When I was a kid, and we were failing to win in Vietnam, they used to joke about sending the Hells Angels to Vietnam, because they were supposed to be tough. And one night on the TV program Laugh In, the comedian Dan Rowan joked about sending actor John Wayne to Vietnam to ‘punch it in the mouth.’ Matthews is a lot older than me, and should know better. Americans get frustrated when enemies don’t have the decency to just lose to us easily, the way it always happens in the movies. And so we fantasize about these tough guy actions that cut through the red tape, and deliver the quick and satisfying victory.
But there are no magic bullets in wars and conflicts: that is one of the lessons of the post WW II world. When you enter into wars of choice, rather than necessity, it is much much harder to walk away with victory. We had half a million men in Vietnam for nearly a decade and could not beat the Vietnamese. How could we think we could eliminate ISIS or whatever Iraqi foe is out there using a handful of soldiers, and a few bombs from the sky? How many bombs did we drop in Vietnam, and it did not further our cause one inch.
When grown men talk about Rambo solutions they just show they their regression into lazy video game type thinking. I expect more from those who are given news programs on a major network.
Matthews’ problem is that he instinctively sides with the establishment, no matter how wrong the establishment happens to be. Matthews talks like a guy sitting at a VFW bar in Boston circa 1955, but his instincts seem to be those of a Washington insider
Speaking of people who have been around too long, poor Rachel Maddow now just looks ridiculous as she tries to function at the neocon/neoliberal MSNBC. Obviously she has been forbidden to criticize U.S. foreign policy – Wall Street won’t allow that in this “time of war,” which it has done so much to help create.
Instead, Maddow is obliged to try to inflate local or regional or quirky stories into topics of national interest, often without success. And virtually all Maddow talks about nowadays is the ongoing fake struggle between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Democratic and Republican parties, which are merely two faces of the same corrupt establishment. But – apparently forbidden to talk about America’s latest foolishness abroad or anything else that might possibly anger a weapons contractor or oil company – Maddow now uses theatrics to spice up her tepid reporting. Perhaps things will improve for her once Hillary Clinton gets her turn to further expand the empire of Goldman Sachs, if such a thing is possible.
Thanks to FAIR we can generate the creative energy of funniness to contend with the egregious and dangerous ignorance and violence of turbo capitalism. It’s surreal that this
type of discussion really floats around the airwaves.
And yet, it seems to me the moral equivalent of (truly,) inciting a riot – and should be prohibited!
While the Rambo rhetoric is ridiculous, behind is a frustration with the American approach to war. Perhaps it’s the profit motive that causes it, but the US seems to pull its punches every time it goes to war. In Vietnam, the generals complained that they weren’t allowed to win. In Iraq and Afghanistan, we attacked them and then immediately tried to make friends with them.
If we’re going to go to war, why can’t we accept that it means killing and destroying as many of the enemy as we possibly can? Move mile by mile, reduce everything to rubble, and leaving nothing alive. Utter and total destruction, and then get the hell out.
If that’s too awful, then why go to war at all?
You need more information about the Vietnam War. The old whine that U.S. generals weren’t allowed to win because they were held back has been thoroughly debunked. The fact is, the U.S. tried every way it could to defeat the Vietnamese, just short of nuclear weapons. Mass murder became an accepted tactic and “body counts” were the criteria Washington used for success – which is why Washington had lost before the first shot was fired. Sadly, Washington didn’t learn much at all from the Vietnam defeat – probably because the big capitalists and politicians who profited from the war weren’t touched by it – and now they make the same blunders in the Mideast and Ukraine as they made in Vietnam. Only now they better control the media so their folly is portrayed as brilliant strategy!
I think more to the point when they take an American service man or woman and kill them publicly we will go back to carpet bombing. We erased Fallujah after the Blackwater contractors were killed. The dye has been long cast and it is blood red.
Yeah, for the amerikan right it’s John Wayne for the older crowd, and Jack Bauer for the youngsters. Meanwhile on the left it’s Rambo, and for all of the, vile, vicious, bloodthirsty, grasping and ungracious amerikans it’s Chris Kyle! Amerika’s got something for everyone, except for a peace maker, we kill them!