Every now and then you come across someone whose convoluted thought process is so twisted by their political ideology there is no hope for them. Rick Perlstein, a national correspondent for The Washington Spectator, has proved, once again, that liberalism is a mental disorder. He also proved that he is, without a doubt, one of the most ungrateful free persons on earth, dedicated to a mind-boggling disregard for the people who have provided him the very freedom by which he earns his living as a writer.Apparently trying to cash in on the “racist flag” insanity that spread across the nation earlier in July, Mr. Perlstein needed a new slant to an old story. Rather than championing a movement to rid the globe of the ISIS flag, or the Nazi flag, or the flag of North Korea, Mr. Perlstein has decided that the MIA/POW flag was created by Richard Nixon “in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam” and had nothing or little to do with actual real prisoners of war and their families. In fact, he boldly declares that its only usefulness is “to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage.” He proudly proclaims, “it’s past time to pull it down.”
As with so many liberals like Mr. Perlstein, I didn’t have to read his bio to figure out he didn’t serve in the military. And as with so many liberals who are full of a. BS and b. criticism of the United States, he is the product of higher education in the city of Chicago. His higher education and vast life experiences have led him to believe that the POW/MIA flag is a “racist” symbol, created by a politician who needed to prop up an unpopular war.Like so many liberals, he is apparently unable to separate the war from the warrior and cannot fathom the fact that patriots enlist to defend the freedoms he so casually enjoys, but they don’t get to pick the war. I don’t think the truth matters to Mr. Perlstein. I don’t think the suffering of American POWs matters to Mr. Perlstein. I think the only thing that does matter is the irrational “blaming America” hatred of someone who sees starvation, beatings, neglect, and torture of American POWs as the equivalent of putting a pair of underpants on the head of a terrorist at Gitmo.
I’m going to let Mr. Perlstein try to explain his own inexplicable ramblings:“…cultural historian H. Bruce Franklin has documented, with an opportunistic shift in terminology. Downed pilots whose bodies were not recovered—which, in the dense jungle of a place like Vietnam meant most pilots—had once been classified “Killed in Action/Body Unrecovered.” During the Nixon years, the Pentagon moved them into a newly invented “Missing in Action” column. That proved convenient, for, after years of playing down the existence of American prisoners in Vietnam, in 1969, the new president suddenly decided to play them up. He declared their treatment, and the enemy’s refusal to provide a list of their names, violations of the Geneva Conventions—the better to paint the North Vietnamese as uniquely cruel and inhumane. He also demanded the release of American prisoners as a precondition to ending the war.”
Mr. Perlstein didn’t agree with the demands that our POWs be released. I guess none of Mr. Perlstein’s relatives were being held captive in the Hanoi Hilton. He said it was &^%$ “because in every other conflict in human history, the release of prisoners had been something settled at the close of a war; second, because these prisoners only existed because of America’s antecedent violations of the Geneva Conventions in bombing civilians in an undeclared war; and third, because, as bad as their torture of prisoners was, rather than representing some species of Oriental despotism, the Vietnam Communists were only borrowing techniques practiced on them by their French colonists (and incidentally paid forward by us in places like Abu Ghraib)…”
Mr. Perlstein seems almost irate that the POW/MIA issue was brought to the attention of the American public. He laments,Children began wearing “POW bracelets,” drivers sported “POWs NEVER HAVE A NICE DAY” bumper stickers. As the late Jonathan Schell of The New Yorker memorably wrote during the war, the Americans were acting “as though the North Vietnamese had kidnapped 400 Americans and the United States had gone to war to retrieve them.” Actually, it was worse: whenever Nixon or one of his minions talked about the problem, they tended to use the number 1,400. The number of actual prisoners, was about 550. The number of downed, missing pilots were spoken of, prima facia, as if they were missing, too, although almost all of them were certainly dead.”
Mr. Perlstein, granted I’m not a graduate of Chicago University. But I’m smart enough to know that I only enjoy freedom today because of the system of governance laid out by our Founding Fathers, and because patriots, throughout our history, have been willing to sacrifice life and limb to assure the continuance of those liberties. It is decent and right and just that we should recognize their suffering and sacrifices on our behalf. The POW/MIA flag is one way to remind the American public that thousands of families in America have an empty place at the dinner table so that you can publish your America-bashing rubbish, if you must.
I challenge you to read James Hirsch’s book Two Souls Indivisible and then explain to me that the hundreds of American POWs who lived through hellish captivity don’t deserve a flag to honor their sacrifices. But don’t read that book without a box of Kleenex because when you’re done, you’ll be ashamed of what you wrote, unless your hatred of America surpasses your love of liberty…in which case you are beyond hope.
Either way, that flag’s not coming down and it never will, because some of us are teaching our children to acknowledge the greatness of liberty and those who safeguard it.[Note: This article was written by Ashley Edwardson]