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View Diary: Morning Open Thread: Paris Peace Accords Ending The Vietnam War Signed 40 Years Ago Today (98 comments)

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  •  There's something about Sgt. Hack 's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem, bobatkinson

    paean to the Viet Nam War, Vietnam War: Facts, Stats & Myths that reminds me of the Warren Commission's report. Remember how the Warren Commission was appointed to prove that Lee Oswald, acting alone, killed president Kennedy? And they did, kinda sorta. If we ignore common sense and little things like the Laws of Physics (think Arlen Specter's "magic bulet")

    Some examples of "Sgt. Hack's" curious relation to reality:

    The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
    As big mouth points out, above, that ain't exactly true. We can argue whether or not that dubious distinction should go to Lt. Col. Peter Dewey, September 26, 1945, or Maj. Dale R. Ruis and Master Sgt. Chester M. Ovnand July 8, 1959, or any one of a number of others. Which name and date we choose probably says more about what spin we're trying to put on it than anything else.

    Similarly, Sgt. Hack boldly asserts

    Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.
    Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike (a professor at the University of California, Berkeley), a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.
    About six weeks after I came home from Viet Nam the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I can still physically feel the impact when I first heard A Day in the Life
    I saw a film today oh boy
    The English Army had just won the war
    A crowd of people turned away
    but I just had to look
    Having read the book
    I'd love to turn you on
    I think we know better than to assert that the United States didn't lose the Viet Nam War. Sgt. Hack's too fine point is in service of propaganda.

    Sgt. Hack puts similar spin on the CDC's Vietnam Experience Study. During the 1980's I was in correspondence Colleen Boyle, then with the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly and principal investigator for what came to be called the Vietnam Experience Study. While my disagreements with Sgt. Hack's characterization of that study are too detailed and nuanced to list in what is already turning into a diary rather than a comment, suffice to say that the Sgt. is as right about this as he is about winning the war.

    Not to mention, of course, the admittedly anecdotal evidence of my forty five years of experience in and among the very Viet Nam veterans Sgt. Hack so easily dismisses.

    “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

    by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:56:26 AM PST

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    •  Thanks for taking the time to explain this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaNang65

      It seems Sgt. Hack is appropriately named, eh?

      I suppose I should not be surprised that all the inaccuracies exist today regarding Vietnam considering the lies and deceptions from beginning to end concerning our involvement there.  I'm not naive enough to think we didn't lie about the other wars, but to me it seems that historically the Vietnam war was the biggest pig they applied lipstick to.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:18:03 AM PST

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      •  Just as a lens through which to view those (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem, BOHICA

        "statistics," how many deaths from overdose are actually suicide? How many one car accidents? How many exposure deaths? Those are all categories in which Viet Nam veterans died at statistically significantly higher rates than either our age cohort peers who never served or who served but not in Viet Nam.

        Perhaps it's no coincidence that the mortality study of OEF/OIF veterans is being done by the VA and not the CDC. In legal circles they call it "forum shopping."

        “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

        by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:43:36 AM PST

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      •  Some of that personal experience (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaxDem

        here.

        “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

        by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:50:15 AM PST

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        •  Reading that took my breath away (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaNang65, BOHICA

          and made me cry.  Well done piece, DaNang.  Very well done.

          As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

          by JaxDem on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:21:18 AM PST

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          •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JaxDem, BOHICA

            I'm not just prattling about some b.s. I heard down at the bar.

            “Perhaps the most 'spiritual' thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

            by DaNang65 on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:23:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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