American Army general, Norman Schwarzkopf’s death last month provides perfect illustration of the perfidy of today’s press and the ‘memory hole’ culture it promotes. Orwell would certainly recognize the irony of Mr. Obama’s televised lament for an “American original” lost.
The president assured the Schwarzkopfs, Stormin’ Norman’s legacy would “endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service” and the press faithfully toed that Obama line, uniformly forgetting to mention the vast and bloody train following the general’s “service,” or acknowledge what that service reveals about the nation’s true nature.
From the fields of Vietnam, with a hop-over in Grenada, Norman rode the Anglo-American tide of conquest, his career cresting as a five-star pitchman for the storming of Hussein’s Iraq, (the first time around). More important though than the somewhat vanquishment of Saddam, the general’s real service to the nation, according to President George H.W. Bush, was the instrumental role he played in defeating “Vietnam Syndrome,” the dread disease manifesting as fits of public conscience, slowing progress for America’s military century.
Regarding the American people’s acceptance of a largely defenseless Iraq being pounded into rubble in 1991, H.W. Bush observed; “The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert sands of the Arabian peninsula.” There too, America’s conscience is apparently buried.
Nick Turse is a journalist, editor, and author whose investigations of American war crimes in Vietnam garnered him the Ridenhour Prize for Reportorial Distinction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship at Harvard. He’s published in the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and at The Nation, among other places, and currently serves as managing editor at TomDispatch.com.
Turse’s book titles include: ‘The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Life,’ ‘The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyber Warfare,’ ‘The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan,’ and his latest, ‘Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam.’
Nick Turse in the first segment.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher, and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us news from our town’s streets, and beyond. And, if you’ve listened these last couple Mondays, you’ll know I’ve been in Cuba, and Janine minded Gorilla Radio.We’ll talk about what I missed here, impressions freshly made in Cuba, and music just found out there in the second half.
But first, journalist and author, Nick Turse on the real America in Vietnam.