Saturday, March 17, 2007

One Hand Clapping....

Lord knows, I try to stay out of American politics. At this point of my life, I couldn't care less about the individuals involved. George Bush, Dick Cheney. Who cares?

Griping about them does no good because they are beyond our grasp. They are the new despots at the head of an illegal and immoral regime.

Okay. I've said it all before. Blah blah. So, what?

This weekend marks five years since the US invaded Iraq. During the past five years, we've learned that the majority of the justification was based on deception and lies. Most of us knew it from the very beginning.

Here are a few facts for your perusal:

Over 31,000 soldiers have died since the beginning of the war. These are mostly minority and working class kids who had to join the military because there were no other available options for them in their communities.

Over 55,000 have been injured. They come back to this country where treatment is sadly lacking. Often their lives have been permanently altered, if not ruined, and yet they can't even get decent medical treatment from the VA. Note the recent news stories about treatment for VIPs vs military personnel from the ranks at Walter Reed.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed, either by American military action or by insurgents, products of the civil war created by the invasion.

For those interested in the financial aspects, this war costs 8 billion per month, 280 million per day, 12 million per hour.

Can you imagine other uses for that money? How many people would get needed medical care? How many affordable housing units can be built? How many homeless people fed and housed? How many jobs could be created? How many social issues could be addressed and possibly solved with that kind of funding?

There will be marches throughout the country today, the largest being the March on the Pentagon which has already begun as I write this.

I debated whether to attend any here locally. My involvement in American politics is practically non-existent. My concerns are elsewhere. Yet as a citizen of the world, if nothing else, I do believe it's important to make a statement that this war for greed and oil must end now.

No more excuses. It's immoral. War for no higher purpose than continuing to enrich the already-rich is immoral. The continued feeding of greedy corporations and the business aristocracy is immoral. We might not be able to stop it but if nothing else, we can make enough noise to make it uncomfortable.




MsLittlePea said...

OH man! I wasn't going to comment because this is an explosive issue for me. I've grown up in a military family-my father and his father and his father's father....going all the way back to the revolution so I hate when people say, Oh you're just anti-military and anti-American. It makes me livid! And I grew up in a military town so it wasn't unusual to hear this person or that person joined. A couple of my highschool classmates are gone due to this war, one of whom I'd known since we were 8 and I'm angry over it. I resent the fact the this generation has to fight a war so that Halliburton....don't even get me started. None of it makes any sense to me. I thought the 'war on terror' was in Agahnistan? So I'm glad you wrote this because I totally agree with you. And I'm scared to death because my nephew, who I practically raised, turns 18 this year.

Thailand Gal said...

MsPea, I hear you. Loud and clear. The exploitation of young people pisses me off possibly more than anything else. Sending them into a foreign country that the corporate oligarchy has determined must be conquered for their business interests is the very thing that should send the decision-makers straight to hell.

As for the "anti-American", oh yeah.. I've heard it all. Most of my nastygrams are from angry Americans, calling me a "traitor" and telling me to get my "mangy ass" out of here. They usually finish off with a gem like "Thailand deserves you."

"The War on Terror" is a Potemkin image. The perpetrators of 9/11 are all dead.

The draft hasn't been reinstated, to the best of my knowledge. It sounds like this would be a good discussion for you to have with your nephew. Don't let him get caught up in the "patriotic fervor".



Pam said...

You have said the exact same words that I, and all the members of my family, have been saying for a long time. Even my older grandchildren are aware. The noise is getting louder.

meno said...

There was a discussion i was listening to on the radio yesterday asking where the anti-war protests are this time.

I think one of them is right here.

I agree with you more than i can express. I am sickened by the whole F$*#@ing thing. Wasted lives, money, opportunities. Bah!

jen said...

amen. you know how deeply all of this affects me. so much so that i have no words anymore.

Thailand Gal said...

Pam, I went somewhere today and left realizing that there is a lot more noise than I'd thought. You should have heard the honking and yelling that took place ~ and this was a very local demonstration about a mile from my house!


Meno, I'm disgusted, too. Have been for a long, long time. I vacillate between complete nihilism and a glimmer of hope ~ only because of "regular folk" who are willing to deal with this.


Jen, oh yes.. I know. It was with a degree of reluctance that I even posted on this topic today ~ and going by the limited response, perhaps it wasn't such a good idea... but someone has to say something ~ even if it's as simple as "I have no more words". There are a lot more of us out here who feel exactly that way than most would even begin to guess.



caro said...

Hi Chani! Just got back from Orlando a couple of days ago. Most of the people I spoke to are fed up with this war. High time it ended and other, desperately pressing issues addressed...

Laurie said...

My son's half sister has joined the military. She's been sold a bill of goods and is too young to know any better. I am horrified and scared to death for her.

I think the noise is getting louder and louder and I'm a part of it. I'm glad you are too, Chani.

You've written a great and very important post.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the response to your post is "limited". First your readers sound to be mostly women, and politics is not their stuff usually.
Secondly, just like the tabloids or sensation press are more read than the NYT, an article which is about politics is less read than an article about movie stars, how to lose weigh, or relationship men/women. If you had not deleted the one with the video and the guy who hits an old woman, you would have got plenty comments. But frankly, I prefer this one to that one...

QT said...

Chani - I think it is only 3100 US troops dead - by the time I post this, probably 3200.

It is sickening, and sad, what has been wrought on our country. I think about it daily and wonder what the rest of the world thinks of us. Our troops were brought in to be security guards for an oil supply, nothing more. Perhaps Exxon and Chevron could help us pay the bill with their record profits?

Anonymous said...

No country has "pure" motives to be or not to be involved in a war: only ambition and money lead the world.

Hel said...

I agree. More I can not say without getting lost in the unfairness of power.

Anonymous said...

"n Juvenal's time (55-127 A.D.), the Roman Republic was but a distant memory as the power of the emperors grew stronger and stronger. The once proud Senate that had witnessed the splendid orations of Cato and Cicero—dominated and weakened year after year by the succession of dictators—atrophied into a figurehead of an institution. However, Juvenal felt that the populace took the duties of citizenship far more seriously during the days of the Republic than in the virtual dictatorships of the Caesars.

He lamented that "the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddle no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses.""

Sounds all too familiar doesn't it. I think it's time peace broke out.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Just last night, I remarked that the money spent on this war every day could feed millions of homeless people and provide decent medical care for millions more.

We need to face the fact that in the last 4 years, America has gone from being the shining beacon among nations that people respected and emulated to being perhaps the most hated nation on earth.

The "benefits" of this immoral war accrue only to the very richest of the rich, our president's family and friends. We are not any different from the Latin American dictatorships we condemn. We are no longer a nation of the people., by the people and especially, FOR the people. We have lost our way.

The sheer number of deaths among our young soldiers and Iraqui civilians is staggering and inexcusable. I fail to understand why this president has not been impeached or worse.

He is responsible for destroying an entire generation of young Americans, kids the same age as his daughters, who probably grew up hunting squirrels and already know how to use a gun.