Forgotten Wars, Forgotten Warriors
Korea, they say, was not a war.
It was a “Police Action.”
Which would you rather die as?
A “policeman,” or a soldier?
Or would you perhaps rather live?
At least Korea had a reason,
Flawed, of course, but a reason.
Most of the world pitched in to fight
On one side or the other.
How many died before it finally burned out?
Vietnam was an accident, turned into a war.
A people who fought for their independence.
A millennium against the Chinese,
A century against the French.
Thousands died, were tortured, jailed.
Overrun by Japan, they fought for freedom.
At war’s end, they were given back to France,
So again they had to fight;
At Dien Bien Phu, they won.
The time of rejoicing was short.
Like Korea, the country was divided up.
The Western Nations made the decision.
South Vietnam to be “ours”
North Vietnam to be “theirs.”
No one asked the People of their desires.
Once more the Vietnamese had to fight
To expel the foreign occupiers,
Remove their puppet governments,
Reaffirm their independence.
Does hubris come with power, or vice versa?
Advisors were sent in
To help build the ARVN army.
Then to fight with the ARVN;
Finally to die with the ARVN.
Would you rather be No. 1, or No. 58,178?
Rulers were changed as the war went on.
The key is, the war went on.
The Phoenix burned on its pyre
Hatching new warriors for the cause.
For every village that dies, avengers arise.
A new Pearl Harbor was needed,
To fully unleash the dogs of war.
Tonkin Gulf was the catalyst,
A Black Op by the USA.
B-52’s can destroy property, but not ideas.
We carpet bombed the north,
Poisoned the land with Orange and Purple.
Our troops were collateral damage,
Not to be recognized for years.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
As the years rolled on,
We found it impossible to tell
Friend from foe, in a country that
Simply wanted us out!
Strange that all peoples resist occupation.
Finally, the last helicopters left Embassy Row
Saigon became Ho Chi Minh City
And we had learned a hard lesson,
Now engraved upon a wall.
Only vets learn the real lesson of war.
Thirty years later,
Another “Pearl Harbor,”
Another pair of wars,
The foundation poured for yet another Wall.
They who dodged ‘Nam start a new war.
Read the above poem again
Make the place names Afghan, Iraqi, Yemeni.
Substitute DU for Agent Orange
Government denial is still there
We don’t count their dead, or show ours.
Now, in the Pentagon, the plans are made
At Bush/Cheney’s desperate urging.
We, or Israel (with our backing)
Are next to nuke Iran!
And thus unleash the final holocaust.
Russia, China, and others, no doubt,
Will retaliate with nukes of their own.
In time, not long, there will be few left
To count our dead, or remember.
The Nuclear Dragon will have eaten us all.
How long will it be before We the People
Break the wheel of death?
How many more thousands, or millions, to die
To be maimed, poisoned?
What happened to our Constitution?
Once upon a time we defended!
We fought for freedom, democracy,
Not oil and Empire…once upon a time.
We don’t need Roman Legions.
Let us remember our dead, not create more.
Stephen M. Osborn
19 December 2006
And look at the mess we have now, a decade later.
*Several more endless wars, invading Africa for corporate profit, threatening N Korea yet again. Challenging China and Russia, who have nuclear arsenals.
*And all of it run by a mad Dictator and his toady henchmen, while We the People can starve, lose our homes and live in the street, watch our children die with no affordable medical care, while the Oligarchy waxes fat with yet more billions or trillions taken from us.
*Apparently, the Spirit of 1776 is long dead and buried, while We the People just go along to get along…