[sixties-l] War Policy

From: Jerry West (record@island.net)
Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 01:22:46 CUT

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    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.


    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
    victory parade.

    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
    any winners.

    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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