A Viet Nam Vet Speaks Out

Viet Nam Again

Go to war in 2004

I am deeply disturbed over President Bush's call to war. Not because Sadam Hussein is being picked on. He is a real asshole that the world can do without. I am disturbed over the rhetoric that is being used to push this country into overthrowing Saddam Hussein. I am hearing the raw verbiage of anti-communism transplanted to the Middle East and Hussein's name inserted into the blank where Stalin's name once sat. I even heard someone say,"If we don't stop him now, he'll take over the middle east". I realize that much of our audience is not old enough to recognize the good old "Domino Principle". But there it is - ladies and gentlemen - another war propped up by falsehoods and deceit.

There is of course a specific reason to go into Iraq. That is the disarming of Iraq, as required under UN sanction. This is not new or recent. In 1998 President Bush sent a letter to then President Clinton recommending action against Saddam Hussein. There is a concerted effort to rid, if not the world of Hussein, then at least the oil rich country of Iraq. Yes, this is about oil. More precisely the price of a barrel of oil. We find that Iraq has been selling oil way beyond what the limits of the oil for aid program allows. How long has it been going on? About 20 billion dollars ago, back when oil was selling for $20 dollars a barrel. Now it is at $50 per. And Saddam is still exporting it and hiding the money in foreign banks. I mean right now.

That isn't the only reason we are this close to war. I mean a real war. One that will turn dirty and bring back the headlines of Viet Nam. This will not be something that was scripted by Hollywood. There will be no actors to save us. We won't be allowed to see the caskets return. The plane will land and enter a hanger for the disposition of cargo. It is the "We know best" attitude that is an earmark of our dealings with the nations of the Mideast. It has brought us to this point. Remember when Iraq was our ally? When they were fighting Iran way back in the Eighties? That was during the same time "We" were selling drugs to buy arms for Iran. The foreign policy is so convoluted that no good will come of this. We originally went over there to fight terrorism and to rebuild Afghanistan as a free country. Now we are set on the invasion of a sovereign nation. We had better be real sure about this!

I do want to impress on the reader that I believe the fact that Saddam Hussein is vile. There are not the adjectives nor the vulgarities to adequately describe this man. He sincerely believes himself to be an ancient king brought back to life. The ''We" that He kept referring to in the Dan Rather interview, was not him and the Iraqi people. It's not even him and his supporters. It was the royal "We" as in him and God. A monarch bequeathed his power from God. A modern day Xerxes. This is not good. What makes it worse is that there is no modern day warrior who can rally the troops to do battle with him. In fact this could be another variation of the Persian wars: where the democratic nations(city states) stand-by and squabble, barely holding him at bay. There are ramifications way beyond what has been considered to date.

There is one hope. But I'm not sure that it is much more than hope. If the Iraqi people knew how much money was slipping through their fingers. They might actually rise up and claim their birth right. The only way that this situation could play out, is if there is an imagination and maybe a dream left in the hearts and souls of those citizens. We can only wonder if those necessity's of life have been bled out of them by Saddam. Or maybe those things are still within, tucked away for safety. That same thirst for freedom that Black South Africa nourished for generations. Is that same desire and need within the Iraqi people? It's not, if they will support us when we "get" there, but if they are ready for us to support them. That's something else that we had better get right.

 

Yes, this is a worrisome event. It has even gotten to the place in time where those not in step with policy are being called traitors and seditionists. Tell me is that anything like being a long haired communist? It's not me, I swear. This is the rhetoric of the people of power in the fifties and sixties. The same style of rhetoric used to label and belittle those who believed different. The current jingoisms are just as vehement and loud, with accusations screamed at those who don't walk the party line. There is no dialogue, no discussion. Only,"this needs to be done and we're going to do it". And that is said to the American People. To the rest of the world they say,"piss off". Yes, this is very worrisome. We The People are once again being confronted by a group who tell us that they know best and our real task is to support them in whatever should come. The United States right or wrong. No good will come of this.

 

 

Mike Sherer

 

 


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