Op Ed Commentary
Please forgive me for what I am about to say, but… each time I tune into a sports event lately and see the pomp and circumstance of our ‘ Brave Warriors ‘ it angers me greatly. As with other nation’s military personnel, I am sure that most of our young soldiers are brave. To carry a weapon and be put into harm’s way is not an easy task. Sadly, to carry a weapon and cause the citizens of another country to be in harm’s way is what our nation’s leaders have ordered them to do for so long. Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq are but a few of the places that our military has been sent to occupy and engage other peoples. In each instance, there was absolutely no moral reason to do it! It has always been about natural resources and ‘spheres of US interest ‘that underwrote these actions.
On the morning of March 19, 2003 this writer awoke and walked into the living room to watch the boob tube. I knew, before going to bed the night before, that my country was going to be attacking Iraq. On all the mainstream and cable news shows we were fed the government line exclusively. One needed to watch the Canadian news shows on C-Span to get actual ‘fair and balanced ‘reporting. That morning, as I tuned into CNN and watched the Shock and Awe bombs being dropped, I knew that evil had once again dissipated reason and moral thinking. Weeks earlier, one of the only cable news talk shows that presented viewers with both sides of this argument was cancelled. Phil Donohue had made sure to give the hawks and doves on the Iraq situation a chance to debate each other. We found out later, after the shows cancellation, that Donohue’s producer was ordered by MSNBC ( owned at the time by defense contractor General Electric ) to make sure that there would always be two hawks for each dove as guests on the show. Yet, the gang that runs this nation made sure that even one anti war voice was one too many… including Donohue himself!
So, we invaded a nation that posed no threat to us. We destroyed its infrastructure as we destroyed tens of thousands of its population. Imagine, in the heat of summer here in America, with temperatures hovering around 90 degrees each day, if you had no drinking water and no electricity. Imagine having to stand in line in the sweltering heat for a chance to bring home a few buckets of water. Think about how unbearable 90 degrees would be without air conditioning, and then remember that Iraq’s temperatures average well over 100 degrees in the spring. Food would be scarce, as well as gasoline. Soldiers patrol the streets and are ready to fire at any male who looks threatening. This is what Shock and Awe creates when a bully gets his way. Dan Rather told his viewers how he would follow his president into battle. Katy Couric pranced through the halls of her network shouting “Marines Rock!!” We applauded our brave warriors and flags were hanging from many homes in my neighborhood.
I need not repeat now the stories of American Muslims being detained, and not being charged with anything except being a Muslim. Scores of Muslim men were beaten up and their stores and homes violated by angry mobs. This level of animosity permeated throughout many neighborhoods in America where Muslims lived or worked. One man, calling himself a local journalist, was echoed by his wife during an interview with me, and said “Why even send in our soldiers? Just nuke the whole damn country and be done with it! “ Another woman, a young mother of a five year old, said to the clerk at a store I was shopping in “ We had to go in, after all, Saddam had WMDs pointing at us here! “ I asked her to be quite honest with me that if her son was 19 years old, would she encourage him to sign up and go fight the good fight? She smirked and walked back to her monster SUV.
Ten years on and look at the state of our nation. We are not only close to financial failure, but moral failure as well. It doesn’t matter if it is a Bush or an Obama… they all serve this evil Military Industrial Empire. It doesn’t matter if they label themselves Republicans or Democrats… they ultimately serve the same masters: the Masters of War. Mr. Obama is sitting on a presidency that broke even the Bush Jr. record for military spending. He won’t ever even debate the need for 900 bases worldwide. Instead, he will nickel and dime to make cosmetic cuts in this war empire’s spending…. While our cities and towns face bankruptcy and most of our citizens have lost their moral compass! Wake up America and become real patriots by saying NO to empire!
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on TheSleuthJournal.com, Information Clearing house, Op Ed News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org