I decided to write up a story a day (for however long I can) on what war brings to people who are unfortunate enough to get caught up in it. I choose to start on July 4th, the fortieth anniversary of the song “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Video posted below on this blog.
I have seen, time and again, attention paid to what war does to those who choose to participate – that is, the combatants.
I have seen memorials with the names of dead combatants on them, but I have yet to a memorial with the names of dead civilians on them. I see statutes to combatants in every conflict under the sun. Even the losers erect statutes and memorials to those who died as combatants. I never see statutes to the UNKNOWN CIVILIAN who fallen…. And I think only once have a seen a grave maker for the unknown civilian.
I don’t think we pay enough attention to what happens to those civilians who are victims of US aggression. I think that would change significantly if the victims were American civilians, but fortunately for us, they are not. I don’t think we pay enough attention to other negative repercussions of our wars and occupations – for example, the impact on the environment.
I was thinking about this a lot over Memorial Day weekend, and I decided to write up a series of blogs that will be called “What War Brings” or WWB. It will cover various aspects of the results of war and occupation: civilian deaths, civilian injuries, civilian health problems, poverty, disease, stress, brain drain, corruption, lies, disappeared people, rape, torture, environment destruction, and a host of other problems.
Veterans For Peace Asks "Who Dies In War?"
Few really think about it, but many more innocent civilians die in war than soldiers. That is the message that Veterans For Peace would like people to think about on Memorial day.
Veterans For Peace National President Mike Ferner comments, "We have been taught that the purpose of Memorial Day is to remember fallen service members. Veterans For Peace is here to tell the nation that the number of innocent civilians who die in war far outnumbers the combatants. It would be immoral to only remember those who fought and died in war and not pay respect to those who are victims. In the final analysis, the best way to remember both is to abolish this scourge of humanity."
You can bet those veterans also understand the true nature of our military, along with understanding how it has been abused.
Time and again.
Americans have a deep aversion on saying anything that might reflect poorly on our military – indeed, they seem to hold some idealized, and totally unrealized, vision of what our
“Historical amnesia is a dangerous phenomenon, not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity, but also because it lays the groundwork for crimes that still lie ahead.”
And some Americans actually promote and propose that the
When the general American public hears about a bombing incident, they are quick to believe that the
And our corporate media rarely bothers to show them. This insanity goes so far that in the early stages of the
Americans in general fail to note public statements from our military men and women about the reality of the wars they are conducting. Here is some commentary by Rick Reyes, who severed in
As an infantry rifleman in the Marines Corps, I saw so much of these wars through nightly patrols. We were trained to approach a point of interest on foot, coordinating with translators whose sole vested interest in supplying us intelligence was to earn money and aid. We would gather information that often proved faulty, and question locals to the point we felt comfortable conducting a raid. After receiving an order, we would ransack homes, destroying windows and doors, chairs and tables, families and lives--detaining and arresting anyone who seemed suspicious. The problem, of course, was that it was impossible to distinguish militant Taliban members or Al Qaeda from innocent civilians. Everyone became a suspect.
In one instance, my squad leader gave me orders to pursue possible terrorists leaving the scene in which we had established a perimeter. My four-man fire team and I followed these suspects undetected for about 100 yards along an exposed ravine. When we were four feet from them, I drew my M-16 and pointed it directly at their faces, yelling, "Get down on the ground!" We beat them in search of nonexistent weapons, breaking limbs in the process. Later that day, I learned these men were innocent. Another time, my squad and I detained, beat and nearly killed a man, only to realize he was merely trying to deliver milk to his children. These raids compelled me to tell Congress we have been chasing ghosts in
The end result of
The fact is - OUR MILITARY’S PURPOSE IS TO KILL OUR ENEMIES AND DESTROY THEIR ABILITY TO HURT US.
To think or suggest that they do something else will lead to massive evil. To send them where we do not have enemies will also lead to massive evil. And that is what we have done, time and again, since World War 2. And we are still doing it today, in both
In an article published in May 2009 by CNN, they claim that we are only now beginning to realize what has happened in
“Now that there is a semblance of so-called stability, we can start to put a face and name to the victims and begin to try and understand and impart the horrors of what millions of Iraqis lived through and tens of thousands died from. It is only now that we can begin to comprehend the magnitude of what Iraqis went through.”
“But it is not over. For Iraqis it's far from over. In many ways it is just beginning.”
Of course, they got it all wrong about the ‘tens of thousands’ who have died. It is at least ‘hundreds of thousands’. It certainly would be something if they tried to name the victims. That would clearly establish that there are hundreds of thousands now dead, possibly over a million.
If you were one of the ones blogging on Iraq, or just reading blogs like Iraq Today (and it’s predecessor, Today in Iraq), then you probably do have some idea what has happened. If you have not done this, then I invite you to follow this series of WHAT WAR BRINGS so that you will have some idea of what your government is doing with your tax dollars.Here are some recent updates on our ongoing wars and occupations:
The mood of the Afghan people has tipped into a popular revolt in some parts of southern
, presenting incoming American forces with an even harder job than expected in reversing military losses to the Taliban and winning over the population. Afghanistan
You betcha! Dropping those bombs on civilians does not lead to support from the local population.
Of course, in
…..the first step -- withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009 -- is full of loopholes, and tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers will remain in the cities after the "deadline" passes.
The failure to fully comply with the withdrawal agreement indicates the
United Statesis looking to withdraw from in name only, as it appears that up to 50,000 military personnel will remain after the deadline. Iraq
claims it's adhering to the agreement, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), even with so many troops being left in the cities. But the United States is changing semantics instead of policy. For example, there are no plans to transfer the 3,000 American troops stationed within United States at Forward Operating Base Falcon, because commanders have determined that despite its location, it's not within the city. Baghdad
Clever little trick there – redrawing city boundaries.
Most Iraqis do want the
And here is a picture of Iraqis burning the
So, what to do? Here are some answers for the regular American citizen to take in this article:
There are a million and one things that people can do to try to end theAnd, since nothing has worked so far, I recommend trying one or two or a dozen of the suggestions in that article!
U.S.wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and to prevent new ones in Iranand elsewhere, as well as to close military bases in dozens of other nations around the world. Certain people are skilled at or interested in particular approaches, and nobody should be discouraged from contributing to the effort in their preferred ways. Far too often proposals to work for peace are needlessly framed as attacks on all strategies except one. U.S.
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty and democracy?” ~ Mohandas Gandhi.
Of course, using “the holy name of liberty and democracy” is just another example of WHAT WAR BRINGS: lies.