by James Glaser
May 26, 2009

Every year I write a column about Memorial Day, but not this year. This year I woke up and started thinking what we were memorializing. Every year we tell ourselves that we are remembering the veterans who defended our country and honoring the sacrifice they made.

I fought in Vietnam, and I am always running into other Vietnam vets who talk about how we could have won that war if Washington would have let us. Every year I think about that, and I have come to the conclusion there was nothing to win.

Then I think of other wars, like Korea, Granada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Laos, Lebanon, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. These, and I bet other American wars, were all fought since the big one, WWII.

So, in my lifetime we have had all of these wars, with tens of thousands of American troops killed, hundreds of thousands of them wounded. On the other side we have seen millions of the "enemy" killed and many millions wounded. I have to ask, "Why?"

Had any of these countries attacked us? Were any of them about to attack us? Or better yet, were any of these countries we fought capable of attacking us? I think the answer to all of these questions is, NO.

No soldier in my lifetime, and sad to say this includes me, has fought to save our country or our freedom or our way of life. It is true, we have had millions of young Americans in uniform and fighting, but even though they were told they were defending America, the truth is they were not.

America fights wars so that its corporations can make money, and for the simple reason that we are the Super Power of the world, and we like to prove it. As you can see by the list of countries we have attacked, we are the bully on the world's playground, and have been since World War II. We only attack small, sometimes pitiful third world nations, who have no ability to attack us.

Sometimes, like in Vietnam, Somalia, and now Afghanistan and Iraq, those small pitiful countries we attack prove to be more that we thought they would. We lost in Vietnam, and let's face it, we were kicked out of Somalia. We don't know what history will say about George Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but both were a total surprise. Both Bush and the Washington political establishment thought these wars would be over in weeks, if not months.

Somehow, we in America fail to realize that men and women in foreign countries have just as much patriotism as we have here in the United States. Those people we attack are just as willing to lay down their lives to protect their homeland as we would if America were attacked.

Yes, I know all about 9/11 and how horrible that was, but no country attacked us. A gang religious nut cases did that, and there is no doubt that attack will go down in history as one of the biggest crimes ever. However, that attack was a crime, not an act of war. No country attacked the United States, and when you really think about it, there are no countries on this globe that have the ability to attack us, and have any chance of winning a war with us.

So, Memorial Day is no longer what it was for me in the past. Even though the 58,000 plus troops who died in my war thought they were defending America, they weren't. That is just the line fed to them by Washington, their churches, and the corporations who make all the money off all the killing.

What we have on Memorial Day is a memorial to a lie.

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