E. Hickman, R.I.P.
by Laurence M. Vance: A
Budding Red-State Fascist
The Iraq War
is officially over Ė for the third time.
The first time
the Iraq War ended was on May 1, 2003, when President Bush announced
Ė in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner Ė that "the
United States and our allies have prevailed" and "major
combat operations in Iraq have ended."
combat operations had not quite ended since 4,300 more American
soldiers then died
for a lie while President Bush promised to the families of those
killed to "complete the mission so that their child or their
husband or wife has not died in vain."
ending of the Iraq War was on August 31, 2010, when President Obama
proclaimed that "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended"
and "Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people
now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."
American soldiers then died
in vain during "Operation New Dawn."
I hope for
the sake of every young man and woman in the U.S. military that
the Iraq War is really over this time.
writing about the unconstitutional Iraq War on its third anniversary
of Mass Distraction") when 2,317 American soldiers had
already died. When I wrote about this unjust war on its fourth anniversary
Years, Four Plans"), that number had risen to 3,218. On
the fifth anniversary of this unnecessary war, ("Five
Years and Counting"), the number was up to 3,992. On the
sixth anniversary of this senseless war ("What
Happened to the War?"), it was up to 4,259. On the seventh
anniversary of this criminal war ("The
Forgotten War"), the death toll was up to
4,385. On the eighth anniversary of this immoral war ("When
Will the Iraq War Really End?"), the number
of U.S. soldiers who died had "only" increased to 4,439,
with 211 of those deaths occurring after Obama took over as the
chief war criminal.
I am thankful
to God that there will be no ninth anniversary of this horrible
war. I am relieved that the death count of U.S. soldiers has ended
at 4,484. I am relieved that there will only be 255 U.S. soldiers
who died after the inauguration of President Obama.
veteran (and later senator) John
Kerry said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee (of which he is now chairman) in 1971 about the war in
Vietnam is relevant to the Iraq War and especially to its end:
In our opinion
and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which
could happen that realistically threatens the United States of
America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life
in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation
of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the
height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy
which we feel has torn this country apart.
that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had
for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence
whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had
enthusiastically molded after our own image were hard put to take
up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them
most people didnít even know the difference between communism
and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without
helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their
villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything
to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of
the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace, and
they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military
force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North
Vietnamese or American.
also that all too often American men were dying in those rice
paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand
how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial
regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided
idea of who was kept free by the flag, and blacks provided the
highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally
by American bombs and search and destroy missions, as well as
by Viet Cong terrorism Ė and yet we listened while this country
tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.
destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose
her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and
refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out
chocolate bars and chewing gum.
the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves,
and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of
the United States falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification
of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told
the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought using weapons
against "oriental human beings." We fought using weapons
against those people which I do not believe this country would
dream of using were we fighting in the European theater. We watched
while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has
to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons they
marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese.
We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown
into extravaganzas, because we couldnít lose, and we couldnít
retreat, and because it didnít matter how many American bodies
were lost to prove that point, and so there were Hamburger Hills
and Khe Sanhs and Hill 81s and Fire Base 6s, and so many others.
Now we are
told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American
lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance
of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese.
to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her
hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United
States doesnít have to admit something that the entire world already
knows, so that we canít say that we have made a mistake. Someone
has to die so that President Nixon wonít be, and these are his
words, "the first President to lose a war."
We are asking
Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to
be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be
the last man to die for a mistake?
E. Hickman, 23, of Greensboro, North Carolina, of the 2nd Battalion,
325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd
Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is that man. He was
killed by an IED in Iraq on November 14, 2011. He is the last man
to die in Iraq. He is the last man to die for a mistake.
If only Bush
hadnít lied us into war. If only Bush had ceased hostilities after
the capture of Saddam Hussein. If only Obama had pulled out U.S.
troops after his inauguration. If only Obama had really ended the
American combat mission in August. If only the war had ended sooner.
If only David E. Hickman didnít have to die for a mistake. May he
rest in peace.
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, and Rethinking
the Good War. His latest book is The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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