Addendum: 1970
English 10A, 6th period

November 2, 2000

The “Addendum: 1970” in the book, Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo was composed with great statistical research and mere emotion. I believe Dalton Trumbo infers people of this era have deprived death, in general, and the casualties and of the Vietnam War of importance. But he has it all wrong. People still make death an important issue, and the deaths of foreigners involved in war is also important. But, citizens of a country, of course, will internally feel more grief towards the citizens of his/her country than another (excluding the nationality country of that citizen).

The Annual Report of the Surgeon General: Medical Statistics of the United States ended publication in 1954. This did not validate the assumption that the governments did not think foreign casualties were important. But I have no knowledge on the specific reasons for ceasing that publication. Vietnam has listed their own statistics, as they should. When compared to the Word War II stats, Vietnam was a horrible war (horrible based on casualties). But when compares to the World War I, Vietnam is nothing. I calculated (as Dalton Trumbo did) an equation: World War I; 9,000,000 dead young men equal 1,350,000,000 pounds of bone and flesh, 27,900,000 pounds of brain matter, 11,250,000 gallons of blood, 414,000,000 years of life that will never be lived, and 22,500,000 children who will never be born. But war has a price, and is intended for the benefit of at least one side.

The ending of the section is unusual. The author says “So long losers. God Bless. Take care. We’ll be seeing you.”. I though he was speaking from the causalities who have died from the Vietnam War, the first time I read this. I can’t make anything else out of it. If he did say it the way I assume he did, the author is crazy! The United States was trying to prevent the downfall of Vietnam from communism (which could not prosper because it is in opposition of human nature) and threat of communism-spread throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.

Is this the main issue…war? Is war always bad, and never necessary? Of course war has drawbacks, as public schooling, government, and amendments to the constitution have, but war may be inevitable. War sets history and leads to change: change that may be beneficial or detrimental. Some people say that no one wins in a war. I want to tell those people to shutup! There usually is a winner and loser. At times there is a winner and winner, and loser and loser. In the Vietnam War, the US was a loser and Vietnam was a loser. Economic downfall and the adoption of communism were results of this war.