T Nation

To Lumpy and Others

Lumpy, I just read your comments on another thread and you and your band of merry followers amaze me.

If you weren’t in Vietnam, Lumpy, you do NOT know if atrocities were comitted or not. You are just parroting someone else’s words. Any asshole can do that. Were you even alive when GW went into the NG? Do you know what it is like to have a PowerBall type machine on national TV determine what your fate in life will be? Whether you might live or die? NO!

And, how can you define an “atrocity” in Vietnam when you weren’t there? How could you possibly have known that the enemy, who is firing into the belly of your chopper, that you have to take out, is in a hooch with an old toothless woman, two little grandchildren and the one village dog that has not already been eaten? And just happens to be a 13 year old girl who can’t even afford sandals yet was givin a rifle to “do her duty.” Perhaps you would have had the UN call them up on their satellite cell phone first and ask why they are trying to kill YOU. Not America, YOU. Mrs. Lumpy’s only son. That is who is being fired upon. Not Lyndon Johnson. YOU. Your kids future father. The Lumpster.

You can spout off all you like about politics Lumpy, but as far as Vietnam is concerned, you do NOT have the right to an opinion. Stick to your political rhetoric that you do have the right to an opinion on. Otherwise, stay out of discussions that you have not earned the right to assert so-called “facts” on because you don’t know shit.

I usually stay out of conversations regarding politics, because to me it is very personal. However, I will say this whole angle on this campaign is horseshit.

Lumpy, having painfully read a few of your posts you sound like an academic, and I question if you even live in the USA. You know what’s funny about this statement. Unless I have a credible, completely unbiased source to verify my hunch, it’s just my opinion. We could debate this forever on the internet because I just don’t know.

Like it or lump it.

“If you weren’t in Vietnam, Lumpy, you do NOT know if atrocities were comitted or not.”

I wasnt in a concentration camp or a soldier during WWII, but I know that atrocities were comitted.

I don’t think I read Lumpy’s thread on vietnam but I think he’s funny. He gets his point across with well written humor. I voted for Bush for gov. and president and will again, probably. Lighten up man Lumpy’s a funny writer.

roark1,

You only know what other people have said and documented but you do not have personal carnal knowledge, I think that is what Avoid Roids is getting at.

The main part of AR’s argument that absolutely agree with is that it is inappropriate for someone who has no concept of the situation or stress on the soldiers to then judge them.

AvoidsRoids,

When you speak, I listen. I can’t think of a thread of yours that was not thoughtful or insightful. Thanks for posting.

I’ve spoken to approximately ten Vietnam Veterans. This is anectodal, but all ten are voting for George W. Some were absolutely furious about kerry and those protests. Even after 30+ years they have very strong feelings about some of those movements. Again, this was in no way a scientific survey. I am interested to see how the Vietnam Veterans vote goes in November. I’m guessing that well over 90% will vote for George W. Those numbers will send a message to the country that is loud and clear. I believe that the American Soldier is not, and will not swallow the democratic spin.

I encourage lumpy to continue posting. He exemplifies the party above principle citizen. I believe this type of thinking will eventually lead to the downfall of the democrats. Their power is already eroding in large (all three branches of government=Republican) and small (conservative commentators, etc…) ways.

hillary/georgestephanopolus/ billyboy/ susansarandon/dixiechicks/ martinsheen in 2004!!!

Mitch, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

(Carnal)

Well I think we can at least agree that we can use all the carnal knowledge we can get around here.

Isn’t the point that Lumpy is pretending that people are saying against John Kerry that U.S. soldiers committed NO attrocities in Vietnam? I think most people will be saying that there were less extensive attrocities than John Kerry reported and that certain events Kerry submitted to our Congress never occurred.

Just correct Lumpy on this point and tell him to stop living in a dream world where he can pretend you’re saying something else.

I usually don?t get into any of the political/religious discussions on this board, but I must say that Avoids Roids has sparked an interest in me to do so.
Avoids, your logic in asking ?how can you define an “atrocity” in Vietnam when you weren’t there?? is in my opinion, faulted. From this point of view, no one could have an idea, belief, opinion about anything unless they had a first hand account of an experience. That means that you are being hypocritical if you believe in any sort of god/religion, which I believe you do if I am remembering correctly, because no one can actually prove they had a first hand experience with god/religion, that is why they call it faith. Maybe if you argued against Lumpy et al with facts instead of faulty logic than I would not have a problem, but I believe that it is factually incorrect to state that Americans did not commit atrocities in Vietnam (ex. My Lai Massacre on March 16th, 1968) If American soldiers were capable of killing approximately 300 unarmed civilians, then I find it hard to disbelieve reports of lesser (not less gruesome or horrible, but lesser on a scale of numbers) atrocities committed by American soldiers. I am NOT saying that American soldiers were ALL rapists, pillagers, murderers, but that there was enough of a minority to make events like My Lai possible and actually occur.
When you state, ?You can spout off all you like about politics Lumpy, but as far as Vietnam is concerned, you do NOT have the right to an opinion,? I am very concerned because the proverb, ?those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it? rings out in my head. If those of a younger generation are not allowed to have opinions about what some in the older generation did, then how are we going to know right from wrong? Isn?t one point of the recording of history to map out the future?
I have enormous respect for those who served or are serving in the armed forces, but I do not have respect for them to the point that I won?t question their actions. They are still as human as I am.
The point of my rebuttal is that I do not believe in avoids’ idea that to have an opinion, you have to had been there. I believe this is an incorrect, narrow-mined and downright dangerous way to look at things.

p.s. I intend this not as a personal attack, but as an alternative point of view. I am not saying avoids is narrow minded, just his idea.

I have no problem believing that soldiers shot livestock and dogs, cut off the ears and heads of the enemy etc. US soldiers did it in WW2 as well. An ear is a trophy and so is a head.

This attempt to portray VietNam as a noble cause is horseshit. VietNam was a clusterfuck and it HARMED our country.

Almost every viet vet I’ve met has a drug or alcohol problem. This leads me to believe it was not a grand life-affirming positive adventure. It was a shitty time for everyone, by my estimation. I was 12 when the war ended.

I have respect for the grunts, not just in VietNam but in Iraq as well. I have no respect for smug a-hole leaders who wield awesome American firepower with little regard for human life. The grunt is just a pawn in their game. As one former US general said (paraphrasing) the miltary-industrial complex is nothing more than a form of organized crime.

With all due respect your anger towards me is misplaced. I am not the source of your frustration. Anyway I don’t see how my views would matter whatsoever to someone who was firm in his own convictions.

“Atrocities” are commited in every war, war itself is an atrocity. However, for someone to have been in and fought along side brothers (Kerry) and then put those same people on trial is an atrocity in itself. Yes, Grunts (and more than just grunts fight wars and put their life on the line) are pawns of whoever is in power, but knowing that, and knowing that they are people who want to make a difference, a or didn’t have a choice to go or not but still gave their life in service for freedom, yours or others, how can you condemn them. I was not in Vietnam, I was born the year after my DaD came back from it. Were the veterans messed up? Fuck yeah, you imagine having to see your buddys die in your arms, having to kill that 8 year old girl becauase she has a rifle pointed at you and sure as hell will kill you if you don’t her. Did the country turn it’s back on it’s veterans? Yes, did the country? Yes, for the most part. So wouldn’t you have problems too. Obviously you one, have no right talking of the war, and two, offended someone who has been personally affected. So how about instead of defending yourself, just bow out. It’s just as noble as yammering on, more so.

Also, please don’t quote Major
General Smedley Butler (USMC, Two Time Medal of Honor recepient) unless you actually have a point. He has served in war (Boxer’s rebellion and Haiti, as well as other conflicts) and has a right to his opinions, you do not, despite what Freedom of speech may mean to you.

wow… we suddenly lost the right to talk about wars we havent fought in… so can mr. bush shut up about iraq already?

Wow. The idea that only veterans have a right to an opinion regarding any armed conflict or the concept that you must have been in to have a right to an opinion is pretty common in the service; well, I guess I shouldnt say that, my experience was in a smaller domain than that, so we will say JSOC. But, I think JSOC is more conservative in ideology anyway. My point, there are plenty of people that want to join up that arent allowed to serve for whatever reason, which really disregards both of these concepts. I just dont agree with the “Im an expert attitude so you shut up.” Afterall, teachers are just experienced students right? Im glad not everyone serves, hell, Im worried about some that do. I think that there is strong comformist mindset within the military, and if we were left with just the opinions of us veterans, it would be a “narrowminded” world. I, for one, have learned a lot politically from friends and family that never served. I think they can offer a lot, and, at a minimum, they can at least express their opinion, and someone in the know can shed some light on the real truth. (kinda like this web site and its intent with gettin Hyooge)
But, I think people that arent familiar with the hardships of major traumatizing experiences, such as those found in any war,need to exercise tact and intelligence.

Lumpy:

So, would you like a dictator like saddam as your ruler?

Lumpy, stop playing games. You know that the substantive issue is not whether Vietnam was just.

dahn: funny post

chrisr: Great post. That is just what I was thinking - faulty logic. I beliveve his mistake in arguement is driven by his nationalist spirit. Very dangerous.

I looked back on this thread, and am amazed that AvoidsRoids was misconstrued as making a logical argument instead of an emotional appeal. He is saying (1) don’t call every civilian death an example of widespread, systematic attrocities, when the enemy is hard to distinguish from civilians in a situation of total fear and chaos of a level that you have not personally experienced; and (2), if you weren’t in Vietnam, then you didn’t have eyes on the ground to see whether there were UBIQUITOUS attrocities, such as John Kerry told to Congress (BTW, Kerry now says in his testimony, he was only “condemning the leaders”).

There are arguments against those POVs, but AvoidsRoids’ post is a lot closer to the spirit of a Veteran who comes back angry at self-righteous, armchair observers of his war, than to a logical argument why you have to earn the “right” to talk about Vietnam.