It was October of 1994. I was standing between the frontlines of the war-battered Bosnian city of Mostar. There was a ceasefire in place and I took the opportunity to cross over and look back upon the positions I’d been in with a Bosnian unit the night before. I recall the absurdity of a world and war that would allow me that moment. It spoke to the fakery, the perverse theatre of war. As I travelled through the war, aghast at the destruction wrought upon the country and people I grew darker and cynical. War was never about lofty ideals, freedom or the dissolution of an oppressor. War is the illusion the wealthy and powerful inflict upon the masses and innocent as a means to a selfish and greedy end. Their constructed systems of control such as media sells us the war and sells us justification in its aftermath.
Hitler and the Emperor raged across the planet over money and resources. The rubber tree groves of Vietnam were off limits for both the Vietcong and the US military. Afghanistan was less about airplanes flying into towers as it was a refusal by the Taliban to negotiate terms over a Unical pipeline 4 months before September 11, 2001. Iraq, well, WMDs, right? http://www.ringnebula.com/Oil/Timeline.htm Of course, a trillion Dollars, hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq, regional destabilization, and the American casualties. Worth it over some rusty shells FOX News still parades as justification. If we go to war in Ukraine, remember. Ambassador Victoria Nuland is married to Project for a New American century’s Robert Kagan, which led us to war in Iraq, and that Joe Biden’s son is now working for a major Ukraine gas company. Modern War is a fraud and a crime, and does not breed heroes, but instead sows victims.
Here is what I mean. The nation and its media are outraged over the so-called recent Veterans Administration issue, despite being flooded now with millions of new veterans. For thirteen years our nation has been at war, first over a crime, as with Afghanistan, and then over a lie in Iraq. One was unnecessary in its duration, the other just unnecessary. And the dividends paid to our nation? More than 50000 Americans were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, 16000 of those suffered severe injuries. It will, over their lifetimes cost the nation as much as $10 trillion over the course of our wounded warriors lifetimes, although we are told a trillion spent on Obamacare in 10 years will imperil our children. New medical and lifesaving procedures helped save, according to the defense department was credited with saving many grievously wounded who might have otherwise died on the battlefield.
And that becomes the justification. We rarely look at the perverse perspective that revolutionary new medical procedures simply support the mechanism of war. Rather than flag-draped coffins and tearful families who we will never hear from again, we are instead paraded with the reality-show guilt-trip of limbless, sightless crippled young men and women. Because what person can look a young man without arms in the eyes and tell him he was crippled for a lie. Their suffering becomes our eternal burden of debt that they should have suffered for us, like Jesus on the Cross. They are lofted as heroes, showered with the condescension of a media-industrial complex, when they should be the evidence that leads to the dismantling and destruction of the purveyors of war.
No technological advance has ever given mankind anything that equals the value of mass graves, of wholesale catastrophe, and treacherous betrayal by the wealthy and powerful who profit from war. If that was ever true, that would mean that as a species the only way we can push ourselves forward is by first toying with our own collective destruction. That is a sickness not a virtue. It is a flaw not an attribute.
So, you’ll forgive me if I am not paying homage to the fallen and wounded from the nation’s modern wars. I am instead outraged over the interruption of their peaceful life. I am sickened at the young man condescended by a wealthy media personality who has only sucked off the working class of the nation, and who perpetuate the propaganda of butcherous greed, only to say at the culmination of the young man’s physical destruction, “Thank you for your service.”
I cannot consider these fellow citizens, neighbors, friends and love ones as heroes or saviors. They were forced, cajoled, tricked, blinded or lured into a crime, as we all were. I would wave the flag and honor the fallen for a just war, if I could find one. Memorial day is a slight of hand, a distraction from the real crime perpetrated by the rich and powerful. As for this moment, and at this point in our history I am more animated to finding justice, not for heroes, but for victims!
WC Turck is the author of 4 books, including the critically acclaimed Bosnian War Memoir “Everything for Love,” and Broken: One soldier’s unexpected journey home, at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. Turck wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart: A Revolutionary Christmas Carol” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” The most dangerous voice on the Left, he can be heard Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fridays from 9-11am in Chicago, and 1-3pm on the Revolution and Beer show with partner and cohost BL Murray.