I’m Confused; Who Am I Supposed to Hate... This Month?
I’m a Vietnam Vet with PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and I consider… no, I have proven myself more patriotic than all of the Presidential candidates (and all but a very few of Congress) who found good reasons for not serving in the military. I see no bravery in having put my life on the line for my country in war, only commitment, a commitment to America that has been cultivated through nearly 4 centuries of documented genealogy here.
I have a sense of entitlement to and responsibility for America that dwarfs fleeting political commitments. That Spirit I share with all sincere Americans: a Spirit of doing good and helping the world, not continuous killing (“for ‘good’ reasons, of course”, they say). We have fallen victim to what President Dwight Eisenhower warned against – The Military Industrial Complex. The people who manufacture and sell weaponry never lose at war.
No one wins these wars, anymore: Korea; Vietnam; Iraq; Afghanistan; Libya; and, now, Syria? The carnage is cannibalistic. We feed, literally, millions of men, women, and children to the gods of war, unceasingly, and, justify it with media magic… “If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth for most people”, they say.
‘Is Vietnam better?’ It bothers me, a lot, lately. Wakes me in the middle of the night, tee shirt dripping sweat, in full fight mode. 2,3,5, or 8 million murders, and millions of tons of ordnance later, is the country better because of my/our so-called help? Do today’s history books discuss the Gulf of Tonkin Lie as our pretext for starting the war, the reason why over 50,000 of my fellow soldiers had to die and twice that many have since been driven to suicide? And, now, over four hundred thousand disabled vets are treading water – waiting to get what they earned or be lied to and denied, again, before they, finally, die. America is certainly not better for having attacked Vietnam.
And, we are not better for attacking Iraq twice. Saddam Hussein was tyrannical, but he was not responsible for 911 and had no weapons of mass destruction. Iraqis would not have had as many of their citizens slain or as much of their infrastructure destroyed if Saddam had not been deposed and killed. Iraq’s government is much more in disarray, today. Neither America, nor Iraq are better for over a decade of war. The only people winning, again, are the people who make the weapons.
Let’s see: We’re fighting against the Assad regime in Syria and so is Al Qaeda, but they are our enemy; We’re fighting against ISIS, and so is the Assad regime, but Assad’s government is, still, our enemy. And, Russia is our ally against ISIS, yet, fighting in support of the Assad regime whom we are bombing. Iran is fighting against ISIS, and, so are we, but Iran is supporting the Assad regime which we (and ISIS) are fighting against ????
No one will win these wars. The people on both sides will suffer greatly, and no stable governments will emerge. The destruction will be monumental; much ordnance will be used (much money will be made), but when G.I.’s who survive return and realize that they were merely misguided mercenaries, many will probably consider suicide. Many more will get in the back of that disability line - waiting to get paid or denied, again, before they die.
Come on, America! We are so much better than this.