To Mr. Wright's article
"Rolling Flatulence: Biker dudes and empire dupes."


To the editor ...

Well it seems you really don't know much about Viet Nam, Mia's Kia's or for that matter motorcycles. You seem to have a problem with "Bikers" in general which leads me to believe the "bikes' you have in your garage never leave the garage if in fact they a really there in the first place. Most "Bikers" 99% to use a figure determined by outlaw clubs are folks that own all types of bikes including Harley's, Oh lets' get into that one I for one have been riding Harleys' for 48 years dang guess that make me a "wanna be "huh. The touring models that I have been riding for the past 22 years are no heavier or bulkier than the other touring bikes on the market they may be a little noisier but hey I people in cages need to hear me keeps me alive.

Now about the real things you were writing about you obviously have had your head up your ass for your entire adult lifetime. Because without the intervention of troops in the two World Wars, Korea, Viet Nam, and now in the Middle East you would not have been able to print the piece you did, as a matter of fact we would probably be under martial law or a communist state where all journalist would have to hide or work for the government in order to survive at all. Of course you would not have thought of that because the men women on the armed services are out there right now putting their lives on the line so you can sit comfortably behind your desk and whimper about a few motorcycles disrupting your day. Well why don't you get your newspaper, magazine or whatever to send you to the middle east where you can cover the troops first hand see what we are actually fighting for and then and only then come back and write something.

People like you have way to much time on your hands all you can do is sit and think of all the things that are wrong with your pathetic little lives, this country was won by soldiers fighting for the right s folks like you to whine and whimper, and the soldiers will continue to fight because they know it is the right thing to do,. War is not a pretty or fashionable thing but at times becomes necessary to keep oppressive regimes from gaining footholds in parts of the world that could create havoc for all of us. Remember all it took was a few governments to let one little dictator have his way in Europe in the early 1930's and before they knew it he was in control. We cannot allow that kind of thing to happen again.

Michael Eubank
August 26, 2010

David T. Wright replies

First, let me clarify something. I don't mean any disrespect to people who ride Harley Davidsons. They're just not my kind of machine. I think you should ride what you enjoy riding. My problem is with people who seem less interested in riding motorcycles than in making a lot of noise and posing as tough guys. A lot of them don't seem to be able to ride very well, either.

That said, I have to disagree with Mr. Eubank's statement that U.S. participation in World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam somehow protected us from invasion. The First World War was a fight among European empires, none of them really much worse than the others, except possibly Russia, which fought on the same side as the United State. Nobody was planning to come and invade America. The United State got involved because Woodrow Wilson wanted to have a say in crafting the peace treaties. He didn't, because he got shoved aside by Britain and France. But U.S. intervention made possible the Treaty of Versailles, which brutalized the German people and set the stage for the rise of Hitler. My grandfather was a decorated veteran of that war, and he didn't think it accomplished much of anything except death and misery. Wilson did get a Nobel Peace Prize out of it for killing hundreds of thousands and preparing the ground for the Second World War, so for him it was all worth it.

World War II didn't accomplish much, either. The Germans didn't want to invade America, and didn't want a war with America. The Japanese didn't either: they were forced to choose between war and slow economic death by Roosevelt's embargo — an act of war in itself. The United State won the war against Germany in alliance with the Soviet Union, the most murderous, vicious dictatorship the world had ever seen. And then the United State turned over half of Europe to that very same evil dictatorship. What a victory for freedom!

As far as Korea and Vietnam go, neither one of them had much to do with our freedom, either, except that thousands of young men were enslaved by the U.S. government to fight them — including my father, who luckily arrived in Korea after the fighting ended. They were local wars of conquest. If North Korea had taken over South Korea, it would have been bad news for the people of South Korea, but it wouldn't have made much difference to us. North Vietnam's victory over the South illustrates my point. Laos and Cambodia also fell — Cambodia because illegal U.S. bombing strengthened the murderous Khmer Rouge — but otherwise the world continued to turn on its axis, and no Soviet armies ever turned up on our shores. Instead, the Soviet Union itself fell, after being bled white fighting and losing a stupid war in, of all places, Afghanistan. Vietnam still has a communist government, but I think it's safe to say that it poses no threat to us.

As for the U.S. wars on the Iraqis and Afghans, I think that if the United State didn't stick its nose into other people's business, it wouldn't have a bunch of Muslims angry at it. It's just a thought.

As former Marine Commandant Smedley Butler said, "War is a racket." It helps politicians get power, it makes certain favored businessmen rich, and it gets a lot of regular people killed.

I find it interesting that Mr. Eubank didn't even mention Sidney Schanberg's allegations that hundreds of U.S. military personnel were betrayed by their own government and left to die in Vietnamese prisons. The real point of my article was that "Rolling Thunder" was originally supposed to be about helping the "Missing In Action," but it doesn't even acknowledge Schanberg's revelations, much less try to get answers about them. That's why I think "Rolling Thunder" is a joke.

August 27, 2010

Henry Gallagher Fields comments

Yes, just imagine! Without the heroic exploits in Indochina of the statesgods Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon, we'd all be speaking Vietnamese now!

August 27, 2010

Nicholas Strakon comments

It's been a while since I've seen an off-hand assertion such as the one in Mr. Eubank's letter that U.S. intervention in the 20th century's first great European civil war had the effect of safeguarding Americans' freedom. But then I no longer read Charles Krauthammer.

Whenever I see that kind of claim about one of Washington's foreign wars, I always want to ask the claimer whether his study of history has really led him to believe that Americans' freedom was as extensive after intervention in the foreign war as it had been before intervention.

In furtherance of such study, I urge Mr. Eubank, and others interested in the World War I period, to consult Thomas Fleming's riveting Illusion of Victory: America in World War I and Walter Karp's revelatory Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars Which Altered Forever the Political Life of the American Republic 1890-1920.

Let me also recommend, and most highly, a review-essay of Karp's book that Mr. Wright wrote for TLD in 1996: "One empire, inexcusable, with war and despotism for all."

For an analysis of wider scope than Fleming's or Karp's, I recommend Robert Higgs's Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. It is truly a modern classic.

August 27, 2010

Nicholas Strakon is editor-in-chief of The Last Ditch.

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