Quoth the Vultures ‘Evermore’
On the short roof outside the bedroom window, two black vultures sit, staring in. They have come to remind me of something. I put my book down and peer back at these strange looking creatures. The book: Our War: What We Did in Vietnam And What It Did to Us by David Harris. I had read it when it was first published in 1996 and it has stuck with me, as has the utterly savage U.S. war against Vietnam that killed so many millions, what the Vietnamese call The American War.
I am of the same generation as Harris, the courageous draft resister and anti-war campaigner who died on February 6. Like him, many of us who were of draft age then have never been able to extricate the horror of that war from our minds. Most, I suppose, but surely not those who went to Vietnam to fight, just moved on and allowed the war to disappear from their consciousness as they perhaps tried to think of it as a “mistake” and to live as if all the constant American wars since weren’t happening. As for the young, the war against Vietnam is ancient history, and if they learned anything about it in school, it was erroneous for sure, a continuation of the lie.
But it was no mistake; it was an intentional genocidal war waged to torture, kill, and maim as many Vietnamese as possible and to use drafted (enslaved) American boys to do the killing and suffer the consequences. It’s Phoenix Program, the CIA’s assassination and torture operation, became the template for Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, CIA black sites, hybrid wars, terrorist actions, etc. up to today. Harris writes:
[that] . . . . “calling the war a mistake is the fundamental equivalent of calling water wet or dirt dirty. . . . Let us not lose sight of what really happened. In this particular ‘mistake,’ at least 3 million people died, only 58,000 of whom were Americans. These 3 million people died crushed in the mud, riddled with shrapnel, hurled out of helicopters, impaled on sharpened bamboo, obliterated in carpets of explosives dropped from bombers flying so high they could only be heard and never seen; they died reduced to chunks by one or more land mines, finished off by a round through the temple or a bayonet through the throat, consumed by sizzling phosphorous, burned alive by jellied gasoline, strung up by their thumps, starved in cages, executed after watching their babies die, trapped on the barbed wire calling for their mothers. They died while trying to kill, they died while trying to kill no one, they died heroes, they died villains, they died at random, they died most often when someone who had no idea who they were killed them under the orders of who had even less idea than that.
That’s the truth. Unvarnished. But such historical truth hurts to consider, for it reminds us that the belief in the U.S.A.’s good intentions is a delusion. The war against Vietnam was immoral, but even that word fails to grasp it. Pure evil is truer. And to consider that war on military terms alone, one must accept the fact the U.S. lost the war despite all its military technology.
Time, that truly mysterious bird, forces us back to the past as it perpetually opens to the future – all in the meditative present. I look out the window and think how each of us lives in the time circles of our days, morning till night and then the same again and again as these small carousels carry us like arrows to the day time runs out for us. Time is a circle and an arrow within a circle and . . . pure mystery. It encloses us. And when we are gone, as is dear David Harris, the circle game goes on and on as yesterday’s wars are resurrected today. An unbroken circle of human madness. Yet many carry on in hope because conscience calls. And now is all the time we have.
I am writing this on Ash Wednesday, the day Christians begin L
Article from LewRockwell