“First they came for the Confederate flag, and I did not protest, because I was not a Southerner…”
The problem with continually caving to whatever absurd cause-du-jour favored by liberals that week is that the relenting by conservatives only serves to embolden other leftist crusaders. I challenge any reader to cite a time in recent history where liberals crusaded for a cause, won, and then sat by, content in their victory.
On the issue of the Second Amendment, we heard for decades that we needed background checks. When the left received their unconstitutional background check provisions, they need more background checks and more-thorough background checks. They need bans and mental health stipulations and elimination of “high-capacity” magazines.
They never stop.
After the Charleston shooting, the left went crazy over the flag that had been flaying for 150 years. Demanding that they could not tolerate it one single day longer, liberals clamored for a banning of the Confederate Flag both in public and private affairs.
Any who understood the liberal mindset cautioned that it would set a dangerous precedent to set a new standard for eliminating anything that could possibly offend someone. Still, RINOs like South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham worked feverishly to try and “out-liberal” each other to appease the ceaseless cries for the flag’s removal.
The flag came down, Southern history was spat upon and the PC bloodlust did not abate.
Now, liberals are setting their sights on another “racist” flag that must come down so as to not offend anyone: the POW/MIA flag.
In an op-ed penned for the Washington Spectator and reprinted in Newsweek, Rick Perlstein opines that the flag honoring our prisoners of war is, somehow, inappropriate as it is a justification for the Vietnam War. Perlstein’s rantings and unabashed anti-American sentiment is not only truly shocking, but a stark representation of the kind of radical leftwing lunacy that is given credence in these times where fanatical liberalism dominates the Democrat Party.
It began, as cultural historian H. Bruce Franklin has documented, with an opportunistic shift in terminology. Downed pilots whose bodies were not recovered—which, in the dense jungle of a place like Vietnam meant most pilots—had once been classified “Killed in Action/Body Unrecovered.” During the Nixon years, the Pentagon moved them into a newly invented “Missing in Action” column. That proved convenient, for, after years of playing down the existence of American prisoners in Vietnam, in 1969, the new president suddenly decided to play them up. He declared their treatment, and the enemy’s refusal to provide a list of their names, violations of the Geneva Conventions—the better to paint the North Vietnamese as uniquely cruel and inhumane. He also demanded the release of American prisoners as a precondition to ending the war.
This was bullshit four times over: first, because in every other conflict in human history, the release of prisoners had been something settled at the close of a war; second, because these prisoners only existed because of America’s antecedent violations of the Geneva Conventions in bombing civilians in an undeclared war; and third, because, as bad as their torture of prisoners was, rather than representing some species of Oriental despotism, the Vietnam Communists were only borrowing techniques practiced on them by their French colonists (and incidentally paid forward by us in places like Abu Ghraib): see this as-told-to memoir by POW and future senator Jeremiah Denton.
And finally, our South Vietnamese allies’ treatment of their prisoners, who lived manacled to the floors in crippling underground bamboo “tiger cages” in prison camps built by us, was far worse than the torture our personnel suffered. (Time magazine quoted one South Vietnamese official who was confronted with stories of released prisoners moving “like crabs, skittering across the floor on buttocks and palms,” and responded with incredulity that such survivors even existed: “No one ever comes from the tiger cages alive.”)..
[The POW flag] memorializes Americans as the preeminent victims of the Vietnam War, a notion seared into the nation’s visual unconscious by the Oscar-nominated 1978 film The Deer Hunter, which depicts acts of sadism, which were documented to have been carried out by our South Vietnamese allies, as acts committed by our North Vietnamese enemies, including the famous scene pictured on The Deer Hunter poster: a pistol pointed at the American prisoner’s head at exactly the same angle of the gun in the famous photograph of the summary execution in the middle of the street of an alleged Communist spy by a South Vietnamese official…
That damned flag: it’s a shroud. It smothers the complexity, the reality, of what really happened in Vietnam.
We’ve come to our senses about that other banner of lies. It’s time to do the same with this.
Every political ideology has its whack-jobs. If I had opined that aliens had kidnapped Elvis as a means of bringing on the New World Order in accordance with the Bilderbergs’ and Illuminati’s wishes, I would hope someone would have the good sense to relegate such nonsensical ramblings to the depths of the nearest trashcan- not elevate it to any level of seriousness by publishing it in Newsweek, a once-serious news publication.
Still Perlstein’s absurd diatribe offers a silver-lining; we can now clearly see that folding to political correctness offers society nothing of value but only serves to embolden the next obnoxious and absurd crusade.
At this point, the mistakes being made on a cultural level are every bit as damaging as the mistakes being made on a policy level on Capitol Hill. We are not merely a government in decline, but a culture in decline as well and we must work to reverse course before it is too late.