Lest We Forget
by James Glaser
I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear True faith and allegiance to the same, and that I Will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over Me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code Of Military Justice. So help me God.
I said those words and kept that oath, just as all the men and women in our military today have said those words. Every one serving today is a volunteer and with these few words they give away their free will. Now at my age I understand that no man can require you to uphold a oath that goes against the laws of God and the laws of man, but at eighteen these words bind you like no others.
Fifty seven years ago this month, our country firebombed the city of Tokyo killing 100,000 civilians, men, women, and children. The crews of the hundreds of B-29 bombers who were in that raid, took this oath and lived by it.
A few months later just two crews took out Hiroshima and Nagasaki with 140,000 and 70,000 death respectively. That plus another 200,000 deaths from radiation poisoning in the next two years and thousands in the years to follow. Those two crews were bound by this same oath and opening the age of atomic weapons was their charge.
All the years I was growing up, America was living under the fear that the Russians would send bombers over the "top of the world" and start a "Nuclear Winter." People built bomb shelters and we had attack drills in grade school. Scientists built the "doomsday clock" that they would move closer to midnight, the explosion hour, every time the two super powers started taunting each other.
Then the Berlin wall came down, Russia and America started talking, and the hands of the clock were turned back and it was forgotten.
But just last week it was in the papers that that old clock was still around and with all the trouble in the world the time had been moved up. A classified Pentagon report was revealed this week telling how the United States must be ready to use Atomic weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya, and Syria. I listened to Colin Powell, Secretary of State tell the nation on the Sunday morning news programs that this was needed and that we wouldn't attack anyone with nuclear weapons unless they had them or were friends with a country that had them.
This is real sick talk and more so because we are the only country to ever use them. This makes other countries think "first strike." John Isaacs, president of the Council for a Livable World, said "they're trying desperately (the United States) to find new uses for nuclear weapons, when their uses should be limited to deterrence. Dr. Strangelove is clearly alive in the Pentagon."
Our president has us on a path for perpetual war and, he believes, perpetual high approval ratings. Americans have a duty to their grandchildren to stop this madness now. George will escalate us to a world war if we don't speak up.
Fighting terrorism with nuclear weapons does not make sense. America really does have the ability to do great things for this world, but bringing back the use of nuclear bombs is not one of them. Lest we forget, we have used these weapons before, and we have millions of military personal who have taken a oath to follow George's orders. Think about that, and think about your kids and theirs.
March 20, 2002
Jim Glaser [send him mail] is a Vietnam vet and a volunteer in veterans hospitals.
© 2002 LewRockwell.com