Liberal Grace

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What kind of people would spit on a vet?

It's isn't just the hippies who allegedly spit on veterans.

"The anti-war gang spit on the veterans." -- You've heard that claim a zillion times, right?

Apparently there were almost no reported cases of this, at the time. None or next to none.

But it has become accepted as "fact" in the conservative mythology. And they've beat us "peaceniks" over the head with it for a couple of decades now.

Jerry Lembcke has written a whole book on the subject with apparently very exhaustive research. The right pretty much made this claim up. (anyone surprised?)
Stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans are bogus. Born out of accusations made by the Nixon administration, they were enlivened in popular culture (recall Rambo saying he was spat on by those maggots at the airport) and enhanced in the imaginations of Vietnam-generation men — some veterans, some not. The stories besmirch the reputation of the anti-war movement and help construct an alibi for why we lost the war: had it not been for the betrayal by liberals in Washington and radicals in the street, we could have defeated the Vietnamese.external link
That's makes the report I just heard, from Cindy Sheehan, stunningly ironic as well as totally despicable.
[The pro-war counter protesters] spit on Iraq veterans at the rally I was in, in DC. They pushed little old ladies around. They tore signs up of, children. It was just amazing to me that human beings can act this way. But, of course, they wouldn't go do it to a strapping man. They do it to Iraq veterans who are already damaged.. and children and ladies. They're just cowards. They're amazingly despicable. external link
Could any conservative really mistreat a veteran so horribly?

Yes. Certainly. Or even worse.

Consider how the Bush campaign treated Vietnam veteran John McCain in the 2000 campaign.
McCain won the New Hampshire Primary but lost a lot of support after the George W. Bush campaign resorted to vile campaign tactics in the Southern state primaries. Southern White Republicans were easy to manipulate using push-polling that exploited their racism. Accusations that McCain had fathered a mixed race child while a POW and was mentally unstable were made during the South Carolina Republican Primary.external link
This is a well known event and what usually gets highlighted is the shameless pandering to racism. Just as bad, but less noted, is that the Bush camp was shameless enough to use McCain's POW experience against him. Think about that -- these guys who weaseled out of the Vietnam war were vile enough to use McCain's Vietnam veteran status against him.

Anyone who would do that -- or who would find that tactic convincing -- is certainly not above literally spitting on a vet.

2 comment(s):

If you haven't seen the film WHEN I CAME HOME yet - here's a link to the one-minute trailer:

It's all about our new generation of homeless vets from the Iraq War...

By dan, at 8:29 AM  

Thanks for the suggestion -- I looked at the link and it does seem like a good film.

In everyday life when you make a major purchase, you consider both the initial cost and the AFTER SALE costs. Which, in some cases is even more than the original item. (my ink jet printer comes to mind)

Wars have a TREMENDOUS "after sale" cost that the pro-war enthusiasts never want to factor-in.

By LiberalGrace, at 10:21 PM  

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