_From the above cited source, “Tomas Young was 22 when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Two days later, after watching President Bush speak to the country from the ruins of the Twin Towers, he decided to enlist in the Army.” More according to Camilla A. Herrera, the author of Body of War, “the veteran explains he was recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, Dc, when he began suspecting the reasons given for war. He wondered where the connections between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein existed . . .”
If the average life expectancy is a couple years both sides of 80, I’m now a score of years beyond middle age. Just two weeks following high school graduation in June of ’64, I volunteered to join the United States Army. As a member of the infantry, in the summer of 1965, while serving against the DMZ that separates North from South Korea, I also volunteered for service in Vietnam.
The stories and the soft song above provoked me once again to offer a few thoughts on war. Lord knows, scant few are ever offered before engaging it.
One, God is always on the side of the victor, always! Tragically, it’s rare indeed when there are any. Tragically, war is a machine that produces only those who have lost. No one wins. Ever.
Two, those closest to it are those least able to explain any truth concerning it. It’s like lying on a lawn. You can see the blades of grass, but not the overall architecture of the yard.
Three, if the president tells the truth — the reasons he or she feels it is necessary to go to war — to the congress, whose constitutionally charged task it is to declare war, and to fund it, and if the congress agrees with the president, under our form of government it is the duty of those called upon to be the dirty in the fight. US presidents have never, ever told the truth.
Four, the truth is that almost every war in human history included some provocation to attack by the attacking forces, and almost every war, had truth truly composed the argument, was avoidable. Looking back over 3,000 years of history, at least 50 instances come immediately to mind. I’ll provide just three.
While I can empathize with every white settler who was killed by a Native American war party, the “truth” is that is was their land the settlers invaded, and it was their land the settlers were pushing them from.
Next one, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in response to deliberate US efforts to deny the emerging industrial power the oil resources they needed to develop and sustain their economy. The Rising Sun Empire was an evil empire, having ruthlessly expanded their reach into China, Korea, and elsewhere. Rape, murder, pillaging were all part of the right they felt they had, to behave as wickedly as they did. Little of that, however comprised our decision to try to starve the country. At the time, we regarded them disdainfully. They were racially and culturally inferior to the white, Christian, Anglo-Saxons who populated America’s base.
Finally, the last example is the World Trade Center attack of September 11. In 1953, the Eisenhower administration, in Operation Ajax, overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh, and installed the brutal dictator Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
From the first, the US has meddled in internal middle-East affairs, all for the sake of oil. It’s a lot like pulling a spring back as far as it will go. Not much resistance, at first. Sometime, somewhere, the spring will have been drawn as taut as it will go, and it’ll snap back.
The preceding are historic fact. They’re true. But to know they are, one would have to have at least more than passing knowledge of history.
Another historical fact, one that might have saved Tomas Young his miseries, and the 4,500-plus who have died, and the 40,000-plus Americans who have been physically and/or psychologically mutilated, and the more than one million Iraqis who have perished, and the more than $1 trillion-plus that has thus far been shamefully poured into the desert sands, is that just a little knowledge of history would have immediately pulled the sheets on those suggesting there existed a working link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.