Today’s Four Words: Reelection and rewritten history
Do NOT get me wrong: it’s way past time for a proper commemoration of the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam war dead and the returning Vets. So I’m sure that’s why George W. Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 that designated this election year as the official 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Butt I’m having a little trouble reconciling my internal history data module with my calculator function to come up with 2012 marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Mind you, I’m not saying that the Vietnam “50th anniversary” commemoration was ginned up to provide Big Guy with an opportunity to give a patriotic speech on the Memorial Day proceeding the reelection year. Heck, when the Democratic Congress passed the measure they didn’t even know which one of their gals or guys would be president this historic reelection year.
I’m just saying it seems curious that this is the year chosen to commemorate this particular anniversary, given the actual history of the Vietnam conflict.
Because 2012 isn’t the 50th year from the date we first began providing military advisors to Vietnam (1955), or the year President Kennedy first ramped up the number of “advisors” assigned to Vietnam (1961), or even the year President Johnson seriously ramped up the level of “advisors” (1963) ahead of the first actual deployment of U.S combat troops (1965). Nor is it the year marking the end of active U.S military engagement (1973) or even of the date of the fall of Saigon (1975).
So what did happen in 1962 to mark it as the official start of the Vietnam War?
Apparently that was the year our Marine “military advisors” gave some South Vietnamese troops a ride in our helicopters and dropped them off in the jungle north of Saigon to begin their South Vietnamese village relocation program. (Aside: I think they’re planning to execute a similar consolidation plan in Detroit;, they might want to read up on how that Vietnam thing worked out before proceeding with their relocation of neighborhoods plan.)
Butt it’s not as if Congress had a lot of meaningful dates to choose from. In addition to the already mentioned, “less significant” events, They could have picked:
May 6, 1954 for example. The Civilian Air Transport (CAT), owned and operated by the CIA, completed the last of 682 air supply missions in support of besieged French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. Two CAT pilots, James "Earthquake McGoon" McGovern and co-pilot, Wallace Buford, died when Viet Minh ground fire downed their transport plane.
Or October 21, 1957 when Captain Harry Cramer Jr. died near Nha Trang, South Vietnam from an explosion during training thereby becoming the first American to die in a war-related incident.
Or March 23, 1961 when Pathet Lao anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) shot off the wing of U.S. Air Force SC-47B. Crashing in the Plain of Jars, seven crewmen died. Major Lawrence Bailey survived and was subsequently captured. Released on 15 August 1962, President John F. Kennedy presented him with the first Bronze Star Medal for service in Southeast Asia. C-47 reconnaissance flights in Laos had begun in December 1960.
Check out the entire, interactive Vietnam War Timeline here.
And if you think it’s just me - that maybe there’s something wrong with my software - it’s not. When the MSM world (ABC,NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times) declared the Afghan War to be the longest running war in U.S. history back in June of 2010, they said that it surpassed the Vietnam War which they all agreed at the time ran for “103 months.”
Let’s see, 103 months - 8.6 years. If you use 1973 as the end date, that makes the start date 1964; the year the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution" resolution was passed. History books will have to be re-written now (where else did that happen, again?) because they use to teach that the Tonkin Resolution signaled the start of the Vietnam War. I guess that was just a technicality though. Because that would make the official 50th anniversary 2014. And that’s not even a presidential election year!
So there you have it: some brilliant forward thinking strategy on the part of our Democratic Congress back before they became a Do-nothing Congress. Our big brained campaign team just ran with it, and had the speechifiers write Big Guy some great stuff. And when you go to so much effort to invent an anniversary for a reelection year, you certainly can’t blame Big Guy for using the occasion to “get his message out” can you?
"I can promise you I will never do so unless it is absolutely necessary and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation."
(Although apparently not everyone got the above memo about future wars regarding the “absolutely necessary” part. Unless the saber rattlers are just suggesting another KMA instead of an all out war.)
Butt believe you me, Big Guy, along with that guy that just lived in his neighborhood who helped him write his autobiography, know a thing or two about what constitutes an absolutely necessary war.
Butt here’s how we know for sure it’s our reelection year - Lady M wore not one, butt two recycled frocks for yesterday’s observances: A Tracy Feith from way back to our historic first Inaugural week for the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier :
Yesterday, left, Inaugural week, right: we haven’t changed at all in 3 1/2 years!
And then at the Vietnam Wall memorial in our old Moschino that we first wore years ago:
Commemorating 58,282 (as of 5-28-2012) Vietnam war dead, left; attending one of the Wee Won’s piano recitals, right.
I think the bow was a nice touch: a floral wreath motif. For Memorial Day. Clever.
Lady M won this year’s Sandra Lee Memorial Day tablescape Award.