Are the conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War misunderstood, by those in their 20's and 30's?
My friend from Minnesota called yesterday talking about the conservative nature of our children. Her husband, as a matter of soul-wrentching decision-making, signed up for the Peace Corps during Vietnam and served many years in Thailand and Malaysia. All of us who were considered as "hippies," if only in our thinking, were studying the war, talking to our religious leaders, and trying to come to terms with whether it was more moral to go or to stay. I have a feeling that younger people don't fully understand the moral crisis we faced because so few conscientious objectors write about it.
To be honest I don't think today's 20 and 30 year olds care about Vietnam, conscientious objectors, morals, or soul wrenching decision making. Today's young and middle aged adults are to consumed by their own issues to care about anyone or anything else. They are the beginning of the entitled age where they feel they don't have to work for anything or have to care about anything that does not directly impact them, their livelihood or their way of life. I would not say they misundstand the hippie movement they might even agree with it, from the partying aspect and maybe the music, but that is about it.
I have to agree and add their texting & smartphones habits.
Isn't that interesting - 'from the partying and music aspect..' of course things would be different if there had been a draft, huh? I have one young relative who is very political, but not as much active as conspiracy theorist. Very fascinating!
Unfortunately nill to none is taught in our schools about the Vietnam War. I'd venture to day, many would even know less about previous wars. That age group is caught up with the own lives and modern day technical toys, like cell phones. My age group learned to work for what they wanted. Todays kids, unfortunately are given everything they ask for as many parents do without. It's a shame parents today are afraid to use the word "No" or "get a job". Being of the Hippie generation, I understand many young people we against the war. Many thought we were there for nothing more then protect American businesses, with our lives being expendable. Those were crazy times back then. Today young people have their own craziness! Mostly they seem to feel everyone owes them! Just my opinion.
I think this goes beyond conscientious objectors, to those who opposed the war in general.
To those in things like "Occupy", opponents of Vietnam are seen as "old soldiers" of sorts. People who paved the way.
To many others they're seen as traitors.
There's also the way that many parents or more likely grandparents who fought in Vietnam now see their children or grandchildren acting like modern "hippies"
Kneejerk condemnation of conscientious objection is a statist position, not a conservative one. That being said, I do know people who take the objectors of the Viet Nam era as a symbol of the revolutionary outlook common at the time rather than as an expression of deeper personal conviction, and that, in addition to being a conservative attitude, is a view with a good deal of justification behind it. Both motives were at work then, and many young Americans in the sixties and seventies adopted conscientious objection out of peer pressure or as part of normal adolescent rebelliousness, not from conscience. To understand what you are hearing today from someone who did not live through that time, you would have to dig into their underlying readings of history, not an easy thing to do unless you spend more time with that person than you would with a stranger.
Most things are not as simple as they first may seem. This is one of them.
isn't that the truth? Issues like this are very complicated. But in defense of objectors I know that while my husband was in Quang Tri, we were contemplating our complicity in the war and our moral obligation at point - gut-wrentching, it was!
Don't misunderstand me, I have great respect for the courage of genuine conscientious objectors and am moderately antiwar myself. A point is that not everyone claiming to object to war on grounds of conscience really does.
I am from the Vietnam era. I had a lottery number but the draft was stopped about two weeks before my induction date, thank goodness. I say that because I was not a coscientious objector but was scared to death.
The younger people don't understand for a number of reasons. They don't because they don't have to. Conscientious objectors became a thing of the past when we went to an all volunteer armed forces. If you don't believe in war, you don't sign up. These kids will never understand this because they would have to feel the fear and anxiety of what it's like to be drafted into service to fight an existing war, on the other side of the world, that you knew nothing about. You had no choice but to go somewhere that you may have already lost many friends and relatives to.
Conscientious objectors don't write about this for the same reason recovering alcoholics ( like me ) don't like to write about their past. People call them whiners, or born agains. Or sympathy seekers. Who wants that? I bring that up because the uninterested readers have never experienced being caught up in the throws of these dilemmas. It's impossible to comprehend unless you have been there and know first hand how difficult these things are to deal with.
There are parallels here, so I'll share what I do. Maybe it will help your friend. If I just want to talk about my problem or issue and want the person to understand what's on my mind, whose better to talk to than another alcoholic? They've been there; done that. Maybe your friend can do the same. I'm sure there are a lot of people with the same thing on their mind as your friend. His plight would not fall on deaf ears.
The answer to his moral decision whether to stay or go can only be found in his own heart. That's all that matters. He won't face God with someone else's morals. Even if he acted in a way that now, he feels was wrong, he can't regret it. Sometimes choices are made for us and our morals don't matter to those making those choices. Sounds like these are one of those times.
Your friend will be O.K. because here he is, years later, still having a conscience and searching for answers. Sounds like a good person to me. God Bless.
Sorry so long. Shoulda hubbed. Oh, well.
poignant comments, Idono, about being called "whiners," or "sympathy seekers." There's an attitude adrift that subtly instructs all who have gone through hardships to keep quiet. But isn't that why the young people don't know? Your story important.
Young people should at least have some idea. But they are learning from people that went from college to classroom. In this time, very few teachers experienced Vietnam. One vet could teach a class as much as 100 textbook teachers.
IDONO, I wasn't clear about the friend. He is in his 60s now - at much peace with his decision in the 60s to nlist in the Peace Corps instead of the Army. He was one of those who examined what going to war actually meant. "The Great Mandella"
I honestly think this is a subject in which younger folks have not even thought about. You can't think and have an opinion about something you have no idea about, because you were not even taught about the war and the happenings involving that time in American history.
I think you'll find far more interesting stories on YouTube from soldiers who are fed up with the current insanity.
America has betrayed our youth so many times with false flag wars. The Gulf of Tonkin incident was a farce. It never happened! And yet 58,000 Americans died because of it. More than a million Vietnamese died because of that lie. Why? Profits and political leverage. The Rockefellers were making money from both sides. Yes, I know that's treason, but they're above the law. In fact, they own both the Demopublicans and Republicrats. And together with the other Power Elite families (Rothschilds, etc), they own the private Federal Reserve bank.
I think a lot of young adults today finally get it. Enough of them supported Ron Paul in his bid for the GOP nomination. Enough of them are supporting Gary Johnson as the Libertarian nominee. The soldiers overwhelmingly supported Ron Paul over all other candidates combined (including Obama).
The last few dozen wars -- ever since WWII -- have been American wars of aggression with false flag flashpoints to trick us into that aggression.
Even 9/11 was an American operation, blamed on Al Qaeda (a CIA operation started in Afghanistan against the Russians).
Too many soldiers are committing suicide, because they can't take the inhumanity they're seeing done overseas. They're being told to kill the innocent. Soldiers are coming back and tossing their medals because they no longer believe in the integrity of our armed forces.
When I was called up for duty in 1970, I didn't go. I was working for the Church of Scientology and had my spiritual counselor sponsor me for a 4D deferment (divinity student). I dislike war with a passion, but I think I would find to defend America, if it's a just war. But our government has been corrupt for too many years, ever since the Rockefellers and their thugs killed Kennedy for bucking their "authority" over the Constitution and American public.
I love our soldiers, but I despise the ones in power who misuse them. I love what America used to be, but now it looks too much like Germany 80 years ago. Our Corporate Party media would make Goebbels green with envy.
And now, the Constitution that our soldiers are supposed to be protecting has been betrayed by both parties.
http://www.fox19.com/category/240225/vi … Id=7673872
http://www.fox19.com/category/240225/vi … Id=7698022
Elections are dead and America following.
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