I wasn’t going to post anything about Memorial Day, but after I saw Cindy Sheehan’s post on Facebook, I just had to say something.
I’ve been somewhat agitated all day because — well, I couldn’t quite articulate it until Cindy said it: “Fuck war.”
I lost friends and neighbors in the Vietnam War, and I never understood why we were there. But even as a teenager, I knew it was wrong. We didn’t belong there, and there’s no bringing back the precious ones we lost.
For a lot of soldiers, their lives ended in Vietnam even though they came home. They suffered from PTSD and from rejection. They didn’t return as heroes and they still had to live with all the horrors they had seen, most of them with no help.
Not that those who waged the war cared. A few people made a lot of money on that war. And a lot of families and friends still suffer the loss of more than 58,000 Americans.
We went into Afghanistan after 9/11 when the architects of it were Saudis, and even though Bin Laden was there, we really didn’t want to find him. Let me rephrase. Most of us — including the brave men and women who went there — wanted him; it was the people who make their fortunes off of war that hoped he would slip out of our grasp.
And as many of us have suspected, we were lied into the Iraq War. Cindy Sheehan has been brave enough to stand up and say how evil both those wars were — and the war-making that continues under the Obama Administration in the form of drones, dark sites and assassinations.
As I get older and see more young lives wasted on the battlefield, the grief overwhelms me. At least I got to say goodbye to my son. God bless the soldiers who believe we are doing the right thing, but I see Memorial Day as a little piece of candy to pacify us.
But I am not pacified by flags on graves or parades or 21-gun salutes. I want the wars to stop. I want those who went to war to be honored — with real help instead of empty gestures.
If we really held our soldiers in a position of honor, we wouldn’t be leaving them to rot on the streets, their war-caused mental illnesses untreated, unable to work, homeless and hungry.
We wouldn’t vote for the people who cut the budget to help returning soldiers.
We wouldn’t sit still and allow more wars to be fought in our name.
Fuck war and fuck the warmongers who waste our most precious resources — our people — on their evil adventures.
It’s time to prosecute the war criminals who caused the deaths of more than 4,000 Americans and God only knows how many innocent Iraqis and Afghanis. They created ISIS and emboldened every fundamentalist in the Middle East. They destabilized an entire region. They should not be free to roam the streets and sit on Sunday talk show panels rattling their sabers for more “boots on the ground.”
Cindy Sheehan’s son died because of a pack of lies, and she will never recover. God bless her and all those who stand with her for peace. She is a true hero.