Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Progressive Press
 Barnes and Noble
 Join Mailing List

Commentary Last Updated: Feb 27th, 2007 - 00:42:44

Dying for a comma
By Budd Saunders
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Feb 27, 2007, 00:40

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

This is difficult to write. It is a delicate subject, which is why it is one that isn�t discussed or written about very much. Yet it is also a very important subject. Over 3,000 Troopies have been killed in action, which raises the question: �Did they die in vain?�

Many argue that we must continue fighting in Iraq so those who have died did not die in vain. But should more then die so they would not have died in vain? You can see how delicate the topic is to those who have lost someone close to them.

I lost a friend whose name is on the Vietnam Wall and several who died as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. I didn�t -- and still don�t -- want them to have died in vain, so I understand how many people, who have lost someone, must hang on to the thought that they did not die in vain. It gives a lot of meaning to their deaths, which might otherwise be meaningless.

I have a friend who was a Marine that fought in the Vietnam War. He was so gung-ho he was called �Gunny.� He was terribly wounded in the fighting at Con Thien in September 1967, and was put in the Dying Corner. He refused to die, and has since been through physical rehabilitation to the point that he has raised a family, rides his motorcycle, has made over 1,000 parachute jumps, and conquered enormous emotional problems stemming from the war.

�Gunny� is one tough Marine and an absolutely loyal patriot, yet he also joined Vietnam Veterans Against The War in 1970. I would like to share with readers what he said about his decision to protest the Vietnam War. Perhaps it will also explain why people who consistently support the Troopies also want them to get out of Iraq.

�I joined VVAW in 1970 because, by 1970, I couldn�t lie to myself anymore and convince myself it meant anything . . . I�d been a closet-not pacifist-but closet antiwar person for quite awhile. But nobody knew because I wasn�t about to tell them, because I felt like I had to protect my partners who were overseas. And that meant any grunt, any man in the infantry who was out there facing death. And, by God, I had to protect them. And the only way I knew was to try to make it mean something by telling people that it did. It�s kind of like going through the motions and hoping the motions will create the meaning. But finally I realized that there was nothing I could do to create meaning. If it wasn�t there, it wasn�t there.�

Senator Kerry, in an appearance before Congress in April 1971, asked, �How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?�

Must we now ask Bush, in regard to Iraq, �How do you ask someone to be the last to die for a lie?� Bush and Cheney would reply, �It�s easy.� Bush said that the Iraq war would be a �comma� in history.

My God! Are our people fighting to have a place in history as a �comma� and dying in vain for a lie? And must more die so others will not have died in vain? Think about it.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Never again to antiwar battle fatigue
Tuesday�s market meltdown; Greenspan�s �invisible hand�
Middle East is plagued by covert operations
A democracy in crisis: Who is really in control?
The sham of nuke power & Patrick Moore
Why the FBI got away with the first WTC bombing
Vultures circle overhead to feast off Iraq�s carrion
Operation FALCON and the looming police state
Cheney is recklessly �Bob�-ing Iraq & Iran
Peace and reparations for a confederated Iraq
Washington�s shifting alliances in Iraq
All roads lead to checkpoints
�Doomsday� Dick and the plague of frogs
Another U.S. escalation in Afghanistan?
Dying for a comma
Democrats reinforce �war on terrorism� lie
Shame on shame
America�s death march
A trying answer to a legitimate question
How long will we be in Iraq?