Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

it's freedom of expression, Jim, but not as you know it...

As some of you might be aware, I'm also the editor of the webjournal Australian Veterans For Peace. The other day we got a comment (now deleted) in our online Guest Book from a guy called Jim. Here is my reply to his comment:
Jim,

I'd like to discuss with you the following comments you made in the Guest Book of our webjournal:

"You blokes are a disgrace."
It is not uncommon for veterans of wars to become staunch pacifists, Jim. There's a long history of that. It may have something to do with what these veterans learned about the evils of war. By the way, all of the articles in the webjournal so far are my own, so I guess you're saying that I am a disgrace. Would you mind telling me why you think that? I'd like to know.

"My father proudly fought in Vietnam 3 tours.If he could see this lefty crap it would break his heart."
The views expressed in the journal were not directed at your father, Jim. Yes, I have "lefty" views. I arrived at those after reading well-researched histories of many wars, the Vietnam one in particular, as well as books about politics. The more I read the more I moved from being a closet White Supremacist, a racist, a bigoted nationalist, a narrow-minded Aussie git, towards thinking of myself as a citizen of the world, and I started to respect all people everywhere as equal citizens of the world, irrespective of their race, religion, or ideology. It seems to me that only those on the left side of a politics share views similar to this. That's not to say that I agree with all views existing on the left side of politics. We mustn't get too caught up in generalisations.

"You give the true Vets of Australia a bad name."
What's a "true Vet of Australia", Jim? Are you saying I'm not a "true Vet of Australia", Jim? How am I giving vets a bad name, Jim?

"Do us a favour and move to China or Nth Korea you brain washed Socialist."
I was brainwashed in order to get me to go to Vietnam. I was lied to by my government, my church leaders, my teachers, and the media. That's brainwashing, Jim.
It wasn't till I was about 48 y.o. that I'd read enough to realise this, and I started to de-program myself from this brainwashing. Interestingly, this led me even more towards views which you dismiss as "lefty crap". I understand where you're at, Jim, I used to be there myself before I tore away the blindfold of my right-wing bigotry.

"How in the hell did the ADF let you lot in in the first place. "
Easy, Jim. They needed cannon-fodder and I believed the right-wing propaganda and happily joined up to kill me some "commie slopehead slanty-eyed Asian filth" who, I was told, were threatening to over-run Pure White Australia. The ADF happily took me for a ride on the way to a Valhalla of its very own making. And I very nearly got there, Jim! I can still hear "The Flight Of The Valkyrie" as clear as day.
Do you know what it feels like to have a "gook" fire a mag-and-a-half of AK47 crap at you from only eight metres away? It's a thought-provoking experience, I can tell you. Anyway, I digress... I was happy to go and "fight the good fight". As a young school kid I was taught to sing "Onward Christian soldiers, marching off to war..." Do you know that hymn, Jim? Do you sing it often?

"I will be passing this link onto other Veteran Orgs who will obviously take this up further with you guys."
Go for it, Jim. I may not agree with what you say, Jim, but I am prepared to fight to the death (in a non-violent way) for your freedom to say it. Can you say likewise? Or do you go around biffing people who say things you don't like to hear? Think about that, Jim.
Thanks for your comments, Jim. I'd be more than happy to continue to discuss things with you, and I bear you, or your father, no ill will.

Cheers,

Gerry
Why am I posting it here? On the off-chance that Jim also reads this blog. You see, Jim's email address failed to work. And here's the interesting thing: It's a Hotmail address (werenerostendorff@hotmail.com), and if you delete an extraneous "e" from his address, insert a space in the right place, and capitalise a couple of letters, you get the name Werner Ostendorff. Werner Ostendorff, a Google search revealed, was an SS-Gruppenf├╝hrer and a Generalleutnant of the Waffen-SS for good old Adolf Hitler.

Makes you wonder about some of my Aussie mates, don't it?

3 Comments:

Blogger Chuck Wilensky said...

Good on yer, Gerry. But I doubt if Jim can read. If it's any comfort, there are a few thousand over here who feel as you do.
All the best
Chuck

October 06, 2004 5:25 PM  
Blogger Hugh said...

You must be a very disciplined person to be able to control your anger so well and reply politely to morons like Jim. Not that he understands such a way of writing.

My own countrymen (i.e. the British) in the last century have, give or take a Suez or two, fought only just and necessary wars and were proud of that. Until now, that is. Now, many of us are bitterly ashamed and resentful of the wicked lunacy Bush and Blair have taken us into in Iraq.

October 06, 2004 5:50 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Chuck, Hugh, thanks lots.

October 06, 2004 7:00 PM  

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