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Honoring the DeadTim King Salem-News.com
I don't care what people think, nobody has a right to start wars, to continue to use money that should be targeted for education and food and science, for drones and other death tools that indiscriminately rob life.
(SACRAMENTO, CA) - On a day we are to celebrate and honor our war dead, I feel sadness and grief and want to ask many unavoidable questions. For the Marines in the WWII island campaigns, and the U.S. Army's war against Hitler, I see just action, at least contextually. For the Americans who defeated the Confederate traitors and slave traders, there was no option other than to fight. Spare those, I see nothing honorable in terms of war, beyond the honest motives of the people who believe they are supposed to fight.
It is not honorable to kill. It is not gallant to slaughter human beings. Sometimes it is inevitable, but the history of the United States is no testimony to that, spare the wars I mentioned in the first paragraph.
Is there an answer toward avoiding wars of attrition and baseless campaigns in the name of religion? There probably are, but it takes immersion, it requires that human beings, Americans in this case, are exposed to the blood and the smells and the horrific screams of wounded men and women. The media is always the answer, the media is the single biggest fear of warmongers, this is a fact.
Vietnam is a great example. There is no question that media reports swayed the thinking of the American public. Reporters in that war were real representatives of humanity; men like Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, John Steinbeck IV and Tim Page, David Halberstam, Perry Deane Young, they and their contemporaries helped as much as any elected official or activist to end the Vietnam War.
Many in Vietnam were drafted, again this lightens the fault factor, men were forced to serve, not given a choice. There was little information, those who were patriotic believed it was the right thing to do, but that is only because they have been programmed to believe it is OK to take a gun and kill for their country.
In today's wars of attrition like Iraq, there are no draftees, just a lot of people who found the military to be their best option, and ended up fighting a bitter war with no winners. They know their deeds (mine too) are tied to the elimination of 1.5 Iraqi human beings over "bad information". Israel runs its entire game off having "six million Jews" exterminated by the Third Reich, yet today's Americans have 1.5 million dead Iraqis to their credit without cause or justification, do you realize that makes us just as bad as Hitler's Germany? One fourth the number of people were killed, but that makes no difference, any nation that kills innocents that are tallied by the million is the same as the next.
Millions realize today that 911 was a false flag operation. The buildings were imploded, it isn't fantasy, the third building in New York with all of the records that stood to indict high level politicians, Trade Tower 7, just came collapsing to the ground at free fall speed. This is not how physics work. Moreover, Americans are expected to believe bin Laden, hero of the war to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, who was dying from kidney failure in 2000 (heavily publicized at the time) was able to attack American targets on 911 which brought the horrific wrath of the Iraq and Afghan wars to bear on the Muslim populations. The same man, bin Laden, clearly denied involvement in the following 16th September 2001 press statement carried by western agencies.
(Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks - CNN)
So, you Americans out there who believe this cock and bull story about bin Laden, just remember that he denied it, the same guy Bush blamed squarely and essentially started World War Three over, said he didn't do it. Then bin Laden was killed during the U.S. attacks on the caves at Tora Bora and ailing bin Laden was killed. Every statement after that, like the ones contained in the PBS link, are courtesy of the Bush Administration and the CIA.
To show the complicity of national media in building a case against bin Laden, the following PBS link actually skips over the above statement carrying bin Laden's denial, (Online NewsHour -- The Terrorist Attack: The Al Qaeda Network - PBS - PBS.org)
Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are silently waiting for George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove to join them. Life is short, they will suffer for a long time once they head south because they failed as public leaders and allowed, overlooked or directly orchestrated the deaths of far too many innocent people. Obama is only marginally better.
I don't care what people think, nobody has a right to start wars, to continue to use money that should be targeted for education and food and science, for drones and other death tools that indiscriminately rob life. Any real leader would be working to eliminate these tendencies from the American landscape, the corporations are calling the shots, we need radical change.
I served in the Marines and I was challenged to survive the madness and sadistic treatment we routinely received. I tried, I strove, I adjusted my life and lived with constant violations of my human rights, and I know Marines are experiencing the exact same thing today, though without the luxury of peacetime service.
While covering the war in Iraq as a reporter, I spent time reporting with the Marines, in the same squadron that I served in as a Marine, and I learned that the attitude is still the same, people are constantly trying to hurt others to justify their own miserable lives.
A hundred years ago, Americans were slaughtering innocents in the Philippines for the crime of being Muslim, hey sound familiar? We exist on a series of false flag operations, they are nothing new, and America has strong roots in racism and that has dictated policy from day one until today, it is that spirit that allowed the invasion of Iraq to take place in the first place, and explains the wars against Native Americans and hundreds of years of land theft from native peoples.
No matter what the history of the country is, the fact remains that people serve in the military for a variety of reasons, and those who are killed deserve to be remembered, their stories should be told, and their lives honored. I can't imagine how scared most must have been when they died. I have specialized in telling military stories for most of my life, in TV news reports, documentary, and plenty of written articles, most of which are published here on Salem-News.com. Sorry I didn't give one more rosy overview of this holiday, I think we need perspective if we are ever going to get better. There are politicians out there who are doing good things, let us hope that we can find a way to de-fund this thing that former President Dwight Eisenhower called the "military industrial complex". He warned us what could happen, and it happened, so let's all find a way to turn it around, that is the best way we can honor those we lost who served this country in the armed forces.
Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer
You can write to Tim at this address: email@example.com.
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With almost 25 years of experience on the west coast and worldwide as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor, Tim King is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.
Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.
Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu
In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.
Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide.
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