A few years ago at a conference I was unfortunately seated at a table full of warmongering FOX News Channel-watching dittoheads who where shocked — shocked !! – to learn that I was opposed to all the aggressive and offensive military intervention in the Middle East by the U.S. government. One 60-ish looking guy who still wore the same “high-n-tite” military haircut that he first got when he was 18 thought he had the clinching argument: “Do you know how many Americans died in Vietnam?!” he screamed. I answered “Yes, I believe the number is around 58,000, every last one of them in vain.” His assumption was that because many Americans died in Vietnam, no one should ever question any future American military intervention.
He then came up with what he apparently believed was the super-clincher: “Have you ever been in the military?!, he screamed. My response was “No, and I’ve never had cancer either, but that doesn’t stop me from understanding that cancer is a very, very bad thing to have. And I’ve never met Abraham Lincoln either, but I still know quite a bit about him.” His assumption here was apparently that if one has not been in the military, one should just shut the hell up about current military interventions. This of course would include about 99% of all women and a large majority of the entire population.
He changed the subject when I said that no one in America was ever threatened with being forced to speak Vietnamese or become a communist, and that even though North Vietnam won the war, there was no “domino effect” as our government promised. He obviously concluded that I had no capacity for logical thinking.
Here’s a chart that allows you to look up who and how many people from your own cities, towns, and states died in vain in the Vietnam war.