I thought that the following column by Col. David Hackworth might be of
interest. Hackworth, a highly decorated soldier who was in line for
promotion to the upper levels of the US Army, tossed his 25+ year career
in the toilet when he publicly spoke out against the Vietnam War in the
1970's. Since, he has written books critical of the war and of US
foreign policy from a soldier's perspective.
"WILL THE COWBOY FROM HOPE GET THE POKEY?"
BY DAVID H. HACKWORTH
In 1992, American warriors were sent to Somalia to feed the poor. A few
months later, "Wild Bill" Clinton took charge and changed the rules of
the game from feeding to fighting. By 1993, American policy had become
"shoot first, ask questions later."
Folks around the globe are wondering: Has the United States returned to
its Wild West past where trouble was too often resolved from the mean
end of a gun or a rope?
The world has plenty of reasons to ask. Since our aborted Somalian
misadventure, U.S. bombs were dropped in Bosnia and Croatia and continue
nonstop over what's become our permanent bombing range, Iraq.
Then there was the futile "peaceful" invasion of Haiti, followed by the
1994, near-nuclear high-noon in Korea. I was at ground zero there at the
time and almost witnessed my first atomic fireball. No wonder the two
Korean presidents are as much into unification as squirrels are into
acorns -- togetherness beats glowing for 250,000 years.
And, of course, there's the aspirin factory in Sudan that missiles
disappeared by mistake. And the Afghan camp built to train CIA-sponsored
Freedom Fighters that went up in smoke -- from missiles that missed
their intended terrorist target, Osama bin Laden.
For a former peacenik, "Wild Bill" has slapped a powerful lot of leather
during the past eight years. Apparently, there's nothing more dangerous
than a former flower child with his hand on the trigger of the world's
most awesome military arsenal.
His record also proves that "Wild Bill" and his ABC gang -- war-hawk
sidekicks Albright, Berger and Cohen -- share a much different opinion
about the military solution than they did 30 years ago, when they were
young, idealistic and oh-so anti-war.
Now, Amnesty International wants to sock Clinton, Tony Blair, Gerhard
Schroeder and the rest of NATO's leaders into the slammer for war crimes
committed during last year's 78-day NATO bombing campaign of Serbia.
Amnesty wants to do unto "Wild Bill" and fellow gunslingers like
Nuremberg did unto Hitler's shooters. They rightly say that churches,
hospitals, bridges and roads packed with civilians, and TV stations, are
not military targets. And that using CBUs -- baseball-sized bomblets
that have a high dud rate and cause horrible casualties to civilians,
especially children who pick them up thinking they're a toy --
constitutes a war crime.
For sure, a trial would tell present and future world leaders that the
military solution used recklessly isn't morally OK even if they see
themselves as good folks with the purest of intentions. A Nuremberg-type
trial for the world to witness would also send the lesson to world
leaders -- present and future -- that the military solution no longer
works. Not only does the military hammer seldom resolve conflict
anymore, it's gotten too destructive.
Once long ago, circa year 1000, wars were mainly fought on sunny hills
and open plains, between the principal combatants. Warriors slashed and
hacked away until one side won. But then gunpowder and industry came
along, causing war to move from intermittent, contained mayhem to more
frequent, and bigger, worldwide violence.
But a thousand years after the Magyars raided Constantinople, huge
cities such as London, Berlin and Tokyo -- filled with civilians -- had
become the battlefield. During World War II, whole countries were being
reduced to rubble.
Following that global holocaust, conflict between the Soviets and the
West morphed into MAD -- Mutually Assured destruction. MAD was as mad as
it gets -- total insanity. At the end of the day, it wasn't supposed to
matter that nobody less the cockroaches would be around to watch the
Today, with silos bristling with enough weapons to destroy this planet a
hundred times over, highly educated and supposedly civilized scientists
and engineers are busy making even more apocalyptic weapons. Smart
horror devices to lase, spray, fire or release destruction capable of
zapping more human beings in an hour than have been killed in all the
world's wars put together.
Even though war has proven very profitable for big business and just
peachy keen for certain American politicians, we need another way to
resolve conflict. Because these days after a fight, there are no longer
So let the trial begin. It might just keep planet Earth around for
another hundred years.
http://www.hackworth.com is the address of David Hackworth's home page.
Sign in for the free weekly Defending America column at his Web site.
Send mail to P.O. Box 5210, Greenwich, CT 06831.
2000 David H. Hackworth Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.
Jerry West Editor/publisher/janitor ---------------------------------------------------- THE RECORD On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast An independent, progressive regional publication http://www.island.net/~record/
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