Monthly Archives: July 2014

In Battle Solitary

Battles are not won by great bombers or fast stealthy planes dropping thousands of tons of armament and firing millions of hot lead bullets.
Battles are not won by great guns firing rounds by the thousands blasting great holes into earthen battlements.
Battles are not won by the planning staff of famous generals and great Marshall’s of the Field.
Battles are not won by fast trucks hauling supplies & fuel into the heat of the fight.
Battles are not won by tracked vehicles spitting death in every direction.
All these are, of course, assistance…support and of incalculable value. But, they do not win battles.
Battles are won by one man with a rifle killing his enemy one at a time until there are no more to kill. One man braving a tunnel system, fortified bunkers, or impenetrable jungles or pitiless deserts or broad, limitless plains or mountains the top of which he cannot perceive the distance with his eyes.
A battle is won by bringing death close, brutal, bloody, torn from living bodies through the fly filled stench of blood to every single enemy warrior. And, the last man to stand alive is at once triumphant and lost.

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Dehumanizing Speech and Behaviors of War

The following was written originally as a response to internal disputes on a Vietnam Veterans Only site.

We have seen several disputes over our persistent use of slang in reference to the Vietnamese people and references to the enemy dead. This has even led to the loss of some members.

Personally, I consider such an argument between two Vietnam Veterans pretty out of bounds. Every war in history involved an effort to dehumanize and objectify the enemy. This is especially true of Christian nations such as America. We were all to one degree or another raised with a respect for individual life.

To kill, especially due to hate, was strictly taboo. How else and you get a bunch of well-trained young men to not only kill other humans but to kill them in huge numbers? Further it is not only necessary to dehumanize the enemy in order to kill them but the warriors must be able to live with themselves once the conflict is over.

The soft fluttering of an incoming mortar, the angry zip of a round overhead, an unusual sound amongst the myriad of sounds of an Asian jungle; all these and numberless others are imprinted upon our very soul. Reinforced time after time, they become the means to remain alive. Those who learned these lessons had the best chance of going “home”.

Just as important to holding onto out mind and soul were those self-same dehumanizing terms we used. We did not hunt and kill young Vietnamese men and women and their children. We hunted and killed gooks, monkeys, rats and the endless array of inhuman names we gave them. When they were dead they were not honored as human bodies they became greased, popped, capped, ripped, blown away, gut & slung (actually done due to bloating), tits-up, tits-down, caca dau, lit-up, exterminated, or crispy critters. These terms were so burned into our psyche that they last for a lifetime.

Those who deny these means of preserving life & limb, mind and soul, and our ability to literally live with ourself, are denying the reality of war. If you survived these inhuman times and have stumbled upon a better means of dealing with your past, then congratulations. Do not condemn or belittle those who must cope with the only tools available. Arrogance is not a desirable trait amongst brothers!

Those who have never been faced with the horrors of war have no standing to judge and in condemnation those who have, should be ignored as they are like clueless children.

Government Excess, Greed & Corruption

The problems with America began long ago. I would trace it back to President Jackson and the nullification crisis with South Carolina and culminating with Lincoln’s Civil War.

The designers of our Constitution provided two strong means of controlling a run-away Federal government: First was the system of checks and balances built into the Constitution. Secondly, and the ultimate binder, was the right of states to withdraw from the Union.

The Union v. States Rights was an issue which came-up virtually at the signing of the Constitution. It narrowly missed bloodshed during the nullification crisis (South Carolina claimed the power to nullify Federal tariffs & threatened to withdraw from the Union should this power be denied by the Federal Government).

The Civil War established the ultimate power of the Federal government. States were forever denied their power to oppose the Federal growth at their cost.

Thus, one of the prime powers to oppose Federal growth was itself nullified. The checks and balances of the Constitutional system became the only protection to assist both states and individuals against an all powerful central government.

Yet, we now find a Federal judiciary reluctant to strictly enforce Constitutional law. The Congress has become corrupted through access to unlimited funds (thanks mainly to the printing of fiat money) and unable to use their power of impeachment against either of the two other branches much less their own membership. Now we have a Executive unwilling to enforce Congressional law and, indeed, changing the regulation of law at his own whim.

Well, as Deepthroat advised, “Follow the money!” The same source of unlimited money will one day lead to the fall of this house of cards. Economics will not be denied. An unfettered printing of money will inevitably lead to extreme inflation.

Once the collapse of the present system of green and corruption has been burned away the the high fever of radical monetary debasement we will again have the opportunity to build upon the skeletal remains of our former system.

War

Gettysburg: Marching/running/riding into massed muskets filled with mini-balls, and cannon fire with grape, cannon balls and chain. Unbelievable courage at horrendous cost. I can’t imagine a more horrible battle. Men and horses lost footing, falling & floundering on the blood soaked ground. 51,112 in total died in battle and later from wounds (http://www.army.mil/Gettysburg).

624,511 of our best men died in the entire Civil War in addition to the near total devastation of the South. It took over a century to reach a semblance of recovery.