Opinionby Don Bendell

           Some of us went and fought and bled.Some died. Some stayed home and cried out against our fight. Some, with headsdraped in hooded cloaks of shame and fear, went to Canada, most claiming disdainand loathing for that far-off war, not admitting actually succumbing to an innerfear of death or of wounding in a foreign land.

           We won every major battle, in the tradition of our forefathers at St MereE’Glise, Normandy, San Juan Hill, and we left our virgin naiveté in thosesteaming emerald jungles of fear, or in the muddy larvae-laden waters of thelowland paddies checker-boarding the giant green and brown,  dirty spongecalled the Mekong Delta.

           Then came Tet, 1968, and it was more like Christmas for those of us who becamemen in less than one year’s time. Those black-pajamaed shadow warriors andkhaki-clad dedicated soldiers of Hanoi, came up out of the ground, like AK-armedhuman coatimundis bravely, sometimes insanely, hurling their bodies, thousandsof them, at the staccato blazing fire of M-16’s, M-60’s,  and manyother weapons of choice of our GI’s and Marines. We did not have to lookbeyond the moonlit bloodied bodies in the barbed wire perimeters across the darkjade countryside to see the tide was about to change in that bitter war. LikeG.I. Joe or Sergeant Rock, with drops of real blood, and the acrid smell ofnapalm in our nostrils, we lit our cigarettes with shaky hands, patting oneanother on sweaty shoulders, trying hard to pretend it was just another day atthe office.

           But, our forever protectors, those camera-toting, micro-phone-holding,self-appointed arbiters of information, back home in the World, said otherwiseon network newscasts and in daily written tomes. It was the “Communist’ssuccessful Tet Offensive,” not  even close to its true back-breaking rolein the communist’s insurgency effort. The serpent’s head was severed, butthen, following the media’s lead,  one shimmering ray of light made themdecide to grip with worn yellow fingers and just hold on. Those holding thattiny beacon of hope for Hanoi had names like Kerry, Fonda, and McCarthy, and sothe North Vietnamese waited for the tide to turn, and so it did.

           Politicians, who had been telling our jets to fly over Sam Missile factories inthe north, without “dropping deadly eggs” on civilian factory workers justto satisfy political-correctness, finally caved in to those who stayed andplayed, those who called us the crazies, baby-killers, and war criminals.

           Some guys in suits in Washington and Paris said that we lost that war, but I didnot. I did not surrender or even lose a battle. It was the same with all mybrothers in blood, my trauma team.

We weregiven a mission, and many; like me, still work to accomplish it, to this day.Oh, I know the well-worn Hollywood stereotype, a fatigue-clad, bearded hippywith PTSD and a Bottle of Ripple, under the local urban bridge in aflea-infested K-Mart economy model sleeping bag, right? I think not. Actually, less than one half of one percent of Viet Nam vets have ever beenarrested, our personal income is one-fifth higher on average than all similarage groups, 2/3rds of us were volunteers not draftees, and Viet Nam veterans asa group are more successful and have more education than any similar age group?No, we were not all “black and poor.” In fact, 13%  of the USpopulation during the Viet Nam War was black, and 12% of all American fightingmen in Viet Nam were black.

58,000heroes died in Viet Nam and millions more, who were all heroes, came home, butwe were not treated as heroes by our neighbors like our soldiers were from allother wars. It was inexpedient, and oh so uncomfortable, to do so. People wouldactually have to admit to nationalism, maybe even patriotism in those days,hardly a way to make the A-party list of the intelligentsia.

Thefiercely pro-American nomadic, proud Montagnard tribespeople, who I lived andfought beside in 1968 and 1969, are still being decimated, executed,forcibly-sterilized, and falsely-imprisoned at the hands of the Vietnamesegovernment in Hanoi, and led by the storm trooper-like secret police, the CongAn. To a lesser extent, the Cham minority, as well as some Buddhist sects,suffer discrimination as well.

So far, weare being selective in the carrots we dangle for Hanoi, but there are those inCongress who are pushing hard, and have been for years, to fill the pockets oflobbyist buddies from the Rice Bowl and to fully normalize relations with Hanoi.As we successfully fought, with quills and not spears, to deter an infiltrationinto the White House by those with no honor, who would use the blood of fallenheroes to try wash away their betrayal, so we must all stand with the ethnicminorities in Viet Nam, as well as those of the greater population who are mereserfs for the aristocracy of Hanoi and other population centers. 

TheVietnamese citizenry, both lowlander and highlander alike who value theblessings of human freedom and national enrichment of liberty and democracy,taught me a valuable lesson. I have been patient. We shall win this horrible waryet.  Between February and November of 2004, we fought a major and gloriousbattle and stood in triumph at the end, and victory is now in sight.

Dr.Rice, Mademoiselle Secretary, those in power in Hanoi refer to the Montagnardtribespeople as “Moi,” which in their dictionary means “Savage,” but intheir everyday slang means, “Nigger.” They refuse to allow us to freelyexamine or monitor suspected human rights abuses in the Central Highlands or toallow the free travel back and forth of their indigenous mountain people. Asbrazen as Saddam Hussein’s treachery, their’s has simply been shrouded insecrecy and hidden behind a curtain of bamboo. It is time for us to talk andthem to listen. We patiently await your response. When the Montagnards and allVietnamese are no longer suppressed, then my brothers and I will finally befree, too, of the pledge we who wore the green beret made, to always help ourMontagnard brothers and sisters who always helped us. On that day, our war willhave been won, and we will point to Heaven in victory and praise.

Don Bendell served as anofficer in four Special Forces Groups, including a tour on a green beret A-team(Dak Pek) in Vietnam in 1968-1969, and was in the Top Secret Phoenix Program, isa top-selling author of 21 books, with over 1,500,000 copies of his books inprint worldwide, a 1995 inductee into the International Karate Hall of Fame, andowns karate schools in southern Colorado. His pro-Bush/anti-Kerry editorialswere widely-published in newspapers and magazines, and circulated by millionsall over the world on the internet. He has been interviewed on FOX NEWS LIVE andon many radio shows and speaks all over the country.

Permission is hereby granted to reprint, copy, or pass this on wherever and towhomever you choose. This is posted on my website with other politicaleditorials:

Don Bendell

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *