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Quick followup on the FreshAir bit

Saturday, November 22, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named vietnam.gifBTW, while I'm mentioning flames, of all the comments I got, publicly and privately on my bit about FreshAir, the vast majority didn't respond to the substance of my piece, proving once again that the Internet has no subtlety. You're either for me or against me, seems to be the attitude of most commenters. Well, I could be for you in some ways and not for you in others. I thought Gross did a competent, even admirable interview. I just thought it was gutless to do it with Ayers who had already been lambasted by the Repoobs.  Permalink to this paragraph

I'd like to see her take a similar approach to one of the supposed heroes of Vietnam. I think Ayers was on the right side, even though his tactics were extreme. More to the point, I was on the same side as Ayers. Let's see her have the guts to get McCain on her show and question him the same way. Anything you care to apologize for about your role in Vietnam? Heh, it'll never happen.  Permalink to this paragraph

It pains me no end that the summation of the history of Vietnam is that it was a just war, and the people who opposed it were wrong, and the ones who opposed it violently were terrorists. That view is sad, and lacks balance, and imho is fairly dangerous. Ayers was a kid back then, that's why he did some kid-like things (like plan at first to fight in the war so he'd get material for a book). The history we're to believe is one-dimensional and dangerous cause it leads to more disasters, like the one in Iraq. Permalink to this paragraph

McCain can be forgiven for not learning all the lessons of Vietnam, he was in prison far away while the US was exploding. But then so can Ayers. Maybe that would be a good topic for Terry Gross to handle -- how do we forgive those who made mistakes in their opposition to an unjust war, if only for the pragmatic reason of not wanting to keep fighting the same war over and over for generation to generation. Permalink to this paragraph

One of the themes in the interview was that this last election was the last one where Vietnam will be an issue. At first I concurred, but on reflection I realized that because we didn't learn from the war, we'll keep going round in circles when we have to live with the wounds from Iraq. That hasn't come home yet, amazingly, but it will at some point be a big issue in our country, and we've already had elections that focused on it, and will continue to, probably, for a couple of generations.  Permalink to this paragraph

Vietnam, therefore, is still very much with us. Permalink to this paragraph

If you had a time machine and could go back to the 70s and ask those where alive then if we'd repeat the mistakes of Vietnam, a wise person would likely say, yes, eventually, but this generation surely won't make them. And that wise person would have been wrong. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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