Fighting? Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Ted Rudow III, MA, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:18 am
I bet you could ask almost any American today why the U.S. was fighting in Vietnam and they couldn't give you a good reason. You know the reasons that Johnson and Kennedy gave?--"We're fighting for freedom for the Vietnamese. We're fighting to protect free South Vietnam Well, whether they wanted to be or not they wound up not being free, the U.S. lost the war and North Vietnam took over!
Really now, how many Americans really cared about the Vietnamese being free or not? How many American boys would have been happy to go over there and give their lives to free the Vietnamese? How many had such idealistic ideals? They don't know what they fought the Korean war for either, which they lost. They also don't know why they fought the Grenadian war or why they fought the Panamanian war. They don't know what they fought these wars for.--And they know just as little about why they're now going to be made to fight and die. I don't even think most of them would be willing to go there and die for the oil.
Posted by Barney, a resident of the Triple El neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:37 am
Don't think about the wars and losses when I fill up the tank. Certainly don't say that with any pride, only regret.
Oddly, I find it disconcerting when I wash a piece of clothing for the first time, look at the label and find it's made in Vietnam, then realizing that Vietnam exports a lot of clothing to the US. Some of our biggest trading partners are Communists (China, of course, and VN.)
Some of the countries where we've spent the most on in security and foreign policy 'investments' are oil or oil related countries.
What will we think of those countries in 3 decades? Same as the Communist trading partners of today?
Not really related to my question, but to the losses of our military families: Biden goes off script on Memorial Day for the Gold Star families - Web Link
A beautiful man to share so with those longing for their husbands, fathers, sons....
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm
Americans have fought foreign wars, in the cause of liberation, since the Spanish-American War and WWI. Remember Wilson, who said initially, that he would stay our of European wars? Monroe Doctrine? SEATO?
I, sadly, demonstrated against the Vietnam War, during my socialist days. Shame on me. Hanoi should have been bombed into the stone age in 1966.
The great evils of the past century are socialism (to include fascism/communism-Stalinism/Leninism) and Islam.
America should continue to fight those evils, both ideologically and militarily (inlcuding cyber war). The Liberation of Iraq should be an example for celebration...it will change the world for the better, if handled right.
Pacifism has no moral basis, Jesus/Ghandi or not. It is just a prescription for mass murder.
Ted, do you have any real knowledge about the mass murders of the previous century? You come off as some dreamy pothead from the 60s.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm
Gary--If I recall a number of years ago you claimed to have been "in country" in Vietnam but not with the military. Now you say you demonstrated against the war. So which was it???
AS for your comments about Hanoi--our military is better than that--we do not engage in war crimes and atrocities. The death toll from innocent civilians caused by your suggesting of bombing Hanoi would have been outrageous. Or do you not care for innocent women and children??? You also clearly have no clue about Vietnam, since bombing Hanoi would have killed relatives of those in the south--the same people we were trying to win the hearts and minds of.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm
"Wrong continent. Wrong war. Do your homework."
No I am right. You are wrong.
"Hanoi had no qualms about mass murder of innocents. If we Americans had done a Curtis LeMay on downtown Hanoi, in 1966, many fewer innocents would have been killed."
I thought we were supposed to be better than the communists. Better than a totalitarian regime that has no problems murdering innocents. Isn't that what that war was all about. Or do you feel that two wrongs make a right.
"t is so sad that current leftists continue to defend the indefensible...mass murder."
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm
"You tell me. Did the bombing of Germany and Japan make it wrong? Or do you prefer that Hitler be left in power? Japanese military regime?"
Apples and oranges, Gary. Once your logic is shown to be faulty, you introduce unrelated issues. We are talking about Vietnam and your idea to bomb Hanoi, thereby killing innocent men, women and children--the relatives of those we were trying to win the hearts and minds of.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm
Viet Nam is an interesting subject. I was close to having to go there and would not have done it, would have rather gone to jail. But that was then and this is now.
The one thing I can say about the US and Viet Nam is that we have gotten much better at fighting these kinds of wars. Iraq and Afghanistan actually seem to not be the mess Viet Nam is despite so many hoping it would be.
I don't like how the war was executed. It started with bombing civilian neighborhoods with the reasoning that they had intel it was where Saddam Hussein was, but all they did was blow up innocent people. Lots more stuff like that, but not as bad, as long, or as costly as Viet Nam.
The US may actually be learning something about these types of conflicts and developing a technology to fight them. I think we will end up using it next on Pakistan who is behaving belligerently and rogue against the whole world, and has nukes as well.
It would not be a bad idea to turn over Pakistan. It would give one more reason to Iran as to why they better straighten up.
Also, Syria needs to be busted up too. Progress is being made in the Middle East, and not just for the US or Israel, the whole world benefits when the rule of law is extended and dictators like these guys are removed.
Posted by Jackson Z, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm
Back to Vietnam. Maybe we can learn something about the present...
"Willard Mitt Romney, 23, uses his father’s famous remark to show where he stands, “I think we were brainwashed,” says the son of House of Housing and urban Development Secretary George Romney. “If it wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is.”" in an article "Cabinet kids against the war" when his father was in the Nixon cabinet Web Link also here Web Link=
Unsurprisingly, that was a flip flop of his earlier stand in 1969; he was a fixture as a pro-war protester.
Mitt's stand today? Flip flopped flipped again, of course - he supports the war.
When Mitt did support the war, was it enough that he served?
Well, Mitt 'served' during the war. In Paris. As a missionary.
Does that put Mitt squarely in the Bush/Cheney camp?
Yes. Mitt has hired many of the Bush/Cheney team, adheres to Bush/Cheney policies, and like the numerous members of the Bush/Cheney team that were chickenhawks, Mitt didn't serve when he had the opportunity.
Cheney, after all, had 6 deferments. Mitt went to Paris.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm
> your idea to bomb Hanoi, thereby killing innocent men, women and children--the relatives of those we were trying to win the hearts and minds of.
No, wrong! We never tried to win the 'hearts and minds' of the Germans and Japanese. We defeated them, then their hearts and minds had to follow.
The S. Vietnamese were under a continual attack from the N. Vietnamese (using the Viet Cong as proxies), a socialist tyranny. Cut the head off the snake, by bombing Hanoi, when it counted (1966). We would still be getting goods produced by them, but many fewer innocents would be killed and enslaved under socialism.
"Cut the head off the snake, by bombing Hanoi, when it counted (1966). "
In other words kill innocent women and children, committ war atrocities and further alienate your supporters in the south. Boy, no wonder you never made it to the military. So, Gary bottom line, you are a supporter of war criminals. Who are your favorites--Charles Taylor, Pol Pot???
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm
The random bombing of Viet Nam, the defoliation and the attempt to destroy the land was just plain evil on our parts and should never have been done. To the extent we did, we just made the job harder or impossible for ourselves, and turned the world against us.
We are doing a similar thing with these drone strikes. We should do less of them making sure that we get the right guys, and not a lot of innocents.
Not to mention we were operating all over the place lying to the American people about Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, etc. Viet Nam was a war driven by people with a 19th century war mentality and 20th century weapons, like toys.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm
>The random bombing of Viet Nam, the defoliation and the attempt to destroy the land was just plain evil on our parts and should never have been done.
There would not have been such random bombing, in the jungles of Vietnam, if we had done downtown Hanoi, in 1966.
Ho Chi Minh was an evil socialist devil, similar to Stalin and Lenin and Hitler and Pol Pot and Mao and Saddam. The way to defeat him was to kill him and his forces, with the most lethal targeted methods available. That means downtown Hanoi, and Haiphong harbor (B-52s and mines). Johnson refused. By the time Nixon got around to it, it was too late.
Vietnam is now a socialist slave state, somewaht similar to Cuba. There are no individual rights in any socialist slave states.
Iraq, on the other hand, is now liberated, because GWB went for the kill.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm svatoid is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I am surprised that the Weekly staff does not consider gary's idea of "bombing Hanoi back to the stoneage" and in the process killing innocent women and children to be revolting. I also think it is odd that telling Gary that he knows nothing of what is happeneing in Vietnam these days when he states "Vietnam is now a socialist slave state, somewaht similar to Cuba. There are no individual rights in any socialist slave states." is a cause for censorship.
But that is what the weekly is all about now--protecting certain individuals from criticsm (they must be big donators to the weekly). Timothy Grey's commenst from another thread were spot on about the weekly.
But please continue to send in your large doantions to the weekly--Gary, Sharon, Mitt Romney et all need to be protected from criticism.
Posted by Bill Johnson, publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, on Jun 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm Bill Johnson is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Feel free to criticize the editing that our moderators do on Town Square, but at least do it honestly. The comments of yours that repeatedly get removed are disrespectful characterizations of other posters. When you call another poster or his/her comments "pathetic" or "revolting," or worse, they will be removed. If you simply engage in respectful debate, you are fine. We don't care what points of view you take, so long as you don't personally attack or ridicule someone trying to exercise his/her right to an opinion. As you know, we've deleted such comments made about you by other posters as well, and I don't think you would suggest we're doing it to protect you from criticism. I'm sorry you disagree with our groundrules for use of Town Square, but simply don't post if you don't like them.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm svatoid is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Bills typical response-if you do not like the rules, don't post. I can take the criticism and do not need you to protect me,.my feelings are not as sensitive as yours. I am also happy to know that you feel that committing war crimes, as Gary suggests, is not revolting. As for deletion of an innocuous comment stating that someone is unaware if what is happening in Vietnam today,.I will leave it to you to figure out an excuse. Too bag you have forgotten that you were a journalist and what free speech is all about. I guess when it becomes about the money that is what happens. Your recent hiatus into blatant censorship, poorly investigated endorsements and purposeful ignorance of a candidates stance on the issues reflect badly on your ” newspaper”. Timothy Grey was correct in his comments about the weekly.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Correction - First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm svatoid is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Quite true, peter. However,I expect more from a local newspaper. Maybe my standards are too high. Or maybe the quality of the weekly has gone downhill. Saying that a paper is free to print or not print what they want is a handy excuse, also.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, on Jun 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
"Saying that a paper is free to print or not print what they want is a handy excuse, also."
That is exactly what the First Amendment says. Why should a newspaper be forced to publish whatever you or I think that they should publish? Publishers and editors are paid to use their judgement not to simply be a dictaphone for whomever wants to see their words in print.
If you want to be sure that your words appear somewhere then either buy a newspaper or start a blog.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
svatoid - You are wrong to suggest that the weekly's exercise of it editorial prerogative is a a sign of poor quality; I think that you would have much less success getting your comments posted by the New York Times, Washington Post or Wall Street Journal. The Weekly spends time and money to provide this forum and they have the right to exercise their judgement about what to include. I think that many reasonable persons would agree with the Weekly's decisions to delete certain postings.
Why don't you start a Palo Alto blog and post your thoughts there and then commit to posting whatever anybody else wants to say on your blog? If you did you would soon be buried in trash and nobody would bother to read your blog.
Posted by bru, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm bru is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
> > Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
> svatoid - you are free to say whatever you want and the Weekly is free to not print what you say.
Peter Carpenter, do you speak for Palo Alto Online in some capacity?
If you do, they what is the need to repeat what was said by Bill Johnson earlier … but in a particularly in a condescending tone. That seemed unnecessart and rude to me.
If you don't, then what is the point to butt in and pretend to be superior to someone without adding anything to the discussion, or does that comment have some added value that I am missing.
THIS, is exactly the editorial problem PAO faces, and in my opinion continually fails to exercise consistency in their editorial actions over. For example, my post could be conceivable be read as negative of Peter Carpenter since I said his post was negative, which just means his post had problems the way I look at it. If I had to make the prediction I would say I will get "editorial attention" in some way I probably will not be happy with, but, just a guess and my guesses have been wrong.
Warn, and then if people do not respond, ban them from posting. If they do it consistently ban then entirely for some increasing interval, hours to days? But if you cannot or will not
Seriously, how could any kind of consensus government survive this kind of disruption and work, particularly when so much money is circulating invisibly among so many corrupt inviduals that have so much power and so little regulation.
We are clearing redlining in terms of whatever kind of individual representation citizens are supposed to have in this society, based on one-liners that are massively repeated on the Internet - and the fix would start here is the so-called "new Internet media" would do its job. A big part of that job is editorial.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm svatoid is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
"svatoid - I simply disagree. I don't think anybody owes me anything for free, including unfettered access to their web site."
Okay, Peter. I understand your position on this matter and respect your position. I choose to disagree with the weekly's policies. We have agreed and disagreed on different things in the past. I think on this issue we will agree to disagree.
Posted by Bill Johnson, publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm Bill Johnson is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Thanks for your comments. No moderated blog achieves perfect consistency, because the work is shared by many and the standards require subjective interpretations by people trying to do their best. Those blogs that aren't moderated, as you probably know, become a complete mess, replete with personal attacks.
Disagreeing with Peter Carpenter or calling him on a point he's making is very different than calling him names, which is what some posters, including svatoid, do regularly. We all have different styles of communicating, and some are more comfortable than others in an environment where this is allowed. Over several years of doing this, we've tried to show posters where the line is for us by deleting comments that we think cross the line. But it is very subjective.
As for banning posters, it's almost impossible. We can block IP addresses, but that is easily overcome by knowledgeable computer folks. We can force registration, but that is easy to overcome by simply creating multiple names and email addresses.
So in the end, our primary means of keeping Town Square civil is in the moderating process, which is very labor intensive and imperfect.
Many other newspapers that operate blogs have been forced to give them up because of these challenges. That then punishes the vast majority of people that use the forum appropriately because of the actions of a few. We prefer to do the best we can, knowing that those preferring a more free-wheeling style of dialogue will often be disappointed by the limits we impose.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jun 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm svatoid is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
"Disagreeing with Peter Carpenter or calling him on a point he's making is very different than calling him names, which is what some posters, including svatoid, do regularly. "
Considering that I took a few months hiatus from posting and other factors, I am not sure what Bill considers to be "regularly". I am sure that I have called Peter Carpenter a "name", but I am sure that Bill will have it in his database (reminds me of my youth on the playground--so and so called me a name!!!)
Note also that Bill has chosen to single me out by name, as part of his attempt to justify has actions.
Thanks, bru, for pointing out the consistency issue as well.
Posted by bru, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jun 3, 2012 at 10:48 am bru is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
> please have the courage to do it using your own full name.
What part of: "We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish." do you not get ?
I am always as respectful as possible, but people who always seek to tell others what to do and think based a claim to authority that defies logic or their name often interpret things in their own peculiar way or try to intimidate people such that a contrary voice may balance.
When people rely more on their name and political pull than their ideas and honesty it's a problem for me and should be for all true Americans.
I have read your many blog postings and opinions, a Google search reveals you are quite the celebrity - in Atherton by the way. I would not attempt to compete with you on celebrity. Recent history of our country shows the abuse of power eventually negatively affects everyone.
When someone uses their celebrity or authority in a heavyhanded way it is always the first step towards problems. For example this posting is about Viet Nam, where are your comments on Viet Nam? Your post has pretty much driven this conversation down the rathole.
You posted here just to oppose someone else on an issue unrelated to the discussion so truly your post should have been considered for deletion. It probably was not because of your name and the noise you can make. In fact your continued demand for my name and others is a form of attempted intimidation, an unecessary veiled threat. In my opinion you really should be discouraged from that kind of authoritarianism - particularly since being an editor here is not your job.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton, on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:35 am Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
" where are your comments on Viet Nam"
As a US Air Force Officer I was the Vietnam Program Manager, Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), Office of the Secretary of Defense and spent two years in and out of South East Asia participating in a wide variety of combat operations. On two of these operations (Hot Tip and Pink Rose) I was heavily exposed to Agent Orange which subsequently resulted in my having an incurable form of leukemia - which is being superbly cared for by the Palo Alto VA.
All in all, my six years in the US military were a privilege and a much more rewarding experience than those of my civilian contemporaries. The only reason I left the military was that in my last assignment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense I had so totally antagonized the powers that be in the senior ranks of the military by my reports to the SecDef on the incompetent management of the conflict in Vietnam that my future assignments would have been in Thule or worse.
Posted by bru, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jun 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm bru is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
> Next question?
It was not a question, and so typical of your circuitous answers … I did say "were" … past tense … comments on Viet Nam, as in why did you post here if you were not discussing Viet Nam or American military policy?
Please go ahead and post, your point of view sounds relevent to me, except for the groupthink aspect that now repudiating your past would make much of your life's work meaningless, so of course you think it was a privilege, and apparently you're paying for it now. You've been painted into a corner in a sense.
If you are opening yourself for questions that you will answer honestly with reflection, then:
1. What is your assessment of what we were doing in Viet Nam?
2. What information and individuals led you to formulate the beliefs in #1.
3. You said you were much more rewarded than your civilian contemporaries. I am getting the gut feeling that you were afforded such a position by your family or connections, so by rewarded do you mean you served the military machine and it set you along a path of privilege?
4. I do not know what "Hot Tip" or "Pink Rose" were (if you'd care to explain), but what do you think of the strategy of spraying poison all over another country as we did in Viet Nam?
5. What do you see if any the continuous connection in American military policy between Viet Nam and the Middle East/Afghanistan/Iran/Syria?
6. Are you a believer that one or more alterations in US military tactics, such as the mining or bombing or strategic cities or ports could have changed the war?
7. Do you have any information or insight as to the character or nature of the people the US picked to put in charge of the country and why?
8. What is the nature of the United States that would enable it to kill so many people for a goal that virtually no one in the country understands today, and is that segment of the political establishment over-represented in terms of the money spent and the practical accomplishments they have performed.