In the wake of this Memorial Day, I was reminded of the duties
that all Americans have toward you, our soldiers in the field. I
was especially struck and with the sense of that duty after being
reminded of the huge concerns that we continue to have toward this
destructive war in Iraq.
In the wake of this Memorial Day, I was reminded of the duties that all Americans have toward you, our soldiers in the field. I was especially struck and with the sense of that duty after being reminded of the huge concerns that we continue to have toward this destructive war in Iraq.
The truth is that we had a duty to you that we did not fulfill. We failed to speak out in sufficient numbers to turn the tide and prevent this destructive war. We who knew the truth about this war bore a higher burden of responsibility than those who bought the lies. Some of us tried harder than others, risking jail and loss of jobs and scorn of family members, but most of us remained silent. Simply put, we were afraid. We were afraid of what people would think of us. We were afraid of their power to damage us – afraid they would think we were unpatriotic, that we hated America, that we loved the terrorists; in short, that the criticism leveled against all dissenters of conscience might stick.
We certainly didn’t approach that duty the way our soldiers did; without fear or question of how our motives would be perceived.
I share this blame with many, including those claiming super-patriotism. They are in many ways less at fault due to the hypnotic spell that has been placed over them. The constant chanting designed to control the thoughts and feelings of the American public from the extreme right wing would inundate nearly any person not steeped in the knowledge and the history of that ideology. Truth told, most Americans know only about our mythological history and very little about our historical truths. But ignorance is no excuse.
Most people simply weren’t equipped to interpret the facts as they continued to pour in: the pre-9/11 posturing, the pre-invasion plans, the missing WMDs, the blatant manipulation of terror-threats, the Downing Street memo; all of the signs that said clearly that this was exactly the war Bush had wanted and had planned. He had little regret for the loss of American life, and zero for the loss of Iraqis. In this climate, the efforts of a lone house Republican to order the president to create an exit timeline has gone unnoticed.
None of this considers or even attempts to address the hundreds of other qualities that make this man the worst, most divisive president in the history of the United States: From the systematic destruction and overturning of all progressive human services, the gutting of all environmental legislation, to the fomenting of bigotry toward huge sections of honest Americans and the religious extremism that threatens to divide this country to the brink of civil war.
No, this letter is only about the war in Iraq. And so I write this with a renewed sense of mission. Even as I still hear the constant chanting, the continuous drumbeat maintained by our vested-interest news outlets, many either owned by or directly beholden to the corporations that elected George Bush, I realize that this work can’t be left undone. As long as one American soldier’s life is in danger simply to maintain the pride, wealth and political power of these callous leaders, our duty remains. I beg God to give us the courage.
Bill C. Jones, Gilroy