Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is the spot reserved for my ongoing series about class and issues of concern to regular run of the mill folks. I wasn't intending on this post but while doing some research I ran across a couple of articles about some yahoos, apparently of the anti-war stripe, who defaced a Vietnam Memorial wall up in Maine.

Give me a break.

I protested the Vietnam War and I oppose the Iraq War (and lots of other crap in between), but it ticks me off, like it ticks off most people, when some fools do something like this.

I remember the "reports" which were I believe obviously untrue rumors about protesters spitting on Vietnam veterans returning from that war (I always found it odd that not one photograph or film was ever produced of any such incident). Defacing a wall memorializing though who have given their lives in a war which they were sent to fight allegedly in the name of all that is good is in some ways worse.

I never held to the notion that we should hate the soldiers (except a few of them like Lt. William Calley). Most of those who fought in Vietnam were just like me except they weren't lucky enough to not get drafted (I had this high lottery number) or because they believed those who told them we were fighting for freedom in the jungles of that country. They were the other half of my generation. Many of them had no use for the war before, during or after their deployment. Others believed in what they were doing. It doesn't really matter. The foot soldiers didn't start the war, they didn't plan the war, they didn't avoid the war (like a certain President we all know). They just got the job of fighting it.

For the most part those who fought in Vietnam and those who fight in Iraq are young men and women, are anything but wealthy, and are decent human beings sent to do an ugly and impossible task.

It is actions like the above, the defacing of a wall that help to perpetuate some ugly myths about those of us who oppose this war and that war.

But you know what also annoyed me. There were all these right wing blogs with stories talking about the slimy anti-war people and how even though they say things like "support the troops," this sort of things proves they don't. They, the right wing blogs, said you won't find any on the left denouncing this. You know what. I haven't found any left blogs that have. That is more then a bit distressing to me.

Anyway, least I slight the "right." I was just talking to a guy who will be jumping on his bike on Thursday to go to the funeral of a soldier in Emporia, Kansas. He doesn't know the guy or anything. No, he is going because he is part of a group of bikers who go to these soldiers funerals to block off the cries of hate and the sick signs of the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas who like to picked these funerals and those of gays. These fundamentalist nutcakes make the anti-war nutcakes above look like good guys.

And ain't that America...

The following is from the Andover Townsman (Maine).

Vietnam Veterans Memorial defaced

Many veterans in town were disappointed to learn last week that someone had vandalized the town's Vietnam Veterans Memorial, requiring the 15-month-old memorial to be sandblasted Wednesday.

"We know that in no way does this reflect how the community feels about our veterans," said Michael Burke, director of veteran services.

The lyrics of a 1970s protest song and a reference to Iraq were scrawled on the monument in the Park. "War, what is it good for, absolutely nothin'," was written in red marker along with a peace sign.

The lyrics are from "War," a song that Motown soul singer Edwin Starr popularized in 1970.

Near the base of the memorial where the phrase "our cause is just" is etched, a vandal wrote "just like in Iraq."

The markings were made with some kind of felt marker, which soaked into the stone, Burke said yesterday. Methuen Monument is helping the town repair the memorial, which was dedicated May 29, 2006.

While there was no structural damage, "the stone does need to be sandblasted," Burke said. He was not sure how much the work would cost, if anything, but said the town was grateful to the Methuen business for stepping in to help.

Police Lt. Harry Collins said the vandalism was under investigation.

Burke said this week he has talked to several veterans and longtime residents, and that no one could remember something like this happening in Andover.

"This is a disappointing event," he said. "This is an anomaly. If someone does have opposition, there are other ways to vocalize that."

In Haverhill earlier this summer, vandals ruined parts of a Korean War Memorial and spray-painted a World War II monument.

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