Archive for the ‘Viet Nam War’ Tag

On The Memorial Day, 2013 — Looking Back To 2003   Leave a comment

KleeAngelusNovisFramedAngelusNovis by Paul Klee

The invasion of Iraq began on March 19, 2003. On this Memorial Day, I share a piece I wrote in January of 2003.) 

Freedom doesn’t come without a price,
an individual’s price
can vary greatly
depending on his/her
color, wealth, and power.  

I served during the Viet Nam era.
On the day I was drafted,
so too were two other young men.
They are not alive today. 

There are others I knew
that paid the greatest price,
which is how many of us
put a face on Viet Nam War. 

For many Americans
going to war in Iraq
needs to have a face,
a face of those who have already died
from this war between bullies.* 

During my duty in the Army
I had a top secret-crypto clearance.
I began to become aware
of the difference between
what citizens are told as fact
and what was the truth. 

The Army told me we live and die
by international law and standards,
by the Rules of the Geneva Convention,
but we lie.  

We expect others to live
by international laws,
not us.  

Just because a bully in Iraq
doesn’t believe in international laws
shouldn’t mean that we lower
ourselves to the bully’s level.
We are better than that!  

The lesson I have learned is that
it’s always a mistake
to believe your own lies. 

Yes, Sadam is a tyrant.
However, he should be
treated as such through
the international justice system.
He should be replaced
by elected leaders,
not a regime that is ours. 

it wasn’t that long ago
that Sadam was our bully.   

As the most powerful country
in the history of the world,
we have an obligation
to use our power with
constraint and with justice,
to lead by example
so that other countries
will not take unilateral action
against another country
simply for preëmptive reasons. 

We are better than that! 

Let’s show respect to our position
of power and greatest
by leading and supporting diplomacy
and the rule of law,
not the rule of vigilantism. 



*(note — we have been at war,
with Iraq since we have
been bombing them

daily for years now,
which we justified
by our own
unilateral action,
not International law,
or the UN.)

toles-ask notTom Toles/The Washington Post

Video Of The Week — The Hollies’ 1969 Song, “He An’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”   Leave a comment


Those of us from the Viet Nam/Civil Rights era will recall the Hollies and the song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother“. The Hollies may be better remembered by some for  Creedence Clearwater Revival inspired song,  “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress“, but the 1969 “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” is the one where the lyrics meant a lot to me, and over the years have been carved into my very soul as a reminder of the importance of sharing and caring:

It’s a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn’t weigh me down at all

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Often we are moved to pity when we see and experience suffering, but does the feeling manifest into acts that show caring and sharing? Are we a society that takes care of its most needy members? I think not! It seems to be all right (the “New Normal”)to spend trillions to kill while seeking to destroy the social advances of the 20th century. All Peoples are our brothers!




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