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Back to the Future – Frightening

By John Hargreaves - 12 September 2014 45

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In the 1960s was a perceived threat to Australia from the “Yellow Peril” coming down the Indo-China peninsula.

We had seen the Korean War, the communist insurgents in Malaysia on the border with Thailand and the Vietnam War had just kicked off.

My father, the Air Force officer, was a strident anti-communist and whilst he didn’t talk much about wars and stuff, he made it clear that there was a real threat to Australia. He firmly believed in the forward defence philosophy to counter the Domino Theory whereby the communists were taking over the countries in Asia one by one on their way here. We had to stop that advance before it got here.

By the time I was 19, the Vietnam War was in full swing and national service was on. My number didn’t come up but, believing in my father’s vehemence and patriotism, I volunteered to go in to the Army for two years to “do my bit”.

History later proved the war was wrong, the military philosophy was wrong and the politics were wrong. So too was I and I had sacrificed two years of my life for something that was wrong.

Don’t misunderstand me though. My respect and affection for Vietnam vets is unlimited. They were pawns as I was.
You’d reckon we’d learn something from this mistake, wouldn’t you? Nuh!

The first thing Australia did in the Vietnam War was to send in “training teams” to help the South Vietnamese Army defend themselves. Keith Payne VC is the most famous of those trainers. It was called the AATTV – the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam.

What is our PM doing now? Sending training teams to the Middle East as well as Air Force assistance with humanitarian drops and arms drops to the side we support.

It is the thin edge of the wedge. Next will be a squadron of SAS soldiers who are operational, not trainers. Then it will be a battalion. Then the body bag count will start.

I spent 40 years in guilt over my “bit” in the Vietnam War era and I don’t want that to happen again. I don’t want our kids being used as political pawns in a conflict which can only end in more lives being lost and our own security here being compromised.

This issue is not funny anymore. It is scary and we should not be anywhere near it.

What’s Your opinion?


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45 Responses to
Back to the Future – Frightening
JC 6:58 pm 13 Sep 14

magiccar9 said :

OK John, you’ve peaked my interest. Clearly you’ve shown you wouldn’t be doing anything our PM has done so far. You wouldn’t raise a finger to help. Fair enough – each to their own I guess. However, tell me, when ISIS gains so much power that they bring their “war” to us, what then? Would you still sit on your hands and watch innocent people continue to be murdered?

I am curious. When do you reckon ISIS will bring their war to us, and if we keep out of their business why do you think they will bring their war to us?

From what I can see and heave learnt over the years, the only reason we become targets is because we get involved in issues that have nothing what so ever to do with us.

Pork Hunt 6:24 pm 13 Sep 14

dungfungus said :

miz said :

I sure as h*ll don’t want Aust to get involved, again, in another pointless conflict.

We have been involved since the first migrant settlers from the middle east arrived.

I doubt that dungers, considering the first migrants from the Middle East probably got here on the second fleet.

dungfungus 5:01 pm 13 Sep 14

miz said :

I sure as h*ll don’t want Aust to get involved, again, in another pointless conflict.

We have been involved since the first migrant settlers from the middle east arrived.

miz 3:09 pm 13 Sep 14

I sure as h*ll don’t want Aust to get involved, again, in another pointless conflict.

HenryBG 12:31 pm 13 Sep 14

farnarkler said :

I’m guessing Northern Ireland with the Catholic vs Protestant is about as close as we’ll get to understanding it. If there is such a thing as allah, I doubt he/she/it would be too impressed with followers killing others.

The killing in NI was absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with argument over fine points of religious doctrine, much as the English establishment and media wanted to paint a racist picture of the inhabitants of the occupied 6 counties.

farnarkler 11:59 am 13 Sep 14

They’ll never learn as they have differing views on how the prophet’s successor is decided. I’m guessing Northern Ireland with the Catholic vs Protestant is about as close as we’ll get to understanding it. If there is such a thing as allah, I doubt he/she/it would be too impressed with followers killing others.

dungfungus 10:19 am 13 Sep 14

Pork Hunt said :

I’m sure someone smarter than me once said that ” The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history”…

That being the case then the people in the middle east, who have been causing problems that the rest of the world has to deal with for the last 1,000 years, are very slow learners indeed.

Pork Hunt 9:20 pm 12 Sep 14

I’m sure someone smarter than me once said that ” The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history”…

magiccar9 8:21 pm 12 Sep 14

OK John, you’ve peaked my interest. Clearly you’ve shown you wouldn’t be doing anything our PM has done so far. You wouldn’t raise a finger to help. Fair enough – each to their own I guess. However, tell me, when ISIS gains so much power that they bring their “war” to us, what then? Would you still sit on your hands and watch innocent people continue to be murdered?

Lets face it, you can compare this new threat to Vietnam until you’re blue in the face. The fact remains it isn’t anything like it. We’re a hell of a lot more advanced globally now. We don’t have restricted media, propaganda machines, and no longer have to listen to what our Government tells us is outside our walls. We now have access to international media, and nobody can say that this new threat is just Government scare mongering in it’s own interests. Regardless of which media outlet we all choose to watch/read/listen to they are all telling the same story.

John, you need to realise we live in the modern era. People are more willing to question governments and hold them accountable. We can see what happens, and what needs to happen, and make decisions accordingly. What we’re seeing is not a repeat of Vietnam – it’s far from it, and the sooner you look outside your window and realise this the better.

basketcase said :

Gawd he better find “something” to justify it all.

And if he doesn’t? So what. Are you willing to call his bluff? It’s people like this who are happy to sit back, criticise every decision, yet when something goes wrong they’re the first to blame the Government for “not doing enough”. Nobody is stopping you from going about your life just because of a raised terror level. I for one don’t care for the raised level, it doesn’t impact my daily life, but it gives me a piece of mind that something is happening – even if it doesn’t culminate to anything.

For the record – I don’t support any of our political parties.

farnarkler 7:51 pm 12 Sep 14

Remember John that the Vietnam war was a rebellion against returned colonialism post WW2. The victors followed a pretty well structured ideology from a century before. What we’re seeing in Syria and Iraq is more like join our extremely radical self proclaimed nation or we’ll butcher you. What amazes me is that the US is so eager to get in there and wipe out the islamic state, yet just South of the Rio Grande there are the drug cartels who skin people alive and use chainsaws to decapitate their rivals. I guess it’s all about the oil.

dungfungus 7:07 pm 12 Sep 14

I am sure you said on another thread that you were a “nasho” John.
Turns out you were a regular and there is nothing wrong with that.
I don’t agree that “nashos” were pawns – they accepted they were there to do their bit and memories of our losses in the Korean war were still hurting as you alluded to. You were very courageous to volunteer.
I was called up in 1966 and some of the regulars I met clearly treated “nashos’ as second-class soldiers. A lot of nasho recruits “went over the fence” because of the bastardisation that was going on.
You can’t simply say fairly that history proved the Vietnam war was wrong either.
I spent have spent some time in Europe in the past 10 years and I agree with what leaders over there are saying now namely, the west will be at war with the I S extremists for at least the next 10 years and it is better to fight them where they are now rather than do nothing until we have to consider another Brisbane Line.

damien haas 7:07 pm 12 Sep 14

“Although American intervention failed in Vietnam, it bought time for the rest of Southeast Asia. In 1965, when the U.S. military moved massively into South Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines faced internal threats from armed communist insurgencies, and the communist underground was still active in Singapore . . . America’s action [in Vietnam] enabled non-communist Southeast Asia to put their own houses in order. By 1975, they were in better shape to stand up to the communists. Had there been no U.S. intervention, the will of these countries to resist them would have melted and Southeast Asia would most likely have gone communist. The prosperous emerging market economies of A.S.E.A.N. were nurtured during the Vietnam War years.”

Lee Kuan Yew (in his autobiography)

dungfungus 6:45 pm 12 Sep 14

basketcase said :

The whole thing is a joke, I bet the head of ASIO is laughing his head off at conning a billion or so out of the government. Gawd he better find “something” to justify it all.

And the government has restricted press freedom so that its failings can’t be examined or published.

Yeah, I did the Vietnam war bit, what a joke, talked about being conned by the government.

How about weapons of mass destruction? I fear we are seeing the same cr$p coming out the government now as we did then.

Almost too old to care anymore!

I am sure you won’t be a hostage target John because no one would pay the ransom.

Masquara 6:06 pm 12 Sep 14

This isn’t just the PM. It has bipartisan support. And clearly it’s a necessary move to try and get these mass murderers neutralised. In between posting your rants, John Hargreaves, do you read up on what’s going on in the world?

basketcase 5:15 pm 12 Sep 14

The whole thing is a joke, I bet the head of ASIO is laughing his head off at conning a billion or so out of the government. Gawd he better find “something” to justify it all.

And the government has restricted press freedom so that its failings can’t be examined or published.

Yeah, I did the Vietnam war bit, what a joke, talked about being conned by the government.

How about weapons of mass destruction? I fear we are seeing the same cr$p coming out the government now as we did then.

Almost too old to care anymore!

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