Obama Disses Boomers Who Opposed Vietnam War

Barack Obama the unity candidate? Please. Via Politico, here's Barack Obama stumping in West Virginia today:

One of the saddest episodes in our history was the degree to which returning vets from Vietnam were shunned, demonized and neglected by some because they served in an unpopular war. Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country’s call. Four decades later, the sting of that injustice is a wound that has never fully healed, and one that should never be repeated.

Politico says:

Not only is Obama underlining his generational distance from the boomers, but he's also reaching out to swing voters with a back of the hand at the cultural left.

In other words, Obama intends to battle the war-hero McCain by throwing us under the bus. [More...]

So Obama is trying to separate the war-figher from the civilian leadership. It's not an easy task, but a smart, if not essential, one that he'll need to drive over and over in running against a war hero.

Here's Jackson Browne, For A Dancer:

Just do the steps that you've been shown
By everyone you've ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Another's steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you'll do alone

Everybody else will be lying under the bus, which sounds like it may be the size of a 747 before we're through with this election.

Update: Obama uses the phrase "the degree to which" as if the "shunning and demonizing" were prevalent and widespread. If he's referring to spitting on returning veterans, which is what comes to most people's minds, see the comments below, others say the prevalence was another urban myth. Regardless, whether some protesters were abusive, and I think everyone can agree some were, they do not justify Obama's remarks today.

Update: This really gets me too:

"The young men who simply answered their country’s call."

They were drafted, they had no choice. Many fought tooth and nail not to go, including those I knew. The saddest part of the history of the Vietnam war is that our young men died in it. Another war that never should have been fought. Like Iraq. And what does Obama do? Rather than drawing that connection, he calls out the poor actions of a minority of war protesters 40 years ago in his effort to score political points as a patriot with W. Va. voters, much like John McCain.

Comments now closed.

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    Maybe I'm too young (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:13:51 PM EST
    but I thought it was conventional wisdom these days that it was a mistake, in hindsight, to take anti-war sentiment out on the troops.

    Who is being thrown under the bus here?  Surely not everyone who opposed the war in Vietnam - just those who opposed it in a certain way that is disfavored today.

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by squeaky on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:24:33 PM EST
    I read it that way as well. Seems reasonable to take the position of supporting the troops even though he doesn't support the war. I do not see boomers getting thrown under the bus here, but maybe I am missing something.

    It did happen (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by dianem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:25:13 PM EST
    Just not to the degree than many believe. A lot of the stories about what happened to veteran's are apocryphal. The problem is that a lot of veteran's believe the stories, and resent the the "liberals" who supposedly did these things. And some veteran's actually believe things happened to them or a friend, and they tell the storeis, reinforcing the meme. Memory is a funny thing. Over 30-40 years, yoru memory of events can change, to the point that you believe that things didn't happen the way they happened, or that things happened that didn't happen. Try asking a family member about something you remember clearly from childhood - something important. I guarantee you that their memories of the event differ from yours, and they will be adamant that their version is the absolute truth, just as you are about your version.

    And that justifies (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by seeker on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:43:24 PM EST
    Obama's repetition of a myth that he has no personal knowledge of?

    Did I say that? n/t (none / 0) (#211)
    by dianem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:17:06 PM EST
    thank you. (none / 0) (#232)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:24:41 PM EST
    no it doesnt.  that was never our point
    but denying the truth by saying it never happened (several commenters said exactly that) is just as unattractive in Obama opponents as it is in Obama supporters.
    and just as worthy of being called out.

    Yes....not unlike the 'sniper fire' (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by oldpro on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:49:36 PM EST
    story that became a 'fish story' after repeated retelling.

    Memory.  Mine includes my flowerchildren friends putting daisies in the business end of rifles, held by national guard solders who'd been called out to keep us all civil...under control...at various demonstrations against the war.

    By '68...in Chicago...the flowers were gone.



    Not good to bring this all back up in the context of the current anti-war movement...reminding everyone of what a real anti-war movement actually looked like.


    But, someone (none / 0) (#217)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:18:44 PM EST
    out there is being nostalgic:



    I agree with Steve M. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    But I am a Centrist Hawk so that might explain it.

    Though I assure you (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:27:08 PM EST
    the outrage at Hillary Clinton has she said it would know no ends.

    It really doesn't matter what Clinton says. (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by derridog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:41 PM EST
    Whatever it is, it will arouse outrage on the part of the Obamaites.  If she said the sky was blue, they'd be screaming that she had damned yellow to hell!

    I Dunno (none / 0) (#66)
    by squeaky on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:33:53 PM EST
    Seems like the right position for now considering both Dems are supposedly anti Iraq war and pro troops. But then Hillary gets bashed for sneezing these days, so you may be right.

    Key word supposedly.... (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by kdog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:46:30 PM EST
    by their words they are anti-occupation, by their actions...not so much.

    that's not the topic (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:56:37 PM EST
    this is about Obama.

    you have to agree (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:31:16 PM EST
    that from a political standpoint, considering Obama's problems with patriotic creds, to say this kind of thing, especially in WVA, is absolutely foolish.

    Perception is reality.


    Actually the opposite (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:33:17 PM EST
    I think this is pretty shrewd politically.

    In what way? (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:40:54 PM EST
    I can't see anyone in WVA liking this kind of rhetoric.  Of KY, or GA, VA, etc.  I come from military folk who are still very, very knee-jerk about this kind of thing.  It also gives Clinton the opportunity to ask why he doesn't care as much about the troops we are ignoring now. (Not that I think she'll take the bait, because it's been made clear that she must be a good little girl or they'll make her stop this foolishness and drop out of the race...)

    obama Is Running As Fast As He Can Trying (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:04:03 PM EST
    to make himself look patriotic.  It is more pandering pure and simple.  Good luck with him trying to out-patriotic McCain.  

    Especially (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by rnibs on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:16:33 PM EST
    with that thing where he (McCain) supposedly refused to leave the POW camp without his fellow prisoners.  That's going to be really hard to beat.  I just can't picture Obama (or, for that matter, any other politician) doing it.

    and especially since Obama (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Josey on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:05:40 PM EST
    never held a meeting for that foreign committee he chairs.

    Subcommittee, to be specific (none / 0) (#237)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:27:14 PM EST
    And no, it's not the one overseeing Afghanistan.

    what? (none / 0) (#157)
    by mindfulmission on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:50 PM EST
    What do you mean that the people of WV won't like this?

    Would they rather have Obama say that people should have attacked the troops during the Vietnam era?

    And Obama doesn't care about the troops now?  Since when?


    There are people in WVA (none / 0) (#193)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:10:23 PM EST
    who have brand new bumper stickers on the back of their trucks d*mning Jane Fonda as a communist b*tch for giving aid to the enemy.  Some in Georgia, too (her current home state).  

    This is just another example of Obama showing a tin ear about the need to express himself clearly to all Americans.  Sure, egg-heads and the such can rationalize Obama's words till the cows come home, but I think my first or second post here was complaining about how Obama never speaks directly and states himself clearly.  He's always talking out of both sides of his mouth, but not in a good way.  The fact that many of us here cannot agree on what he is saying is telling, don't you think?  I mean, we're fairly educated people.  Why can't he speak clearly and make himself understood to everyone?


    Not following (none / 0) (#201)
    by mindfulmission on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:12:53 PM EST
    Obama said that people should have treated the troops better.

    How is that in conflict with d*mning Fonda?


    it's an historical context (none / 0) (#213)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:17:35 PM EST
    that Obama either does not comprehend or does not care to understand.

    WV has the highest per capita (none / 0) (#270)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:52:19 PM EST
    military service in the country. They send more of their kids into the military than any other state in the union. They are deeply patriotic and they put their bodies where their mouths are. But even the people whose children are in the military don't want them getting killed. I lived in WV for many years, and my neighbors knew I had been an anti-war demonstrator. They actually thought that the demonstrations had ended the war sooner. And they were glad about it. No one wants their kids to die in a war. Even patriotic people.

    When I lived there, I went to a local carnival and took a walk through the parking lot. In WV, vets get free license plates..it's a one time $15 fee..and they can have the medal they won mentioned on it if they want to. They all want to..can't blame them. Walking through that parking lot, I saw THREE Medal of Honor plates, THREE. One from WWII, one from Korea and one from Viet Nam. The other vet plates had Purple Heart, Silver and Bronze Star, etc. Few of them had no medal. The kind of rhetoric that Obama is trying to con them with won't work. They will see him as an outsider trying to trade on the bodies of their soldiers to get votes. And they won't like it one bit. Not one bit.


    Wouldn't they like it (none / 0) (#183)
    by jnicola on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:07:48 PM EST
    if instead Obama showed how much he cared about today's troops by saying stuff like -

    'That's why I've pledged to build a 21st century VA as President...we'll fully fund VA health care, and add more Vet Center..we'll pass on-time budgets. It means no more means-testing - it's time to allow every veteran into the VA system. And it means we'll have a simple principle for veterans sleeping on our streets: zero tolerance...expand housing vouchers, and launch a new supportive services housing program to prevent at-risk veterans and their families from sliding into homelessness..Confront one of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - PTSD. We have to understand that for far too many troops and their families, the war doesn't end when they come home...Think about that. Think about how only half of the returning soldiers with PTSD receive the treatment they need. Think of how many we turn away - of how many we let fall through the cracks. We have to do better than this...We'll enhance mental health screening and treatment at all levels: from enlistment, to deployment, to reentry into civilian life...And we need to dramatically improve screening and treatment for the other signature injury of the war, Traumatic Brain Injury.'


    Isn't it more likely to come off (none / 0) (#137)
    by dk on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:53:41 PM EST
    as desparate?  Especially against McCain?  I mean, can he really compete against McCain on this topic?  Seems like a non-starter to me.

    He can't. (none / 0) (#190)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:08:49 PM EST
    Nor should he try.

    He should be hammering McCain for wanting to stay in Iraq for 100 years, not trying to flag-wave about the troops.

    I think if he wants to build up his I Love America creds, as I posted before, he should show himself as a family man. Chelsea Clinton did a lovely Mother's Day card for HRC and sent it to her supporters. The pics were great. Obama could do stuff like that.


    A non-starter (none / 0) (#223)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:20:07 PM EST
    Obama's comments re: McCain and 100 years in Iraq have already been shown to have been blown out of context.

    Good article on what we all here are saying McCain is going to do to beat Obama.


    Re: A non-starter (none / 0) (#241)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:30:03 PM EST
    How has been McCain been taken out of context?  I hear this about both Obama and Clinton and it's not true, so far as I can see.  Can you elaborate?

    Not on this thread (none / 0) (#249)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:34:58 PM EST
    it's off topic and comments are closing

    Sure (none / 0) (#253)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:36:53 PM EST
    Here's a good analysis of what he really said:



    I agree (none / 0) (#268)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:48:22 PM EST
    Who is out there saying that it was a great thing that some people treated returning troops poorly during Vietnam? Or who is advocating that the troops now should be treated poorly? Um, no one. He's just setting up a strawman and painting with a pretty broad brush to boot, if I may mix my metaphors.

    It would be nice if Sen. Obama would take a tough stand on a real issue related to Iraq today, rather than take a stand on ancient history.


    If only Obama had been around then to solve it! (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by Ellie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:45:58 PM EST
    Just like he would have voted against the Iraq war, maybe even singlehandedly stopped using charisma that's as awesomely effective as Superman on locomotives! (But Obama did vote to feed it and fund it.)

    Vietnam? A snap. Using extra sharp, precision charisma wielded as deftly as a scalpel, he would have separated the correct anti-war protestors from the meanies, healed the vets that were being slammed, mollified the pro-war establishment and ...

    ... aw what the f*ck done a few lines with Dubyah (but not taken any hits off Bill Clinton's blunt).

    I can't belief people are falling for this fluffernutter. He's completely cribbed. I want to look under his arms and behind his shoulders for hinges, seams and dovetails.


    Heh (none / 0) (#128)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:51:56 PM EST
    Well, part of what got us entangled in Vietnam, in my view, was electing a foreign policy neophyte who wasn't quite sure who to listen to in terms of our SE Asia policy.  Next thing you know, our involvement had mushroomed and we were embroiled in a bloody war for a decade.

    I hardly pine for Nixon, but I've often wondered what would have become of the Vietnam situation if he had been elected in 1960.


    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#215)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:18:01 PM EST
    I think Kennedy didn't have much of an idea what to do with some of the foreign policy situations he inherited from the prior administration.  The Bay of Pigs was another such example.

    If you want to show that a bloody, decade-long war in Vietnam was inevitable as of 1960 - or perhaps, as your comment suggests, even as of 1952 - it's going to take a little more explication than just asserting that I don't have a clue.  I don't subscribe to the view that the moment an American touched toe in Southeast Asia, everything else followed inexorably from that event.


    No, but a "bloody decade-long war (none / 0) (#248)
    by brodie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:34:03 PM EST
    in VN was inevitable" once Lyndon got his blank-check Gulf of Tonkin Res passed in 64.  Johnson was determined "not to be the first president to lose a war".

    Sorry, but you misrepresent Kennedy's policy, which was one of withdrawal by 65, the recently-released gov't docs now show.  

    But it's another myth about VN, like the returning vets nonsense, and especially beloved by hardcore lefties, that JFK was to blame for Nam.  Nope, LBJ was the one who first sent combat units over; Kennedy consistently refused to do so.

    Though "neophyte" Ike did advise him during the transition, that he (JFK) may need to send US combat forces into ...  Laos.  


    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#262)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:40:58 PM EST
    I don't doubt that Kennedy didn't want to get us into a war in Vietnam.  My impression - and, you know, maybe it's just some silly "myth of the hardcore lefties," but it's developed from reading a great deal of Vietnam history - is that Kennedy's heart was in the right place, but he really had no clue about how to get from point A to point B.

    Again (none / 0) (#266)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:45:31 PM EST
    I never denied that, and I already explained why it doesn't alter my conclusion.

    (dis)respect for Vietnam Vets (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by jackyt on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:51:25 PM EST
    I was alive and aware when the VVs were returning. I don't think I ever heard anyone diss a vet. Then, as now, the problem was that government did not provide the benefits and support the returning vets needed. PTSD wasn't even recognized as a possibility, much less a problem. When vets started showing up as "Crazies- Living-On-The-Streets", they were seen more as CLOTS than Vets.

    As usual, it was just easier to blame the victims. During the Reagan/Bush/Bush admins, the goal has been to "shrink government to a point we can drown it in the bathtub" rather than accept responsibilty for the damage caused by government policies to our vets (also poor, disabled, and any other group of disadvantaged people).

    The reason I support Clinton is that I see, in her, someone who recognizes the part our government must play in creating a healthy and just social climate. I still don't think Obama gets it.

    The people who were against the Vietnam War were, largely, against our government's actions that caused devastation for the Vietnamese, hardship for our troops, and societal upheaval here at home. Remember, the Vietnam War bankrupted the US nearly as thoroughly in the late 1970s as the Iraq War is doing now.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#254)
    by tree on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:37:10 PM EST
    I was in my mid to late teens when I volunteered with the AFSC to help draft counselors and later volunteered at a place called the Liberated Barracks in Hawaii( I'm 7 years older than Obama, we didn't cross paths in Hawaii as far as I know). No one that I worked with ever spit at vets or active duty personnel. The Barracks was there as a refuge for those in the military who wanted out or were being harassed for taking an anti-war stand, but no one was turned away. I was also spat upon by a few military people when I passed out flyers for LB outside of military bases.This was fairly common, but I've never seen it mentioned anywhere after the fact.  I didn't take it personal then, because I knew emotions ran high, and I don't think that anyone owes me an apology for having strong feelings back then. A lot of returning vets came through Hawaii. I never saw, nor heard stories of anyone spitting on them. Perhaps some people did, but it was not common by any stretch of the imagination.

     What a lot of people forget, besides the PTSD problem you mention that was not adequately dealt with,  is that Nixon, in order to claim victory and leave, twisted his reasoning for continuing the war by insisting that he wouldn't end the war until all the POWs came home. This was of course completely backwards from any other war. The result of this backwards excuse for being able to claim victory when the POW were released and leave  
    Vietnam, was that ONLY the POWs were treated like returning heroes, while the rest were simply sent home with nothing. That was the  governments fault, not the anti-war protesters, as was the inadequate treatment and benefits. I also know that the older vet groups  treated any Viet vets who didn't support the war as lesser beings. Also, I think the mainstream media at the time promoted the meme that all returning vets were somehow emotionally damaged beyond repair. "Rambo" was the iconic vet.

      Obama got it all wrong, and reopened a divide for no good reason. He's the antithesis of a uniter.


    above refers to normal, run-of-the-mill people, (none / 0) (#148)
    by jackyt on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:57:18 PM EST
    NOT Weathermen and others who advocated and perpetrated violent action! The "make love, not war crowd was w-a-a-a-a-a-a-y bigger.

    It happened to a certain extent but.... (5.00 / 5) (#144)
    by Maria Garcia on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:55:45 PM EST
    ...what people tend to forget is that it didn't happen just because people opposed the war, it happened because stories started to trickle out about atrocities like My Lai. It was a horrible, horrible war. My problem with Obama saying this, however, is the calculated choice to open up an old wound that is not in the center of anyone's consciousness now in order to make his position better against McCain. I don't like that at all. Particularly since the guilt that many former Vietnam era protestors felt in lumping the young GIs with the war overlords is what caused many of them to shut off their critical thinking during the early Iraq war days when many were silenced because the Republicans deftly turned into criticism of the war into criticism of the troops.

    Yes. He likes to open up old wounds and (5.00 / 5) (#178)
    by derridog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:05:25 PM EST
    create fresh ones.  That's why we call him "Mr. Unity."

    you are too young (5.00 / 1) (#259)
    by bridget on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:39:43 PM EST
    I never thought I would see the day when a Dem candidate would join the rightwingers in the wholesale dissing of boomers. Incl. the John Lennons of the 60s and 70s whose criticism and demonstrations helped end the Vietnam war - a sore point for the Republicans for decades now. Because that is what it is all about IMO. This appeal is to the hawks - no doubt about it.

    This is a sad moment.

    And I can't give Obama the benefit of the doubt here since he made too many negative boomer statements already. This one is right up there in the manner of Buchanan et al. Well, it was only a matter of time in this ongoing campaign.  

    So Either Obama is desperate/impatient at this point or he is convinced he can win this primary campaign and strengthen his bond with the young, high income, and black voters even further by dissing the older citizens. Why else "disunite" the Dem voters in this fashion?

    Is it a politically shrewd statement? It is if you have the rightwing leaning media behind you. It will  take the momentum away from Clinton in WV (and the economy?) and the tweeties will oblige. I wont listen, however.


    Did this happen to any great degree? (4.66 / 3) (#25)
    by popsnorkle on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:23:36 PM EST
    A lot of the stories about how troops were attacked have been shown to be myths.

    it did happen (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:41:01 PM EST
    I was there.  I saw returning troops spit on.
    it was a sad spectacle.  I never went that route probably because unlike many of my better off friends I had several friends who went.  and came back scarred for life.  my determination not to go only go stronger when I saw what, not only the war but the country did to them when they came back.
    they were not welcomed back most of the time.
    I heard some of the most awful stories I have ever heard from those guys.

    Viet Nam Vets Were Most Certainly Spat Upon (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:00:14 PM EST
    and there are those that would like nothing more to sweep that under the rug.  Those who are too young to remember must hit the research avenues and learn what really went on.  It was not a time to be proud of.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:41:31 PM EST
    I am pretty sure it has been overblown in popular mythology, but I've seen plenty of blanket statements around the blogosphere to the effect that spitting incidents never happened, and I think those have been debunked pretty conclusively.  It happened, but probably not nearly as often as we've been led to believe.

    trust me. it happened. (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:47:08 PM EST
    it happened often and I knew people who were proud of it and kept count of the soldiers the had spat on.
    not kidding.
    nothing happened as often as we are led to believe.
    but it happened.

    enough (none / 0) (#142)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:55:25 PM EST
    you've said the same thing 4 times. No one is denying it happened.

    Uh (none / 0) (#162)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:00:21 PM EST
    Comment #101 says "The 'spitting on returning vets' stories have been proven to be pure myth and right wing propaganda."

    There's a vast gulf between "pure myth" and "somewhat overblown."


    similar things were said in several posts (none / 0) (#187)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:08:09 PM EST
    anyway.  I have said my peace.  

    you aren't reading that here (5.00 / 0) (#185)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:07:58 PM EST
    You aren't reading here it didn't happen. That's not the issue. It didn't happen to the extent Obama claimed. And the issue I'm raising is Obama's exploitation of it today.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Trickster on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:49 PM EST
    It's more wingnut BS.  Propoganda of convenience for the modern-day Versailles faction.

    Re: Did this happen to any great degree? (none / 0) (#72)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:36:53 PM EST
    I've read similar such studies.  But the myth trumps reality, unfortunately.  I was all of seven months old when Saigon fell so I don't have any first-hand experience either way with this.  

    Pure myth (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:46:56 PM EST
    this is a silly article. (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:48:58 PM EST
    this person was at every arrival of every returing troop.
    I saw it happen.  I can give you email addresses of people who are still proud the did it.
    what part of I saw this happen do we not understand?

    no one said it didn't happen (5.00 / 3) (#141)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:54:46 PM EST
    But it wasn't prevalent and most of us didn't do it.

    true (5.00 / 0) (#165)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:01:17 PM EST
    most of us didnt do it but people ARE saying it didnt happen.  it rather amazing.  
    why would I lie about a movement I was part of to make it look worse.
    I am very proud of that period of my life.  I am not proud of that part of that period in my life.  but I wont lie about it now.

    thank you (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:10 PM EST
    for saving me the time of finding that link. I'm adding it to the post. Another urban myth. Did it happen, yes. Was it widespread or rampant? No.

    Here's another one -- (5.00 / 2) (#236)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:26:19 PM EST
    A Harris Poll in 1971 showed that only 1% of the veterans encountered hostile reactions when they came home, and they did not think the antiwar movement was hostile to them.

    It happened enough for the DOD (none / 0) (#246)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:33:36 PM EST
    to have returning soldiers get off at a private gate if they were in uniform and arriving at a public airport. I was an anti-war demonstrator, have the scars to prove it, but I was focused on Congress, not the troops. Many of the kids back then couldn't make the connection to the draft and the fact that it meant that the soldiers had no choice. They had to go in the military or go to prison. And the thing is that many of those college students were in college for the sole purpose of avoiding the draft. Otherwise, many of them probably wouldn't have gone to college. I know that many of the community and smaller colleges had a huge drop in enrollment when the war ended. I don't know about the bigger schools, but the small colleges did. It was a war we never should have gotten into, and which we totally botched once we did. When I say "we" I mean the command structure, not the troops. They did one  hell of a job. And got squat for it. The people to blame for that are not the war protesters, but the Congress who neglected to fund the VA. They are doing the same thing now to the Iraqi vets.

    check his language (4.55 / 9) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:20:44 PM EST
    "the degree to which" ....translation, it was huge

    "Too many of those"...translation, most of them.

    Why is he focusing on that negative instead of praising us for showing a country how to oppose and end an unpopular war -- why is he bringing Vietnam up at all?

    He has no memories of that time here.  He was either an infant or living in Indonesia.


    Granted (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:24:56 PM EST
    I don't listen to him much anymore, but I've seen all of the debates, and I'm hard pressed to think of any time when he outright praised America.  

    As I recall, he's already said once that he felt no connection to the baby boomers and the "old struggles" of the sixties.  Didn't he say they were irrelevant now or some such?


    Re: check his language (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:32:49 PM EST
    >Why is he focusing on that negative instead of praising us for showing a country how to oppose and end an unpopular war -- why is he bringing Vietnam up at all?

    Maybe because we're deep into another pointless and unpopular war which has been endlessly compared to Vietnam?

    I really don't see what he did that was so wrong.  Many pro-war Americans, especially those with family serving over there, despise the very idea of anti-war activism precisely because of the perception, real or exaggerated, that to oppose a war is to denigrate those who served in it.  And that's a perception lingering since the withdrawal from Vietnam.  This was a remark asking for greater empathy from both sides.

    I'm sorry, but I don't see this as anyone throwing anyone else under the 2008 Campaign Betrayal Bus (a metaphor that I hope is soon retired).


    That's right. He was busy in Indonesia (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by derridog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:01:20 PM EST
    getting foreign policy experience before age six.

    Jeralyn, I'm not too fond of your (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:43:12 PM EST
    headline.  Doesn't seem to track what Obama stated.

    I think it does (none / 0) (#112)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:48:39 PM EST
    As politico noted:

    Not only is Obama underlining his generational distance from the boomers, but he's also reaching out to swing voters with a back of the hand at the cultural left.

    sorry i just don't see how this will (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:54 PM EST
    help him with independents.

    A Critique of a generation? (none / 0) (#83)
    by Niffari on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:38:37 PM EST
    Where? I utterly fail to see where the diss is against a generation. Obama's words spoke against a specific set of circumstances and actions that hurt soldiers who needed support. They truly were forgotten and guess what? They still are. Walter Reed anyone? This is a smart move by Obama. Placed in the context of the renewed GI Bill and, BTW, McCain's opposition, a very smart move indeed.

    The "spitting on returning vets" stories (none / 0) (#101)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:44:39 PM EST
     have been proven to be pure myth and right wing propaganda. Shame on Obama for trying to propagate this urban legend.

    Really? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:49:11 PM EST
    Well, at least one commentor in this thread says he saw it happen.  I'd refer you to this post which suggests that it's certainly more than "pure myth."

    i think that most of the (5.00 / 0) (#135)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:53:19 PM EST
    anti military response had more to do with the veterans who returned from the war and protested it. that animosity is still very active versus the feelings of the anti war left toward the military in general. sounds like a miscalulatio on the part of the obama campaign.

    Gosh (none / 0) (#149)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:57:25 PM EST
    It seems to me that the veterans who returned from the war had MORE standing to voice an opinion.  I feel the same way about the current war.

    sigh, steve, do you know how many (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:02:52 PM EST
    of the viet nam vets feel about kerry and jane? it is a serious issue with them and formed the basis of the swiftboaters against kerry.

    Yes (none / 0) (#186)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:08:04 PM EST
    I think I may have noticed how people feel about John Kerry.  It would have been difficult not to notice.

    As for Jane Fonda, unless you know something about her service record that I don't, it hardly seems like the same issue.


    don't assume you know what i think. (none / 0) (#195)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:10:51 PM EST
    if i misread that then apologies. i personally thought kerry was treated in a dreadful manner. i wish he has stuck up for himself.

    jane fonda is an example of what i am talking about when i say there is more venom toward the protestors/both civilian and military who opposed the war by veterans. that is a fact and the way veterans feel about her is still active. it correlates very well.


    I think what he / she is saying (none / 0) (#160)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:00:05 PM EST
    is that Vietnam Veterans of America, was perhaps the boldest and most vigorous opponents of the Vietam war. And, as you say, they have / had good reason to be so bold.

    for the last time (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:27 PM EST
    no one is saying it didn't happen. He's blowing it out of proportion to score a political point.

    It is a MYTH that it happened with (5.00 / 1) (#221)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:19:52 PM EST
    ...any regularity or beyond a few very, very isolated incidents. The implication Obama made was simply false.

    According to a Harris Poll only (5.00 / 1) (#264)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:41:40 PM EST
    one percent of Vietnam Veterans reported  receiving or feeling ANY hostiliy or mistreatment from the anti-war movement. It's a myth.

    I don't see it. (none / 0) (#138)
    by DodgeIND on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:53:46 PM EST
    I don't see the connection.

    I don't get it. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:14:37 PM EST
    How can Obama distance himself from Baby Boomers (1948-1964)?  He IS a Baby Boomer!  Granted, he was at the tail end of the generation, but that's what I don't get - he and Hillary are of the same generation, but he paints himself as "just a yung'in".

    Just as he portrays (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:34:48 PM EST
    himself as the DC outsider while he is an elected U.S. Senator from IL.

    Well, he hasn't changed that tune since he was (none / 0) (#198)
    by derridog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:11:34 PM EST
    running for the Senate in Illinois.  Go look at his pro universal one-payer health care video on YouTube.  He's running against the evil DC establishment which, for SOME stupid reason, is against one payer universal health care.  Yes, he was for it, before he was against it. But the words remain the same in either case (and they were no doubt all written originally for  Deval Patrick).



    Boomer Years (none / 0) (#34)
    by just victory on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:25:17 PM EST
    I believe were 1946-1964. Clinton was born in 1947. Obama, 1961. So yes, they are both boomers on opposite sides of the year spread.

    Obama is a boomer... kinda... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by NWHiker on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:50 PM EST
    I'm a bit younger than him (64) and despite the inclusion by dates, I"ve never felt myself a boomer. Ever. Even before it became fashionable to blame boomers for everything. Hee.

    Seriously, there is a cultural difference between those of us born in the 60s and the earlier boomers. I've seen us called "tweeners" and that's better. I'm closer, culturally to GenX than I am to the boomers... JKF was killed before I was born, the TV shows the boomers all watched were cancelled by the time I was born etc.

    Obama may techincally be a boomer, by birthdate, but may not feel like one. I know I don't.


    His mother was a 16 year old mom? (none / 0) (#274)
    by NWHiker on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:00:53 PM EST
    His mother was a boomer that pretty mcuh takes him out of that generation IMO

    Are you sure about this? If his mom was one of the oldest Boomers, she'd have had to have had him at 16? Was that the case? I never heard that.

    Regardless, I agree that he's not culturally a Boomer (nor am I) and that he probably, as a result, doesn't feel like like he has a stake in that generation of their struggles/successes/failures.


    With Ayers on the back burner (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:15:55 PM EST
    I don't think he needs to be making public statements like this.

    Of course, Obama is in a bubble right now where he thinks he can do or say no wrong.  

    WVA is not the place to make these kinds of speeches, which someone on his campaign should know.  Further, there are myriad testaments from Vietnam vets of how poorly they were treated when they returned home, but you'd be hard pressed to find a boomer who will raise his or her hand and say, "Yeah, I spit on them.  Boy, what was I thinking?"  It's like how, suddenly, everyone says they were against the Iraq war, when at the time, almost two thirds of Americans stated they were for it.

    Yes, Ayers is the exact (5.00 / 11) (#21)
    by frankly0 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:21:58 PM EST
    issue that cries out "hypocrisy" here.

    I mean, here Obama is acting as if he thinks it's just terrible how all these returning Vietnam veterans were treated,  and he, Obama, is happy to hang out in Chicago with a guy who went about setting bombs in military facilities to protest the Vietnam war?

    And the infamous Greenwich Village bomb being put together by the Weathermen was intended to be set off in a noncommissioned officers' dance, and filled with nails to kill the maximum number of people.

    Man, this is going to come back to bite Obama hard on the backside, is my guess.


    Exactly (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by Davidson on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:39:06 PM EST
    Even if we didn't care about perpetuating right-wing myths about the anti-war movement, he is totally setting himself up: this will only serve to make Ayers that much more toxic for him.

    What is he thinking?  Does he honestly believe the media won't turn on him during the GE--against McCain?



    Oh lord (5.00 / 3) (#139)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:53:50 PM EST
    Does Obama have a single friend capable of keeping his mouth shut?

    they might be too busy defending (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:54:39 PM EST
    themselves. i am sure o'reilly will ask about it. i don't see them giving him much after all.

    Fireworks (none / 0) (#182)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:07:42 PM EST
    Seems to me this could be bad - this will be reported on somewhere in the media tomorrow, especially if there are the fireworks I expect.

    Another McCain 527 commercial being written before our very eyes....


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:30:48 PM EST
    Ayers is exactly the reason why Obama feels the need to emphasize how much he disdains radicals.

    And he's wearing a lapel flag pin (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Cream City on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:11 PM EST
    so I read -- after dissing the practice.

    Guess he'll do anything to win, huh?


    of course he feels the need (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by frankly0 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:51:21 PM EST
    to show disdain for radicals.

    But actions speak louder than words. Obama gladly hung out with an unrepentant Vietnam War era terrorist, Ayers, who targeted the military with bombs, and, even in 2001, said that he only wished he had done more.

    Can't go back on that one, Obama, as much as your electoral chances may depend on it. That ship has sailed.


    Yup I agree. (none / 0) (#97)
    by oldpro on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:43:03 PM EST
    Time will tell whether his judgment is good in this case...

    well he'd better get busy because (none / 0) (#184)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:07:48 PM EST
    he has to go back to when he was a teen in hawaii and befriended the aa marxist poet going forward to the many, many associations on which the repubs now have the data. obama thinks that manna from his mouth is enough to defang the attacks to come. naw, no way! instead of looking at what he is saying, ask why is he saying it. he is saying because of his past assocations for decades.

    So offensive -- in so many ways (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by katiebird on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:20:47 PM EST
    Do we really have to go back 40 years and defend ourselves against unjustified lies?

    Yes, I was against the war.  Yes, I participated in anti-war marches.  Yes, I wore a piece sign (and still do) Yes, I believed and believed that the Vietnam war was wrong.

    But when I was 19 and the war was still raging, I dated a Vietnam vet.

    Even a committed antiwar girl like me could tell the difference between a war and a soldier.

    I've successfully avoided getting into that whole creative-class denigration, but this is too much....

    Re: So offensive -- in so many ways (none / 0) (#105)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:46:04 PM EST
    If that's your lifestory, then he clearly wasn't talking to or about you.  Why do you take it personally?  He didn't indict the entire generation.

    I wasn't alive during the 1960s and whenever I think back about what I've read about it I marvel at people like you who took on the whole system and won a victory.  And I thank you guys.  Sometimes I wish the Internet wasn't around now to siphon off people's anger at the war and keep us from marching in the streets.

    But I do think you're personalizing a comment that clearly wasn't intended for you.  He said too many times soldiers were disrespected.  And once is one too many times.  Again, the myth is stronger than the reality here, and people who buy into the myth need to be persuaded that Democrats don't think that way either.


    why not? i take many things (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:55:44 PM EST
    obama is saying and doing personally. dang it is my life and country we are talking about here.

    Re: why not? i take many things (none / 0) (#170)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:02:50 PM EST
    Okay, speaking generally, of course you are allowed to hate every single thing Obama says and does.  That's your right.

    But I was asking the original poster why she took offense to Obama's comments, which were not blanket comments about her generation but selective ones that didn't apply to her.  If he wasn't talking about people like her, then there shouldn't be a problem.

    I guess I don't see how saying "Vietnam vets got a raw deal and we need to do better this time" is so wildly controversial.


    He is blaming war protestors (5.00 / 3) (#177)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:05:22 PM EST
    for bad government policies, while happily spreading right-wing lies about war protesters.

    I think it's pretty obvious why this would be offensive.


    Re: He is blaming war protestors (none / 0) (#188)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:08:33 PM EST
    If that's what saw in that statement, then I won't try to disabuse you of the idea.  But I didn't see that at all.  A lot of us didn't see that.

    Cool - we will agree to disagree. (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:10:22 PM EST
    Re: Cool - we will agree to disagree. (none / 0) (#226)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:21:32 PM EST
    Okay.  I'm sorry if he said something that put you off.  Not that that means much.  But I don't like to see us fighting within the party, so I regret that some of you felt slighted by his remarks.

    hmm, you are misreading me either on (none / 0) (#206)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:15:13 PM EST
    purpose or you are confused. we are questioning obama's intentions. he has past associations for decades with many radical elements including fire breathing anti war protestors from the viet nam war. he wouldn't put his hand over his heart or war a flag pin. anyone thing by itself, no issue, put it all together and many say why should he be president.

    When he says this: (5.00 / 1) (#196)
    by katiebird on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:10:58 PM EST
    Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country's call.

    I have to say, "Not so fast, Senator -- you don't sound like you know what you're talking about."

    There were a lot of very good people fighting that war.  My parents among them.  My family was constantly insulted by our Republican neighbors (both when we lived in Marin County and later in Kansas) over our anti-war politics.  

    So now here we are again:  Snippy-snippy comments from Senators.  And since he didn't call me by name I'm supposed to just let it roll off my back.

    I don't think so.  


    anti war military people (5.00 / 0) (#212)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:17:29 PM EST
    were solidly marginalized, criticized and ostracized by the government and the right wing.
    still are today.  do we remember the primary tool used against Kerry?
    did he throw his medals over the wall, did he say troops killed unarmed civilian (they did, and much worse) did he shoot himself to get out of the military?
    these are not scars they are still wounds.

    Re: When he says this: (none / 0) (#216)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:18:01 PM EST
    >Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country's call.

    Too many.

    TOO MANY.  Not all.  Not most.  Not a majority.  Too many.  One is one too many.

    If you didn't do it, he wasn't talking about you.



    This has been another episode (5.00 / 1) (#269)
    by tree on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:49:34 PM EST
    of What Obama Really Meant.

    blinking (none / 0) (#251)
    by katiebird on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:36:51 PM EST
    Does the Obama's Life Coaching Program incl. mugs? (none / 0) (#181)
    by Ellie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:07:38 PM EST
    Again, the myth is stronger than the reality here, and people who buy into the myth need to be persuaded that Democrats don't think that way either.

    The best form of persuasion for Obama supporters is to take fact-based material directly to those people who need to be persuaded.

    Not sure what Obama's doing "solving" the past, though. His speech comes off like that clunker in front of the unemployed (union) workers telling them how awful it must be that they had no dignity.

    Yep, that's what I always wanted on the table when I went through lean times: a heaping pile of dignity and an extra helping of hope that some preening jackwad like Obama didn't come around and lecture on it.


    Re: Does the Obama's Life Coaching Program incl. m (none / 0) (#207)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:15:15 PM EST
    >The best form of persuasion for Obama supporters is to take fact-based material directly to those people who need to be persuaded.

    How precisely do you prove to people that no soldier was ever spit on or disrespected when he got home?  Especially people who have believed that for forty years.  If you could show me how that's possible, I'd truly appreciate it.  But there are commenters here who directly dispute the idea that no vet was ever mistreated with eyewitness accounts.  So it's probably not quite as easy as you seem to think it is.

    Not sure what's up with your bold text.  Or the irrelevant story about another Obama speech.


    Ummm.....He is right! (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by kdog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:21:47 PM EST
    Nobody thinks Vietnam was a criminal, genocidal mistake more than I do...but the way some of the hippie anti-war left treated returning vets was shameful.  Getting spit on and called baby killer for the crime of being poor and unable to dodge the draft, or the crime of being naive and thinking their country wouldn't do them so wrong.

    It's a mistake I think the current anti-war left learned from, as returning Iraq occupation vets, for the most part, don't receive such shamefel treatment like their Vietnam predecessors did.

    I've read articles recently debunking (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:26:44 PM EST
    the meme that anti-war protestors ever spit on returning Vietnam vets.  May be an urban legend.  But, then, wouldn't you think Obama's team would fact check?

    I've spoken to vets... (none / 0) (#116)
    by kdog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:49:29 PM EST
    who were spit on or worse.

    It wouldn't surprise me to learn the co-intelpro federal agents posing as anti-war protestors were the main offenders...but I have no doubt such shameful things occured.

    Has it been overblown?  Quite possibly.  


    and then Ayers (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:27:46 PM EST
    and the Weather Underground bombed the Pentagon and government buildings where returning vets worked, robbed banks, etc.; and, all is forgiven?

    So Could It Be (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by The Maven on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:21 PM EST
    that this remark is actually his first step in throwing Bill Ayers under the proverbial bus, once Obama "discovers" the origins of the Weather Underground?  I have a hunch he might be headed in that direction, because most of his moves are being made for purely political considerations, and he (and Axelrod) may feel the need to create some distance in order to take on the "war hero" McCain.

    I'd view the Pentagon... (none / 0) (#155)
    by kdog on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:43 PM EST
    as a legitimate target during an armed rebellion, imo.  

    I do not view Joe Blow home from Vietnam walking down the street as a legit target.


    some of the hippie anti-war left (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by nycstray on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:29:05 PM EST
    vs too many.

    my thought anyway. Perhaps it doesn't help that we just went through/have been going through the 'if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops', which for many couldn't be farther from the truth. Broad generalizations bite, imo.


    Talk about (5.00 / 6) (#22)
    by pie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:22:34 PM EST
    wounds that will never heal - Obama's inflicting some serious damage on party unity and on his campaign.

    I like him less and less.

    Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Addison on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:23:01 PM EST
    He wasn't dissing "boomers" who opposed the Vietnam war. That characterization is invented. His speech focused heavily on the GI Bill coming up in Congress, and THAT is the context the remarks were made in, not some culture war extension. He was criticizing society as a whole -- to include the Federal government, Veteran's administration, and (yes) some members of the Liberal population etc. -- for failing veterans due to either lack of sympathy care or political vendettas.

    I fail to see how this is about some generational divide or "dissing" boomers who opposed the Vietnam war as a whole. He was very specific in talking about veterans of that war, post-war, and not about opposition to the policies or engagement in that conflict. To portray it otherwise is without basis.

    Do you have a link to the full remarks (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by fuzzyone on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:27:21 PM EST
    Politico has not link and just says this is what he is "going to say."  Thanks.

    Full text (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by jnicola on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:11:56 PM EST
    From the link to his actual remarks (none / 0) (#222)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:20:02 PM EST
    One of the saddest episodes in our history was the degree to which returning vets from Vietnam were shunned, demonized and neglected by some because they served in an unpopular war. Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country's call. Four decades later, the sting of that injustice is a wound that has never fully healed, and one that should never be repeated.

    From TPM: Same as politico reported it.


    I would note (5.00 / 5) (#69)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:34:56 PM EST
    the Gulf War was an amazingly popular war, and yet you hardly get gold-plated treatment for Gulf War Syndrome.  In fact, last I checked I think the government was still denying that such a thing exists.

    I think it's factually incorrect to link our failure to do a better job at taking care of our veterans with the unpopularity of a given conflict, or the people who opposed that conflict.  As far as I'm concerned, it's on all of us.


    pardon, but he has dissed boomers (5.00 / 1) (#210)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:16:40 PM EST
    during most of the campaign. i don't have the time or patience to get into it right now. i highly recommend you research that.

    you won't sell that one here (4.77 / 18) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:33:27 PM EST
    The college kids who opposed the war are boomers now. Millions of us. For many of us, that was our first foray into politics and expression of our political will.

    There is no connection to our opposition to that war, however expressed, and veteran benefits. Obama should be blaming Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. They were the Presidents from 1968 to 1972. We have nothing to do with benefits. Instead he chose to lash out with an emotional swipe geared to make him look patriotic at our expense.


    thank you (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:36:54 PM EST
    that is exactly right

    I agree with this (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Steve M on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:45:25 PM EST
    I have yet to see the veteran's bill that gets voted down by anti-war legislators.

    Heaven forbid (5.00 / 4) (#168)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:02:01 PM EST
    this man should blame any Republican for anything.

    Heaven forbid he should praise any Democratic President for anything.

    I think we need a new acronym: IALF! (It's All Liberals' Fault!)


    Great! (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:23:40 PM EST
    Perpetuating more falsehoods about liberals.

    Did he really need to go there?

    I mean what's his problem?

    He couldn't possibly adopt a little economic populism in his bid for those folks, but he can throw liberal and progressive ideals under the bus to make himself look better?

    You should delete that comment (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:25:54 PM EST

    That poster pushpol (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:03:36 PM EST
    has been banned here using five other times, including Obama. She and her 39 most recent comments are erased. Banned commenters cannot return using another name. If they do, all their comments are deleted.

    I was one of those boomers (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:26:34 PM EST
    I refused to go.  fortunately for me I did not have to.  I won the lottery the only time it really mattered.
    I would NOT have gone.  I would have gone to jail or canada or whatever it took but I would not have gone over and killed brown people for Nixon and I (and many in my position) had little patients with those who would.  
    I make no apologies.  I sometimes called them on it.
    I did not spit on them.
    I was not a rich kid with a college defferment.  far from it.
    we can compare poor kid stories some time if you dont believe me.

    because (5.00 / 7) (#102)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:44:58 PM EST
    as J pointed out upthread that is not who he should be criticizing in a speech about veterans benefits.
    it was a transparent swipe at us to distance himself from Ayers and company.
    those kids, misguided as we were, did great good.
    we stopped a war.
    it is one of the things in my life I am most proud of.
    and honestly of all the smarmy panders I have seen from Obama, this one angers me most.
    it shows how clueless he really is.

    there are many affluent boomers (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:48:48 PM EST
    giving money to the democratic party who were a little more vocal in those days. i am thinking this won't appeal to them.

    like me (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:51 PM EST
    I was poor then.
    I am no longer.

    And weren't returning vets (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by pie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:28:06 PM EST
    treated horribly by the old-timers sitting around the VFW because they couldn't win the thing?  And by their government, who didn't provide adequate treatment for their physical and mental wounds.


    My dad's American Legion Post (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by samanthasmom on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:37:11 PM EST
    greeted every new Vietnam Vet into the fold with a welcome dinner. I remember protesting vigorously, but I don't remember being disrespectful to the troops.  I also helped some people pack for Canada, which upset Dad greatly.  The protesting he could handle.

    Yes, I just read some oral histories (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Cream City on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:53:30 PM EST
    of Viet vets in my state, and several wrote of being outright rejected by their local VFW's.

    Help me out (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:30:24 PM EST
    Doesn't this speech actually play to John McCain - a POW during Vietnam?  Saying "look how poorly the vets were treated" - doesn't that invoke sympathy for McCain (not that I think he was treated poorly when he came back)

    I just don't understand the whole of the comments.... (of course, I am a low-information voter, so what do you expect?)

    How many times does this man (5.00 / 6) (#58)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:32:04 PM EST
    have to prove he is a Republican before we start believing him?

    Could he use any MORE right-wing talking points? Like, ooooh, those crazy hippies were SPITTING on the troops! They're bad, bad, bad! I'm no liberal! Liberals suck! Vote for ME!

    We are all under the bus now.

    I'm done. Thanks, Senator Obama, for pushing me out of the Democratic Party and for making me one more HRC supporter who will not vote for you.

    It took a really, really special person to do that to this die-hard Dem who wants to beat McCain more than anything.

    Civilians and vets opposed the war (5.00 / 8) (#77)
    by Prabhata on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:37:45 PM EST
    Obama is reaching into the past to find an area of division in this country to shore up his poll numbers.  Obama shows his true colors by firs using race and now the Vietnam War to scratch our deep wounds and display our divisions.  He reaches to what we hate about each other and then talks about how he is a uniter.  I'm beginning to go beyond disliking him.

    Dirty effing hippies - under the bus! (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by ruffian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:40:14 PM EST
    On the face of it it seems like the pretty standard 'hate the war, love the troops' line.

    But it does seem like he is casting it in terms of knocking the 'dirty effing hippies' to pander to the WV audience.

    More Jackson from the same song:

    Keep a fire burning in your eyes
    Pay attention to the open skies
    You never know what will be coming down.

    Is this smart ahead of OR? (none / 0) (#164)
    by ineedalife on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:01:02 PM EST
    Doesn't OR have a large DFH population?

    I don't have a problem with what he said either (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by jfung79 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:56:25 PM EST
    I'm pleased to see several others here also finding the "oppose the war, support the troops" message not really throwing anyone under the bus.  It shows that we are reasonable and even though we prefer Hillary, that doesn't mean if Obama does something we agree with, we won't say so.

    That's not the first time he's insulted BBs. (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by vicsan on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:24 PM EST

        "I think there's no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Senator Clinton can't deliver on and part of it is generational. Senator Clinton and others, they've been fighting some of the same fights since the '60's and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done."

    Here's a video:


    He's really incorrigible and insulting. I cannot believe people like Jane Fonda support him. I can't say what I REALLY think about BO because it would be deleted and I'd probably be banned.:(

    It's the cumulative effect. (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by madamab on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:14:27 PM EST
    I absolutely refuse to use the IACF! brain eraser and pretend that this is the first time Obama has ever campaigned like a Republican.

    He has been attacking HRC and her supporters with right-wing talking points like this from Day One. It made me feel uneasy about him from the beginning, but now that the behavior stretches over many months and shows no signs of abating, I just can't give him the benefit of the doubt any more.



    Not To Worry Vicsan....Your Censored (none / 0) (#244)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:32:11 PM EST
    thoughts are coming through loud and clear; and I agree with them 100%.  obama is the quintessential republican in dem's clothing; and he will willingly throw anyone he no longer needs, to the wolves.  You have to wonder how much contact he has had with VN vets, and what has he done for them lately.

    Clue: Jane has (none / 0) (#257)
    by oldpro on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:38:21 PM EST
    found religion...she's now one of the 'believer people.'

    'splains a lot...


    I don't get it (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Evie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:31 PM EST
    It feels like he is trying to align himself with the veterans against both the civilian leaders and the anti-war activists. But why would he even bring up the anti-war activists at all, let alone in a negative context?

    If he's trying to draw a parallel to the current war, it seems disingenuous, given how he's campaigned on being against the war.

    the reason (none / 0) (#180)
    by ruffian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:05:59 PM EST
    But why would he even bring up the anti-war activists at all, let alone in a negative context?

    Because he is campaigning in WV. One way to do a little better with older white middle class voters is to knock hippie anti-war prtesters.


    Full text of the speech (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by jnicola on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:49 PM EST
    is here. The paragraph being complained about is tangential to the main message of the speech, which is that veterans have been treated badly, are being treated badly, and should be treated better. It also knocks McCain for opposing Webb's GI bill. I disagree with it, mainly on the grounds that those seeking to escape poverty should have more choices than a McDonalds or a Marine's uniform. Politically, though, it seems sound, and I can't believe that many people will get upset by the call to treat vets better.

    Swift-bussed by a myth (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by CSTAR on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:01:57 PM EST
    I was a grad student at the time, very much against the Vietnam war. Indeed Vietnam vets were neglected - largely the same way iraq war vets are today neglected- not by opponents of the war, but by the war machine itself.

    This is a fake issue.

    Culture war, the reality (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:03:23 PM EST
    Yes, baby boomers were anti war.  I will make a generality that most likely is true.  The baby boomers that jumped on the Obama wagon, are most likely the boomers that would have spit, if there was spitting to be done.  The ones like, Bill, Hillary and speaking for myself that did non inhale were involved in real constructive ways to help and serve the vets.  I did not run to demonstrations or throw molotovs, I was working with Viet Nam Vets against the war to get on campus services for vets, tutoring, housing  from high school.  And so did many of the kids my age.   Also in my years after we worked to get Vets in housing and get them mental health services that were denied.  

    Where was Obama in the community work?  What was he doing?  30% of the vets came back with drug and mental health issues.  

    So to the Obama supporters that lash out at us, and particularly my Berkeley neighbor, who yelled at me how can you support her, she is "vicious".  I knew I was reliving the culture war of back then.  

    Brilliantly said. (none / 0) (#205)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:14:50 PM EST
    why you are so kind to me... (5.00 / 1) (#220)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:19:47 PM EST
    I have come to the conclusion the only objective of the Obama campaign is to protect the interests of the "enlightened plutocrat", the plutocrat, like the Kennedys and Oprah, the movie stars etc.  They realized right wing politics of the boorish Bush style is not good for business.  So, they needed re-branding.  This is it.  Goodbye the Democratic Party.  

    "Baby boomer" doesn't mean liberal. (none / 0) (#208)
    by Addison on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:15:20 PM EST
    They'll probably cover the MS special election (5.00 / 0) (#189)
    by jfung79 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:08:45 PM EST
    The special election in MS is the same night where Travis Childers could take a Republican Congressional seat.  If he wins, they will say it is proof that Obama would not be a drag on Democrats down-ticket even as he is losing handily in WV.  But, if Childers loses, they'll say it was a Republican district anyway even though Childers was within fractions of a percent of avoiding a runoff before the RNC started really tying him to Obama.

    "one of the saddest episodes.." (5.00 / 7) (#202)
    by Fabian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:13:37 PM EST
    "in our history.."

    Well, folks.  I don't know about you, but I can come up with a LOT of episodes sadder than returning Vietnam vets.

    West Virginia.  Mines.  The Company store.
    Indentured servitude with added bonus of dying black lung or simply dying in a mine accident.

    Choice quotes:

    In addition, a large number of African Americans migrated from the southern states. The McDowell County black population alone increased from 0.1 percent in 1880 to 30.7 percent in 1910.
    One historian has suggested that during World War I, a U.S. soldier had a better statistical chance of surviving in battle than did a West Virginian working in the coal mines.

    Eventually, unions helped to create safer conditions for miners - but it was long struggle, complete with gun battles.

    Now isn't that a sweet narrative for Democrat to use in West Virginia?  Mine safety, unions, African Americans...

    Hasn't he done this before? (5.00 / 3) (#214)
    by tokin librul on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:17:44 PM EST
    distanced himself from the "baby boom?"

    dismissed the activist sentiment--to say nothing of the actual protests, in which i was an active participant after I did not get spat upon when returning from Nam; in fact, a guy in a bar in the Denver Airport bought me a couple of beers and we swapped war stories; i did get spat upon as a demonstrator, though--of the 60/70 era as somehow pathetic or misguided, or impractical?

    that's the attitude that pisses me off. he missed those battles, but he wants to feed on the bones of the departed...that really pisses me off...

    Panderer, maybe ? (5.00 / 6) (#229)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:23:09 PM EST
    I never understood why a uniter works by subtracting from the base.  A good politician, works with adding to the base.  What Obama has done is as he goes along, he subtracts the loyal, so that he can reach the new.  Well, that just does not work with some of us.  

    The new politics of resentment, same as the old (5.00 / 3) (#218)
    by esmense on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:18:47 PM EST
    For a man who claims to want to get us past the old culture wars and usher in a new era in politics he sure spends a lot of time trying to incite those old angers and resentments, doesn't he?

    Wish I had time to read all the comments, (5.00 / 7) (#227)
    by Anne on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:21:54 PM EST
     so if this point has already been made, my apologies for being redundant...

    I guess the question that I keep asking myself is why someone who has been running on a platform of unity and coming together seems unable to make headway with one group without bad-mouthing another - even though it may be subtle and flying a little under most people's radar?

    Call me crazy, but I always thought that when one is trying to unify people, it helps to frame the arguments for it in ways that help people see others in a positive light - not a negative one.  

    Then, my mind wanders to this man listening and talking to Jeremiah Wright for 20 years - someone who preaches reconciliation, but leaves many people feeling disrespected and misunderstood and blamed for far too much.  Is that where Obama got his understanding of what unity means?  I don't know, maybe that sheds some light on why I feel such a disconnect between my understanding of unity and what I hear from Obama - no matter who he is talking to.  It's like he sees himself not as a participant, but as a facilitator, but because he is completely tone-deaf on how people think and feel, he ends up pushing people away from unity instead of toward it.  I have to tell you - it makes me very uneasy about how this man would conduct foreign policy, very uneasy.

    You have to know who you are and what you believe in before you can bring people together - there has to be a core starting point, and I don't think Obama has one, I really don't.

    He's saying (5.00 / 1) (#230)
    by MichaelGale on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:23:45 PM EST
    for two reasons:

    Distance from Ayers and Dohrn

    and to unite the young against the Dirty Fg hippies.

    Out with the old, in with the new.  

    yeah on the same day that (5.00 / 0) (#252)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:36:52 PM EST
    ayers and wife will be fox tonight. "now isn't that just special." sorry, i like to throw in a well known comment for fun. smile!

    wow (5.00 / 1) (#242)
    by DefenderOfPants on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:30:22 PM EST
    this reminds me of the time he threw pro-choicers under the bus.

    Only ##ONE PERCENT## of Vietnam Vets (5.00 / 7) (#243)
    by Exeter on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:30:29 PM EST
    said that the antiwar movement was hostile towards them:

    A Harris Poll in 1971 showed that only 1% of the veterans encountered hostile reactions when they came home, and they did not think the antiwar movement was hostile to them.

    This whole thing is a huge, divisive myth in our culture that was propagated further today by a candidate that is either ignorant or trying to triangulate against the Democratic party.

    the important thing for me here (5.00 / 2) (#250)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:35:20 PM EST
    is more divisive comments separatng people. this will come to no good!

    sorry, really mad right now (5.00 / 3) (#263)
    by karen for Clinton on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:41:11 PM EST
    I'm going to hit the phone for Hillary.

    But just wanted to add, he constantly has mocked or his supporters and surrogates and campaign advisors have insulted my entire LIFE.

    I am blue collar and bitter.

    I don't think it's a diss, but once again- (5.00 / 1) (#271)
    by kimsaw on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:52:45 PM EST
    Obama puts all his mashed potatoes in the center of the plate. His rhetorical gravy runs a muck  over everything on the plate.  Just words to Vets. Now I'd like to hear what he'd say about the right to protest. He's the candidate who has gotten the endorsement of Move ON and Code Pink by opposing the war from the very beginning and yet continually supported its funding.  Obama's verbal manicure means he never has to get his fingers dirty. He's above it all, he's pretty much told us  he couldn't be bothered.  It's someone else's borrowed plan or words. A surrogate's job to push the dirt away and let's not forget someone else is always to blame for the mess.

    These words are not going to mean squat in the scheme of things. His opponent will be an honest to goodness Viet Nam Vet, a prisoner of War who did not make it easy on himself when he could have. He didn't leave his comrades like Obama has left his. Obama threw his grandmother under the bus and tossed her some "typical" company for good measure. His words demonstrate the extent of his loyalty and it ought to tell us something about the man.

    As far as the generational differences  I think its just another "ism" to his arsenal, sexism, racism, and ageism.  

    To be fair - (4.56 / 9) (#11)
    by liminal on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:16:24 PM EST
    - I heard Bill Clinton make a similar point on Friday, in WV.  Except, Clinton didn't blame opponents of the war, he placed the blame on the country as a whole, and framed the matter as a renewed committment to veterans.  In other words, Bill Clinton said "we" failed Vietnam Veterans (he pointed out that the majority of the 200,000 homeless veterans are veterans of the Vietnam war) and cannot again fail veterans of the Iraq war.

    Obama said "they" (boomers opposed to the war) failed veterans.  

    It makes a big difference, we versus they.

    Obama could hardly say we (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:19:36 PM EST
    since he is so fond of pointing out, he was 8.
    I was one of those who sometimes wrongly blamed the troops for the sins of the government.
    but I still wonder what would happen if they gave a war and nobody came.  its a valid question.
    I also fear we are now swinging back to far in the other direction.  to a place where criticizing them is not allowed.

    Wait! (5.00 / 12) (#38)
    by Upstart Crow on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:25:55 PM EST
    He may have been only eight, but he was getting important foreign policy experience at that age, wasn't he?

    8 yrs old (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by teachermom on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:52:12 PM EST
    Thanks so much for the laugh!

    You said the magic words: (none / 0) (#265)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:41:55 PM EST
    "What would happen if they gave a war and nobody came."  I said those words around 4 years ago.  I remember being fascinated with the TV drama of the Gulf War.  So many of us watched avidly as the sky lit up over there.

    No more.  War--Vietnam, the Gulf, Iraq--should  not be nightly entertainment.  Maybe this Bush has gone too far; is there much actual footage of the war shown?  Or is it hidden, like the coffins coming home?

    You see, this time I refused to be a spectator.  I wanted, instead, to 'get rid of the rascals' in DC.  Unfortunately, the one person who has a plan for bringing home our soldiers may not be on the ballot.

    (I don't know if Lindsay Graham is up for re-election or not; I've never followed the fortunes of a republican.  But Graham begins to seem reasonable (in comparison!).  Local headline today: Graham proposes gas tax holiday!


    we vs they (4.56 / 9) (#19)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:21:43 PM EST
    too true.  Clinton fights for us, Obama fights for him.

    Maybe because Obama spent time out of the country when he was growing up, he doesn't connect as much with American identity.  Or maybe having a foreign born father made him feel as is he was an "other."  I dunno, but again, the reason he is not connecting with the average Joe and Jill American is because he does not realize that, at our core, we all identify ourselves as Americans first.

    My English friends are always so annoyed with Americans, because they take a negative comment about America personally, whereas you can trash Britain up and down all day and a Brit will probably agree with you.  Patriotism is not the done thing.  Not so in the US.

    Failure to realize this is a fatal flaw on Obama's part.


    we vs. they (none / 0) (#173)
    by mindfulmission on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:03:29 PM EST
    Yet... it he would have said "we," he would have been attacked around here for pretending he was part of something that he wasn't.

    He was 8 years old - he couldn't say "we" as he wasn't there.


    Then he needs to (5.00 / 3) (#233)
    by vicsan on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:24:55 PM EST
    keep his opinions of that struggle to himself. Not only did he insult the baby boomers who were instrumental in getting us OUT OF Vietnam, but he insulted people like those at Kent State who fought against the war and died for it. Shame on him. It was a fight that had to happen. The Government took us into a war we should never have fought based on LIES. Sound familiar? They also sprayed our troops with agent orange. They came home and fathered children with birth defects and they themselves have been suffering with cancers as a result of our government spraying that chemical on them. Not only that, the government refused to acknowledge the agent orange caused the birth defect and cancers! We should stop fighting THAT battle for our Vets? Just which battles is it that BO wants the Baby Boomers to stop fighting?

    How dare BO.

    Baby Boomers still fight because WE HAVE TO. The GOVERNMENT refuses to do the right thing for our vets.


    Everybody (4.50 / 8) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:13:49 PM EST
    who supports Obama should just get in line in front of the bus. Sooner or later he'll be running over you.

    Why does he even bring this stuff up? Is he afraid of the Ayers association?

    Look at he Times article (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:17:48 PM EST
    Obama steps on one group while he climbs his way up to the next, all the while claiming to be a bridge between the two.  We should do a poll on which group we think he'll alienate next.  

    Confirming (5.00 / 4) (#80)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:38:13 PM EST
    what we've known all along and clearly evidenced by his debate perfomances.  A man of NO convictions except for his own promotion.

    All politicians pander to some degree.  Obama has elevated pandering to a level not thought possible.


    Forget about (4.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:27:58 PM EST
    it. How about not even climbing on that bus or getting near it? That's where I'm at right now.

    Reactionary response... (none / 0) (#57)
    by oldpro on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:31:22 PM EST
    Ayers and Dorn go under the bus...



    "Is he afraid of the Ayers association?" (none / 0) (#59)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    if he is not he is a fool.

    Palomino (none / 0) (#62)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:32:51 PM EST
    I like your style

    Isn't this dangerously close to (4.42 / 7) (#9)
    by nycstray on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:16:02 PM EST
    if you oppose the war, you don't support the troops?

    I think I still have my P.O.W./M.I.A. bracelet (along with the old Whale Tail Green Peace pin . . .) How many times do we get to be thrown under the bus?

    He's demonizing the anti-war left (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by Davidson on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:24:18 PM EST
    Listen, many people opposed the Vietnam war but it was a minority of those who attacked the vets and yet he's making it seem like it was a common trait.

    How will this play out for him against GE when his sole claim to "judgment" and, thus, the presidency is his anti-Iraq war speech?  I know he said he wasn't opposed to all wars just "dumb" ones, but he has turned opposition to war into a right-wing caricature that gave us "Dissent = failure to support the troops."

    I'm done with all of this.  The Democratic party is engaging in blatant projection, smearing Clinton with everything Obama himself has done throughout his polarizing campaign and they're hellbent on committing political suicide in the fall.  I am just too exhausted to care anymore.


    In case it wasn't clear (none / 0) (#40)
    by Davidson on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:26:42 PM EST
    I was just piggybacking off the previous comment.  Obviously, I agree.

    Re: Isn't this dangerously close to (none / 0) (#90)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:40:47 PM EST
    >if you oppose the war, you don't support the troops?

    No, I don't think it is.  It was just a statement saying let's not forget our troops' sacrifices, regardless of the war's worthiness to fight.  That's how I read it and that's how most people would read it, I think.


    Maybe it's just me . . . (none / 0) (#130)
    by nycstray on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:52:32 PM EST
    I remember watching the news/scanning the papers to see if 'my P.O.W.' made it. . . .

    I also found it offensive when this attitude started up again as I was sitting there supporting the troops (and their war dogs). Words do matter and when you say things like "too many of them", you may start over reaching your intended target.


    I agree that that's possible (none / 0) (#159)
    by Sleeper on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:58:59 PM EST
    But on the other hand, one is one too many.

    I just think he was saying a nice thing about how we need to never diminish the price our troops have paid, either with deliberate disrespect, or indifferent neglect.  I didn't see any dissing of anyone.

    Had I been of the anti-Vietnam war generation, my reaction may have differed, obviously.  I can't say.


    "throwing us under the bus" (4.20 / 5) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:14:53 PM EST
    I think we had better make ourselves comfortable under there.
    its been pretty clear for a while it is where we were going to end up.
    if not anti war people, productive rights people or gays and lesbians or those of us who want universal health care.
    I am getting so close to being done.
    I am considering voting for someone else if they speak to me or staying home.
    I better start seeing some sharp distinctions between him and McCain that I aint seeing now or Im done.

    You forgot (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Upstart Crow on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:23:15 PM EST
    You forgot women, didn't you?  And Latinos...

    going to get crowed under there (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:33:23 PM EST
    Heh, we'll be fine . . . (5.00 / 4) (#87)
    by nycstray on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:39:49 PM EST
    there will be lots of Unity under da bus  ;)

    i'd like to see ayers' face right now. (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:42:52 PM EST
    I think I've grown immune (3.66 / 3) (#14)
    by Regency on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:19:10 PM EST
    The bus route just passes right through me. I hope it does the same for the great big group of Americans who are next to be run smack over. To the tune of 7 million voters, huh?

    I suspect Tom Hayden will (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:10:41 PM EST
    not like this.

    Do not underestimate (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:14:28 PM EST
    The power that is Barack Obama.

    Hayden may respond something like this:  In a way, I always knew we hated the troops and now that Obama points it out, I can see it now how we failed back then.

    Obama's real power lies in getting those who fought for something their whole lives to question themselves.


    what i don't under estimate is (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:42:05 PM EST
    how many folks step up to "explain" obama.

    I was just thinking that same thing: (5.00 / 10) (#111)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:48:28 PM EST
    why is it that every time Obama opens his mouth, there are these full-blown conversations about what he meant to say and what he really said and what he might have said would he had said it better.

    You don't have to do that with Clinton.  You know exactly where she stands.  She says what she means and she sticks by it, even when she takes heat.


    please stay on topic (none / 0) (#176)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:04:57 PM EST
    it's not Hillary in this post.

    Kerrry, of course, was also a war (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:16:04 PM EST
    protestor after he served in Vietnam.  

    I'm not sure I can choose (5.00 / 7) (#71)
    by Kathy on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:35:35 PM EST
    from your limited options, but it also begs the question: We have troops NOW who are living below the poverty level.  We have troops NOW who are being exploited for an endless war.  We have troops NOW who are homeless.  We have troops NOW who are struggling for health and psychiatric care.  We have troops NOW who are receiving substandard care and being ignored by our government.

    And, Obama chooses to call out what happened over 30 years ago?  Why didn't he bring up what is happening right now with Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Maybe he doesn't want to give Clinton the entree, because of course we all know that she has been fighting tooth and nail for vets rights from the get-go.  She remembers what it was like for those returning soldiers, and she's not just talking the talk--she is working to make sure it doesn't happen again.


    To whom does this refer? (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by pie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:40:23 PM EST
    Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country's call.

    As I said, the returning vets got plenty of grief from soldiers who served during other wars. Those people did not oppose the war.

    And again, they were drafted.  Those who refused the call went to Canada or other climes.


    Viet vets against the war (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by teachermom on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:02:13 PM EST
    I remember rallies where the greatest enthusiasm was for those anti-war vets. When they became active the anti-war movement gained power and stature.
    There were many reports of atrocities committed by US forces in that war. (My Lai). I hated the idea of American soldiers murdering and burning villages, but I never expressed this to an actual vet. In the years since I've come to appreciate the seriousness of the war in which they fought. I've come to respect the average draftee. But I can't condone American atrocities then or now.

    he was also a soldier (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    maybe he blames himself.  He blames himself for the Iraq war too I hear.

    I agree (none / 0) (#76)
    by pamela on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:37:23 PM EST

    The worst part (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:50:25 PM EST
    the alleged bad treatment was not from individuals, it was from the institutional and social.  The "spitting" on vets is an urban myth.  Many of us were working with disabled vets and created all kinds of bonds.  To perpetuate a lie for his own greed for power is another part of Obama that is low.  

    And Kerry too... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Salt on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:17:54 PM EST

    i kept looking for the old kerry in (5.00 / 1) (#258)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:38:27 PM EST
    the 2004 campaign. i didn't find him.

    erm (none / 0) (#41)
    by pixelpusher on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:26:44 PM EST
    Does anyone else wonder if this sort of wording can backfire?

    the young men who simply answered their country's call

    Was the "simply" part really necessary?

    It is pretty simple when you get (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by oculus on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:27:56 PM EST
    a draft notice.

    Answered their country's call (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by pie on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:29:27 PM EST
    when they were DRAFTED.  Most of them certainly wouldn't have volunteered.

    I expect (none / 0) (#49)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:28:22 PM EST
    They will have normal programming that night - the results will be an afterthought.  The campaign's over, right?

    link anyone? (none / 0) (#70)
    by pamela on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:35:17 PM EST
    How can one voice such strong opinions on 3 sentences?  Personally, I would like to read the rest of the speech before I form a stance. Can someone provide a link ?

    Smart Politician (none / 0) (#81)
    by squeaky on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:38:14 PM EST
    And not a bad talent to have as a pol, if what you are saying is true. When in Rome.....

    oops a certain neighbor in hyde park (none / 0) (#86)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:39:48 PM EST
    has been left on the side of the road.

    Hopefully when and if Obama is elected ... (none / 0) (#93)
    by lyzurgyk on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:41:25 PM EST

    ... he'll move the bus!

    I honestly don't know what to think about the guy.  Are these his real beliefs or just positioning for November?    I'm getting the feeling he will say about anything necessary to get elected.


    there is a line from a song (none / 0) (#110)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:47:31 PM EST
    that seems apt here. it was a famous one then and fits so well now. "we don't get fooled again." now come on posters, help. i just can't name that group, but i am sure someone can and will.

    The Who (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by cmugirl on Mon May 12, 2008 at 02:53:05 PM EST
    don't know the name of the song.

    Won't Get Fooled Again (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by ruffian on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:01:00 PM EST

    Smile and grin at the change all around...


    dang, they are so good! (none / 0) (#235)
    by hellothere on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:26:14 PM EST
    i appreciate it; it sure brings back memories.

    Meet the new boss (5.00 / 3) (#225)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:21:04 PM EST
    same as the old boss

    The Who


    Divisive? (none / 0) (#204)
    by BethanyAnne on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:14:46 PM EST
    Jeralyn, I'm beginning to feel that anything Obama says will be offensive to you.  Anything. Really, I don't see what's so outrageous here.  If you look at Obama's comments on anything through a frame of finding fault, then I guess you will find it.

    no you are wrong (none / 0) (#234)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:25:01 PM EST
    I have praised him for a few of his positions on crime issues and his work in the Illinois senate on them. Taping interrogations for one, and voting against the anti-gang bill for another.

    I also praised the work he did on a panel with Bill Ayers on juvenile justice reform.


    My step-son is an Illinois State Trooper (5.00 / 1) (#267)
    by vicsan on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:47:44 PM EST
    and HATES that law for taping interrogations. He's a REPUBLICAN, BTW. That just tells me, THEY NEEDED IT.

    That's one of the better things BO did while in the Senate, but I wouldn't doubt that that piece of legislation is one of the MANY pieces of legislation Emil Jones took away from other legislators and gave to BO, just to make his Senate record look better.

    People had worked on legislation for years and Emil took it from them so he could "make myself a U.S. Senator." He gave their legislation to BO to pass under his name. Needless to say, he has a few enemies in the Illinois legislature.


    Here's an old boomer slogan that works: (none / 0) (#219)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:19:39 PM EST
    Support the Warriors NOT the war!

    That's not an old boomer slogan (none / 0) (#240)
    by daryl herbert on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:28:06 PM EST
    Do you have any evidence that's an old boomer slogan?

    Any photographs or newspaper articles from back then?

    A Google search turns up nothing but a very small number of hits in modern usage.  A Google book search turns up no hits.


    Evidence? (none / 0) (#247)
    by txpolitico67 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:33:51 PM EST
    Jeez! I saw it on a placard in an old 60s documentary I saw on PBS years ago when they discussed the turmoil of the decade.

    Man, WTF?


    Once again Obama uses divsive (none / 0) (#224)
    by my opinion on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:20:22 PM EST
    and hateful words.

    The real issue for Vietnam vets was similar to the issues they face now. They did not get proper care after returning. The walking wounded are still seen on our streets every day. But, instead of addressing the real issue he uses history to divide people and Dis a large group of our population.

    Lembke is discredited (none / 0) (#228)
    by daryl herbert on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:22:49 PM EST
    Spitting on vets is not an urban legend.  It did happen, and Lembcke wants to sweep it under the rug because it's inconvenient to his narrative.  But as was posted earlier, "facts are stubborn things."

    There were newspaper accounts, at the time, of spitting on troops.  Anti-war protests did, at the time, often have speakers who said bad things about the troops (not about the government, or about the war, but specifically about the troops).  Lembcke was mistaken when he claimed troops did not return through certain airports.  All of this is laid out in those 5 posts by Jim Lindgren.  Those are indisputable facts that directly contradict Lembcke's claims.

    None of this reflects poorly on the current anti-war movement, which has not made those mistakes.

    Last time : No one said it didn't happen (none / 0) (#238)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:27:18 PM EST
    It's the extent to which it happened that's the issue and Obama's blowing it out of proportion and the  irrelevancy of it today.

    Comments well over 200, now closed (none / 0) (#260)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 12, 2008 at 03:40:39 PM EST

    Obama is correct (none / 0) (#273)
    by Rashomon66 on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:00:22 PM EST
    Obama is right on this. Vietnam vetarans came home without a hero's welcome. Rather than just blaming the government for the terrible strategy the soldiers got a lot of grief too. That this happened is sad and 100% true. I don't see this as dissing the boomers. I see this as a lament for the Vietnam soldiers.

    This is pretty much par for the course (none / 0) (#275)
    by RickTaylor on Mon May 12, 2008 at 04:16:01 PM EST
    for Obama; it's party of his unity shtick. It annoys me whenever he does it, but I still support him; none of the candidates running for President were perfect. Besides if he really is able to end up using this to be more effective politically (and that is an "if"--I don't know that he can), then it's worth annoying people like me.

    Actually, no, Rick. (none / 0) (#276)
    by caseynm on Tue May 13, 2008 at 02:41:54 AM EST
    This is par for the course for this site.  Take anything Obama says, twist it to anything Jeralyn or Armando finds offensive, take that reading, and VOILA! we can bash ANYTHING Obama says.

    And you people think HE'S divisive?

    The unwarranted and unmitigated obtuseness on this site is stunning.  We may well have Hillary supporters to thank for President McCain come November.

    And note, I blame her supporters, not her.