Sure we can heap the blame on George Bush for the dead Marines and Soldiers in Iraq. We can claim that George also is bathed in the blood of the innocent Iraqis who our troops kill every day over there, but we should be looking at our hands too.
The American public was filled with blood lust after the 9/11 terrorist attack and we really didn’t care whom we killed, just as long as we killed someone. This September it will be four years since that attack and we are still taking our revenge and we are all a little bit responsible for what has been done in our name.
It is hard for most Americans to admit that no Iraqis were involved in the attack on America that started this whole mess, but the fact is and President Bush has admitted it, no Iraqi was involved in the September 11th attack on the Pentagon or the World Trade Center.
Three and a half years later and here is what I read in the paper. "Among the four Marines killed and 10 wounded when an explosive device erupted under their Amtrac on Wednesday were the battle-ready members of a squad that four days earlier had battled foreign fighters holed up in a house in the town of Ubaydi. In that fight two squad members were killed and five were wounded. In 96 hours of fighting and ambushes in the far western Iraq, the squad had ceased to be. Every member of the squad — one of the three that made up the 1st platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment — had been killed or wounded. All told 1st Platoon sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a fighting unit," wrote Ellen Knickmeyer in the Washington Post.
George Bush, and you and I have started this bloody war in Iraq, where we are fighting people who not only never attacked us, but who never even had the means with which they could have attacked us. Thousands of American Soldiers and Marines are now dead or maimed for life. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians are dead or wounded and this includes thousands and thousands of women and children. We don’t even have the decency to count the number of infants we have killed.
This war goes on and on and nobody is taking to the streets nor are there many public outcries for peace. Every day more and more American troops are being killed and every day more innocent Iraqis are dying (400 so far in May). There is no end in sight and the Pentagon starts new combat operations while they wait for some sort of exit plan.
Right now America has no exit plan and there is no demand from the American public to come up with one.
America has attacked both Iraq and Afghanistan in an attempt to stop terrorism. Neither nation had ever attacked us. Today Afghanistan is now the largest producer and dealer of heroin in the world. Fighting still goes on there and Americans still get killed. We are about to build permanent military bases there to protect the puppet government we have installed. Iraq is a total mess with blood running in the streets every day in many cities. The world watches what we are doing and they see the mess we have made and the hate for our American government is starting to transfer to the American people, because the world sees we are doing nothing to rein in our government and stop its killing.
There are now more terrorist attacks in the world than before George Bush started his War on Terrorism. Every day America garners more hate. George’s War is not working. The world sees that we torture prisoners. They see us destroy major cities like Fallujah. They hear us claim that we are bringing freedom and democracy to Muslim countries and they look at the governments we install and they know what we are doing.
So, what can you or I do? To start, we can take pen in hand and write both of our Senators and our Representative in Washington and tell them it is time to stop this war. Personal letters do have an effect. We can pray. We can support antiwar groups with time and money.
It won’t be easy to change what Washington is doing, because some people are getting very wealthy off of our killings and they want to keep making more money. The only tool we have is our vote and as much as our leaders in Washington love the money the Military Industrial Complex gives them, they still love the power their position gives them more. If enough of the American People tell them it is time to end this, they will.
You can sit on your hands and say what will my letter do? But if you do that, then you have to know that you will never be able to wash the blood off your hands, because this War is yours, just as it is George Bush’s War. We are all Americans and we should make an effort to take our country back from our merchants of death.
Our killing and torturing and bombing have done nothing to make our country safer. We are making more and more terrorists every day. Today there are hundreds willing to commit suicide to attack American troops, soon it may be thousands. Our Terror begets terror!
Jim Glaser [send him mail], a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and Commander of VFW Post 3869, works to educate the American public on the consequences of war. His personal website is James-Glaser.com.