'One of the saddest episodes in American history was the fact that these vets were often shunned and neglected--even demonized--when they came home. That was a national disgrace. On days such as this, we resolve to never let it happen again.' -- President Barack Obama
Americans with access to microphones--Barack Obama, Tim Pawlenty, local Sun-Current writer Chris Oswell--exhibit near-unanimity with regard to the Vietnam War: A stomach-turning evil occurred, when our fighters returned home: They were spat on and shat on by the [otherwise] Silent Majority. Today we can show 'Nam Vets how classy we are (in stark contrast to the unpatriotic generation which preceded us) by proclaiming our undiluted love for the entire US intervention in Indochina.
There's one type of American, needless to say, who will have considerable difficulty participating in the Obama/Pawlenty line on Vietnam: Those who believe upholding real American honor actually matters--and is far more important than reciting politically popular malarkey. These Americans choose not to participate in the great Vietnam War Amnesiafest.
Chris Oswell writes Eden Prairie veteran earns presidential citation in the 10/29/09 Sun-Current. President Obama just laureled Vietnam veterans of Alpha Company who participated in a 1970 rescue of Charlie Company, near the Cambodian border.
Did Alpha Company actually volunteer to rescue the overwhelmed company, as Oswell claims? Did every American participant in the rescue operation freely choose to participate, without the issuance of any military order?
Oswell writes, 'Seven soldiers were killed and dozens more were wounded fighting more than 400 during the' rescue.
Capt. John Poindexter [not that John Poindexter]--author of the self-published The Anonymous Battle--clarifies: 'First Cavalry division headquarters set North Vietnamese losses at 88.' IOW, when Oswell writes 'Seven soldiers were killed,' he assumes readers will understand this to mean 'Seven American soldiers'--only a silly sentimentalist would even bother mentioning the seven dozen Asian teenagers we killed. (Surely they're happier dead, no?)
But in hindsight the intervention wasn't simply mildly problematic--it was disastrous: We vastly prolonged and intensified a civil war in which millions of civilians died, in addition to the millions of combatants. If Oswell wants to defend his oddball viewpoint that the war was a shining moment for Uncle Sam, he's welcome to do so--but he should feel some pressure to show his work.
Furthermore, Oswell perpetrates a disgusting smear upon antiwar protesters, writing 'It was the second time Sorich has been to the White House. The first was in May 1970 when he was assigned to protect it from Vietnam War protestors threatening to attack it.' [sic]