Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Note to a Reader

I tend of late to follow developments in blogs in the links left and may comment there. I'd be interested in any reaction you have to those blogs and may see your comments there or let me know in comments here. I'm mulling over a new blog on America's war guilt, something I began to develop in the post immediately below. This would be based on Robert Fliess's book and has been outlined in an earlier post on 'Cindy Sheehan.' In WWII, by personal account reported to me, we fired on, and sank, drifting Japanese evacuees of warships marked with the Red Cross in the Coral Sea. Yes we also shot down our own fighter aircraft when, in clear celebration of recent victory but against regulations, it dropped down to below deck level in flight parallel to one of our ships. A different age and time, a different psychological mind set.

Robert McNamara, defense sec'y for Kennedy and up until late Johnson, served 20 years earlier on Curtis LeMay's staff and did bomb damage assessment work on the bombing of Japanese cites. We were in a different situation in VN, and I think to Mr. McNamara's credit and ours we acted differently. McNamara also acted from a sense of regret over our actions against the Japanese of which he had been a part. In terms of limiting our air targets in North VN, the possibility of restraint went to far, allowing escape for important supply depot transshipment points, I haven't researched if on McNamara's watch, and body count was a metric with ethically dangerous implications. But underlying, our honorable conduct in a tradition of ancient Greece exposed your soldiers, Marines, naval patrol boat personnel, SEALs, aviators to death, casualty, and PTSD. Dulles and Eisenhower may have comitted us and there should have been a 58 election pursuant to the Geneva accords, I see this as a hinge point in our foreign policy, to see if this was truly fated but clearly a democratic VN could have eventually returned the emperor to power or turned to Ho Chi Minh. We were not in a war for national survival and did not act like it. That does not mean we can not be. It is ironic that from VN we have an ignoble feeling for military action while the Pacific War left us care free.

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