Sunday, August 20, 2006


You know how much I despise the la times. I try not to even look at it. Well today I was hoodwinked. I went to sit down at Starbucks and on the chair was the A-section of the times. On the front page, above the crease, was an article about our war in Vietnam. I didn’t realize we were once again fighting in Vietnam. But no, it was about the 30 year old war, the one John Kerry served in, and the article was a re-hashed hit piece about American “war crimes.” The damn thing went on for two more full pages, maybe 100 column inches in total, about 4,000 words plus pictures.

The article claims there were “300 substantiated atrocities by US forces and 500 unconfirmed allegations.” As usual in an la times hit-piece, the claims lack perspective.

Let’s take a brief look at the Vietnam War. US troops deployed in Vietnam peaked at 543,000 in 1969 and over 2.6 million served there during the war. The US suffered 58,226 killed in action, 153,303 wounded and about 2,300 missing in action. Many Americans were tortured and killed in captivity. Over 97% of the US troops who served in Vietnam were honorably discharged and 91% were proud of their service there. Over 82% (and 75% of US civilians) believed we lost in Vietnam because of lack of political will.

So what does that tell us about the la times story? Let’s accept the 300 cases and even the 500 allegations and round up to say 1000 US soldiers guilty of crimes in Vietnam. Let’s just ignore the brutality of the enemy as a mitigating circumstance. Accepting that there were 1000 guilty US troops out of the 2,600,000 who served in Vietnam works out to a guilty percentage of 0.04%. Let me repeat that. Of the US forces who served in Vietnam, perhaps 0.04 percent were guilty of war crimes. That is an amazingly low percentage.

To appreciate how low, let's compare it to violent crime in the US. During the Vietnam era there were 40-50 violent crimes every year per 1000 adult population. That’s about 4.5% -- which is a lot more that 0.04% (for those of you who went to public schools). And what’s more, the 45 violent crimes per 1000 per year add up to 450 per 1000 accumulated over the 10 years of the war. That’s 45% which is even more greater (LOL) than 0.04%.

But what the la times is doing is no laughing matter. It is a slander and it is despicable! They will do anything, anything at all, to make sure we lose another war.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A while back I got a sales call from the L.A. know the kind where they try to sell you a subscription. I told the sales person that, quote, "I will never subscribe to that rag."

He seemed to be a bit stunned and asked me why. I express some of the same types of sentiments you write here, Bill, and he said "Oh, o.k." I asked him if others were saying the same thing and he told me they were. (Some honesty at the Times.) He softly and politely said thank you and we hung up.

It is DESPICABLE how the L.A. Times writes these trashy stories. There's no other word for it and I think we should not be subscribing to the Times -- talk to them with your pocketbooks because that's the language they will understand.


5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is why we don't subscribe!! They are almost as bad as the NY TIMES.


6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw that article I was equally offended and disgusted.. The LA Times consistently berates this country whenever, and wherever they can. Why the leading article on the front page? I really wonder if they are owned by Al Jazerra. I would not be surprised if it makes front page in the middle east.

I am awaiting an article about the atrocities of our military during WWII and the Korean War. Technically I am a Korean War Veteran, but never saw any action as I went into the Navy a month before it ended.


8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The la times (I won't capitalize the name) and new york times are like two peas in a pod, both have untrustworthy news reporting, not to mention lie through their teeth, no one corrects them, only O'Reilly on his news show. The ny times was caught with faulty reporting and fired the reporter, Jason something, but I think he was just following the paper's SOP.


10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever noticed that the same people who are against the war, but "support our troops," never miss an opportunity to trash the troops?


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I missed this because I NEVER read the LA Slimes. I'm not surprised tho, these kind of stories will come fast and furious now that were getting closer to the Nevember elections.


11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me know when your reply shows up in the Times "letters to the editor" section. No, I'll not hold my breath.


11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More of the same. Bill, do you really think that the LA Times is capable of forcing us to "lose" a war? I mean, come on. How exactly would they do that? President Bush is doing a perfectly good job of losing the Iraq War, and words printed on a newspaper do not lose wars, bad decisions do. Stop blaming the press for the incompetence of this administration.

10:10 AM  

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