"Why of course the people don’t want war...But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”- Hermann Goering, Nuremberg, 1946
It seems Mike wants me hung for capital treason (he even has a ‘Wanted for Treason’ poster up on his blog) because I dared to retell the truth on the origin of the Vietnam war and why it was illegal. In the course of his online tirade, he compares me to the Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski) expending over three paragraphs on his math abilities and then compared his poor teaching abilities to mine (claiming I received ‘poor ratings’ like Kaczynski – when I regularly received awards from Harrison College for superior teaching). He also exaggerates my reliance on memory (interesting coming from a guy with zero memory) and tries to impute this means I'm unable to do any scholarly or original work! (Tell that to the referees of my papers on solar physics-SID flares!) He then compounds that with other lies, and even had the chutzpah to call me “the Black sheep of the family” when HE fit that label to a ‘T’. At the end of reading such a volume of doggerel, one wonders if he can even distinguish it from dogshit. (Well, he interjects his mutt, 'Rebel', to carry forth that banner!)
Re: 'Black sheep': The folks always had to be bailing him out of trouble at Hialeah High for all the gang- bat fights he incited, as well as bullying, beating up weaker kids for their lunch money or other 'insurance' extortion. More than once the cops appeared at our door and dad had to plead ignorance and then give assurances it wouldn’t repeat. Finally, he got so disgusted with Mike’s pugnacious antics he let the punk sign up early (by age 17) for the Marines just to get him out of his hair. ‘Black sheep’? It fits this bellicose little bum perfecto! (Before that, of course, the little imp challenged me to a fight, ca. Easter, 1970. I damned near killed him while I had him in a headlock, but finally got him to spit out "Uncle Remus!" From some of his recent blather on how tough he thinks he is, seems like he forgot that incident. Maybe he needs reminding.)
Anyway, he makes the mistake of finishing his rant (which I have no problems with – other than his lies - since our blog wars have been characterized by high intensity) by posting a photo-shopped image of my face attached to the body of an OWS protestor (from 2011, dredged up from Fox News) defecating on an American flag. Well, that was a step TOO far, a reaction too extreme, so with heavy heart I had to report it to Google Blogger as a ‘terms of service’ violation. He seems to think it was akin to 'running to da-da' whatever the fuck that means, but it was actually a proportionate response, as opposed to what I really wanted to do to his sorry, rebel punk ass..
His recent over-the-top photo-shopped response was reminiscent of last Oct. when he put my address (in 'neon highlights', i.e. giant, 45 pt.. black font) up with a sign held by a homeless bloke reading "Free Food For All Homeless at .........". My wife was so livid her blood pressure must have spiked to 200/190. Fortunately, another (middle) brother alerted me to this perfidy or I’d never have known. But this is typical for Mike, and explains the reasons for his constantly getting in trouble with the law during his earlier years. He always reacts to a stimulus with an excessive response. He can’t react with proportion, but always with more vehemence, violence or intensity than called for. Now, he claims that with my ‘Amazing Race’ blog I “spit” on the Vietnam vets who fought in that war, but he fails to process my previous writings on wars, such as at:
In that blog I carefully noted that, despite the PR -incessant brainwashing of the Military-Industrial complex we are not obliged to honor all soldiers. If therefore, a Vietnam soldier (like Lt. William Calley) committed (or participated in) a massacre like My Lai then he’s no better than a Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson in a uniform. I do not honor him, I spit on him and all his ilk, accomplices. I make no apologies for doing so, and Mikey can exercise his bowels and bladder on his keyboard all he wants in fulmination but I do not retract it. Similarly, if a pilot or group in a B-52 flies over civilians and drops napalm to burn them up, or Agent Orange to poison their crops, I spit on them – I do not honor them.
If, however, the Vietnam vet was a draftee, sucked into that war of choice, and if he merely tried to stay alive and defend himself but didn’t engage in overt criminal actions- then I treat him the same way as all other victims of that conflict who suffered collateral damage. Mikey wants medals for what he did, but what did he do? When he left the Marines after 2 years in August, 1973, all I heard when I briefly stayed with him in Hialeah (home from Peace Corps after my first 2 year term and before re-upping) was how hard it was, especially Parris Island. How those bad man drill instructors mistreated him and the other booyahs, and that he was ‘gonna write a book’. Well, using my old Smith-Corona typewriter he did manage to peck out about five pages and showed them to me. I didn’t diss them but encouraged him to get on with the book. But after a few months it petered out, and his book was stillborn.
Not long after, unable to find any work in Florida, he re-signed with the Army. From all the information I’ve been able to gather from other sources, he never saw one single rice paddy in Vietnam the whole time he was in either Marines or Army. Yet he projects this overt braggadocio of how HE was the big “military man” while I “hid” in Peace Corps! In fact, I probably accomplished more in my first month of Peace Corps than he did in his four years in the military….as primarily a cook and bottle washer.
As for his bollocks that ours was a “military family” – don’t make me laugh! A military family by definition is one in which successive generations sign up to actually FIGHT in real wars (Civil War, WWI, WWII). A tradition is passed on. No such tradition was passed on for our family, rather each of us made a choice to perform service where we believed we were most needed and which didn't intersect the others. Thus I elected the Peace Corps (4 years) , the second brother chose the Navy(where he also worked in kitchen duty) while another brother picked the Air Force where he worked in signal intelligence in Brindisi, Italy (and also spent some time with reconnaissance in Vietnam) and Mike picked his Marines, then the Army.Does this make any of us “heroes”? Not really, but it does mean we each served our country in our own respective ways, with variable degrees of contribution.
Now, getting back to ‘Nam, let us try to recall some basic facts of how and why that was instigated. Much of it I related 3 blogs ago, noting LBJ’s connivance in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, based that altercation on the North Vietnamese, when the ship (Maddox) that fired the first shots belonged to the Americans. This according to an NSA file released in 2005. Even before this, JFK planned to pull out all personnel by 1965, as per Freedom of Information Act released files. ('Documents Show JFK Planned Viet Pullout by '65, The Baltimore Sun, p. 3A, December 23, 1997).
Meanwhile, after the assassination, LBJ issued NSAM-273 to retract and nullify Kennedy's NSAM -263, setting the stage for the Vietnam War ramp up. All LBJ needed was a pretext to incite a war and he found it in August, 1964.
Still, as Rachel Maddow reported last week (based on Nixon tapes released from a UK source), there was the chance to end the war in the fall of 1968. The Paris Peace Talks had brought all sides (U.S., NVA, S. Viets) together and resolution was at hand, as the U.S. was ready to halt all military action. But as Maddow reveals, Nixon (who bragged in his 1968 campaign HE would end the war if elected, not Hubert Humphrey) had unknown malefactors contact the S. Vietnamese before the talks were midway through and tell them they’d be shafted by the final agreement. The talks were blown up, Nixon was elected, and the rat fucker kept the war going for 7 more years with nearly 25,000 more lives lost. The bastard, as Oliver Stone noted, even extended the war into Cambodia.
Maddow noted that Johnson knew about Nixon’s disgusting political ploy but was unable to relate it prior to the election, because it entailed the use of spy technology the CIA (and NSA) didn’t want exposed. So, ironically LBJ, who originally crafted the ploy to instigate the Vietnam war, had to sit quietly and not say one word while Nixon used a lie to get elected – when Johnson knew all along what he really planned. Readers who wish to access the segment can do so here: http://theimmoralminority.blogspot.com/2013/03/rachel-maddow-reports-that-richard.html
Of course, this is all evocative of launching – with a multitude of lies and deceit – the Iraq War, for which no WMD were ever found, and Saddam had not one damned thing to do with al Qaeda. Never mind, once the liars and political maggots got going, including getting the press on board, it became merely a matter of time before ‘Shock and Awe’ and the loss of nearly 600,000 Iraqi lives, and 4,500+ Americans. Oh, and a cost of over $3 trillion!
Now, let’s understand how the seeds for all our illegal wars were spawned! This has been uncovered over decades by deep politics researchers, with the use of Freedom of information released files. If one looks back at the document track, one can pretty well discern that the incentive to meddle in other nations’ affairs – as part of U.S. foreign policy – probably commenced with The National Security Council (NSC) Directive ‘NSC 10/2’ on June 18, 1948. A key element therein warned that all activities to be conducted against “hostile” foreign states – on in support of “friendly” ones, were to be executed so that “no U.S. Government responsibility would be evident to any unauthorized persons.” The provision also had to be included that if such activities were discovered “the U.S. Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them.”
The scope of activities enumerated under the directive included: “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action – including sabotage; subversion against hostile states including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerillas and refugee liberation groups and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.”
Ratcheting up the effect, and consolidating the impetus to Empire building was the document NSC-68, prepared by Paul Nitze of the National Security Council – completed by 1950. The document essentially contained the blueprint for unending strife and undeclared wars, all of which would be invoked on the basis of a zero tolerance threshold for foreigners’ misbehavior. The putative basis? To enable U.S. agitation, overthrow (or assassination) of democratically-elected leaders, and large and small occupations (ranging from the few thousand troops in the Dominican Republic in 1965, to more than 200,000 in Iraq by 2006.)
The motivating force of the document was clear in this regard:
“a defeat of free institutions anywhere is a defeat everywhere”
In other words, any place for which the U.S. even remotely construes a “defeat of free institutions” gives it license to intervene at will. This critical aspect is described thusly by Morris Berman:
“Nitze emphasized the importance of perception, arguing that how we were seen was as crucial as how militarily secure we actually were. This rapidly expanded the number of interests deemed relevant to national security”.
In other words, it provided the formula for unending war, and the building of Empire. Gore Vidal pinpoints the emergence of the American Empire when he notes:
“Since 1950 the
That was the end of that Constitution”.
The key point to note here is not only did the U.S. invoke a specious doctrine to entitle it to engage in warfare wherever it deemed the “need” (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Nicaragua, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.) but also to take out democratically elected leaders where and when they threatened U.S. corporate interests, such as Premier Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran (1953)- threatened U.S. Oil interests, Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala (1954) Even when specious doctrines weren't invoked, lies and deceptions often were in order to involve the U.S. in massive troop deployments and years of ruinous (to lives and treasure) military intrusions. For example, LBJ employed the ruse of the North Vietnamese firing on the Maddox and Turner Joy in international waters in August, 1964 as the basis to ramp up the Vietnam War. Similarly, Bush and Cheney employed the ruse that Saddam had "WMD" to justify Operation "Iraqi Freedom”.
The question for REAL citizens and REAL patriots (as opposed to 'consumers' and paper patriots), is whether they will stand up and question their country (and whatever party, political administration) when it veers off on the wrong track. This, as opposed to being unwilling, passive puppets who remain quiet while massively -spilled blood and treasure hurls us into further decline and eventual oblivion. Puppets who confirm again the words of Hermann Goering, cited in the preface to this blog. Meanwhile, rendering our nation just another in a series of empires relegated to the dustbin of history. The choice is one for each of us to make! And make no mistake, it IS a moral choice. All that's needed for evil to triumph is for good men to sit by and do or say nothing!
 Morris Berman: 2006, Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire, W.W. Norton, page 118.
 Gore Vidal: 2002, Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta, Thunders Mouth, p. 124.
 Of course, the ignominious “Bush Doctrine” – crafted under the auspices of the 2002 National Security Strategy – was even more noisome and outrageous, allowing for pre-emptive war as it made Iraq the gold standard for precedence. See: Berman, op. cit., p. 203.