Monday, November 12, 2007

Throwing Whitewash on a Bloodbath

Yesterday I posted about the abysmal Sunday morning coverage of Veterans' Day. As a commenter pointed out, the evening was even worse. Allison Keyes joins in the extreme right-wing slander of the Vietnam anti-war movement, citing hearsay from pro-Vietnam War cheerleaders as evidence.

She's attending the "re-dedication" of the Vietnam War Memorial, presided over by serial-liar Colin Powell. First she hunts down Bill Willington, a veteran dog-handler of the Vietnam and Gulf War era. (Maybe she'll interview one from this current Gulf war next - that should give us some patriotic goosebumps -or goosesteps.) Bill tearily recites the old canard of being attacked at the San Francisco airport:
"It was a rough time back then; got off at San Francisco airport; I got red paint thrown on me and called a baby-killer and a murderer and that's hurt for 30 years."
Next Keyes reports that Colin Powell "said this wall has magic and power." This is followed by a sappy soundbite from Powell, and then Keyes goes for the jugular,
"But former army nurse Mary 'Edie' Meeks touched the audience most deeply. When she came home she destroyed her uniform because of the hate directed at the vets."
Keyes doesn't even qualify this bunk about "hate directed at vets" as being the opinion of Nurse Meeks. She states it as accepted fact.

This myth of pervasive abuse of Vietnam veterans by antiwar activists that Keyes is propagating has been debunked and discredited - and is contradicted by the fact that Vietnam veterans were a major pillar of the antiwar movement. But facts won't deter Keyes passing on this prowar lie. The truth is that what most activists hated was the orgy of violence and barbarism that US leaders perpetrated against Vietnam, and which people like Colin Powell (and now Keyes) continue to praise as something honorable.

Of course Keyes must know that you're not going to find a lot of antiwar Vietnam Veterans showing up to hear a windbag like Powell use the "magic and power of the wall" to disappear the 4 million Vietnames civilians killed by the US in Vietnam. But Keyes surely knows there are still many Vietnam Vets who would be glad to talk about the real crimes of Vietnam and the government abuses meted out to those who were drafted and did time in that war. I just wonder when we'll ever hear from them on NPR.


Anonymous said...

The guy who recently left as head of the VA (Nichols?) claims to have been spit on by anti-war protesters. Apparently there is a cottage industry in anti-war victimization. What that guy did to the Iraq/Afghanistan war vets who turned to him for help is in itself a crime against humanity.

Bert said...

Good for you. I was annoyed enough by that piece yesterday afternoon that I just went to the NPR site to see if they took comments. They didn't, so I was glad to find your site.

More than anything I am fascinated and perplexed by this willful ignorance in our public memory about the reality of this war. It was a bad idea tragically executed.

Porter Melmoth said...

I would echo Larry's message in the previous entry about who REALLY abused the Vietnam vets. I remember the era very well, too (I signed up for the draft six months late in 1973 - my pipsqueak protest - but by then, nobody cared). I just remember that it was from many of the vets themselves that we, the public, learned how disastrous the war was. The vets I knew were not only respected, they were tremendous sources of stories that validated the horror of warfare, and why it should be avoided at all cost. My dad was in WW2, and even today, at 93, he says the only thing glorious about it was coming home, with a GI Bill waiting for everyone.

When you're running an unpopular (not to mention illegal) war, you've got to play every sleazy trick to keep it going, and once more, vets are used as cannon fodder in the war 'for hearts and minds' at home.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was one big lovefest. The entire US turned out to hug Vietnam veterans when they returned. I wonder why more Vietnam veterans have died by their own hand than were killed in combat. Funny thing about leftist revisionist history.