Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam Memorial and flags

From: James T. Curran (
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 01:56:50 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam Memorial and flags"

            It is quite apparent, if you are typical, that you learned very little
    from the sixties. Your demeaning attitude about anyone who didn't come
    to precisely the same conclusions you have on all the topics on which
    you consider yourself an expert are exactly why so many portions of the
    Movement fell to pieces. People like you want to Balkanize the
    Movement. You don't like loyalty tests, but that's exactly what you are
    requiring of anyone who believes they are/were a radical activist or a
    member of the Left, or whatever. The only homogeneity that existed at
    the time was that the members were born in the same relative time
    period(s) and that they were into rebellion (and rarely the same
    rebellion as everyone else).
            Isn't it obvious to you from just the conversations on this list that
    time has moved on? Most people do move on and come to different
    conclusions BASED ON THE SAME SETS OF FACTS YOU USE. And this is as it
    should be. If you want your pure agenda, you better team up with the 2
    or 3 people in the world who share exactly your positions. But don't be
    surprised if that small group starts disagreeing with each other, falls
    apart and becomes marginalized the same way the Movement has. Or that
    somehow the entire population doesn't cotton to the beliefs of 3 or 4
    people. What happened to the bright goal of inclusiveness?
            Now you can call people stupid ("he's a musician after all") all you
    want; that's your privelege. But if you do, you are as guilty of
    elitism as any of the peole and groups you have attacked. What should
    be the acid test for some to share your exalted ideas? An IQ test? A
    political knowledge index (based on tests prepared by you)? An
    Inquisition to determine the purity of their thoughts? Maybe an
    inspection of their lineage? And how many generations of correct
    thought will you require as a passing grade? And who shall be the
    thought police who monitor everyone accepted to make sure they don't
    backslide? You seem to have already elected yourself to the execution
            Did it ever occur to you that it isn't a question of "how little the
    ideas that we put forth reached ordinary Americans", but rather how much
    ordinary Americans rejected what we tried to forcefeed them. Maybe they
    had viewpoints on these matters as equally valid as yours.

    monkerud wrote:
    > If Joe's views are supposed to be from the left, we're in bad shape. And yet his views reveal how little the ideas that we put forth reached ordinary Americans.
    > We should perhaps cut the guy some slack ... he's a musician after all and apparently didn't learn much from being around the political movement. As one who defends cultural change, it's embarrassing how little political ideas seeped down to many who were supposedly in the same movement. I continue to find the same thing among some who lived at Black Bear. One woman even supports the Queen of England and the monarchy. Her son became a Gingrich follower.
    > Americans have little background in politics and appear to make up their ideas as they go along and the flag issue is a prime example. We take our history from the movies, which invariably promote romance; boy meets girl above all else. Wrap it in the flag and it sells.
    > While I agree that we shouldn't cannibalize the left, there are some limits. Don't we hold common positions, or are we more loose than that? I've always associated the American flag with patriots and those who believe "my country right or wrong," and that's what I hear in Joe's support of the veterans and his sacred flag.
    > People burn flags as a protest. The right wing continues to attempt to past an amendment to the constitution to prevent flag burning, considered currently as free speech by the Supreme Court. It appears that Joe agrees with that amendment and while I agree with some of his thinking, his position surprises me as does his views of the shock troops of the empire, i.e. the soldiers.
    > There are lots of reasons to support soldiers, i.e. they were too young to know any difference, they were brainwashed, they can come around in the future, but none of the veterans I know support them for their bravery. My veteran friends are angry, even angry with themselves for not knowing better than to go to Vietnam.
    > As for the South Vietnamese flag, does Joe support an exile South Vietnam in San Jose? The discredited, corrupt military that was supported by the U.S. and "saved" from the communist continue to live and politicize in both San Jose and Los Angeles. They've murdered a number of journalists, they violently protest and threaten anyone in their community who attempts to reconcile with current day Vietnam ... and Joe supports them?
    > They "lost their entire country"? Read Bright Shining Lie or other accounts to see what they lost... they were puppets for first the French and then the U.S. They milked the U.S. for personal fortunes while we sent our young boys to die for them. All to stop the tide of communist. Maybe we should insist upon flying the Czars flag too or the Boer flag? And why shouldn't Reagan "honor" the dead Nazis? They fought "bravely" and "sacrificed" themselves for their country?
    > best, Don Monkerud

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