Nov 8, 2009

President Obama, Read RE Afghanistan

On the matter of the pending Afghanistan escalation, a Vietnam War elite Marine combat veteran shoots down this foolish idea of sending in more troops and delaying withdrawal, and proposes direct negotiations with the Taliban in Scotland [Robbie the Pict of Scotland, at left].

The Scottish Taliban Talks

by Gordon Duff

Forty years ago, 3 of us at Veterans Today, Bill Eckard, Eddie Harris and I were in South Vietnam, serving with an elite Marine Special Landing Team, looking for "terrorists."

Decades later, our memories are less than clear. It was 4 AM, 0400H, and we were searching a village. Bill remembers finding an AK47 in one hut, I think it was a Garand.

It's funny we all remember that morning, nothing outstanding about it. I remember being acutely aware I was in someone else's home, uninvited. This is how I was raised. Bill and I remember trying to read the "friendship" ID card, written in Vietnamese that theoretically authorized the weapon we found. Ed was uncovering a large cache of rice which had been supplying the "indigenous" forces we called the Viet Cong.

40 years later, the 3 of us are disabled veterans. Many, perhaps even most of our friends are dead. We can't even begin to count the Vietnamese who died, they numbered in the millions. Now we are invited to return to Vietnam for beach front vacations, our hosts, the people we were fighting.

We are not pacifists but we have learned a thing or two over the years. Not everything is worth fighting and dying over and war, too often, is something turned to for profit and seldom involves fighting to secure the safety of our home and families.

We have grown older in a world of lies.

We will come to Scotland and sit down at a table, meet with those who are said to be our enemies. We will go to Scotland. If we have to we will do it in Afghanistan.

It isn't my job to judge the United States or her NATO allies, such as they are. The reality of it is that a generation of our children is in Afghanistan. We can't change what people believe, not all at once, but we can start.

Few, even few in Scotland remember that it is an occupied country, part of the United Kingdom by force of arms, not free choice. Over 200 years ago, my family fled Scotland after a failed "rebellion," a family divided, half deemed terrorists. We became Canadians and Americans. Now, few remember any of this struggle, lost in history, a history, as we know, written by the victors. We were not the victors.

We now face new decisions and new opportunities. We are being invited to sit down with our enemies, not by clergy but by, of all people, soldiers, veterans like ourselves from Pakistan, those who have known a lifetime of war, political strife and instability, like ourselves.

We recognize the names of our new friends. These are tough people, strong willed and determined. We don't agree with everything they propose but much of it reflects what is in our hearts also.

We have fought too many wars against enemies we vilify as something less than men. This has to end. If we are going to hate each other, kill each other, we can do it as men. My concerns are selfish. I deal with the suffering of our veterans on a daily basis. Anything I can do to stop that suffering, within my power, I will.

If talking, meeting and understanding can provide a basis for something that can move us past conflict I am willing as are many with me.

If there has to be endless, senseless war, perhaps it would be better if we fought instead of our children. If anyone deserves this, it is us. It has been our indifference to the world that has allowed anarchy to rule.

We are the ones who sat by quietly while , what could have been a generation of science, righteousness and plenty has turned into one of continual war, war obviously manipulated by gangsters who have hijacked the political systems of, not only the United States but much of the world.

There is no William Wallace among us. We are all lesser men. Perhaps we live in the times of lesser men. Perhaps this is our doom, to be led, not by the great but by the sly, the servile and weak. Replacing the prowess of Attila or the cunning of the Borgias is an oligarchy of grinning con men enslaved by the leavings, the offal of their masters in the oil, arms and drug cartels.

We have lost the ability to determine who is or is not a threat, an enemy or an "evildoer" as the world itself has reformed itself as a cesspool where religious hypocrites of all faiths, spew their hate and fear. How have the great religions become so enmeshed in the scheming that has led humanity on this descent into barbarity? For every petty prince there are two "servants" of a higher power following close behind.

Maybe this is the century chosen to prove mankind isn't meant to survive. Little more could be done to prove this the case.

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