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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:37 AM
Original message
Sometimes you have to break the rules--even if they're your own.
On one of my publishers' group lists, someone posted a link to the video with the soldiers and the puppies, with a comment that says she believes they should be identified, court-martialed, and receive a dishonorable discharge for their actions. I don't necessary disagree with this sentiment, but I felt there was a lot more to be said about it.

These lists are not the place for political commentary. I have deliberately kept my politics and my work with these companies completely separate, for good reason. I do not hide who I am or what I believe on the web. Everyone who cares to look it up knows where I stand socially and politically. And with my latest project, a novel I've managed to bring very close to completion in just the past five weeks while I've been injured and off work, will make it all the more clear. Once I shop around for someone who'll actually publish it. :D It may be the first piece I can truly feel comfortable calling a "great" work of fantasy literature. It has a message, and a deep one at that.

All that said, this is how I responded to this woman's post about the soldiers. I could not help it, and it may come to pass that I'll have reason to regret doing so. But there are times when one must do what must be done, and the devil (so to speak) take the consequences.

War, particularly the kind of war that's being fought there, is not good for the human psyche. It never has been. It's one thing to fight to protect one's home, family, and community, but it's another thing entirely to be drawn into a battle where the goals are nowhere nearly as well defined.

It torments the mind, and wraps the heart and soul in bonds of frustration and terror, and causes lasting psychic damage. Damage that the military quite often chooses to ignore, sending people they know are damaged into the brink again and again and again. And because of it, we see things like this. And worse. Many of us have seen worse, and heard of things that are worse. Haditha and Abu Graib come to mind, as well as the very questionable death of Pat Tillman at the hands of his own men.

It's not the fault of these particular soldiers. Not entirely. They've been broken, and forced to pretend they haven't been. Forced to buy into the belief that admitting that they've seen too much, done too much, is a sign of weakness. Possibly forced to see and do things no decent human being should ever have to live with. We can only imagine some of these things, and too many of these imaginings may well indeed be terrible and terrifying beyond imagining.

I know some of the folks here have friends and family over there, as do my wife and I, but there is a reason people are calling this the worst foreign policy decision in United States History. Some have been saying from the beginning that it was about the oil itself, and, frankly, I believe that the oil played a major part. But there's also the need to place and maintain large military bases in the region for the future fights for what remains of the world's oil reserves.

Necessary? Perhaps. Especially in the minds of those who've done everything possible to keep us addicted to foreign oil for the past thirty years. But at what cost? Our sons and daughters and nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers have been betrayed by those we have chosen to serve us in the halls of power.

It didn't have to play out this way. There were options. Options that could have been implemented decades ago. But those options, while good for the rest of us, would not have been good for those who have the most to gain from the status quo as it stands now.

That's something we should all consider very carefully when we go to the polls this November. Do these elected representatives truly serve us, serve the citizens of the United States, serve the future of the human race, or do they serve themselves and a narrow agenda defined by a few of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world?

And if terrorism is one of the fears that reaches deep into you, there's something else to consider. Every group on Earth not directly connected to the people profiting from this venture has determined that the war has made us less safe than we had been. It's played right into the hands of those who want to harm us, making their recruitment efforts all that much easier.

Those who started all of this aren't the friends of the military that they always pretend to be. If they were, we wouldn't be in this situation, and things like this wouldn't be happening.

I don't usually post this sort of stuff in places like this, but this video really hits home. Our kids are suffering, hating, dying, and coming home, when they actually manage to GET home, to suffer even more at the hands of the very culture they've fought to protect. Current figures say that as many as 28% of our returning vets end up homeless, having nowhere to turn. Many exhibit symptoms of PTSD and never get treatment for it. In the wake of such things alcoholism and drug addiction and even worse after-effects are even more likely than they were after Vietnam.

Is what these soldiers did about as bad a thing as we can imagine? Close to it. But can we lay it all on their heads? I don't think so. All of us may bear some of the responsibility. We should have known. Some of us did know, and tried to speak out. And were ridiculed and disparaged for it. But they were right. And most of us know it now.

Again, we are faced with the age-old dilemma of a society that sends its children to war. Some of them come home again. And some of them come home changed beyond reckoning. And very few of those changes are for the better. We get suicide, addiction, murder, and pain pouring out into our homes, streets, and communities.

We bear terrible costs for all of this, economically and socially. And we're just beginning to see the burdens we will bear coming home to us. A wrecked economy, generations of debt, and citizen soldiers broken, some beyond repair.

I weep for us. I weep for them.

I deeply apologize if I've offended anyone. I will not address these subjects again on this loop, or on any other author or reader's loop. But I just couldn't remain silent this one time. Not in the face of this. I just couldn't.

I admit that I'm deliberately breaking one of my most stringent rules here. This is not normally the place for such discussions. I honestly believe that, and this is why I will not remark upon these things again.

But there are times when one's own rules must be disregarded. Times when it's vital that someone speaks out to say what needs to be said, no matter when or where one finds oneself.

I believe this is one of those times.

If this video offends you, please consider where the blame ultimately lies. And please act accordingly. Remember that standing aside when the votes are being cast, not being involved, has its price as well. It affects us all, whether we want to believe it or not. It is our pockets that are picked, and our children that may be sacrificed the next time around.

Tell me something...It is still "We, the People," right?


You tell me.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not sure it's still "We, the People"...
I'm hoping so, anyhow...

Your post gives me hope.



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femmedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. One of your very best, Mythsage.
Thanks for writing it.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. That was well expressed.
It will be interesting to see what kind of responses you get.
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Another K & R for you
There must be a lot of DUers still sleeping, because I can't believe this only has 8 recs.

Keeping it kicked!

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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. one more! I'm up too early for a Sat. but what the hell.. nt
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horseshoecrab Donating Member (613 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. not enough posts to recommend
Dear Mythsaje,

You've said this so well. I wish I had enough posts to recommend it and hope that others will.

There is a time to speak up and you've chosen the right time to do so on your publishers group list.

Having just read that today is the day that * will veto the anti-waterboarding bill, I am quite sure that this is the exact right time to speak up. Thanks for doing so.

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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
7. Maybe you broke one rule
But you kept a higer promise.
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. Well said, mythsaje!
Thanks for the post.
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