Article Overview:   Twenty-one years ago today the Vietnam Wall Memorial was dedicated.  Today, the Beast of Terror sits atop it, chewing on it like a hungry vulture, waiting to consume it with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Find out why.


Monday--November 10, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 789
Is The Beast Of Terror Ripping The Heart From The Vietnam Wall Memorial?
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Nov. 10, 2003-- Today, I suffer the wounds of the Beast of Terror.

The Beast of Terror is preparing to rip the heart from the Vietnam Wall Memorial

     He sits on a hill looking down, licking the blood off his claws, munching on the decayed pieces of flesh dangling from his fangs. I think he's preparing to rip the heart from the Vietnam Wall Memorial.  It's a vulturesque thing to do.
      It is a day of infamy for me--a tribute of sorts to a victory by the Beast of Terror over nearly 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam, and the estimated 2 million Vietnamese killed during a war most Americans would like to forget.
      Today is the 21st Anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial.    It also happens to be my military alma matter's birthday, the launching of the U.S. Marine Corps.
      On November 10, 1982, President Ronald Reagan said the following when he dedicated the Vietnam Wall.  His words are ironic today:  ''The tragedy was that they were asked to fight and die for a cause that their country was unwilling to win."
      He was right.

Ronald Reagan dedicated the Vietnam Wall on November 10, 1982

      Frighteningly, his words foreshadow the current dangers of Iraq.
      Today, there is a growing thirst among our politicians to rip and shred apart the conduct and value of the war in Iraq.  Their ultimate goal is to debase the reason we fought in Iraq in the first place.  Their goal is to garner votes by turning Iraq into a Vietnam--a war ill planned, ill executed and unwinnable.   If they are successful, the victor will not be them but instead, the Beast of Terror.  The loser will be all the Sentinels of Vigilance within the Vietnam Wall Memorial, and all the children of all the nations of the world.
      The clatter of Voices hurling invectives against the current Administration are not unlike hand grenades being passed out by truckloads to the guerrillas in Iraq.  The anti-American forces in Iraq seek to wash away America's resolve to right Iraq on democratic legs and shore up its ability to sustain freedom in the face of constant tyranny and oppression.  They want to return to rule by oppression, whether that be political, economic, religious or military.

Today is the 21st Anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial

        The more Americans who join the anti-post-war parade, the more fuel is poured down the gullet of the Beast of Terror.   He thrives on Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--the Triads of Terrorism.  Gallons of dissent are being bucketed down the Beast's gullet each time the politicians body slam America's presence and mistakes in Iraq.   The Beast is being fattened by our own selfish leaders seeking to cripple and maim the mission of rooting out and destroying the Beast of Terror.
       The vultures of politics have no memory.   They forget that the "enemy" thrives on discord, revels in discontent, and flourishes in a sea of Complacency.  They forget his power is fired by back-biting and acrimonious attitudes toward a mission of neutralizing Terrorism at the price of American lives, and that each life we give adds to the death of Terrorism rather than increases it.   Our willingness to die for a stranger's freedom frightens the Beast.   He cannot fathom it.
       But the attacks continue, and will continue as the selfish pursuit for discontent voters drives "vulture politics" to abandon the warning President Reagan issued twenty-one years ago.
       I remember well the first such attacks upon the moral undercoating of our presence in Vietnam.  I landed with the First Marine Division in 1964 and was among the first wave of U.S. Marine Combat Correspondents to report the war.

On one side, I was a killing machine and on the other, I was a writer

         I had a split personality.   On the one side I was a trained Marine--trained to kill the enemy without question or hesitation; my second side was that of the poet, the scribe, the writer, the reporter duty-bound to put pen and ink into motion to capture the essence of war, both its beauty and brutality.
      There were times when I both cheered and cried, when I was brimming with pathos and ethos simultaneously, when my primal instincts to kill and maim and rip and shred collided with my compassion to throw my body between those being tortured to death in some futile attempt to stop the degradation of life that turned us all into our own Beasts of Terror.
       War is the ugliest of all plays an actor can perform, for it provides a license within the soul to kill without guilt, shame, remorse or moral liability.    That's why in sentencing of convicted criminals, especially murderers, the courts insist the convicted person spell out the nature of his or her crime, and offer any remorse.
       It's a time when the world has an opportunity to hear the human escape the claws of the Beast.
       Religion also offers that right.   Deathbed confessions provide the dying the opportunity to be sorrowful for a life of pain and anguish inflicted upon others--if for no other reason than to allow punctuation to us all that we, no matter how bad we think we are or how ugly we might be viewed by others--that we might recant the Beast of Terror, might resign our horrid natures and embrace humanity's values rather than those of selfishness and self-service.
       War, unfortunately, brings out our worst natures.  It also forces us to see our best.   The Vietnam Wall is a juxtaposition of both.

The Vietnam Wall is about death looking upon life

        The Vietnam Wall is not just about the nearly 58,000 Americans who died in the longest ill-fought war in American history.  It is also about the estimated two million Vietnamese who died along with our own.   It is about death looking upon life and sharing a message with us about the future, spoken from the souls of the parted, from the mouths of Sentinels of Vigilance whose deaths remind us we have much yet to learn about living.   It is also about the 40 million people who have come to Washington to view its inscriptions.
       On the darker side, the Wall stands symbolic of our Fear, Intimidation and Complacency as a nation to finish what we started.  It is a granite Wall of Shame of sorts, for the souls within it are not shameful that they went there and died, but rather shameful because we gave up before we completed our task, that we retreated, capitulated.   The Wall of Shame I speak of it comes not from within the Wall, from its souls trapped there, but in the reflection of the polished marble of the living who use the Wall as a political tool to berate our mission as the Sentinels of Vigilance; those who point fingers at the names and shout:  "See, all these deaths were a waste.   America sucks.   War is bad."

Some may call the Vietnam Wall a symbol of our national failure

      In keeping with the "good and bad" of the Vietnam Memorial, the Wall stands not just as a tribute to our warriors, but as a symbol of our national failure.   Some may call it a monument to the Beast of Terror--a sad place where one walks in the shadow of senseless death.  Others say the monument is a place where we must take a lesson, for they see the Wall as a roost, a place where the Beast of Terror sits like a vulture laughing, reminding us all that he will win each and every war the day we give up expending the price of freedom.   That price is the willingness to die for the protection of the Children's Children's Children.  It is the willingness to sacrifice our lives as Sentinels of Vigilance to defeat the Beast of Terror.

I fear our politicians have given up on the price of freedom

       Our politicians, I fear, have given up on the price of freedom and favor the use of American blood to win votes.   They attack our role in Iraq by lambasting the Administration and finding fault with our mission.    Each attack fuels the Beast of Terror, now residing most prominently in Iraq.   Each new or old critique urges another guerrilla to shoot down another helicopter, to blow up another enclave, to snipe at another U.S. soldier.   Guerrilla wars are wars of attrition, wearing the enemy down a death at a time, a headline at a time, until Courage is replaced by Fear, Intimidation dominates Conviction, and Complacency smothers Right Actions for future generations.
        America's stomach for death to achieve liberty has weakened over the years. Inversely, the power of the Beast of Terror has grown.   Sixty years ago, our entire nation was willing to die so freedom could be achieved in Europe.  Today, a slim few offer their lives in Iraq while hoards sit on the bleachers watching, waiting for the next opinion poll to decide whether they are more pro or con sticking it out in Iraq.  

Is America a Nation of Vigilance warring on Iraq?

       We are no longer a nation of Sentinels of Vigilance.  That is, we may start out that way as we did when we launched our attack on Iraq, but, we turn into mini Beasts of Terror, gnawing at our own children's security as we find ourselves unwilling to complete what we start because the "cost" of Vigilance becomes too high.  The $87 billion to build Iraq becomes onerous.  The deadly attacks on our helicopters splays our warriors' blood on our television screen.  The Saving Jessica Lynch movie crumbles our credibility in government's truths because we question the mixed messages between the "truth" and "fiction"   We exhale acid on our Vigilance Mission.
      Perhaps the last time in modern history we were truly a Nation of Vigilance was during World War II when nearly every able bodied man and many thousands of women rushed to enlist.    Back at home,  women filled the halls of factories, Rosie the Riveter, became the backbone of democracy.
         We died so others could be free, without much question.

Read the real truth about Jessica Lynch as contrasted with the TV show "The Saving of Jessica Lynch"

           The Korean War, although not lost, was a stalemate of sorts.  It divided a country in half and made victory into compromise.  That compromise, hallmarked by the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, democracy and tyranny, may have launched the groundwork for our failure in Vietnam.    By the time Vietnam came around, the Beast of Terror had taken a firm footing in America's psyche of "Complacent War."   By then, the Beast of Terror infiltrated our politics and our social thinking, feeding us endless entrees of Complacency, Fear, Intimidation that took shape ranging from protest marches to arrogant, blind leadership blunders that eventually caused our retreat from Vietnam, our abandonment of the Principles of Vigilance.
         Now, Iraq looms.
         I feel the ominous presence of the Beast of Terror's shadow upon our nation.  I hear his teeth gnashing.    He is patting all the politicians on the back who attack America's role in Iraq.   He urges them to spew more venom at the Administration, to find more flaws, to force more Americans to question our role and the leadership directing our efforts to bring freedom and democracy to a land that has been a core of oppression and tyranny.

I hear the screams of my comrades locked inside the Wall crying "Cliff........don't give up"

         Oh, how easy it would be for me to think that by retreating from Iraq we might gain some victory over the Beast--but then I hear the screams of my comrades locked inside the Wall.
          I hear my buddy, the Catholic priest who won the Congressional Medal of Honor, shouting at me:  "Cliff--don't....don't give up.   We are the Sentinels of Vigilance not the Victims.   Don't let our deaths go again.   It is time to stand up.   The Beast won before.  Not again."
           I hear another buddy, Vic Paine, crying out.  "Hey, Cliff...don't let Fear, Intimidation and Complacency eat out the guts of America's role in Iraq.  We are trapped in this monument.  You are free to speak and shout.   Remind the world we are in Iraq to fight the Beast of Terror.    If we all die to protect the Children's Children's Children from Fear, Intimidation and Complacency, then it's worth all the blood.    But to turn and walk away--no, Cliff.  Please?  For Vic, no, don't let it happen."

The two million Vietnamese who died live in the Wall are Silent Sentinels of Vigilance

      There are a lot more Voices ringing in my ears, including the two million Vietnamese who suffered death along with our own.   They live in the Wall too, but their names are not etched there.  They are the Silent Sentinels of Vigilance, the unseen who hold hands with the seen, the unknown who have bonded with the known in the panels.    I know they died for their Children's Children's Children's freedom just as our own warriors did, even though the world may call them "victims of war."  No, they are much more.  They are Sentinels of Vigilance, just as much as those who died in the World Trade Center were.
           In the end, all of us who die for our Children's right to evolve are Sentinels of Vigilance, even if we give our lives without a gun in our hands.  The holocaust victims are examples of such Vigilance, so are all "casualties of war."  
           No parent wants his or her child to grow up in a world full of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  No parent in any sector of the world, in any era of history, from any culture, wants his or her children to become slaves to tyranny and oppression, to be limited by their birth or religion or economic status or lack of education and be forced to forever remain in servitude to ignorance or poverty.
         Were this true, I would advocate turning my back on Iraq, for I would know without the Parents of Vigilance support, their children's futures were hopeless.       

The door to freedom for Iraqi children is open

       Parents, however, want things better for their children.   They want their offspring to have a world better than theirs, and, at the moment, the people in Iraq have the chance to achieve such a goal.  The door to freedom for their children is open.
        The Beast of Terror doesn't like that.  He wants to slam that door.  He wants all children to live in the dark, frightening coffin of his tyranny, to be fed the Fear of Others, to learn Intimidation of Life and to resign themselves into the Ruts of Complacency that they will never escape.
        The Vietnam Wall is bursting with the Souls of Sentinels who died so that others may be free.    Critics who laugh at this are Beast of Terror Clones, for they denigrate the purpose of "just wars."   Just wars seek to free the people from the bonds of oppression and tyranny--from those restraints that prohibit a child from evolving on his or her own merit, on paths chosen by election rather than edict.
        In lands where leadership denies the rights of its citizens to evolve freely, the Beast of Terror rules the children.   It is not unlike allowing a Child Abuser to baby-sit them, for the greatest of all abuse to a child is the suppression of the child's will and dreams, the suffocation of the child's right to blossom and grow in whichever direction it desires.

Young Iraqi girl freed from oppression dancing is pictured in Time Magazine

      Wading through the media reports about the horrible conflicts in Iraq that take American and civilian lives, one can find the real truth of Iraq.   In last week's Time Magazine there is picture of a young girl dancing.   She was freed from the oppression of having to seek permission to get married from a state that approved that right or disapproved it.   
       It was a small picture, hidden amidst a bloody, stomach-churning array of photos illustrating war's horrid face, but it was the essence of the mission in Iraq, and, the one in Vietnam.
       Anyone who thinks we lost the war in Vietnam only needs to talk to a Vietnamese who escaped that country and came to the United States.   They will tell you, and most likely show you, the true effects of freedom.
      So many Vietnamese in America today own their own businesses, are doctors, lawyers, professionals because they have taken the freedom to evolve and blossomed.
      The Vietnam Wall is more than just a slab of granite.   It is a listening post.  The thousands of Americans and millions of Vietnamese souls who reside side-by-side inside the tightly packed molecules are today in harmony over one vital and significant point--the rights of the children override the rights of the parents, the rights of society, the rights of the politicians, the rights of the Beast of Terror.
      The Vietnamese-Americans here in this country represent what the children of Vietnam can have, and, hopefully, will have, over time.
      The Iraqi's here in America who left their country to enjoy the benefits of freedom have tasted its greatness.    They know better than any one on earth why America should not leave Iraq.
      South Koreans know why Americans should not leave Iraq, for had America left Korea after that war, they would be boiling grass to feed their children as their brothers and sisters do to the north.

I hear the clamor in the Vietnam Wall Memorial

       I hear the clamor in the Vietnam Wall Memorial.
      I hear the shouts and screams of all those Sentinels of Vigilance within trying to be heard above the din of political assassins, over the sneak attacks and ambushes of political carnivores seeking to rip and shred and disembowel America's role in Iraq.
      If the Voices of the Sentinels of Vigilance are muffled, the Beast of Terror will again win an ugly victory.  America will retreat from Iraq amidst the bludgeoning of self-serving politicians and blind-eyed media messages seeking to find wrong out of right.
      When and if that happens, the names etched on the Vietnam Wall will bleed red.  They will have died again at the hands of their own people.
       I pray that will not happen.

Nov 6-9--Why TechnoTerrorism Didn't Kill The Baby


©2001 - 2004,, All rights reserved -  a ((HYYPE)) design