Posts filed under ‘Vietnam’

Dave Cline

This weekend Dave Cline, an early and very vocal member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, former president of Veterans for Peace and a key supporter and inspiration for the formation of Iraq Veterans Against the War in 2004. Dave was a great man, encouraging many to stand up and take action against militarism and war through sharing their firsthand stories and experience. Without him the Veterans’ movements would not be as strong as they are today, putting all his energy and hope into supporting others’ voices and creating space for healing and change for both individuals and our society.

He will be missed and we carry on with those same dreams and energy.

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September 19, 2007 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment

Doublespeak: Democracy

Apparently the part of democracy that the Iraqis aren’t getting is the part where they do only what the U.S. government wants.

Bush is so desperate to justify the continued occupation of Iraq that he actually compared it to Vietnam. Really? You’re going to go there? Open up the debate on another war we had no reason to start, that cost the lives of over 3 million people – 58,000 U.S. troops included, and hard to say how much residual damage and death caused by the chemicals and landmines left behind – to claim our withdraw from Vietnam was the cause of so much death rather than the unjust war/occupation itself? Maybe he wasn’t so disillusioned by Vietnam since he was so distracted trying to avoid going there at all, but what kind of desperate fool says such things, in mockery of all the destruction and death caused by both this war and that?

Oh, but he still likes that Al-Maliki fellow, even while he doesn’t fully understand that the Iraqi government’s responsibility is not to him or the U.S. government but to the people of Iraq. Carl Levin missed that memo too, that democracy doesn’t require you to do the every bidding of your occupiers.

Democracy demands that you meet the needs of your country and people; in Iraq this means creating some form of stable infrastructure, security and trust in the Iraqi government that can only come from their having the power to end the occupation of the country by foreign forces. Only then can the spiral of violence end, as can be seen from looking at any area that has been brutally occupied, the longer the occupation and the more brutal and exploitative it is the longer it takes for the violence to end when foreign troops withdraw and any subsequent governments to be viewed as legitimate or powerful.

Our continued presence in Iraq hurts the Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops living in constant terror, so what are we fighting for?

P.S. If we really cared about Iraqi civilians, or U.S. troops…well, the sheer inadequacies on both of those fronts to even create a veneer of concern would take days, or months, to even to begin to outline.

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August 23, 2007 at 1:58 am Leave a comment


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