Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Spit and Baby Killers: Echoes of Vietnam

We often hear false comparisons between the war in Iraq and the Vietnam war, but one link that holds true is the anti-military attitude exhibited by the left. U.S. soldiers today are treated as either victims or butchers--whichever one happens to meet the "antiwar" narrative at hand.

Echoes of the Vietnam war and particularly the terrible treatment meted out to returning soldiers could be heard over the Thanksgiving holiday when a woman was arrested for spitting in a soldier's face at Hancock Airport in Syracuse. While the woman's motive remains unknown, it's awfully hard to imagine that she's the type who volunteers to put together care packages for the troops.

A few months back in San Francisco, I witnessed my own Vietnam war redux.

I was walking down Van Ness Avenue (a main drag) when I saw three off-duty soldiers in fatigues, laughing and talking. That in itself was a surprising sight in San Francisco, where soldiers in uniform are few and far between. But what came next was the real shocker. I heard someone yelling from a passing car and realized, to my horror, they were screaming, "baby killers!" at the soldiers.

To their credit, the soldiers merely paused for a brief moment and then, looking nonplussed, continued their conversation. No doubt they expected such uncivil behavior in a city known for its anti-military attitudes. I, on the other hand, was mortified and never felt so ashamed of the cold-hearted city by the bay.

From that point on, I pledged to stop and thank any servicemen or women I happened to see visiting San Francisco and about two weeks ago, I did just that. I was doing some errands in my neighborhood when I spied a soldier in fatigues and went right up and thanked him for his service. When asked, I was happy to hear that he hadn't experienced any hostility in San Francisco. But nonetheless, he welcomed our conversation.

So whether over the Christmas season or beyond, stop and thank a soldier the next time you get a chance. The left may be suffering from the Vietnam Syndrome, but that doesn't mean the rest of us have to play along.

Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.


Blogger Jason Pipes said...

As always, excellent commentary. I've been actively thanking service men and women whenever I see them in SF for many months. When I see people showing blatant disrespect to the very people who put their lives on the line to protect them everyday, it makes my blood boil. If I can I like to go right up to those people and tell them in no uncertain terms that they do NOT represent the views of all who live in the Bay Area. It's amazing to see the faces of reactionary liberals when you contradict their viewpoint in "their" beloved San Francisco! Thanks for the ongoing courage and inspiration your articles provide to those of us in the Bay Area who don't subscribe to the resident liberal group-think.

Friday, December 22, 2006 4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

Thanks, Jason. People like yourself who take on the local lefty hypocrites are an inspiration to me!

Friday, December 22, 2006 5:08:00 PM  
Blogger LewWaters said...

Today, the left is trying desparately to deny or disprove we were spit on or at when we returned from Viet Nam, some even saying we imagined it all due to the first Rambo movie, First Blood.

Sorry, too many of us remember exactly what we felt and saw upon returning.

While I wasn't physically spit on, several did somehow manage a spit on the ground when I walked by in uniform. Additionally, on my first trip home, on a flight from Seattle to St. Louis, where I would switch flights, was the experience that gave me a bad taste for protesters. I sat next to a young lady, maybe a few years older than me and her young daughter. I was on the plane before they were, so they didn't see me before I took my jacket off and folded it under the seat. I guess they thought I was some sort of yuppie, with short hair and wearing a tie. We chatted and I enjoyed playing games with the little girl, maybe 6 or 7. I've always had a soft spot for kids and still do, having two grown daughters of my own and two grandsons now. Like I said, it was a pleasant and enjoyable flight. We landed at St. Louis to change planes; they going their way and me mine on to Florida. After the plane stopped and we were all getting up to go, I reached down, picked up my Army Dress Jacket and put it on. The woman grabbed her daughter and jerked her back from me, yelling out, "get away from that killer!" loud enough for most everyone on the plane to hear and turn around to see. She then ran out of the plane pulling her daughter behind her. No one said a word, just went on about their business. I shrugged it off best I could, but that memory is still very vivid in my mind.

For me, I go out of my way to thank every memeber of the Military I see. I have even silently paid for their dinner in resturants when I see one in uniform dining. If by a gift certificate, I just sign it "a thankful Viet Nam Vet."

Recently, I stopped in at an Army and a Marine recruting office and gave them my thanks and some tokens, some dressed Military dolls I found and models of current equipment they use.

I also dress down any I hear bashing the Military, in person or online.

One thing to remember, every single one of these people serving today VOLUNTEERED! They are doing so because the love America and wish us to remain free.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

Thanks for the thoughtful commentary, Lew. Yes, the left is trying to revise history in terms of how Vietnam vets were treated when they got home. I get e-mails to that effect whenever I write about the subject. That's absolutely awful what you went through and it shows how important it is never to repeat that shameful chapter in our history. Luckily, vets and others like yourself are doing all they can to prevent that from happening.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

Thank you so much for addressing this! We were stationed in the San Francisco area when the Iraq War started and had a swastika scratched on our car, right under my "Air Force Wife" sticker, the day the war started.

For the most part, through my husband's two (at this point) deployments we have felt a lot of support from the majority of America. But, there most certainly are places where I would not wear my military wife gear if my children were present...

Friday, December 29, 2006 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger garrick said...

hey its just people calling these gun monkeys what they are.

Friday, June 10, 2011 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recall the stories of USMilitary in Vietnam who killed entire villages including women and children, toddlers and infants.
Unashamed vet in the public sector, SUPPORTED BY YOUR TAX DOLLARS, earning six figures/year. This history should have affected the family business as well.
How many Vietnamese babies did he kill? More than 50?
If him and his buddies were making jokes they may have made a game out of it, perhaps wagering, and the competition could have resulted in a very high number.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 5:55:00 PM  

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