Sunday, September 30, 2007


While I was sitting on the plane the other day, I saw this kid in his early 20s boarding. You know the type; rumpled clothes, long hair going in a multitude of directions, little glasses and a look on his face that clearly said "I'm an intellectual, and I don't give a rat's ass what knuckle-draggers such as you think of me". In another words, not unlike me in my early 20s, and that's the whole point.

He had a guitar case (of course) and on it were stickers that seemed to commemorate every thought or belief he ever had, original or not. The one that caught my eye was one that said END WAR. Actually, I see these types and their stickers and buttons all of the time, and I find them increasingly annoying. The fact that the people who sport them maintain an air of intellectual superiority while being spectacularly clueless is maddening.

The fact is, more that 3 decades ago people of my generation wanted the war to end in Southeast Asia. Hell, "End The War" seemed to be the most effective animator of my generation and it was central to our culture. Unfortunately, we were just as clueless as this young man on the airplane as to the consequences of our actions

Proponents of the war warned us that a pull-out would result in a bloodbath and the entire region would fall to the Communists. The intellectuals of the day were highly critical of our "illegal" actions in Cambodia. Well, the young people of the day, the press and the intellectuals got their way and we left Southeast Asia to their own devices. After our departure, North and South Vietnam were reunited as a Communist country and those who were fighting with us for their freedom, if they were not fortunate enough to escape, were killed. It's estimated that 2 million people were exterminated in Cambodia. 2 million people. Was this the "peace" we sought? Even now, many of my generation are quite self-congratulatory about the way "we" ended the war in Vietnam. As for the millions who were killed as a result of our quest for "peace"....well, we just don't talk about that.

From that time until the present, Vietnam has provided the enemies of this country with a blueprint of how to defeat the most powerful nation on Earth in asymmetrical conflict; keep drawing blood, even in small quantities and wait for us to accept defeat in the name of "peace.

As for the bohemian intellectual sticker people and button wearers, they have their blueprint too; oppose ANY war, regardless of the cause, and pressure the government to accept defeat in the name of "peace".

Our enemies, from within and without have learned well while we have learned nothing.