Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Thoughts on War

Congrats to Ned Lamont for beating a former VP candidate. One good thing: at least there wasn't any charges of anti-Semitism that I heard. It would have been an easy out for Leiberman. In today's victimization, racialized culture its a good thing he didn't play that card. One bad thing: there's something unseemly about these multi-millionaires financing their own campaign. I could be wrong and am too lazy to look it up but of the $6 mill spent, $4 mill was Lamont's money - or at least his granddad's money. But I guess that's been going on throughout history. With the Roosevelts, Kennedys and Bushes being the best examples.

I don't think I'm out of line to say that if there wasn't the war there would be no candidate Lamont. At least Leiberman stuck by those guns too. I thought of my own position of being pro-war and what that meant and I thought of the war in Israel and those faked Reutters pics (these for instance) the righties in blogosphere loves to uncover. Then I thought of this man.

I have no military experience. I never had an interest in joining the military. Honestly, I find the military a necessary evil. However, I was fully aware that when we went to war that bad things would happen. I knew children would die. I knew US soldiers would die. I knew that miscommunication might wipe out a village. I knew that a scared private might kill a family. I knew that some sickos in the military would abuse prisoners - I just didn't think they'd be so stupid as to take pictures.

In war bad things happen. It's axiomatic. My anger doesn't go to people like Ned Lamont. I don't know much about him, but I'm sure he was against the war from the beginning. My anger goes towards those who were pro-war and are now hedging. In for a penny, in for a pound. The thing lasting too long. Too bad. I think if you were ok to start it which would cause the aforementioned horrors of war, you can just be a little patient.

That's why I thought about the nice somewhat sad looking man above. He was a man who knew what his country turning communist meant - mass murder, totalitarianism, blinding poverty. So as a South Vietnamese general he had to do one of those bad things.

He caught a viet cong - a guerilla fighter who recently slaughtered some of his men and put a bullet through his head. Unfortunately, he did it in front of cameras.

Knowing the circumstances behind this execution, I don't have a problem with it. Dogs of war and all that.

The pic won the pulitzer and gave a huge shot in the arm to the anti-war movement. The anti-war movement won. Whether we should have been there or not is debatable, but our pulling out lead directly to the slaughter of the South Vietnamese army, the enslavement of the Vietnamese, the Cambodian killing fields, and the blackness that came upon that smallish peninsula from the Indian border down through Burman, Thailand, Laos to the tip of Vietnam.

General Nguyen Ngoc Loan tried to rebuild his life in the US but was hounded until his death because of that pic. Which of these doctored Reutters pics which seem to be all anti-Israeli going to do the same. Those pics are deliberate falsificiations.

The guy who took the pic above was Eddie Adams, he said:
The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.
What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?'
Wikipedia's story on General Nguyen seems to be the same as what I've read elsewhere.

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