To me it comes down to whether the planned war is self defense or aggresion. We don't know yet.
We do know that people in this administration have been planning it for years.
I was concerned about supporting my cousins and friends who went to Viet Nam. I still listen to those who mention 'NAM' every hour. It took years for me to cry.
Now while day dreaming I imagine how they would look now (who would have a gut, who would be bald), what their wife would be like (I know her "spirit"), would they be grandfathers?, what happened to the woman whose life he would have completed (have I met her?), would he take kids fishing like his Dad did? Would his son earn Eagle Scout? He would have been troop leader for sure if only he had lived and had a son.
While blowing my nose and wiping tears I wish I had done more to help end that war sooner.
Some of the protesters and those killed at Kent State, for example, are also heros.
I know a former army nurse who was "in country" She cannot nurse anymore so she leads group sessions at the VA. Our "little" problems still seem trivial to her after the young American and Vietnamese lives she watched end.
So no I would rather try to prevent another war (if possible) than just write letters. Better for the Vets to hate me then not exist.
Statement adopted by NYC Veterans Meeting Against War with Iraq
We have gathered in New York City on November 10, 2002 to declare that as Veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, we are gravely concerned about the course the Bush administration is forcing on our country and the world.
We are especially alarmed at their relentless drive for war with Iraq. We believe the cause of world peace and security is best served through the international cooperation and by sending UN inspectors back to Iraq, not by saber rattling and threats of a unilateral US military attack. We are firmly opposed to an invasion of Iraq.
We also declare that the USA Patriot Act and other "anti-terrorism" measures represent a serious threat to the fundamental civil liberties and freedoms that we swore to protect and defend. We call for a repeal of this legislation, for an end to blanket roundups and detentions targeting Muslim communities and for a restriction on excessive police powers aimed at silencing dissent.
America's veterans deserve to be treated with justice and dignity but instead more budget cuts at already understaffed VA hospitals have forced many to wait months to receive needed health care. Thousand of disability claims remain pending, sometimes for years, effectively denying veterans treatment and compensation. This shameful situation must end.
We are patriots who have stood in defense of this country. We have a right and a duty to speak out. We will not remain silent while our rights are undermined and the threat of endless war looms. We are committed to this struggle for peace, justice and freedom and we appeal to our fellow citizens and elected representatives to speak up and act before it is too late.
No War with Iraq
No Blood for Oil or Ego
By Barry Romo, Dave Curry & Joe Miller
from the forthcoming Fall 2002 issue of The Veteran
It looks like those courtiers, known as advisers, who want a war with Iraq, have Bush's ear. From his speech before the United Nations in September, it is clear that the boy wants to finish daddy's war from 1990-91 and be a big hero himself. However, in addition to little things like the Constitution and international law stands the reality of a "war too far" in their never-ending war on terrorism.
The war in Afghanistan is not over. American troops will be there a long time and in great numbers, as in Korea, with no end in sight. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are not eliminated. Afghanistan is supplying 80% of Europe's heroin, and our allies there admit they cannot, or will not, stop it. President Karzai is so weak that he cannot get his own bodyguards and must be guarded by U.S. forces. Our allies are committing war crimes (as exposed by Newsweek). We are killing civilians and making blood enemies in a country that has lots of time for revenge. Finally, that poor country is still not getting the aid promised.
One would think with all this turmoil, the U.S. government would want to clean up this mess before moving on to other targets, but U.S. forces now are in nearly 150 out of the 189 member states of the United Nations. What other member state has its forces stationed in so many countries? What is the purpose of such an "imperial" stretch?
We've now expanded into the Islamic former republics of the Soviet Union, anchoring these from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea with U.S. troops. These strategic and oil-rich countries are a side prize to Bush's never-ending war.
With all the condemnations of Iraq's dictator, Saddam Hussein, you would never guess that he was one of the best friends of both Reagan's and Daddy Bush's administrations. U.S. taxpayers contributed billions of dollars in loans and aid to prop him up. When he invaded Iran we supported him with naval forces in the Persian Gulf, as well as with food and strategic satellite information. Not a word was said when he used poison gas on Iranian forces. Bush/Reagan even said that there was no credible evidence when he massacred Kurds in northern Iraq.
In fact, in each instance where Saddam Hussein invaded his neighbors and used weapons of mass destruction, he did so as an ally of the United States.
Of course, like a lot of our former allies - Bin Laden and Noriega to name two - Hussein became our enemy. In his case, he got greedy and wanted all of Kuwait.
A review of the first Gulf war would take too much space here, so suffice it to say we had the rest of the world on board. Iraq was surrounded by enemies, and the United States and its allies could invade from Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia. and the Gulf. We didn't even have to pay for it. The tab was picked up almost entirely by Japan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
This time our fields of maneuver and support are much smaller, and the Iraqi regime knows from Bush's statements that this time it's for keeps. That means that there will be no incentive for restraint on the part of Hussein, if he has weapons of mass destruction. (If he doesn't, what absolute liars and tyrants we will be seen as by the world, sort of like what Saddam was seen as when he invaded Kuwait!) That means more American casualties and Iraqi civilian deaths.
Add to this the war cost of about $100 billion during these bad economic times; the cost of oil, as it will surely rise with this conflict; and, finally, the effort to hold Iraq together (or not), but with a long term occupying force of U.S. troops and U.S. aid.
Then there is the Middle East and Israel and the Palestinians. Any invasion of Iraq while the Palestinians are denied basic human and national rights will lead to incredible turmoil throughout the region, no matter what Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Perle claim. Now, with Israel promising to get in on the action, who knows where it will all end?
Iran is even making up with Iraq, regardless of the fact that they were invaded and suffered millions of casualties from Saddam's military. Why? Well, Bush's "Axis of Evil," of course! They probably think they may be next. And, why not, with a quarter-million U.S. troops right next door? We should not forget, or take lightly, Bush's pledge to use nuclear weapons first, if he wants to.