When I was a soldier in Viet Nam we, the grunts, use to play a game while passing a bowl and listening to Hendrix and the Doors. We called the game, “Suppose”. It involved our imaginations and was filled with a soulful longing for a just and better world. It went like this, “Just imagine what would have happened if Hernan Cortez and his men had been blown off course and landed at Plymouth Rock instead of Vera Cruz. On the other hand imagine that the pilgrims had been blown south by a terrific gale and the Mayflower had run aground in the Yucatan?“
This imagining led to a description of an alternate history that had the Iroquois nation defeating Cortez and the Aztecs confining the Puritans to an island isolating the dreary Protestant work ethic and a Mexican Border patrol would have kept those pasty faced people at bay. Alexander Graham Bell and James Watt would have been born in Cuernavaca to a Mixtec woman and in 1739 30,000 Aztecs would have joined the Irish in invading England defeating Cromwell as an Aztec soldier tears his heart out. All of this “supposing” would have meant no United States waging war in Viet Nam as we would have a racially diverse and culturally Amerind nation.
I want to “suppose” an alternate history for Obama and his wars. Suppose Obama shuts down the Pentagon and withdraws all United St
ates Armed forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan and Germany. Suppose he orders all the military industrial complex to re-tool their factories for economic conversion, to make cars, cargo ships, TV’s, refrigerators, etc. Suppose he signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty and has all National Guard and Reserve forces rebuilding Houston and New Orleans. Imagine what our country would look like. Alfredo Vea, a Nam veteran , wrote of the “suppose” story in his novel “Gods Go Begging”. His main character is a Nam veteran whose name is Jesse Pasadoble. Only a Viet Nam veteran who knows Spanish would understand the significance of this name. He is Jesse “two step”, which is what we called the very deadly and poisonous bamboo viper. If bitten you took two steps and died.
The will to resist tyranny is born from thought and imagination. Thought begets heresy, heresy begets retribution, those veterans who resist will suffer retribution. They will be jailed, discharged under other than honorable, lose benefits they bled and killed for but they still resist. After my tour in Nam I denied them my body, I denied them my faith and they denied me as a human being. Suppose what a world we would have if our President listened to us and heard us. Supangamos mi hijos.
Viet Nam Veteran Against the Wars