Thursday, August 20, 2009

Re-enacting the Vietnam War...the stupidist thing I ever heard of!

By Dave Stancliff
It’s never
made any sense to me why someone would want to re-enact a battle, or a war.
War is not something to be proud of. It means that all chances of reasoning have failed. It means that innocent civilians have been killed. It means that soldiers on both sides are killed, or maimed for life physically or mentally.
War is chaos. Normal ways of thinking have to be modified so that a person can survive. Killing others before they kill you helps justify your actions. The instinct to survive is strong, and people will often do things that they would never have considered before. Like kill women and children.
When I read an article about military enthusiasts re-enacting the Vietnam War I was stunned. I’ve known for a long time that re-enactors having been doing the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and even the Spanish-American War. But Vietnam?
I suppose I can see the public’s interest in watching battles that happened over 100 years ago. What people wore, ate, and types of weaponry, is somewhat of a history lesson. But when the guns and cannons blaze and the re-enactors start falling in mock death, the whole thing becomes strange to me.
Is this a celebration of death? Is this really a history lesson, or just a chance for a bunch of guys and gals to dress up in period costumes and pretend to kill each other? There’s a general blood lust that lurks in crowds when scenes of violence are glorified. Secret desires to see what it would be like to kill another person stalks many viewers.
The ancient Romans were known for their bloodlust. Emperor’s had to satisfy the public by giving them gore masquerading as entertainment. There were no re-enactors in those days. Slaughter and mayhem were part of their normal lives.
America today reflects those bloody values in our sports and love for war. With the addition of mixed-martial-arts for both sexes, we see people "nearly" killed everyday. Little or no rules apply. Like the gladiators of old, we hold up our violent sport stars like idols, and worship them slavishly.
There’s no winners in war. In the end it’s just a feast for the grim reaper. We live with wars raging around the world in this new millennium, very much like the ancient Romans. Imperialism is alive and well in the USA.
I can’t imagine people watching a representation of a war that only ended 30 years ago. There’s thousands of survivors from both sides still dealing with the physical and emotional damage from that nasty little undeclared war. It’s not like seeing crude weapons from another era. Their still with us today.
The clothing that the Vietnamese survivors wear today is the same they’ve worn for centuries. The American veterans clothes from that era is also practically the same. There’s not much to be learned from that, is there?
So why the hell do people want to re-enact a shameful period of our history when we bullied another country for no good reason? We all know that for sure now. There’s no excuses to say what we did was righteous. It was wrong. All the more reason not to glorify it with some outdoor theater of the absurd.
The re-enactors will tell you it’s history and that they are honoring those that fought and died there. As far as I’m, concerned that’s bullshit! You don’t honor anyone by playing war games. What’s really happening is just another excuse to glorify war. And there’s always those folks who wished they had been in the military and now they have a chance to pretend they are.
Some of them might have been in the military but never saw action, and the opportunity to realize their dreams of killing becomes closer to reality. What’s next? Are re-enactors going to be doing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before they even end?
Or, will they wait for a couple of decades and then re-enact our shameful grab for oil from those two nations?
As It Stands, war will always be wrong, regardless of how it’s portrayed.


Tom Holloway said...


Carl Hand-up said...

Its sad but true...

Vietnam War in games
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Vietnam War has been depicted in many games.

Video Games
Many developers have avoided the Vietnam war.[citation needed] However, a few games have been released and sold.

Battlefield Vietnam
Conflict: Vietnam
Lost Patrol
Men of Valor
Platoon (video game)
Rambo (1985 video game)
Rambo (video game)
Shellshock: Nam '67
Shellshock 2: Blood Trails

[edit] Traditional wargames
There have been a number of attempts at tabletop simulation of the Vietnam war. A few examples are.

Year of the Rat - Vietnam, 1972(1972) Published By SPI. simulation of the 13 weeks of the Communist Offensive in the Spring of 1972.
Operation Pegasus(1980) Published By Task Force Games. A game simulating the campaign to break the siege of Khe Sahn during the Vietnam War in 1968.
Defiance: The Battle of Xuan Loc(1980) Published By Swedish Game Production. A simulation of The Battle of Xuan Loc (11 April 1975).
No Trumpets No Drums(1982) Published By World Wide Wargames (3W). Operational level game simulating the whole of Americas ground combat role (1965-1975).
Vietnam 1965-1975(1984) Published By Victory Games Batalion level game simulating the whole of Americas ground combat role (1965-1975).
Tet '68(1992) Published By XTR Corp. A simulation of the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam.
Winged Horse: Campaigns in Vietnam, 1965-66(2006) Published By Decision Games. a simulation of the critical fighting that marked the first months after massive conventional US intervention into conflict. An expansion was also produced to cover the war up to 1975.

[edit] Computer wargames
The Vietnam war is beginning to get treatment in the field of computer wargames.

Squad Battles: Vietnam, (2006) Published By HPS Games
Air Assault Task Force, (2008, contains one Vietnam campaign) Published By ProSIM Company
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Vietnam War

Tom Holloway said...

This particular post has been sitting heavily on my mind since I first read it and find my earlier commeny, "amen", inadequate to express the way I feel.
I understand the need to review historic events. But Vietnam?????
That would have been like re-enactimg the Civi War in 1895!! The last veteran of that war passed away in 1959. After his death there was no one left to tell of the horrors of that war, so out come the historians and the re-enacters. Necessary? I'm sure there are those who would say yes. As for me? I don't know.
The Civil War was unique in that, it was fought by Americans on both sides. Besides abolishing slavery it made the United States a more complete nation. Before the war, the states were independent of each other. The United States was even referred to in the plural form "are". After the war we became unified as one nation, there after referred to as "is". Singulat. One nation.
Proving that the Civil War had a positive outcome.
There was nothing positive about Vietnam. I am ashamed to admit that originally, I was one of those active duty military Vietnam War wannabes that you refer to. That is until I observed the effects the war had on my friends and family that did fight. They have never been the same. Nor has our country or the men and women that man the bridge of leadership. The quality of leaders in the White House and the men and women in Congress are not the quality that this country needs and deserves. We have become a nation of game platers and role players.
If we have learned one thing from war it is; it really can make a lot of money.
Isn't that really cool boys and girls????

As you said Dave, "So why the hell do people want to re-enact a shameful period of our history when we bullied another country for no good reason? We all know that for sure now. There’s no excuses to say what we did was righteous. It was wrong. All the more reason not to glorify it with some outdoor theater of the absurd".

So, Lets keep those games going, be it on your computer, game boy, Xbox, TV, or the green hills of home, because when the games are over we can grab a shower, wash the blood away,have a warm meal and snuggle up for a good night's sleep. You know just like they did in Vietnam. Nothing beats realizm!!

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...