Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A hard truth...

...but one it's past time to admit. James Wolcott faces facts...
...those troops in Vietnam did die in vain, as did the Marines who died in the barracks in Beirut, as do most of the men and women who die in war. Most wars are unnecessary, waged on the basis of lies, power, and fear; to justify the unnecessary deaths, the funeral services float the soft consolation that the body lying in the flag-draped coffin died for Peace, or Democracy, or the Good of the Country. When often they died because too many fools wouldn't admit they had made a ghastly mistake and kept perpetuating that mistake even after they and all the world recognized the mission was futile. How many more soldiers and civilians are going to die in vain in Iraq to prove that those who died before them didn't die in vain?
Eric Bogle offered the same truth more poetically in his classic WWI anthem, The Green Fields Of France.

Now young Willie McBride I can't help wonder why
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did they really believe when they answered the cause,
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the sorrows, the suffereing, the glory, the pain,
The killing and dying was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

And John Kerry put it more succinctly when he asked...
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake."
It's true no matter how put. It's still happening. It's time to stop asking and start demanding.


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