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View Diary: How I Dodged the Draft: A Vietnam Story (142 comments)

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  •  He could have tried. (12+ / 0-)

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:05:39 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Meaning? nt (0+ / 0-)

      I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

      by Wayward Wind on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:09:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So may people think there were no spitting hippies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran, Neuroptimalian

      And what a bunch of dumbasses they are.
      How can anybody think there weren't people out there rude and uncouth enough to spit on people?

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:13:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How can anybody think there weren't people (16+ / 1-)

        out there rude and uncouth enough to kill babies?

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:15:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is way over the line (7+ / 0-)

          and you only demonstrate your ignorance by making the comment.

          I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

          by Wayward Wind on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:18:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tell that to the 6,000,000 (16+ / 0-)

            dead SE Asian civilians we killed in a war as bogus and based on lies as Iraq was.

            And what happened to the baby killers that got convicted. e.g/. Lt. William Calley?

            After being convicted for the deaths of 350 Vietnamese civilians including women and children . . . . he served his entire (reduced) sentence in his own bachelor quarters on base.

            Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

            by bobdevo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:25:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have, on many occasions, (11+ / 0-)

              since first returning to Vietnam with medical supplies 30 years ago, and on many such trips since then. I have broken bread and drank whiskey with them, laughed and cried with them, honored their war dead, built and funded clinics for the disabled, homes for their veterans, and schools for their children.  

              I've also made the pilgrimage to My Lai on several occasions, met with some of the survivors, and arranged medical care for those in need from that area.

              Care to tell me what you have done, or hazard a guess as to what the diary author has done, to help the Vietnamese overcome the horrific destruction that we rained on their country?

              The Vietnamese unquestionably suffered a tremendous injustice, one that never should have happened. Even through all they have suffered, they maintained the ability to distinguish between the soldiers who came, and the geopolitics and policies which sent the soldiers there, an ability that many Americans have never seemed to grasp.

              I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

              by Wayward Wind on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:49:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This - (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fcvaguy, bobdevo, AllanTBG, Dburn, exlrrp
                The Vietnamese unquestionably suffered a tremendous injustice, one that never should have happened. Even through all they have suffered, they maintained the ability to distinguish between the soldiers who came, and the geopolitics and policies which sent the soldiers there, an ability that many Americans have never seemed to grasp. [emphasis added]
                That's what's been missing in so many of these diaries.

                Thank you.

                Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                by mikidee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:22:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You wouldn't have needed to go there (6+ / 0-)

                if more young men in the US had told the government to go fuck themselves.

                Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

                by bobdevo on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:41:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you do so? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  exlrrp

                  I have all the respect in the world for those who stood and said no, even more for those who actively pursued an end to the war, and those who assisted others to make an informed decision.

                  I have no time for those whose sole focus was keeping themselves out, with no effort to end the madness and/or help others avoid the draft.

                  I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

                  by Wayward Wind on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:23:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  How many babies did that psychiatrist kill? (6+ / 0-)

          I notice you weren't vindictive enough to spit in the face of an actual soldier who might have taught you better manners instead of some wuss psychiatrist.  
          Nothing justifies your blatant uncouth rudeness.
          Like I say, next time someone says there were no spitting hippies, JUST. COUL. NOT. HAVE HAPPENED> I'll ref them to your diary.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:24:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, he was just a poor schlemiel... (10+ / 0-)

            backed by the armed might of the most powerful military our world has ever known.

            Hardly a victim.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:16:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quit bragging about a physical assault!! (5+ / 0-)

              They should have taken you out in handcuffs!

              I want to be clear about this: you physically assaulted someone in the most rude and revolting manner, someone who'd never hurt you or never really done anything harmful to you at all. By your own account, he had been civil and friendly to you.
              And you unexpectedly, without warning, physically assaulted him in a truly obnoxious, revolting manner. And now you want to brag about it, justfying it with on dead Vietnamese children.
              Still on the same page with that? Is that an accurate description of your assault and later braggadocio? I think it is.

              But what zips you up from just revolting and obnoxious---someone who'd brag about this--- to truly craven is pretending to justify this really obnoxious behavior by justifying it on dead Vietnamese children, as if to pretend that this helped them or anything else at all.
              Please don't lecture me  on how bad the Vietnam War was or about the might of the military, I was in it, the war and the military, and you only watched it on TV and read books about it.
              And as a Vietnam War Protestor, people like you give us a bad name.

              What's truly mind boggling to me is your bragging about this revolting behavior like it was some noble deed. (And I see you're getting recced for it too,  not surprised but disappointed) That's incredible to me----this is something I would be ashamed of doing and if anybody in my family, many of those who participated in demonstrations I would be ashamed of them too.
              Just some poor little government shlmiel who'd done nothing to you and you spat in his face and excused your behavior by what happened to Vietnamese people.
              This is something that  I would only relate it I followed it by, "and then I said to Hitler and Himmler....."

              So did you spit on soldiers, too? Thats easy to believe, someone who would spit on some little shrink would spit on a soldier. Or maybe he wouldn't have the balls to.
              So, were you brave enough to spit on a soldier too? Or was spitting on the psychiatrist your big move?

              thanks for this diary in that sense. really!! I always knew there were people who would spit on people and then pat themselves on the back and  justify that by their feelings about the war. REALLY!! There were people like that!!

              I'm outta here, this is really bad

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:57:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  the fuck? (14+ / 0-)
            Nothing justifies your blatant uncouth rudeness.
            I disagree. If someone told me I was gonna have to kill people, and that I didn't have a choice in the matter, I'd spit in their fucking face, too.

            Now THAT's rude.

            If I turn into another, dig me up from under what is covering the better part of me. -- Incubus

            by Colorado is the Shiznit on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:22:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, his cowardice is apparent (5+ / 0-)

            in that he chose the psychiatrist, but, essentially he spit in the face of everyone who served in any capacity during the Viet Nam Era - that includes my cousin who died in ''66, my uncle (who died from Agent Orange related cancer), my brother, obviously yourself and the thousands of others who served, including me.

            I am saddened and horrified to see there is such hate-filled, shameless hostility here.  

            Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

            by mikidee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:42:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh please. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, TracieLynn, Aunt Martha, JesseCW

              Not every act of protest relates back to your cousin, for Chrissakes. What a crock.

              "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

              by CanyonWren on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:21:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Excuse me? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Neuroptimalian, exlrrp

                What is it about "and the thousands of others who served, including me" that you don't understand?

                Spitting your bodily fluids at someone is seen as more offensive than hitting them"," says Ross Coomber, a principal lecturer in sociology at the University of Plymouth, who admits to an unlikely professional interest in the sociology of spitting. "Spitting in someone's face is probably considered one of the worst things you can do. It's obviously a form of violence, very confrontational, perhaps the most violent you can be against someone without actually hitting them. You do actually make some form of contact with them, in a way that you know they would really not like, but you haven't actually struck them. And they feel insulted by it, so you have achieved what you wanted."

                Spitting, literally, dribbles contempt, and it is the noxious, viscous disdain of the act that makes it such a powerful and intimate insult. Other bodily fluids may be more unsavoury, but applying them into someone else's face requires a degree of effort which, the spitter is effectively saying, the spittee doesn't even merit. The appeal of spitting is the effortless momentary disrespect it conveys, while the person on the receiving end must experience the full humiliation of the splash, the dribble and the ungainly wipe.

                If you can't/won't understand that spitting on someone as a form of protest is intended as an deeply offensive insult to all the "spittee" represents, well, then dog help you.

                Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                by mikidee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:12:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  This comment is yet another example (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilJD, JesseCW

              of how the word "hate" on this site has unfortunately become a cliche.

            •  I'm sorry that your cousin, your uncle, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              melfunction

              your brother, and yourself couldn't find a way to avoid participating in a war crime.

              Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

              by JesseCW on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:01:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This might be a foreign concept to you, but my (0+ / 0-)

                family has a long and honorable history of military service, starting in 1862, again in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and then during the Viet Nam Era. Not one of us is/was a "warmonger," but neither are/were we pacifists. Only one - my uncle - was career military, but his service started when he was drafted for the Korean War.

                Both my brother and I enlisted - the draft and the hostilities had ended by the time we joined (except the Mayaguez Incident, which is technically the last official battle of the Viet Nam War). There's a reason we enlisted when we did.

                The vast majority of people I served with were, like my family, good and honorable people. While my personal politics were to the left of most of my friends and my family (I voted for Gus Hall in 1976 - what can I say - I was young and stupid), not one of them deserved to be spat upon - ever.

                Long story short - you have no idea what you're talking about.

                Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                by mikidee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:33:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My family is very ashamed of having served (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PhilJD

                  in the Vietnam Era.

                  My Dad, four uncles, my Father in Law.  All of them are quite clear that what they did or helped do to the people of Vietnam is nothing to be proud of.

                  In short, you seem to think the world is comprised of "good honorable people" and "bad dishonorable people".

                  It isn't.  It's comprised of good and bad actions.  

                  Trying to force young men to go kill people in a war of naked agression is not just a bad action - it's almost infinitely worse than spitting on someone.

                  Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

                  by JesseCW on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:05:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not going there with you, dear. (0+ / 0-)

                    No one said anything about "pride." My objection is to ever think it's okay to spit on someone - whether my family, your family or a fucking psychiatrist evaluating potential draftees - for their service.

                    You want to protest? Fine - Desecrate a flag (been there, done that). Go to rallies (been there, done that). Work for and elect better and more Democrats who don't rush to war (doing that for a very long time).

                    See ya.

                    Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                    by mikidee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:23:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You think it's a-ok to take a check for sending (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PhilJD

                      young men to participate in a war of naked aggression.

                      You insist those who disagree with you are somehow lacking in honor and goodness, which is the trademark of those who agree with you.

                      You seem to be extremely confused about the point of the diary.

                      PhilJD wasn't protesting.  He was refusing to murder some other mothers son for no damn reason.  He was refusing to support an ongoing crime that was killing millions of real live human beings.

                      I'm not big on trying to declare who is or is not a good person.

                      Going to Vietnam and killing people was an extremely bad thing to do, much worse than spitting on some shrink who was trying to send men to do it.

                      Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

                      by JesseCW on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:12:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh fucking stop. (0+ / 0-)

                        You know I never said this -

                        You think it's a-ok to take a check for sending young men to participate in a war of naked aggression.
                        I never said the psychiatrist was innocent - no more than I said my family or yours was innocent.

                        And I wasn't the person who characterized PhilJD's conduct as "protesting" -

                         Oh please. (4+ / 0-)

                        Not every act of protest relates back to your cousin, for Chrissakes. What a crock.

                        "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying."Edward Snowden -6.62, -6.92

                        by CanyonWren on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:21:11

                        For some one who's "not big on trying to declare who is or is not a good person," this comment
                        Going to Vietnam and killing people was an extremely bad thing to do, much worse than spitting on some shrink who was trying to send men to do it.
                        is pretty revealing.

                        We disagree - period. I believe spitting on the psychiatrist is spitting on the troops, and I think that is wrong. You believe it's okay.

                        I'm done.

                        Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

                        by mikidee on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:35:37 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Look,really is a different situation here (0+ / 0-)

            He's not talking about a civilian spitting on a veteran returning home.He's talking about an unwilling potential recruit acting in defiance of an authority. An authority that is going to potentially send him out to kill people and is ignoring his concerns.

            You can see the difference there, right?

            "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton | http://ideaddicted.blogspot.com

            by jbeach on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:48:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That HR should require no explanation. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:27:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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