Willful ignorance, and a steadfast refusal to face the truth.

It was a relief to see the Office of the President finally say something about the WMD’s and the links to Al Queda. It was long overdue, but then so was the invasion of Iraq. Overall the military action was past due, it was the way the politicians decided to market it to the American people that has been poorly planned. Politicians and capitalists underestimate Americans intelligence.

The war on terror has been going on in the rest of the world for a very long time and America has been too complacent about what others are forced to live with every day. Here’s a little perspective from someone who has experienced this and a few other wars from within the military culture. Discipline can't afford to be idealistic so most of us are realists and understand that war is the outcome of failed politics.

Abused in the service of the political masters of the time.

Hussein has used WMD’s in the past on the Kurds and it was more than likely he would again. He was playing the same game with the United Nations that Ho Chi Min played with the US during the Vietnam War. There would be some politicking, then Ho Chi Min would go back on his word, the US would increase their military actions and Ho Chi Min would back down, play nice for a while then it would start all over again. This went on for over a decade until the average lifespan of a fresh Lieutenant arriving in the militarized zones of Vietnam dwindled down to eight minutes.

Understandably the American people became outraged. We were sending men over there like they were some kind of disposable commodity in the name of diplomacy. Protests grew increasingly adamant and violent. Political and capitalistic corruption drove the war machine berserk. The military wanted Congress to call it a war, take aggressive and assertive action but still Ho Chi Min would turn belly up then slip a knife into our back. The people finally saw the horrible truth and we left with our tails between our legs to come home to misplaced derision and scorn.

The cost of war does not end with the last shot fired.

So did the protest movement save lives? Well yes and no. It saved American lives, but there were dire consequences. Shortly after the US and their allies pulled out of the Southeast Asian war arena things grew hideously worse. Pol Pot and his regime murdered millions of Cambodians.

Some of their blood is on our hands. If the US and our allies pull out of Iraq now what would be left to prevent another tyranny.

OPEC is still in the driver's seat.

    The Oil Embargo in October of 1973 will best be remembered for high gasoline prices, long lines to the pump, and the weekend rationing that tested the patience of every American. It also caused an unprecedented economic recession. Most importantly, however, was how the actions of a few authoritarian nations could undermine the economic stability of the West. With the twin specters of terrorism and Middle Eastern conflicts, can the United States weather another catastrophic disruption in its supply of oil?
That’s a good question, probably not. Two-thirds of the world's oil reserves are in the Middle East, suggesting that the region will eventually dominate the global market again. The US economy after September 11, 2001 is still shaky. After the oil embargo the US reduced drilling for oil in the US and began to stockpile. We sent over our best geophysicists to help the Middle East set up their lucrative oil fields. Hussein built palaces lined with gold, gassed the Kurds, murdered ten of thousand of “thieves” let his sons rape women for sport and played games with the UN inspectors. The Iraqi people deserve better, I have no pity for Saddam and we need to get a lot busier on alternative fuel supplies.

The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot.

Martin Luther King taught us that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. Each year on Memorial Day Beryl a dear relation and the widow of a Veteran attends the ceremonies at Ft Huachuca. She cries every time calling it "bittersweet and precious.” She thanks the soldiers personally who prepare and present the observances. It touches her profoundly.

For many years I would see homeless veterans on certain corners. There were regulars that would arrive to the warmer climes of the desert every fall, but many of them didn’t show up last winter. Beryl also volunteers for the Veteran’s Hospital here in Tucson and was commenting on the striking difference in attitudes among Americans when comparing the welcome homes the soldiers get today to the ones returning from Nam. She says that most of them here have gone underground and the Veteran Affairs Division has to find them to give them their benefits by word of mouth. They no longer trust the American people or her government.

Moreover, that whole generation was gathered to their ancestors, and another generation grew up after them, who did not know.
-Judges 2:10 (NRSV)