It’ s almost ancient history now – being pushed into oblivion by 9/11, two Gulf wars, the war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror – but the consequences of the VietNam War and the assassination of JFK still reconate today. And one of the most persistent consequences of all wars is the death and suffering of innocent children.
The VietNam War was a humiliating defeat for the USA, and nobody was more humiliated than the young men who did what they thought was their patriotic duty, quit college and volunteered to go and fight the evils of Communism. For all their bravery and suffering they lost, and instead of returning home to some sort of hero’s welcome they were cursed and reviled by the anti-war movement (and Jane Fonda).
Oliver Stone was one of those brave young men, and he was talented enough to be able to exorcise his demons in a series of brilliant films. But the majority of Viet Vets have had to live with their demons as best they can. A lot of them chose to never return to their Homeland. They married Filipina or Thai bar girls they met on R&R and washed up as expatriates in The Arabian Gulf trying to earn a decent living and support their extended families. And they live with the horros of their experiences as infantrymen, tunnel rats and snipers every day.
According to one sharpshooter he had orders to shoot to kill, and he did kill, children who approached patrols begging for candy. Crafty Charlie strapped explosives to kids, and detonated them remotely if the kids got close. And in his darker moments he told me that US Army snipers triangulated JFK in Dallas. He was told this during training and shown a film that apparently supported this. So Oliver Stone got it wrong in JFK?
Read my sharpshooter’s (fictionalized) story “YA HEAR WHAT AH’M SAYIN” in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. You can find it by following the link:
At least the VietNam War was idealogical, trying to stop the spread of communism. The Gulf Wars are all about oil, and The West’s greed for cheap and abundant energy supplies.