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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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From The Ministry Of Truth
Body Painting1

Earlier this week the BBC news channel aired a report on individuals that had rejected the offer of honours from the British establishment.  In itself not particularly interesting, but reference was made to John Lennon.  Lennon had accepted an MBE (along with the other 3 Beatles), which he later returned as a protest. 

Lennon’s protest (according to News 24) was against the USA’s involvement in Vietnam.  Whilst that would have of course been a very worthy protest, it didn’t fit with my recollection of events.  A quick search revealed, as I suspected, that the BBC was being economical with the truth.



In Biafra’s ill fated fight for independence, as always, many innocent civilians suffered terrible hardship, including starvation.  The news reports featured children with grossly distended stomachs.  It was a distressing sight.  At a time when the country’s establishment supports military intervention on an ongoing basis, it would not be surprising that there would be reluctance for the public to be reminded of the “Nigeria – Biafra thing”.  Yet the BBC is supposedly independent.  I think not.

At least British troops weren’t sent into Vietnam, despite considerable pressure to do so.  It is disturbing that, many years later, American politicians refer to their honourable war record in that particular war.  I have no comment to make on any particular individual’s involvement, or otherwise.  However I would argue that the massive number of Vietnamese casualties, most of whom were civilians, would suggest that there is little to be considered honourable.

I will never forget the reports showing the napalmed children, running screaming in pain towards the TV camera.  It distresses me now to think of that.  That could be explained away as a horrible accident.  This however could not.


Of course John Lennon was not the only celebrity to protest against the Vietnam War.  I recall that Jane Fonda spoke out in a very public way, and was pilloried for it.  I would imagine that in her case it was out of genuine concern for the plight of innocent people, though most were jumping on a bandwagon.

“Give Peace A Chance” now sounds either quaint or cynical opportunism.  Possibly a bit of both.  Nevertheless it is a suggestion worthy of consideration.  It only takes the will to stop killing for killing to stop.