APRIL 30—ANOTHER BUSY DAY IN HISTORY: WHY NOT AN OFFICIAL DAY OF MOURNING STUPIDITY OF WAR AND A DAY OF REFLECTION AND RECONCILIATION?
By Kevin Stoda
Ever since I was a twelve year-old and found myself sitting in a world history classroom and listening to my teacher, a Vietnam helicopter pilot veteran, state with great seriousness that Americans would never forget this date of infamy: “This day, April 30, 1975, will go down in history as the day America lost its first war.”
Naturally, the veteran social studies teacher did quite have his facts right, for example, the USA had high-tailed it out of Nicaragua in 1933 (looking for Sandino) and before that in Mexico (looking for Pancho Villa).
However, selective forgetfulness in teaching, learning, and researching American foreign relations and diplomatic history is obviously a shame.
This is why I suggest that along with September 11, the United States should consider making April 30 a national day of mourning and day of reflection and reconciliation with former enemies and victims of war.
APRIL 30–IN GENERAL
Besides the U.S.A. military abandoning Vietnam on April 30, 1975, the date of April 30 has had other significance for which Americans might wish to reflect. For example, two years earlier, on April 30, 1973, Richard M. Nixon as president of the United States acknowledge his responsibility for what had become known as the “Watergate Scandal”,
Within a 15 months Nixon would no longer be in office. More importantly, much of what happened in terms the abuse of American civil liberties during the Nixon administration (and earlier under J.Edgar Hoover’s leadership of the FBI) also were revealed through linked investigations on the FBI and other national authorities’ abusive and illegal practices over more than a decade.
April 30, 2009 is certainly a good date to commit ourselves as a nation to investigating the Bush (2001-2009) and Clinton (1993-2001) era crimes—if not the Reagan and Bush era crimes of the 1980s and 1990s.
April 30 in 1993 and 1999 saw major violent acts reflecting (1) mislaid jealousies or hate and (2) senseless brutality—both of these tendencies dominate when we review the case of the USA-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
On April 30, 1993, tennis player Monica Seles was a victim on global TV of a stiletto attack.
Seles had been attacked by a mentally instable German—sounds like Adolf Hitler, whose birthday was celebrated by Neo-Nazis a few weeks back. The attacker seemed to desire that Seles lose her title to a German tennis champion, Steffi Graf.
I recall in the run-up to the USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 that many American’s used the mentally unstable arguments that Saddam Hussein was:
(1) going to try and attack or takeover the USA or
(2) going to be killed by George W. Bush because it was claimed that Saddam Hussein had tried to kill George Bush Sr. in the early 1990s when he visited Kuwait .
Other illogical and/or mentally skewed arguments for invading Iraq included the arguments that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9-11 or Al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile on April 30, 1999 in Soho in London , a bar in a gay-neighborhood was the scene of a hate crime. The cowardly and despicable act was the exploding of a nail-filled pipe bomb.
It was the third such nail bomb in London within 3 weeks that April. Dozens were severely injured and crippled that last day of April 1999.
In short, April 30 is certainly an important date to remember various hate and war crimes—as well as crimes stemming from petty jealousies and misunderstanding.
Don’t you think—we need a day to reflect on Big Lies and Errors?
We could also call April 30, REFLECT ON THE BIG-LIES DATE.
When it came to reflecting on the USA ’s part in the Vietnamese civil wars and independence war struggles from the 1950 through the 1970s, there were enough official lies to bring into question any claim by the DOD or U.S.A. federal government agencies for decades.
For example, the was the Gulf of Tonkin lie,
the lies about its weaponry,
and Agent Orange.
IT SHOULD BE EITHER APRIL 30 OR MAY1—SHOULDN’T IT?
Finally, let us not forget that the Big Lie from George W. Bush on May 1, 2003 was in a simple statement: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
Was it a coincidence that the President who took us to wars on lies would be itching to tell a big one on April 30, 2003?
I think not.
The man who did his best to stay out of the Vietnam War himself—a war that one could certainly humbly call a big big big mistake in USA history—had had the Vietnam War on his mind for decades.
If the memory of Vietnam hadn’t hung over George W. Bush’s head (and the heads of Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.) for thirty-plus years, there might have never have been a great desire for the a second American war with Iraq.
Think about it, America . Either Americans should recall either April 30 or May1 every year with as much zeal as Memorial Day is focused on. How else can we learn and educate future generation OF YOUNG AMERICANS not to do such stupid and evil things?