A true abomonation on the editorial page of the L.A. Times.

What follows is a new low in journalism. That any american newspaper could run such a commentary should cause disgust and anger in every right thinking person in this country.


Apocalypse again — call up the Vietnam vets

Where else can Bush get 21,500 trained soldiers for his ‘surge’?
By Paul Whitefield, PAUL WHITEFIELD supervises the editorial pages’ copy desk.
January 21, 2007


LISTENING TO President Bush’s speech on Iraq earlier this month, my first thought was: “Where the heck are we going to get 21,500 more soldiers to send to Iraq?” Our Reserves are depleted, our National Guard is worn out, our Army and Marine Corps are stretched to the limit.

Then it hit me: Re-up our Vietnam War veterans and send them.

They’re trained. They’re battle-hardened. Many already have post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, some have their own vehicles — Harleys mostly, which are cheap to run, make small targets and are highly mobile. I’ll even bet that lots of these guys still have guns (you know, just in case).

OK, some vets are a bit long in the tooth (or don’t have teeth — because of Agent Orange?). Or their eyesight isn’t what it was. Or their reflexes have slowed. But with today’s modern weaponry, how well do you have to see?

Too out of shape, you say? Listen, if Rocky Balboa can step back into the ring at age 60, all these Vietnam War vets need is a little boot-camp magic and they’ll be good to go. I mean, who doesn’t want to drop a few pounds?

Don’t want geezers fighting for us? Well, let’s face it, our young people have greater value right here. Most of us want to retire and collect our hard-earned Social Security, and we need those youngsters here, working and paying taxes — lots of taxes.

Finally, these Vietnam War guys are hungry for revenge. After all, they fought in the only war the U.S. ever lost. And they didn’t even get a parade. So this is their chance. We can throw them that big parade when they come marching home.

What follows is my response and reaction to Mr. Whitefield.

The following story is one from a very personal remembrance. The setting was Memorial Day 2004 in Washington DC on the Capital Mall, and I was there with my daughter and 9 year old grandson. This is what I wrote to my grandson on Memorial Day 2006.

For quite a number of years now, the Rolling Thunder, a group of Harley Davidson Vietnam War veteran bikers, descends on Washington DC on Memorial Day. There were reported to be over 200,000 in attendance that year, and we were there also. We were on the corner watching the bikers as they turned the corner and roared down Constitution Avenue. The sight was awesome, the sound was inspiring.

But, the sight that was truly inspiring and moving, was the sight of a solitary young Marine in full dress uniform, standing and saluting at rigid attention in the middle of the street. The bikers were flowing around him on the left and on the right.  It was as if he was saying to these veterans, “Thank you, now it’s my turn”.  You’re mother was there, and the sight brought tears to her eyes, ask her about it.

I was moved by this sight, and only wish that Mr. Whitefield could have been there as well.


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