War – the deadly game that top-level leaders play
Iraqi citizens kill American soldiers weekly. GIs kill Iraqi citizens daily. Experts say a million Iraqi men, women and children suffered death at the hands of Americans and Islamic fighters. Two million Iraqi refugees languish in Turkey, Iran and Syria. Death, disease and misery haunt Iraq 24/7. As the Iraq War continues, death reaps its grim numbers on both sides. An entire civilization staggers under America's war machine.
It's ironic that the architects of the Iraq War, Dick Cheney and George Bush, hid out during the Vietnam War. Cheney enjoyed five student deferments while his buddy Bush got drunk on weekends at the National Guard Armory in Texas.
Later, Robert McNamara admitted that Vietnam, "…was a mistake." No kidding Bob! Fifty-eight thousand dead and 350,000 horrifically disfigured! Another 2.0 million Vietnamese died while Vietnam suffered desecration via bombs and Agent Orange. Not a small mistake!
What started Vietnam?
Someone in the Johnson administration concocted the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident that triggered the 10 year war. All that death and destruction based on a lie. What does Bush hold in common with LBJ? The lie of "Weapons of Mass Destruction."
What do the Iraq and Vietnam wars hold in common? Both wars erupted from lies by sitting presidents. Results? Both men killed millions for nothing but the lie itself. What makes the Iraq War lie even worse? For the past six years, America's borders offered wide open invitations for terrorists to enter 24/7.
Beyond the immediate carnage, what will Iraq bring to America in the long term – besides a $5 trillion price tag?
Chuck Dean, a Vietnam War veteran wrote a troubling book, NAM VET, published in 1990 by Multnomah Press. Out of the 2.7 million Americans who served in Nam, Dean reported 58,000 died. That proved small compared to the suicides! "Over 150,000 veterans have committed suicide since the war ended," Dean said.
Dean served in the 173rd Airborne, arriving in Vietnam in 1965. Dean serves as the executive director of Point Man International, a Seattle based, non-profit organization dedicated to healing the war wounds of Vietnam Veterans.
A VA doctor estimated the number of Vietnam Veteran suicides totaled 200,000 men. He said, "The reason the official suicide statistics were so much lower was that in many cases the suicides were documented as accidents, primarily single-car drunk driving accidents and self-inflicted gunshot wounds that were not accompanied by a suicide note."
The report added, "According to the doctor, the under-reporting of suicides was primarily an act of kindness to the surviving relatives."
Boot Camp in Fort Benning, GA – this writer learns about war, first hand
When I ran and crawled through Army Boot Camp (E-8-2) at Fort Benning, Georgia in the summer of 1968, terror clutched my chest as I struggled through the night machine gun course. Live bullets and tracers ripped through the air four feet over my head as I low-crawled under the concertina wire. Bunkers blew up that vibrated through my body as I scurried across the sand. Sweat bathed my body in fear. Drill Sergeant Pearce screamed at me to keep going. He yelled, "What is your purpose?" I screamed back, "To kill!" If I didn't yell loud enough, he sent me back through the gauntlet again.
Inside my mind, I cried, "This is completely insane…this is nuts…I'm being trained to be cannon fodder…why must I fight someone who hasn't done anything to my country?"