Home / Multiculturalism / Racism / The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down
The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down pow flag racist 620x330

The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down

rickperlstein  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down rickperlstein Liberal journalist Rick Perlstein has reached a new low for the left. [1] In a column at Newsweek, he claims that the POW/MIA flag which honors American war heroes who are prisoners of war or missing in action is racist. The Spectator’s national correspondent Rick Perlstein argues that the flag, which is meant to honor U.S. military personnel taken as “prisoners of war” or soldiers “missing in action,” is nothing but a cult invented by President Richard Nixon “in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim.” [15] Absolutely disgusting:

It’s Time to Haul Down Another Flag of Racist Hate.  You know that racist flag? The one that supposedly honors history but actually spreads a pernicious myth? And is useful only to venal right-wing politicians who wish to exploit hatred by calling it heritage? It’s past time to pull it down.Oh, wait. You thought I was referring to the Confederate flag. Actually, I’m talking about the POW/MIA flag.  I told the story in the first chapter of my 2014 book The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan: how Richard Nixon invented the cult of the “POW/MIA” in order to justify the carnage in Vietnam in a way that rendered the United States as its sole victim. [3]

Perlstein goes a step further, suggesting that even when the Vietnamese did torture prisoners, they were “only borrowing techniques practiced on them by their French colonists,” though oddly he only offers this excuse to the North Vietnamese while being extremely severe in his condemnation of the South Vietnamese for any atrocities they committed.  [10]

perlstein-idiot  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down perlstein idiotPerlstein’s claim here is pretty much bull***t. The history of the POW/MIA flag is well documented. It was created by POW families and it was in response to widespread outcry over the treatment of US POWs by the North Vietnamese. Contrary to what Perlstein claims, there was widespread concern about US prisoners long before the Peace Talks started, of course, Perlstein was still pooping yellow at the time and can be excused for substituting what was actually being talked about for whatever be picked up in college. [7] John Note from Breitbart news couldn’t belive what he was reading.  He entitled his piece “Newsweek so Dead It Is Trolling the POW/MIA Flag as Racist.”  He think that for them to publish such garbage “it means is that at long last Newsweek is over” and he was so disgusted that he even refused to link to the original article, saying: “some trolling goes so far — so beyond despicable and desperate, you’re committing a moral crime by rewarding it with a link.” [8] If you’re wondering where the proof is of the POW-MIA flag’s racist heritage, you’re not alone.  At the bottom of the article he answered the question that is burning everybody’s lips:  “For those wondering, the Newsweek columnist considers the POW/MIA flag racist because of Nixon, or something. The column is about 1600 words long and never really explains its own premise.” [8]  Twitchy reminded readers that the National Review published an article last year piece on Perlstein entitled, “Possible Plagiarist, Definite Jerk.” In that article, Tim Cavanaugh wrote: “For what it’s worth, fellow leftists seem to find him insufferable as well.”  [24] The website Truth Revolt alleged the article was intended as an inflammatory headline meant to garner clicks (however it does appear to be based on extensive research by Perlstein). [17] Pretty much in the same mind-set, Sean Davis writing in The Federalist says:

Did you know that prisoners of war are members of a “cult?” Perlstein apparently does. Did you know that mistreatment of American prisoners of war in Vietnam is “a pernicious myth”? Perlstein says it is, so it must be true. If I learned anything from his piece, it’s that there is apparently such a thing as a POW Truther. […] The author attempt to make anything approaching an argument on the topic. At least outlets like Salon and Slate humor their readers with convoluted arguments that make no sense. Newsweek, accurately realizing that it’s probably not worth the effort to cobble together anything approaching coherent content for what’s left of its dwindling readership, apparently figured that stupid headlines are even cheaper to produce than stupid articles. [9]

perlstein-complete-idiot  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down perlstein complete idiotMr. Perlstein laments that the POW/MIA flag memorializes Americans as the preeminent victims of the Vietnam War, a notion he blames on the 1978 film “The Deer Hunter.” “That damned flag: it’s a shroud. It smothers the complexity, the reality, of what really happened in Vietnam,” he concludes. “We’ve come to our senses about that other banner of lies. It’s time to do the same with this.” [3] The article reads like an opinion piece, but is filed under “Politics” on The Spectator’s website. Newsweek, which reprinted the article, categorized the piece as “Opinion.” Now, why is the flag racist? Racist is the leftwing codeword for “I don’t like it.” Damp toilet paper, for instance, is racist. America, too, is racist. Supporting American troops is racist. Not liking commies is racist. Perlstein is upset that we don’t see POW collaborators like Larry Kavanaugh, Edison Miller and Gene Wilber as heroes rather than as unindicted traitors and that makes the POW/MIA flag racist. [7]  Sometimes the left does things that are so bizarre that at first blush you think you are being trolled. [7] As David French writes, this is about rewriting American history:

It’s not common to see a leftist still carrying the torch for the Viet Cong and the NVA, but it’s a useful reminder of the rage that beats within some leftist hearts.   Perlstein hates that people don’t remember the Vietnam War the way he wants it remembered, as a racist, unlawful enterprise. The POW/MIA flag is merely a pretext for him to repeat the tired arguments of the 1970s, arguments that lost their sting when the NVA finally triumphed, and the world watched a Communist dictatorship work its vengeance on the South Vietnamese population. He won’t bring down the flag, but he apparently does want to re-start a historical battle that the Left has largely and rightly lost since the Fall of Saigon. His piece is further evidence that the defense of history — like the defense of liberty — requires constant vigilance. [5]

Many social media users condemned the article as PC culture run amok. There has been huge backlash against Newsweek and Perlstein online.

newsweekidiot  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down newsweekidiot newsweeklunacy  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down newsweeklunacycrap-newsweek  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down crap newsweekOn Facebook, one user referred to it as “revisionist history” while others called it an attack on veterans.  “Wow, may as well go back to calling our boys who served in Veitnam baby killers!” wrote Carla Hunter. “I know guys who were POW’s and I know families that FINALLY got their loved one’s remains back after them being MIA for 25 years. This attack on veterans, those who came home, and those who didn’t, is abhorent. [11]

bad-at-his-craft  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down bad at his craftUnderstandably, servicemen and women were outraged. The Perlstein piece has touched off a firestorm among veterans and their families. Among the former military servicemen outraged over the article is Pete Hegseth, now a Fox News contributor, who shared his feelings on the show Outnumbered.

  “I’m appalled that anyone can make anything racist out of something that stands for what [the flag] stands for,” Vietnam veteran Ed Lewis told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Lewis founded Ride of the Brotherhood, a charitable organization that assists veterans in the U.S. and also assists with the search for missing soldiers’ remains in Vietnam. [10]  Lewis pointed out that while the POW/MIA flag is most associated with Vietnam, its purpose extends well beyond that war. “That flag symbolically stands for not just the POWs and MIAs from Vietnam but from all wars,” he said. He cited as an example the recent discovery and return to the U.S. of the remains of several dozen Marines killed in the Pacific during World War II.  As for the notion that the flag’s “barbed-wire misery” somehow demeaned the experience of others in the Vietnam War, Lewis said the imagery was designed to be symbolic and to extend well beyond the circumstances of that war alone. It simply symbolizes the universal experience of any prisoners of war, with the barbed wire showing they are restrained and the tower representing that they are always watched.  “We’re not the only country that lost in the [Vietnam] War, or any war,” he said. [10] Our military heroes deserve better and Rick Perlstein owes them an apology. [15] Which he eventually provided. Since the article came out, both the author and the editor of the publication in which it originally appeared, The Washington Spectator, have issued apologies and clarifications. Perlstein, who is the national correspondent for the Spectator, says, in part, “I sincerely regret the use of the word ‘racist’ to describe how the POW/MIA flag distorts the history of the Vietnam War. The word was over the top and not called for. I’m deeply sorry it hurt people— especially people who’ve selflessly served their country.” [14]   lunacy-newsweek  The POW/MIA Flag Which Honors American War Heroes is Now a Symbol of Racism & Hate That Must be Taken Down lunacy newsweek
————————————————
[1] Liberal Writer Says POW/MIA Flag is Racist, Progressives Today, August 11, 2015
[2] RICK PERLSTEIN, The Story Behind the POW/MIA Flag, Newsweek, 8/11/15 AT 12:37 PM
[4] JON DAVIS, The Real Meaning of the POW/MIA Flag, Newsweek, 8/13/15 AT 12:07 PM
[5] DAVID FRENCH, So Now the POW/MIA Flag Is Under Fire — as a Symbol of ‘Racist Hate’, National Review, ugust 11, 2015 3:24 PM
[7] The POW MIA Flag Is Racist, Red State, August 12th, 2015 at 04:00 PM
[9] Sean Davis, Newsweek: The POW-MIA Flag Is Totally Racist, The Federalist, AUGUST 11, 2015
[10] Blake Neff, Newsweek: Honoring MIA Soldiers Is Like Supporting Slavery, Daily Caller, 6:12 PM 08/11/2015
[11] Ben Axelson, Newsweek columnist calls POW/MIA flag ‘racist’, sparks huge backlash, Syracuse.com,  August 12, 2015 at 11:54 AM
[12] Alex Griswold, Newsweek Columnist Declares POW/MIA Flag Racist, Mediaite, 1:10 pm, August 11th, 2015
[13] Liberals Now Trying To Ban POW/MIA Flag… Because Racism!, Louder with Crowder, August 13, 2015 at 4:19
[14] Norvell Rose, Watch: Vets Just Made The Liberal Who Attacked POW/MIA Flag Wish He’d Never Opened His Mouth, Western Journalism,  August 13, 2015 at 8:14am
[15] Jessica Chasmar, POW/MIA flag slammed as a racist ‘banner of lies’, The Washington Times, Wednesday, August 12, 2015
[16] KIMBERLY MORIN, Liberal Claims POW/MIA Flag Should be Banned Because…Racism, The Federalist Papers, August 12, 2015 am
[18] Rusty Weiss, Air Force General Slams Newsweek as Twisted for Suggesting POW/MIA Flag Is Racist, The Political Insider, August 13, 2015 at 9:17 pm
[19] Dylan Baddour, Column calling POW/MIA flag racist causes outrage, Chron, 4:39 pm, Wednesday, August 12, 2015
[20] Miss CJ, The POW/MIA Flag Is Racist Now. Mmmmmkay, Chicks on the Right, Wednesday, 08/12/2015 – 04:10 pm EST
[21] Jeff Dunetz, OW-MIA Flag Is ‘Racist,’ Liberal Website Claims: ‘That Damned Flag’, MRCTV, August 12, 2015 11:25am ET
[23] Joe Newby, Newsweek op-ed: POW/MIA banner a ‘flag of racist hate’ that needs to come down, Examiner, August 11, 2015 9:04 PM MST

 

About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

Send this to a friend