Vietnam Promise – It Was to be Our Last

The Author, Rags Issued by USMC, Body by Malnutrition

Let The Killing Begin With The Guilty This Time


By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor


I served as a Marine infantryman in Vietnam.  Raised on war propaganda, political claptrap and only mildly suspicious that America had been overthrown in the Coup de Etat on November 22, 1963, I was going to do my part.  The idea of someone else fighting and dying in my place sickened me.

Little did I know the vast majority of Americans, hawks, “chickenhawks,” so many I find myself amazed, looked on my way of thinking as insane.

In 2004, I participated in the “Run for the Wall,” going to Washington with the “central group” of motorcyclists.  My wife, a nurse, drove a chase vehicle and I rode alongside a friend who served in Vietnam as a combat medic.  At a gathering in Chillothothe, Ohio, at the local Eagles, I got to meet all involved, as Henry, Carol and I went from table to table and met everyone involved and I asked them about their Vietnam service.

I had spent years leading a study group on Vietnam, and genuinely wanted to meet more vets in person, as I had met and interviewed over 1000 online.

When I was done for the evening, we found 3 Vietnam veterans in a building filled to capacity.  Henry and I were two of them.  All wore combat medals, many were too young, some served “elsewhere” and only one had been in Vietnam.

For years I had been meeting them, Vietnam veterans who were phonies, talked about secret operations, mysterious documents.  I thought the war was stupid, most of my friends died, I was severely ill for a long time, still am, and the rationale for the war was obviously wrong, we had installed an oppressive fascist government in violation of international law for profit, a war fought by the stupid and poor, meaning idiots like me.

After returning home, I was mildly involved in anti-war activities.  It was easy at a big state university and there were NO “pro-war” vets, not combat vets anyway.  There were mouthy fatass senior NCOs who spent their tours drunk and hiding, there were officers (speaking only of the Marine Corps during my time there) who went into the field for a 2 hour walk, awarded themselves a medal and spent the next 40 plus years lying.

In fact, Vietnam was a lie.  Nobody had ever fought in a war, we had few World War II or Korean War vets.  We were led by peacetime “Gomer Pyle” types, phonies, stuffed shirts and empty hats.  There was only one Dave Hackworth, one Ted Guy and thousands of Ollie Norths.

Our biggest mistake was fighting a war that only existed because foreign troops invaded.  I was an “invading foreign troop” and was shot at by “indigenous but heroic Vietnamese.”  They were good at their job, eventually, helped along by Agent Orange and officers and staff who sold our food on the blackmarket.  In the end they claim 58,000 of us died but the truth is, 2.2 million died, some took a bit longer.

I watched the people around me waste away, eating 40 year old canned food, drinking dirty water, I watched when their teeth fell out, when they stayed in the field with “minor bullet wounds” or limped with leg injuries or walked bent over because they had been thrown thru the air by a booby trap or Soviet rocket.

We didn’t mind, being issued M 16E1’s, an experimental rifle we later learned were supposed to be melted down for scrap.  They gave them to the Marines.  Our other gear, with the exception of pants and boots, which we were issued “second hand” from dead bodies, came from World War II, it cut into our skin, packs held nothing, we didn’t care.

Some had body armour, also designated for scrap as defective but issued to some Marines.  We didn’t wear that or the helmets, not often anyway.

You hear the talk, if you watch enough bad movies and TV, about how soldiers “fight for each other.”  I get sick every time I hear that.  What that is, to those too stupid to know the difference, is a piss poor excuse for sending Americans to die for military contractors, failed delusional politics and a military led by cowardly REMFS, this is what we called them, “Read Echelon Mother Fuc^%$#@.”

We didn’t fight for anyone, though some got crazy enough to kill people out of amusement, like we hear today’s military doing.

Every movie makes me angry nowadays.  Enlisted men in films are all hicks with smelly feet and speech impediments while the officers are brave and noble, always “looking out for their men.”

I went six months without ever seeing an officer at one point.  They weren’t missed.  Marine officers, in general, were Community College dropouts with inferiority complexes or the odd occasional Annapolis graduate who was escorted to see the war but kept safe so he wouldn’t sprain an ankle or such.  “They” had plans for such as them, marching around one of the bases America has around the world in a nicely pressed uniform, using the right fork but too stupid to speak on anything of consequence.

While a marine NCO, I was “officially” the best educated and most intelligent person in that service.  They kept such records and spent considerable effort explaining to me how I shouldn’t be subjected to inferior types.

Not every officer was stupid, most were, a vast percentage of Senior NCOs were unfit, alcoholic and borderline delusional, some were, on the other hand, people of great leadership ability and courage.

That list is short enough to write on your hand but the list is real.

The guys I was with, college grads, college dropouts, some with underprivileged backgrounds were and will always be the finest people I will have ever known.  A couple were nutty as hell but most OK, and many much more than that.

Whatever people of character and substance I have met in my 60 plus  years, most were met in Vietnam, serving with me, unfed, wearing rags, always smiling, some tremendously bright.

All were aware of what was going on, that we were wrong, we were the “bad guys” and that the US government was run by a pack of crooks and the Marine Corps was a dysfunctional pack of hillbillies and social misfits.  Combat marines, about 9% who served,  called the Marine Corps “the crotch.”  Today I believe the name is “the suck.”

I remember watching a History Channel show about bodies of young soldiers being dug up at a frontier fort in Pennsylvania.  Their skeletons were described, the wear from excessive work and weight they carried at a young age.

I have seen my own X-Rays.  These guys were on permanent vacation compared to Marines in Vietnam.  Every weight bearing joint needs replacement.  This is how you know if you have a real combat vet around you, when they stand up, they will wince with pain.  They will have been doing this since their 20’s.

Back then they will have had back pain, knee pain, eye pain, migraines, stomach pain and, for tens of thousands, cancers developing.

Getting back to an earlier point, we just didn’t have people around who understood or cared.  No officer or Staff NCO ever checked to see we were fed, if we got food, ammunition, were healthy, if our wounds were treated or if we got malaria medication.  Nobody even came out to see if we had uniforms.  I wore a North Vietnamese cap, a blue towel, US Army pants, no underwear or socks, and boots that were broken in half.  (they had a steel tang through the bottom)

This outfit rotted off and was replaced out of the trash where uniforms were taken off the dead or wounded.  Dried blood would eventually wash off with rain or walking through rivers.

This is how Marines were supplied.

What our peacetime “Gomer Pyle” types didn’t realize is that walking 18 hours a day with 60 pounds on a 170 pound Marine made a 120 pound Marine.

Two hours sleep a night, week after week made you a bit goofy also.

A diet of decades old carbohydrates in a can with no fresh food and “iffy” water didn’t help.

This wasn’t World War II, where you could get 18 months in New Zealand between landings which lasted 2 weeks or a month.  This was 390 day tours, not a minute off, rifle in your hand even when you were taking a “nature call” and never a drop of hot water, no movies, no “Bob Hope” or “being taken off the line.”

The line was 20 miles away at closest, and that was the other way.  We were on the wrong side of it all the time, “Indian territory” with no options, fight to the death, never surrender, certain death by torture oif captured and no hope of air strikes, artillery, helicopters, naval gunfire of any of that TV crap which exists for armchair war buffs.

You had a .22 caliber rifle that continually jammed, a few hand grenades and that was it.  You needed more, you had better be able to run 10 or more miles to get it, and we could and had to more than once.

Now another group of REMF fat-asses, originally the dregs of Vietnam, those who stayed “close to mom” took over the Army and Marine Corps.

That is what the current military is built out of.

Then another generation passed, a single 4 day war ( and a massive poisoning killing 10s of thousands) was their experience.

So, we walked into the Global War on Terror, where Bush and his cronies invented a war cooked up between Wall Street, insurance companies and the “terrified defenders of Israel from the Muslim hordes.”

What a crazy bunch of crooked SOBs!

A decade later, Iraq is worse than we found it, explosions all day every day.  Afghanistan is now supposedly a warzone but actually filled with a million armed criminals and misfits, shooting at us instead of each other while now dead, thank goodness, Richard Hollbrooke,  heroin czar of the world’s near trillion dollar (street value) racket kept the war and cash going.


It’s gone.  No money, no jobs, no hope, that’s what we got out of it.

Europe?  Same.

Romney claims, that if he is elected President, he will let Tel Aviv dictate our foreign policy and we can fight Iran, a relatively peaceful nation (so far) with a hundred million people and the ability to kill off the last generations of Americans stupid enough to serve at all.  He is personally going to fly over there, meet with his boss, the Mossad “bit%$” that runs Bain Capital, and she will be the real Commander in Chief,  he and Romneys 4 wifes.

If only we were kidding about that.

Actually, I think, were it not for poverty, the “military thing” would be over.

Nobody has remotely suspected since 2005 that America was doing anything but “screwing the pooch” with the phony war on terror.

By late 2007 it had become clear, our kids that fought for Wall Street and even those who didn’t will be lucky to survive another generation, radiation piling out of Fukashima.  The GOP calls global warming imaginary, we know better.  If there is a god, he,she or it is telling us we screwed up, we played god.  Our GMO food, “genetically modified” is as likely to breed a race of 3 headed monsters as fuel  your car or feed our cattle.

The worst of us, not just Wall Street but the stupid and ignorant, you know who you are, back during the 90s, sought to form private armies to save America from too much freedom.

Now that we live in a police state, all but the poor Michigan “Hutarees” are silent, willing to eat the vomit fed them, keep quiet and hope it is their neighbors that  get sick or lose their jobs, homes and have their children starve.

How we have become such a proud people, we Americans.

Doing what I do, which some of you guess at, I find we have two candidates for President.  One is in office now, he is a talker not a doer but does understand some things, he just hasn’t found time to do them.

Bibi Netahyahu, the failed furniture salesman who engineered the Global War on Terror to destroy the United States, and this is more truth than you will ever read, hates Obama?  Is the enemy of my enemy my friend, is this what we are left with?

Then I have Romney.  The sources that have led you to reading 2000 words of blithering, that nasty habit I have of being very right at critical times, tells me that Romney is an empty hat representing a global conspiracy of secret societies that plan the utter and total destruction of the United States.

In fact, he seems to brag about it, if you listen carefully enough.

We had the 8 Bush years of constitutional denialism, of mob rule, to put in a decent government and we did nothing.

Now we have this abortion of an election coming up where most Americans secretly pray for assassins.

Ron Paul, the one that existed before this one had a total breakdown, lost  hs courage, his honor, more likely his mind, used to have some answers.

No more money.  No more banks.  No more imported anything.

We run the world, we run America for the people, decent food, medical care, opportunity, no more wars, no foreign policy other than good nukes which we only use on others if they act worse than we do, something quite unlikely.

We begin realizing we are mammals, we live with or without our religions but we live for our people, for our children, for honor, for decency, we value every life, not just the aborted cell but the millions locked in the endless gulags or enslaved in our military or homeless and starving in our street.

As for those who work to stop us, should they raise their heads, those who choose to deny history, choose to feed off humanity, a stake through the heart?




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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.