11/17/2006 03:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Yesterday's Wars, Today's Money: I Hope We Won't Get Fooled Again

While not unwelcome, the visit of a "free-market" Republican President to Vietnam this week approaches the height of irony.

It was he who used his father's influence not to have to go to that same land 40 years ago and flight for a lie.

A lie that claimed that if we did not fight, not only Vietnam would forever be lost to a closed Communist system, but all of Southeast Asia and perhaps beyond would be as well.

So less-connected boys fought. Some 58,000 died, and many came back with physical or psychological scars that persist to this day.

I was one of the less-connected who did not serve, but protested via rhetoric and alternative lifestyles. As I asked my college placement officer about job interview possibilities, he took one look at me and said that the companies they dealt with wanted "military types." And these were not defense contractors.

Now, some of the same companies that rejected us because we opposed the war and looked the part are some of the same that directly invest in- and sell goods in, places like the Vietnam that the ultimate corporate-controlled President, draft-evader George W. Bush, has visited this week.

And now the cycle starts again. News reports tell us that Reservists- many of whom it must presumed joined because they wanted to avenge 9/11 and bought into the Saddam-Al Qaeda-WMD myth- find that they no longer have their civilian job waiting for them upon their return.

A civilian job with a company whose owner voted for the same George W. Bush, and which has small American flag logos on the side of their trucks.

I hope this last election has taught us- in the words of that great Who song- to not get fooled again.

But seeing how the cycles turn, my more pessimistic side starts humming an older lyric:

"Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards every one. When will they ever learn?"