Who prolonged the war in Vietnam? It wasn't the peace movement or the VVAW.

Ok, so Bush has gutted the environment and Kerry hasn't said a word about it, other than to go prove he was tough by killing migratory birds in Pennsylvania.

Ok, so Bush has trashed the rights of unions and Kerry hasn't said one word about it.

Ok, so Bush has started the Hitlerian juggernath toward world domination, and they all hate the comparison to Hitler since they're only up to the equivalent of annexing Czechoslovakia and invading Poland and we're not supposed to know enough history to see what comes next, and it is the Europeans who remember Neville Chamberlain and understood what Bush and his Masters were doing, and now understand that re-election will bring on the true holocaust -- and Kerry is saying he'll do the same thing, only more efficiently.

Ok, so we vote for Kerry because Condoleeza Rice is out there in Ohio, writing "SURRENDER DOROTHY" across the skies, Tom Ridge is spending Homeland Security money to stump for his boss, while Dick Cheney is doing his best impersonation of a sadistic camp counselor telling the kids hideous tales of nuclear terror and biological horror around the campfire while accusing Kerry of using scare tactics, and Bush is out there singing and dancing while pretending to be the brainless Scarecrow when what he really needs is a heart AND a brain AND some courage.

Ok, we vote for Kerry because, as HE said, "When someone drives you into the ditch, you put someone else behind the wheel."

And some of us vote for Kerry because Teresa Heinz Kerry says he's ok and we can all see that she is something else -- a free-spirited delight, offering us the added benefit of knowing she will cause consternation and apoplexy among all the little Neo-Cromwellian Ashcroft Greylings every day.

BUT --- let's get one thing straight about the reasons the war in Vietnam was extended for years beyond the time it should have ended. The impending piece of propagandistic lying crap the Bush-supporting Sinclair network is planning to present is just that.

POW's pointing a finger at Kerry and the VVAW for extending their incarceration? Bullshit.

I do not dismiss the sufferings of men who were POW's in any war, even one which should have never happened. But what the hell do they know?

While the war went on, their only source of information was their North Vietnamese captors. And after the war was over and they came home, their pals told them it was all the fault of those damned hippies in the peace movement and those VVAW traitors who had the temerity to speak out against an ongoing criminal activity.

An excellent case has been made many times, that such vocal activists as peace demonstrators and the VVAW were patriots who were a good part of the reason the war ended when it did, instead of going on and on and on (as does Bush's current wet dream of eternal war). they were the ones who convinced the American public to wake up and smell the dead bodies. And once that happened, the end of the war was imminent.

(Curious how Americans seem to despise the people who turn on the lights to make the roaches go scuttling for cover, even if they prove that those roaches are venomous parasites who have been draining our blood and poisoning out country, whether the one turning on the lights is John Dean or Sammy the Bull, Daniel Ellsberg, Anthony Russo or Richard Clarke... or the young John Kerry.)

An excellent case can be made -- and has been, many times -- that such vocal activists as peace demonstrators and the VVAW were the main reason the war ended when it did, instead of going on and on and on (like Bush's current wet dream of eternal war). It was the anti-war people that convinced the public to actually look at what was going on. And once that happened, the end of the war was imminent.

So what kept the war going on so long, all thos extra unnecessary years?

It wasn't the peace demonstrators.
It wasn't the VVAW.

What kept the war going? Four words:

Richard Nixon

Henry Kissinger

In 1968, LBJ had the good sense to back out of a no-win situation and declined to run for a second-and-a-half term because he knew what was going on here at home.

It has since become public knowledge that Nixon and Kissinger sabotaged the ongoing Paris Peace Talks that year in order to increase their chances of getting elected. (What? Nixon and his henchmen pulled dirty tricks to win an election? Slander!) Remember, they finally made peace more than four years later on essentially the exact same terms as those LBJ's people had already gotten in agreement in 1968. And who was the front man? My oh my -- John Negroponte --the man Bush sent to Iraq as ambassador.

So what was it all about?

In that election year, I found myself talking with a man who was not only in the financial community, but for some reason found me amusing -- or at least tolerable -- and seemed to enjoy if not embrace my anti-establishment rantings.

And I said to him one day -- "It's you 'war-is-good-for-busness' people who are driving this." And he hit me with one of his rare contradictions. (The contradictions were rare probably because so few of my rants were worth arguing with, something I have embarrassedly noticed looking back as the years have gone by.)

"Oh no! Business -- manufacturers -- do not want this war. They don't want to spend the huge amount it will cost to retool for war materiel. That's why Nixon and his people are going around to small meetings with Boards of Directors and promising them that he'll guarantee the war will last at least four more years, if he's elected, so that they can amortize their expenses."

That was Nixon's "secret plan," to kill and kill and kill and kill while chosen companies made huge profits, (and then to systematically screw wounded veterans out of their pensions -- but that's another story).

Nixon and his people kept the war going. And some of the people who did that for Nixon are some of the same people doing it for Bush.

The enemy was -- as many vets noted at the time -- the people who sent them over there. As it is today. The more the creatures who crawl out of the slime try to pretend things change, the more they stay the same.


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