HomeArticleWhy It’s Ugly To Criticize Trump For Dodging The Vietnam Draft

Why It’s Ugly To Criticize Trump For Dodging The Vietnam Draft

There’s a popular tweet going around saying “Do you know what the 58,220 American Dead from the Vietnam War will have in common with the 58,220 American dead expected this midweek? Donald Trump refused to fight for either one of them.”

The tweet has thousands of shares and made it to the front page of Reddit today. Liberals love it.

While it is certainly legitimate to criticize Trump for his many spectacular failures in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is entirely illegitimate to criticize him for dodging America’s most evil and idiotic war in living memory. Anyone who avoided fighting in Vietnam was absolutely right to do so, regardless of their motives and regardless of the means they used.

For years hitting Trump on his “bone spurs” medical deferment of questionable validity has been a common line of attack used by mainstream liberals, and by self-described progressive pundits like TYT’s Cenk Uygur. We are seeing this attack reinvigorated as Trump’s critics begin highlighting the fact that the official number of US Covid deaths is about to surpass the US death toll in the Vietnam War, as in this Washington Post article titled “This pandemic is Trump’s Vietnam. He has earned his bone spurs.” which opens, “President Bonespurs finally gets to fight a war. Unfortunately for us, he’s re-fighting the Vietnam War.”

This criticism has been leveled many times since Trump’s election, and we can expect it to get a lot more mentions as November draws closer. And everyone using it will have one thing in common: a lack of appreciation for how senseless, pointless, worthless, destructive and unforgivably evil the Vietnam War actually was.

Not one good thing came about as a result of anyone killing or being killed in that war. Not a one. All of the US soldiers who died in Vietnam died for no legitimate reason, and nothing was accomplished by their deaths. They did not fight for Americans. They did not fight for freedom. They fought for the same thing all US service members fight for in modern wars: war profiteers and idiotic geostrategic agendas of global domination.

Americans were deceived into beginning the Vietnam War, were deceived throughout its duration, and were deceived into continuing it. Millions of human lives were violently ended. Unarmed civilians were horrifically massacred. Unspeakably brutal weapons like napalm and Agent Orange were used liberally. The CIA’s Phoenix Program routinely tortured enemies and suspected enemies using starvation, gang rape, rape using snakes or eels, attack dog maulings, electrical wires attached to genitals, and other vicious methods designed to inflict unimaginable human suffering.

US soldiers were sent into hell, for no legitimate reason and with no discernible objectives. The horror, brutality and insanity of it all left hundreds of thousands of veterans struggling with mental health disorders for decades. Commanders being murdered by their own troops became commonplace. Young men were sent to be killed, wounded, ruined and driven into madness for nothing. For nothing.

That is what you are condemning Trump for when you slam his medical deferment. For using the means that were available to him to escape a situation in which he would have been forced to inflict permanent trauma and have permanent trauma inflicted upon him for no legitimate reason whatsoever and to no gain for the greater good at all.

The Vietnam War was an unforgivable evil that should never have happened, and this sort of “draft dodger” argument kills off the natural revulsion and outrage we should all still hold about its having been inflicted upon our species. It’s impossible to make such arguments without the tacit assumption that there was something good and noble about going to fight in that inferno of insanity, and there simply wasn’t. You are necessarily implying that those who went were morally superior in some way to those who avoided going, and they simply weren’t.

Whenever I voice this unpopular opinion, Trump’s critics often claim, correctly, that the president didn’t dodge the draft for any kind of moral reason; he wasn’t a conscientious objector, he was a privileged kid who didn’t want to get killed. But I insist that this doesn’t matter. There is no wrong reason for avoiding a monstrous war that should never have happened, and every single person who did so was absolutely right to do so regardless of their motives.

People sometimes claim, correctly, that Trump was a rich man’s son who had access to means which would have enabled him to dodge the draft that less privileged individuals would not have had available to them. But I insist that this, too, doesn’t matter. Everyone who avoided the Vietnam draft was right to do so, regardless of the means they used to do so. The fact that others did not have Trump’s means does not mean he was wrong to make use of them. Anyone in his place would have been absolutely right to do the same.

People sometimes claim, correctly, that Trump is sending soldiers off to kill and be killed (usually kill) in foreign wars while himself being unwilling to fight in Vietnam. But this argument cannot be made without taking it as a given that someone who had gone to kill Vietnamese people and undergo irreparable trauma would have had more legitimacy in waging those wars, and this is simply not the case. America’s warmongering was evil and inexcusable during Vietnam, and it is evil and inexcusable today. Trump has the same amount of moral authority to continue these endless wars that Vietnam veteran John McCain would have had if he’d beaten Obama in 2008, namely zero. Mass murder by someone who also murdered Vietnamese people isn’t any more moral than mass murder by someone who stayed home.

There are many, many, many perfectly valid criticisms that can be accurately leveled against Trump, from pretty much anywhere on the political spectrum. From my point of view he’s a vicious warmonger who has been advancing many longstanding agendas of the same corrupt political establishment he pretends to oppose, claiming he’s draining the swamp while maintaining a cabinet filled with establishment swamp monsters. There is no shortage of accurate and productive criticisms to level at this president, and indeed anyone who values truth, justice and peace will do so frequently. But dodging the Vietnam draft is not one of them.

The only blame to be case for the Vietnam War lies in those who inflicted that terrible trauma upon our world. Nobody who avoided it was wrong to do so, and in fact it would have been better if everyone would have avoided it altogether. The US armed services are continuing to leave generation after generation of soldiers damaged, desperate and suffering, and the more people find ways to avoid being funneled into the gears of the American war machine, the better.

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Latest comments

  • “Anyone who avoided fighting in Vietnam was absolutely right to do so, regardless of their motives and regardless of the means they used.”

    “That is what you are condemning Trump for when you slam his medical deferment. For using the means that were available to him to escape a situation in which he would have been forced to inflict permanent trauma and have permanent trauma inflicted upon him for no legitimate reason whatsoever and to no gain for the greater good at all.”

    What a ridiculous argument that manages the unique trick of conflating both Trump’s convenient means for evading the conflict because he had better things to do (and that didn’t include opposing the war) with the actions of anti-war activists; and then suggesting criticising his draft evading amounts to support the war. Truly a Trumpenleftist bad take!

    • I feel you are very wrong. The worthless piece of human excrement that is our president got out of going to Vietnam, not because of any higher principles, but because he had the money and privilege to do so. He could have served as a contentious objector and assisted in a medical capacity.
      Now he sits in his office, fully protected, and sends others out to serve and die. As long as he isn’t in any danger, he will continue on his present course.

  • Every time some body says “Trump was a draft dodger” my constant response is “Well, I still don’t like him”.

  • I always liked Phil Och’s great song “Draft Dodger Rag”. By any means necessary, you do not give your body to the imperial war machine. At my draft physical there was a guy waving around his cup of urine, saying, “I’ve got diabetes, who wants some of my pee?” Och’s other anthem, “I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore” sums up the principled resistance to the draft of the antiwar movement. Different strategies, same result.

    Incidentally, in response to FDR’s 1940 draft law, the first peacetime draft in our history, hundreds of prominent Americans signed and published a Declaration of Conscience, which stated, “The essential idea underlying military conscription is the major premise of every dictatorship and all totalitarianism. It is the assumption that the individual citizen is but a pawn in the hands of unlimited state power.”

    Interestingly, the author of that 1940 Draft Bill, Senator Edward R. Brooke, had gone on a fact-finding tour of Germany in 1938 and returned praising Hitler for “bringing about the well-being of the entire German people.”

  • Yes. Absolutely right on the money, both for the American War in Vietnam and every war for profit before and after it.

  • The thing for me is intent. Trump wasn’t like my longtime neighbour who dodged both the draft as a conscientious objector, and the inevitable prison sentence he would have suffered, by fleeing the US. Yes, it’s good that Trump neither died nor killed in a stupid war, but the attitude of Trump and his privilege is still disgusting. He continues to see absolutely nothing wrong with his position sitting atop inequality, and the benefits it gives him that he thinks he deserves. IMO, the draft criticism needs more nuance, but it isn’t completely off-base.

    • Bravo!

  • I can only look at a little bit of this at a time. Eventually I remembered this thread started off with Trump and the war against Vietnam. Think about how the world would be different, if Trump had gone to Vietnam.

    – I look at life pragmatically because it is the results that count, not the ideology.

    – The Vietnam-avoiding Trump has done more to discredit the US empire than anybody in a long time. He has also done more to encourage a multi-polar world than any US president in a long time. I’m glad I voted for him, rather than Hillary because she wanted to start WWIII. Yes, he is a buffoon, is all kinds of -ist things, does disgusting things, and is an idiot. Still, and this is a really important thing, he has catalyzed more real progress towards world peace than most recipients of the noble peace prize.

    – Maybe most importantly, Trump has inadvertently exposed how amoral and corrupt the US deep state is, how obsessed they are with financial profit and power, and how they don’t care how many people they kill, inside or outside the US, as long as they win.

    – Yes, China and Russia have done a lot for a multi-polar world. However, without a foolish clown in charge of the US empire, most countries wouldn’t have had the courage to join the belt and road initiative. The economic and political mass of all of those smaller countries is essential for the multi-polar world to be viable.

    – Just think about what the what the world would be like, if Trump had gone to Vietnam. His resistance to killing would have been broken, he would have more goal orientation and would be more focused on doing things rather than talking about them, and he would find satisfaction in killing the people he disagreed with. Then add all this to his obvious psychological problems – what a nightmare for global peace and our Mother the Earth.

    – It is a blessing for all that Trump found a way to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam.

    • Whoops, This was supposed to be a reply to my original post on April 29th, and be the 2nd half of it. This post will make more sense if the post on the 29th is read first.

  • I would take into account that although Bush, Clinton and Trump dodged active military service, they still are responsible for sending others to die in wars just as reprehensible as Vietnam. What we label as hypocrites.

  • I remember working with a serving US Army MP sergeant in 1970. He was doing temporary work polishing floors at a school in Leicestershire, England, as was I. He was a Korean veteran. His MP duties were carried out on one of the many US military bases stll in Europe quarter of a century after WW2 was over. They are still here, another fifty years later. He’d taken on a second job to help pay for his son to remain in England in order to avoid the draft before being shipped off to Vietnam. He saw it as a pointless and wasteful war.

    Hitching throughout Europe during the late 1960s and early 70s I ran into many draft “dodgers”. There was the combi van of four young Latinos. All born in Texas to Mexican immigrants, I met them on a beach north of Lisbon. We smoked a few spliffs and shared a bottle of wine. One of them feigned schizophrenia to avoid the draft. They didn’t want to fight for a country full of racists that treated them and their parents as second class citizens. There was the son of Armenian parents from Ann Arbor, whose father was a pilot for a Detroit automobile executive. He was wandering aimlessly through Switzerland and Germany, sleeping in youth hostels and a small tent by roadsides. Many young Americans, some deserters, ended up in Sweden. There was no need to hide in neutral Sweden back then, as it had yet to fall under US imperialist influence. If that were true today Julian Assange would probably still be a free man. Two of my best friends of the time left Australia to avoid conscription. They took the hard route, travelling by road, rail and sea, up through he islands to Asia and on through India, all the way to Europe before ending up in London, where we met. We still keep in touch. One’s father had suffered in a Japanese POW camp. He didn’t want his son to die in Vietnam Maybe, not all of their motives for not fighting would’ve been regarded as “honourable” by many, but most young Europeans understood, as many of our fathers had fought in WW2. My Norwegian mother suffered four years of Nazi-occupation in Oslo. They knew the true cost of war

    It’s easy for Americans, who have never faced the possibility of being drafted, to point the finger. They should get out on the streets and talk to the homeless, the drug-addicted and the mentally-unstable, only then will they understand the true cost of war, because a large percentage of America’s homeless, drug-addicted and mentally-unstable fought for their nation in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan before being cast out onto the streets like trash.

    • Trump did the bone spur th’ang NOT because he protested the Vietnam War,….he did so because he is a coward.
      His not signing up had not one thing to do with what Caitlain is suggesting.

      Trump is a narcissist, a coward and a kleptocrat. He cares for nothing but $$$$.

      • Go back and read what she said. It doesn’t matter what your motives are. Avoiding fighting in an imperialist war is a good thing to do.

        • Yes, avoiding fighting is a good thing. But we can still criticize the dishonourable motivations of someone did so.

        • For the sake of argument consider the war against Hitler a war worth fighting – I think Trump would also try to escape the draft there too. It’s easy to say get out of unjust imperialist wars for any reason but what about ‘just’ wars?
          And perhaps it can be argued that US soldiers were not fighting for the US but for Vietnam to not be under the rule of the North.

          • A “war worth fighting” ?? Hitler was a nasty, meth-addicted, murderous piece of work, to be sure. But if WWII had never happened, he’d have ended up killing fewer people than his (and later our) short-term buddy Stalin. Later, Mao killed about 60 million during the cultural revolution and we didn’t stop him, only 10 million more than we killed to defeat Hitler and his allies. My point is not that it was not worthwhile defeating Hitler, it’s that we never know, going into a war, if all of the death and slaughter will be worthwhile, the real motives for those promoting the war and just how ugly it will get before we’re done. And we never know after a war is won, just how things would have been different if it had been avoided. The Civil war, WWII and Korea all led to what most agree were favorable outcomes, but no one knows if the outcomes of strategies to avoid them (eg. a constitutionaly-mandadted gradual phase-out of slavery that was already in progress at the start of the civil war, or letting Hitler have Poland for a while while arming his enemies enough to keep him from advancing further) would have been any less successful. We lost Vietnam, and yet, 50 years later, as a Communist-in-name-only mixed economy, it’s not that different from what our ally S. Korea was in the 1960s. Some wars, like Iraq, are glaringly unjustified from the start, but most of the rest are the results of both the good intentions of some and the cynical manipulations of others. Certainly, the “war lobby” of each society has played a cynical role in nearly every war in history, even those that were arguably justified.

          • How do you know that Trump’s only motive for avoiding Vietnam was cowardice? I’ve never heard anything of his opinion on that war, either from that time or from his later statements.
            While the only thing consistent about Trump over the years has been his inconsistency, he has regularly returned to an anti-war stance when all was said and done. He called for the impeachment of Bush for conning us into Iraq and condemned the Bush-Clinton adventures in Syria, Libya. The only cases in which he, as president, could be called a war monger were his willingness to go along with the farcical “retaliation” for the Assad’s supposed gas attacks and (much more seriously) his support for Saudi Arabia in their destruction of Yemen. Both are repulsive, but if they turn out to be tactics to appease the deep state while he lays the ground work for a U.S. withdrawal from the area, so be it. It’s encouraging that he’s using the COVID19 pandemic as an excuse to get our people out of Afghanistan; any excuse for that would be a good one.

  • I do not “thank you for your service”. I pity those who were deceived into such, and abhor those who willingly and consciously participated. Armed forces of what is now the US have participated in exactly 1 war that involved protection of the liberty of its residents. The Revolutionary War. All others have been wars of aggression, either at least partly instigated by the US Sociopaths In Charge, or participated in for their profit.

    • There were complex motives for the Revolutionary War too. It was prompted by elites who wanted to keep their prerogatives and control this country. Among the most important of their threatened prerogatives was human chattel slavery.

    • Right on!
      The words “I don’t support war but” … are always followed by a talking point that is being circulated to manufacture support for acts of war. – Caitlin Johnstone

  • Caitlin,
    There is an additional major damage to society, which is caused by modern military organizations when they intentionally break people’s resistance to killing.

    The US discovered that many people have a natural resistance to killing others. Up thru WWII this hampered military operation because many people wouldn’t actually kill the enemy – they would shoot over their heads, and go thru the motions of fighting, but were really resistant to killing other humans, no matter how badly the enemy had been demonized.

    So the warmongers got together some bright psychologists, and over an extended period of trial and error, figured out how break this resistance to killing, to literally turn humans into killing machines, which kill on demand.

    Anybody who has gone thru boot camp since 1970 or so, has had part of their soul snuffed out. If you are perceptive to subtle nuances, you can see the deadness in the face of people who have gone thru boot camp. It would be great if there was a deprogramming practice to heal the soul, after people get out of the military, but I’ve never heard of one.

    Now there are 10s of millions of people in the US who have had their resistance to killing broken. People are outraged at the brutal rape/murders done by military personnel. I’m amazed there are so few of these. All I’ve figured out is its deeply hammered into the subconscious that you kill on demand “only after an order from duly constituted authority”.

    People should be really worried about a civil war, with millions of people running around loose, with a broken resistance to killing, when there is real doubt about who is “duly constituted authority”.

    I’m a veteran disabled by PTSD, and as near as I can tell it started in boot camp when I could feel them destroying part of my soul. I was in severe shock when I came home on leave from boot camp, and it went way downhill from there.

    Dave Grossman has written about these issues, and has written several nonfiction books. In particular, take a look at “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society”.

  • For more on how unspeakable the Vietnam war was read this fairly new book, “Kill Everything That Moves”, by Nick Turse

  • “While it is certainly legitimate to criticize Trump for his many spectacular failures in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is entirely illegitimate to criticize him for dodging America’s most evil and idiotic war in living memory. Anyone who avoided fighting in Vietnam was absolutely right to do so, regardless of their motives and regardless of the means they used.”

    Thank you for saying this. I have been calling out people who denigrate war resisters in order to score points against Trump.

    In 1968, I refused induction, was indicted and went abroad, where I stayed for nine years until Jimmy Carter declared amnesty for guys like me. I am proud of screwin with the imperial war machine’s gears and causing it to waste time and money on me. I proudly show good friends my FBI file.

  • Absolutely right.

  • “Do you know what the 58,220 American Dead from the Vietnam War will have in common with the 58,220 American dead expected this midweek?”

    What they share of course is a terrible premature (mostly) end to their earthly lives. The loss and waste of this is beyond measure (and the loss of all of the countless others, too).

    These were sons and daughters, fathers, brothers. These were people who had their whole lives ahead of them. Who knows what contributions and discoveries the world did not achieve because these lives were not allowed to find their natural end. The marriages that did not happen. The children that were not born. The family times that many take for granted that were stolen away from them. Even if most of them would have been destined to live anonymous lives, they had a right to live those lives and have their years of earthly experiences in their own way and in their own time.

    “Peace” is not good for business. If there were good money to be made in peaceful coexistence and getting along, we’d all be in paradise right now brought to us by the same folks that monetize and incentivize the death machine complex. But since the best money is made selling death, our world is destined to resemble hell more than it would heaven.

    Whether death occurs by the butchery machine or by a virus, it is a permanent and eternal loss that leaves a terrible void. Our world aches from the pain of this black hole void that continues to grow with each and every day.

    May Universe have mercy on their souls, and ours.

  • The science of virology and molecular genetics is amazingly complicated. But the bottom line is that it proves the origin of Covid-19 virus as a naturally occurring development. That conclusion vindicates what the Chinese government and the WHO have been saying. It destroys the toxic narrative being promoted by Donald Trump and his band of anti-China, anti-scientific zealots.
    But how can Doctor Bleach Donald Trump get his head around this scientific evidence when he thinks you can cure the disease by mainlining with Clorox? Please read this interesting article here:
    Blind to Science, Bleach Doctor Donald Trump Pushes Crazy China Conspiracy by Finian Cunningham!
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/04/28/blind-to-science-bleach-doctor-trump-pushes-crazy-china-conspiracy/

    • Sorry Bub but that is nonsense. That Virus was bought and paid for a created with Fauci’s approval in 2006.

      Check out Dr. RaSHID Buttar part 5

  • Ms Johnstone at the end of WW II the Japanese lost control of Korea and Korea was split up into North Korea controlled by the Russians and the Chinese; and South Korea controlled by the United States. A war was inevitable and the Vietnam war was just a continuation of this conflict between the U.S.A. and communist countries. That ” war posture ” still exists today and sooner or later the shooting war will commence again.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War
    A fight with Iran could very easily result in another ” world war ” with the communists.

    • The Americans knew that the Japanese were desperate to surrender before Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. The military just wanted to see what would happen and the effects on the populace of the atomic bombs.
      Korea was used to try out chemical weapons.
      The Gulf War was a chance to use depleted uranium weaponry.
      The butchering of Saddam Hussein’s army, whilst in full retreat was yet another war crime.
      No doubt you realised that Saddam Hussein was installed by the CIA, and only deposed when he decided to deal Iraq’s oil in Euros, and not American dollars.

      All the wars post WW2 can be sheeted home to American Imperialism.
      Now America is trying to destabilise Iran-which can only end badly.

  • I agree with your assessment of the Vietnam War, but why stop there? Every single one of the wars the USA has started over the last 200 years has been for the same reason – make the rich richer. Surely North Korea was the greatest crime against humanity ever perpetrated? Made Rome’s destruction of Carthage seem like a picnic.

    • I couldn’t agree more.

      Really, beginning with Truman’s decision to drop two atomic bombs – as a demonstration of US power (don’t mess with us – we’re the world power) to the USSR (presumably the killing of the hundreds of thousands of civilians was one of those “price[s] worth it” that all later admins have upheld) – it has been mass slaughter after mass slaughter, kicking off with NK.

  • In America, in the runup to every presidential election the two campaigns always try to call the other candidate a wimp. They do it because it works. It’s just another tool in their box. It’s up to us not to fall for all that “Honorable/Mccain” crap any more. It’s just marketing, like a truck commercial.

  • I see your point to be sure but he is still denying the Vietnam war by underfunding the VA and just last year allowed the senate to kill a bill providing benefits for bluewater sailors affected by Agent Orange. Just sayin.

  • I see your point to be sure he is still denying the Vietnam war by underfunding the VA and just last year allowed the senate to kill a bill providing benefits for bluewater sailors affected by Agent Orange. Just sayin.

  • Here’s what We, The People should be asking ourselves in our quarantine bunkers. Just exactly WHY to do warmongers get elected election after election after election? This is you lucky day, because I’m going to answer that question with the REAL answer, and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with “defense”. I’ll use the patriotic voters of Virginia as an example of the rest of the country.
     
    The US’s economic system, whatever you want to call it, can not and, therefore, must not be separated or isolated from its military-security-industrial complex (MSIC) when discussing literally anything (including the Fed, the stock market, inflation, employment statistics, healthcare, etc. etc. etc.) about the United States of America.
     
    George Kennan was a very influential US VIP for many years.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Kennan
    He said the following just a few short years before the end of the Soviet Union.
     
    “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”
     
    In the years that have transpired since the USSR’s dissolution, Kennan’s prediction has been proven to be amazingly accurate. Kennan’s statement must still be taken very seriously, to the extreme. At the time he said it, Kennan meant exactly what he said. What we average people have a duty to fully realize and fully appreciate is that what Kennan said is even more true today than it was in Kennan’s time!
     
    To elaborate, the US “system” would undergo very serious financial, social and political upheaval if its wars of hegemony and its MSIC were to suddenly be halted without an alternative economic system being fully “designed” prior to them stopping. Here’s just one example of the poilitical/financial/economic/social impact of the MSIC in just one of the 50 United in Perpetual Warfare States of America — again, the state of Virginia:
     
    Population of Virginia = 8.4 million
     
    Number of Registered Voters in Virginia = 5.7 million
     
    Dollar Amount of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2018 = $734 billion
     
    Number of Defense Contracts Awarded to Contractors in Virginia from 2000 to 2018 = 936,040
     
    Number of Defense Contractors in Virginia = 17,538
     
    What is the likelihood that the voters of Virginia are going to vote for a peacenik for POTUS? Zero.
     
    Is the reason that voters in Virginia select warmongers for POTUS election after election after election that they are brainwashed, or because they vitally depend upon that yearly DoD injection of well over $40 billion dollars, literally forever? It’s the $40 billion, stupid!
     
    The awful truth is that Virginians know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. As far as they’re concerned, Mr. Potato-Head or the Tangerine Jackass are both perfectly qualified to hold the title of POTUS because they will both increase the war budget from here to eternity. The shocking truth is that the voters in Virginia are not going to vote for a peacenik during the next thousand years.
     
    Virginia is a microcosm of the USA. AmeriKKKans say they want peace, but what they really want is perpetual war which justifies the annual DoD money-injection (which, in turn, requires the Fed to print literally “whatever it takes” amount of USD which pays for those injections from now to eternity) …………… until the bombs drop on Main Street, USA, anyway. Then there will be a very serious, nearly-instantaneous, nation-wide “attitude adjustment”…… in the heads of those still “living”, of course.
     
    All of the above being said, however, and say what you can justifiably say about the Tangerine Jackass, Syria and Iran still exist today as a sovereign states 3+ years after the last “election”. Do you think the same would be true if Hitlery had been elected POTUS? I doubt it.
     
    I’d much rather have a old coward who fears the destruction of all-out nuclear war as POTUS than a “brave” sofa-warrior who wants to have a nuclear shoo-out at the OK corral to finally “decide things”.
     
    Remember what all those Russia/China-hating (Deep) State Department “witnesses” who testified at the impeachment hearings had to say? “If the Ukrainians don’t fight the Russians in Ukraine, we’ll have to fight them over here.” That is the mind-set, the qualification, that is required for anyone to get a job in the FBI, CIA, DoJ, etc. etc. Peaceniks not only do not “get to the top” in present-day America, they don’t even get an interview.
     
    Therefore, here’s the most important question voters who don’t want to experience a nuclear war should ask themselves before entering the voting booth in November. Who do I think will resist the Deep State Department and CIA’s desire/obsession/advice/orders to attack Russia, China, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran etc. — Mr. Potato-Head or the ever-more-disgusting-by-the-day Tangerine Jackass? (Not that those two morons are the only remaining candidates, but as far as the bewildered herd is concerned, they might as well be.)

    • Yes, indeed. Very nicely heeled people in cushy jobs (sorry, employment) in the MISC who clearly don’t have a moral spark in them. I’d bet that many if not most are ardent christians. But then that ghastly, unspeakable specimen, Pompeo, is an evangelical which pretty much says it all about the necessary connection between religious belief and morality or ethics or humanity.

      Money before human life. Anyway, the people we drop bombs on, occupy, shoot with depleted uranium bullets….are “over there” thousands of miles away: who cares. These self-satisfied a******** clearly don’t.

    • Wow! This is more than just another commentary… Did you consider publishing it elsewhere? I wish it could reach more people…
      But even here, among a small and somewhat sophisticated audience, there are still many unable to see the bigger picture that you’re offering, unable to think beyond their conditioned, knee-jerk “anything but Trump” reaction…

  • I dodged the draft by being 17 until it was over.
    Yeah, there were a million ways to NOT go to Vietnam and murder women and children.
    They were all OK.

    • It’s encouraging that there are more sane, reasonable responses here (like yours is), than deranged, demented cries a la “TRUMP’S INTERNATIONAL COLLUSION IS THREATENING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY”…

  • What I don’t like about draft dodgers such as Trump and my former governor Paul LePage is their crocodile tears over “those who serve their country.” They spew endless garbage and sentimental hokum about veterans while they made absolutely sure they were safe (they certainly didn’t do it because of their concern for Vietnamese peasants). When I mentioned this gross sentimentality combined with avoiding the draft to our former plumber, he assumed, as an asinine Republican (yes, the Democrats are just as asinine), that I was talking about Bill Clinton. I felt like saying, “Hey, man, welcome to the 21st century.” I despise the widespread American attitude toward military personnel, like they’re doing anything but collecting a paycheck and making life miserable for other human beings and the planet.

  • The military-industrial-complex, is the second last in a progression of population control systems each of which has outstripped the previous one in terms of science and knowledge, technological skill and control over nature and mankind. Such control is now enormous and potentially capable of turning the world into a paradise if it were not for the fact that the population control systems are managed by extremely clever but secretive, wealthy but arrogant psychopaths who know they are above the law and use their wealth and influence behind the scenes to pay their agents to perpetrate all-pervasive methods of mind-control to entrench themselves in seats of power. Time to rid the world of the military-industrial-complex. Read more of this here: http://www.wisdompage.com/2013%20Articles/Molyneaux%20essay.pdf

  • The first sentence of the last paragraph has at least a typo wrong with it. Did you mean “The only blame to be CAST for the Vietnam War IS AT those who inflicted that terrible trauma upon our world”?

  • And what about those of us those who pay taxes to enable our government to pay soldiers to go on murderous campaigns against innocent foreign people? Our taxes empower those who fight to topple governments so that our international banks and corporations can enrich themselves and then fuel our economy so that we can pay more taxes to fund more murderous campaigns in a vicious cycle. Can we say it’s not our problem nor responsibility? Caitlin made me think again.

  • I prefer Dettol Donnie than President Bonespurs. Thanks John.

    • I prefer Captain Combover or President Pinkeye.

  • Im a Viet War vet. I enlisted. It was a crime against humanity- completely unesscesary. Just one of our continuing series. So, needless to say, i have zero criticism of anyone who got out of the draft. I have withering contempt for those who do that and make a point of being a war pimp, like, say Ted Nugent, or this freak…… yes, i know, hes simply continuing the bipartisan criminality…..but, no. fuck him. hes a chickenhawk, like hannity and so many more, whose draft evasion- since they go about in “patriot” drag- should be rubbed in thier faces. “Hes a good fellow, didnt participate in that gang rape, he just went home & beat his wife instead”.

  • The Vietnam war was terrible on every level! However, I would never defend a lowlife dirtbag scum (LDS) like the #Don! The Red Sea Conspiracy clearly explains why MBS & Saudi Arabia were given a pass by the Trump Administration for the murder of Jamal Khasoggi, and why #TheDon vetoed a bill passed by congress to withhold military sales to Saudi Arabia. And it is painfully obvious to understand why the Kurds were thrown under the bus by our rogue president at the request of Turkey’s Ertogan.
    PROOF OF CONSPIRACY
    HOW TRUMP’S INTERNATIONAL COLLUSION IS THREATENING AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
    SETH ABRAMSON
    PROOF OF CONSPIRACY
    THE FIRST EXCERPT FROM PROOF OF CONSPIRACY
    ON SALE 9/3/19
    As fears about the continued viability of oil as a nation’s chief export grow, the two most influential nations in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, increasingly lust not just for the expansion of their present dominant role on the global oil market but for nuclear power, possibly even nuclear weapons. More broadly, the internationalization of national interests—the way the future of a nation probably hinges more now on the relations between two or more other nations than was the case decades ago—is leading many Arab rulers to believe that only a historic détente between the United States and Russia can lead to economic prosperity and peace for many Middle Eastern countries. On the near side of that vision, however, looms a terrifying prospect: an all-out war between the United States, Israel, certain Sunni Arab nations, and Iran—a conflict that, especially if it draws into its maw such interested parties as Turkey and Russia or even China, could engulf the Earth in a third world war. Far preferable, the conspirators of the Red Sea Conspiracy concluded in 2015, would be a pre-election rapprochement between the GOP presidential candidate in 2016 and a Russian president whose divisive global agenda could be made to further the ambitions of several Arab states.

    It is with all these stakes in mind that international onlookers watched the rise of Donald Trump in 2015. Trump was, as clearly to those abroad as to those in the United States, a man without set principles or dogma; he therefore was quickly adjudged to be a man whose sympathies, loyalties, and political agenda could be bought by any one or several of the nations that had already helped make him rich over the years. There has already been much discussion of how the Kremlin spotted early on the opportunities a Trump candidacy promised; simultaneously, however, the Saudis and Emiratis marked not just these myriad possibilities but the additional slate of possibilities opened up by the Kremlin’s burgeoning interest in a political neophyte with malleable ethics. The same Arab nations that feared that President Obama’s peaceful entreaties to Iran could be a preview of what a Hillary Clinton administration would bring therefore steeled their resolve to avoid that eventuality by whatever means possible.

    The resulting plot to ensure—with the help of Donald Trump’s vanity and boundless acquisitiveness—that a venal New York City businessman would be the next occupant of the Oval Office is the complex, globespanning subject matter of this book. The Red Sea Conspiracy, variously referred to by its participants and in media as the “grand bargain” or the “Middle East Marshall Plan,” is in its basic contours relatively simple: the Saudis, Emiratis, Israelis, Bahrainis, and Egyptians, in conjunction with the Russians, aid Trump’s election as the next U.S. president while encouraging him to drop all sanctions on the Russian Federation if and when he secures election. In compensation for this dramatic reversal of U.S. policy toward Russia—an about-face worth hundreds of billions of dollars to the Kremlin in recaptured post-sanctions revenue—the Russians will withdraw their support for Iran in Syria and elsewhere, thereby enabling the Red Sea conspirators to conclusively conquer their Iranian foes. The conspirators’ post-bargain expectations are likewise easy to summarize: (1) the isolation of U.S. allies Turkey and Qatar, whose government-affiliated media organs have been unkind to the Saudis and their allies, and whose warm and comparatively uncomplicated relationships with America the Saudis and Emiratis particularly covet; (2) the receipt of American assistance in pushing back against Iranian aggression in the region, both indirectly (against alleged Iranian proxies in Syria and Yemen) and directly (in the form of aiding the Saudis and Emiratis in becoming nuclear powers capable of threatening Iran directly); (3) the receipt of a massive influx of out-of-region infrastructure and other investment from both the Americans and the Russians, with the aim of sidelining the Israeli-Palestinian debate in favor of a new focus on economic development across the Gulf region; (4) the establishment of a new pro-Israel and pro-American military alliance of Sunni Arab nations that will constitute one of the world’s largest and most commanding fighting forces, to be overseen—in both its legal and illicit operations—by MBS and MBZ; (5) and the standing down of pro-democracy forces within and outside the U.S. government in the face of encroaching autocracy in Israel and certain of America’s Arab allies— chiefly Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.

    This grand bargain was to be overseen by MBZ, MBS, and Egypt’s el-Sisi in coordination with both the Kremlin and Donald Trump. It is as audacious a plot as the world has seen in half a century, requiring years of continent-crossing communications, negotiations, and accommodations that must go unseen by major media until they are complete. It is a complex story drawing into its matrix of persons, places, and events nationals from at least a dozen countries, and it begins many years ago with the slowly converging exploits of three men: a pedophile, a mercenary, and a political flack.

    Pre-Order Your Copy Now!
    https://read.macmillan.com/lp/proof-of-conspiracy-excerpt-1/

  • I totally agree! The Vietnam war was terrible, however I would never defend a Lowlife Dirtbag Scum (LDS) like the #Don!

  • Superb article Caitlin. Great attempt to forestall all of the “Yes, but….” arguments about hypocrisy, etc. They are valid but they are not the main priority and can be used to distract from the priority.
    The Department of Defense must be re-oriented to actual defense. This “If we don’t fight them over there, we’ll have to fight them here” is utter bullshit and a guise for continued intervention, as is R2P, the patently obvious ploy to prop up our side (ie our proxies and puppets) in jurisdictions whose leaders (and usually citizens) don’t bend over for our military/security/financial/industrial interests.

  • As a proud Vietnam draft dodger myself I must say I agree with Caitlin. Trump wasn’t doing anything that many of us weren’t trying to do in one way or another.
    I myself had a student deferment until that went away, then I got a 4F for frequent “flash-backs” after a bad experience with “datura”.
    What is hypocritical is for a draft dodger to wrap himself in the flag and start wars that are as bad as Vietnam, order bombs and drone attacks, send young people to kill and be killed while continually chanting “support the troops”.

    • 196th LIB, 71-72 we were better off without you.

      As a proud draft dodger you criticize another draft dodger. Hypocrite!

      Plenty of draft dodgers on both sides of the isle.

      • …and you let the empire use you for their own ends. How many Americans and Vietnamese were killed? Something to be proud of?

        • Hypocrite

        • Hypocrite!

  • In my view, we need to attack the Criminal Corporatist Class Cabal whenever and wherever we can. But this includes *both* of the Corporate-owned mainstream, fake “political parties”. You know, The Duopoly that diminishes us all? Their hold on *The People’s* republic is not democratic in any way.

    But just because Trump is reviled by so many now, we should not be giving aid to the Dem cause necessarily because of our distain for Trump. They are Corporatist-owned as well, and *do not* work for on our behalf or for our benefit.
    The Corporatist Class Duopoly is our enemy and we must fight them all with equal measure and vigor.

  • There are uncanny parallels between full-blown pathocracies and the rather more covert pathocracy of the USA.

    QUOTE
    … the masses must be “educated” and channeled in the direction of imperialist strivings. This goal must be pursued doggedly so that everyone knows what is being fought for and in whose name harsh discipline and poverty must be endured. The latter factor – creating conditions of poverty and hardship – effectively limits the possibility of “subversive” activities on the part of the society of normal people. The ideology must, of course, furnish a corresponding justification for this alleged right to conquer the world and must therefore be properly elaborated….

    Thus, the biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of the majority of normal people becomes, for the pathocrats, a “biological” necessity. Many means serve this end…. including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule: the sons of normal man sent out to fight for an illusionary “noble cause.” Once safely dead, the soldiers will then be decreed heroes to be revered in paeans, useful for raising a new generation faithful to the pathocracy and ever willing to go to their deaths to protect it.

    From ‘Political Ponerology’ (the scientific study of political evil) by A.Lobaczewski, last survivor of an underground group of psychiatrists and psychologists in the former Soviet Union.

  • Yes Yes Yes.

    Thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen all the arguments against this specious and slantwise line of cruise missile liberal claptrap put so succinctly in one place.

    This is a serious resource for what’s coming in terms of a new round of U.S. militarism, and almost certainly calls to reinstate the military draft, after the report just issued of the so-called National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (https://inspire2serve.gov/).

    They now want women to be required to register for the Selective Service system, which is a database of eligible cannon fodder within the U.S. population for their immoral and illegal wars, and a foundation for reinstating the military draft (in preparation for war with Russia and China, let there be no doubt) – and they’re billing it all under the rubric of “equality”, the supremely cynical trope of identity politics, as in, “They can needlessly sacrifice their lives and kill and die for plunder as much as men can.” Not incidentally, this effort was one of the last brainchildren of John McCain before he croaked.

    Read the Executive Summary here if you want to vomit before breakfast: https://inspire2serve.gov/sites/default/files/final-report/Executive%20Summary.pdf

    So, thank you again. Anti-war and anti-U.S. military arguments are the most important ones people who want peace and justice in the world will have to make without flinching in the coming years, as the Masters of the Universe prepare for ever more radically evil conflagrations.

  • Ms. Johnstone, perfection again.
    Obviously Muhammad Ali’s way of doing it was exponentially more principled and bold and required no lies.
    Heck, there are still people who are angry at Ali!
    Governments can never be trusted, as they are always corrupted.

  • What kind of moron made this comparison? JFK was assassinated because he didn’t follow the despicable plan “Operation Northwoods,” and he opposed Israel’s nuclear program. To compare these criminal plans to Donald Trump, weak and weird handling of COVID-19 is politically motivated. Perhaps it’s spread by one of Joe Biden’s “democratic” disinformation agents. Caitlin doesn’t jump through every hoop dangled in front of you.

  • I love everything you write, but I think this article misses the larger point. Of course, the Viet Nam War was a hideous, immoral mess. Nobody with half a brain would try to justify it as a moral cause.
    However, the attack on Trump’s bone spurs is an attack on bellicose chickenhawks who can’t wait to drop bombs on civilian populations.
    For the same reasons, George W. Bush should have been called out for taking his partying to the National Guard as a way to avoid actual combat.
    Trump’s narcissism and hypocrisy are on public trial as Bush Junior’s should have been. During the Viet Nam War the National Guard was the place elites stashed their idiot children in order to avoid sending them into battle. And only rich kids could get into the National Guard. Trump got his bone spurs deferment but his folks would have gotten him into the National Guard as a last resort.
    These are public war hawks, willing to decimate any civilian population for their own political gains. And Trump has not slowed the bombing one iota. They are brave when it comes to sacrificing other people’s sons and daughters, but they would never fight themselves.
    It is simply the hypocrisy of fake tough guys that demands Captain Bone Spurs be called out.

    • I think her point is that the curators of the establishment narrative are perpetrating a sleight of hand in terms of which side of the “hypocrisy” equation they emphasize–the side that involves not going to Vietnam, or the side that involves the continuation of sadistic bombing campaigns with little regard for civilian casualties. Trump barely edged out Obama in setting the record for number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan, for instance. The only real difference is that Trump employs inflammatory “gloves off” rhetoric instead of the sleek “surgical strike” bullshit of a polished technocrat. And you can rest assured that he’s not micromanaging the targeted drone assassination program with “Terror Tuesday” meetings, because he’s too busy tweeting and throwing up a smokescreen for the people who are actually busy taking “kinetic” action on these matters.

      Instead of making a genuine and honest critique, the puppet masters of public discourse are distorting things in a way that is politically expedient–Trump is a wealthy coward for NOT going to Vietnam, while simultaneously deploying people of low socioeconomic status who are consigned by circumstance to be stormtroopers for the empire–you know, the ones with U.S. citizenship who can hopefully be persuaded to vote for your party if you pay enough lip service to them, not the invisible ones in faraway lands who have little political use value– distracting away from the cowardice of perpetrating these same imperialist wars more with drones and gung-ho JSOC “operators” and fewer of the hapless poor who fill the ranks of conventional ground troops, all of which is to say that what we’re dealing with is the application of a selective filter that avoids transgressing partisan battle lines. By all means call him out, but don’t single him out. That’s what I take away from her argument.

  • I agree that Vietnam was a terrible war and I have no problem with anyone who was deferred due to moral objections (conscientious objectors). Trump’s deferment came due to bogus medical reasons. He has no objection to wars, only wars where he would need to go and to fight. Risking his own skin is against his “principles” if he has any at all.
    I am not a veteran, but I have great respect for those who thought it was their duty to go and fight. Trump’s only duty is to himself. He has insulted Senator John McCain and what he stood for by enduring years of torture.
    Regardless of how you feel about the war, I believe that you must respect a man of courage and honor who stood up for his men and his beliefs. There are many reasons that I despise this president, but insulting John McCain is at the top of the list.

  • Good one Caitlin. I am one who refused the order to “serve” in the Korean War. That kind of “service” would have been conforming to the immoral designs of the corrupt USA — a dishonorable act if there ever was one. I remain proud of myself for refusing to allow myself to abet the evil that war represented.

  • War is, was and always will be an ” inferno of insanity”. It’s a psychopath’s paradise, the ultimate intellectual failure. Our collective insanity is to have ever allowed the devastation of mostly innocent people be viewed as some sort of rational option.

    “You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can’t bomb it into peace. Power to the peaceful.”
    ― Michael Franti

  • There are many varied perspectives to everything. Your point of view is accepted, as everyone is entitled to. No one is more right or more wrong than anyone else, expect in relation to a belief or point of view. Makes it difficult to take a solid stand, doesn’t it?

    • and without a solid stand what can get done that needs doing?

  • The donald dodged the draft not because he was a coward and feared combat. His daddy’s connections would have assured him a cushy office job somewhere safe while he waited out his two year “tour of duty”.
    He was simply more interested in continuing his playboy lifestyle. If he or his handlers had thought at the time that he might become useful as a politician, they would have made it appear that he was “bravely serving his country”.How many times was Elvis in actual combat? Imagine a Lt. Colonel Trump in full dress uniform preening on stage like an orange Gadaffi!

  • It matters whether someone honorably refuses to serve as a conscientious objector or by giving up U.S. citizenship or by faking bone spurs. Senselessly killing people was not Trump’s only other choice.

  • Caitlin: I hadn’t thought this through until your essay here – Donald and his bone-spur avoidance of service that might have seen him in Viet-nam – as anything beyond wealthy privilege – but you are right. A conflict entered into for no good reason except US business profiteering and fear of loss of face! And all those Viet-namess, Lao dead – and the US troops – not only the 60,000 dead but the many times more wounded, bodies and minds destroyed – and thereby millions – their families and communities all scarred – still ongoing!

    • Viet-namese

      • A lot of hindsight in these post. In the beginning no one knew of the horrors to come.

        Once it became clear then perhaps things could have been different. But that’s a good plan, to be as ruthless as possible so the other side gets out. Oh that’s how most war plans are thought out, maybe.

        A fantasy scenario – let’s say Canada is very powerful and the US has endured decades of foreign occupation and left weak but they’ve gone. Then Canada decides to take over the US and marches down and just leaves Miami Beach in control of the US.

        Another powerful state says to the US that we can come in and help you force the Canadians back. Do you think the US would reply ‘No thanks that would mean terrible destruction, killing and all kinds of horror. We will just leave it as it is’.

  • I have such a weird view of the military, Ms Johnstone, you are absolutely right about Trump, in one way, but regular soldiers in my country, Canada, are helping to fight this terrible virus in old age homes, right now. There is a bravery to helping people, and a deep honour to helping those who have been forgotten. I recognize the situations are not remotely comparable, but if you consider the ‘service’ element of military membership, Trump, along with a lot of rich, white guys are cowards? fools? Not pulling the same weight as everybody else? Certainly not being soldiers. Service people in the States have helped with ‘Katrina,’ in Puerto Rico, whenever there is a tornado. They have saved lives as indiscriminately as taken them. Is it really fair not criticize a President for not pulling his weight? Political leaders should have a history of ‘service’ via volunteering, helping, military service is just an easy sell to a war addicted nation. There probably a greater problem in the States because most don’t. You’re right about Trump and Vietnam, but you’re also wrong considering he didn’t enlist to do anything else…like ambulance driver or medic, or to experience then criticize what was going on. I don’t know the best way to stop mass murder, but pretending it’s not happening, which is what Trump did amounts to, is not it.

    • “Military service is an easy sell to a war addicted nation” – good one.

  • I guess running for president means everyone gets to criticize you. I doubt any of us could do a better job than Trump. He is one person fighting the establishment and making no headway. He is not part of the system so the system is destroying his image at every turn. I cant believe people cannot see that and just keep piling on. He is no saint, no messiah. Just a guy who thought he could make a difference and finding out he cannot. He is making alot of decisions eith false information or not even making the decision but getting blamed for it. He is a living example of why voting makes no difference whatsoever. I still believe most people are easily led, fearful, ignorant and mostly easily subjected to mob mentality. Beware the mob.

    • Trump is a psychopath, a terminal narcissist, a compulsive liar, a rapist, a racist, an all-round cyst, a loose cannon, a brain-damaged doofus with his name in Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book. He has three priorities and those are the three T’s: Trump, Trump, and Trump. He is the epitome of America’s love affair with Stoopid. The Joker has nothing on him.
      But in the words of PT Barnum, another archetypal American con man, a sucker is born every minute. If you shoot up some Lysol, you won’t die of Covid-19. Guaranteed.

      • Thank you for making my point so clear.

      • Trump is a psychopath, a terminal narcissist, a compulsive liar, a rapist, a racist, an all-round cyst, a loose cannon, a brain-damaged doofus with his name in Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book.

        Okay, he has the qualifications o be US President. What are his bad points?

  • Caitlin is 100% right, of course. But even if the pussy-hatted faux ‘liberals’ are high-fiving each other sharing this cold and unfunny joke, their OWN candidate – the senile bed-wetter, Joe Biden – was ALSO deferred from Vietnam on medical grounds! So we can add hypocrisy to the charge of immorality and war-worship.

  • There’s no such thing as the “Vietnam War.” What you’re referring to as a “war” was actually a lengthy genocide against the people of Viet Nam, Laos, and Cambodia in an attempt to prop up a colonial occupation.

  • My husband was in the military during the Vietnam War and later I was a volunteer in our local veteran’s hospital for 32+ years. I could tell MANY stories, especially about the ongoing effects of Agent Orange exposure and IED body and brain damage. But since Iraq and Afghanistan, there is another damaging war consequence, “DEPLETED URANIUM”, that the government does not want you to know about! (Look it up!)
    Soldiers are still basically expendable “cannon fodder”……….

    • And what of the peoples killed in the countries attacked, invaded, warred against? Millions more of them have lost their lives to this country’s rapacity, never-ending intention to be the hegemon. AND Agent Orange and depleted uranium continues to destroy lives, generation after generation, in those countries, like Vietnam and Iraq, where the soils are profoundly contaminated.

      Why is that for most Americans even when they visit immense destruction on other peoples thousands of miles from these shores only ever, ever consider the lives – lost or afflicted – of those who inflicted that destruction, those deaths, afflictions on peoples who never were a danger to America’s “security”?

  • I’m sorry, Caitlin, but you’re only partially right on this one. Normally I pass along nearly everything you write, but not this one. I only wish I had the time and energy to fully make my argument, but I don’t. You’d have to read my life’s work to understand. I’ll simply point out that I’m a Vietnam Vet. People like Donald Trump and John McCain, neither of whom ever saw toe-to-toe combat, are slaps in the faces of us Vietnam Combat Vets, and have zero right to defense of their behavior, and even fewer rights to be running our country. Terry

    • Amen! I am a Marine Vietnam Veteran who seldom disagrees with Caitlin’s articles and often marvels in them. But not this time. If our Commander In Chief wasn’t all over the globe directing the killing and maiming of millions with bombs and sanctions and supplying others with weapons and ammunition to do the same, and lying and playing games with Iran, Russia, China, and others which may lead to more war, then maybe Caitlin would be right. Vietnam was as wrong as can be, but millions of us didn’t know that at the time, so we did what we thought was right and honorable. I failed the Marine Corps medical exam when I attempted to enlist and didn’t have to serve, so I signed a waiver and they accepted me. Trump acted to save his fat ass, but doesn’t seem to care if he is directly responsible for killing and maiming untold millions all over the world. I hope that when Trump gets to Hell, his locker will be right next to McCain’s!

    • Of all the godzillion things that would disqualify Trump and McCain for office, their nonparticipation in this particular genocide ain’t one. Also, your being a vet does not pass as an argument.

    • As a matter of fact you can say that for most of them. Leaders Hve seldom known war. Thats why they have generals.
      Let me tell you how it really is for a president. He wins election then has the CIA, Pentegon and State Dept all telling him lies and false information to further the systems agenda. How many will consistently say No to that. If you do too long they get rid of you. Eg. Kennedy

      Quit blaming the president like he is the madman ruining the world. He is not.

  • Vietnam allowed the CIA to ship opium and heroin from their Laos and Cambodian, “Golden Triangle” production zones, back to America in the coffins of dead soldiers. The ultimate insult to all who “served” this demonic warlord machine.

    • And the Afghan delivery machine that Obama created is acceptable yes?

      Before Obama less than 3% of all heroin came out of Afghanistan after Obama 95% of all Heroin comes from Afghanistan.

      You want to know why? They grow the finest Opium and Charas on the planet. Why let a good thing go to waste.

      I wonder who lost all that business.

  • I agree. Even though Trump could care less about anything other than himself, at least he wasn’t driven by some weird hero ego (which he has lots of) to serve in a war where we were not threatened by any stretch of the imagination. I never could see how people could summon up the hatred towards a people who had done nothing to us.

    • But it wasn’t only “weird hero ego” that motivated so many young Americans to take part in the Vietnam atrocity. Those of us who were of draft age at that time are able to remember that the American citizenry had been relentlessly conditioned to view Communism as the new Nazism, as the next existential evil rapidly spreading across the globe. Indeed, I have little doubt that many American government officials honestly, at least for a time, also believed this deeply ingrained falsehood. Some of us young people fell for it, some did not. I was favorably situated enough to see through the conditioning and fit myself within a recognized draft deferment. Others like me fled to Canada, faced jail time, joined the National Guard, tried the conscientious objector route, or found other means to avoid “service” in what we considered an essentially insane and evil cause. And then there were those like Trump or W who DIDN’T see through the propaganda about stopping the spread of Communism, likely couldn’t have cared less, but were simply too chickenshit to fight. Caitlin is at least partially wrong in equating the former with the latter.

      • Should have said “in equating the latter with the former,” if you get my drift.

      • Excuse me but you are drunk.

        I was ready to live in the woods or go to Canad before serving in Vietnam. What kind of sickos could not see the horror of war. World War II shows like Hogans Heroes were enough for me to know you don’t want to go to war.

        I spent a year in Jail in Afghanistan in 1978 when the friggin Russians invaded.

        Better than if I had gone to war.

    • The US was not threatened by North Korea in the 50s but it could be now -should the US have gone ahead and taken it over totally?

  • Ali said it all: “My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America…And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. … Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”

  • I rarely disagree with you Caitlin but I think you are wrong here. Trump deserves to be called out for dodging the Vietnam war. Like W, he used his status as a rich man’s son to ensure he would never have to face a shot fired in anger. The fact that no American should have fought in Vietnam doesn’t make that any less reprehensible. He does not hesitate to put American soldiers in the same situation he would not face himself. Those men and women did not come from his privileged background. They didn’t have the opportunities he had. Trump is a coward and a hypocrite.

    • You can’t compare his actions now to when he was looking to get out of the Vietnam war. As a young man, how could you want to serve in the armed forces in Vietnam, get killed or maimed and for what? No matter what your reason, like Caitlin said, it doesn’t matter because there were no reasons to believe going to war was good. People did all sorts of things to get out of going to Vietnam of which some were not noble. I know from experience because I was there.

      • I was there as well. So were millions of others. Some had the moral courage to make the right choice and accept that it came at a price. Others, such as Trump and George W Bush, exploited their position in society to ensure that they paid no price.
        There is a tremendous difference. between the approach Mohammed Ali took and the one taken by Donald Trump. It is nonsense to say that since “people did all kinds of things to get out of going to Vietnam” that what Trump did was acceptable. It wasn’t. It was a reflection of who he is; a coward and a fraud who had no moral center. It needs to be said.

        • If I had the connections and money like Bush or Trump, I would have used it to get out of the war. It was very difficult to get a conscious objector status; almost impossible so to compare that with Cassius Clay is not relevant. It’s called survival man. Being sent to fight for something that was so insidious was a crime. The big question would be: If our country had been attacked like say New York, would Trump have served? But who cares. Just because you served in Vietnam doesn’t make you a hero of any kind. You were just manipulated by the powers that existed at that time. Take a look at the book “Don’t Thank Me for my Service” by S. Brian Willson

      • …there were no reasons to believe going to war was good.

        I suspect many good hearted people thought they would be helping the Vietnamese. The US hates communism so it would be good thing to try to help them stop the ‘commies’. ‘The US are the good guys’, remember?

      • No one is suggesting that being a hypocrite is worse than being a mass-murderer, Caitlin. Neither is anyone suggesting that being a hypocrite is what matters most about Trump. But to say it doesn’t matter at all is not accurate.

        I faced the same situation and opted to leave the country. There was a price to be paid for that. Trump used his status to ensure that he paid no price whatsoever, That does matter and it should be said.

        • You hoe a hard row, Caitlyn, and I truly appreciate your intellectual integrity.
          58220 American soldiers dying in a foreign country, thousands of miles away from our borders while trying to utterly destroy that country and as many of their citizens as possible (3,000,000+) should not be equated with 58220 American civilians dying innocently in or close to their own homes through no direct fault of their own.
          This seems a propagandist ploy to sanitize our memory of that war to legitimate our present policy of global regime-changing as opposed to real defense purposes.

    • I don’t think that Caitlin disagrees with your observation that Trump is a coward and a hypocrite. I think her point is that by criticizing Trump for legally dodging the draft for the Vietnam War creates a suggestion of legitimacy to that crime against humanity which it does not deserve.

    • Let us not forget that Clinton didn’t go, either. Not only the so-called blue face of the single, Janus headed party.

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