Wars exist because lies are told about past wars.
When President Obama escalated the war on Afghanistan, he revived virtually every known lie about the war on Iraq, from the initial WMD BS to the “surge.” While Americans remain unfathomably ignorant about the destruction of Iraq, a majority says the war shouldn’t have been fought. A majority says the same about the war on Afghanistan. This is, pretty wonderfully, impeding efforts toward a U.S. war on Syria or Iran.
The new wars were supposed to cure the Vietnam Syndrome — that public reluctance to support mass murder for no good reason. The Pentagon is now turning to the source of the disease. The war in most need of beautification for Americans, the military has decided, is the war the Vietnamese call the American War.
Most people in the United States have no idea that this was, like all other recent U.S. wars, a one-sided slaughter — in this case, of 3.8 million Vietnamese men, women, and children. But most Americans know the war was awful, even on the side of the aggressor. The Vietnam Syndrome (popular opposition to wars) still frightens war makers.
Obama is usually opposed to any “looking backwards,” as doing so might involve prosecuting criminals for their crimes. But, making a big exception, he is dumping 65 million of our dollars into prettying up the war on Vietnam.
Please read the following statement, put together by some U.S. veterans of that war, and sign onto it here.
An Open letter to the American People about a
Project to Accurately Commemorate the American War in Viet Nam
We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of key moments in the American war in Viet Nam. As peace and justice activists, we believe it is crucial that the realities of the war be faced squarely. President Obama has announced his plan for a 13-year-long commemoration funded by Congress at $65 million, featuring a full panoply of Orwellian forgetfulness and faux-patriotism. On May 25, 2012, President Obama proclaimed: “As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we reflect with solemn reverence upon the valor of a generation that served with honor. We pay tribute to the more than 3 million servicemen and women who left their families to serve bravely, a world away from everything they knew and everyone they loved … fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans. Through more than a decade of combat, over air, land, and sea, these proud Americans upheld the highest traditions of our Armed Forces.”. The purpose of the official proclamation — rather than honestly looking backward so as to glean and educate about important lessons — will be to promote an ex post facto justification of the war, lay lingering doubts to rest, and provide a stamp of approval without attending to or contending with the horrors of the war that many of us opposed.