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The Story Behind the POW/MIA Flag

As the Nixon administration prosecuted the Vietnam War, American citizens enacted a bizarre psychic reversal
by Rick Perlstein

Aug 10, 2015 | Politics


Update: This article has been changed to include an apology from the writer and a response from the editor. The change begins at the end of the article.
You know that flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down.

Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about this.

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.

I told the story in the first chapter of my 2014 book The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan: how Richard Nixon invented the cult of the “POW/MIA” in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim.

It began, as 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.

This was bullshit four times over: first, 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): see this as-told-to memoir by POW and future senator Jeremiah Denton.

And finally, our South Vietnamese allies’ treatment of their prisoners, who lived manacled to the floors in crippling underground bamboo “tiger cages” in prison camps built by us, was far worse than the torture our personnel suffered. (Time magazine quoted one South Vietnamese official who was confronted with stories of released prisoners moving “like crabs, skittering across the floor on buttocks and palms,” and responded with incredulity that such survivors even existed: “No one ever comes from the tiger cages alive.”)

Be that as it may: it worked. American citizens enacted a bizarre psychic reversal. A man from Virginia Beach, Virginia, described to a reporter the supposed treatment of American prisoners in North Vietnam: “they just dig holes in the ground and drop them in. They throw food down to them, and let them live there in their own waste.” In fact, that was how prisoners were treated in South Vietnam—as recently revealed in a shocking Life magazine exposé.

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 facie, as if they were missing, too, although almost all of them were certainly dead.

And in 1971 that damned flag went up.

The flag was the creation of the National League of Families of Prisoners of War, later the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, a fascinating part of the story in itself. The organization was founded by POW wife Sybil Stockdale, during the Johnson administration, in an effort to embarrass LBJ and challenge his line that all in Vietnam was going swell. Johnson tried to silence them; Nixon’s people, however, spying opportunity, coopted the group, sometimes inventing chapters outright, to fan the propaganda flames.

Then the war ended, the POWs (yes, all the POWs) were repatriated to great fanfare, one of them declaring: “I want you to remember that we walked out of Hanoi as winners”—a declaration that seemed to suggest, almost, that by surviving, the POWs had won the Vietnam War. The moral confusion was abetted by the flag: the barbed-wire misery of that stark white figure, emblazoned in black.

It memorializes Americans as the preeminent victims of the Vietnam War, a notion seared into the nation’s visual unconscious by the Oscar-nominated 1978 film The Deer Hunter, which depicts acts of sadism, which were documented to have been carried out by our South Vietnamese allies, as acts committed by our North Vietnamese enemies, including the famous scene pictured on The Deer Hunter poster: a pistol pointed at the American prisoner’s head at exactly the same angle of the gun in the famous photograph of the summary execution in the middle of the street of an alleged Communist spy by a South Vietnamese official.

By then, the League and its flag had become the Pentagon’s own Frankenstein’s monster. You can read about the mess that resulted in the definitive book on the subject: Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War by Northwestern University’s Michael J. Allen. Allen describes how Vietnam’s “refusal” to “account for” a thousand phantoms became an impediment to reconciliation and diplomatic recognition between the two nations. (How bizarre, how insulting, how counterproductive this must have been to a nation that must have suffered missing corpses in the thousands upon thousands?) A delegation led by Congressman Gillespie “Sonny” Montgomery (D-MS), chairman of the House Select Committee on Missing in Action in Southeast Asia, traveled to Vietnam in 1975, convinced of the Nixon administration’s deception that hundreds of “MIAs actually” existed. The members of Congress returned home, having found their Communist hosts warm and accommodating, doubting there were any missing at all. In hearings, a CIA pilot captured there in 1965 testified: “If you take a wallet-full of money over there, you can buy all the information you want on POWs on the streets.”

The House committee also produced evidence that China had manufactured stories of MIA in Vietnamese prison camps in order to keep the U.S. from normalizing relations with China’s Asian rival. No matter that the flag’s promoters were abetting an actual, real-live Communist conspiracy, from its original sightings above VFW and American Legion posts, the “You Are Not Forgotten” flag became as common as kudzu. Midwifing an entire metastasizing Pentagon bureaucracy, the League of Families would also become an irritant to every future president. By 1993, 17 Americans were stationed in Hanoi in charge of searching for the missing and working to repatriate remains. They were provided a budget of $100 million a year, “over 30 times the value of U.S. humanitarian aid paid to Vietnam,” Allen writes. It would have been evidence of Ronald Reagan’s old saw that the closest thing to eternal life is a government program—if Reagan were not a prime culprit: in 1988, he became the first president to fly the flag over the White House. The next year, Congress installed the flag in the Capitol Rotunda. In 1990, it was designated “a symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to restoring and resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.” Thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the nation. Even today, the flag still flies over every U.S. Post Office.

The League of Families also still exists, and “continues to work at keeping the pressure on both Washington and Hanoi to bring complete resolution to this issue on behalf of each family with a loved one still missing in Vietnam.” My own state of Illinois holds a ceremony every year to honor the “66 Illinoisans listed as MIA or POW in Southeast Asia.” And Bernie Sanders posted an image of the POW/MIA flag on Facebook in response to Donald Trump’s insult against John McCain. The message read: “They are all heroes.”

Actually, as I document in The Invisible Bridge, it’s more complicated than that: many of the prisoners were antiwar activists. One member of the “Peace Committee” within the POW camps, Abel Larry Kavanaugh, was harassed into suicide after his return to the U.S. by the likes of Admiral James Stockdale, who tried to get Peace Committee members hanged for treason. Stockdale would become one of the nation’s most celebrated former POWs and a vice-presidential candidate. Kavanaugh took his life in his father in law’s basement in Commerce City, Colorado, in June 1973. Americans would agree that one of them—Stockdale or Kavanaugh—is not a hero—though they would disagree about which one is which.

That damned flag: it’s a shroud. It smothers the complexity, the reality, of what really happened in Vietnam.

We’ve come to our senses about that other banner of lies. It’s time to do the same with this.

Rick Perlstein is The Washington Spectator‘s national correspondent.

A Writer’s Apology

I sincerely regret the use of the word “racist” to describe how the POW/MIA flag distorts the history of the Vietnam War. The word was over the top and not called for.

I’m deeply sorry it hurt people—especially people who’ve selflessly served their country. Most of all, I’m sorry because many of the people offended by the word “racist” are the same people who were hurt when the experiences and feelings of common soldiers and veterans were manipulated to serve the powerful interests and individuals who blithely and perennially send men and women to war, then don’t take care of them when they return home. And, of course, I regret the pain caused to the families of those who gave the last full measure of devotion to their country in Southeast Asia.

I would ask the people I angered to consider carefully reading the article, which explains, for example, that the Chinese Communists cynically leaked lies about the existence of live POWs in the years after the war in order to harm their rival Vietnam.

Most of all, I wish to express my regrets. Other than that, I stand by my article. —Rick Perlstein

The Editor’s Response

We published Rick Perlstein’s article on the POW/MIA flag, because it insightfully examines the cynical manipulation of public opinion at the expense of the downed pilots and foot soldiers the creators of the MIA movement claimed to represent. Perlstein is an accomplished historian who has spent years researching the Nixon and Reagan years. He knows this material. Our prolonged national discussion of the tragic Southeast Asian war that extended beyond Vietnam is often framed in what can be reasonably described as racist terms. The defenders of an Asian country that was invaded, bombed, defoliated and savaged (see: Kill Anything that Moves by Nick Turse) are vilified, while the invaders are beatified. Neither position is correct or fair. It was a persistent yet perhaps understandable disregard for the “other” victims of a war, beyond our own nation’s tragic losses, that informed the piece.

Nowhere is it suggested, nor do we imply, that individuals who remain devoted to the POW/MIA flag are racist. And it was neither Mr. Perlstein’s intent, nor ours, to dishonor those who served in Vietnam, although based on comments of readers, many were offended. A more careful editor would have moved the term “racist” lower in the body of the story and kept it out of the headline, where it was an unintended red flag that provoked the understandable ire of many readers. —Lou Dubose

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  1. Terrific article; the only missing reference is the 1985 propaganda film “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” which brought to life for a new generation the myth that North Vietnam was still (!) holding Americans captive.

    • Myth??? Are you ok? Did the drugs rot your last surviving brain cell?

      • Yes, the author is simply delusional. He along with Hanoi Jane and Comrade John Kerry have gone a long way to damage this country. This is the first time that I have stumbled on the Washington Spectator but it is easy to see that this publication is a part of the Public Concern Concern Foundation (whatever that is) is laughable. Probably the Russian or Chinese or even the ISIS. They have no USA interests.You should be ashamed of yourselves if you are Americans (I doubt).

    • It is always interesting when I see an idiot. Please post some more of you thoughts.

    • Rick Perlstein is a hopeless moron and you are even more so for mistaking his leftwing propaganda nonsense to be truth. Regardless of whether the Vietnam War was moral or immoral, the Men of the Armed Forces did not instigate it and you will not sit on your fat, self-satisfied behind passing judgement upon them. Now retract every word. I’m waiting.

  2. You assert the flag to be racist in the title and in the opening line, and then fail to demonstrate ANY association of racism with the creation or the flying of the POW-MIA flag in the rest of your article. I am forced to assume that you injected racism at the front in an attempt to draw in readers who would find out too late that they were victims of the old bait-and-switch, reading anti-American screed instead.

    • Racist against the North Vietnamese. It’s most definitely a racist flag. No bait-and-switch.

      • ummm, There is no such place call North Vietnam, and no such people called North Vietnmese. Now I understand how you can confuse this article, you simple have no worldly knowledge other than what is fed to you!

      • Per the Oxford English Dictionary, “racist” is: “A person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another”.

        North Vietnam was a political entity; it’s citizens did not comprise a race. Vietnamese, as a whole, is a NATIONALITY. If the symbolism of the flag was truly racist, that would have to extend over all Asian people.

        Swing and a miss…better luck next time.

      • Wow, you learn something new everyday! So when did “North Vietnamese” become a race? And why would this country and that flag only be racist against a group of people, while fighting as allies with another group of people who come from the same area, and solely base its racism on whether these two people live above or below an imaginary line? Is “Nationist” a coined, hilariously baseless name-calling, Liberal buzzword yet?

      • “Racist against the North Vietnamese. It’s most definitely a racist flag. No bait-and-switch.”

        When did “North Vietnamese” become a race?

      • The name Amanda is racists it must be banned its symbol of white privilage oppression of people of color . In fact Political correctness is racists oppressive it’s fabricated rhetoric to control people freedoms of expression of thought of speech . It’s a form of fascism created by Marxists to control the masses idiots incapable of thinking for themselves . That is what is going to be banned . The MIA flag is staying as symbol of respect to all MIA and all who served. You do not dicate to ME . Let’s be honest Amanda you don’t give damn about Vietnam or It’s people . You dont even know where it is & You couldn’t find it on a globe . You are just another example of liberal stupidity .

      • The flag not racists people are racists . Didn’t you go school ? Have access to dictionary at some point in life ? That flag to allamericans is symbol of respect memory of all MIA and all who served this country . The flag is staying . What’s going is you racists phoney Liberals and you’re PC Marxists Rhetotic . You’re disrespect of this nation our history our military our traditions and all who served it is over . Now GFO

      • Amanda, you might have a point if “North Vietnamese” was a race. It isn’t, Vietnamese is a nationality, like American or Canadian.

      • Because the North and South Vietnamese suddenly became two different races when they went into battle? Hot take you got there

      • Amanda, you are soooo wrong, I fly the pow/mia flag because my father was a pow for 27 months in Germany in ww2, my grandfather fought in ww1, my uncle in Korea, and me in Vietnam, there is no racism in flying this flag, only honor of our veterans

    • “Racist?!” “Racist?!” Put that word in the headline and you knew it would assure eyeballs to your scrawl. Not only have you failed to justify the use of the word ‘racist’ in this waste of bandwidth, but you have made yourself look foolish to everyone with a brain that took the time to read it. IMHO, the POW/MIA flag is about as ‘racist’ as is white American processed cheese food. (By the way, not that it matters to you, in case you’re wondering, yup, I’m a vet. If that makes me a little bit prejudiced, so be it.)

  3. “Terrific” for what, revisionist tripe? Can’t the left be honest and start spitting on vets and calling them “baby killers”, again already?

    • No, Publius, the left can’t be honest. Revisionism is the only thing that they know, since facts need to be reworked to fit their value system. We were evil baby killers in Vietnam, and the flag serves to honor our evil deeds. Those poor Vietnamese in the North just wanted to be left alone to farm their lands. We did everything that John Kerry said we did when he came back to testify to Congress: rape, murder, pillage.

      It’s revisionism at is best and dishonors that millions of American who honorably served during Vietnam only to get spat on when they got home. But the left hates America and can’t leave this trope buried. Pathetic.

  4. Rick Perlstein – a bigoted totalitarian idiot pretending to be a writer.

  5. I have never seen the beat in all my life; how do you liberals get so twisted? If you hate America so much then feel free to leave.

    • Drugs, they take lots of drugs. That’s how they get so twisted.

    • Amen. Oops is that comment insulting to non-Christians

  6. Standard leftist practice of when you don’t have a good argument to make just cry racism that’ll get attention. This has to be one of the most convoluted, ill conceived arguments I’ve ever read. Another item that goes to support my theorem that the left is not happy about anything and every little thing represents some huge problem. It’s really quite unhinged thinking.

  7. Typical Leftist argument based on emotion and lacking any facts to support the so-called conclusion. I think you may have “triggered” a bout of PTSD for me. Bad Lefty!

  8. The reality of what really happened in Vietnam is the fact that the Democratic Congress of 1974 refused to extend funding support of South Vietnam’s self-defense against the Russian-Client North Vietnamese Communist invasion. The Viet Communists signed the so-called Peace Accords and then violated them. 500,000 Vietnamese died trying to escape Communism. 1.5 million Cambodians, who were promised U.S. help against communism also perished, under genocide, by the atheistic Khmer Rouge. The POW/MIA flag presents the honorable and duty-bound effort to fully account for unreturned US veterans. They fought for the liberty of strangers. The American people must be reminded of their duty to those who serve them. The Viet Cong strapped satchel charges to children and sent them into formations of Americans. This flag must fly forever in remembrance. If you don’t like it, you’re free not to look at it. Freedom paid for by men greater than you’ll ever be.

    • Mark, you are right on the mark.
      US ARMY of ViETNAM
      Will go to my death bed, knowing we left brothers behind.

    • Paulg, Welcome home brother. Da Nang, Viet Nam 1970-71

  9. First, this has to be an attempt to troll the internet. That’s the only explanation I can think of to explain this intellectually bankrupt waste. Mr. Perlstein’s reasoning behind this foolhardy declaration is completely without merit, and he fails to even provide the slightest amount of evidence to back his assertions on the POW/MIA flag. He is literally grasping for straws trying to justify his own racism, bigotry and hatred.

    He makes the argument that the POW flag is rooted in racism due to Nixon using it as a tool to campaign with. Yet, he glosses over its actual genesis, barely mentioning it was created by a POW spouse, to help others like her leverage the government in reclamation of their loved ones. What a horrible, horrible group – how dare they come together collectively as a support group.

    He shows a limited knowledge of the topic he is debating — military history, specifically attempting to turn an innocent DOD policy into evidence of political deviance. The evolution of military personnel status categories (POW/MIA/etc…) was a logical progression to the HR system in reaction to the complexity of the world that the military operated it. He ignores the fact that the military didn’t just merely create a new MIA status, it revamped the entire system for the benefit of all servicemembers and families.

    The following statement is the epitome of Rick’s stupidity… “in every other conflict in human history, the release of prisoners had been something settled at the close of a war”.
    So because he used “in every other”, he means 50% of the time. So 50% of the time war negotiations go how he thinks they should go, some how this confirms that the other 50% of the time isn’t relevant?

    Further, all conflict negotiations start with negotiations prior to the end of the war. Usually they are initiated by the side that believes it has strategic, operational, and/ or tactical advantage over the other. They only come to completion when one or both sides of the conflict decides it is no longer in their interest to continue. It is beyond naïve to believe that the participants of the conflict don’t maintain ongoing diplomatic communication.

    Overall, he fails to explain any iota of racism behind this flag. Instead he generally albeit poorly attempts to describe patriotism. Which is clear he deplores based on his “black-washing” of anything he remembers as patriotic.

    Finally, he vilifies the flag because, “Nixon’s people, however, spying opportunity, coopted the group, sometimes inventing chapters outright, to fan the propaganda flames.”.

    I only ask that he agrees to vilify another symbol that has equally been coopted by political opportunists for stoking propaganda flames — Black Lives Matter.

    Mr. Perlstein is an angry, sad, old man – who has lived a privileged life. I plan on sending him massive amounts of patriotic bumper stickers, and flags. Maybe he’ll get the hint to stop being a complete and utter A-hole.

    • Beautiful rebuttal!

  10. When Vietnamese look at the pow/MIA flag they don’t immediately recognize it as racist like blacks do with the rebel flag. They probably don’t even know what it is. It is probably one of the least dangerous flags available. Your argument is petty, unrelatable, and poorly constructed.

  11. Wow, If the Washington Spectator has a shred of real journalistic integrity left, you need to fire the dumbass that wrote this. You and Newsweek are laughing stocks.

  12. Just wondering, Nixon started and finished the Vietnam war? Did I miss Kennedy? Johnson? I’m confused. As to the article, typical left wing tripe. I agree, just start spitting on the military again. We know that’s what all of you want to do, just can’t. Get it over with and admit who you are.

  13. As typical of those crying from the fringe this article is full of half baked assumptions without any clear and definitive point being made. We may not have anymore POW’s in Vietnam but we are still recovering remains from aircraft crashes and other operations in that country. Our South Vietnam “allies” may not have been perfect but neither were those in North Vietnam. Just ask John McCain about their treatment of him. As stated by a previous poster you make the claim that the flag is racist and you failed to prove this point in your article. Perhaps you need to return to journalism school and learn how to follow through on the topic you choose to write about.

    • Mr Jack, I cannot believe you said that about McCain, you need to look up McCain in Vietnam, and who his daddy was and how he really got hurt, not by being a POW plus after your research on McCain and Kerry, they called McCain the song bird, guess why, plus Kerry has a lot of land there now, please research before you talk or write about something or someone, McCain is so full of BS and has turned his back on VETS

  14. Racist? Yeah right! You forgot homophobic and misogynistic. An invention of Nixon? Those family groups were afraid that Nixon would throw the POWs under the bus in order to pull out, and they absolutely hated Kissinger. The author is just acting out, throwing out straw men, and false either/or scenarios. Just admit you hate America and everything it stands for. You are an intellectual and moral degenerate (common on the Left).

  15. And you just became a very unpopular person in the eyes of 21.8 million American veterans.

  16. UFB. You have insulted honorable veterans, including Senator John McCain, who lived it FIRST HAND. Why do I have the feeling you never served in the military, and hates America?

  17. We should start putting people who write articles like this into camps.

  18. So, it’s racist because you don’t like it?

    By that logic, you, sir, are a racist and need to be fired.

    Or is this just click bait so you can peddle your pompous book?

    Maybe you should back up your arguments.

  19. And it’s trash like this “writer” that makes aliens not talk to us

  20. So, some hundreds of American aviators were shot down over Vietnam, thus sparing the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians who would have otherwise been bombed to smithereens. Is this a sad story? Yes, of course. It’s time we begin realizing that “Non-American lives matter too.” This black flag is a symbol of our refusal to acknowledge the harm caused ON OUR BEHALF by OUR soldiers to the Vietnamese. The sooner it’s taken down, the better.

  21. I proudly served in the post Vietnam era for your right to speak your opinion no matter how misguided it may be. Whatever purposes and for whatever propaganda that flag was created for, it has come to stand for a lot more for the families of missing servicemen (and women) in all wars.

    Your opinion does them a great disservice and I pray you never have to go through what they have gone through.

    In the end, one of the most important things I learned in the United States Marine Corps is that opinions are like “trash cans”.. Everyone has one, most of them stink.. Trash can is a metaphor for another word, and when you figure out what word that is, that’s you..

    Semper Fi Mac!

  22. “Sir,”
    I read your condemnation of your nation and the men and women who fought fer her.
    I have just one question: “Did you ever leave the security of your circle of friends/family/fellow travelers and put YOUR ass on the line in a life and death situation for a cause greater than yourself?” I doubt it, because your lies, vitriol and self-importance is indicative of someone who has never really put his ass on the line.
    I’m sure you will have some smug, venomous retort.

  23. Isn’t it great that you are able to write and publish trash like this and not worry about being put in a prison to rot (be sure and thank a Vet). It is not just for one conflict it is a symbol for the men and women of all the conflicts. You must live in a very disturbed world and I have you will seek treatment.

  24. Once again, leftist propaganda by a reliably asinine progressive who wants to re-fight a war now over for 42 years. It isn’t actually clear why this flag is racist, except for the fact that the brave men who are MIA or who ended up as POWs were “white” fighting a “yellow” people. Is that it? Only not all American soldiers, sailors and airmen were white! Many were black and hispanic! How do you explain that?

    Yes, I know that liberals want to project evil on to all US foreign policy decisions, and that we were the aggressors trying to oppress poor Vietnamese who just wanted to be “free”. Only once the war was over, millions were put forcibly into reeducation camps and thousands were murdered, and Saigon was turned into a communist city and SVN into a police state. Hard to break those tripes about “freedom fighters” and “nationalists” in the face of those inconvenient facts.

    So, yes, Vietnam was complex as all wars are. But so what? Those men who were drafted or joined the military risked their lives and many never came home. For those families it is the least we can do to remember them.

  25. Congratulations. You trolled the internet for today and you got to plug the crap out of that nonsense filled “book” that you wrote too. You win, Dick… Oh sorry. I meant, Rick. My bad.

  26. My name is Eric Scott Johnston, I am the author of, The Glass Girls. I am not impressed with this work. My response to this will issue in due course.

  27. I may be a leftist/liberal/progressive/socialist/whatever-four-letter-word-you-want-to-call-me, but I do NOT approve of this editorial. Perlstein does not speak for me.

  28. rick you are a piece of work all our vets an honored military i hope you can sleep at night cause all your doing is being another obama puppet which you of all people should no what he has caused you guys are in more debt cause of him ill fly the pow flag here in Canada an i dare you to force me to take it down

  29. Mr. Perlstein, I did a quick check to see if there was a SINGLE Perlstein on The Wall in DC. Nada. And I would say from the sound of your article, you got to have your father with you most of your formative years. Well, here’s a reality check for you. You have just insulted the memory of over 58,000+ men and women that served over there….and lot of them bled and died for your right to be an insensitive boob. So I will exercise my freedom of speech right and tell you that you are one of the worst sort of jerks…. Just so you know, I hope you truly appreciate your freedom of speech, because my father paid for it with his life….specifically his brains were blown out the back of his head so you could spout such offal. I have paid the price of your freedom of speech every day of my life, and will continue to do so til I die and can be reunited with my father. May Creator forgive your callous ignorance and heartlessness. Racist flag? Bah humbug. You, sir, are a pig.

    • There is a “Pearlstein” on the Wall, though I can understand why you may have missed it. DOB 4-18-49, age 20, which puts him at just the right age to be there.

    • Tammy,
      Behind the anonymity of the internet many are nasty. Particularly when they have so much to be emotional about as you. You are a class act! You forcefully got your point across, in a much nicer way than Perlstein deserves.

  30. Hilarious how everyone flocked to the Newsweek when it was actually first published here. Anyway, Rick, you are ballsy as hell. Great piece, wish there were more solid sources of evidence to back some claims (to shut the reds up, but hey – it’s no like they’ll listen). Most of them won’t read the article even, just the headlines. Prepare for the backlash tomorrow; all the best of luck to you, good sir.

    • LOL, you wish there were sources.. exactly

    • Touche’ on everybody flocking to the Newsweek article. It’s probably because Newsweek gave it a more sensational, “viral” bait headline.

      • The content of the article is far more offensive than the title.

    • This isn’t a matter of offending or shutting up the “reds”. It’s the greens you disgraceful scum offended this time. And he would have more sources if his tripe was conjured up in a drug enduced haze. I read the article, and was far more offended with the fairy tale of disdain this vile traitor and coward dreamt up than I was about the headline.

    • After all these years the Nam war remains controversial. Had he a shred of decency Nixon would have held hearings and exposed/lambasted the New Frontier idiots (McGeorge Bundy, McNamara and even Billy Don Moyers) for negligence in blundering the USA into the one thing MacArthur on his deathbed warned JFK not to do: a war on the Asian mainland. Instead of exposing and repudiating Mr Johnson’s war Dick Nixon naively adopted it as his own. NIxon was every bit the cynical opportunist Perlstein depicted him as. NIxon campaign in 68 illegally contacted the South Viets and urged them not to agree to the peace terms the Johnson admin had put forward (“Hold out for a better deal”). Even decades later he implied how he felt Bush Sr should have prolonged the Desert Storm war to improve his election chances.
      The R folks learned after Nam that the US public only endorses and enthusiastically funds quickie in-n-out, wham bam thank you Ma’am type wars: Greneda, Panama, Desert Storm. But W and Commando Dick Cheney –the ultimate Viet Nam war protestor — somehow forgot the crucial lessons of Nam. ISIS has proved far more savage than either the Khmer Rouge or the conquering North Viets and their “re-education camps”. Since we got zero petrol from either Cambodia or Viet Nam the deaths there are even more tragic than those fought to secure the Kuwait sheikhs or “muslim democracy” in the premodern tribalist oil fields of Iraq.

  31. This guy….the idea that a symbol means something to you gives you no right to project that meaning upon others. Perlstein, in my opinion, thinks far too highly of himself. However, beyond that, this illustrates why I had such a problem with the Confederate flag outrage. A symbol means something different to everyone. THAT is what matters. Not what YOU think the symbol means. A swastika was not always a symbol of hate. An American flag can inspire hope and fear in equal measure in certain circumstances. A cross means something different when you turn it upside down. The list of what symbols can mean is endless. To say that you have THE definitive answer as to how to define it is crude, small-minded, wrong, prideful, and, ultimately, harmful. Only totalitarians declare what a symbol should be and what should be done about it. The shootings in SC had nothing to do with a flag, but turn the flag into a symbol of hate and everyone rallies behind the idea of demonizing it in a mass media frenzy of a knee-jerk reaction. The POW flag means many things to differing people. I will say that to everyone who HAS served and said “I’m willing to take a bullet for the republic so that others can sit behind desks or in coffee shops and write whatever they want about my country, my flag, and my service” will almost universally state that this flag represents something noble in the spirit of those who serve their country. That it exemplifies what can be lost and forgotten if we let it and that we should never let go of those who have fallen behind. It is an honorable thing. You can look at anything and find some negative side…some distasteful element in the history of it or the creation of it that will suit your viewpoint. But what gives you the right, Mr. Perlstein, to claim that what the POW flag stands for to the hundreds of thousands of servicemen and women is wrong and that what you claim is the only right way to look at it? That’s not liberal, that’s not open minded….that’s just ridiculous.

  32. Shame on you for not understanding what you are writing about. When you are actually a family member of a service member known to be captured and not returned at Opertation Homecoming by the Viet Cong (and therefore actually Missing in Action, not figment of imagination but yes my Dad) you know the real deal, you get the updates from the DIA, the Service etc. You are only surfing the net… That flag you so freely disgrace matters to us and you need to get your head out of your ASS. I know the treatment that my father and his 2 crewmembers endured as one of the 4 of them escaped so keep fooling yourself that everything was all peachy, and the National League of Families, the Flag and anything really to do with POW/MiAs is in the scope of your comprehension/compassion/understanding.

    But my Wall sister said it better, you may have missed her posting, here it is again.

    Jill Hubbs “Shame on you, Rick Perlstein, for even daring to suggest that the POW/MIA flag is racist! That flag reminds AMERICANS that there are thousands of our military personnel still missing and unaccounted for, including my father and his three crew mates who became missing during a flight over North Vietnam in 1968. In 1970, Mrs. Michael Hoff, whose husband was missing in Vietnam, designed that flag so that people would not forget that there were men who were being held prisoner, men who were missing, and their families wanted to be sure that they were not FORGOTTEN. That flag was and remains a reminder to our nation’s leaders and our government to KEEP THE PROMISE to leave no one behind.

    In the late 60s, my family identified a man in a North Vietnamese propaganda film as my father. In 1987, we were informed of a live sighting report of my father from a source deemed credible by the Defense Intelligence Agency. I traveled to Vietnam in 1993 and was given documents in Hanoi that indicated my father had been in the hands of the North Vietnamese at some point even though they had always denied any knowledge of my father and his crew.
    And just before I went to Vietnam, Mrs. Hoff came to my house and brought me pictures of her husband and asked me with tears in her eyes if I would please try to see if I could find any information about her husband.

    That flag represents the tears and grief of the POW/MIA families, friends and the soldiers who served with the prisoners and missing. It serves to remind all Americans of the cost of war. It also is a reminder that families need, want and deserve closure and that we will NEVER FORGET.

    A few years ago, I attended a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery of a crew of 14 who had been missing for decades in Vietnam. An American team with the Joint Pacific Accounring Command had discovered the crash site of their C-130 in Vietnam and recovered their remains. Through DNA, the crew was positively identified and they were buried with full military honors at Arlington. There were fourteen families in attendance and the POW/MIA flag was displayed by the American flag. The ceremony was a sad one, but there was pride that America had kept her promise and commitment to those men that they would not be left behind.

    I was a little girl when my father’s plane disappeared. That black and white flag represented hope to me that my father might be coming home. It represented a promise that Americans would not forget about these men. And now it represents faith that those who remain missing will one day be accounted for just like the crew of 14 buried at Arlington.
    I really have no words for you, Rick Perlstein. And if you had a family member who had been held as a prisoner of war or who was still missing, I know that you would have never written your words.”

    • Excellent comments. I would share my sympathies with you for having to grow up without a father present. And to know that there were sightings of your father …and the North Vietnamese lied and obfuscated about many of the POWs is certainly frustrated.

      BUT – unfortunately, the author of the article is a committed leftist who probably celebrated with South Vietnam fell, after being abandoned by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Congress, unwilling to fulfill the commitments of the Paris Peace Accords. The author would be like Jane Fonda – who declared that if you knew what communism was about, you would be on your knees praying for communism. The author doesn’t mind that a few (million) people were oppressed, hundreds of thousands killed in the name of the greater communism good, etc. So he would not have an understanding of your comments or concerns. He is a hard core leftist who believes that evil is good, and good is evil. He probably supports the Iran ‘treaty’ that isn’t a treaty, and if/when Iran gets and uses the bomb, he will look on it as a good progression to humbling the US. He is scum.

    • Just for general purposes, I am also a Child of the Wall in DC. Panel 005W Line 003. SSG Richard W. Scoby. And you, Mr Perlstein, accomplished two things with me. You induced the desire to vomit before I finished one-fourth of your article, AND you earned my eternal enmity. You spit in the faces of every single person that means something to me. Burn in hell….with Hitler and all the Pharoahs…

  33. So, I am not exactly sure what the purpose of this article was. Despite the title the author makes now linkage to how the flag is racist. He simply argues that Vietnam was wrong, a popularly held belief. The war was 40 years ago, why are we rehashing this again? It is truly bizarre.

  34. Mr. Perlstein, it is undoubtedly clear that the only thing you have ever likely served is a Big Mac. This article, and your opinion, is so full crap that its very odor leaks out from behind your teeth.

    It’s a good thing that freedom of speech (which, ironically, I image you oppose based on your political ideology) exists here in the USA. If it didn’t, I’d rally to have you deported to Vietnam. Of course, they way you’d have it, your very desire is that they’d won the war anyway.

    One journalist to another; you, sir, are disgusting and are unworthy of being called an American.

  35. Hey you race baiting P.O.S.! Now I’m a racist because my Grandpa was never recovered and I fly that flag? So now I’m a target too? You are a typical liberal punk trying to get clicks,and you got one.BITCH

  36. Mr. Perlstein,
    As a proud veteran of the United States Military i was offended by your comments about the POW/MIA flag.
    I was tempted to lash out as my veteran brothers have done, but then i remind myself that one of the basic freedoms
    that we served for was your freedom of speech. My brothers in arms are just that Brothers we were not forced into
    service like our brothers before us we volunteered to serve this once great country and we all would like them to
    come home just as their families do, the flag is a reminder to us that we still have brothers out there that still need to
    be home and/or laid to rest to give their families closure. in closing please choose your battles and your words carefully
    in the future, and try not to direct it towards our country’s veterans, we served with pride when we were there and we
    are still proud of our service as we grow older, thank you for listening.

    Jerry Tomberlin
    Disabled Veteran
    U.S. Navy 84-90

  37. Sir, your article speaks of racism however essentially nowhere in the article do you actually tackle that issue and instead use ‘racism’ in our already highly charged society as click-bait which by itself is sad. Then your loose argument glosses over the fact this flag (and meaning) have expanded to all US Wars before and after as shown with the flag flying over the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. Would you say presidents and politicians since Nixon on both sides have exploited this movement?

    Overall your argument is very weak and doesn’t actually piece together facts but merely scrapes thoughts together to support an opinion piece of your personal view. Relating this to the Confederate Flag issue is very poor from a journalistic side.

  38. As the son-in-law of a veteran of Vietnam, who has seen the affects of that war on him and his family, the idea that by flying a POW-MIA flag, you’re some sort of racist, is beyond ridiculous.

    As many seem eager to remind us, America (the United States, by the way, lest we exclude Canada and Mexico) is a place where whites are evil and everyone not white are victims.

    When did “American” become a race?

  39. You miss an important economic element to the MIA story: pay, benefits, and special benefits continued to MIA families that were worth more and could continue longer than for those designated KIA. Many pilots known to be killed by their wingmen were declared MIA when the wingmen hedged their reports to benefit their buddy’s families.

  40. What an idiot!!!!! This guy must be a junior political writer for a local news flyer right????

  41. The Air Force should give this useless jerk Perlstein a parachute and throw him out of an aircraft over ISIS. Then we can add him to the MIA list. What a dirt bag.

    • I agree he needs to be dropped over Isis. I to an a veteran

  42. I cant believe people like you live in this nation that you spit on and bash, just to help sell some liberal pile of monkey crap book. Spread the anit-American hate dick weed…the douche is strong with you

  43. As a Vietnam/Combat twice wounded vet that was also dusted off for malaria and jungle rot, I won`t waste any time attempting to be civil and explain to some panty assed twerp that wouldn`t have the guts to step on a piss ant how he is wrong. I will say if I ever meet you on a sidewalk, you better step off so I can get by…

  44. …..This is an article that has NO business even being written, and is PURE GARBAGE!! (and inciteful)

    • No business being written, and absolutely no business being published! The latter was much more reprehensible to me. Lots of tripe is written, fortunately most of it is never published.

  45. Cheap way to plug your book. You know what they say abut opinions. Im sure you were wrapped up all nice and cozy in your Hammer and sickle blanket and your laptop laying on your Karl Marx manifesto hoping to channel its energy while you daydreamed about all the books your going to sell.

  46. Wow! What a crock of sh*t! Blaming a flag forwhat? Claims its racist, goes on to describe a bunch of screwed up stuff, backed by WHAT facts, where’s the references? But never says what it’s racist against? Vietnam war was screwed up in all aspects anyway, we all know that, even in the political side.
    Right now what we need to do is go back to being th he UNITED States of America again. Stop calling this flag or that flag or whatever racist. Stop creating special interest groups. Grow up, get along. The more you talk about racism and looking for it and pointing it out, guess what? You just making it worse. The one thing people have to understandi s that someone somewhere is always going to be offended bys something. I’m all for offending the fewest possible, but now its getting so that whole thing is getting offensivei in itself. It’s not always in the best interest of our cou try to always cower and bow to theminority or the slight few that are. There are more people to consider than those few, not ignore them totally, but come on.

  47. We should get rid of the Thanksgiving holiday because the holiday is racist against Native American’s and the rest of the world. And Christmas because it’s racist against all religions outside of judaeo christian beliefs. Lets see, lets see, get rid of Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, etc. You know what? Let’s just get rid of the American flag too, because it’s racist against the British, since we won the Revolution… I believe Rick Perlstein is a raciest because he’s anti-flag!

  48. I can’t believe this guy gets paid to write this crap. He needs to be fired and escorted across our borders.It’s hard to believe sometimes we put our lives on the line so people have the right to speak their mind and publish crap like this!
    God Bless All Military members, current and retired.
    U.S. Air Force Veteran 24 Years

  49. This is the most profane, inaccurate piece of so-called investigative journalism I have ever read. The POW/MIA flag is somehow racist because it vilifies the Vietnamese…because of American war crimes, atrocities, and other such claims that have been made. I do not know anything about you Mr. Perlstein, but I can bet you fall into one of the following categories: spit on Vietnam vets as they returned why you cut class on your one of several deferments. Or you were too young and went to some socialist institution like Columbia to learn (albeit very poor) journalistic skills. Or you were just an outright coward, someone you can cast aspersions against your country at will (even when your facts are so incredibly wrong) because you have probably never loved anything other than yourself and your so called career. While I believe many would agree that Nixon was probably one of the most astute politicians we have ever had, and he I am sure used these groups to his advantage as any politicians would, he had nothing to do with their formation and never trivialized the plight of the POWs and those MIA (yeah,chow do you account for folks who’s status is unknown and there were many, that is where MIA came from). As a matter of fact Nixon authorized the first and only raid into N. Vietnam with the mission of rescuing POWs (Operation KINGPIN) outside of Hanoi. It was a dangerous yet bold mission that ended in failure cause the NVA moved the prisoners at the last minute. It did have the effect of consolidating all held POWs and some unknown status MIAs to listed prisons within Hanoi. To read your deeply cynical and clearly unpatriotic piece of dribble you would think only Americans committed war crimes during Vietnam…how bout the relentless torture of POWs, failure to provide adequate food and medicine, which in several cases led to the death of the POW (Capt Lance Sijan, MOH, comes to mind). Finally your assertion that Medal of Honor recipient ADM James Stockdale was not a hero shows your total ignorance of the military, the courage and discipline he displayed far beyond what was acceptable. Your comparison to the “Peace Committee” also demonstrates a total lack of historical context. Those POWs either directly collaborated with the enemy, ratted on their fellow POWs to earn favors or returned before their time was due. They were held in utter contempt by those who adhered to the codes of conduct. Only those POWs returned with honor, the others returned in shame and I hope they still live with that shame every day, as you should every day for writing this piece of trash. And by the way it was customary right up until the U.S. Civil War to conduct routine prisoner exchanges during conflicts not at the end of it. Check your facts, your history, and your political hatred.

  50. Join the call to push advertisers of this site and newsweek.com (who reposted this article) to drop these websites from their campaigns. The only language they understand is their bottom line, and while free speech is one of the things we fight to defend, that doesn’t mean you may speak freely without fear of consequence for your actions. True, you should never be legally tried for exercising your right to free speech, but when you’re in business and you’re out to make money, offending your readers with baseless sensationalism should be treated exactly as it deserves. Find the advertisers and contact them. Boycott the products of the companies that help fund this blatant disrespect of America and its troops.

    Semper Fi

  51. It is incomprehensible that a well know and respected media outlet like yours would even have the nerve to publish and endorse this article regarding the POW/MIA flag as a sign of racism. Lets fuel the fire that is already burning in our country regarding true racism. I am really having a hard time even saying the name Rick Perlstein; without anger burning inside me. His face, glasses, beard, and general lack of moral character offends me. He is the face of racism and discontent in this country. I dare anyone to try to take down my POW?MIA flag at my house, my employment, my legion, or anywhere else. Myself and the hundreds of thousands of veterans and our current men and woman of the military will not stand for it. Mr Perlstein your a terrorist living in our country that gives you the freedom of expression. Your views are only to insight violence against Americans against Americans. You want to divide our unity for your personal gain. To insight and to divide you are committing an act of terrorism. Screw you, screw your family, screw your views. Please come and try to take down my Flags. I have sworn an Oath to Defend The Constitution of the United States of America against all Enemies Both Foreign and Domestic; so please stop by.

  52. As a member of your generation, I honor your service and with the deepest respect. I was not called and thus did not serve (was in college at the time), but even then, as a student of history, I knew that there was something fundamentally wrong with the entire anti-war ‘movement’. It was then, as it is now, a battle for the continuity of Western Civilization versus a totalitarian supremacy that slaughtered millions in the pursuit of absolute power.

    That’s why sniveling little leftist rat bastards like the author of this article aren’t fit to clean your boots. And never will be.

    • You win the Internet today. Great post!

    • Amen!

    • Thank you!

  53. First – to Tammy. There is a “Pearlstein” on the Wall, though I can understand why you may have missed it. DOB 4-18-49, age 20, which puts him at just the right age to be there.
    I don’t think it’s racist, though maybe it was used in a nationalist, arguably racist manner as Nixon tried to spin the war. But that’s decades in the past. Of all the ways politics and media exploit the armed forces, nowadays the POW/MIA flag is one of the ones I see very little. That said I don’t appreciate the way politicians pander to vets and their families.
    The thing that scares and angers me is how Nixon made up a thousand unnamed soldiers and used them as an excuse for his flaccid diplomacy while our actual troops died out there and worse. Whether you believe the stuff about the south and the CIA is arbitrary. The men and women we send out there are not bargaining chits for a political game back home. That’s an unforgivable breach of trust.
    Did the author choose this headline? If so, he should be ashamed, if only on journalistic standards – there was little if any attention given to backing up the claim of racism. If I had to wager, though, I’d say that headline was written after the fact by the curator/editor here at this site for the sheer sake of being sensational. In either case, it’s a cheap shot that not only diminishes the injustices of the war (on either side you choose to see it) but also totally fails to report on the one group that actually could justifiably invoke the label of racist – the Vietnamese! Did he even talk to a single Vietnamese person about the war before writing this? Do they see the flag as racist? This is such a glaring omission that I’m quite dubious that the race angle had anything to do with the original op-ed.

    • @Joe: Perlstein and Pearlstein would be two different names according to official records. Even if a screw up. But I doubt it….if the “Pearlstein” on The Wall was indeed Mr Perlstein’s relative, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that relative would be HIGHLY ashamed!

  54. My initial thoughts were too obscene to write, I will simply say you are an arrogant self righteous imbecile. Yes, everyone with an ounce of education and intellect knows the origins of the flag were not founded in complete truths. That does not mean in more advanced and educated society it is not recognized as a reminder of the human toll of war, not only for those who served in Vietnam, but all of America’s conflicts. Your failure to recognize that reveals your clear bias and renders your arguments to a value on par with a drunken bar room debate.

  55. I think many of these comments just underscore how successfully US popular and political discourse have re-cast the US military as a righteous victim/underdog (first in the war in Vietnam, and now more generally as well).
    I can’t help but think of the brave veterans who share their stories in the 1974 documentary Hearts and Minds. Those men who perpetrated the atrocities at My Lai, for example, can’t un-see the overwhelming power and violence of imperialism. They look back on the lopsidedness of that war with shock and horror — haunted not by what was done to them, but what they were made to do.
    Thanks so much for this important piece, Mr. Perlstein. I’m looking forward to reading the book!

    • Of all the Nam error vets I know, their biggest problem is people like you and what your filthy breed have done to this country. They are far more haunted by the memories of disloyal, self righteous, cowards like you spitting on them after they came home from hell. They have far more problems with ignorant bufoons that focus on a minor, overblown, exagerated event like Mi Lai. They wonder why their own fellow countrymen try to demonize them, and over look the atrocities that led to the war.

  56. As long as leftists in America have colossal imbeciles like this bearded bag of human waste named Rick Perlstein, they will continually represent devolution, rather than ‘progress’. If Rick Perstein even had 2 brain cells knocking together, he would be intelligent enough to avoid writing stupidity like this. The particles of food stuck in his beard have more basis of fact than the stench that emanates from his vacuous cranial cavity.

  57. The author of this diatribe is obviously a total idiot & so completely out of touch with reality that he has one foot in a Mental Institution & the other foot on a banana peel. COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE! I wouldn’t be a bit surprised that he sat in airports waiting for soldiers to return from their combat deployment to spit on them & scream names at them ….. either that or he fled to Canada to avoid being drafted ….. oh wait, he wasn’t born until 1969 & wouldn’t remember anything that occurred duting that period of our History ….. It’s obvious that this FOOL doesn’t have a clue, is a card carrying, far left wing liberal whiner ….. in other words, a COWARD.

  58. Perlstein, the “pearl of Washington wisdom” is a truly a “piece of work” and most definitely not in a positive sense.
    He seems to be mentally obsessed with “flags” (yet clueless as hell) — and most likely he embraces a white flag of surrender. I could tell him where he should place that white flag on his pompously-protected body — but I will refrain.
    If the eventuality ever came to pass — I’d like to see him look straight in the eyes of that 18-year-old female who’s saving his egomaniacal butt — and deny his strong fear of bravery and courage..

  59. This idiot needs to be fired! I don’t even understand why this story was published. To all the VNV’s out there welcome home my brothers and thank you for your service.

  60. Recently I had bought Mr. Perlstein’s book “Nixonland” because from the reviews it seemed like the author was intelligent and thoughtful. Upon reading this column, it is obvious that Mr. Perlstein is neither intelligent nor thoughtful, but a mean, hateful, self-righteous fraud of the lowest order. This is article is juvenile at best and at worst spits in the face of every American POW. Mr. Perlstein, the joy you displayed while dancing over the graves of the vets and POW is disgraceful. Shame on you for being so heartless and vile. When I get home from work, I will be throwing you book into the trash. Fortunately I bought your book in an used book store or at least they, not you, will be keeping my payment. Go to hell.

  61. You have freakin’ ruined my day!! I have never read such a worthless, inflammatory piece in years. I have not been so angry in years! You son can put your ass on some plane to somewhere outside this country. The flag stays. The flag is about our brothers who did not come home and are not accounted for. Bulls**t on everything you wrote…racist my ass. You wouldn’t know it if it hit you square in the face! “Cavalier 24” Charlie Troop, 1/9 Cav, first Cav Div 1969-70 Vietnam

  62. Perlstein, you have a vivid imagination that serves your sick, twisted views well. I find it nauseating that good people gave their lives to defend your freedom to write such dribble.

  63. You have got to be the biggest IDIOT in the world. It’s people like you that put America in the state that it is in now. You must not have ever served in the military otherwise you would know what the POW/MIA flag is all about. Why don’t you keep your stupid comments to yourself and quit trying to cause more turmoil in our already messed up state that we are in. IDIOT is the cleanest word I can find to describe your dumb a$$!!

  64. Wow, why does Dick Perlstein even live in this country? Even Iran doesn’t hate us as much as this pos does. Clearly this guy is a dope sitting in the safery of his office, who couldn’t bring himself to sacrifice for this nation. Easy to criticize from his Ivory Tower. But to compare how the Viet Cong treated prisoners to Abu Gharib, clearly he is a mentally deficient and distrubed individual and has no idea what he is talking about. But that is pretty typical of the Left in this country. I think Dick is just ticked off that we dared to stand up to the Communists, Communists don’t like opposition of their destruction. And Dick, part of the Communist userpers of this country is highly offended by this. Quite frankly, I would like to find another use for the POW/MIA flag, involving Dick himself. Seriously, Dick, and anyone buying this twaddle, feel free to find a new home in a less offensive country.

  65. Wow. Let’s piss on a few graves while we’re at it…

    Bad Form.

  66. Just when you thought it was impossible to Liberal any harder, you come across an article like this and realize that not only will you never cease to be amazed, you are an ignorant buffoon for ever even holding that notion in the first place.

    But I mean, come on. How was I supposed to know that the unforeseen go-hard Liberaling would involve holding zero integrity and ethics, by defying logic and simply making things up? The hate and bias are the lifeblood of Liberals, and I expect that. I just didn’t expect Rick to redefine words, engage in massive hypocrisy, and reclassify countries into races. Here I am, all ignorant and silly, thinking North Vietnamese people are Asian, and their nationality is North Vietnamese. You could imagine my shock to find out Rick has added, “North Vietnam” to the list of races around the world. Even more shocking is that the South Vietnamese people who are also Asian, aren’t included as targets of Ricks mindless….I mean, progressive and intellectual….identification of nonexistent….I mean, blatant….symbols of racism. Maybe you might understand why I find it odd for a country to be racist against a RACE of people, but only if they have a certain Nationality.

    Perhaps Rick could coin a new Liberal buzzword, “Nationist.” You see, Liberals are unquestionably the most hateful and intolerant people to occupy the United States of America. On top of that, they are the most ironic and hypocritical people in the world altogether. It takes a serious Liberal to twist and manipulate totally random symbols/ideals/phrases/fashions/oxygen, and turn them into weapons to accuse a perceived opponent of being racist. It’s derived from the inherent hate that courses through the blood of the American Liberal. I once watched an entire comment section of an article being used by Liberals to coin a new standard derogatory and sexist word to call Men. Pretty standard stuff for them.

    The hypocrisy is the #1 reason why I don’t affiliate with Liberals, however. There is not a group of people in America who I hold any disdain for. Not gays, not straights, not any races of people, not any of the religious people who instead of telling me, “Have a good day,” creepily tell me to, “Have a blessed day.” I’m tolerant of everybody. But I refuse to be affiliated with the hypocrite Liberals who tell everyone about how tolerant they are, while accusing everyone else of being intolerant. It takes a real lack of shame to accuse people of being racist, on the grounds that they have an issue with a Nation, while you spend your days doing nothing but talking about how much you hate Israel. I actually had a professor say that the US should have left Hitler alone, because if we didn’t interfere we wouldn’t have Israel. That level of hate is equal across the board for Liberals and that irrelevant country of Israel. Sadly, Liberals would rather see genocide, torture, and kidnapping than to see a country in existence that doesn’t bow down to Muslim countries engaged in terrorism.

    It’s an amazing world in the modern Liberal’s head, and it’s like winning the lottery to be a member of their protected political classes. America is racist for memorializing missing troops — which doesn’t make any f*(king sense whatsoever — and Israel is bad for defending itself and implementing policies to combat continual attacks against civilian people by certain governments and people who are allowed to operate unimpeded by certain governments. Yet, it’s preferable to stand back and watch as people are murdered through genocide by governments, and people who are allowed to operate unimpeded by certain governments, as a result of religious wars. Which is ironic considering most Liberals are Atheist and can’t even stand seeing a cross because it infringes on their religious freedom, but they’re cool with Islamist’s taking homosexuals to the tops of buildings and throwing them off to their death as punishment for being who they are. Liberals and people like me spend all day fighting for the rights of gay people, defending their choice to be whoever the heck they want to be, and supporting those who are peaceful and tolerant of others. Liberals, and nobody like them, are so intolerant that they can’t just look passed religious symbols and go on with their lives, will vehemently support gay rights in America and abroad, but then will be conflicted once their protected Muslim class has a large portion of its population that is waging religious wars, brutalizing innocent people, and holds an even stronger opposition to homosexuality than Christianity — which involves some sects going so far as to execute gay people — so they will sit back and ignore the atrocities, while trying to deflect by screaming even louder about nobodies that only have philosophical issues with certain people, not engaging in mass killings.

    It takes a real lack of integrity, logic, and consistency to Liberal. It’s not for everybody. Many freethinkers couldn’t ever see themselves being told how to feel, and would have a big problem with falsely accusing others of totally absurd behavior. Not everyone can blindly hate and blindly support, solely focusing on select people and not mankind altogether. But rest assured, there are people weak enough to fulfill this role. Remember, just when you thought it would be impossible for anyone to Liberal any harder, you’re going to run across someone who is Liberaling more than you’ve ever seen Liberaling done before. Just keep in mind, the only way to Liberal any harder than Liberaling is done now, is to redefine every word in the English language in order to suit the agenda, and criticize someone for something that you had to manipulate and twist into being something that it’s not, while you yourself are guilty of actually doing what you’re trying to accuse another of doing. It’s tough, immoral work, but somebody has to do it.

  67. I’ll admit that the “racist” part made no sense. But you know what also doesn’t make sense? Calling someone a traitor because they refuse to believe that there are American prisoners still being held in Vietnam. There are 250,000 MIA North Vietnamese, and they’re not being held in slave camps. There are Americans still MIA from the first Gulf War. They’re not in slave camps either. But because we lost in Vietnam, we have to sign on to a cult of victimization caused by a refusal to grapple with the most basic reality of war – soldiers die, and don’t make it home.

    It’s grown beyond pathetic. Our entire foreign policy is being warped by people whose concerns, like those of people who talk about chemtrails and Jade-15, would be valid if their claims make any sense. But they don’t.

    How long will it take to admit that we lost a tiny fraction of the lives that our enemies did, and that none of them will be making it back? This whole notion that I’m a traitor because I think it’s long past time for whiners to stop using their military service, etc. to shut reasonable people up who are strong enough to MOVE ON sounds like the nationalistic ravings of Japanese soldiers who hid for decades reusing to believe the war was over.

    Well, it’s over. And you demean yourselves and us as a nation by acting out and turning your unresolved grief into attacks on anyone who would tell you to give up on the fixation that hundreds of Americans are being held slaves for reasons that have never been explained in a way that makes a lick of sense. Our soldiers’ brave sacrifice isn’t a justification for this immature and shameful crusade over an IMAGINARY manner.

    That’s why I feel shame when I see that flag. It makes America look like a nation of spoiled children who were too coddled to understand that sometimes war is hell, and it doesn’t always end with a sense of completion of everyone. I want to live in an America that isn’t intent on setting a record for most ridiculous reaction to a modern war. I don’t have contempt for the men and women of our armed forces – I have contempt for people who take their grief and insist on making it a problem for the entire nation. Get over yourselves, get some therapy, and stop embarrassing the rest of us and making us look like wusses.

    • Ben, you filthy demoncrap pig if you feel shame when you look at that flag, then I have a few things for you, don’t look at it then. If you are a shame of that flag, then you must be ashame of the American flag also, if you are, then get the hell out of our country you filthy lousy pig racist jackass. Come talk to a real Viet Nam vet who fought there for you pansy ass you liberal jackass.

    • Ben, it isn’t about whether those POW’s or MIA’s are alive or dead. It is about the fact that they are still missing. The fact that we won’t know, until we actually know.
      Both sides lost people. Sorry, that is part of war. People die. These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines knew the risk when they put on the uniforms. That doesn’t mean we forget their sacrifice, that doesn’t mean we forget them.
      83,000 American service personnel are still missing in action. These soldiers are assumed dead, but are still unaccounted for. They rest in unmarked graves in foreign countries, or out at sea. 73,500 of them fought in World War II; 9,645 in the wars since.
      Maybe you don’t understand because you never served. Maybe it is because you have never lost a loved one. Maybe it is because you have never had a friend or family member that has been lost and not found.
      Why do we fly THAT flag? There are 83,000 reasons. And until all are found, returned, or laid to rest, that flag WILL fly.
      This isn’t about you son, it is about them.

  68. Mongo, thank you for your service. And a belated thanks to the 3 previous generations of your family. No one should make this about the author’s alleged Jewishness…and I use the word “author” loosely…VERY loosely…in this case. Assholes come in every religious persuasion, and some have none at all.

    Perlstein, you’re a disgrace. And you’re not a very good writer.

    That flag means something to every American whose father, son, husband or brother never came home. Even if all of the POW/MIAs are dead, it still means something to their families. That’s more than enough of a reason to leave it flying…in perpetuity.

  69. This is just another situation of a leftist, libtard, socialist doing what they do best. Twist the facts and reality of a situation, take facts out of context, or simply make them up; All t o suit their own agenda.

    Above i was the question posed as to why t his article was written. What was its purpose?

    That is an easy question to answer.

    The gay marriage and confederate battle flag issues are winding down. coverage and attention to them has grown to a minimum. The left needs something else outrageous to keep the nation’s attention while our liar in chief and his groupies push more legislation meant to dismantle our constitution and destroy this country.

    Very soon every media outlet will be carrying this store. Many already are. Facebook and twitter is already blowing up with posts. The people of this nation; the sheep that most of them are, are buying into it hook line and sinker.

  70. @Ben. Just out of curiousity, did you spend your entire life not knowing your father due to war? If not, then shut up because you really have no clue. I know more about honor and duty and loyalty and compassion than a lot of pissants out there in America that spend there time whining behind prison bars because they comitted felonies because they were abused or abandoned by Daddy. Guess what, Buttercup, I learned well and early the world isn’t fair. There is such a thing as having respect for the dead, potentially dead, and their families. Mr Perlstein knows nothing of this apparently. And I’d like to see you, Ben, come tell me to my face how I make Americans look like wusses. I am the daughter of a Native who fought for YOUR right to agree with the idiot Perlstein. Let me show you how we do it.  It isnt about unresolved grief, it is about pride in who my father was, and in who fought with him.

  71. The lack of historical context here is stunning. Whether Rick wants to admit it or not soldiers being listed as POWs or MIA have existed for centuries. In our history as a country alone we can point to the very beginning of our country and our fight for independence. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier goes back to 1921 which would mean we’ve had families of our troops praying for answers well before Nixon.

    It’s time for the Left to admit the blatantly obvious, they cannot stomach the Right, Patriotism and a idea of loving and respecting out troops. I would urge Rick to go ask a mother of a son who’s still not home from ‘Nam, go to still living vet from WWII who was a POW of the Germans or the Japanese, and on and on. Tell those people with a family member who still hasn’t come home to take down this flag he deems as racist.

    Very sad day in our country.

  72. Mr. Perlstein you were born in 1969 I received my Draft notice in 1968. We are each within our right to our opinion. Many of us served in the military to help protect this right. We served overseas, if it was our duty to serve overseas. This act was called “service”. Many servicemen are gone and no one knows where their remains now lay. No one will ever place an American Flag on their graves. We fly the POW/MIA flag to remember, respect and honor them. I will fly this flag on my flag pole, under the American Flag, more often now. Thank you very much for reminding me why I do this.

  73. In all of your rambling on about various things, you failed to provide proof to support the title of your article. That in of itself creates a distinct aura of doubt upon the facts you provided. The use the “missing in action” was first used by the military in 1944 when U.S. commanders realized men went missing during a battle. Some German artillery shells could literally obliterate a whole company of soldiers with no evidence they existed prior to the shell impact. Even though this term may not have been on a government for previously, sometimes terms are changed as there meaning better suits the true nature of what is being recorded. As far as playing the prisoners up, any information that can be used to “enhance” public opinion has been done in almost every conflict, a.k.a. propaganda. At that time, people can only react to what they are told. People alive in that era, you are obviously too young and ignorant to realize, actually believed what the newspapers and television reported. Not like the world you work in where no one can actually trust what they see or hear on the news as the blatant bias and “cherry picking” of information is so rampant. You mentioned the Vietnamese learning the torture methods from the French. While the French did not treat the people well, this was primarily after WW2. The French had removed all of their troops in 1939 and left a minimal governing presence. The Japanese took control of the country without a shot. The French did whatever the Japanese said as Japanese soldiers were present. As a result, it would be safe to assume, since the torture techniques as almost identical, the Japanese either used or forced the French to use those techniques upon any Vietnamese who resisted. After the war, the French commander made the decision to continue their use, a stupid decision on his part. The flag perhaps does memorialize Americans as victims, but not in the way you interpreted it. Men were called to fight for their country, who didn’t want to go, during a time when the war was very unpopular, protested every day in the news, and returning soldiers were treated with blatant disrespect by the liberal mindset of the time. These men were the real victims and they did not have a choice. They were well aware of the situation they faced at home and abroad, but went anyways. In your research, do you happen to ask anyone, like a Vietnam Vet or any person walking down the street what the flag means? It represents to me the fact U.S. soldiers are still missing in action all over the world, as the recently returned remains of 30 U.S. from the Mariana Islands proves, they should never be lost in the pages of history. When you choose a cause to boost your ego and make a name for yourself, attacking a symbol honored by every U.S. veteran and active duty person, as well as 300 million other Americans, is a prima facia case for stupidity. There is nothing racist about it. While the reason for it still flying, you say, is not justified because all of the POW’s returned and all of the MIA’s probably perished, shows your complete lack of respect and knowledge and understanding for the spouses, son, daughters, mothers and fathers of people who still, to this day, have no information as to the whereabouts of their loved ones who went to fight for their country.

  74. This is an Outrage you, Rick Perlstein should not be a journalist, go live with ISIS you anti-american prick

  75. Goodness. I have grown accustomed to reading some laughably ridiculous screeds from the terrorist-fringe-left but this…this is somewhat of a new low. Your premise is ridiculous, unsupportable and, in fact, unsupported by you. You inconvenienced innumerable pixels in a long-winded whine about how your impotent anger and blatant ignorance define your views of history and the US. Most amusing, you seem to really imagine anyone outside of your dwindling circle of psychopaths will take your mewling to heart. Sorry to break it to you but this missive of yours is indeed going viral…as an item of contempt and disgust. Congratulations.

    And, BTW, that “other banner”? It’s being flown in more places by more people than ever before. Your insane, crazed leftist over-reach and complete, typical, lack of understanding of the social climate has had the opposite effect you believed you could force on others.

    We, the rational people, really hope you and your ilk keep on talking because you’re the best advertising we could ever ask for.

  76. AMEN!!!

  77. Freedoms of speech can only go so far! If you Rock Perlstein have never served or fought this nation then what gives you the right to run your mouth about stuff YOU HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT! The Washinton Spectator should FIRE you asap! In doing so make you just disappear and never to write again don’t publish anything else. If you have served then have no honor and chances are were probably kicked out for one reason or another. Someone like probably couldn’t even cut it in the first few weeks of BCT but you feel like a winner writing about this calling the POW/MIA flag racists…you dude are a special kind of stupid.

  78. I think the flag is stupid. And I think all of our troops that went there went for nought. Wasted lives! Wasted deaths! And now they’re trying to make themselves feel good about their losses. Just like christians need a pacifier to face death. Stop warmongering.

    • Sounds like you don’t believe in GOD. You best get right with him or it will be very, very hot in HELL!

    • @Big D: The flag in question is not stupid nor does it encourage warmongering. Get your head out of your derrierre. The POW/MIA flag is a bastion of hope, a symbol of remembrance… Our warriors will NOT be forgotten! And if you oppose it, then feel free to stand on the front lines and pay the price of your own freedom so a child doesn’t have to live his/her life w/o his/her parent because you weren’t brave enough to step up to the plate.

  79. Hey Perlstein, why do you and your ilk feel it is necessary to manufacture divisive controversies where none exist?

  80. I see the author has made the blundering idiotic error of treating a nationality (and a former nationality, given that North Vietnam doesn’t exist anymore) as a race, which its not. If anything the flag is anti-nationalist given the north vietnamese were nationalist socialists (oh, Nazis, you say? YES) who engaged in genocide against their neighbors, occupying neighboring nations and mass murdering millions. Even today, any dissident group that calls for something as scary as free speech or elections in Vietnam is called a terrorist group by the ruling Communist Party, arrested, and typically either shot or imprisoned at hard labor.
    So, I suppose that the POWMIA flag for MIA soldiers of WWII in Germany is racist too, given that there are OVER 20,000 Missing In Action American soldiers from WWII in Europe. Is it “racist” to call for their discovery and return too?
    You really are a rather ignorant twit to make such an assertion, who never served a day in his life.

  81. …..Perlstein…stupidhead that can’t properly investigate….or at least cannot consider the negative impact his words have on survivors of an unpopular war….

  82. I am shocked and dismayed by Rick Perlstein’s opinions about the POW MIA flag and it’s origin. This flag stands for a family’s love for a missing serviceman and or a prisoner of war. That is why the words “You Are Not Forgotten’ were included, you never forget the ones you love.

    In January of 1966 my father, Wilmer Newlin Grubb was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over Son Trach, North Vietnam. He was captured and photographs of him in good health were soon released to the press. Years passed by as my family waited for our government to give us any information about our father’s fate. By the time you were born in 1969, Mr Perlstein my family had waited 3 years.

    Why did all the packages and letters we would send to him always be returned to us? The only news we received were from men who came back and reported torture occurring on ALL sides of the conflict. My mother joined Sybil Stockdale and helped to found the National League of Families, She was driven to do this by the love she had for her husband and her family. She helped to present the first POW MIA flag to Melvin Laird, Nixon’s Sect. Of Defense. This is the flag, Mr Perlstein you chose to hate? It was conceived in order to raise awareness to the plight of the missing service members. Mothers, fathers, wives, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters all filled the ranks of the League of Families to get our message out to a public that was more interested in just ending the war. And guess what? It worked.

    Against all odds people listened. I am appalled that you believe this is a bad thing and by your opinion continues to be a thorn in the governments side. I have spoken to POW’s that returned after the war and it was at the same time that public awareness of the prisoners and the missing rose as did the humane treatment of the prisoners. New procedures were put in place by the military and the government to help families who were struggling with the loss or the capture of a loved one. So much good came out of the Leagues efforts. Missing men who by your own accounts should have been listed as deceased were returned at the end of the war. I assure you if they would have been listed by us as deceased , they would not have come home, that would have signed their death warrants. Unfortunately my father was not among the living that were returned. His remains were returned to this country in 1974 and he was buried with Honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The North Vietnamese said he died 9 days after capture from wound sustained from his ejection from his aircraft. We waited 8 years for that information but we consider our selves lucky. Many families are still waiting.

    I am also appalled Mr Perlstein that you do not like that the League is still active and has spawned other organizations that search and return the remains of servicemen to this day. I believe that it is because of these efforts that America and Vietnam have the relationship we have today. Mr Perlstein I would like to recommended that you read my mothers book titled “You Are Not Forgotten” by Evelyn Grubb and Carol Jose about her time in the League of Families for a greater understanding about the flag and the struggles my family endured before you spread any more misinformation.

    I also recommend that you watch “The Fruits of Peace” documentary that my family became involved with that took my brothers and I to Vietnam to meet with the men from the antiaircraft unit that shot my father down. We were able to gather more information about my father after he was captured. The documentary will be released in 2016.

    In closing it is my hope that you rethink your opinion about the POW MIA flag. It has become to mean much more now than it did when it was developed. It has become an emblem of unifying force for America. As a proud American it means that we will never forget the sacrifices that ALL of our brave service members and families of ALL wars endure to keep our country safe and that there efforts will Not be Forgotten.

    Stephen Grubb

    • Wow… Very touching! God Bless you and your family!

  83. Mr. Perlstein,
    What in the name of God do you know about Viet Nam, the war, or any of the specifics of the conflict. Racist indeed! Is your occupation so boring that you find it necessary to rewrite history, insult all vets and marginalize your magazine at a time when the news is begging to be told. How about the fallout from the most recent revelations about Mrs. Clinton’s e-mail server? Yeh right, you’re going to tell that story.

    By the way, the race of the NVA is Asian, as was the race of South Vietnamese, the Koreans, Japanese and on and on. You have taken garbage journalism to a new low, and managed to insult some very dangerous people with your revisionist wanderings. Just curious, sales pretty slow with the new book?

    You are a FOOL, unlike any I have ever seen or heard of. You are a disgrace to this country and have done NOTHING to promote the interest of our Republic or it’s people. I hope you get from this life, exactly what you have invested in it.
    Your parents must be very proud of their little liberal hack.
    Most Sincerely,

    A Disabled Combat Veteran of Viet Nam, US Army, 1968-1969, Dong Ha, South Viet Nam

    • Mack, Welcome my brother, we are glad you made it back. Da Nang, Viet Nam 1970-71 84th Engineers

  84. TO TAMMY: God bless you and your family. You are justly proud of your Dad and his sacrifice for our Country. I served with men like him, and after 45 years I still honor them, living and dead.


  85. Perlstein, you are the epitome of ignorant liberalism. You certainly have the right to say everything you did, but that doesn’t make it any less farcical. If this news outfit were concerned with any sort of credibility, they’d fire your worthless ass.

  86. Perlstein is obviously NOT A VETERAN. You can tell that he has never served his county. He thinks that making ignorant, stupid, uninformed statements is intellectual. All he has done is prove that is intellect is about as good as a
    slugs. The fact that this website would even give him a fourm and publish this traitorus material just shows that Washington Spectator is just that, a spectator that is completely removed from realty. Both Perlstein and Washington Spectator should just go joing the Morons Society since they are morons.

  87. I am a Vietnam Vet and I am really pissed off about this article. I guess he thinks the LGBTQ flag is great, but it offends me greatly, why not write an article about not flying it in public.
    Also why didn’t he join the military and see what it’s like to defend his country. If he don’t like America leave and go to Syria.

  88. I would like to address the 3 Representatives on this Page. The Journalist (or Historian), The Publisher, and the Reader.

    I, like obviously many people have expressed our concerns about this article, and what it represents.

    Mr Perlstein,
    I understand you have a passion and love of what you believe in. It is your right and these brave men who served in the wars have lost family, friends, sanity and their own blood to give you that right. Families have lost husbands and Fathers with no casket, no remains, no closure on what was their Soldier’s fate. Some to this day cling to the hope they are alive in captivity. Others just want their remains sent home for proper burial. You said and I quote
    “Richard Nixon invented the cult of the “POW/MIA” in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam”
    However according to wikipedia:
    “The League’s origins date to groups created by Sybil Stockdale and a group of POW/MIA wives in Coronado, California”
    According to the League’s site:
    “The League originated on the west coast in the late 1960s. Believing that the US Government’s policy of keeping a low profile on the POW/MIA issue while urging family members to refrain from publicly discussing the problem was unjustified, the wife of a ranking POW initiated a loosely organized movement that evolved into the National League of POW/MIA Families.”
    And while it was Republican President Nixon that was in office during the time of both the Vietnam War, and the rise of the Flag (January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974) It was Democratic President Johnson that sent the troops to war in 1965. But you forgot to mention that huh? (Oops).
    You also state the purpose of labeling MIA of Soldiers whose bodies were not recovered was to help Nixon. “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. ”
    However again according to Wikipedia “U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that all U.S. servicemen taken prisoner had been accounted for.”
    But then again let us not also forget:
    “The United States Department of Defense, headed by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, was accused of covering up information and failing to properly pursue intelligence about American POW/MIAs.” Washington Post 1991 (Oops).
    Or even “in June 1992 when President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin told NBC News in an interview that some Americans captured during the Vietnam War may have been transferred from Hanoi to the Soviet Union: “Our archives have shown that it is true, some of them were transferred to the territory of the former U.S.S.R. and were kept in labor camps. We don’t have complete data and can only surmise that some of them may still be alive.” New York Times (Oops again).
    You also make statements about Abu Graib and how it’s the politicians fault. You do realize that today’s youth have very little morals due to our new cultural taste in music? And that
    “There was evidence that authorization for the torture had come from high up in the military hierarchy, with allegations being made that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had authorized some of the actions.” (Wikipedia)
    “The United States Department of Defense removed seventeen soldiers and officers from duty, and eleven soldiers were charged with dereliction of duty, maltreatment, aggravated assault and battery. Between May 2004 and March 2006, these soldiers were convicted in courts-martial, sentenced to military prison, and dishonorably discharged from service” (Wikipedia) (oops).
    As for Vietnam? I rather stick with the words of people who been there and could tell my about Vietnam. People like my Father (90% of Americans descended from a Vietnam Vet) (oops), who never lied to me, told me Santa was a fake, based off a coke advertisement and a St Nicholas from the Dark Ages, and the Easter bunny is really the Pastor hiding eggs. A man who never hit me, or was drunk around me but hung with his VFW buddies.

    Mr Perlstien, Your message not only drips with passion, it drips with hatred.
    “And in 1971 that damned flag went up”
    However according to the League site:
    “In 1970, Mrs. Michael Hoff, an MIA wife and member of the National League of Families, recognized the need for a symbol of our POW/MIAs.”
    “Mrs. Hoff found Mr. Rivkees very sympathetic to the POW/MIA issue, and he and an Annin advertising agency employee, Newt Heisley, designed a flag to represent our missing men. Following League approval, the flags were manufactured for distribution.” So we have to assume “that Damned Flag” was raised in 1971 (unless you can give me a source).
    Or even earlier “Richard Nixon invented the cult of the ‘POW/MIA'”
    You called the league comprised of families with missing members a cult. What are you saying the sacrifice people and children? maybe worship some pagan god? Or how about drinking the poisoned koolaid? Honestly if we going to spewing hatred might as well cite more than one source.

    you also won’t let up as in your apology:

    I’m deeply sorry it hurt people—especially people who’ve selflessly served their country. Most of all, I’m sorry because many of the people offended by the word “racist” are the same people who were hurt when the experiences and feelings of common soldiers and veterans were manipulated to serve the powerful interests and individuals who blithely and perennially send men and women to war, then don’t take care of them when they return home. And, of course, I regret the pain caused to the families of those who gave the last full measure of devotion to their country in Southeast Asia.”

    Obviously we will also use current bad publicity against the Department of Veteran Affairs (aka the VA) and their medical division (My I can even see another newly formed Government health plan that used this as a model, going down this road).

    And people were not manipulated into going to war. Many chose. Others chose war over jail. a sense of freedom and redemption at their crimes. do a few years and not get a job, or (at that time) do a contract get paid, maybe a few benefits, and come out with a clean record and some honor, perhaps benefits. Or at least thats my assumption of went on in some poor fool’s head.

    People to this day are not manipulated into Joining. Why did I join? (oops did I mention I am a veteran?) I joined because Johnny Rich pants found it easy to get to college with an approved student loan, grant or scholarship but wasted it on drugs, rather than a working class farm boy with an extremely high IQ and an Artistic talent with a dad who had bad credit, and was only able to save 3,000 dollars to give his son as his rite of Passage gift thanks to the Taliban. I chose to join because of education, Because I always knew I would join because I was so “proud of my Pa” (oops I stereotyped myself) and I wanted to be like him, better even. Not a killer but a defender. Did I see atrocities? yes! Did I see bodies of Iraqi civilians riddled with AK-47 bullets? yes. Did I see Civilians beg me for help because they had bombs strapped to them? yes. (Thank your Politicians for the lack of equipment needed to save them) Did I see atrocities committed by the American Forces? No. Did I hear about them? yes.

    “I would ask the people I angered to consider carefully reading the article, which explains, for example, that the Chinese Communists cynically leaked lies about the existence of live POWs in the years after the war in order to harm their rival Vietnam.”

    You also do realize I pointed out a Russian President also admitted to have POWs? (oops)

    Mr Perlstien you have a gift, and you must be careful how you use it. People are quick to segregate each other these days but it is the Journalist that can heal this land and unify them. But here you are causing more pain and torment to this already divided nation. With the one article that has been publicly shunned by the American people on the internet, social media (which is everywhere) and even members of the media, you slandered not only Veterans, and Vietnamese refugees, buta nonprofit organization comprised of family members of missing soldiers both dead and possibly alive (I am not saying they will, but in this nation of sue happy citizens I would not be surprised of lawsuit). You also slandered the reputation of an organization you represent that you had to write (as well as they had to comment) an apology. Regardless of whether it’s wearing combat fatigues or a tie we represent the company we work for. And while the Military and law enforcement is government funded, the Media is also servants of the people. Advocators of free speech.
    And as Assyrian sage Ahiqar wrote in 500 B.C: “The word is mightier than the sword.” You must live by that.
    I picked up a weapon to defend that belief that is the cornerstone of our law and Culture. What Congress chose to use that for is on their hands. I came home with demons, and I do my best to combat those demons daily. Do I wave a gun at the VA? no do I get drunk and shoot cans off a fence? No. Do I feel sorry for myself as I stay in a constant drunken state soiling myself? No. As I lay down my weapon, fold my fatigues and kiss my Korean wife and baby, I roll up my sleeves , pick up pen and brush to draw the demons, to enlighten the people, and do my part in battling the war in my country by healing them and unifying them. Not with hatred, but with brotherhood.

    To the editor:

    In this letter I have made some valid points myself in the span of a few hours (more than what most people spend on an article) to validate points you claim were made on a representative of your News team’s Article. I have written to three of your editors last night on the article. I do not have a degree in Journalism, or history, rather my degree is not complete as I am a student obtaining my Bachelors in the Arts. I am also not a slack jawed yokel as some people described me as. I am actually highly intelligent but, not a member of the Mensa Club by choice. Intelligence breeds pride and pride generates ignorance. You may feel he has brought some valid points, and he has, but his tone is anger and slander towards these Veterans and Organizations that has brought each other together. I am grateful your organization (and him as well) wrote an apology and statement, and even changed the title. But it would seem the Headline that may have been overlooked, might very well be the truly feelings of your company. Or does articles not get reviewed by the editor as we are lead to believe? Thank you for your response to my email and addressing this matter. Perhaps we may all be able to move past this. I pray that your organization will be more aware, and promote more unbiased articles that generate awareness rather than onside slanders.

    And lastly to the reader.

    Hey Guys! I am a vet too! but we must not use our speech and anger to show unintelligent remarks. We as Veterans and the American People must not forget the standards we once held and know that speaking derogatory words, assumptions of negative lifestyles (drugs) is not the answer to counter an article viewed as an intelligent opinion (regardless what we believe). Keep an open mind (Im not saying this article is true) and research his statements and sources then counter it with yours. in the end if it falls on deaf ears write to the editors and explain your grief. I am not saying I am solely responsibly for the apology being addressed. Let us show we can be responsible, Mature Adults and counter with intellectual opinions and sources of our own. We must stand together in these hard times when government or public figures try to separate us. for as George Washington once said “A house divided against itself will not stand.” That doesn’t mean just politics but the Citizenry too. Hopefully we can move past this together.

    Micah Lavigne
    US Army Vet/ Art Student
    OEF/OIF 2008-2015

    • Very well said sir.

  89. To my Uncles n Aunties that served in Nam, whether here/POW/MIA/KIA- you are a big part of my heart. To those that would defame the service of those who have bled and died or are MIA/POW or came back, you are cowards that could not even hold a candle to the men and women that served.

  90. Your apology, in my opinion, was not sincere. I agree with other comments above that you should be fired.
    US Army Vet 1968 thru 1972, Dalat Viet Nam and Dong Ha Viet Nam

    • His arrogance drowned out the apology, as far as I am concerned.

  91. This man basically just joined the ones who spit in the faces of our returning military men and women and spit on the graves of the ones who didn’t make it home. Rick Perlstein is The Washington Spectator‘s national correspondent. He is a traitor of the United States of America and uses his American right to freedom of speech while talking trash about the ones who fought and died for that very freedom.

  92. An apology is NOT enough! This writer has shown they are ill-educated, will write an article before any research has been done, and have no qualms with writing lies. Fire this no good, lie spreading fool, while they’re just a liability.

  93. Poor Rick
    All I wonder it what causes him to be so hateful towards our men and women in uniform .
    But I must say that I find his pseudo intellectual logic and manipulation of history quite amusing .

  94. Your apology is fool hardy. We did not invade North Vietnam. Instead we took over from the French under the auspices of being military advisers at first. A war which Kennedy didn’t want us in was escalated by Johnson, which it would appear this paper ignores in an ever continuing effort to slander any Republican they can. You should remember it was Nixon and Ford that led the draw down and got us out of ‘Nam. A historian should know that and a quality news outlet should as well, instead of taking a one-sided view point. It only leads to a continued mistrust.

    It was the Communists of North Vietnam who invaded South Vietnam, not the other way around. Are you, this media outlet, and Rick Perlstein so full of hate and disdain for our country that you have to call veterans racist while you re-write history?

  95. As a dear friend of mine always says “If you can’t stand behind our troops and support them, have some balls and try standing in front of them”

  96. I am uninterested in any of the other comments here. I make my comment to correct some of the erroneous history that Mr. Perlstein has presented here.
    To state that this POW/MIA flag somehow exclusively represents the Vietnam war and POW experience is sheer nonsense and fallacy. After the Vietnam war it was finally realized the POW/MIAs have never been recognized for their special sacrifices. The medal, and flag were an effort to make recognition. This includes the POWs of all wars. In particular, lets take a look at the WWII POW experience that has seldom been discussed. The Japanese committed atrocities on American POWs that can barely be understood, even by the standards of Vietnam. Those events are rarely mentioned, virtually never represented in Hollywood or by such “esteemed” authors as Mr. Perlstein. Mr. Perlstein, I challenge you to research that experience in as much detail as you have the Vietnam experience. You will find tens of thousands of victims, mutilated, tortured, executed and worse…forgotten. Try looking up “Bataan Death March”. And then, you may wish to read about the slave labor camps in Japan, where there are still companies that operate that fomented those labor camps. You may wish to discuss your views about that POW flag with those few that are left that survived the Hell Ships, another subject you may wish to exercise your great research skills on.
    I will also ask Mr. Perlstein, what personal experience he might have with this chapter of sacrifice for America’s service members. For example, my grandfather was captured on Bataan, survived six days of force march at bayonet point, survived the death camps and hell ships. After surviving those events, his only son was killed in Korea on the Pusan perimeter in 1950; his remains were discovered and returned home in 2004. Interestingly, I was serving in Iraq when his remains were returned, a place where POWs lived short live, normally they were beheaded within days of capture, if they were captured at all.
    So Mr. Perlstein, go back and hit the books. I will ask you to steer clear of your normal sources like Wikipedia, and read some real history about real people that have sacrificed all for their nation.

    And remember this, Mr. Perlstein. They all made those sacrifices to allow you the freedom to express your opinions, no matter how skewed, arrogant, elitist and inappropriate they may be. And when you speak the words “racist” you may wish to look in the mirror to gain a better understanding of how serious it is when you make statements without thinking, and responsible research. Sometimes apologies, particularly when they are not genuine, are just not enough.
    Now go conduct some research, learn what it is to be an American and to sacrifice everything, and understand why just having an opinion doesn’t mean that you should express it unless done so responsibly. If you find that can do this with some humility then you will know that you owe an apology to tens of thousands of service members, some living, many dead. If you cannot do this, then you will simply prove what a small and thankless soul that you appear to be.

  97. What a wretched piece of so-called writing. So where exactly is the link between the flag that honors those who are missing in Vietnam — and other wars — and racism? This pinnacle of journalistic tripe was an “accomplishment” only surpassed by the half-assed apology from the writer and the mealy-mouthed comment from the editor.

    As someone who served two extended tours in Vietnam as an enlisted soldier and then returned for several additional years as a civilian war correspondent, I find this piece of dreck beneath contempt. I suspect that whatever “apology” and headline change was subsequently made came only because of the firestorm of negative criticism this article sparked. Under the First Amendment, you certainly have the right to spew such garbage; I and thousands of others who feel utter rage at this also have the right to tell you — with an ever-increasing tide of anger and loathing — that we find you beneath contempt.

  98. Rick Peristein-I will let you know “it cannot be inherited not can it be purchase. I have earned it with my blood seat and tears. I own it forever, The Title Vietnam Vet.”

    To me you are in the same rat whole as Hanoi Jane who I have pasted her pictured on a urinal so everyone can piss on her. Because of the POW/MIA you have been given the Freedom of Speech. The mind of a kindergarten has more sense than you.

  99. Rick Perlstein, I read this and read it again. I can’t really understand your motivation for writing it or disliking the POW/MIA flag. Yes we know bad shit happened in Vietnam, war is like that. But this flag is now used as a flag of hope to the families of, the service men and women who never returned home. The POW/MIA organization works closely with all the nations that may have remains still in their lands, often buried in jungles, woods or fields where they fell. We send people to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Germany, France and other countries to look for the remains of the fallen. In the process they have built bonds of friendship with the countries we work with. When the remains of a soldier are repatriated the families finally have some closure. Instead of looking at any of these positive meanings you chose to connect it to the horrors of Vietnam and our government’s political agenda. You actively chose to take something that is a sign of hope to many and try to tear it away. Your apology was a “but” apology which makes it practically meaningless.

  100. I am offended at the backwards way the writer apologizes for offending people then turns around and makes those offended look like uneducated hipocrites like he really did nothing wrong.

  101. This journalist and the editor are both wrong. I could provide the numbers of the POW/MIAs from OIF/OEF, Desert Storm, the Cold War, Vietnam, Korea, World War II, World War I… It wouldn’t matter to any of the progressive people who think our flag is racist.

    They obviously don’t know how it feels to wait for 4 years for word of someone who is a POW. They don’t know what it’s like to keep a small bag of necessities next to the front just waiting for the call that their loved one has been rescued. They’ve never gone to bed each night hoping, praying and believing that the call would come the next day… always believing in tomorrow. Until the day the call did come which crushed every hope and dream for that loved one to be coming home alive. I could tell him all about 4 years.

    Some families never have that opportunity to have a phone call that their loved ones are recovered and being brought home. Some mothers wear their Gold Star pins for thirty five years on earth for their sons and aren’t reunited with them until they meet in Heaven because they were never returned to the United States. There are empty graves with memory stones for our troops who have never been returned to us.

    I can tell him about Mrs. Anderson. I would see her on occasion. She was a lovely woman but her eyes gave her away. There was always a far away look, a sadness to them. Her son went to Vietnam in 1966. He was still there when I met her in 2005. She told me that she was afraid to ever change her phone number or move for fear that her son wasn’t dead and would some day be able to find a way to contact her.

    For those of us who wait and who have waited, that flag is not racist. That flag is LOVE!

    I will never understand how people who make their living by using the first Amendment don’t understand that those who serve, those who have served that those who have yet to return home are who make it possible for them to do what they do.

    I encourage everyone to fly your POW/MIA flags. Fly them high to remember what has been endured by our prisoners of war, missing in action and those who wait for them. None of them are forgotten.

  102. You state that a more careful editor would have moved the term “racist” lower in the body of the story and kept it out of the headline, where it was an unintended red flag that provoked the understandable ire of many readers. —Lou Dubose. I find that laughable. A more careful editor wouldn’t have published this piece of crap to begin with.

  103. As I Veteran I can admit that Vietnam conflict was an awful situation. For the people of Vietnam, Americans, and especially the soldiers of all forces involved. It was a learning experience for all. There was a significant amount of soldiers in the war on both sides were draftees. Thats easy to take for granted now with an all volunteer force. Its even easier for some to take our nations conflicts and soldiers lives for granted when they never served. The POW/MIA flag to me represents more than just the losses in Vietnam but in all our nations conflicts soldiers and civilians alike. Because all of the fallen matter. Any credibility that this journalist may have had was lost in the sensational and misleading title, his bogus apology was lost on me when he called and soldier “common” and likened us “common soldiers” to pawns in chess. Dehumanizing them was pretty ignorant. Soldiers are anything but common. Literally and figuratively. I find it humorous too that he takes such digs at men who have passed and cannot defend themselves and with no real proof backing his statements. Speculation is wonderfully entertaining, but not useful. The tactics of this journalist to gain attention is worse than Kris Kardashian’s attemt at fame and fortune. Only she is successful. The author does not offer a recommendation on how to rectify the situation, he only criticized those who had tried. Presenting problems without solutions is bitching. Fortunately the POWs, MIAs and their families can find solace in knowing that nobody makes statues of critics. If they did, this guy could sit on a bronze casting of his own face and spin.

  104. Apology not accepted. May you join the ranks with Jane Fonda and you face be immortalized on a urinal screen.

  105. I’m a Vietnam vet, and I’m writing to thank Rick Perlstein for his powerful, accurate, and well-researched article. Rick, you don’t have to apologize for offending me or anyone else. Those who are offended are still living in a racist fantasyland promulgated by the war and its supporters. The U.S. invaded Vietnam and killed millions of Vietnamese, and we deserved to lose that war. As the son of an NVA soldier told me a few years ago: “The Chinese were here for a thousand years, and we finally kicked them out. The French were here for [about] a hundred years and we finally kicked them out. You were here for twenty years and we finally kicked you out.” And it’s a damn good thing they did. I’m sorry for all my buddies who got killed and maimed and are still dying from PTSD and Agent Orange, but their sacrifice doesn’t justify continuing to invade and occupy other countries, or immiserate our own country to feed the military contractors and the war machine. Most of the commenters here just can’t handle the truth, and no amount of discussion will open their minds.

    • @Mike immediately prior to this post….I am not living in a “racist fantasyland” and I do hope that your remark was sarcasm. The world I am living in is one in which I have lived all but the first four months and one day of my life without my father. If you were not being sarcastic at all, perhaps you should look into getting in touch with Sons and Daughters in Touch. The reality is this war didn’t just affect the Vietnamese people long term nor our Warriors…but the families surrounding all that were killed. And Christian or no, I have to live every day of my life with the vision of my father being shot in the face and the bullet exiting the back of his head that I was given in a nightmare as a child later confirmed (23 years later) by getting and reading his IDPF. Much respect to your service, Sir, but if indeed you agree with Perlstein, I RESPECTFULLY disagree.

      • Tammy, you are so right, Many of the Vietnamese people are still hurting today for that war with birth defects caused by agent orange used there. I know of a number of the people today that their little babies are suffering today, but there are so many that have thanked me for what we tried to do for them over there. I have many friends in Viet Nam today and have been thanked for trying to save them from the communist rule, but this gov’t let them and us down so much and has to this day covered up so much of what happen there and why the American POW’s were never released because of the DEMONcraps in congress.

        • All the sacrifices U.S. soldiers made in Nam cannot cover up the fact that we were on the wrong side. We killed millions of Vietnamese, and for what? Until you let that really sink in, you won’t be able to start to get right with your own conscience. You’ll continue to be in denial.
          Here’s some useful books for those ready to question the militaristic bullshit still being promulgated by some vets who ought to know better:
          Gerald Nicosia, Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veteran’s Movement
          David Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt: Gi Resistance During the Vietnam War
          Nick Turse, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam
          Richard Stacewicz, Winter Soldiers: An Oral History of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War
          Chris Hedges, War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
          David Swanson, War Is a Lie
          Nicolas J.S. Davies, Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

          • @anti-Vietnam War Vietnam Vet Mike….. you Sir, respectfully, disgrace my father’s memory as much as Mr. Perlstein. And that takes a great deal of struggle for me to say as I have a great deal of respect for Vietnam Veterans and American Warriors. Let me ask you this….
            are you non-Indigenous American? As an Indigenous American, it is in my very blood to hold our Warriors in high esteem. Not because they shed blood or kill other people wantonly. No. Because it is their duty to protect and provide for the People. Fighting is only supposed to be done after great consideration by the Council. This is the Way. And this is what American gov’t was based on….the Iriquois Confederacy. To speak against your fellow Warriors and the Council that sent you to do a job is unthinkable and dishonorable. This is all I have to say, other than it hurts me to say this to someone I had considered an Uncle by the mere fact he fought and potentially bled alongside my father….

          • Mike, you really are an asshole and a filthy DEMONcrap who will just never get it you moron. Why don’t you go ask your buddy Osama the Islamic dictating terrorist pig for a brain, maybe he’ll give you one if he doesn’t try to charge you a few trillion dollars for it, you coward asshole. You are the kind of jackass that still wouldn’t believe things if it stared you right in the face. You are a troll and a coward looking to start trouble just like the filthy DEMONcraps in this country. You are just not worth my breath and energy to talk to you anymore. So go kiss osama’s filthy ass again.

    • Mike, you sir are a traitor to all the men and women who fought there and died for your filthy ass. We went there for a noble cause but this gov’t refused to call it for what it was “War”, they tried to hide our involvement there for a long time until the shit hit the fan. We wet there to do a job that we were asked to do, but many Americans got out of hand and many civilians were hurt. I tried to prevent them from getting hurt many times and got busted down numerous times for it, but I didn’t give a shit. I fought for those people and would still do the same thing today. My daughter is Vietnamese and I love her with all my heart and I am very proud of her. Don’t tell me we did wrong, because you are no better than that asshole Kerry, a traitor to what was once your brothers in arms. I guess you left them to their selves in a fire fight to you coward.

  106. Mr. Pearstein, congratulations. You have managed to rile the anger not only of Vietnam vets, but vets from other wars as well with your piece of trash disguised as writing. I suggest you have a talk with former POWs like Bob Shumaker, who spent eight years and a day in North Vietnam, nearly three in solitary confinement, or John Dramesi, who spent six years in Hanoi, was only one of four POWs to escape from Hanoi, and barely survived the torture meted out to him and his co-escapee, who died as a result. You also owe the families of POWs and MIAs an apology for calling their movement a “cult.” Since when is it a “cult” to lobby on behalf of their loved ones? Obviously, to a leftist like you, it is. That flag is not just a symbol of the Vietnam War, but symbolized POWs and MIA from all of our wars. POW and MIA families in 1991 flew the flag for their men and women held in Baghdad, and again in 2003 for those captured during the Iraq War. Go to a ceremony honoring those POW or MIA: you’ll get an education that the University of Chicago didn’t give you. An education in the meaning “Freedom isn’t Free.” And to the editor? You should never have published this piece in the first place.

  107. I came across your disturbing article and found it to be a pile of crap. I noticed that you were born in 1969 which makes you a baby during this war. For those of us who served in the armed forces during this time, many drafted, your article is an insult to their service and dedication. I personally have flown this flag everyday since 2001. It represents a living memory to those who died in this evil and corrupt war. As far as I’m concerned, you suck!


    To the Editor: PERHAPS you should make sure your authors are more knowledgeable about what they write. To make amends for posting Mr. Perlstein’s disgusting offal, I would like to suggest that you have a counter article written and publish by one of my Sons and Daughters In Touch Siblings whose father is still MIA or POW…. and then follow that with an article from one of us that has never known our father….then follow it up by getting a Vietnamese perspective of one of their Armed forces we helped….or maybe from one of the villages that benefitted from a school a combat engineer like my father built…..

  109. If you are an Indigenous American, I respect your traditions. But you and all of us are also U.S. citizens, and we didn’t give up our responsibilities as citizens when we were drafted or enlisted in the military. Following orders without ever questioning them contradicts the role of a critical citizen-soldier. We are always citizens before we were/are warriors. We were lied into the Vietnam war as we were lied into the Iraq war, and if we didn’t realize it when we were fighting, we should have the awareness as citizens to understand and admit it now, even if it hurts us as soldiers. Our service is not honored but disgraced by denying the truth of the murders we were ordered to commit over there.

    • If you got a problem with what we were ordered to do, then blame the ones who sent us, not our flag you moron.

  110. Follow this link for a story of how POWS were released; https://abcnews.go.com/Archives/video/feb-12-1973-pows-return-vietnam-9366650 You have opened some serious wounds with this inflammatory article.
    Banning flags is non-sense just as the confederate flag was banned for being racist which is total hogwash considering it was never flown over a government building but rather it was a battle flag and that’s it.

    If I want to fly any damn flag I should be able to without you commie liberals pricks trying to take it down. That’s my free speech and you liberal bastards are not going to stop me. I’m a Vietnam era marine vet and this ass that wrote this article doesn’t have a clue when it comes to knowing what these men went through. He said,( “And finally, our South Vietnamese allies’ treatment of their prisoners, who lived manacled to the floors in crippling underground bamboo “tiger cages” in prison camps built by us, was far worse than the torture our personnel suffered.”)

    What the fuc& ? How would you know anything about how those men suffered on either side? Were you there? How would you know that the Vietnamese were tortured worse than our men. Is that sympathy for the enemy?How in the hell could you even begin to have such a retarded notion without evidence? Torture is, torture, is torture, is torture no matter what form it comes in. Where are your sources for this ridiculous statement?

    This is an irresponsible article that is there to fuel the fire and keep the sh!t stirred so the liberal asses can capitalize on racism by banning everything they don’t agree with and for this website to get some viewers. Why in the hell do you compare this to racism unless your the racist pulling the card. The racist is always first to pull the race card. If your a historian then I am Santa Claus.

    As a Vietnam era marine vet I am going to bash this article all the way to hell. I am a writer and you will not hear the end of this unless you pull this inflammatory article. This is total sh!t and you know it so retract this article and your non-sense opinion that comes from someone who has never been in the service. Watch now how many vets start flying this flag in your face ass-wipe! Which is what I am going to do with this article after I finish taking a sh!t.

    After what you said in this article your apology is lame and weak and NOT accepted and the editors comments are lame as well because this all falls on you Mr. editor. I took an oath to defend this constitution and that goes away only with my death and so it seems to me I now have to defend it from the enemies from within which are now the libtards who are nothing more than communist crybabies trying to change our country while lying to the public.

    Have you read the constitution lately? I would love to send all you whining liberal fuks to a prison camp just to see how you would instantly change your opinion about what went on there and show you the hell these men suffered so you prick bastards here can minimalize them here. After your cozy visit I am sure you would do nothing but praise them. Right or wrong these men stood up for what they believed in. That war was not in the best interest of our country BUT If you want to blame someone blame the banksters and corporation who start and keep these wars going for their own profits. Ban the UN, the banksters, the corporation. Stop blaming inanimate objects for what corporations and criminal banksters do. GET A FUKING GRIP! You don’t change anything by banning inanimate objects, you just create more exposure out of defiance. I see more confederate flag now since the ignorant crybabies complained about something that happened 150 years ago while they are clueless about history, I expect to see the same from vets who think your a retard for wanting to ban a symbol of our freedom we cherish to remember our vets who gave it all up for you.

    • Amen, John Marshall!

  111. The Washington spectator gives an apology after they allow a complete Idiot to stab us in the gut! The POW /MIA flag is a great reminder of the honor, courage, and commitment of valiant soldiers who were either captured or never located and returned home! I for one, am getting tired of a “politically correct” movement that no longer appreciates the very foundation of this great country and the Constitution that we live by!! I highly recommend that you promote visionary writers and articles that talk about unifying our country instead of splintering it with hatred and racial overtones!! God Bless our military & the USA!!????


  1. POW MIA flag | Jupitaur - […] The Story Behind the POW/MIA Flag […]

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