War and Remembrance: The Legacy of George W. Bush

I am glad that Osama bin Laden is dead  His murder was justice for all that he murdered on 9/11 and his own Muslim brothers.  Still I can not celebrate.  As I watched on Sunday night, I was taken by the lack of understanding of what has occurred in this country, and what we have done to others.  To celebrate tarnishes the memory of all the soldiers, on both sides, who have died or are wounded.  A blemish on the victims of 9/11.  We should never celebrate killing.  Instead, we should mourn the dead and celebrate the living.  On both sides.

I can’t help but think; we are the public spaces for mourning the mounting toll of today’s wars? Where is that feeling in our soul of never again?  We have public places for remembering the soldiers of WWII and Viet Nam.  We can visit Arlington National Cemetery and the Wall and remember the dead.  But the wars of the last ten years, where are those places?  I visited Epinol National Cemetery in France, where my uncle is buried, and you can see forever the soldiers on both sides buried there.  I remembered, I did not celebrate.

Our children, their children were sent to war for “freedom”, “democracy”, or “God”.  They bought into the idea that the war was righteous.  They and we never considered at the time that we were lied to.  It was a simple case of revenge.  Revenge is best served cold, or with revenge you must first dig two graves  We have done that one thousand times over.  We still havent’ learned  We still insist on death.

I have been thinking about the invasion of Iraq  President George W. and his good old boys were jumping at the bit to remove Saddam Hussein from power.  Since 1991 when George the 1st didn’t finish the job.  September 11, 2001 was an excuse for George W. even though there was no connection whatever between the hijackers, mainly Saudis, and Saddam Hussein’s regime.  He was determined to set men free.  No interest at all in capturing and bringing to justice bin Laden.  Set men free, bring democracy to Iraq and therefore peace to the Middle East.  We all know how that turned out.

A by-product that still remains in full force in this country is the Rape of the Bill of Rights.  We let them give us The Patriot Act.  Shrub promised freedom and democracy to the Middle East, while at the same time stealing ours away .  The military-industrial complex has all power now.  The Bill of Rights raped in the name of freedom and security.  We are becoming what we set out to defeat.  Barry Goldwater said: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”.  I wonder what Goldwater would say now?  I wonder what he would think or say about what the Tea Party assault on women.  I know what he said long ago: “A lot of so-called conservatives today don’t know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not the up to the pope or some do-gooders on the religious right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”

So we should not be celebrating.  Justice has been done.  Still, the fight is not over.  I want my country back.  One day, without a doubt, the dead from today’s wars will be seen with a similar sense of sorrow at useless and needless loss and foolishness as those millions of men who lie in the cemeteries of France and America — and tens of millions of Americans will feel a similar revulsion for the politicians and generals who were so wasteful with other’s lives.  I just wonder what it will take for us to come to that point.

I want my country back.  I want my rights restored.  That can only be done by us.  We are the only ones who can win the war at home.


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