The 60s – The Shape of Things to Come Part 3

In Vietnam beginning 1968, Americans were still fighting.  On the Lunar New Year holiday of Tet the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong began a massive offensive.  By the time it was over, facts showed it was a military disaster for the north.  That was not the story brought to war weary Americans.  There was much misreporting of facts and events all topped off by the editorializing of the “most trusted man in America” CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite who told Americans the war was at best a stalemate and maybe unwinnable.  It was not a report.  It was an editorial unmindful of facts.  Supposedly Cronkite’s assessment ended Lyndon Johnson’s aspirations for a second term.  It is also the time when the political will, if it ever truly existed, to win the war ended.  And some things remain the same.

After Vietnam, our military was worn out from years of repeated combat tours, inept politicians and what appeared to them then as a wholly ungrateful public. And all of it brought to them and the rest of Americans by a lying and antagonistic news media.

What is left of that generation of Warriors is leaving us. As we look at Iraq and Afghanistan, the toll that those wars have taken on our military, the corrupt governments it is asked to defend and support, the civil and political discourse that we see each day in America, we can only conclude that the liberals have fulfilled yet another of their self-fulfilling prophesies. Making this just another Vietnam. – Just Another Vietnam, March 25, 2012

Records show that more than 21, 000 Americans were killed after 1968. It was a year that militarily the war could conceivably have ended.  When the press abuses one of our most important freedoms, a free press, it is costly.  It is costly in lives and lost freedom.  Today, there is more editorializing than there is news.  Too many want to be Mr. Cronkite steering the mood of the nation.  Every “news” reporter seems to want to be a commentator like Rush Limbaugh not realizing if they truthfully reported all of the news, there would be no audience for a Rush Limbaugh.  Then again, Americans today run on emotion more than reason.  A news program reporting facts minus red meat editorials would probably have too few viewers to survive.

From the Tet Offensive, all the way up to Benghazi, and points in between and beyond the press by choice have gotten it wrong.  Americans have paid for this ideological warfare waged against our country.  In politics, when someone declares the media is the enemy in too many instances they are not too far off the mark.  In all the years they’ve been following Mr. Cronkite’s example they have never centered, never moderated, never painted America or her Armed Forces in a positive light and as current events demonstrate they intend to double down until they are either embraced or totally rejected by the American people.  In any instance it is a lose-lose for America.

We cannot leave 1968 without talking about the Democratic Convention held in Chicago August of 68.  The Youth International Party (Yippies) the radical political activist side of the Hippie pot fogged and LSD driven counter-culture (my assessment) spent a lot of time and energy getting demonstrators to converge on Chicago and the Democratic Convention.  I was living in Chicago, but my experience with the week-long demonstrations and riots consisted of watching the television coverage.  With my brother barely home from Vietnam and being raised in a culture that valued military service, I never connected with the Yippie Hippie anti military counter culture or however you choose to describe it.  Protestors carrying the flags of our enemy in their anti-war demonstrations never set right with me and still don’t.  What remains most vivid to me was the television coverage.  The demonstrators chanted “the whole world is watching” as the Chicago Police beat the daylights out of some of them.  Of course it was the bloody demonstrator and not what transpired beforehand that made the evening news – “And that’s the way it is” according to Mr. Cronkite et al.  Today, we have organized paid protestors all over the country rioting, attacking people, and looting.  I have even heard them chant “the whole world is watching” and heard media types breathlessly hope for demonstrations worthy of 1968 for the 2016 Republican Convention.  What you are is where you were when.

Copyright © 2017 J. D. Pendry

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