Thank you for such a thoughtful response. We’re really not that far apart—especially on much of the futility of a war half-fought. But the memorial was meant to honor those who fought the war, not those who ordained it nor the wisdom of the decision to wage it. Those who fought it deserved far better than to have been osmosed into an opinion of the war that damned its warriors along with all its malconceived strategies. It’s no accident that Jan Scruggs, frequently cited as one of the veteran-proponents for the memorial, had been a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War before the group mysteriously became (and broadened into) Vietnam Veterans of America. Even if Scruggs took no part in the former group’s treachery, he certainly had no problem aligning himself with it in the late 60s/early 70s.
This isn’t the first time I’ve looked for Wolfe’s Washington Post full-page article on the wall. It’s well worth the read and far more edifying than the Post’s gloss (”a tribute to Jane Fonda’). “Dapper warrior” aside, he’d already written rather extensively on modern art and the slightly more significant nonsense peddled by the Left. The wall not only incorporated both Wolfe specialties, it soldered them together. But the fact that I detest it doesn’t mean that I despise those who find solace or awe in a visit. On the contrary, they’ve supplied the dignity, grace, and integrity the wall was never meant to reflect, no doubt a great disappointment to the original selection panel.
Thanks for that, and yes we are not that far apart.
I was not really surprised that the “tribute to Jane Fonda”
thing was actually a “gloss” on what they took to be Wolfe’s
overall message. Newspapers, especially ones like WaPo always do that, and it’s dishonest. Wolfe is a far smarter guy, and one of the first of an earlier generation to “stylishly” attack the Left’s conceits, starting with his takedown of the equally stylish “progressive” nonsense anatomized in “Radical Chic”.
Gotta run, leaving for a trip to Pennsylvania, where we’ve been invited to a Christmas cookie-baking “competition” at a friends. My cookie will be Chocolate chip with pistachios and orange zest flavoring. from the Gamine dans la cuisine website.