Dear Charlie Daniels,
A student sent me the Charlie Daniel’s letter (see below) and said it would convince me to stop putting daisies in the cannons in front of ROTC building on the New Mexico State University campus. I am a professor there, and I am also a Vietnam War veteran.The letter Charlie Daniels’ letter raises several important points that I think merit reply.
1. The letter makes a link between 9/11 trade towers attack and Iraq. In point of fact, none of the hi-jackers were Iraqi. There is no link that our own CIA or FBI has been able to find between Iraq and Al Qaeda. This is because the fundamentalist Al Qaeda and the despot Hussein are enemies.
2. Destroying USA weapons of mass destructions as as you say “putting daisies in their barrels” would go a long way to establishing world peace. The USA spends $396.1 billion (FY 2003) on its military, plus $200 billion for phase one of Iraq war. If we took 85% of the FY 2003 military budget and put that into education, jobs, health care, and veterans benefits, then this country would be a lot better off. Consider that our own New Mexico state University has salaries 20% less than national average, that each year we cut out journals from the library, and research tools such as Proquest, and that your tuition at public universities such as NMSU continues to rise. In short, WMD cost money that could be better spent on human services.
3. In my utopian-fantasy, the USA would be making peace, not war. War is business.I learned this as a Sergeant in the Vietnam war. USA makes and sells more Weapons of Mass Destruction than any nation on earth. It is a one trillion dollar industry. We did this with agent orange in Vietnam; we do it now with Enriched Uranium weapons sales. This is not just war, it is Nuclear war. the fantasy being spread in the media is that this is some kind of surgical, bloodless war. In point of fact, the USA manufacturers and sells “Enriched” (not depleted) Uranium. 320 tons of Enriched Uranium were put into USA munitions, and another 800 tons just dropped onto the civilian population and battlefield, and get this, onto our own GI’s.
4. You say that lives will be lost if we pursue peace. What of the lives already lost. The Veteran Administration statistics for 2002 report that since Gulf War I:
? 206,861 GIs filed VA medical claims, and of these ? 149,094 VA says are disabled ? 10,324 Deployed Gulf War Vets have died of so-called ‘Gulf War Syndrome’
5. If the USA wants to save lives, it can start but banning the use and sale of Enriched Uranium weaponry. This would save not only 10,324 U.S.A. veteran’s lives, but save the lives of some 1.2 million Iraqi civilians.
6. The Geneva Convention has established guidelines for warfare, if that is what you want to pursue. Those guidelines say that littering the battle field with toxic waste is a war crime, that starving a population is a war crime, that denying a civilian population of medicine is a war crime. I do not know about you, but I do not want to be part of War Crimes committed by the USA superpower on a Third World Nation.
7. Last point, your letter says that Iraq is a threat. The reality is that in 1991 and 1998 the USA wiped out water treatment and sewage facility, and obliterated whatever fourth rate military capacity that the despot and tyrant Saddam Hussein had. The fact is Saddam has only attacked countries such as Iran and Kuwait want he got permission for the US government to do so. The fact is that Hans Blix, this week, reports that all the charges of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq are without merit, that Iraq is complying with the inspections, and that we need to let the sanctions work.
I agree with you, please let God Bless America. But America is not in imminent danger from Iraq. America is in imminent danger of losing its civil liberties. America is in imminent danger of continuing the genocide of 1.2 million people (500,000 are children under 5). America is in imminent danger of the world finding out that its Nuclear War on the Middle East has already claimed more lives that Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. America is in imminent danger of destroying the UN.
I believe that a decade from now that this point in history will be seen as the darkest hour. I believe we will discover that democracy was surrendered to a lynch mob mentality. This mentality is fueled by ignorance. That ignorance comes from a media that recirculates propaganda and disinformation.
I join with the 11 million people around the world who on February 15th called upon President Bush to bring peace to the world.
Yes, I will be the first to put a daisy in the end of a Nuclear cannon.
Thank you for your letter.
DAVID BOJE is Professor at New Mexico State University at Solano. He is Vietnam War Veteran and works with www.PeaceAware.com . He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org An Open Letter To The Hollywood Bunch:
Ok let’s just say for a moment you bunch of pampered, overpaid, unrealistic children had your way and the U.S.A. didn’t go into Iraq. Let’s say that you really get your way and we destroy all our nuclear weapons and stick daisies in our gun barrels and sit around with some white wine and cheese and pat ourselves on the back, so proud of what we’ve done for world peace. Let’s say that we cut the military budget to just enough to keep the National Guard on hand to help out with floods and fires. Let’s say that we close down our military bases all over the world and bring the troops home, increase our foreign aid and drop all the trade sanctions against everybody.
I suppose that in your fantasy world this would create a utopian world where everybody would live in peace. After all, the great monster, the United States of America, the cause of all the world’s trouble would have disbanded it’s horrible military and certainly all the other countries of the world would follow suit. After all, they only arm themselves to defend their countries from the mean old U.S.A. Why you bunch of pitiful, hypocritical, idiotic, spoiled mugwumps.
Get your head out of the sand and smell the Trade Towers burning. Do you think that a trip to Iraq by Sean Penn did anything but encourage a wanton murderer to think that the people of the U.S.A. didn’t have the nerve or the guts to fight him?
Barbra Streisand’s fanatical and hateful rankings about George Bush makes about as much sense as Michael Jackson hanging a baby over a railing. You people need to get out of Hollywood once in a while and get out into the real world. You’d be surprised at the hostility you would find out here. Stop in at a truck stop and tell an overworked, long-distance truck driver that you don’t think Saddam Hussein is doing anything wrong. Tell a farmer with a couple of sons in the military that you think the United States has no right to defend itself. Go down to Baxley, Georgia and hold an anti-war rally and see what the folks down there think about you.
You people are some of the most disgusting examples of a waste of protoplasm I’ve ever had the displeasure to hear about. Sean Penn, you’re a traitor to the United States of America. You gave aid and comfort to the enemy. How many American lives will your little, “fact finding trip” to Iraq cost? You encouraged Saddam to think that we didn’t have the stomach for war. You people protect one of the most evil men on the face of this earth and won’t lift a finger to save the life of an unborn baby. Freedom of choice you say? Well I’m going to exercise some freedom of choice of my own. If I see any of your names on a marquee, I’m going to boycott the movie. I will completely stop going to movies if I have to. In most cases it certainly wouldn’t be much of a loss. You scoff at our military who’s boots you’re not even worthy to shine. They go to battle and risk their lives so ingrates like you can live in luxury. The day of reckoning is coming when you will be faced with the undeniable truth that the war against Saddam Hussein is the war on terrorism. America is in imminent danger.
You’re either for her or against her. There is no middle ground. I think we all know where you stand. What do you think? God Bless America!