2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    "God Bless the USA"

    And I'm proud to be an American
    Where at least I know I'm free
    And I won't forget the men who died
    To give that right to me
    And I gladly stand up next to you
    And defend her still today
    'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
    God bless the USA.
    --Lee Greenwood
    Last edit by mkue on May 26, '03
  4. by   funnygirl_rn
    Nice poem, I enjoyed reading it. Thank you Veterans!!!
  5. by   pickledpepperRN,3585693.story
    A Proud Nation Should Be Sorry
    By Norah Vincent
    Norah Vincent, a columnist based in Yardley, Pa., is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

    May 22, 2003

    On Memorial Day, a grateful nation is meant to give thanks to all the servicemen and -women who have risked and lost their lives fighting on behalf of the United States. This last Monday in May will be no different.

    We will and should say thank you a million times over to our veterans, as well as to those now serving overseas.

    But in light of recent disasters like the one currently devolving in Iraq-a country that, all the experts agree, is teetering on the brink either of all-out anarchy or civil war-instead of just expressing the usual perfunctory gratitude, maybe we should also be saying we're sorry. It seems the least we can do. So here goes.

    To all the servicemen and -women, alive, dead or injured in Iraq, we send out the following apology: We're sorry that you planned and executed your military strategy so remarkably well, only to find that the barnacles in Washington hadn't quite perfected their post-bellum game plan.

    We're sorry that our airlifted bureaucrats dropped the ball in the end zone after you endured blinding sandstorms, infernal heat, gaptoothed supply lines, the cowardly tactics of the enemy and the loquacious menace of embedded journalists-and after you made such remarkably quick work of Saddam Hussein's chimeric Republican Guard and craven regular army.

    We're sorry they hustled you into peacekeeping in an impossibly chaotic capital roiling with more than two decades' worth of repressed rage and sectarian hate-a mission that you were neither trained nor empowered to perform, but for which they nonetheless held you responsible even while they arrogantly denied you the proffered assistance of the United Nations and our erstwhile Security Council opponents France and Germany.

    We're sorry that they declared an end to the hostilities in absentia, while you were still taking sniper fire, and sent half your fellow soldiers home just when you needed them most. What did they know about what was really happening on the ground?

    We're sorry they didn't tell you to arrest or shoot looters on sight until after the locals had carted away irreplaceable ancient artifacts from the Iraq Museum, pillaged hospitals and palaces and swiped everything of value from under your noses while you were left to watch, impotent and idle atop your idling tanks.

    We're doubly sorry they allowed the bed-lice correspondents to film the scene of your humiliation in detail, zooming in on all those brazen, smiling thieves waving at the camera and winking at you. We should have changed the channel when the insatiable 24-hour news networks broadcast that farcical footage ad nauseam around the world as evidence of Tommy Franks', or Donald Rumsfeld's, or Jay Garner's or somebody else's bungled command.

    We're sorry they made you exhibit A of their incompetence. You did your job. Those in Washington didn't. And you took the bullet for it.

    In short, we're sorry, as our hokey president himself might have put it, that you rushed to Baghdad only to be left holding the bag.

    We're sorry that our hardy-har commander in chief dropped like the dopiest of deus ex machinas onto the deck of an aircraft carrier and used you for the cheapest of all cheap photo ops. The sign over his head read "Mission Accomplished," but you knew better, didn't you? His mission was accomplished, sure. He'd had his slick victory and come out clean, even if you were left stuck in the mud-or is "quagmire" at long last le mot juste?

    Yes, regrettably, as it turns out, your buddies had to die in combat not in order to make the situation better in Iraq but, it seems, to make it worse and, of course, to get the president reelected. We're really, really, really sorry about that.

    But, then, I guess when it comes right down to it, sorry just doesn't cut it now, does it?
  6. by   Ted
    Powerful article by Norah Vincent!

    Very much on the mark on many points, I'm afraid!

    Very angry, as it should be.
  7. by   Mkue
    How sad that Norah Vincent chose to use Memorial Day a day of thanks to our Veterans to bash our Government and insult our troops.

  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    How sad that my cousin who died for NOTHING in Viet Nam was not enjoying a BBQ with grandchildren yesterday!
    Sorry if I am angry as well as sad, I think of him and what it did to our family every day since 1966.
    How sad my aunt lost her son. How sad my cousins lost their brother! How sad he was not there for us all. He would have been a fine man! He did not even live long enough to vote!
    No a newspaper article is NOT sad.
    Unnecessary death is sad!

    How sad that war was not the FINAL resort. How sad and I am NOT sorry to be SORRY.
    God bless us all
    How sad that people trust the misleading polititians who lied to us all!

    How sad that this was seen as an insult to our troops. I do NOT believe it was meant that way.
    Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad!
    God bless us all!
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 27, '03
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Shout Their Names Into The Wind
    By William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective
    Tuesday 27 May 2003
    When you stare into the obsidian darkness of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, it stares back at you. The stone of the monument is jet black, but polished so that you must face your own reflected eyes should you dare to read the names inscribed there. You are not alone in that place. You stand shoulder to shoulder with the dead, and when those names shine out around and above and below the person you see in that stone, you become their graveyard. Your responsibility to those names, simply, is to remember.
    Such an awful lesson was learned in the forging of that place, not in abstractions of military theory, but in blood and tissue and life. It was a lesson many feared had been lost as American armies were poised at the gates of Baghdad, and would have to be learned again at a terrible cost. A house-to-house battle for the city never materialized, and a fight that could have taken hundreds or thousands of American lives was averted.
    It turns out that Soufiane al Tikriti, head of Baghdad's 10,000-strong Special Republican Guard, was paid several hundred thousand dollars on the eve of the battle. In exchange, he ordered Baghdad's defenders to stand down and not resist. On April 8, al Tikriti was ferried out of Iraq by a US aircraft along with 20 family members. To cover for his absence, US forces let it be known that al Tikriti had been killed while fleeing in his Subaru. On April 9, Baghdad fell to American and British forces with little resistance.
    Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld scoffed at repeated criticism from military specialists and generals that he had set a course for war without enough men and materiel. As American forces pushed towards the capitol city, US troops went days without being resupplied with water and food because the supply lines were being harassed and there were too few soldiers to safeguard them. As the battle came to the city itself, the world waited for a bloodbath to take place. Little did anyone know that a wily Defense Secretary had already bought the keys to the city on the cheap. The Fall of Baghdad came not with a bang, but a whisper.
    Before this Memorial Day weekend began, the Pentagon assessed American losses at 162 killed in Iraq both during and after the war. There is no accurate accounting for the thousands of Iraqi civilians who perished in the 'Shock and Awe' firebombing and cluster bombing of Baghdad. Like the American casualties, the number of killed and wounded among the Iraqi populace grows daily.
    The relatively small force Rumsfeld knew would be sufficient to take Baghdad appears more and more by the day insufficient to bring the promised peace. Terrorist attacks have skyrocketed across the globe, blowback from a war that promised to make the world a safer place. The essential premises for the war itself - weapons of mass destruction by the long ton, terrorist connections, the liberation of the people - have been revealed to be insubstantial actors in a set piece of political theater. It is cold comfort indeed to know that, but for a bag of cash handed over to a mercenary military commander, it could have been much worse.
    Consider the man himself, George W. Bush. He successfully parlayed 9/11, the worst intelligence failure in the history of the world, into a war that cost America relatively little blood. He did not have to absorb the terrible Vietnam lesson. The terrorism fears surrounding al Qaeda connections to Iraq and Hussein's vast stockpiles of deadly weapons played directly upon the memory of collapsing Towers and massive death that is now the collective heritage of every American. Bush used that terrible image against his own people by lying repeatedly about the threat posed by Iraq, to bring about a war that served little purpose to anyone but those who stand to profit from it.
    The war itself obscured, yet again, the disastrous missteps and policy decisions which opened America to the 9/11 attacks in the first place, and furthermore has pushed to the back burner the fact that the administration has adamantly refused to release a detailed report on what happened on that terrible day. To date he has gotten away with these lies and rank omissions. The ability to pull off a stunt like that without being called to account for it might make a man believe himself capable of any lie, any fabrication, any act the mind can conceive of.
    In a February 27 report for truthout entitled Blood Money, I described some of the ideological and financial motivations behind the Bush administration's push for this war. The men and women surrounding Bush who make the policy of this government have been waiting years for the opportunity to overthrow by military force any number of regimes in the Middle East. They were forced to lie with their bare faces hanging out for months to initiate what was always the first step in this plan, the taking of Iraq. They have managed to accomplish this first step without stunning the American populace with horrific US casualty rates.
    This appears to have been inspirational.
    The Bush administration is on the cusp of beginning a program to actively destabilize and overthrow the ruling government in Iran. "There's no question but that there have been and are today senior al Qaeda leaders in Iran, and they are busy," Rumsfeld said last week. This is the same rhetoric he used successfully to rally support for war in Iraq. The American government has suspended all contact with the Iranian government in the aftermath of several terrorist bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after intelligence services intercepted transmissions which reportedly indicate a connection between those bombings and terrorists operating in Iran.
    Accusations have been raised that fewer than a dozen al Qaeda terrorists are operating in northeastern Iran, an ironic fact which underscores the degree to which the Bush administration has failed to successfully pursue their 'War on Terror.' The region of Iran reportedly used by these terrorists shares a border with Afghanistan. Today, that area is a lawless no-man's land dominated by drug runners and resurgent Afghanistan-based Taliban members.
    Said resurgence has come in large part because the Bush administration has decided to spend no money on rebuilding Afghanistan after the war. Iran handed over all the terrorists it knew of after 9/11. If there are terrorists in northeastern Iran, they are there because the Bush administration failed to finish what it started in Afghanistan, just as it has thus far failed to finish what it started in Iraq. Iran's government has no more control over that region than we do, but the alleged terrorists there will be one premise for the next conflict. Given Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest's penchant for manufacturing facts to suit a desire for war, it would surprise few to discover at some point that the alleged connections between Iran and the Riyadh bombings were made of smoke.
    What is not made of smoke, however, is Iran's nuclear weapons program. This program is supported by both conservative Iranian clerics and by democratically elected reformers like Iranian President Mohammad Khatami for one reason alone now. Both groups saw what happened to Iraq, a nation that had no such powerful weapons to defend itself against American invasion. Like North Korea, 'axis of evil' member Iran has seen what being defenseless means in this brave new world. Thus, we see how much more safe Bush's war in Iraq has made the planet.
    The center of the administration's plan to overthrow Iran is, in many ways, an irony in itself. Iran is a democracy on many levels. It has elections and elected officials, many of whom are allied with President Mohammad Khatami's desire to wrest Iran away from the fundamentalist mullahs and transform it into a more secular state. A vast majority of Iranians favor this reform, but have come to detest the United' States' hyperactive military policy.
    Flynt Leverett, who recently left the Bush administration, said, "It is imprudent to assume that the Islamic Republic will collapse like a house of cards in a time frame that is going to be meaningful to us. What it means is we will end up with an Iran that has nuclear weapons and no dialogue with the United States with regard to our terrorist concerns." In other words, we will have a nuclear nation whose road to reform was torn apart by an American administration more interested in starting a third war than in cleaning up the messes caused by the first two.
    More ironic is the manner in which the Bush administration may come to force the issue of destabilization. In a meeting between Washington and Tehran in early January, the administration told Iran that it would attack camps of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, or MEK, a major group opposing the Iranian government that was operating in Iraq. During the war, MEK camps were bombed. To the fury of the Iranians, a cease-fire between the MEK and the US was negotiated. It seems the Bush administration was impressed by the military discipline and armament of the MEK, and has come to see them as a potential military force to be used against the Iranian government.
    The MEK is cited as a terrorist group by the State Department.
    The Bush administration has opened two wars that are now far from concluded, and appears ready to begin a third with the help of known terrorists. They have done so while actively suppressing the truth behind the 9/11 attacks, and while manufacturing evidence to justify their actions. The aftereffects of these actions - a dynamic increase in terrorist attacks and recruitment, chaos in Iraq, chaos in Afghanistan, an America that is more wide open than ever to assault - will be felt for many years to come.
    When you stare into the obsidian darkness of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, it stares back at you. It demands that you shout the names of the lost into the wind, where they will be carried on a slipstream of memory into the farthest reaches of time. The darkness demands that you do not forget, that you do not let leaders lie their way into butchery and failure. To this point, we as a nation have failed to fulfill that responsibility. This must change.
    William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times best-selling author of two books - "War On Iraq" available now from Context Books, and "The Greatest Sedition is Silence," now available from Pluto Press at Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    I participated in two nurses marches on Washington DC in the mid 1990s. Both times I tried to visit the Viet Nam Memorial to see my cousins name. I could not do it.
    I got within a few yards and had to sit on the ground and cry.
    We were born the same year. He was one of those special kids. He was enthusiastic and interested in everything, good at sports and got excellent grades. He was fun, loved to fish, play games, and goof around. Along with my Mom and our Grandma he was the only person who understood me. I understood him too. Otherwise I would have been jealous.
    He got almost all 'A's spending little time on homework. His sister and I got good grades by sacrificing time for fun. He was popular, I wasn't.
    He was the first male I saw urinate. I thought he had a telescopic hose. He got a book and showed me all boys and men are like that. Male animals too. We were 3.
    In highscool he was President of his class.
    He worried that he would never be tall and at his death in Viet Nam still a teenager he was 5'7". He worried about fat so was on sports teams, wrestled, and lifted weights.
    I wish he could be the wonderful older guy with a paunch we imagine he would have been.
    Truly I think he would have easily stayed so active and healthy he would be a fit trim rich youthful grandfather.
    Our Moms were sisters, our grandfather died when we were babies. There is a pisture of us being clumsily hels on his lap weeks before he dies.
    Both of us had terrific Grandfathers on our fathers side.

    I hid my grief from myself for many years. I was trying to become a nurse, find a mate, and raise kids. One day our Grandma said something, an offhand remark and I began to weep. She and my Mom understood exactly why. He would have too.
    I love my husband, children, and family very much. Couldn't possibly love more. But since my Mom and Grandma died I have given up hope of ever being understood.
    Many people never have that. I was blessed.
    But I couldn't look for his name. I have 18 years of memories and 37 of 'What if?s'
    God bless us all!
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on May 27, '03
  11. by   Mkue
    President Bush did not send troops to Vietnam, Cambodia, WWI, WWII or Bay of Pigs that I recall. But who knows, judging by what I've read from his many critics one would think that he was the mastermind behind 9/11. What a madman he is from what I've read in the liberal media, one would think that he really isn't doing enough about Terrorism, could he possibly be a Terrorist himself? Scary thought. Well there is an opening for an Information Minister in Baghdad. Possibly he could apply there when he is replaced by a Democrat in the next election.. Everyone will be happy then.. the world will be a much better place without the Madman Gg. Bush.

    Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died and served their country.
  12. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by mkue
    President Bush did not send troops to Vietnam, Cambodia, WWI, WWII or Bay of Pigs that I recall. But who knows, judging by what I've read from his many critics one would think that he was the mastermind behind 9/11. What a madman he is from what I've read in the liberal media, one would think that he really isn't doing enough about Terrorism, could he possibly be a Terrorist himself? Scary thought. Well there is an opening for an Information Minister in Baghdad. Possibly he could apply there when he is replaced by a Democrat in the next election.. Everyone will be happy then.. the world will be a much better place without the Madman Gg. Bush.

    Like O.J. Simpson, Bill Clinton was able to translate his high personal popularity into a triumph over the law in spite of being caught "dead to rights" engaging in felonious
    behavior. (And both were greatly assisted in their cases by a vigorous defense from Alan Dershowitz, as was Claus von Bulow).

    The Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Senate having spoken, they have made it indisputable that the Democratic Party is now on
    record as:

    The Party of Perjury
    The Party of Obstruction of Justice
    The Party that put a Rapist in the White House, then Shredded
    the Rule of Law to Keep Him There -

    Memorial Day is a day to remember and honor those who have died and served their country.
    I miss my cousin every day. I wish I had known my Dads brother who was killed in WWII.
    Not just Memorial day, EVERY DAY is Memorial Day to me.

    To me a fitting memorial would be to find another way for our species to differ than bombs.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 1, '03
  13. by   Mkue
    I wish the extremists would let that Clinton bashing go.. enough already. I wish they wouldn't stoop to that level.

    thanks for the links
  14. by   fab4fan
    spacenurse: Thank you for sharing something that is so deeply personal for you.