Saturday, July 02, 2005

Vietnam is now a vacationer's paradise.

I may visit Vietnam soon. The vacation guide mags all swoon over what a lovely, hospitable country it is. I will love it, they say. Why, I can hike in peace and safety all over the tropical country. Lovely people there, beautiful ancient statues, peace-loving religion--go there, Medbh, you will love it.

But, Medbh is afraid. Medbh remembers being a small child and hearing, "18 year old shot in the abdomen by enemy Vietcong snipers." Little Medbh looked at the huge wood encased TV. The dead 18 year old was handsome. Sweet smile. Pretty eyes. Loving parents. She sobbed. It wasn't right, it wasn't fair. It was so sad.

Thirty years from now, the 18 year old hideously blown up and disfigured by an IED in Iraq, would only be 48. 48 in 2005 is young. Lot's of traveling to do yet. Lot's of volunteer community work. Coaching the kid's softball, hockey, football, soccer games. Blowing out the candles on the "over the hill" 50 year bday party. Working at the Hospice, at the Alzheimer's Foundation, at the MS Foundation, biking across country for HIV prevention..

30 years from now, will Iraq be the Big Vacay spot??
Poof, all the vIETNAM war is forgotten. poof.
WHY, all of the Senators and Congressmen said we have to to "StaY THE COURSE in IRAQ."

Thirty years from now, the hideously dismembered 18 year old soldier of the Iraq War won't be able to visit the lovely Iraq, with the lovely people, and the lovely tourist hotels......

I can't visit Vietnam, unless I take something to commemorate the useless deaths of the young and the innocent. Kinda doesn't make for a vacay mood then, at least for me..

Will our children feel the same about Iraq 30 years hence?? Will they see the 18 year old Iraq War soldier, his legs blown off in a needless war? And he had pretty eyes, a handsome face. Will you be able to look at them and say that you opposed this unjust war for Halliburton profits, 30 years hence???

From Digital History
1. The Vietnam War cost the United States 58,000 lives and 350,000 casualties. It also resulted in between one and two million Vietnamese deaths.
2. Congress enacted the War Powers Act in 1973, requiring the president to receive explicit Congressional approval before committing American forces overseas.

It was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the twentieth century. It resulted in nearly 60,000 American deaths and an estimated 2 million Vietnamese deaths. Even today, many Americans still ask whether the American effort in Vietnam was a sin, a blunder, a necessary war, or a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Vietnamese from totalitarian government.
A succinct history of the Vietnam War

Can we end wars? Possibly. Sign the petition for a Department of Peace. Establish PEACE academies, not WAR academies. Make PEACE an organizing principle of our society. How many more18 year olds have to die for a future vacation paradise????


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