Letter | Apply the lessons we should have learned from Vietnam to Iraq

06/28/2014 12:00 AM

06/26/2014 3:01 PM

President Lyndon Johnson sent in the USS Turner Joy and USS. Maddox to stir up trouble in international waters in a place called Vietnam. Simply put America started a lengthy war. Our soldiers were the best and didn't get the support they needed in the field of operation or home front.

Gerry Ford became a Vice President and President without ever being elected to either office. He replaced under the 25th Amendment a corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew. As a Marine during this period, I strongly believe that Ford made two big mistakes: pardoning the draft dodgers; and pardoning President Nixon.

The college kids had every right to protest the war and they may have saved thousands more lives by this action. However, they should have done some community service for a few years like delivering food to the poor and elderly. There should have been some collective contribution to their country instead of a free pass.

Some 64,000 soldiers were lost, counting the missing in action and POWs. Our national policy of attacking first and torturing people isn't going to win a thing, let alone the hearts and minds of the Arab people. Our Vice President, Dick Cheney, told us the Iraqi War would only cost $87 billion dollars and the oil would repay the taxpayers.

Then we had President Bush landing on the deck of a Navy carrier with banners claiming the war had ended halfway through this debacle. Did we really believe this hype after the Vietnam experience? Maybe we need the draft back.

With a draft many college kids would see through the smoke and would once again picket. Hopefully, before we make some more multi-trillion-dollar mistakes. No one American soldier is worth a false war, whether it be for oil or drugs, period.

The writer lives in Little River.

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