
Leave a comment
|« Illegal Immigrants, Crime, and Truth||Micheal Steele on Afghanistan (Audio Enhanced) »|