Yes, I Will Keep Right On Writing

by James Glaser
April 29, 2003

I have been thinking about this web page. When I look back at what I have written it kind of scares me. One of the first things I ever wrote, was a short story for the book, Chicken Soup for the Gardeners Soul. I wrote about how much my garden helped me with the trauma of war time experiences.

When I wrote that story times were great in America as far as the economy went, but all my experiences with veterans from every war told me that America was headed for a fall. Veterans of every age had been telling me for quite some time, just how poorly our military treats people the world over in peace time and war.

Most people know that we killed millions of civilians in Vietnam and most know the same happened in Korea and WW 2. But you know, even I was surprised by what veterans told me about Panama, Haiti, and Granada. True we didn't kill millions in these wars, but according to veterans, America cares little about the welfare of innocent people in any war we start.

A real fine example of this is after the first Gulf War our government was trying to decide just how many innocent civilians were killed. Beth Osborne Daponte was a demographer in the Commerce Department in 1992 and she came up with the number of civilian deaths in Iraq during and immediately after the first Gulf War. Washington didn't like her report and not only attempted to fire her, but her report disappeared and her supervisors made up a new one with lower numbers. That is called "shooting the messenger."

Right after that first Gulf War, then Defense Secretary Richard Cheney told the American public, "we have no way of knowing precisely how many casualties occurred." Daponte had estimated otherwise and those in power were not about to let the American people know. Her estimates which have now proved to be low were 40,000 Iraqi soldiers killed, 158,000 civilians. This number of civilians included 86,194 men, 39,612 women, and 32,195 children.

Now it is American policy that we no longer even count those we kill by "mistake." General Tommy Franks has stated, "we don't do body counts." Well you know what, veterans do. Every veteran of every war counts every dead women or child they see, they count every little kid that lost a leg, lost an arm, and they count every little child that they saw screaming in pain. These veterans don't have to write these atrocities down as they are etched in their minds and they can surface at any time, even if the veteran wants to forget them. I have met veterans from World War 2 that tell my after watching some news program on the Iraq war, they have spent the evening reliving some part of their war.

Even way up here in Northern Minnesota I have met a vet whose job in the Gulf war was to bury hundreds of Iraqi soldiers alive in their bunkers and he was not alone as we did that to thousands. Some will say that never happened, but when you interview a veteran that went through this, there is little doubt that it is true.

It really does bother me that I write about these things, but someone has to. Too many Americans look at our wars as a video game with very little loss of life. That is true on our side, but the American public cannot understand just how much more powerful our military is in comparison to these pitiful little third world nations we have been taking on for the last twenty five years.

If you would notice, other than Iraq, no nation gets into a war with us twice. Yes we do teach those countries a lesson they will never forget and part of that lesson is our killing of civilians. If you doubt this then ponder the fact that in the first Gulf War we were trying to remove Iraqi troops from Kuwait, but we bombed all of Iraq's water treatment and sewage plants, along with electrical generating plants. These were hundreds of miles from the war front and in a city of 5 million, Baghdad.We knew Saddam Hussein was a terrible despot even back then. Remember he was our "boy' and we bought and paid for him, but to show the Iraqi people just how powerful we were we attacked them too. Sure all of these bombings are against the Geneva Convention, but remember also we are the super power and who the heck is going to say anything to us?

So I will continue to write about what our country is doing to others, because I believe we are causing the hate and terrorism that we are so afraid of. I also believe that those in Washington today are using the fear they have instilled in the American public in order to take away some of the freedoms our parents left to us.

No, I have no Idea of why they are doing this, just as I have no idea why America has troops stationed in well over a hundred countries. We now control more of this earth than any other country in history. We control more of this world than Adolph Hitler ever had by a long shot. That in itself is going to cause our nation a lot of pain in the future. Just the cost of maintaining all of these troops is causing us to constantly spend in deficit. I don't believe we can do that for ever. Some day our children or theirs are not going to be able to pass these costs on down the line and they will look back at us as real jerks.

I think it is human nature to take on the big guy and we are the big guy right now. September 11th was just the first shot at us.

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