Penn. Museum Reenacts Scenes from Vietnam War

By Guest Columnist Aug 21, 2009

By Steven Low Attention all Asians: Avoid Pennsylvania. Last month, white men in Boalsburg, PA—military enthusiasts—orchestrated a public display of “hide and seek” or what Vietnamese people during the 60s and 70s may have observed: the indiscriminate mass murder of their people and the raping of girls. I guess in the age of political correctness we should say, the Vietnam War. Alpha Company, as they call themselves, which is comprised mostly of men who never served in the Vietnam War, actors reenacted a scene from the Vietnam War: a patrol into Viet Cong, controlled territory. Why? To celebrate the bravery of Vietnam vets. Vets like John McCain who displayed his courage by dropping bombs on men, women and children from 30,000 feet in the air. You’re a real bad ass, John. Push them buttons on people you can’t see. The show comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Military Museum. I don’t suppose there are many Vietnamese or other Asian Americans to play the part of the gooks, or “bad guys” as reported in the Associated Press story. Maybe the few Vietnam vets who participate in these reenactments could bring to Boalsburg, PA for a couple of days all the children they sired while they were soldiers in Vietnam. I’m sure there’s enough offspring to create two “bad guy” armies. Introductions could go something like this: "So Gook Number 38, I mean whatever your name is, how’s your mother, whatever her name is. Oops, I don’t speak Vietnamese… So Gook Number 39…” Everyone would be happy. Vietnam vets would get quality time with their offspring, the offspring would get a field trip to Boalsburg and Alpha Company would get to play war with authentic “bad guys.” Then, at the end of the day everyone would have a slice of pizza at the Walmart food court and the offspring would be sent home. The offspring could stay an extra day, but they wouldn’t want to miss their next physical therapy session, as Agent Orange made sure some of them came out of their mother’s womb with missing limbs. The defoliant is responsible for 500,000 birth defects in Vietnam and 400,000 deaths and disabilities. Or the mixed-race offspring of American vets could start their own war reenactments in their homeland. The scene: Unnamed village vs. US Army. People could attach bananas to the end of sticks and reenact the bayoneting of the elderly. Ten-year-old girls could get on their backs in the dirt and reenact being raped just like their mothers many years before. The entire village could get into a long line, while boys in blond wigs reenact shooting them down into a ditch. People could fly over and drop water balloons and reenact the vaporizing of entire families and the poisoning of future generations. Doesn’t it sound fun? As military enthusiast Tom Gray said in Pennsylvania: We should honor these people. "We do it to honor these guys and to tell them, ‘You weren’t forgotten,’ to tell them it [Vietnam War] wasn’t always negative." In the 1960s, the U.S. Army was matched up against a peasant army, who, unless a bunch of them swam across the ocean with dynamite on their back, posed zero threat to the American homeland. The Vietnamese took the U.S. bombers, the aircraft carriers, the guns and napalm and shoved them up the U.S. Army’s ass. Yet, in the morally degenerate fantasy land of Alpha Company and politicians and intellectuals who romanticize and/or rewrite the past, they pretend something else. They exchange horror for honor. They fantasize that white power, misogyny, state power, and the siren drone of inhumanity did not combine to extinguish the lives of millions of Vietnamese. They focus on the valor or brutality of individual soldiers, whose skin color and/or class status many times awards them the opportunity to become canon fodder for “their” country. The vapid rhetoric of freedom and democracy helps to cloak the real crime scenes: The White House, the corporate board rooms and the floor of Congress.