It was known to local missionaries as “the Hill of Angels,” but to the occupying Marines, Con Thien was a little piece of hell. Just two miles south of the Demilitarized Zone (the DMZ dividing line between North and South Vietnam), it was a barren, bulldozed plateau of red dirt 160 meters high and ringed with barbed wire, studded with artillery revetments and crisscrossed with trenches and sand bag-covered bunkers.
And this horrific tale is just one of many many such tales of the craven stupidity and evil of military and political leadership.
We need to end war. "Take the toys away from the boys" as we used to chant. Human survival and ecological recovery demand nothing less than shutting down all militaries.
Fill those empty Guantanamo cells with warmonger politicians.
More good reasons to join
Veterans For Peace
THE BATTLE OF BLENHEIM
by: Robert Southey
Tragic indeed, like all wars, whether “won” or lost.
Robert Southey’s “The Battle of Blenheim” began with his grandchild Wilhelmine seeing her brother Peterkin playing with a skull found "beside a rivulet."
"Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh,
"'Tis some poor fellow's skull," said he,
"Who fell in the great victory.
"Now tell us what 'twas all about,"
Young Peterkin, he cries;
And little Wilhelmine looks up
With wonder-waiting eyes;
"Now tell us all about the war,
And what they fought each other for."
"It was the English," Kaspar cried,
"Who put the French to rout;
But what they fought each other for
I could not well make out;
But everybody said," quoth he,
"That 'twas a famous victory.
"My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly;
So with his wife and child he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
"With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide,
And many a childing mother then,
And new-born baby died;
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.
"Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,
And our good Prince Eugene."
"Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!"
Said little Wilhelmine.
"Nay ... nay ... my little girl," quoth he,
"It was a famous victory."
"And everybody praised the Duke
Who this great fight did win."
"But what good came of it at last?"
Quoth little Peterkin.
"Why, that I cannot tell," said he,
"But 'twas a famous victory."
The Vietnam War was one monstrous war crime. Any packaging of this war in terms of individual valor misses that point. Sorry.
Bullshit. Bullshit! BULL-SHIT!!!
Who was the foreign invader???
Who was defending their home soil and people from the foreign Invaders???
What else do we need to know about Vietnam and every other criminal US invasion since?
Are you part of www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org It seems like it would be a pretty unlikely coincidence if you aren't, and I just had to ask
Nearly in every war that fails, the politicians and the generals get the blame. I'm not excusing their complicity. But there is nothing particular original in a journalist reporting mistakes and bad strategy after the event. I recall that the My Lai massacre was not reported by the Vietnam-based journalists...such events was a common occurrence, not really worthy of any special press expose. It was a letter back home to a local newspaper which was picked up by the national press that revealed Calley's slaughter. The author should reflect more upon his profession's self-censorship and their role in the continuance of slaughter. They, too, have blood on their hands.
What would be new if the conclusions reached by the press was that all modern wars have causes that can be blamed on capitalism and to end all wars, it i time to end capitalism. Sadly, the majority of reporters never say that and are happy to endorse (or even write) government propaganda. That has never changed even up to today.
"We need to pay tribute this Memorial Day to those who served at Con
Thien and learn from their sacrifice. It can be fairly said that anyone
who seeks glory in battle would not find it in the mud and heat of Con
Thien, but anyone who seeks tales of extraordinary valor need look no
What we should learn from their sacrifice is:
Military service is a form of indentured slavery to be avoided at all costs.
Political and military leaders lie about both the causes of and need for wars.
Vietnam was involved in a civil war into which the US stuck its nose and over the next 10 years or so got it bloodied good and proper.
Victory in Vietnam by the Vietnamese communists did not start the "dominoes" falling all over southeast Asia.
In fact the only other communist government to come to power in that part of the world after the Vietnamese victory was the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. They were over thrown by the Vietnamese because they grew tired of all the Cambodians fleeing across their common border to get away from the homegrown Cambodian communists.
With Con Thien as instructional historical example, the pointless battle of Khe Sanh is another even more galling example of Bloody Lyndon's Vietnam war. It too was to be part of the "McNamara Line".
It took place the year after Con Thien and consisted mostly of US Marines fighting their hearts out for 7 months to secure a stupid hill that, once secured, would be abandoned allowing the NVA forces to capture and secure it.
For those who were on active duty during that time (myself included) the lessons of Vietnam were a rude awakening to the reality of the world in which we lived and US responsibility for making it the way it was.
If Chris Hedges book, "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning" is any guide (and I believe it is) Don North is to be pitied the way a relapsing drug addict is. The adrenaline rush of battle in which life and death is on the line at any possible moment leads to an addiction to such "high".
It would be instructive to view the following video presentation by Hedges on his aforementioned book this Memorial Day:
(Hedges presentation begins at the 3:30 mark)