(photo of a Vietnam era soldier reading a Navy antiwar newspaper - from Sir No Sir site)
In November of 2007 NPR's Allison Keyes trotted out the tired old myth about Vietnam vets being assaulted, harassed and showered with hate on returning from the war. The editors at NPR apparently felt like it was time to drag this corpse of a lie out again - so this afternoon they turned to Blake Farmer of WPLN in Nashville to report on a Vietnam veterans propaganda event being hosted by Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Siegel opens the report by claiming that returning vets "were often greeted with anger about the war," then Farmer takes the baton and is off and running:
- "....and for some the only greeting as they walked off the airplane was from angry war protesters - until now."
- "....says he was lucky, lucky he wasn't tossed into the hostility that awaited other discharged service members."
- "Larry Hamm from West Chester, Pennsylvania recalls angry crowds lining the airport fence, throwing rotten eggs..."
I posted the following comment Monday afternoon on the NPR site for the story and had it removed as "inappropriate":
What a load of historical erasure this story is. NPR continues to cover up the active role Vietnam Vets played in ending the Vietnam War and their role in the "angry" antiwar movement. Frankly, the people claiming the nonsense about "spitting on vets" have no evidence to back up their claims and - in fact - a Vietnam vet, Jerry Lembcke, exhaustively researched the claims and found no evidence - none.I have no idea what made it "inappropriate," but I went ahead and posted this similar but revised version:
NPR could do us all a favor and cover the real heroes of US wars - people like Camilo Mejia and Victor Agosto who have shown the true courage of exposing US wars for what they are. Of course that would take some courage on NPR's part - something noticeably lacking these days...
This report is full of hearsay and debunked inaccuracies. First, there was a huge Vietnam Vet welcome parade in Chicago in 1986. Second, many Vietnam Vets played an active role in the "angry" antiwar movement of the 60s and 70s. And third, people claiming the abusive treatment of vets have NO evidence to back up their claims and - in fact - a Vietnam vet, Jerry Lembcke, exhaustively researched these kinds of claims and found no evidence - none.We'll see how it fares.
It would be great if NPR could even once seriously cover the war resisters - people like Camilo Mejia and Victor Agosto who have shown the courage of exposing US wars for what they are. I won't be holding my breath though, since I don't think NPR has the courage to challenge the militarism and worship of war that is so pervasive in the US...