March 31, 2007
Anyone who has reached adult age has heard of returning Viet Nam Veterans being spat upon by angry leftists opposed to our involvement in the war in Viet Nam. To the best of my memory those disgusting actions helped lead to the slogan used today of “I support the Troops, but not the war.”
In a shoddily researched and written article, (also available as a book authored by the same author) Viet Nam Veteran and member of the anti-war group, Viet Nam Veterans Against the War, and professor of sociology at Holy Cross College, Jerry Lembcke makes the claim of “pro-war demonstrators spitting on anti-war activists” and “In their retelling over the years, the oral accounts of these incidents could easily get reinterpreted and inverted and made into stories about activists spitting on veterans.” The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam.
Lembcke also makes the claim of “stories of this type didn't surface until about ten years after the end of the war,” leading some vitriolic leftist posters on the Snopes.com discussion boards to declare “Spitting on returning Vietnam vets” an Urban Legend.
In rebuttal to Lembcke’s claim of stories did not surface until the mid 1980’s, archived on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth discussion forum, in the “Resources and Research” forum, are 12 jpg copies of newspaper articles dated as far back as 1967 mentioning returning Veterans being spat upon.
I will be the first to admit that not every returning Viet Nam Veterans was actually spat upon, physically, but Lembcke’s claim that it was us and supporters of the Viet Nam War actually spitting on the leftist protesters, and that there is no evidence of any spitting incidents prior to the mid 1980’s, in a paper and book written in the late 1990’s, ranks as low as does the carefully written and rehearsed, lying testimony given to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 22, 1971 by failed presidential candidate, John ‘F’in Kerry (who I am told also served in Viet Nam).
Curiously enough, Lembcke ends his article with, “By challenging myths like that of the spat-upon Vietnam veteran, we reclaim our role in the writing of our own history, the construction of our own memory, and the making of our own identity.”
Fast forward to March 17, 2007, when today’s anti-war leftists planned and held another ‘march’ in Washington D.C. in opposition to today’s War on Terror, brought on by the horrific attack we suffered in New York City and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. Fed up with taking it on the chin, Viet Nam Veterans and others formed Gathering of Eagles to be present near the anti-war march and to prevent the leftists from vandalizing the Viet Nam Memorial, as they recently had U.S. Capital Steps and as I listed in an earlier post, Cindy Sheehan Labels Viet Nam Veterans “Rightist Haters of America”.
Obviously startled to see themselves outnumbered by some 3 to 1, leftists again start their revision of history, ala Jerry Lembcke.
In letters written into the Washington Post, in response to their article Veterans, Others Denounce Marchers, we read comments like, “What I don't understand -- and I don't understand this generally about divisions in the world today -- is the hostility and lack of respect for the dignity and humanity of the opposite side. From what I could see, the vast majority of the name-calling, obscenities and threats came from the counter-protesters.” And, “the people who lined Memorial Bridge were overwhelmingly white and older. What they lacked in numbers they made up in righteous anger. Their shallow discourse was symbolized by one woman's decision to assault parade walkers with horse manure. Her act was surely premeditated; she wore a glove to keep her hands clean.” Protest and Counter-Protest
The media coverage and Police presence that day was unusually large, as would be expected. Still, the only “evidence” of such conduct is the claim made by the letter writers. The Washington Post did, however, post a video showing at about 1:50 into it, a middle aged woman, probably a 1960’s leftist holdover, spit on one of the Veterans.
In response to the leftists letters, Spokesman and D.C. Coordinator for the Gathering of Eagles, Kristenn Taylor disputed leftist claims of the misconduct of counter-protesters.
In today’s Washington Post, another leftist wrote in saying, “I step forward to assure Mr. Taylor that it is true: I was hit by the pro-war manure. Thankfully, because of its high fiber content, it fell off and left no residue.” Magic manure? Again, no evidence of any kind, just the claim of some type of ‘magic manure’ that leaves no trace after hitting you. I’m not a farmer, but I know better than that!
In response and applying the same methodology used by Lembcke, I left the comment;
“Are we to blindly accept Ms. Oatways account? How can we? When we Viet Nam Veterans state we were spit at or otherwise mistreated, we are told we are making it up, repeating an Urban Legend or just plain lying.”
“We are told to produce news accounts and when we did, they are denied and Police Reports are demanded of spitting. I place the same stipulation on Ms. Oatway. Or at least, a lab report on the manure she claims struck her of its fiber content so as to leave no seeable evidence of the hit.”
“A careful examination of the claim shows me just where the manure is actually coming from.”
Leftists have been defaming and libeling us Viet Nam Veterans for nearly 40 years now. When we stood together again to show opposition to their undermining our Military Commanders, President and demoralizing the Troops again, they slander us further by claiming we throw horse manure on them!
With the heavy Police and media presence for their anti-war march that day and the counter-protest by Viet Nam Veterans; surely there would be evidence. If nothing more, there should be the jacket worn by the leftists who claim being hit by manure. Even if 'magic' to leave no stain, there would be the smell, if you could tell the difference from one wearing it.
It is quite evident to me that this time, instead of waiting 30 years, leftists are "writing their own history" from the start.