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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/23/12

America's Wars: Creating a Historical Legacy of Shame and Dishonor

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Author 23439
Message Michael Payne

The mainstream news is filled with articles about the U.S. Army sergeant who, allegedly, was responsible for the cruel, inhuman deaths of those 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children. As expected, we are hearing all sorts of possible justifiable excuses for what he is said to have done. This is standard procedure for the Army when an incident like this happens in order to try to minimize the damage to its own reputation. And, as we have seen many times in other cases, the trial or court martial often results in some kind of minimal punishment


What some objective journalists are positing is that he was not alone in killing these innocent people and that up to 10 or 15 other U.S. troops were also involved. We don't know the details yet and this could be a huge cover up because of the fear that if there were actually that many of our troops involved, it could unleash a firestorm of revenge that could make the current highly volatile and unstable conditions in Afghanistan spin completely out of control. When the troop withdrawal from that nation proceeds and more and more of them leave, those troops that remain could be virtual sitting ducks for those who are waiting to exact violent revenge.


One thing is absolutely certain. If America still had a military draft, as it did during the Vietnam War, this war in Afghanistan would have been ended before now. I once had the experience of being drafted into the army but I certainly wouldn't want to see young Americans drafted and sent into needless, unjustifiable wars. My point is, that if a draft was in place today, parents and college students, just as they did in the Vietnam War, would be enraged at what was happening, and would be demanding that this war be ended.


And speaking of a military draft, in recent times I haven't heard any call for one coming from the government or the military and the reason is pretty clear. They don't need a draft because they have plenty of Americans who can't find any kind of work that pays a decent wage and the unemployed are easy targets for military recruitment. Secondly, the military leaders remember the protests over Vietnam and they have no intention of ever letting the American people rise up in such outrage against war.


Why is it that our government and our military never seem to learn important lessons from the disastrous results of wars and occupations such as Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan? Currently the news if full of reports that Israel is ready to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. President Obama is being pressured and intimidated by the Israeli government, its powerful American lobby, AIPAC, and war hawks in Congress. It is high time that he stands up to all of them and finally does something that has become foreign to this government; he needs to use reason, logic and rationality and immediately begin the process of using negotiations and diplomacy to bring this situation under control. War can no longer be the only answer and the first option.


The cowardly proliferators of war, while raking in their obscene blood tainted profits are also causing these tragedies; they are sending young Americans into these wars in which many of them end up killing innocent civilians; as a result they are recruiting many thousands of new enemies who are killing American troops in revenge; and they are causing thousands of our troops to become brain-damaged, gravely disabled or victims of suicide. They are in the business of exchanging lives for profits and they thrive on it.


Our Founding Fathers gave birth to our nation and built the foundations of our democracy; they established a lasting legacy for which we will ever be thankful and proud. Our current corrupted, dysfunctional politicians that are embedded in our nation's capitol are working hard to dismantle and destroy those foundations that many generations of Americans worked so hard to strengthen.


America has now made almost a 180 degree turn from what it stood for during those times when patriots such as Washington, Adams, Jefferson and others led our nation. Those who lead our nation today, individually and collectively, are cut out of a different cloth; most of them, with a few exceptions, are the antithesis of our Founding Fathers and the honor that they exemplified. When modern-day history is written it should reserve a special category for these facilitators of war in a volume entitled "Those Who Brought Great Shame and Dishonor Upon America."


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