Friday, May 27, 2011

Sortin' Out Truth From SPIN regarding Bin Laden & Justice

Ed Note: This piece came to me through the VFP list serve at the beginning of the month.  This at a time that Bin Laden, Iraq, and Afghanistan began to slide off the media radar screen, due to the media's frenzy to stir up emotions with "breaking news".  News that consists of loop replays of the the most horrendous footage of disasters, and then goes in and exploits the emotions of the victims, all  in the name of ratings.  I  believe in my heart that the administration gained some relief from these disasters, inasmuch as they took focus off Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya and Pakistan, while they scrabble for a save-face policy regarding our military and political interventions in the mid-east.  Mike Frenetic speaks for me as he speaks truth to power, at the same time speaking of hope and a means for a major effective change in our ntional priorities. I hope he speaks for you, too, and that you will take action and share his piece with a friend.  I, like Mike, still believe that one spark can ignite a prairie fire. WH
In From Veterans For Peace:

Justice Has Been Done?
May 3, 2011

“Justice has been done,” said President Obama.

“Justice has been done.”  

“Justice has been done.”

Justice has been done!?  Justice?  Justice??  For the last ten years, we’ve been engaged in an exercise of justice?  That’s what you call what we’ve been doing?

Are we supposed to take out a large magnifying glass and a delicate pair of tweezers and from within a bottomless pool of blood, gore, death, suffering and devastated economies, isolate one raid that killed Osama bin Laden …and then celebrate that “Justice has been done?”

We cannot.  It is simply not possible to call what we’ve been doing these past ten years, “justice.”

Real justice and a real call for celebration would have been to treat the attacks of September 11, 2001 for what they were, a massive, international criminal act and then set about dealing with it as we would any massive international crime – using international police forces to identify suspects, apprehend them, charge them, try them and punish the guilty.  And we could have secured more than justice.

On September 12, 2001, a grieving world stood in full sympathy alongside the U.S., ready to assist.  America, looked up to by so many, could have led the world into a new day where nations work together to prove once and for all that war is not the answer.  Justice and so much more were within our reach.

Ah, but our government leaders weren’t interested in justice.  They were interested in taking advantage of a rare “opportunity” to forcibly expand the Empire into a strategic corner of the world, no matter the cost in blood or treasure.  That’s what we’ve been doing for a decade after Osama bin Laden became infamous.  Of the millions of tragedies we could count in this past decade we can now add one more: May 2, 2011 will be remembered as an historical footnote for the day bin Laden, his wife and a handful of aides were killed.

The much larger story will be that millions of innocent people were killed, wounded, orphaned and displaced; ethnic and religious hatreds were fanned into wildfires; cities and towns from Maine to California grieved the death or the disfigured crippling of a loved one; our entire economy was thrown into chaos – because we spent over a trillion dollars not pursuing justice, but empire.

Collateral damage?  That foul term, come to popularity in these wars, includes every extended family of a war casualty, every city and state struggling to forestall bankruptcy and still provide fire protection, police, schools, medical services, libraries…

In fact, it is impossible to understand the cost of Empire’s wars in the aggregate.  It is simply beyond human comprehension, and for good reason.  It would send us into shock if we were to grasp it.  The only way we can get a taste of it is to stop for a moment and feel a mother’s pain as she’s handed a folded flag at graveside; visit, ghost-like, a mud-brick home in the middle of the night in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan and sit quietly with sobbing parents trying to make sense of why their youngest child was just incinerated by a drone strike and their oldest poisoned by the only water there was to drink; listen to the 50 year-old father from Ohio cry because he has just been thrown out of work and his family is soon to be thrown out of their home.

If every American tried this exercise in the quiet of every night for only two weeks, a tsunami of grief and righteous anger would spring from every town, overcoming every political institution in its path until our country was finally set on a direction to where the needs of common people matter more than the dreams of war profiteers and craven politicians doing the bidding of Empire.

....Mike Frenetic

216 S. Meramec Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63105 (314) 725-6005

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD

Ed Note: This just in, via e-mail from Michael Orange. He's getting word out on his wife Cynthia Orange's latest accomplishment.  That being, the much deserved recognition for her recently released book on living with PTSD; Shock Waves .  Both are periodic contributors here at VetSpeak, their last pieces being from Madison, Wi, written in March of this year; .  They are our voices, speaking truth to power. WH

BIG NEWS!! Cynthia's latest book, Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved One's PTSD, won a Silver Award from the prestigious Nautilus Book Awards!
The Nautilus Book Awards recognizes books that promote spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership, and positive social change. Past winners include Deepak ChopraBarbara KingsolverThich Nhat Hahn, the Dalai LamaMathew FoxThom HartmannAmy Goodman, and Julia Cameron.

I'm so proud of her work and delighted that it's getting this well-deserved national recognition.

 J. Michael Orange
1211 Bidwell St.
St. Paul, MN 55118