Richard Cohen wrote a column for the Washington Post today lamenting the lack of blue-blood New Englanders in the military, and how sad it is that the Ruling Class can have the Country Class fight for it, because if there were more blue-blood New Englanders in the military, we wouldn't have gone to war. The blue-blood New Englanders would've protested and stop the war. And isn't that sad.
That's my summary.
Here's the article, decide for yourself:
How Little The US Knows of War
Perhaps most importantly, here's the second sentence of the article:
The U.S. Army that fought the Vietnam War was reviled, not spit upon (that's a myth) but not much admired, either.
It is not a myth. Richard Cohen, you are a liar.
Here's some documentation for you - there are dozens upon dozens of incidents:
Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize winner and former assistant managing editor at The Washington Post, writes in his book, The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966 of Captain Tom Carhart's return from Vietnam, pp. 324-5:
"Still in uniform, he was strolling through the O'Hare terminal in search of a telephone when a group of hippie girls darted up and spat on him. The shock and pain could have been no more intense if they had slashed him with knives. Reeling with surprise and uncertain what to do, he did nothing. His assailants scampered off through the airport crush as Tom wiped the saliva from his face, now aflame with humiliation. That night he got into an argument about the war with his friends' daughter, who was home from college. This is great, he told himself sardonically. I'm back less than twenty-four hours, I get spat on, then I get hassled by my countrymen over a cause for which I got myself shot twice. Welcome home, Johnny."
As to the "substance" of your column after the lie - Mr. Cohen, just because you live in a bubble isolated from the military doesn't mean everyone else does. I'd bet you don't know any truck drivers, machinists, or farmers, either; and likely no beat cops or firefighters. What you are writing about is the break between the Ruling Class - of which you are a part - and the Country Class - of which I, JBH, and 95% of the nation are. The culture you represent rejects the military and refuses to join - perhaps if you weren't busy celebrating the denouement and "no great songs", you'd get a clue. Also, there have been some great songs. They just belong to genres you don't listen to. On this you are simply ignorant.
These are for people who've earned them.
This one's for all you guys who aren't short yet, but want to be (you'll miss it when you're out and forget about police call and being drunk in morning formation - til then suck it up - time is on your side):
And for those who are staying in, but who aren't super-motivated:
And for genuine motivators like SSgt Hyatt, who had more legitimate motivation in his little finger than most Marines ever have, the kind of sergeant that made Hollywood sergeants:
Yes, it's a bit motarded. But at least it's not Taliban Bodies...
Okay, sure, here's Taliban Bodies, for all you motards*!
Is it a war song? Was Surfin' Bird?
I could do a year's worth of posts on music influenced by OIF & OEF, from Dixie Chicks' release of Travelin' Soldier in 2002 to Bad Religion's Let Them Eat War in 2004 to Toby Keith's Angry American/Courtesy of the Red White & Blue to John Michael Montgomery's Letters From Home in 2004 to... screw it, we got some room for more motivation by 3 Doors Down - Citizen Soldier (Nat Guard extended version):
*Motard: Combination of motivation and retard. Implies an individual who's motivated to a stupid level. Mindless, obnoxious motivation.