Gordon Duff: American Movie Classics Dumps On Vietnam Vets

By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
Would any TV network, even one on cable be so utterly stupid?  I would never have guessed it if I hadn’t seen it myself.  Sometimes people make mistakes and offend.  Then again, American Movie Classics went well out of their way to insult the service and sacrifice of 2.9 million Americans that served in Vietnam.  This isn’t even close, they simply hate Vietnam veterans.  This was a dig, written as a dig against Vietnam vets and delivered like a knife in the back.
While announcing Memorial Day movie line-ups to be hosted by General David Petraeus a West Pointer who didn’t serve in Vietnam at all, AMC announcers began their “open mouth, insert foot, repeat if necessary” blunder.  Please, if you are going to find a host for war movies, pick out someone with a combat record.
They meant to honor younger veterans of our current war, so they say.  To do that, they compared them to the “greatest generation” that fought in WW2.  However, this is where they went nuts on us.  They pointed out that the current military is like the “greatest generation” because it is “all volunteer.” 
This is an obvious dig at Vietnam vets, many of whom were subject to  draft.  We have lost 6000 troops in our current war and, probably another 20,000 from injuries, suicide and other causes, some in service and some as veterans.   The insult goes even further than Vietnam but against anyone drafted into the military.  This, of course, includes most of the “greatest generation,” the very people AMC was placing on a pedestal or is this what they meant at all?  Draftees landed on Tarawa with the Marines and on Omaha Beach on D-Day. 
Last check showed 711,000 Vietnam vets alive.  2.2 million are gone with 58,000 from direct combat deaths, 50,000 from service related illness and injury and over 2 million from vastly shortened lifespan due to agent orange poisoning, malnutrition during military service, tropical diseases, PTSD (too often fatal) and other causes. 
Vietnam had the highest casualty rates of any war in American history.  The Marine Corps alone lost as many killed in action in Vietnam as they did in World War 2.  However, the Marine Corps in Vietnam was 1/4th the size it was in WW2 with combat during a much shorter period.  Do the math.
A typical civilian worker would make $200 per week in 1969.  A typical civilian worker makes 2 to 3 times that today with some much much more.  In truth, our civilian standard of living is much less than in 1968, making the military much more attractive today.  What ever Americans were fighting for, it obviously wasn’t our “way of life.”
Soldiers started at $90 a month, less expenses for uniforms and supplies.  Soldiers in Vietnam typically drew less than $40 a week.  A typical E-3 serving today makes 12 to 14 times that, actually double the average wage for a full time employee in a civilian job in our current diminished economy.
We don’t want to begin to talk Playstations, internet, body armour, 6000 calorie meals cooked by a hundred thousand foreign kitchen employees, work details done by contractors, dangerous security details handed out to mercenaries or the fact that we are doing exactly as well in Iraq and Afghanistan as we did in Vietnam.
The troops today are, in thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of cases, sons and daughters of troops who served in Vietnam or during the Vietnam era.  Some of us would cut the pay, cut the food, take away the playstations and bring our kids home, hoping our society would have learned the lessons of the useless sacrifice we went through in Vietnam. 
What could be worse for a parent, a veteran, than losing a child in a war, not just unpopular, even forgotten, but an obvious con job left over from a corrupt administration and continued by an incompetent one.
The enemy isn’t our current military.  I am sure General Petraeus, when he reads this, and he will, is going to make a call.  Why is it that some people can’t say something nice without putting a knife in someone elses back?
American Movie Classics isn’t even close to sounding like it means anything but a vicious insult against Vietnam veterans.  I wonder if the Dolan family has Vietnam vets?  They own the network.  If so, I can’t imagine why a veteran member of their family wouldn’t show up in the head idiot’s office with a pair of size 12 combat boots on and do what comes naturally, if such a veteran exists in such a family.
What they have done is to cause pain and to attempt to cause a feeling of shame in veterans on memorial day, veterans of a dirty and vicious war with considerable brutal combat under conditions we wish our current troops never have to see.
In truth, we don’t know.  We only know what we are told.  Are our troops today being poisoned like Vietnam or Desert Storm vets?  We do know they are being drugged up and sent in the field with PTSD.  We know they are persecuted for any problem they have, even if brought on by heroic service.  We know these things and care deeply about them.
Our troops didn’t make the stupid commercial.  What was the purpose of the commercial?  Is it a “divide and conquer” thing or simply stupid?
I don’t vote for stupid because the language and nuances showed a clearly insidious aspect.  These people are underhanded vicious little sneaks.
Hey, if you don’t watch this and avoid being insulted, good.
If you do watch it, note the sponsors and please take the time to point out how much you don’t appreciate seeing a Cadillac commercial followed by an insult aimed at American heroes.

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