A Vietnam Vet’s Appraisal of Bush



I have been reading Counterpunch for quite some time. I reply to many of the authors who contribute to this wonderful, informative site. I have been told by at least one (Professor Gary Leupp) that I should write an article for the web site. OK, professor, here we go.

It is 24 December and I have just finished reading the articles by Alexander Cockburn and Saul Landau. The news just gets worse by the hour. I am old enough to remember when the news just got worse by the day. Thanks be to W, our “glorious leader”.

All I got for Xmas was this torture pact and illegal wiretaps. Thanks be to “other priorities” Cheney. For my birthday I got denials of secret prisons and denials that “we” torture and kidnap people. Thanks be to Condi the disconnected. Our troops still do without proper equipment. Thanks be to “we fight the war we have with what we got” Rummie. The list of “gifts” just goes on and on.

Mr. Cockburn asks in his article “who will defend the Constitution”. Well, I volunteer by god! I remember back in 1968, we swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States upon joining the Marines. OK, I admit, joining the Marines in April 1968 was NOT the smartest move a young man in America could make. I never made any claim to being very smart. I am just an ordinary working class guy. Always was, always will be. I do remember being quite proud on completing boot camp and having the honor of being able to call myself a Marine.

I remember getting many lectures in boot camp on Military law (UCMJ) Uniform Code of Military Justice. We also had lectures on the Code of Conduct. Now, were just regular enlistees, not officer material. The reason I bring this up, Ollie North. (Still can’t even write that name without nearly throwing up.) Using Ollie as an example, officers in the Marines must NOT have been given those lectures. I remember being told that we must disobey any and all unlawful orders. Regardless of who gave the unlawful order, we were to disobey it. Ollie used the Nazi defense that he “was just following the orders of the president”. Not good enough Ollie. That is a crime by UCMJ standards.

That pales compared to the evil being done in the name of America today. Our vice president wants to be able to torture people. Ms. Rice claims we don’t do torture. Georgie W himself says we don’t torture. OK, water board Cheney. We just might find out who attended those energy meetings. Bet he’d even tell us where his “undisclosed” location is. What hypocrisy! This from a draft dodger who had “other priorities” during Viet Nam. Well, Dick, so did I and every one of my buddies, in all the military during Viet Nam. We called it staying alive to be able to come home standing up instead of in a body bag! Guess old Dickies priorities counted for more. But by god he is sure willing to let our young people go half way around the world to be killed. Lowlife bastard.

I have read that not one member of this criminal administration ever wore a uniform. W playing at service in the National Guard does not count. The Guard is an honorable outfit and they are very useful and needed. His service may have counted if he actually served out his contract. Not much of a pilot when you get grounded for failing to appear to take your physical.

The Democrats. What can I say? So few of them are willing to defend our Constitution. I am quite sure that they swear to uphold it. W swore to uphold the Constitution, twice! He must think that shredding the document is the same as upholding it. Sounds about right; “We had to destroy the Constitution in order to save it.” In America today such a statement from W would hardly be noticed by CNN, Faux News(?) or any other media outlet. Some say the media is turning on W. Maybe, but not enough. The mainstream media still seem to me to pamper him. Fear must be the main force driving them. Fear that they might have to really pay for the airwaves they occupy. That is a novel idea; the FCC would actually charge real money for the use of OUR airwaves. No, too damn radical. Can’t have that, best leave it as is.

Back to the donkey gang. Where the hell are they? Other than Rep. Lynn Woolsey (sp) and John Murtha, Cynthia McKinney(sp) and a very few others, they seem to be nowhere. W is self-destructing before our eyes and the donkey gang just sits on their hands. Never kick a guy when he is down must be what they are thinking. Well, I learned fighting in the Marines. When the other guy is down, kick him; he is now closer to your foot! Fight to win.

The Democants suffer from the same disease as the Republocrats, too much corporate money.

Who will defend OUR Constitution? I volunteer to do so. This old (58) former Marine swore an oath to defend it once. I believed it was worth defending long before I joined the Marines. It is worth defending even more so now. We must defend the Constitution or we will be left with our miserable jail cells at Gitmo, Afghanistan, Poland, Rumania, or some other hellhole. We need to reclaim OUR government. We need to restore a true government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We must not sit back and watch this wonderful experiment called America to be taken over by the dark forces in power today.

W claims to be a Christian. Christ is called the Prince of Peace. How does W square his actions with that? He doesn’t, his god is bigger, stronger, and more violent. How can any decent church let him inside its doors? How can any real Christian person look upon W with anything other than contempt or pity? I am not a member/follower of any religion. I learned some religion as a child and still hold to some of the tenants of some of them. The message of Christ is one that seems to apply to any person, regardless of their religion. It is a message of peace and good will toward others. I cannot think any religion would be against that message.

Maybe with the message of Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, and other religious leaders and pacifists we can stand up to defend OUR Constitution. We can try to end wars. General Smedley Butler said the only reasons to fight a war are to defend our homes and to defend the Bill of Rights. All other war is a racket. He was right then and is right today. I see our young people being killed and maimed in Afghanistan and Iraq and I damn near cry. Can’t cry actual tears, so I get highly pissed off. They should not be in harms way, not today, never should have been there in the first place. I support our troops by wanting them back home where they belong. They are not defending America by being in Iraq or Afghanistan any more than we were defending America by being in Viet Nam all those years ago. They are cannon fodder for big business and the fat cat defense contractors. Bring them home now!

CHARLIE EHLEN lives in Glenmora, Louisiana. He can be reached at: cehlen@netzero.com


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