Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Who REALLY supports our troops?

  1. Nov 8, 2003 #1
    Just something to think about.Those politicians who are against 'entitlement' programs, are also against funding things like VA benefits, improvements in military housing, and paying hazard pay for our troops in Iraq. When some politicians call for more military spending, they mean more pork for the arms suppliers that fill their campaign fund coffers. They sure as f*** don't mean spending money on the troops. Some examples include the Osprey aircraft that apparently doesn't work, and the obsolete artillery system that Rumsfeld had to block after years and tens of millions were already spent.(I should remember the name of that howitzer...I was stationed at Ft. Sill, OK, and met the Army officer who named it. Oh well...)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2003 #2
    Ha!, Zero in the armed forces? Man, you must have been high for a couple of years...
     
  4. Nov 9, 2003 #3
    I don't do drugs, and was completely clean the entire time I was in, I took my oath seriously, unlike out current 'deserter in chief'.
     
  5. Nov 9, 2003 #4

    NateTG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    What do you expect from an administration that goes into Afghanistan and Iraq without plausible after or exit strategy? After or exit startegy for the soldiers?
     
  6. Nov 9, 2003 #5
    Wasn't it called the "Crusader?" Wouldn't THAT have been a PR snafu. Anywho, I don't see how one can support the war and then say they care for the troops.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2003 #6
    I don't know how or why the left has been portrayed as anti-troops. In the Vietnam war the major issue pushed by yippies (not hippies, my yippie anthropology teacher taught me the difference) was the plight of the soldiers and the rising body counts. Today I would like anyone to find an anti-war protest where many of the signs aren't about bringing our troops home and the rising death toll of Americans in Iraq.
     
  8. Nov 15, 2003 #7

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Rage, this is an old old dynamic, already seen in WWI. It doesn't matter how much you protest in the name of the troops, if you're (A) Left and (B) against the war, you'll be smeared as anti-soldier, and the public will lap it up. Sociology, anyone?
     
  9. Nov 15, 2003 #8

    kat

    User Avatar


    Rage- Yes, there were those on the left who simply wanted the troops brought home for their own good, the problem is IMO is that there is always an element that seems to place itself among those very same lefts who (in regards to the vietnam war) were also screaming "BABYKILLER" and quite literally spitting on the troops as they came home.
    I think there's been a very conscious effort to avoid those type of actions by those on both the left and the right but..it was not the right during the vietnam war who were spitting on our young men who had just come home from hell.
     
  10. Nov 15, 2003 #9

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    kat, this illustrates the point I made to Rage. Just because the protesters are leftish, they get melded into everyone's thoughts about other leftist protestors in other times. One girl shouts baby killer at one returning soldier in 1969, and the whole left gets smeared with it for the rest of time. And I beleive its been shown that many of the anti-vietnam vet stories the right likes to hug never happened.

    I remember when those two famous photos were published. The one with the little girl running, screaming, and burning from napalm, and the other one of the Vietnames cop blowing a subjects brains out with a forty-five. You didn't have to love Ho Chi Minh to be horrified.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2003
  11. Nov 15, 2003 #10
    Remember, also, that the Democrats have many decorated soldiers on their side, while the Bush administrators have a bunch of cowards who avoid real conflict at all costs. Bush deserted, Cheney was too busy, most of the rest were in college. Colin Powell is a token in more ways than one, apparently.
     
  12. Nov 17, 2003 #11

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    While there were some instances of verbal abuse, including "Babykiller", the spitting is a myth. No credible recorded instance of a returning Vietnam vet being spat upon exists. There are plenty of stories about it, but they all turn out to be made up. The right likes to make stuff like this up to tell about the left.

    Njorl
     
  13. Nov 17, 2003 #12

    kat

    User Avatar

    Well, Honestly...I think that's a load of you know what. I'm JUST old enough to remember that time period. But, because now I have to check my memory I'll email my father, who not only served in vietnam but also went on to treating vets, and later became the North Eastern Regional Administrator for the vietnam veterans Admin.
    I think this is probably actually a great example of the Left's Revisionist history (again):wink:
     
  14. Nov 17, 2003 #13
    That or a great example of urban myths. "yeah, I knew a guy who got spit on by a leftist - that reminds me, did you hear people are stealing organs from unsuspecting people?"
     
  15. Nov 17, 2003 #14

    kat

    User Avatar

    We didn't use the term "leftist" the way you do now, then. Sorry.
     
  16. Nov 17, 2003 #15

    selfAdjoint

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    As I recall, the term of art then was "comsymp". Nowadays they say it longer "objectively on the side of al Queda". Same difference.
     
  17. Nov 17, 2003 #16

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You will have no shortage of research material. There have been many essays on the phenomenon, and at least one book. One essayist, after receiving a ton of mail refuting his claim investigated the 63 most likely instances of spitting. In every case, the claiment turned out to be exaggerating, or, as was more often the case, had related a hearsay account as a first person account.

    Interstingly, much like alien sightings, these "spittings" usually have many things in common. The spitter is almost always a young woman described as a hippie or flower child. The vet never reacts hostilely, he just skulks away. It almost always takes place in an airport, evidently a special airport with a hippie gauntlet which veterans have to run.

    Njorl
     
  18. Nov 18, 2003 #17
    Care to back that up with some evidence?
     
  19. Nov 18, 2003 #18
    Just as an aside...politicians waving flags are not supporting the troops. Politicians who are willing to fund VA hospitals and push for raises in Military pay are.
     
  20. Nov 18, 2003 #19

    kat

    User Avatar

    Really, the only "evidence" I would trust is that of personal experience and honest dialogue from someone I would trust to be honest who experienced it and lived through the period. Hence, my statement on "checking" my memory, as I was old enough to form ideas but young enough to question their legitimacy. So, as I said I would email my father, who not only lived through the period but also spent almost 2 decades championing the rights and continuesly pushing for better care of veterans. Not to mention that for quite some time he treated 100's of them for the various phsycological issues they were dealing with.
    So, anyway..his response:

     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2003
  21. Nov 18, 2003 #20

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    [q]A marine was beat to death and urinated and defecated on at the airport in Los Angeles when I returned. [/q]

    I don't believe it. Sorry, but if it happened, I think I'd be able to find some record of it. When you post a news story or an obituary, or maybe a name at least, I'll believe it. I've searched different crime logs, Viet nam vet returning stories, all sorts of things. I did find this story, upon googling <murder los angeles airport vietnam vet marine>

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/108.html

    It is about "rightists" framing a decorated Vietnam vet for murder.

    [q]Viet Nam Vets were wrongly accused of being drug addicts and very unstable.[/q]

    I know several who were heroin addicts, one died from his addiction, and one who tried to run over a policeman with his car. I don't know if they were more or less likely to be drug addicted or unstable than the population at large, but I would expect that it was probably more. Post traumatic stress disorder is well documented. Still, this is no excuse for prejudice against them, exactly the opposite in fact.

    I think your father is letting his own views cloud his memory. Because he is conservative, he was offering psychological counseling to vets, but "lefties" think vets are mentally unstable. Doesn't that statement set of alarms?

    I'm sorry that this seems like a personal attack on your father. It isn't meant to be. Everybody's memory is clouded by beliefs. I know mine is. That is why documentation is so important in cases like this. One thing I'm pretty sure I remember quite well though is that the cultural divide in the late '60s and early '70s dwarfed our little differences over Iraq tody. That is pretty frightening. Those beliefs color every memory from that time. Imagine Zero and Geniere going at it at a thousand times the volume.

    Njorl
     
  22. Nov 18, 2003 #21
    Anyhoo, the whole 'babykillers' thing doesn't reflect on 'the left'(whatever that is), any more than the actual Vietnam vets who murdered babies should reflect on all veterans. Too many people like to take isolated cases from 30-40 years ago,and use it to paint an unflattering portrait of an entire group of people...
     
  23. Nov 18, 2003 #22

    kat

    User Avatar


    1.Your murder story occurs several 3-4 years after my father returned.
    2. There's a lot of horrid news that is not available online, including the recent bizarre death of a man who lives next to me. (stabbed himself 4 times after stabbing his dog?) so, that you don't find something that happened decades ago online is of little meaning in the "fact or fiction" department.
    3. This is a first hand account from my father, it is offensive to have him called a liar.
    4. Do you also believe it's fiction that they were told not to wear their uniforms in the U.S.?


    Off the top of my head I cannot say, but I do know that the statistics are available.

    My fathers always been quite lucid and not taken up with "fanciful" stories.
    My fathers a staunch Democrat, Lol. "lefties" were not mentioned in my discussion with my father, nor in his comments. Where are you getting this?

    no, actually, I think you;ve formed an opinion based on revisionist history and that's your choice. It is an attack on my father, he's anything but "clouded" lol.
    I agree completely. There probably is documentation on the crime my father outlines. That just doesn't mean your going to find it on the internet.
    Yes, I remember that time period being one of massive societal upheaval. Not only in regards to vietnam, but race,economic and sexual liberation.
     
  24. Nov 18, 2003 #23

    kat

    User Avatar

    A couple of thoughts. I hope that you took note of what I said about an element that places itself amongst the left. To me, there's a "violent, often opinionated and usually oppressive in it's own manner" element that hides itself on both ends of the spectrum. In regards to the left, when I'm not teasing..or jerking your chain, I do try to be specific on who I'm referring to. The "real" left, including the real left of the 60's and 70's, were those who fought for internation human rights for all, economic and social rights for men and women, and for all races. That same "lefts also gave us the right to unemployment benefits, the right to sick pay, the right to pensions, the right to paid holidays and paid sick leave, the right to medical care for all via taxes, the right to trade unions association etc. etc.
    Having said that, maybe you missed it, but I find it notable that when discussing what Vet's faced returning home, he did not mention a certain "group" of people only that as a whole "People could not separate the war from the veteran."
     
  25. Nov 18, 2003 #24
    Good 'ol COINTELPRO. You think we would have learned from COINTELPRO not to trust the FBI, but meh...
     
  26. Nov 19, 2003 #25

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    [q]My fathers always been quite lucid and not taken up with "fanciful" stories.
    [/q]

    Congratulations. Your father, alone of the 6 billion people on the planet has this capacity as far as I can tell.

    A very good book on memory came out a few years back. In it, the author described just how poor human memory is. One instance was memories of the Kennedy assassination. It is one of those things people never forget, allegedly. But when researched, it was discovered that some people placed themselves in places, doing things that would not be possible. They remembered themselves with family members who, just as clearly, remembered them NOT being there.

    Another interesting, and more pertainent phenomenon was transfomation of memories from second person to first person. This was not a rare occurance, limited to those who wished they had more interesting lives. Virtually everyone did it. You hear a story about something, and soon it becomes something you witnessed firsthand. I don't doubt your father is being honest with you. I doubt the accuracy of his memory.

    I have been looking quite a bit now. I have found no first hand accounts of abuse of returning vets. There are plenty of second hand accounts, and a general attitude of "everyone knows it happened", but nothing that would make a skeptical scientific mind believe it happened regularly. Frankly, I'd be surprised if it never happened at all. I think there must have been at least a few isolated instances, but it could not have been widespread, not nearly.

    Njorl
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook