I wasn’t going to weigh in on the Bergdahl story but then as is often the case, my mind traveled back in time and dredged up a little know bit of history; the G.I. resistance movement during the Viet Nam war.
Back in 2005, a documentary called Sir! No Sir! was released.
In the 1960’s an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. This movement didn’t take place on college campuses, but in barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs and in the dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated elite military colleges like West Point. And it spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam. It was a movement no one expected, least of all those in it. Hundreds went to prison and thousands into exile. And by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, infested the entire armed services. Yet today few people know about the GI movement against the war in Vietnam.
It was an eye opener for me as it was happening right in front of me during my stint in the Army and I knew nothing about it. I was even at Ft. Hood visiting friends before I went over to Viet Nam and went into Killen Tx., one of the hot spots for the movement.
Once I arrived in country, the reality of what we were doing over there was readily apparent. Since I was in a relatively safe and cushy place and job, my goal was to endure my 12 months and get the fuck back to “The world”. I had not yet developed my activism gene. But a whole bunch of G.I.s had.
The G.I. resistance movement threw a big old monkey wrench into the system. Active duty service personnel marching in ant-war parades, “mutiny” at the Presidio stockade, anti-war leaflets dropped on military bases from a small airplane, underground newspapers distributed on bases, Air Force personnel inaccurately translating intercepts for bombing targets, and my favorite, a vote on whether the USS Constellation (CV-64) should deploy from San Diego, and on and on.
These men and women recognized the immoral nature of the war and did something about it.
It was a different time of course with an independent media that actually reported on what was happening unlike our press lapdogs today. There was also the draft and a country where just about everybody was touched by the war. There was also the lessons and success of the civil rights movement and the idea you could hit the streets and make a difference. All that has been marginalized by the “Mighty Wurlitzer” of today’s propaganda machine. Fuckers.
Patriotic fervor was unleashed on the land and lies were repeated as truth from on high. What chance did the poor cannon fodder have? Not much. A few saw through the bullshit and were immediately label traitors or unpatriotic malcontents if they spoke up. Thousands hit the streets and were poo-poohed with the same labels. The military industrial media congressional complex had it covered, we were going to war come hell or high water, so just shut the fuck up you dirty fucking hippies.
A contingent of service men and women did come back and formed Iraq Veterans against the War (IVAW). Same labels. Same FU to those who would speak out about what they had experienced.
The powers that be will not tolerate dissent. The truth cannot be spoken. It cannot be allowed to infect the “troops”. They must believe the patriot bullshit line of “You are fighting for our freedom”. Hearts and minds baby!
Fuck it. I’m going off on too many tangents of how wrong the whole debacle of Afghanistan and Iraq and the “Global War on Terror” has fucked us and the world over, so I’m just going to hit the published button and have another shot of booze.
Watch the complete documentary of Sir! No Sir! here.
Aging bitter Vietnam Veteran
Repentant ex member of Murder Inc.
Southeast Asia Division
Our motto, "Kill Anything That Moves"