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Ashamed of My Country: the Views of an Eighty Year Old
An eighty year old man, a veteran of WWII, speaks his views about the Iraq war.
My wife, Linda Knudson, has prepared the following article:
In my work, I visit people in their homes who face serious illness. I had an opportunity to speak with a man who is nearly 80 today, a veteran of WWII, and someone who has been a proud patriot of this country.
Today, this man said that he never thought he would ever feel shame about being an American, but he has reached that terrible place because of his understanding about what is happening in government today and the war in Iraq.
He believes that the assasination of President Kennedy started a slide for the USA that is continuing today. He had felt that the Second World War had been a "cleansing fire" for the USA and its allies, and that we had finally begun to be a compassionate, progressive group of nations that might finally "get it right"; that we might have learned that war is not the best answer to international strife, and that real negotiation was far better.
But he then said that he now believes that the killing of Kennedy was part of the plan of right wing, religious zealots in our own government, who either sanctioned the killing or directly took part in it. He believes that a new generation of the same elements who started this decline in our progressive era are still at work. He named Wolfowitz, Pearle, Cheney and Rumsfeld as the present generation of extremists. He said he was appalled that a man who was not even legitimately elected could bring us international shame and condemnation by bringing us into a pre-emptive war that will surely convince the Moslem world that we are on a religious "crusade", a word that Bush has used since September 11, and that the invasion of Iraq is our first step in this process.
He doesn't see this as a war about oil; instead he believes it is about misguided religious zealots, as dangerous as the Moslem leaders who rant about the Western "infidels", who are behind the push to bring "democracy" to the Moslem world. He believes the word "theocracy" should be inserted in that place.
He said that it is so sad that he should be near his own death and behold these terrible things, when he fought in the war to ensure that what he THOUGHT we professed were his own beliefs. He is dissillusioned, depressed and despondent about the state of his beloved country.
Lastly, he said he supports our troops, and because he loves them, he wants them to come home now. He wants not one life given for such empty reasons, and wishes to have these young people back with their families, while the UN works out the issues with Saddam Hussein, who he freely says is an evil, vile man who has no right to lead such a good people as the Iraqis. But, says he, neither does Bush and his group of zealots, have a right to lead the population of this great, but declining nation.
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