"The human rights agency Amnesty International has confirmed that 35 women and children were killed following the latest US attacks on an alleged al-Qaeda hideout in Yemen. Cluster bombs. are in the news again, thanks to a recent report from Amnesty International." July, 8, 2010, CounterCurrents, Cluster Bombs And Civilian Lives: Efficient Killing, Profits And Human Rights by Ramzy Baroud
It really hurts that we are killing so many of our Muslim brothers and sisters and their kids right right in their homes, in their streets, in their own countries. Been reading about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, wondering why they don't apply it to people like me. I'm mentally and emotionally upset about us killing a vast amount of people in their own residences in cities towns and countryside across six Muslim countries (as I put down these words, I notice I'm breathing short, feel a light press of anxiety on the left side of my chest).
More than fifty years of reading of, and listening to news of body counts and bombings (I'm seventy-nine). Fifty years of trying to protect my mind and the bottom of my stomach.
Wonder how many people in the world understand what have had on my mind and in my stomach off and on for years - I mean outside of people in the couple dozen countries actually bombed by us?
How other AMERICANS feel as bad as I do about it? All this bombing, invading, occupying? It's always done in our name, you know. Am I oversensitive?
Have always tended to take responsibilities seriously. As a schoolboy, when I saw newspaper headlines on starvation death in China, it would bring to mind the nun who prepared me, as a seven year old, for my First Holy Communion. Her instruction really stuck in my serious child's mind, especially the story of Cain fluffing off God with, "Hey, am I my brother's keeper?"
I never really recovered from the post traumatic stress of fifteen years of us slaughtering millions of poor Vietnamese in Vietnam and bombing the living hell out of Laos and Cambodia.
A long time before this present decade of anguish over our killing Muslims in a half dozen countries, (but not in Saudi Arabia where the 9/11 highjackers came from) my peace of mind had been radically disturbed for having learned the reason for all this mass butchery going on for a half-century, starting with our taking the lives of a couple of million Koreans in Korea.
Each upset had led me to do a little research. Confusing reports of why Eisenhower was bombing Laos started me off. Slowly it became a habit to research every news bite explaining why we had to go somewhere on the other side of the world and kill to stamp out communism in little countries, but not the two big ones already governed by communist parties.
It didn't make me feel any better in my heart to learn that our unimaginably horrible taking of innocent peoples' lives in smaller countries overseas was in every case brought about by lies that made it acceptable to the American people. Hard working decent people, busy with their personal life, careers, and families, who simply trusted what each president told them since it was backed up and well explained as being right and necessary on their television, which they trusted even more.
But that knowledge did give me strength, made me angry, and motivated to tell my family and friends how this enormous death toll was made possible by naively believing astonishing or bewildering news we should have suspected all along. Blatant lies, so easily disproved using the governments own publications, readily available encyclopedia articles, and just plain common sense.
So for a few years, thinking that if a stupid guy like me could uncover all these pretty obvious lies, I could help spread an opposition to these wars by passing the simple truth around to people more intelligent than me and capable of doing something about this vicious mass murder.
What astounded me was the reaction from colleagues and friends. "Not interested in politics." "What are you talking about." "Have my own problems." Only a few willing to at least listen, maybe a couple answering, "Well, maybe we make mistakes sometimes but we're trying to do the right thing over there."
My brother stopped corresponding for three years, angry that I was "duped by communist propaganda" about the Vietnam war. (After the war, he apologized, that I was right, but I'm afraid still goes on believing most of what is said on the networks' evening news.) Last year my loving sister asked me to take her off my mailing list - I was outraging her and her Texas fundamentalist husband.
Apart from two very politically aware sons, and a politically concerned nephew, it was my only to 9th grade educated immigrant mom who understood, was upset, and would complain on her own about "the terrible things the government was doing." Seems the more government sponsored education we get, the more we are purposely misinformed and made to accept our government's homicidal violence. (A perception, by the way, that logically leads to the awareness that our government is not of, for or by the people.)
People at work (in the orchestra) did not "want to hear about "US foreign policy." If pressed regarding our responsibility as citizens, many would answer, "Look! I vote in elections." My unrecognized "PTSD' over a war on the other side of the world was widely regarded as a sign of mental unbalance, a personality problem.
The next most important sensitizing influence after that nun was a junior high afro-American civics teacher, " If you have free speech and you don't speak up, you are guilty of complicity in the crimes of your government, and ignorance is no excuse in a court of law." So off and on I took graduate level history courses at four universities and an institute in Germany.