Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Vietnam War Memorials

From: Jerry West (
Date: Fri Jun 16 2000 - 17:19:37 CUT

  • Next message: "Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam War Memorials"

    Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:

    the notion that plaques should be erected in Berkeley or anywhere else,
    honoring their actions is no more warranted than plaques would be in
    Germany honoring the fallen members of the Wehrmacht.

    JW reply:

    What is wrong with recognizing the fallen members of the Wehrmacht as
    opposed to the cause that they were fighting for? A war memorial does
    not have to glorify war, and it shouldn't, but it can be a positive
    thing to remember those who were sacrificed in war as a warning to what
    can happen if we are not more careful in the future.

    JB wrote:

    ....former GIs, marines and navy men, described war crimes in which they
    had either participated or witnessed. When I was in Europe in 1970, I
    was given a two-page double-spaced list of Vietnamese villages whose
    inhabitants had been massacred by American soldiers. My Lai was only one
    name on that list.

    JW reply:

    I guess it all boils down to what you call a war crime. Maybe the Army
    had less discipline and moral consciousness than the Marines. In 18
    months in the field in I Corps I never saw anything that even closely
    resembled My-Lai, and I did see a lot of non-military assistance given
    to the villages by Marine units.

    I will agree that the war was wrong, and in fact I tubed my career to
    protest against it at considerably more risk to myself than any civilain
    protester, but I am dubious about accounts that want to villify the rank
    and file and portray the war as one endless stirng of actrocities.

    There was a lot of inflated rhetoric and propaganda bull shit that came
    out of the left in the late 60's and early 70's, as well as the usual
    crap that the right was spouting. We should be careful not to take too
    much of it seriously.

    Jerry West
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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