February 16, 2012 (Reprinted with permission)
After reading Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis’ first hand account of his recent time spent in Afghanistan I’m more pissed off then ever. Yet another military officer comes forward to tell the truth about yet another ill-fated war we find ourselves engaged in. Another illegal war of aggression with no end in sight and surround sound corruption aided and abetted by an enabling government and a bloated military too full of its own hubris to admit defeat.
“On his (Davis’) second yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis traveled 9,000 miles, patrolled with American troops in eight provinces and returned in October of last year with a fervent conviction that the war was going disastrously and that senior military leaders had not leveled with the American public.”
Davis lays out his experiences and views in the article, “Truth, Lies and Afghanistan: How Military Leaders Have Let Us Down.”
“How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding and behind an array of more than seven years of optimistic statements by U.S. senior leaders in Afghanistan? No one expects our leaders to always have a successful plan. But we do expect — and the men who do the living, fighting and dying deserve — to have our leaders tell us the truth about what’s going on.”
Davis brings to mind Colonel David H. Hackworth, the most decorated officer in the history of our military, served in Korea and did several tours of Vietnam until finally he was so disillusioned by the lack of response from the military to heed his warnings and recommendations he spoke out publically. In June of 1971 he appeared on the national TV show, “Issues and Answers” thereby revealing the Pentagons fundamental misunderstanding of the Vietnam conflict and of the bureaucracy, corruption and self-interest that fueled that lost war. He spoke of the Generals who continued to paint a rosy picture of the war because they’re more concerned about their stars and pensions then with what was really going on in Vietnam. And still we kept that failed war going for another four years and for what?
In Vietnam over a million North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong were killed, somewhere between half a million to 5 million civilians and there are 58,196 names on the Vietnam wall. The wall doesn’t include the names of the homeless vets, the vets who lost their families, their souls or the vets who committed suicide. That war of empire finally ended in defeat after 9 years. Our soldiers had become so dejected many finally refused to fight and started ‘fragging,’ murdering, their commanding officers.
Our military also dumped tons of toxic chemicals on Vietnam, which defoliated and decimated the landscape. These chemicals caused horrible deforestation and birth defects in their children and these effects are not going away any time soon. The Vietnamese have tried and failed to receive any reparations for what the U.S. did to their country and their people.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
I grew up in the military. My father fought in WWII, Korea and served in military intelligence Saigon so I know first hand and at close range what war does to families. War destroys families. I’m always amazed by the chicken hawks in Washington who so willingly send other people’s children into harms way with no regard for the consequences of their actions. They don’t care because the majority of our elected officials never served and neither will members of their families. How convenient for them. There ought to be a law any member of congress whose children are of age must serve in the wars they vote for.
Same old crap. Different war. And so we find ourselves in a war like Vietnam all over again but our government and the military are too cowardly to admit it. The Generals comply with our government to protect their rank while our soldiers and civilians continue to die for a cause that never was and never will be. We just keep sending more troops and throwing billions of borrowed dollars, which we can never repay, down a rat hole. And for what? For the profits of the military industrial complex?
Jill and Shamar Thomas
And why? Why? Because quite simply a few people bilk billions from these wars. Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC, two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, called it like he saw it. “War is a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” General now President Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex in his farewell address to our nation. Our military has now become a giant cancer metastasizing across the globe.
But still we do not listen. Why? War’s big business. The military industrial complex and our government officials, drunk on power, are blind and cannot see. They do not hear our cries. They don’t care about our soldiers. Sure they pay lip service to them. Talk is cheap. I’m disgusted by the lack of leadership in Washington. I see our so-called leaders as traitors to our republic, our Constitution and the American people. Yes I said it, they’re traitors. Our leaders, now totally dependent on corporate dollars, have become nothing but corporate hacks shilling for the almighty dollar.
I was recently called out by a person I went to college with for expressing my opinions about President Obama and the Democrats being corrupt and complicit (like the Republicans) regarding these wars and using them as an excuse to take our rights away. He shot back at me, “Gee you seem really angry.” And we all know nobody likes an angry woman. Right? I had to pause and think about that.
Angry? Really? Hmmm. More like outraged. I’m outraged our soldiers are redeployed 3,4,5 times but who’s counting? Outraged they’re committing suicide in record numbers and nobody gives a damn. Outraged we’re spending $120 billion a year on these illegal wars, building mosques and schools in Afghanistan while closing firehouses, post offices libraries and schools at home. Outraged the Pentagon consumes 52% of our budget as they threaten to cut Medicare and every safety net we’ve ever known. Outraged our government is completely corrupt and runs on lies and warmongering. Outraged at the chicken hawks in Washington who start these illegal wars by using lies and fear. (WMD’s, the smoking cloud, Saddam Hussein is Hitler, they hate us for our freedoms.) all the while bilking billions for themselves and their crony’s. Outraged their children never serve. Outraged they never served. Outraged the Pentagon’s drunk on power and consumed by false pride. Outraged they’re taking our freedom’s away one by one with the Patriot Act, NDAA, TSA, Citizens United. Outraged you’re not outraged. Angry? Your damn straight I’m angry. So my question is why aren’t you?
In the words of Dante, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
It’s my duty as an American citizen to speak out. “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” Albert Einstein.
When will these wars end? These wars will end when the American people stand up en mass and say, “Enough! No more! Not on my watch!”