It is well that war is so terrible. We should grow too fond of it.
~ Robert E. Lee
Throughout history, those who have the tendency to "grow too fond of war," in most cases have never fought in one. Soldiers who have "seen the elephant" are impacted by the horror of it for life. Many who are unable to cope with the recurring thoughts and visions resort to escape mechanisms — alcohol, drugs, and in extreme cases, suicide. One soldier that I knew, a Vietnam Vet, literally ate himself to death. I visited him in the hospital shortly before his death. He was forced to sleep sitting up because when he reclined the fat compressed against his lungs and made breathing impossible. He had been forced to endure a court-martial during Vietnam for shooting a turncoat "Chu Hoi" for leading his unit into an ambush where several soldiers of his Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) unit were killed.
A close friend tells the story of asking his dad, a WWI Vet, what the term "over the top" meant when he was just a young boy. He relates that his father got up from the table, went onto the porch and retched. His mother told him to "never mention that again!" There is great meaning to be found in the term: "no one loves peace like a soldier."
What in heaven’s name could be just about killing people you don’t even know because some lying politician needs to improve the bottom line of his corporate cronies and campaign contributors. Wars should be initiated for defense of country and liberty only. There is no one alive in this country to read these words that fought in a war that was not in some way predicated by political lies and deceptions. There is no one who fought in any of this country’s wars in the last sixty years that fought in a constitutional war. You know, the Constitution soldiers swear to uphold and defend. Could the domestic enemy we swore to defend our country and Constitution from be our politicians who ignore the Constitution and lead us into illegal wars? Who is a greater threat to our liberty, out of control politicians or terrorists created by these same politicians and their insane foreign policy that makes billionaires of their cronies? Who passed and confirmed the Patriot Act? Does Usama bin Laden care what library books you read, who you talk to on the phone or whether or not you own a gun or how many rounds that gun’s magazine holds?
What does it take to get an American to die for lies: words from a politician with no integrity, a few colored ribbons, a quest for glory, or a John Philip Sousa March? Even former Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General Smedley D. Butler, said that in his 33-year military career he never had an original thought!
There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
~ Major General Smedley Butler
In my humble opinion, the last Just war that was fought in this country ended at Appomattox, Virginia in 1865.
"We should meet the federal invader on the outer verge of just and right defense and raise at once the black flag. No quarter to the violators of our homes and firesides."
~ Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson, May 1861
Smedley Butler, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee were correct: war should be so terrible that it would never be considered except as a retaliation for invasion or an attack on liberty. Were an invasion of homes and firesides or an attack on liberty to occur, there should be no quarter given to those invaders and usurpers—death and total annihilation to those who would violate the sanctity of home or an attack on our liberties.
The terrible truth is: the invader that Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee had to war with from 1861—1865, is the same invader the people in Iraq and Afghanistan are warring with today and the same invader the American Indian fought to protect their homes and property from during and after the War Between the States. The attacks on our liberties are not coming from al Qaeda or terrorists — they are coming from our elected leaders and their money grabbing, freedom destroying, death machine.
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.