I recently came across a moving post at Wolfessblog that brought to my attention a homage already underway for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War Commemoration and it’s accompanying website was green-lit by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. All I can say is thank goodness the Dept. of Defense is finally getting around to memorializing the indiscriminate slaughter, chemical warfare and weapons of mass destruction that were unleashed by the U.S. military on the civilian population in Vietnam. I am confident that the thousands of veterans who returned from Southeast Asia drug addicted, Agent Oranged and PTSD’ed will find some measure of peace knowing there is now an interactive timeline dedicated to their efforts. I think I speak for all Vietnamese people whose livelihoods, families and homes were forever altered by the U.S. military campaign when I say, “Your commemoration and most of all your glorious website makes up for everything.” As I wipe away the tears, I chastise myself for ever wishing The Hague upon the executives of Monsanto, Dow Chemical and the American government who orchestrated this just (a bunch of gooks) war.
Until recent decades, the shadow of the Vietnam War loomed large over American geopolitics and the bellicose were relegated to shadow wars in Central America to appease a war weary public. But nobody puts baby in a corner for long. At the end of Gulf War I: Desert Storms, Bush Sr. whooped, “By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!” All that was needed was a cataclysmic event to activate the shock doctrine in star spangled style. As citizens reeled from the singular event known as 9/11, the monolithic apparatus known as the United States government, which can barely get out of it’s own way on a good day, somehow found the political will and unity to authorize the Patriot Act. The bible beltway was then loosened to launch another just (a bunch of Muslims) war. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a transplanted Vietnamese adoptee, it’s that Americans love their memorials. With luck, future generations will get the privilege of participating in the Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya/Syria/TBD War Commemoration. Meanwhile, the venerable Veterans for Peace have launched their own counter-insurgency known as the Peace and Justice Commemoration that is part of a broader campaign for full disclosure of what really went down in the kill anything that moves fields. Clearly, they haven’t been to the new website, yet.
Peace and solidarity to all readers.