At holiday dinners on the South Shore my older brother liked to tell a story about my protesting against the Viet-Nam War. His wife is a big GOP supporter. America can do no wrong for the both of them. Several Thanksgivings ago he finished cutting the turkey with his electric knife and said, "One afternoon in my sophomore year at BC, I was entering the commons and a group of anti-war demonstrators were lying on the ground pretending to be dead Vietnamese. I looked down and there’s my long-haired hippie brother. I said ‘hi’ and I stepped over him.”
"It was 1970." I had not stopped my opposition to America's wars.
"And the war kept going until 1975." He believed in victory at any price.
"And I cheered Ho Chi Minh the day Sai-gon fell." I lifted my raised fist.
My sister intervened before the confrontation devolved into a food fight. He later apologized for winding me up and I accepted his sorry matched by one of my own. We were best friends, but I’ve been psychologically scarred each time my older brother told this tale.
Partially since I can’t recall the incident and somewhat hurt that he would not join me.
My pain was nothing in comparison to the suffering of Agent Orange victims denied health care by the Pentagon or the parents of Vietnamese infants deformed by the Dow Chemical product, but the pain endured, especially as my efforts were not rewarded with true peace.
Instead Le Doc Tho and Henry Kissinger negotiated a faux peace and the war continued to its inevitable end ie the fall of the corrupt Saigon government.
Undeterred by my defeat I have protested against every US incursion and war since my conversion to anti-violence in 1968. This pacific attitude was strictly relegated against the military-industrial complex, for I’ve always liked a good fight. even into my ^0s.
Still my stance against the wars of this country has led to my campaign aimed at establishing a pension for long-time anti-war activist.
My letters to the White House were ignored during the Bush years. Father and son. Clinton’s staff never returned an answer too. My petition was as popular with the Obama administration as a parole request from Leonard Peltier, the AIM activist sentenced to life for the cold-blooded murder of 2 FBI agents.
I’m not asking for much.
Just enough to allow my living in Thailand.
A mere $2000/month pension.
Saying it a million times has to be worth something.