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December 20, 2005

Iraq – Just Like Before?

Norman M. Covert

Okay, I'll say "Uncle" on this! But, just like in 1974, I won't surrender. Like any G.I. short timer, I'll pack my duffel, remove the magazine from my M-16, hold on to my steel pot with one hand, hitch up into the "Huey" and "had" out of here. Somewhere out there is a cold PBR awaiting me and a permanent assignment – "The World."

We veterans agree that the fighting in Iraq has taken on the trappings of my generation's war in Indo-China, but only on the streets of America. Our tried and true soldiers, sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and airmen are winning the fight in the air and on the ground, and the Iraqi people appreciate it.

However, a coterie of leftovers from the '60s is shameless in putting our heroes in harm's way. Their worst fears are coming true. We are succeeding, despite what you read in the daily press.

The most vocal naysayers from the '70s are being quoted again today at the elitist universities, in The Congress and the mainstream media. Their objective is the same in 2005 as it was 40 years ago – having the power to control the American pocketbook and the agenda. This group's last great victory was President Richard Nixon's resignation.

"We cannot win in Iraq," proclaims this aging cabal of politicians. Power was wrenched from their hands just in time for us to defend America by opening our offensive in the War on Terror in 2002.

Such words resonate in the Third World, empowering the very terrorists who would do us harm, either here at home or abroad. It is a divide and conquer tactic by Americans against Americans from the playbook of Osama Bin-Laden or his surrogates.

Consider that elections began in Iraq last Monday, voting that will actually elect the National Assembly and begin the first steps toward a republic where Saddam Hussein once reined with terror and death.

It seems reasonable that every time a free Iraqi citizen casts a ballot, somewhere in that mysterious world a sheik, emir or imam loses more power over the people.

Despite the election positive, it was a tough week for our fighting men and women:

– The Democratic Party chairman proclaimed "we cannot win in Iraq!"

– Rep. John Murtha (D., Pa.), whose Vietnam credentials seem to get better every time he is quoted, called for immediate withdrawal and said American combat soldiers in Iraq are living "hand to mouth."

– And Sen. John Kerry (D., MA) told a national television audience that U.S. fighting men were "terrorizing" Iraqi men, women and children in their homes!

This is the same Senator Kerry who claimed for himself the terrifying ordeal recorded in Francis Ford Coppola's Indo-China epic, "Apocalypse Now." Instead of recording Kerry's heroics, the film was in fact an adaptation of the fictional tale, "Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad. Senator Kerry's ludicrous claims of heroism in Cambodia haunt him and diminish his bonafide service as a U.S. Navy lieutenant (jg).

Senator Kerry's current claims are reminiscent of the falsehoods he told a Congressional committee in 1972 about war crimes supposedly committed by Americans and reported by Kerry’s cronies in the now-discredited Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW).

When I came back to "The World" in July 1969, my America was a different place, taken over by a "Leftist" group of politicians and their mouth pieces – the opportunistic media reps. It was a public relations bandwagon that snookered a generation of young people.

Few would dispute that the Democratic Party and their lackeys believed:

– It matters not if 58,000 young Americans die in a war in Indo-China that lasts from 1961 to 1974, as long as the surviving Kennedy brothers, Robert and Teddy – displaced by the assassination of big brother President John F. Kennedy – can hang on to the power and mystique of "Camelot."

– It matters not that millions of South Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, and Thais are sacrificed as long as the International Workers Party and their supporters in the United States Congress (see Kennedy, Biden, Humphrey, McCarthy, et al.) can wield power over the majority of Americans.

– It matters not that the campuses of America are turned red with the blood of innocent students, whose crime is listening to the blathering of Communist-inspired mentors at institutions, which educated and produced the pride of American industry.

It hurts many Vietnam-era veterans to see today's media hyperbole. Korean War veterans endured abuse from those who should have been keeping the home fires burning. Rather the war-weary nation failed to realize its sons and brothers were struggling in the no-man's land of Korea, struggling just to get home. The G.I.’s could care less about politics; it was sheer survival.

The Vietnam War, despite the rhetoric from both sides in our 13-year adventure, was nearly won on three occasions. There is no doubt that our elected leaders failed us. President Gerald Ford led the final ignominy, ordering us to literally run from the enemy, a first in America’s glorious history.

The last helicopter lifting off from the American Embassy in Saigon was broadcast for the world to see and left American honor in shambles.

Now these same political ne'er-do-wells want us to cut and run from Iraq, where the ground war victory came swiftly and boasted a new American resolve – to defeat the forces of terror!

Today, we veterans have pledged to prevent another generation of soldiers from being forgotten. Our wounded men and women at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington have received words of cheer, care packages, invitations to join local families for holiday gatherings and caring visitors.

This week, a wounded soldier received a card saying, “I hope you die.” It came from an elementary school child, who was prompted to write it by what he was told by an adult parent or teacher. What a horrendous thing to encourage!

The Vietnam turncoats are at it again and we must put a stop to it.

Like Vietnam? You bet!

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