Patriot's History: Vietnam, Protests 1960s (Chaps 18-19)

Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell
Woodstock, Matthews Southern Comfort

In Vietnam, our slow reaction caused the war
to last too long, and caused the public to deplore
the government's approach, and let the activists
profess the twisted message of the communists.

In Vietnam in '54 the North arose
against the South, and Ike predicted "dominoes"
but didn't act. And JFK was much to blame
as well -- a comedy of errors, or of shame:
Diem was overthrown, a secret CIA
affair that put the Viet South in disarray
and pleased the Viet Cong. And as the war evolved
the hopes for U.S. citizen support dissolved
amidst a veil of fog about the communist
aggression. JFK and McNamara missed
their chance to make a case for necessary war,
and planning was a farce -- they managed to ignore
the military. LBJ was much to blame,
as well, for reasons much the same: he played a game
of cat and mouse while evil men like Ho Chi Minh
attacked the South. Perhaps attention to Berlin
or Cuba would have been preferred? To our chagrin
we faced "a war that government won't let us win."
The Gulf of Tonkin, '64: our ship attacked,
sporadic bombing in return. Yet still we lacked
a strategy. And little help was coming from
the media. Our culture couldn't overcome
the sense that we were wrong to be in Vietnam.
The heat of controversy rose with every bomb
against the enemy. The hawk disgusts the dove,
the jobless hippie burns his draft card, "making love
instead of war." The pampered student radical
was misdirected: money was no obstacle
with subsidies from government, with faculty
among the most extreme. An "ideology
of terror" drove the Yippies, Jerry Rubin's crowd.
"Red diaper" babies, trained by communists, and proud
to raise the flag (in flames). To ruin society
became their goal, to groove in drug-filled fantasy
their occupation. Homosexuality
and pedophilia and bestiality
were not beyond their limits! Woodstock was their soul,
a constant flow of "sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll."

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