Somebody Should Ask, Who Are They Dying For?

by James Glaser
November 3, 2003

I always wondered just who those 58,000+ Americans who were killed in Vietnam, died for. Were they defending our country or did the lie about the attack on our ships in the Gulf of Tonkin that sent all those troops over there, negate their sacrifice?

You look at Vietnam today and the country is doing its best to live peacefully in their section of the world and American Corporations are investing in the country. Many of the Americans that fought there are now going back as tourists.

Now all these years later I can't remember what our big fear of that country was, all I can remember is the screams and blood and chaos. I do remember that we were there to help those people. I know we killed lots and lots of Vietnamese, but I don't remember helping anyone. Now that I think about it, we never had any "help" training in the Marine Corps. I do remember yelling KILL!, about a hundred and fifty times a day in Boot Camp though. In fact I remember the whole Platoon yelling KILL!, KILL!, KILL!, in unison.

I now believe that those 58,000 and some Americans gave their lives over in the Nam in order to convince Washington that it should stop the killing and bring our troops home. The crime there was the fact that it took that many deaths for those in charge to realize that we could not win that war, in fact nobody even knew what it would take to win.

Now we are in another war across the ocean and young Americans are dying. Nobody in Washington will bring up similarities between this one in Iraq and that one in Vietnam. Washington doesn't want any comparison between the two, because we lost in Vietnam and nobody in the Bush Administration will ever entertain the notion that we have any chance of losing this one. Come to think about it, until we pulled out, nobody in Washington could believe we had any chance of losing in Vietnam

Here is the question. Who are the troops in Iraq dying for? Saddam is gone. There are no weapons of mass destruction. Iraq never was and for sure is not now a threat to our country. So who are these men and women dying for? It could be for George Bush's reelection or it could be for the American Corporations that are going to make billions, but I would prefer to think that these troops are dying for the same reason that the troops died in Vietnam.

American Marines and Soldiers die for each other and in this war like so many others, enough blood will have to be spilled in order to prove to those in the White House and Congress that the price of victory is too high.

Just like in Vietnam, we have no definition of what victory in Iraq means. Our troops achieved every goal placed in front of them months ago. They stormed Iraq, deposed Saddam from power, and they captured Baghdad and every other city in the country. Just like in Vietnam, our troops in Iraq won each and every battle.

Like Vietnam, victory in battle is not enough for those in Washington. Now they want the impossible. They want our troops to occupy Iraq and make the people of Iraq like it. That is not going to happen. The people of Iraq know they will never be "free" until they force us out, so they can build their own nation.

How many Americans must die this time to convince Washington that Iraq must be built by Iraqis. President Bush has not told the American people his plan for Iraq, nor has he told us how we can win. Those Americans that are dying today are doing so for their Comrades in Arms, which is what all wars come down to in the end. Those deaths are honorable and involve much courage.

Please, don't tell me those Americans are dying for our country, not again. I'll buy that they are dying for George Bush or that they are dying to help the economy, but not our country, I have heard that story one too many times.

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