November 10, 2011
BRUCE A. BRENNAN BLOG FROM THE WORLD AND MY MIND
The news as I see it and the views as I want them.
November 10 is … Forget-Me-Not Day
I will not forget Paul!
On this date in 1969 my cousin Paul Woolford was killed in Viet Nam when the jeep he was driving was blown up by a hand grenade. I miss you Paul and have for a long time. Will that damn war ever really end? My cousin and thousands like him climbed the tallest tree.
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other anti-communist nations. The Viet Cong, a lightly armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The Vietnam People's Army (North Vietnamese Army) engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.
The U.S. government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam as part of their wider strategy of containment. The North Vietnamese government and National Liberation Front viewed the war as a colonial war, fought initially against France, backed by the U.S., and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a U.S. puppet state. U.S. military advisors arrived beginning in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962. U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.
U.S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese army in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War. North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from less than one million to more than three million. Some 200,000–300,000 Cambodians, 20,000–200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict.
Another example of the incompetence of our military is in the news. The Vietnam War lasted twenty years and we lost. The Korean War is still going on without victory. It took the military ten years to find and kill bin Laden. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are nearly ten years old without victory, we are just giving up. Now this.
The Dover military mortuary entrusted with the solemn duty of receiving and caring for America's war dead twice lost body parts of remains shipped home from Afghanistan, the Air Force revealed Tuesday.
Three mortuary supervisors have been punished for what the Air Force called "gross mismanagement," but no one was fired in a grisly case reminiscent of the scandalous mishandling and misidentifying of remains at Arlington National Cemetery. The Air Force, which runs the mortuary at Dover, Del., acknowledged failures while insisting it made the right decision in not informing families linked to the missing body parts until last weekend – months after it completed a probe of 14 sets of allegations lodged by three members of the mortuary staff.
Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff, told a Pentagon news conference he and the service's top civilian, Michael Donley, are ultimately responsible for what happens at Dover and for its mistakes.
"There's no escaping it," Schwartz said. However, an independent federal investigative agency, the Office of Special Counsel, said the Air Force had fallen short on accountability. That office, which forwarded the original whistleblower allegations to the Pentagon in May and July 2010 and reviewed the subsequent Air Force investigative report, faulted it for taking an overly narrow view of what went wrong at Dover between 2008 and 2010.
"Several of the Air Force's findings are not supported by the evidence presented and thus do not appear reasonable," the special counsel's office said. "In these instances the report demonstrates a pattern of the Air Force's failure to acknowledge culpability for wrongdoing relating to the treatment of remains."
This failure comes to light just months after the military acknowledged that Arlington National Cemetery mismarked graves, lost bodies and lied about it with a cover-up. We can no longer prosecute a war successfully, kill the bad guys or properly handle our own fallen heroes.
What a disgrace. Screw political correctness; let’s get back to “might makes right” and show the world how it is going to be. We do not need a global economy or global police force. The world needs us. We should show the world why, starting in Iran and North Korea. Africa is not a threat, leave it alone.
Just a couple of thoughts I had and you should too or at least think about.
BRUCE A. BRENNAN
DEKALB, IL 60115
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Go to web sites below to buy books by Bruce A. Brennan. It is still a good time to purchase any of my books. The books are interesting and inexpensive reads. My third book should be available later this year, in late 2011. More information will be forthcoming.
www.barnesandnoble.com (do a quick search, Title, my name)
www.smashwords.com Do a Title or author search.
Holmes the Ripper
A Revengeful Mix of Short Fiction
"He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit." - Sir Walter Scott