Thursday, July 9, 2009

JMO - Wars

Photo USA Today
Interesting stuff in the news some days, pages apart, yet connected by events, meaning time and space then and now. In USA Today (7/9/09) there was a photo (above) of a military team with flags commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first two American soldiers to die in Vietnam. The first two names on the way of over 58,000 soldiers who died in a war we'll never really understand what or why.

Then in the editorial was a column about Robert McNamara, then Secretary of Defense, who many label as the architect of the Vietnam war, and who once promoted the war only to realize the reality of it as unwinnable, and then was chastized by President Johnson for opposing the buildup which lead to Johnson's failure to be re-elected. In 1995 McNamara wrote in his memoirs that he regretted the war and his decisions.

And here we are in wars in two faraway nations, this time the Middle East, one a war of anger and revenge for a terrorist act - not the first in the US, only the one with the highest number of casualties, and certainly not the worst in the world, just the most visible, and one in a war for oil. The former we're still there going on eight years and the latter trying to leave without disgracing ourselves.

No one can argue the war in Afghanistan is a wrong war. It's arguably it's a bad war, one we didn't learn from the history of the country and the last occupying force, the Soviet army, and one we won't win but find a truce with the enemies or simply borrow Snagglepuss' famous words, "Exit stage left" and leave as we came, like the Soviets did then. Or else we face a prolonged entrenchment like Korea. The key there is finding a government that works, regardless if it's a democratic one or not.

And history will show Iraq was just as dumb and stupid as Vietnam. But the question won't be about the war but will those, like Johnson and McNamara, apologize later in their life. This time I don't see it. Cheney isn't one to apologize, although he has admitted he lied to Congress and the American people about the facts for war. I don't see him having any great revelation in life to ask for mercy.

I don't see George Bush apologizing. He's, and this is only my opinion, too stupid to see and understand his failures and then apologize. All he's said is that mistakes were made. All the truth and reality in front of him won't change his mind. To recognize your own failures and mistakes requires sufficient intelligence to know what you see in the mirror. I don't see he has that.

As for the rest of the gang who plunged this country into the worst nightmare since Vietnam, they'll face their God who will reach out to them, put his hand on their shoulder and ask, "What the fuck were you thinking?" And then show them the door to hell, worn by the path of all other folks who lead their country into unnecessary wars. It's the most worn path in history, only less worn than the death of the many innocent people into heaven, the very people they sent to their graves for no reason except personal greed and power.

And only recently we learned Saddham Hussein lied to the world about WMD's because he wanted to scare Iran. We knew that. After all our government leaders met with him during the 1980's' after the 1979 revolution in Iran. We provided the weapons, technology and intelligence to Iraq. Hell, Donald Rumsfeldt even met with Hussein about a year before first Gulf war and sanctioned Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.

My point? Will we have to have a 50th anniversary commemoration of the first solders to die in Iraq to realize the stupidity of that and the intervening wars? Or do we as a country love war, it's out national voice? We don't know anything but war? It established the nation and held it together when threatened with disintegration. And now we love creating the factors for it and then love fighting it.

Not? Well consider we established the Shah of Iran and provided him with all the items necessary to rule the country ruthlessly. As we reaped what we sowed there, revolution. We did the same for Saddham Hussien and now we're reaping what we sowed, insurgency. We support dictators and then wonder why we're hated?

Like that takes a genius? Would you live under either the Shah or Saddham knowing anytime, anyplace, you can be arrested and disappear? And our history is replete with our support for military and political coups over democracy. As someone asked, name me one country we supported democracy of the people, by the people and for the people? Except our own of course.

We don't want to admit we were the insurgents once, and maybe even terrorists, and we hated the British, or at least more of us hated than loved them. And we continually repeat the history of the British elsewhere. And the political leaders, almost all of whom never experienced war, will gladly send our youth into war in the name of something they invent to sell us war. And then cherish the death of those soliders.

How stupid. Not the soldiers and the dead and injured. But the politicians. We've based our patriotism on false wars. No one argues the World Wars as purposeful and necessary. But the rest? Neither. And all we have leave are commemorations for the dead. What we want aren't leaders who propose and sell war, but leaders who argue for peace, real peace for us and the world, and argue for commemorations for those who died for peace.

Don't worry, I'm not holding my breath about that. I'm only hoping future presidents will not repeat our history of political stupidity about and over war, again. I don't want to see or read about more commemorations for soldiers lost in future wars invented by politicians. But then I know it's our history and we'll keep repeating it. That's our gift to the world, war.

No comments:

Post a Comment