Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Mon Nov 20 18:28:30 MST 2000

> The Japanese Imperial Army were mainly made up of draftees, too (as
> most modern armies anywhere have been).  I wouldn't call Japanese
> soldiers during World War 2 merely "victims and not murderers,"
> though.  Why should American GIs in the Vietnam War be thought of in
> any way different from Japanese imperial soldiers during WW2?
> Yoshie

I must concur wholly. While posturing as a "fifth column",  as Lou Pr put it, might
have been silly, it is very important that these murders are called precisely that,
it wasn't 3 1/2 million "accidental deaths". As well, so long as the ruling class of
this country claims the "right" of murderous repression to oppress Indo-China, and as
long as Vietnam claimed the right to self-defense by way of warfare to defend
themselves from the same murderers, it is wholly appropriate to claim that same
defense here; indeed not to is taking advantage of Imperialist cushioning and, in the
end, racist. I can concede that it looks silly when done by seven guys wearing
tie-dyes yelling "death to Amerikkka" or something like that.It is also pointless to
attack the veterans as they return. It is wholly reasonable to go out and declare
that the volunteers (and there were quite a few!) are the enemy. Indeed, who else is
if they were not?

The Nazis were all conscripts as well. Even the 12 and 60 year olds fighting on thw
Western Front in 1945. Would anyone like to shed a tear? Anyone here saying they were
not part of the Nazi machine? I can see it as acceptable that any conscript go to the
war without a fight. Once they are there, see what it going on and do not resist,
then they are guilty.

Ultimately if one does not believe we should take that position one will be making a
choice that is allowed to us by virtue of placement and, often, skin colour. First
world attitudes must sharpen *and* become practical at the same time. I doubt that
any of these folks acting like part of the NLF were very useful. They do, however,
deserve respect for admitting that they were part of the people who needed to do more
than merely cheer or boo the war.


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