Bill Cope, what planet are you from? Have any of these thoughts, ideas, fantasies ever seen the light of day (BW, "More Vietnam Duty: Still Quagmired After All These Years," Nov. 24)? They are transparent, cast no shadow, lifeless echoes in a lecture hall filled with corpses, unaware of their demise. You've done it, pushed me over the edge, and I want to make a rebuttal to this flagrant mauling of history, this obvious obfuscation of human endeavor, flawed as it is.
Did the Peace & Love crowd welcome Vietnam veterans back with open arms? Sure, if they said war sucks, pass the joint, and hurray for braless hippie women libbers. Other than that it was a cold shoulder and uncomfortable silence at best.
Tell me Bill, what was the process of evolving to a "stable communist regime" in South Vietnam after the U.S. troops pulled out? Seems to me there was an elimination process. Let me trek through that history and get back to you on that.
As to which president we might lay Vietnam on? Here is a synopsis:
Not Ike, I liked Ike, I guess, actually I was just a tyke when he was elected, we need to go a bit further back then Ike. Actually U.S. involvement began with support of the French, in the First Indochina War, which preceded the Second Indochina War (also known as the Vietnam War).
At the end of WWII with the surrender of the Japanese, the Vietnamese led by Ho Chi Minh figured they had had enough of France pilfering their resources and polluting their culture with Western religion, entertainment, etc. They had been working with the United States fighting the Japanese and theorized this would be a good time to declare independence from those nasal croaking Frogs who had invaded, divided, and were plundering their country.
Ho Chi Minh turned to his wartime ally, the United States, and asked for recognition of his country's independence. President Truman's (Dem.) administration decided that to back a known communist in Asia considering all the communist governments in Eastern Europe which had come under control of the USSR, and the fact that China had come under communist control, would not be in our best interest. This was in the face of Ho Chi Minh's active alliance with the U.S. during WWII conducting guerilla warfare against the Japanese occupation of Indochina and acting as an agent of the OSS (a precursor of the CIA), guiding downed U.S. pilots to safety, as well as locating prisoner of war camps that were holding Americans. We snubbed Ho, backed the French, and ferried their troops right into Ho's front yard--another shortsighted decision made by a rubbernecking, handshaking politician, creating alliances with the enemy of our enemy without regard to moral integrity or future implications.
After the French were well bloodied, fought to a standstill and were being pressured internally by the French citizenry they agreed to peace talks. It was at this time that Vietnam was divided into North and South with the communists in the north and non-communists in the south, theoretically speaking. France would pull out through the south and the country would have elections supervised by an International Control Commission. Well the United States couldn't have the commies winning and unifying Vietnam. They established a government for the South, whose leader refused to sign the Geneva Accords as did the United States. The United States then established the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) to protect the newly formed, debased enemy of our enemy (previous ally), and create a barricade to this communist threat--leading us into not the highest point in U.S. social/military history.
Could Ho Chi Minh have been persuaded of representative democratic principals, by recognizing the independence he asked for: supplying material support in return for continued alliance with the United Stares? He had been considered independent of Chinese and USSR by OSS personnel who worked with him during WWII.
I don't think this can be put at Ike's feet either, but now France on the other hand ...
FOR THE LOVE OF PETS
First of all, I would like you to know that I am a big fan of Boise Weekly. I read each and every issue and appreciate the fact that you support important local facilities like the Idaho Humane Society. In fact, this is the sole reason I enjoy this paper and the reason you are distinguished from other papers like Thr!ve. So, keeping this in mind, you may be able to picture my sorrow at finding half of the Adopt-A-Pet section of your paper taken over by Boise Bridge Club. Perhaps I do not know all the facts about this decision and do not see the importance of this "game." But regardless, I do know that the Adopt-a-Pet section of your paper helped me find my perfect dog, who, had I not adopted her, would have been euthanized within a day had it not been for your paper. And I know how many other dogs just like her are at the Idaho Humane Society whose lives are anything but secure. So I thank you for having an Adopt-a-Pet section. I ask you to think about cutting any other section's space if Bridge Club is so important, but Adopt-a-Pet is a necessary part of your paper, and I look forward to opening a new issue of Boise Weekly and finding the pet adoption space back in full. So please think it over. It is very important to our whole community. The lives of many adoptable strays are in your hands alone.
--Keats Conley, age 12
FAME AND GLORY
I tied for fourth place in the Bad Cartoon Contest (BW, Dec. 1). My prize was one cent and I want to get that in a check because I want to frame it and use it as a gag. Who knows, maybe I'd be the lowest paid cartoonist in history. So, yeah, that'd be funny.
We'll be happy to cut you a penny check but as far as your career goal of being the lowest paid cartoonist in history you've still got some work to do. By the time you factor in the materials costs of the check, envelope and postage (if we mail it to you) we're talking at least 45¢. Bill Witherspoon, working for The Greeley Democrat was paid a piece of lint for a cartoon in 1894. Even adjusted for inflation, his payment is still the value of a piece of lint.
Bill Cope's column (BW, "A Small Culture War: Cope Thinks Globally, Acts Like a Jerk Dad," Dec. 1) implied that the immigration issue is a cultural issue. It most emphatically is not. He could not be more wrong. Immigration, legal or illegal, is simply one facet of the overpopulation problem facing the world, America and the Treasure Valley. To convince yourself that there is an overpopulation problem, all you need to do is try to survive driving the Interstate between Broadway and Nampa or on any part of Fairview Avenue.
Cope has been learning from Rush Limbaugh, who invented the practice of intentionally misinterpreting the motives of advocates of an opposing view. Cope is saying that opponents of immigration are waging a cultural war and/or are racist. That's hogwash. There are simply too many people in America now, so we should not be admitting more.
I will be graduating from Boise State University at the end of the Fall 2004 semester with a Bachelor's in Visual Arts and a Philosophy minor. I cannot, however, attend in good conscience the commencement ceremony being held at the recently renamed Taco Bell Arena. The inhumane treatment of farm workers that is being vicariously supported by that renaming stands in direct opposition to the values I had grown to believe BSU stands for. Had this renaming occurred earlier in my college career I would have transferred to a less offensive institution. Unfortunately I will now graduate from Boise State, with my name forever attached to its shameful behavior in these past weeks. I ask that the ASBSU, faculty and staff please make whatever motions are necessary to buy back the naming rights to the Arena. The students and faculty of this university deserve better.
To my family and friends who have looked forward to my commencement I apologize. I am as always grateful for your support, and hope that if you agree with me on this issue that you will express as much, loudly and strongly.
The correct name of the winner of the Bad Cartoon Contest "The 'Can You Draw Me' Award" (BW, Dec. 1) is Phil Muno.