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Letter to the editor: Yesterday's conspiracy, today's blame games

Letter writer Dale Probasco addressed the topic of the Vietnam War recently, in response to, and criticizing, my letter addressing Pete Abler's earlier column.

In that column, Mr. Abler had pointed to running a gauntlet of "long-haired, pasty-faced freaks," protesting the war on his college campus before he enlisted in the military.

Now, this past week, Mr. Probasco responded to my reply to his own reply, by stating that he isn't a "name-caller" when he previously wrote that, "perhaps" I was one of those "spitting on returning veterans" from that war.

Really? Naming someone as a "spitter" - one who denigrates, in a despicable way, American patriots returning from service to their country - is not name-calling?

Mr. Probasco also seems to think that one can "clarify" all issues (that are important to him) in one 300-word letter, No, you really can't, nor can even columnists like Mr. Abler, putting out opinions every two weeks on many issues.

One issue we can agree on, however, is the assumption Mr. Probasco makes about not pointing to the military, if moral blame is to be weighed in justifying any past conflict, like in Vietnam or Iraq, but, rather, to the politicians.

The presidential election of 1968, between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey, in the final stretch hinged upon then-president Lyndon Johnson's gambit to end the war by engaging in a peace accord. That process was sabotaged by Nixon's own staff, as reported in Politico Magazine, Aug. 6, 2017, "When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election."

Nixon denied knowledge, of course.

If election-meddling of 2016 now sounds eerily familiar, it's because a presidential staff conspiring with a foreign power sees no limits to audacity, past or present. President Trump denies knowledge, of course.

Steven Olson,