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Long Vietnam Syndrome

by | Jun 3, 2024

Long Vietnam Syndrome

by | Jun 3, 2024

united states war concept

Memorial Day is over. The state has successfully baptized itself with the blood of its fallen soldiers. It has been symbolically buried in a mass grave of its own making and resurrected to flood the world with very real blood. Yet, it cannot rid itself of what regime intellectuals call the “Vietnam Syndrome,” and this is cause for hope.

The state has masterfully obscured the costs of its wars—costs which are massive. As former U.S. Marine Captain Matthew Hoh put it during a Memorial Day speech:

“…the costs of war is the cost to our society, the cost to our identity, the cost to our history, to our narrative, who we are; this idea that was so romanticized, so valorized, and these notions that extend whether they’re political, whether through Hollywood, whether through the history books provided in our classrooms, the storytelling, the narrative… it’s mythmaking. It’s mythmaking. And that’s what we advance further wars upon.”

The United States Imperial Government (USIG) has its blood-soaked hands full with current wars even as it works to advance further wars.

There is its longest running war, in Somalia, which began in late 2001 after the USIG invaded Afghanistan. It’s not going well. There is its most recent war in Yemen, which went so bad, so fast one hardly hears about it.

There are counterterrorism operations being run all over West Asia and Africa. Success has been elusive, but failure has been truly globalized. And there are the USIG’s two primetime, proxy wars in Ukraine and Israel.

In Ukraine, the USIG is waging a proxy war against the nuclear-armed Russian state. In Israel, the USIG is waging a proxy war against unarmed women and children in tents. Which is worse? We’ll let future historians argue about it.

The lack of humanity displayed by our rulers in the face of Ukrainian and especially Gazan suffering has horrified the world. But consider the regime’s willingness to stack Ukrainian and Israeli soldier corpses.

USIG apologists have been shockingly candid about the Ukrainian carnage. As the American journalist and novelist David Ignatius put it last summer:

“…for the United States and its NATO allies, these 18 months of war have been a strategic windfall, at relatively low cost (other than for the Ukrainians).”

No one in the War Party talks about Israel this way. No one says, “We’re degrading these women and children at relatively low cost (other than to the IDF conscripts).” But that is exactly what is happening. Structurally, the USIG is in the exact same role in Israel as it is in Ukraine.

It’s a position the USIG relishes, waging war with other nation’s children, because it remains haunted by the Vietnam Syndrome. As Libertarian Institute Director Scott Horton said:

“By 1979, ‘Vietnam’ had already become a shorthand term for bloody, no-win, far-flung quagmire that breaks the military and treasury and causes terrible disruptions to society back home. Badly burned by the experience, the American people were even said by the political establishment to have come down with the lamented ‘Vietnam Syndrome’ — such a severe reluctance to engage in any further overseas military conflicts that it amounted to a form of illness.” [Emphasis added]

A “bloody, no-win, far-flung quagmire” is a good description of empire. The American people do not want to sacrifice their sons and daughters for empire, which is why the USIG always needs to trick them into war and can’t admit to running an empire. Regime intellectuals (a sick bunch) interpret this reality as a mental illness originating in Vietnam. But it can be traced at least as far back as the end of World War II, when Army Chief of Staff George Marshall proposed garrisoning the globe with 2.5 million soldiers:

“The problem was, the army had to agree. Marshall’s plan to keep men overseas provoked a furious reaction. Families of servicemen blasted their representatives with letters and buried congressional offices in baby shoes, all bearing tags reading BRING DADDY HOME.”

President Richard Nixon dedicated an entire chapter to Vietnam Syndrome in his 1980 book The Real War:

“Unless the United States shakes the false lessons of Vietnam and puts the ‘Vietnam syndrome’ behind it, we will forfeit the security of our allies and eventually our own.”

If Jordan Peterson ever lectured on it, he might point out that Nixon places his “Vietnam Syndrome” chapter approximately 46% of the way into the book, the same timing as The Odyssey uses to place Odysseus’ descent into the underworld. Nixon follows this up with the midpoint chapter, “The Awakening Giant,” which simultaneously invokes World War II and portrays America as a god-like superpower. Similarly, The Odyssey associates Odysseus with the Sun God in its midpoint chapter.

President George H.W. Bush claimed to have “kicked” Vietnam Syndrome with Desert Storm, like it was some sort of opiate addiction. He seems to have believed it, but he was wrong. The war was quick and only a few hundred soldiers were killed. The true costs of the war were, of course, hidden. Gulf War Syndrome was real.

But Americans didn’t have to endure tens of thousands of their children coming home in body bags for empire. Americans like blowing stuff up as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is a Zionist) but they do not like heavy casualties. The hate it so much, the Pentagon hides the true number of Americans killed in its wars by using contractors. The propaganda has done such an amazing job making anyone who puts on an American military uniform sacred, Americans get really upset when any of them get killed.

In order to wage direct war upon Russia, or women and children in tents, or Hezbollah, or Iran, the USIG would have to conscript millions of Americans into its military. This would enrage the American people; it would look like the USIG was waging a regime change operation on itself. It’s not much, but it’s all we’ve got.

John Weeks

John Weeks

John focuses on the application of “Corporate Agent Theory” to the State. He argues that, despite their lack of phenomenal consciousness, states have their own beliefs, desires and intentions. Above all, states desire war.

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