Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam Memorial and flags

From: monkerud (
Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 23:05:39 CUT

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

    Joe and the list:

    Drawing lines for the sake of argument, helps us learn. And ... I didn't
    mean to attack Joe, although it sounds that way ... my apologies ...

    The are good social democratic views and at this point we need to group
    people to support any progressive agenda.

    Now we're finding out what people's political agendas were back then.

    So here we are rehashing history and trying to determine where we connect
    the past with the present and the future, or at least that's my purpose.
    We're exploring some of that in this forum. We may disagree but my point
    was that the ideas we argued didn't form a coherent belief system. The old
    left always criticized us for that. And I criticize us for not passing
    along our political ideas. Our culture was coopted to sell Fords, Levis and
    Nikes. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same.

    And now someone's arguing that we should respect the South Vietnamese flag
    and fly it at reunions of the peace movement. This is just nuts folks.
    Somehow this shows respect to the ordinary Vietnamese soldier? My
    evaluation of Vietnam is not based on the ordinary soldier and the
    ex-military I eluded to in my posting are not ordinary soldiers. The
    ordinary soldiers you speak of are still in Vietnam. The elite, the
    ex-military officers and majors are the ones that dominate the Vietnamese
    communities in San Jose and LA. They are with us today, they are real, and
    we run into them around any issue about Vietnam.

    Joe says he loves the flag, I see it as a symbol of American aggression and
    military adventure. I'm not nationalistic, and not saying he is, but when I
    see people waving the flag, or defending it, I head the other way. The
    Hells Angels used it to beat demonstators in Oakland, the WWII veterans
    used it to support the cold war, the Christians wave it to drown out
    dissent and the flag was waved vigorously in WWI to derail the progressive
    movement, jail socialists and put an end to calls for unionization. America
    has a long history of flag waving to destroy progressive movements. You may
    protest this but its hard to argue against history.

    Actually I liked Joe's post yesterday when he said, "I hate politics. I
    love music." That convinced me to drop the post, but it got released by
    the cord8r anyway. This isn't to say he's stupid, I certainly know how to
    say that.

    best, Don Monkerud

    >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.
    >Well this is pretty nasty stuff. You callin me an "ordinary American"!
    >That alone is... well, hard to understand in such a diverse country. Yes
    >us musicians are pretty stupid! The word chauvinist comes to my mind.
    >"supposed" and "apparently" are words that describe what you assume about
    >In July 1954 The Geneva Agreement was signed. French and Democratic
    >Republic of Vietnam met at an international conference of Great Britain,
    >United States, Soviet Union, and China plus State of Vietnam, Kingdom of
    >Cambodia, Kingdom of Laos (called Three Associated States of Indochina).
    >They agreed to divide Vietnam at the 17th parallel. Both side were to
    >evacuate troops. Truce was declared.
    >The people of Vietnam were given 300 days to decide whether to live in the
    >North or the South. Now there is a hard decision to make! It split up
    >Elections to be held in 1956 to reunify the country. They were never held.
    >In April 1960 North Vietnam imposed universal military conscription.
    >The United States had universal military conscription left over from WW2
    >and Korean War. Conscription meaning "draft" or forced joining of the
    >The Vietnamese were "drafted" for the duration just like in WW2 for
    >Americans, and Korea,i believe. The Americans were "drafted" for 12
    >months of war service except the Marines who did 13 months in country. At
    >least the Marines did 13 months at first as volunteers but with 80%
    >casualties they soon were drafting Marines and they spent only 12 months
    >in country then.
    >It is very hard to resist the draft no matter what country you are from.
    >In the old days you could buy yourself out of the "draft" or hire someone
    >else to take your place. Not so for the Vietnam Era.
    >The average age of US soldiers drafted into the military in the Vietnam
    >War era was 19. At that age then you had no constitutional rights and
    >were still under the control of your parents. I don't know the average
    >age in Vietnam, North or South but i imagine it was even younger.
    >This is a pretty hard place to put a teenager in. What are the choices?
    >What are the options? i thank god i was not forced to make that decision.
    >And once you are in the military you are governed by military law! This is
    >a pretty hard thing to deal with. No one has yet done a study on the US
    >incountry military jail at Long Binh called LBJ for Long Binh Jail, but i
    >have heard stories that are pretty terrible. I am sure that the Military
    >of North and South had their
    >own jails for similar resistors.
    >i did military service in Japan and remember well the feeling that i was
    >10,000 miles from home in a country that spoke a language i could not
    >speak without the wherewithal to get myself back home on my own. What was
    >i suppose to do?
    >It is govt.'s that force young people into these situations and then
    >civilians who judge them afterwards. And in America the government is
    >elected by the people then over 21 years of age only. To send the
    >military to Vietnam was an almost unanimous civilian decision. Like i said
    >"I came home from the war to a war at home.
    >And I can't help but wonder what it was I done.
    >Seems like I went off to fight the enemy.
    >Now I'm back home and the enemy is me.
    >So listen old son, if you want to go and fight
    >Just make sure you know what is wrong and right.
    >The passion of today could be tomarrow's shame
    >And the folks at home will just have you to blame."
    >cheers, country joe mcdonald
    >-- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness
    >country joe Home Pg <>
    >country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    >Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial
    >Rag Baby Online Magazine <>

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jun 23 2000 - 23:54:52 CUT