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Vietnam; was it worth it?

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Joined: 21 Apr 2001
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Vietnam; was it worth it? PostSat Sep 01, 2001 3:25 am  Reply with quote  

Was it worth it? `Hell no,' says one Marine
AP Special Correspondent

VINH TRUONG, Vietnam -- Ray Winters looked out over the more than 10,000 graves of communist fighters near the battlefields where he fought a losing war in another time.

"My hat's off to these guys that are here," he said of his foes, many of whom were killed along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. "They did an incredible job. That was no walk in the park trying to construct that road with us hammering them night and day with B-52s and artillery."

Winters, 52, of Chatsworth, Calif., fought with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, more than 30 years ago in the hellhole known as Quang Tri province. They were based just below what was once the Demilitarized Zone that divided Vietnam into the communist North and U.S.-backed South.

Now, 25 years after the war ended with 58,000 Americans and 3 million Vietnamese dead, the country is reunited. There are few traces of the former dividing line across the narrow waist of the country or even of the old battlefields that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

Was Vietnam worth the price paid in lives cut short and ruined?

"Hell no," Winters replied without hesitation. "Hell no."

For Winters, it was a "completely miserable year out of my life."

"It was obviously a very intense experience," he added. "You are very close to death frequently, and you don't walk away from an experience like that unchanged."

The 72 cemeteries in Quang Tri alone, including two national burial grounds, are the most obvious reminders of Vietnam's losses.

At Truong Son National Cemetery, where Winters visited, men and women in conical hats and orange rubber gloves cleaned the tombstones, an annual ritual. It is particularly significant this year, the 25th anniversary of the end of the war.

Nineteen miles away is the Route 9 Cemetery, where another 9,500 Vietnamese soldiers rest, most of them under headstones marked "unknown martyr."

But otherwise, you have to hunt to find traces of the battles.

In Hue, the historic imperial capital on the coast near the former DMZ, bulletmarks are still visible on the walls of the famed Citadel, part of the imperial complex.

But most of the city has been rebuilt after it was largely destroyed in 24 hours of house-to-house fighting in 1968 that killed 142 U.S. Marines.

And now Hue is looking ahead to the future: banners hung in the city proclaim, "Vietnam: A Destination for the New Millennium."

Khe Sanh, the military base where Marines withstood a 77-day siege at a cost of more than 200 dead and 1,600 wounded, is a coffee plantation. Tourists from around the world visit a memorial museum, an old American tank and artillery piece rusting outside.

Nearby, Vietnamese men peddle what they claim are authentic Marine dogtags for $3 a pair, along with bomb and shell casings and other memorabilia. Other dealers sell iron scavenged from bombs and shells for less than 20 cents a pound.

North Vietnamese gunners pounded the Khe Sanh garrison with more than 1,000 rounds of artillery, rockets and mortars on some days. American warplanes retaliated by pounding North Vietnamese positions in the surrounding mountain ranges of Vietnam and Laos with 100,000 tons of bombs -- one-sixth the total dropped by the United States during the entire Korean War.

On sites of other former U.S. bases, trees as tall as 20 feet stand, planted by PeaceTrees Vietnam, a U.S. volunteer agency, and Britain's Mine Advisory Group. The two groups are slowly clearing the former U.S. bases and planting trees in their place. Later they plan to build homes on the battlefields and resettle the poor on their ancestral grounds.

The Vietnamese, almost like a mantra, say they bear no grudges.

Tran Van Mung, 70, and wife Hoang Thi Muon, 58, who fought for the communists in Quang Tri, lost relatives in the war and were held prisoners for six years, say they know that many back in the United States protested against the war. They only hold the U.S. administration responsible.
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Joined: 17 Mar 2001
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 6:50 am  Reply with quote  

No, It wasn't worth it...just lost a good family friend to Agent Orange last year...The V.A. treated him but he didn't make it and suffered a long time with liver, kidney, and lung problems...could never eat right, was so pitifully thin and suffered every day of his life for years on and off...mostly, on. Hubby is 100% Disabled Vet...Service connected....none of it is worth it fight to protect folks on our own shores would be one thing...though I wonder because of this chem business now and who's doing it...but to fight over seas to protect big fat cats business way...Like Hamburger Hill....kept sending our guys up that hill...they'd get killed, replaced, and more sent back up...My dignity or rationale in that! Blessings, Joanne ^j^
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 7:44 am  Reply with quote  

I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, Delphi. I was just telling the boyz about my recent conversation with a vet who had been exposed to agent orange. He didn't blame the politicians, he blamed the people in the sprayplanes. I think there's plenty of blame to go around, but the one group of people you can't blame are the anti-war activists who put their butts on the line to try and stop the war. Cowards are what some of these folks call them.

Four of these cowards were shot dead by US troops at Kent State. Murdered, by a group of trigger-happy weekend warriors.

US troops firing on un-armed civlians. And they ask for proof? The proof is written in blood across the pages of history.

The truly sad part is that the military doesn't even take care of it's own. They treat their people like absolute dirt. Where's the honor in denying medical care to people who are suffering frm GWI? They told these people it was 'all in their mind', just like the chemtrails.

Then came the birth defects.

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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 8:02 am  Reply with quote  

I have GWI/FM, You can't even say the words in the "hallowed halls" of the Base or at the V.A. either. It dosen't exist...they say...just like ufos and chemtrails don't exist. The EPA calls chemtrails "Line Clouds"! ^j^ J.
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 8:08 am  Reply with quote  

I guess you saw that "birth defects" link the Vets have...I cried for days after visiting there and still God, What kind of world is this anyway...that the little innocents have to suffer so...and the devistated parents...most of them sick themselves, are suffering enuf already! Kent State...I will never forget that either...what person with a mind, a heart, and a soul, ever could? Oh geez....gotta go! J.
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 8:09 am  Reply with quote  

you know from what I understand a carefully place nuclear device would have ended the vietnam war quickly....or just letting the military do it's job...but noooooo....protesters of the war most certainly caused more loss of life to the U.S than should have been simply by extending it....if pressure would have been ending the war rather than "getting out" things may have been different....maybe the berlin wall would have come down in the nixon era rather than the Reagan era....

Communism was a serious threat back then....

This is the greatest country to ever exist in the risk of sounding redundant, I'm sick of people trying to portray this country as crap....

if you don't like it you can leave here any time...not many countries can you have that advantage.....

arguing history is pointless for you cannot change it....


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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 8:13 am  Reply with quote  

I definitely second that, Seeker. Well put.


Ask Hanoi Jane (Fonda) how her "protest" helped our soldiers. Ask anyone who she visited in the Hanoi Hilton about how much she helped them out. More beatings, more torture.

[Edited 1 times, lastly by TopGun0069 on 09-01-2001]
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 9:48 am  Reply with quote  

You've got to be kidding me. Carpet bombing civilians on Christmas isn't good enough, for ya' T/S? We should have nuked them?

My God.

I'm beginning to see how little common ground the people on opposing sides of this issue truly have. It's hard to even have a long-distance discussion with people that place so little value on human life. It makes me feel... dirty. Just knowing that there are members of the human race who think on this level... it's incredibly disillusioning. I don't know what to say. You've managed to do what all others have thus far failed to do theseeker; you've rendered me speechless.

Bet you didn't know it was that easy, did you Maverick?

How do you carefully place a nuclear bomb, T/S? I guess Tim McVeigh figured his bomb was 'carefully placed' as well...

[Edited 1 times, lastly by Chem11 on 09-01-2001]
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 4:48 pm  Reply with quote  

. It's hard to even have a long-distance discussion with people that place so little value on human life. No need for long distance chem, seek out in your own back yard for the "jump bitch" ers

[Edited 1 times, lastly by Lulu on 09-01-2001]
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 4:56 pm  Reply with quote  

T/S ---

Ask the ones that were left to rot in that damn country how fricking great THIS country and it's government is. Send them to war and leave them there, how great is that?

At least the protesters were not spitting on the returning troops, men and women sent by their country to do a job. Most not by their choice.
Protesters extending the war, get real, try putting the blame where it belongs, LBJ, that war mongering ass of a president.
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 7:08 pm  Reply with quote  

All too true, Lulu. This mindset is becoming epidemic. If it had been me, I'd have crawled out on that bridge right next to her. Everyone's gotta go, but I hope I die for something worthwhile. Killing yourself over a failed relationship is pointless and unoriginal. I'm reminded of the famous photgraph of the Buddhist monks who self-immolated to protest the Vietnam war. Sitting lotus-style, a faint smile at there lips while the flames seared off their flesh.

How can a human being endure such agony and outwardly be at such peace? Most people do themselves in to escape pain. Those folks embraced the most painful death imaginable to stop the killing. I'm not really interested in organized religion, but if I had sign up I guess it would be with the Buddhists.
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 7:33 pm  Reply with quote  

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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 7:42 pm  Reply with quote  

Sitting here reading this thread has truly convinced me of military mind control within their own ranks. This isn't just darkness
versus light, evil over good. This is brainwashing at its finest. I feel deeply sorry for military personel.How truly asleep they are and not by their own choosing.
BTW Chem11...They don't feel the pain because they are no longer in their bodies
as that is taking place.They are in a far greater space of true connection with the source.

[Edited 1 times, lastly by RidesTheWind on 09-01-2001]
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PostSat Sep 01, 2001 11:34 pm  Reply with quote  

I never thought of the Buddhist angle...It has merit. Now THAT might get attention from the media for the chem album of chems sitting alongside and just going to a better place. Interesting. j.
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PostSun Sep 02, 2001 12:35 am  Reply with quote  

Well, if history is any of sort of teacher, I doubt it would make any sort of difference Delphi. That picture was taken in 1963.

It'd be just another 'barbecue' as far as the people responsible for this never-ending aerial assault are concerned, I'm afraid.

[Edited 1 times, lastly by Chem11 on 09-01-2001]
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