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Ash writes: "While campaigning for the presidency in 2000, George W. Bush rallied a raucous assembly of U.S. service members with his vision for a revitalization of the military."

Zaradasht Ahmed's award winning Iraq War image 'Nowhere to Hide.' (photo: Zaradasht Ahmed)
Zaradasht Ahmed's award winning Iraq War image 'Nowhere to Hide.' (photo: Zaradasht Ahmed)


Help Was Not on the Way

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

30 May 17

 

hile campaigning for the presidency in 2000, George W. Bush rallied a raucous assembly of U.S. service members with his vision for a revitalization of the military. Bush cited low morale, caused by poor funding and neglect in the Clinton years, as an affront to all armed services, something he as president would not abide. “Help is on the way!” he bellowed, and the soldiers roared their approval.

Help was not in fact on the way. On the way was a return to Vietnam era, war-for-profit thinking. Invade first and manufacture a rationale later was the order of yet another day for a bellicose American president and, once again, a Congress unified in their obedience.

It’s become fashionable in Washington to describe the invasion of Iraq as a “mistake.” It was no mistake. It was a carefully planned-in-advance military extravaganza that enriched defense contractors astronomically and has cost the American taxpayer at least 3 trillion dollars, and perhaps double that.

The cost to the men and women who fought the war was greater. Death, disability, and PTSD are as common for Iraq War veterans as they were for those returning from Vietnam. Again, the result was the same: nothing gained in the face of unspeakable loss. The cost to the Iraqi people was, just as it had been to the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian people forty years earlier, bearing the weight of an apocalyptic crime against them and all humanity.

Perhaps the greatest insult to those who have served their country is using Memorial Day to sell war itself. The corporate media machine is only too willing to glorify militarism on a day set aside to commemorate sacrifice.

There can be only one true memorial to war — peace.


Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+2 # MidwestDick 2017-05-30 09:53
e.e. cummings memorial day oration

"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more. what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water"
 
 
+3 # DongiC 2017-05-30 09:56
Well said, Marc, now how do we conquer the munitions makers and those who profit from war?
 
 
+4 # Working Class 2017-05-30 13:43
In my fantasy world Congress would pass a law that restricted profit by any military-indust rial complex member to one half of a precent any time there was a shooting war, declared or undeclared, that involved US troops. Take the profit out of war and watch diplomacy come to the forefront.
 
 
+4 # madame de farge 2017-05-30 10:21
Don't forget the 8 BILLION that was delivered to Iraq.... 8 BILLION... 8 BILLION... I never should have been shocked by the BLANK CHECK demand for 700 BILLION DOLLARS for the BANKSTERs.... They are such pooor and incompetent people.....
 
 
+8 # Working Class 2017-05-30 11:54
In a just world "W", the "Dick", Rumsfeld and friends would have been turned over to the World Criminal Court for war crimes. But such is the world of the "victor", if you can call Iraq a "victory".
 
 
-6 # jp marat 2017-05-30 12:32
For over a year RSN was virtually nothing but a Trashing Heap for those rabidly anti Hillary. She and Bill deserved it, but way too much was put at risk, especially for the vulnerable. So many people stopped Contributing. I hope this fine essay Marcs the beginning of an RSN reset, a desperately needed THOUGHTFUL, CONSTRUCTIVE, THOUGHTFUL, CREATIVE, THOUGHTFUL, RESPECTFUL,DIALOG.
$$ in the mail.
 
 
-3 # jp marat 2017-05-30 12:46
Badmouthing Banksters on RSN is truly pointless preaching to the choir. That all you got? You helping out with GA race?
 
 
+4 # jsluka 2017-05-30 18:57
Quote: "Death, disability, and PTSD are as common for Iraq War veterans as they were for those returning from Vietnam."

Not to mention the horrendous suicide rate! "In 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes" (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_veteran_suicide)
 
 
+4 # dbrize 2017-05-30 20:04
Like many youngsters growing up in the 1940's I recall the rationing, victory gardens and most of all the WWII gold star window signifying a family that had lost a loved one. Too young to understand the deeper ramifications, it nonetheless made us understand the joy over V-E and V-J days.

In the immediate postwar years like most youngsters we saluted the returning soldiers and read the many books, magazines and pictorials showing the horrific loss of life and material during the war. At the time my family lived a bit west of Philadelphia wherp small communities were seeing modest affordable houses going up by the dozens. By 1948 probably two thirds of our neighborhood was inhabited by veterans and their families. Like most youngsters we were fascinated by the war and would frequently ask the service fathers to tell us war stories. It was then that I learned a lesson that has never left me. About 20 percent of the troops saw actual combat. It took about 4-5 troops to support one combat troop.

I quickly learned that those who saw actual combat would refuse to talk about the war. No "war stories" from them. None.

How wonderful Memorial Day would be if we honored the dead by dishonoring the politicians, chicken hawks and others who continue to use war as a preferred means to settle human differences.
 
 
-3 # jp marat 2017-05-31 12:24
Registering Thumbs Up and Thumbs down is a brilliant strategy for productive change, and requires such great sacrifice. Maybe we should have a special Memorial Day for those courageous and intelligent enough to click on a Thumb. This dipshit display helps explain RSN's funding issues. Bye.
 
 
-3 # carytucker 2017-05-31 20:17
Quoting jp marat:
Registering Thumbs Up and Thumbs down is a brilliant strategy for productive change, and requires such great sacrifice. Maybe we should have a special Memorial Day for those courageous and intelligent enough to click on a Thumb. This dipshit display helps explain RSN's funding issues. Bye.


Also what helps explain it is that 'no' is probably the answer to the question you raise about RSN readership participation in the GA 6th election. Mr Ossof fails the purity test--making him as unfit as any Republican in the eyes of the doctrinaire faithful here. Thus: Trump.
 

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