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Special Report | Ignoring What We Still Haven't Learned from the Vietnam War

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US Troops in Firefight in Viet Nam

  • Part 1: What We Still Haven't Learned from the Vietnam War
  • What happened to the citizens, community leaders, institutions, and politicians that we would allow this endless warfare to continue?
  • Part 2: Ken Burns’ powerful anti-war film on Vietnam ignores the power of the anti-war movement
  • The Vietnam peace movement provides an inspiring example of the power of ordinary citizens willing to stand up to the world’s most powerful government in a time of war. Its story deserves to be told fairly and fully.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 



Part 1: What We Still Haven't Learned from the Vietnam War

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Pentagon%20Protest%20Oct%2021%2C%2067.jpgPentagon Protest Oct 21, 67 Vietnam War protesters march at the Pentagon in Washington, DC on October 21, 1967. Photo credit: Frank Wolfe / LBJ Library / Wikimedia

What happened to the citizens, community leaders, institutions, and politicians that we would allow this endless warfare to continue? And where is the anti-war movement? Why are they MIA?

Jimmy Falls, WhoWhatWhy

October 21, 2017 | Fifty years ago today, in 1967, nearly 100,000 Americans marched on Washington, DC, to protest the Vietnam War. In those days there was a mandatory draft in place, and the risk was very real that a young man just out of high school could quickly wind up 13,000 miles away, fighting an unseen enemy in jungles that didn’t need tanks or B-52 bombers to inflict fear. Worse yet was the possibility of going MIA or coming home in a body bag — just another expendable statistic in the great fight against communism. But even many of those who made it back left part of their souls in that war zone.

Today there is no longer a mandatory draft. And neither is there any anti-war movement to speak of.

Jimmy Falls: Author at WhoWhatWhy.

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Part 2: Ken Burns’ powerful anti-war film on Vietnam ignores the power of the anti-war movement

 

The Vietnam peace movement provides an inspiring example of the power of ordinary citizens willing to stand up to the world’s most powerful government in a time of war. Its story deserves to be told fairly and fully.

Robert Levering, Waging Non-violence

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Vietnam%20Ant-War%20Protest.jpgOctober 17, 2017 | Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s PBS series, “The Vietnam War,” deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement.

Millions of us joined the struggle against the war. I worked for years as an organizer for major national demonstrations and many smaller ones. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental.

Robert Levering worked as full-time anti-Vietnam war organizer with such groups as AFSC and the New Mobilization Committee and Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice. He is currently working on a book entitled "Resistance and the Vietnam War: The Nonviolent Movement that Crippled the Draft, Thwarted the War Effort While Helping Topple Two Presidents" to be published in 2018. He is also working with a team of fellow draft resisters on a documentary to be released in 2018 entitled "The Boys Who Said NO! Draft Resistance and the Vietnam War."

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AFRICOM and the Self-Investigation Farce

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A U.S. Army Special Forces weapons sergeant addresses a group of Nigerien soldiers before a team exercise in Diffa, Niger, in March. (Spc. Zayid Ballesteros / U.S. Army)

  • Consider economist and political scientist Joseph Schumpeter’s description: the nation “pretends to aspire to peace but unerringly generates war … there was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger … the whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies.” Sound familiar? He was talking about Ancient Rome. We all know how that turned out.
  • Related: How America Spreads Global Chaos
  • Related: 'Stop US Aggression': Venezuela and the World  Reacts to 'Imperialist' Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela

 

Danny Sjursen, TruthDig

 

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Nov 10, 2017 | Investigating yourself: a surefire way to never get to the bottom of anything. Of course, in some cases that is exactly the point.

Take the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), the headquarters responsible for U.S. military forces deployed on the vast African continent. Last month, Africa—specifically remote Niger—catapulted (however briefly) to the top of American newscasts when four U.S. Army special operations troops were killed in a ferocious ambush. The details remain sketchy but officials quickly blamed the Islamic State of Greater Sahara (ISGS), a loose affiliate of ISIS, though curiously neither al-Qaida nor Islamic State claimed responsibility. Many tactical questions lingered: Did the troops receive a change of mission, were they set up by local village elders, did they have enough air support? Well, this week AFRICOM’s own, two-star chief of staff was appointed to investigate the “incident” in Niger. Certainly, the general will ask and—hopefully—answer those basic tactical questions.

  http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Danny%20Sjursen_0.jpg  Danny Sjursen is a U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, "Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge."

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Related:

How America Spreads Global Chaos, Nicolas J. S. Davies, Antiwar.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bomb%20with%20US%20Flag_0.jpgAmericans had better hope that we are not so exceptional, and that the world will find a diplomatic rather than a military “solution” to its American problem. Our chances of survival would improve a great deal if American officials and politicians would finally start to act like something other than putty in the hands of the CIA.

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'Stop US Aggression': Venezuela and the World  Reacts to 'Imperialist' Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • Part 1: 'Stop US Aggression': Venezuela Responds to 'Imperialist' Trump
    • U.S. President Donald Trump claims he is exploring "a possible military option" against Venezuela.
  • Part 2: The World Reacts to Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela
    • Politicians, social movements and governments have been issuing their responses.
  • Related: Nygaard Notes | Venezuala

 

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Special Project | An Armistice Day Reader (2)

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  • Part 1: A New Armistice Day
  • Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
  • Part 2: Veterans need opportunity to catch up with those who had ‘bone spurs’
  • To provide adequate care for the veterans who go to war to defend us, we need to … begin increasing the capacity of the (VA) as soon as we go to war.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: A New Armistice Day

https://i2.wp.com/davidswanson.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/http_a.amz_.mshcdn.com_wp-content_uploads_2014_11_Armistice-13.jpg?resize=1000%2C643Kurt Vonnegut, a U.S. World War II veteran, wrote in 1973: “Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not. So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.”

davidswanson, Let's Try Democracy

November 8, 2017 | Exactly at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 99 years ago, people across Europe suddenly stopped shooting guns at each other. Up until that moment, they were killing and taking bullets, falling and screaming, moaning and dying. Then they stopped, on schedule. It wasn’t that they’d gotten tired or come to their senses. Both before and after 11 o’clock they were simply following orders. The Armistice agreement that ended World War I had set 11 o’clock as quitting time.

And then the world had a party, the likes of which we have not seen or dreamed of — a party now in bad need of a sequel.

davidswanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie and When the World Outlawed War. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

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Part 2: Veterans need opportunity to catch up with those who had ‘bone spurs’

Lawrence J. Korb, InsideSources.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Veterans%27%20concerns%20%26%20stories_0.jpgPhoto Credit: Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com

To provide adequate care for the veterans who go to war to defend us, we need to raise taxes on the rest of the public and begin increasing the capacity of the Department of Veterans Affairs as soon as we go to war, rather than play catch-up, as we did after the attacks of 9/11.

November 9, 2017 | In deciding what this country owes its veterans, it is important to keep in mind that for the last 50 years, the burden of defending this nation has not been shared equitably among the American population, as it was in World War II.

Beginning in the mid 1960s — when this nation still had a selective service system, or draft — and as the American involvement in the bloody war in Vietnam increased, many of the upper class were able to use a variety of technically legal measures to avoid going to Vietnam. (For example, only one of the past five Americans who served as president and vice president and were of draft age during the war in Vietnam actually served there: Vice President Al Gore. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, and Vice Presidents Richard Cheney and Joe Biden all had other priorities.)

Lawrence J. Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information. He served as an assistant secretary of the Department of Defense from 1981 to 1985.

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How the Military-Industrial Complex Preys on the Troops

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  • The Scandal of Pentagon Spending 
  • Your Tax Dollars Support Troops of Defense Contractor CEOs 

William Hartung, Tom Dispatch

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Young%20Woman%20Laying%20Prostrate%20at%20Military%20Headstone.jpgOctober 10, 2017 | I’m sure you’ve heard about the $65 million.  Or was it $86 million?  Or was it even more?  You know, the funds the Pentagon sunk into that hotshot plane it was preparing for its Afghan drug interdiction program. You haven’t?

Well, as Megan Rose reported at ProPublica, with its “electro-optical infra-red video capacity,” that counternarcotics plane was supposed to lend a significant hand in surveilling and disrupting the Afghan heroin trade. Only one small problem. That single plane never made it out of a warehouse in Delaware or flew a mission in Afghanistan, whatever its cost (which the Pentagon was typically incapable of tracking), and when it was recently offered for sale at auction, no one wanted to put down a red cent for it.  And lest you think of that as a bizarre anomaly, consider, as Rose points out, the $3 million patrol boats for Afghanistan the Navy purchased that never made it out of Virginia or the 20 planes for the Afghan air force that the Pentagon spent a mere $486 million on, even though they never flew and finally brought in just $32,000 as scrap metal.  Or think for a moment about the more than $65 billion (yep, billion!) that went into the woefulAfghan military, an inept force long mentored by the U.S. military that remains filled with “ghost soldiers” and plagued by soaring casualties and staggering desertion rates.  Or since America’s war zones have, in these years, been sinkholes of corruption, just recall the $43 million gas station built by the Pentagon in the middle of an Afghan nowhere, or the similarly infamous “highway to nowhere,” or the state-of-the-art U.S. military headquarters in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, that doubled in cost to $25 million while under construction and was never used, or the $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in cash that was somehow stolen from the U.S. in Iraq, which itself was just a drop in the bucket, given the $60 billion lost to waste and fraud in that particular morass of a war zone.  And mind you, that’s just to start down a list of catastrophic “investments” in this country's wars.

William Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.  His most recent book is Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

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