Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mutual Appriciation

I've reached the part of It Doesn't Take A Hero where Schwarzkopf is back to the US and expresses his experience and the reaction of American citizens. He says:

... I climbed in to a taxi. Wearing my uniform with all my ribbons and my Vietnamese airborne beret, I kept waiting for the driver to make a big fuss and exclaim " Hey! You're just back from Vietnam, aren't you! " Nothing. So I fed him hints like " Gee, I haven't seen Newark for a while. " But he dropped me at my mother's place with scarcely a word.

Or in again he says in another part:

... After two days I wanted to run through the streets yelling, " Hey! In Vietnam people are Dying! Americans are dying! How can you act like nothing is happening? "

I remember years ago when I was reading Oriana Fallaci's books about Vietnam War, Nothing and So Be It, She expressed the same feeling. When she was back to Florence, her hometown in Italy and visited a few people:
When she was to her neighborhood pharmacy, the clerk says: Oh! Is that you? I thought I've lost a good customer! She replies: No! I was in Vietnam. The clerk reacts: Oh! That's sad!
And that was all!
Or somewhere else when she says that she was just back from Vietnam the person asks: How was the weather out there?!
I guess we had almost the same feeling during the 8 year Iran-Iraq war until the enemy started bombing our city and firing ground-to-ground missiles. But there was a difference. People were being propagated by TV and the other media about war but seemed even that one didn't help the government much. Although many young people were brain-washed or tempted by the benefits they would receive if they are back from the war or the ones their families would receive if they get killed during the combat.
(Photo: Young Oriana Fallaci in military uniform)

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