- Marciano makes it clear the schools need to offer children very different role models. He has written an outstanding book that demonstrates how vital it is that we consider how we interpret the recent past in order to make decisions about the present. Those who endured the trauma of war must be given the support necessary to return to normal civilian life, but they should not be used as exemplars to encourage others to go off, endure similar horrors, and kill and die.
- This is a book that must be read by a wide audience—activists, educators, historians, sociologists political economists and concerned citizens
Yale Mangrass, LA Progressive / Vietnam Full Sisclosure
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August 29, 2016 | John Marciano has written an absolutely essential book to counter the prevailing myth that the American invasion of Vietnam must be commemorated as a “noble cause” of which all Americans need to be proud. We should not question that everyone who crossed the Pacific to kill and die there, as the embodiment of all that is great about America, has to be honored for their patriotic dedication and sacrifice. At least since Vietnam, if not much earlier, joining the military has been called “service,” a selfless act for a higher good.
We know it is good because the United States is the incarnation of the greatest good in the history of the planet.
Marciano points out that the call for honoring participants in the war does not include the hundreds of thousands who protested in opposition, who struggled to stop the carnage and the atrocities. They are ignored, if not condemned. Calls for “supporting the troops” did not mean bring them home to safety where they would be rescued from trauma and possible death for a meaningless cause, which may be considered a war crime. The victims cannot be allowed to die in vain. They must be not denied victory. The way to guarantee they do not die in vain is to have more die in vain. Marciano observes that Reagan, one of the presidents who shouted most loudly for honoring the troops and the veterans, suspended hiring in the veterans “Readjustment Counseling Program” and disbanded “all Vietnam veteran outreach programs, including an employment-training program for disabled veterans.”
Yale Mangrass is a Chancellor Professor of Sociology/Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and the co-author with Charles Derber of Bully Nation: How the American Establishment Creates a Bullying Society
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