My PTSD has become almost overwhelming.  I wake up each morning and I’m depressed that I didn’t die in my sleep.  I lay there and wish I didn’t have to face another day.  Images of a rope with a noose or the imagined taste of a weapon in my mouth flood my mind, driving out any residual joy that might have appeared at the dawn.  I don’t want to keep laying there there but I don’t want to leave the safety of my bed.

I long ago lost the last person I could call friend.  I’m just too strange and depressing for most people and they purposely drift away and lose contact.  I can’t make new friends simply because I have no idea how to be with people on the superficial level that is the norm.  I can’t gain any new friends because I have nothing I’m capable of discussing.  I don’t give a rat’s ass about “famous”people and I’ve lost interest in anything political because politics offers human beings nothing but lies.  Add to that the reality that I am constantly deeply afraid that I will bare some of the hell that bubbles in my mind and I will see that look again, the one that says “I want nothing to do with you”.

I feel completely useless in the world.  I deeply miss the sense of accomplishment that my job gave me for so many years.  I regret retiring both because I miss the work as well as the reality that employers see me as “too old” when I tried to return to the occupation I was so good at.  Add to that the fact that having nothing meaningful to do means I sit at home, alone, every day, sinking deeper and deeper into depression.

Even if my age wasn’t such an issue I’m now incapable of being in a room with more than one person without getting so stressed that I can’t focus on the questions even though, in retrospect, I knew the correct answers easily but could not, for the life of me, bring those answers forth through the mental blocks.

I have only one person in my life and that’s my son but, with his learning disabilities our conversations either focus on TV or video games, neither of which I have much real interest in.  He is simply the only reason that I have not taken my own life.  No matter how much I want this all to end, he is the only reason I do not carry through with ending everything.  It would devastate him beyond words and, since the rest of his family has never shown any interest in him other than the rare phone calls, he would have nowhere to go and he isn’t ready to care for himself.

I’ve tried to talk about all of this with so-called professionals but the VA counselors are inept and poorly trained and trying to find anyone outside the VA that truly understands PTSD is nearly impossible.  One the most depressing statements in the world is “I understand” when they obviously do not and cannot.  How does anyone understand a year or more of utter hell just because they took some classes and tests?  If you haven’t desperately needed a shower to wash off the remains of other human beings, how can anyone comprehend the utter depths one falls into at that point?

Every day is a battle with unseen demons, a battle I am constantly afraid of losing. I do not want to live another day but I know that my son needs me and, for that reason alone, I go to bed, shake with sadness every night, but wake up and do it again day after day.

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Bill of Rights Voided

Now would be a magnificent time to revisit a document that helped make this country the free and, in theory at least, the honorable nation it was meant to be. This pinnacle of human achievement is called the Bill of Rights. With these words, our founders gave the American citizen powers and protections never before dreamed of in history. Why would I want to reexamine such an old and, supposedly, well known document? Because it is under attack as never before in our history and, in nearly every case, the courts and government have made the Bill of Rights voided.

As Benjamin Franklin stated so persuasively, “He who is willing to sacrifice a little freedom for a little security deserves neither.” Nevertheless, we are allowing our elected representatives to subvert this wonderful body of laws to make us imagine we are acquiring some false sense of security.  This is just a partial accounting of the freedoms and rights we should have always taken as our birth rights.

Naturally, we’ll start with the First Amendment.  This one pretty much no longer exists in any form and, as fact, is being turned against us through the simple act of pretending it still exists as law while the law attacks everyone that attempts to exercise it.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There are simply too many violations of this law to go into but a few of the more egregious.

Arizona, that bastion of 11th Century hate and divisiveness, is now forcing children to be indoctrinated in the vile superstition of religion in public schools.  They’re not constructing it in a way that allows the students to learn about the thoughts and beliefs of the thousands of superstitions from around the world but only their special brand of superstition know as Xtianity.  If this wasn’t enough of a violation of our laws, they will also force these children to recite the voodoo words of prayer before each class.

The Supreme Court completely violated the right to free speech by forcing upon nation the idea that money equals speech which, as we’re seeing in the 2012 election, means that the very wealthy can now simply outright purchase our government and recreate it as they see fit. For those too stupid to understand the impact of that (I’m talking to all Tea Baggers and Republicans) they won’t recreate the government in any way that will benefit the people, only the wealthy, Wall Street and Corporate America.

We have no free press.  That was destroyed by that senile old fool Reagan when he allowed the very, very wealthy to buy up all of the major media and use it to lie and make the average American the idiots they have become.

There is no right to assemble now except in places and manners approved by the wealthy, er, government.  The moment you try, the police send in their undercover agents to break some windows so that they can decide to put down the “riot” with whatever force the police deem “necessary”.

As for petitioning the government, there is little left of that right to even address.  Petition all you want, unless your petition is written on a check you have zero chance to be heard and nearly a 100% percent chance of being labeled a terrorist.

Losing the First Amendment’s promises was the basis for the wealthy being able to so easily gut the other laws which saw the Bill of Rights voided.

The so-called “War on Drugs” is being used to remove certain protections the Bill of Rights have guaranteed us for over two centuries. The first is the Fifth Amendment.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

This, in a nation that respects the laws it was founded upon, would completely negate employees or the government from demanding urine, breath or blood tests from any American in as much as those force the American to provide substances that can be used against then in a court of law making them a witness against themselves.  This would also negate the theft of private land for corporate profits in instances such as the highly illegal theft of private land to build the many oil pipelines that are and have been built that profit only the oil companies through the government “condemning” any land not voluntarily given over by its owners.

Next up is the Sixth Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

We have allowed our government to pass statutes called “No-Knock” and “No Warrant” laws which enable the police to break into our homes merely because of “suspicion” of illegal activity, completely without prior approval of the courts. All the officer has to later show is a “reasonable suspicion”, with the officer empowered to decide what is “reasonable”.

A recent occurrence in Miami demonstrates just how dangerous this new and fascist mind set can be. A plain-clothes officer shot and killed a woman in her own apartment after the patrolman kicked in the door, without verbally alerting the occupants of his identity, looking for a man who had just entered. The woman grabbed a licensed gun from a drawer and was killed when she shot at what she assumed was an armed intruder. What had aroused the officer’s suspicion about the man he was following? He was a well dressed black, driving an expensive vehicle in a poor neighborhood and was known to be carrying cash. Obviously a drug dealer? Nope, an attorney visiting his sister. Another casualty of our obsession with ignoring the rights of the people in order to enforce unenforceable laws. Was the officer in any way censored for this murder? No, in fact he was supported by both the department and his union and never charged with any crime.

Next up is the Seventh Amendment:
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In Astoria, Oregon a few years back, a fishing boat was seized after a Fish and Game officer noticed a 1/4″ butt of a marijuana cigarette in an ashtray while inspecting the boat’s catch. No additional drugs were found aboard. The courts never attempted to determine the joint’s ownership nor did they file charges against anyone involved, they just seized the boat as a drug site, sold the boat at auction and put the proceeds in the local coffers.

Last year a man was arrested for soliciting an undercover policewoman in a prostitution sting. The car he was driving was taken and, again, sold at auction. The car, however, was his wife’s. She not only did not know of his activities on that evening but, without the vehicle, was forced to quit her job and go on Welfare to support herself and children while her husband served his sentence.

These are but a few examples of our legal system gone crazy. We have, apparently, been convinced that any action the government embraces to force compliance with laws that cannot be enforced and has no visible victims, is okay. Of course, we also believe that these injustices can never happen to us, as well. We are the good guys, aren’t we? The owner of the boat thought so, since he had not been on board but had hired the crew to run the boat and do the work. He lost his boat, though. The wife thought so, too, obviously.

Legally, if you hire someone to mow your lawn and they leave a small part of a joint beneath your bushes when they leave, which is then discovered by the local police, you can and probably will forfeit your home. If your mechanic drops a marijuana seed out of his pocket onto the floor of your car, you will be walking where ever you go. Pretty neat law, huh? You encouraged this stupidity by not fighting for your rights, you know? Enjoy the consequences!

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A Political Fairy Tale

In this highly ignorant political season, where lying is the only real speech, perhaps a modern political fairy tale will amuse and, possibly, make clearer what we truly face.

Once upon a time, in a land known as Capricious, a young woman, named Charity, lived with her small son and daughter. Her husband, alas, had died in one of the kingdom’s many wars to protect it’s “National Interests”. Sadly, too, the King and his advisers, in their infinite wisdom, had been forced to curtail the monies from the treasury for the families of the victims of these “constable actions” since the other royalty and their fiefs had greater need of these fiscal resources than did the common rabble.

Now, this lass was a hard working homemaker and mother. However, the great nation of Capricious was going through a period of descending magnitude, known throughout the kingdom as “Lowered Employment Expectations”. The King and all of the kingdom’s princes and princesses were discharging all of their workers in order that they, the wealthy, might greatly enhance their holdings and live in a manner surpassing all of the other province’s citizens. When these people of high station realized that their incomes and comfort were less than the level of earlier times due to the loss of actual souls to do their labor, these royal jennets re-employed these same laborers. Of course, the aristocracy could not reward these craftsmen at their former salaries, as that would erode the accumulation of the wealth the royals held so dear, so they simply offered much less, knowing that there would always be someone to accept whatever pittance was proffered.

It was into this political panorama that our heroine found herself cast upon her husband’s death. Since she aspired to be a dutiful citizen of Capricious, she had always listened to the King’s advisers and her religious leader’s demands that she stay at her cottage and raise her children in order that they not become a portion of the ruffians and bullies that were importing the illegal anodynes that all said were destroying her great principality. Because of this time of sacrifice and her subsequent lack of a commendable body of personal knowledge she found that she was not qualified for any of the worthy positions being offered which might support and feed her family. Nay, instead she discovered that only the most menial of situations could be hers and, while she must toil long hours to simply put a roof over their heads and food on their table and could no longer spend her days insuring the safety of her small charges, the King and all of his minions had lately also reduced all of the small succors that once had been available in that regard. She was told that this was because the great religious writings showed that the people of the earth were not responsible for the poor women and the hungry children and that the King averred that the treasury was open only to his sycophants and their fiefs in order to counteract the nefarious debts that he and his cohorts had accumulated. (Of course, she understood that these debts were not the fault of her or her children but tried to accept the wholesome ideas of the holy citizenry that she was expected to shoulder the burden of repayment since the portion of the realm’s population that most benefited from this liability could not also be expected to suffer in this time of recompense. After all, she was not able to send the vast quantities of money that was required to retain the throne and castle in the hands of the King and his toadies every four years.)

Charity, therefore, toiled long and hard at the disparate humble employment she could encounter in order to earn enough to buy the bread and lodging her family required. That her children were so often without her guidance and firm hand could only be her failing, she knew, since those with the high responsibility of pious and secular office had so often reminded her thus. The illness’ of her children could not be brought to the local medical shamans as there was never enough funds for such lavishness, so the young ones grew up slowly and sickly. The children’s studies were, of course, neglected due to the fatigued nature of the children and the lack of parental support at home. Again, our heroine knew this to be completely her imperfection. She could only envy the wealthy and powerful but, again, knew that familial wealth and inheritance played no part in the stations of the more fortunate. They had achieved their status only through tremendous work, they were only too overjoyed to remind her at any opportune moment.

Charity died penniless but happy in the knowledge that she had not let her leaders and the wealthy down by ever again asking for their help. Her children, alas, would not repeat the failures of their mother. They went about their miserable lives quietly, without bothering the more fortunate during their treasured time before the magical television box. The children, instead, found that the great countries to the south were the fount of enchanted potions that the rich and mighty of Capricious were greatly desirous of and would secretly travel great distances in their elegant carriages to purchase at the children’s village. This serendipitous discovery and the subsequent trade in these goods allowed the children to dress as the mighty did and to eat the food of the Gods.

The daughter, unfortunately, died of a disease of great consequence and the son was shot many times with arrows by the constable for supplying the needs of the rich. Afterwards, all was well in the land, once again.

The moral of this story? If you are blessed in having the basic necessities of life it is because God loves and provides for you and yours. If you do not, you are a slothful pariah who would only be a leach on the fine citizens of this Capricious country if they ever, again, let you try.

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PTSD Destroys Souls

There is a special kind of loneliness and separation from the world that PTSD forces upon you.  I may be surrounded by people but I connect on a human level with none of them.  I listen to their vapid, meaningless conversations and all I can think is “Do you have ANY IDEA of the hell that covers this world?  If you saw what I’ve been forced to witness, if you had done what I had done because I was ordered to do it and I was too young and too indoctrinated and too afraid to refuse, would you still think your tiny little world view has anything to do with reality?”

I don’t care about your stupid music.  It gives me no sense of relief.  It makes no difference in the world because it is all tested and marketed and created only to sell and the country buys it without thought because they were told to.  No one really uses their talent to do anything but make money and be famous among those who are not aware of reality.  I don’t care about inane quotes about how wonderful life is because it isn’t.

I don’t understand how people can gleefully support “leaders” who wage war against people who have done us no other harm than to live atop the resources we crave to satisfy our addictions to crap.  How can anyone not scream out against a government that happily makes lists of its own citizens it wants to kill?  How can anyone not recoil at the sight of hundreds of absolutely insane people with weapons gathering in our capital and never being challenged but watch helplessly as people of conscience come together peacefully and then be beaten and arrested and now even shot?

Does anyone else go to bed and lie awake thinking about the reality that children are starving to death all over the planet?  Does anyone else lie in bed and think about those tiny little souls seeing their parents murdered or, worse, dying themselves simply because we have the weapons to kill them so we do?  Does anyone else ever hear the screams of those children or their parents?  Does anyone even care?  Seriously?

Try to imagine living a life where whenever you see small children playing, your eyes see the child but your mind drags up the memories of tiny pieces of tiny bodies left scattered on the ground, not because they ever did anything wrong but because, and only because, people who should know better ignore their pain in search of money and pride and power.  Try to imagine living with the memory of a small girl being gang raped by many, many men for the offense of refusing to speak to one of them and being there and having absolutely no control over that situation and then, as you force yourself to walk away or be shot by your own comrades, you hear that final shot that you know put an end to her misery.  That is what PTSD means.

I take the drugs the VA gives me but they do nothing but make me tired.  I try to talk all of this out but I see the emptiness in the eyes of those I speak to, that emptiness that says “I’m here because I’m paid to listen to you and, oh look, our time is up for this session.  See you in a couple weeks?”  I’m afraid to share my hell with anyone else because I know that they will be repulsed by what I have to relate.  So I live it alone.  That is PTSD.

I honestly do not believe I will ever find peace in this world again.  I think peace is simply the absence of real thought.  I think peace only comes when you learn to ignore the hell you live in.   I think hell is other people because I know they can see me for what I am but still I yearn for someone to just be with me, to listen if I need to talk and to be silent if I just need comfort.  That conflict of wanting someone and wanting solitude is hell.

I have exactly one reason that I remain on this planet and that’s my son.  I know he needs me since he’s been basically abandoned by the rest of his family not for anything he’s done but because I’m his father and I am hated.  His learning disabilities make him the most special human being I have ever known.  I cannot bring myself to leave him until I must.

This is my world.  I probably explained it poorly.  There are some things that words fail to even approach.  I wish I could grab all of the idiots that so love war and make them see what it does to your soul.  I can’t and, honestly, if you see any reason for war then there is no hope to describe it well enough to open your eyes.  That is just another failure in my life.  There is no way to explain PTSD.  You can only try to survive it.

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Posted in Politics, PTSD, Veteran's Administration, Vietnam, Vietnam | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Political Labels Definitions

I’ve been wondering why the Republicans this season have had so little shame in attacking and pitting people against each other, divide and conquer wars of words.  On every single topic, the speeches have been about “Us” versus “Them” and not a single real mention of issues or how they affect everybody.  This isn’t going to be a political rant, though.  I’m more interested in thinking about the core of that “debate”, the basic reason it still works on so many, many people.

Humanity has evolved in so many ways.  That can’t be argued.  I believe, though, that the one segment of our collective growth that stunted and grew warped is our desperate need to divide our fellow humans in ways that allow us to feel superior.  Years ago I wrote a column for my web site that compares the labels people give themselves and the real meanings of those words.  I’ll just repeat what I said, then.

I was lately browsing through my well-worn copy of Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary and decided to find the two main nouns of our times (or perhaps just my column? Nah!). I looked up “conservative” and “liberal” and was quite surprised with what I discovered.

Allow me to quote the entries, okay?

Conservative is described as “tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions” and “one who adheres to traditional methods or views”.

Liberal is described as “marked by generosity and openhandedness” and “broad-minded, tolerant” and “associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives” and, finally, “one who is open-minded or not strict in observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways”.

Reading these words then got me to thinking about how I seem to be constantly in someone’s verbal cross hairs with the ammunition of choice being that horrid curse, “You are a Liberal”. I, then, tend to defend my position as much more of a moderate one but that only seems to encourage this silliness.

I do believe I’ll stop defending my position in the future since being a liberal, as described above, is certainly more of a compliment than a curse. I think of myself as open-minded and tolerant. I also believe in the ideals of the individual as stated. These are, in fact, my firmest beliefs.

I then wondered who else could be described as a liberal due to their actions. The first to mind were the very people who founded this great nation. If George Washington or Thomas Paine or the Minute Men had defined themselves as conservatives, the country’s anthem would still be “Hail, Britannia”. Rather than risk all, they would have simply stomached the insults and taxes of the King and gone about their business. They didn’t, of course, and they proceeded to act like liberals and completely upset the apple cart of their time.

Another was old Abraham Lincoln, himself. He freed the slaves, an action of an ideal of individual if there ever was one. Of course, the fellow could as easily be described a conservative since he took our country to war to preserve the Union against the separatist intentions of the South. Perhaps he was more of a conundrum than either a conservative or liberal.

The pioneers were truly liberals. They left all of the old institutions behind to bravely begin new lives in an untamed wilderness. They were the quintessential ideal of the individual. Their new way of life demanded new views about their surroundings and how they were to succeed. Holding to the methods of the folks “back east” wouldn’t prove very useful to them.

The current Congress is an excellent example of liberals. They are trying to reverse over thirty years of Welfare, environmental regulations and nearly fifty years of workplace safety rules. They are allowing business unheard of tax breaks and deregulation. This is far from maintaining existing institutions.

All of a sudden, the differences between liberal and conservative might appear slightly confusing. Perhaps there might be another way to view the opinions normally so narrowly defined. Perhaps not defining them at all would improve our communication. Gosh, what a liberal idea!

Maybe, instead of the hate filled rhetoric, the limiting labels and the playground antics of constant name calling we might try simply LISTENING to each other. That might actually allow us to understand one another’s points of view and come to some compromise which will cause solutions to be found. Wouldn’t that be much better than the continuing stream of partisan politics which has solved nothing.

For those of you who have labeled me Liberal, I thank you. Giving an arbitrary name to my beliefs do nothing to change those beliefs, though. I still believe God expects more of us than we are willing to give. Nevertheless, as long as you keep reading and writing it means I’m making a difference to my readers.

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Human Principles

These are basic human principles. We must accept nothing less in this nation.

Love EVERYONE as you love yourself.  No Exceptions.  There will be no discrimination based on sex, religion (or lack of same), color, national origin, sexual orientation (except as proscribed by laws that protect children), or any other categories natural to mankind.

ALL laws must benefit children.  If a law harms children it is, by nature, not law and unenforceable.

ALL humans are equal.

All laws pertain to all people equally.  There are no protections behind corporate, military or government office walls.

Only those who exhibit a behavior dangerous to others will be placed away from society.  This will include both violent behavior as well as behavior meant to steal that which is not theirs or is not freely given.  They will be given the best psychological and educational assistance possible so that they can become members of society again upon release.

Equal education is a right for all humans.  Education will be funded at 20% of all state revenues and 5% of all federal revenues and will be equal per student in all districts.  Education for those most difficult to educate will be considered a part of those funds and will be conducted in whatever way best suits the individual.

Equal healthcare is a right for all human beings.

America may not produce or export offensive weapons.  Weapons may only be defensive in nature and may not be meant to directly take the lives of others.

All workers will be paid a living wage.  No one person may earn more than 100 times the wages of the lowest living wage.  All money above that amount is automatically taxed at 100% with no deductions allowed.  This will apply to all parts of society: business, sports, entertainment, etc.  Those who provide necessary services for the betterment of mankind, such as teachers, firemen, all medical personnel and other occupations to be determined will be paid a minimum of 10 times the minimum wage and that wage can never be reduced.

Corporations will exist with the express permission of the people.  Corporations will never, under any circumstances. have the same rights as a human being. Corporations are created through a license from the government and may be dissolved by a majority vote of the people in whose states they do business..  Corporations may never, under any circumstance, donate any corporate funds to any candidate or political party or produce any advertisements meant to sway public opinion for any political purpose. Any corporation found guilty of doing so by a randomly selected group of human beings will automatically be dissolved and all executives subject to fines and/or imprisonment.  Production facilities of such corporations will become the property of the government which shall continue its operations and will sell the corporation to the highest bidder as long as that sale does not give unfair advantage to the buyer over corporations doing like business.

Every corporation that does business within the United Stated must pay full taxes to the United States as well as the states, counties and cities in which they do business.  The ONLY tax deductions allowed will be for that difference in salaries above the minimum living wage and the cost of new equipment and business supplies purchased and manufactured in the United States.  All profits not reinvested into the corporation above these expenses will be taxed at 100%

Any nation that produces offensive weapons will  immediately have all export and imports blocked by the United States until such times as it is proven that the weapons have been destroyed and the means to produce them destroyed completely.

A mechanism will be introduced that will allow a majority vote of the people to negate any law enacted by Congress or created by the Supreme Court.  The ONLY exceptions will be a ban on any law that seeks to remove rights or responsibilities from any group of people.

Voting will be mandatory.  All humans will, at age 18, register to vote.  Anyone who does not vote will be fined for the first instance and incarcerated for increasing time periods there after.  All voting will done on a thick, paper ballot manufactured exactly the same for all states and may be done from home or at a polling location.  Each ballot will have a detachable section that will have the voter’s thumbprint applied using body heat technology and will be removed and saved by the voter before depositing or mailing as proof of vote.  All ballots will be stored for a minimum of ten years (or longer if deemed historical in nature of is deemed by Congress to be necessary for historical research).

All media corporations will be limited to one TV, one radio and one newspaper or magazine in every market area to be determined by the FCC.  Licenses will be renewed every two years by a vote of the people in those areas.

ALL reports that are broadcast or written must maintain proof of the facts behind those reports for a minimum of seven years.  Any media found guilty of broadcasting reports not founded on factual information will automatically have their license revoked and the FCC will conduct extensive investigations into the facts used for all other reports for a six months period.  Any shows that do not use factual information must, at the beginning and end of each commercial break, for 15 seconds place a large, easily read notice that is also clearly read that states that this show is for entertainment purposes.

Voting districts will be determined by solely by geography and population and created by computerized programs whose codes are public knowledge.

The United States, through the revenues collected as taxes, shall fund research into curing diseases, creating alternative sources of energy and any other project deemed necessary to the health, well-being and progressive betterment of the people.  The results of this research will be freely provided to any corporation or individual who may wish to produce the product or attempt to improve it.

All corporations are responsible for the products and services they sell as well as any damages to the environment that results.

These are simply basic human principles.  Anything less gives power to those who will always, without exception, do harm to others.

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Medics, Morphine and Gang Rape

We were assigned to a fire base near the DMZ for a few days of R&R and to get ready to go back into the field.  For me, part of “relaxing” was to grab a ride into Dong Ha/Quang Tri and the big PX there and stock up on Vienna Sausages and Ritz Crackers and anything else that looked tasty as well as a dozen cartons of Camels and anything that would fit in my pack for snacks in the field.  I mean, you can only eat so many K-Rations and C-Rations that are ten years old.

Since we were at the far end of the road between Dong Ha and the DMZ there wasn’t a lot of truck traffic and almost zero helicopters so I knew it would be a long day and lots of walking.  It was warm and humid, that day, and the sun was already hot at 6 in the morning.  I stood by the gate with a couple other guys, Army and Marines, and eventually a dump truck driver told us he was leaving and to hop onto the fenders and into the bed.  I got the right front tire cover, leaned back with my weapon pointed out and off we went.

The ride in was uneventful.  One of the guys in the bed of the truck yelled something about a sniper but I didn’t hear the shot being fired or hitting anything and, well, my position was rather exposed and being beside a huge diesel engine was nearly deafening so I just scanned the distance but saw nothing.  I did see one of my girls that sold pot pre-rolled so I had the truck stop for a minute while I bought a $10 bag.  One of the guys in the dump’s bed got freaked out and started yelling that I would get us killed by stopping but the driver just shouted at him to shut the fuck up because his screaming was worse than my buying pot.  I smiled back at the driver, flipped off the guy that was losing it, which just made him angrier, and off we went.

I banged on the hood when we got onto the base at Dong Ha near the PX and jumped off when the truck stopped.  I thanked the driver and tossed him a couple of the joints.  He smiled and waved and we parted ways.  The idiot in the back said he was going to report what I did to his CO and so I told him to go right ahead and told him to get my name right and then tossed off the name of my CO just for fun.

I got what I wanted at the PX, stopped by the mess hall for lunch, thought about hanging out for the night but hated being in the rear since it was always crawling with officers so I walked back to the main gate to the highway to wait again for a ride with the bags of goodies I’d bought.  I wanted a ride towards my unit but most were headed up to Khe Shan and Rock Pile which at least crossed the road I wanted.  I grabbed a ride on another dump truck and ended up on the same right front tire cover as before.

When we neared my road, I again banged on the hood and jumped off.  This time I just tossed a Milky Way bar to the driver and started walking.  After a couple miles I met up with an army unit on patrol and just fell in at the end of the line.  Just before we got to one of the first villes, the patrol took off into the bush for the circle back to their base so I kept walking north. There was zero traffic that day, for some reason.

After maybe 5 minutes I’d made it most of the way through the ville of twenty or so huts when it dawned on me that there were no people out and about.  The quiet was eerie and quiet in a ville was always bad.  I stopped, knelt down and took off my pack and put it in front of me.  I crammed everything I’d bought into my pack, heaved it back onto my shoulders, chambered a round, and slowly started walking north again.

That’s when I heard the crying of a little girl.  That was the only sound I heard, at first, so I slowly left the road and, using trees and bushes as cover, moved towards the sound.  It was coming from behind one of the huts that looked like it had been blown down by a grenade or LAW because the poles that it stood on were blasted apart and the hut itself was leaning to one side touching the ground on one wall.  The crying was still coming from that direction so I made my way towards the hut.

As I neared I saw a woman’s arm hanging from the front opening.  The dried blood told me she was dead so I made my way to the side to look in a window.  Just as I rounded the corner I saw where the cries were coming from.  I also heard the unmistakable sound of a round being chambered just beside my head.

I slowly turned my head to see a .45 aimed at my forehead but held by another Marine.  I looked back to the sound of the cries and saw her, bent over a wooden fence, with her small arms tied with something like wire around her wrists and through the fence and around her ankles.  Her small dress was thrown up over her head and her bloody panties were around her feet.  A breeze blew her dress up from her head and I could see that she wasn’t older than 6 or 7 years old and tears and snot were streaming down her nose and cheeks and chin.  Beside her sat a medic on a tree stump, head down and sitting amidst five or six morphine needles scattered on the ground.  Behind her was a line of 5 Marines, smoking and laughing, waiting their turn to gang rape her.  On the far side of her were maybe 25 or more Marines, talking and laughing and smoking.  As the one holding her hips pulled back from her I could see that he had been fucking that tiny little girl’s pussy and that her pussy and butt and legs were covered in blood.  As he stepped back, the next Marine told the medic “Another shot for her ass” and the medic dutifully pulled another needle from his kit and jabbed her tiny butt just beside her little anus.  The Marine pulled her up higher and inserted himself and started pumping.

I started to take a step towards her and opened my mouth to tell them to stop when the fellow holding the .45 to my head softly said, “One word or one more step and I fire.  This isn’t happening.  You don’t see a fucking thing.  Dumb Gook flipped us off as we passed and then her dumb fuck mother got to yelling so we killed them all and now we’re just having some fun with the kid.  That’s all.  Turn around.  Leave.  My orders are to shoot to kill if anyone interferes.”

That’s when I saw the Lieutenant, sitting cross legged on the ground, leaning back against a tree, smoking a cigarette.  Our eyes met and my mouth started to open again and the Lieutenant simply said, “One word and he shoots and we report we found you as a sniper casualty.”  His smile as he said that froze my heart.  He was enjoying this.  He liked watching a tiny, defenseless girl who had just witnessed her entire family die being gang raped by his patrol.

The Marine beside me tapped me on the ear.  I slowly turned towards him and he told me that I had two seconds to start back toward the road or he had to shoot.  His hand was shaking so badly that I was stunned that he hadn’t accidentally pulled the trigger already.

I sighed, pointed my weapon at the ground and began to turn back.  The Lieutenant shouted at me “If I hear a word about this I’ll know it’s you.  All of us will look for you.  Just shut your trap and forget this.”

I glanced again at the line behind that small body and saw that there were now only two more people in line.  Time was passing and I wasn’t even noticing.  The medic was giving her another shot.  The ones that were finished were standing in a group, most were smoking, weapons at the ready, watching the other huts for any movement.  The one that was inside her looked at me, smiled so wide I could see his teeth, then punched her in the back of the head and smiled at me again.  I heard laughter, a very sick, self-conscious laughter from the group.

I backed away from the destroyed hut and slowly moved towards the road.  I knew I had to do something for her but I also knew that I would be dead in seconds if I tried.  From the distance I heard someone shout “Hey, you want to get in line?  We’re almost done here.”  I lowered my head, feeling a shame and a sadness that 3 months of war hadn’t once made me feel.

I made it to the road, turned back towards them but they were all out of sight again behind the bushes and huts.  I started slowly walking, wondering exactly how I was going to live with that few minutes.  With my head down and tears streaming from my eyes, I didn’t notice the Jeep that had stopped until I heard the horn and “Hey, need a ride?”  I moved towards the Jeep and started to climb into the back on top of some sandbags that were stacked there.  Sitting there, facing to the rear and the hell I had just walked away from, the Marine in the front passenger seat turned and asked, “Everything groovy?  Got a problem?”

That’s when I heard the shot.  One single shot from a .45.  The soft sounds of the girl’s cries instantly stopped.  The driver shouted “Oh, FUCK!  Sniper!” and hit the gas.  I almost bounced out of the Jeep as he went flying down the bumpy, partially paved road, trying to escape what he thought was fire from the huts.

After a mile or so the driver slowed again and it seemed to dawn on the other passenger that I had just come from the ville where he thought a sniper was hiding.  He turned and looked at me but said nothing.  Neither did I.  They offered to take me all the way to my unit and I thanked him and settled in.

That night I had my first nightmare filled with those screams.  I still have them.  I’m so sorry that I didn’t have the courage to stop what was happening to her.  Looking back, it would have been better to die trying to help than to walk away.  I’m so god awful sorry.  I can never make it better for anyone.

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Posted in Another Perspective, Politics, PTSD, Vietnam, Vietnam | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Little Dead Vietnamese Girls

It started on a fairly sunny, warm day.  I had come in-country just a couple weeks earlier.  26 weeks of boot camp and combat infantry training had already shown me that being a Marine was a bad decision but there was little I could do by now. The last thing I really thought about was the reality of what I was doing and the reality that I would in a very few hours find myself living through the hell of seeing little dead Vietnamese girls and that I would live every day with that nightmare.

I’d been trained to be a radar tech but quickly discovered that there were no working radars in Vietnam which meant that I could either sit in the bunker, get drunk and stoned, and wait for my rotation in thirteen months or I could volunteer to go with the grunts.  Since everyone in the company seemed quite content to get high and wait it out, I had to go about volunteering as a grunt very quietly.  The unit I was volunteering with had a history of constantly needing warm bodies so they happily welcomed me and worked out the process with my commanders.

I was in I Corps, the designation for the area in Vietnam closest to the DMZ.  We were, at one time or another, at Khe Shan, Rock Pile, Con Thien and a half-dozen fire-bases here and there.  The first couple weeks we were used as perimeter protection, convoy guards and the patrol that protected the guys that cleared the roads every day of the mines that the Viet Cong laid every night.  Those patrols came in two flavors; either you just walked 15 miles or so, staring into the bushes and rice paddies for movement of any kind, taking the unexploded rounds from the children that brought us mortar and 155MM rounds and the like to sell for a few pennies and arriving at the end of your assigned portion of the road to wait for your chopper ride back to base or else they were days of constant ambushes and snipers, sweat pouring down your back from fear (although you told yourself it was just the heat), the screams of the wounded and the sound of helicopters coming and going as medivacs or fire support and the smell of napalm dropped by passing Phantoms until you arrived at the end of your assigned portion of the road.

One morning we were told that we were to clear a 4 mile road that was seldom used by military vehicles.  The reason for that was because there was nothing of any value at the end of that small dirt road except for a few small villages that had apparently become the base for a small group of Viet Cong that was causing a high number of casualties in our night patrols.  A new fire base was going to be constructed on top of a small rise in the midst of rice paddies in which we would place a dozen or so 155MM cannons and perimeter bunkers for mortars and towers for recon and snipers.

Supposedly, the Vietnamese inhabitants of the villages had been told of the new base and that the land surrounding their homes and paddies were now considered “Free Fire Zones” meaning that anything that moved was going to shot at or blown up.  This didn’t set too well with them both because the paddies were their only food and income source as well as a number of the folks there were supporters or, at least, sympathizers with the Viet Cong’s war against the vast, invading American military (sound fucking familiar?).

On our minesweeping patrols, we had long ago learned to walk along inside the area that the mine sweepers had covered.  You didn’t walk along the side of the road nor did you leave the road to pee or crap, you just did it where you stood.  Since this was our first patrol along this road and since the knowledge that we would be sweeping the road was well known by the locals, we knew we were probably going to encounter resistance along the way.  We had just piled out off the trucks when the first mine was discovered just a few feet from the intersection of roads.  Everyone froze while the rest of the area around the trucks was swept but no more mines was found.

A few of the older, crazier guys had been trained on the removal and disposal of mines.  The mines came in many shapes and sizes since nearly all were makeshift explosives cobbled together from our own unexploded ordinance fused with either magnetic or pressure primers, among other ingenious manners of causing shit to explode.  Occasionally one would find a landmine with Cyrillic or Chinese characters but those were rare in our area.  Some mines could be carefully removed and then exploded a safe distance away but some were too large and had to blown in place.

The road was swept, we found a lot more mines than normal, which we expected, and we eventually neared the first small village of maybe ten small huts made from bamboo and thatch and cardboard.  There were some bushes here and there but nothing that seemed large enough to hide behind so we relaxed just a little but never strayed beyond the path of the sweepers.  We could see faces staring at us from doors and windows as we walked and even a small group of five children playing alongside a paddy.  A hundred eyes absorbed that group and a hundred weapons moved quietly towards their general direction but, since they were two small girls and three slightly older boys and their dirty clothes were so thin that any sort of weapon would be instantly apparent, we all went back to watching where we walked while staring off into the distance looking for anyplace a sniper or ambush could be waiting.

The path they were taking intersected the road about 100 yards ahead of me.  Three of the five were boys and seemed more aware of us than the two little girls.  The boys slowed their walk, looked at this column of well armed Americans and walked to the right along another path that led to a couple of the huts between the paddies.  The girls, may 4 or 5 years old, seemed completely uncaring about our presence and, holding hands together as children do, began to dance and laugh at some unheard joke.  They came to the road and seemed to notice us for the first time.  They still didn’t seem to care as they began to skip alongside the road, away from where we were walking behind the sweepers.

I heard someone to my left light up a joint and asked me if I wanted to pass it on.  I glanced back towards the front to get my bearings and be certain that I was still in the safe part of the road.  My eyes fell on the two little girls in their dirty, torn dresses, laughing and holding hands when they suddenly disappeared in a huge explosion of dirt and dust and rocks.  I stopped and stood, fascinated, at the sight of tiny pieces of the two girls as they flew softly through the air.  An arm, from the elbow down, fell at my feet.  I looked around to see if any of my people were a part of that explosion but discovered I was the only one standing.  Everyone else had already hit the dirt, weapon aimed into the distance, waiting for fire from an enemy that wasn’t there.

From one of the small huts I heard a scream, a woman, probably the mother of one or both of the children.  I saw an older child begin to run towards the mess in the road when she saw all the weapons suddenly turn towards her.  She almost fell in her efforts to turn around and return to the false safety of the bamboo walls.

Another face appeared in the door of the same hut.  This face was much older, wrinkled and old like all Vietnamese women over 30 looked in that war.  This woman completely ignored the weapons aimed at her as her eyes widened and her face fell in an almost comical way.

I looked back down at my feet and realized that the arm probably belonged to her child.  The rest of the company, realizing that there was no immediate danger from attack, were slowly regaining their feet and the patrol began moving again.  I looked from the arm to the woman running through the paddy, tears streaming from her face.  I looked ahead and saw that the other guys nearest me were either kicking pieces out of the way or just stepping on them as if it was just trash in their path.

I will never understand why I did it but I took off my pack and grabbed the cloth bag I always carried with a clean uniform and socks and emptied it all back into the backpack.  I knelt down and began picking up the pieces that I could find.  As I moved slowly along I came across one of the girl’s torso.  It lay there with just part of the right arm, no left arm or legs but most of the neck and head still attached.  My mind told me that I couldn’t fit that into my cloth bag when two arms pushed me aside and grabbed up the tiny body.  I fell to the side and reached to unshoulder my weapon when I realized it was the woman whose face had just been in the doorway.  She gently picked up the bloody mess that used to be a child and ran screaming back towards the hut she came from.  I didn’t know much Vietnamese but the words she was screaming at us as she ran weren’t terms of endearment.

I continued to pick up the pieces I could find when I noticed a young male on his knees, slowly picking up pieces and placing them in a wooden crate stamped “US MARINES”.  Our eyes met and where I expected anger, even rage, I saw an emptiness so deep it hurt my soul.  This was someone important to him and he was picking up their little lives a piece at a time.

I felt a hard slap on the back of my helmet that threw it forward a few feet.  I looked up to see the company Captain glaring down at me.  “Get up and back in formation, asshole,” he said, “It’s only Gooks.  Stop wasting time and get back in line.”  “Fuck you”, I told him as I turned to get my helmet and started picking up small pieces and putting them in my cloth bag again.  I heard the distinct sound of a .45 pistol being cocked and then the Captain said, “Get up or I’ll blow your head off for insubordination.  They’re just fucking Gooks.  You’re a Marine.  You NEVER get on your knees for a Gook!”

I picked up my helmet and put it back on.  I brought my weapon back to the ready, picked up the cloth bag and walked towards where the kid was still on his knees picking up chunks of someone important in his life.  I slowly walked to him, our eyes locked, and I gently lay the cloth bag down by him where he knelt.  Tears were streaming down both of our faces as he mouthed a very silent “Thank you” to me.  The Captain gave me a shove to force me to keep walking.

I looked around to see if any of the other Marines were watching but every single one had moved on with their life and were silently intent on the bushes and staying in the safe part of the road.  Those behind me simply walked by the boy on his knees, one purposely kicking his leg hard as he walked past to the laughter of those following him.  My stomach hurt, my heart hurt, my eyes were filled with tears as I shuffled along, leaving hell behind me.

Two little lives lost in a war that all of us knew, in our hearts, was already lost which made every single life that was destroyed completely and utterly wasted.

And I thought to myself, “Only 11 months to go before I get to go home.”  That person never came home.  That person is still there, wishing I could have at least finished helping collect those two little girls but knowing they are long forgotten by everyone but me and maybe that boy if he lived through our war on his family and neighbors.  It doesn’t matter who set the mine or who placed it there or why.  Two tiny lives were extinguished in milliseconds and three or four years later we all left and went home and tried to regain a life that no longer existed.

Fifty years later nobody remembers that hell and most couldn’t find Vietnam on a map if their life depended on it.  Tens of thousands of us died there and tens of thousands died when they came home and realized that they couldn’t live with the memories and with the screams they heard every night in their sleep.  For too many years we were told to just get over it, to just move on with our lives.

But the reason I constantly remember those two tiny girls?  Because when we finally finished the day’s patrol and set up a perimeter for the night on the hill that would soon be the position for a new fire base where we could kill at our leisure, as I removed my sweat drenched shirt and went to dig into my backpack for the clean shirt I carried, I found, laying on top of a flap, a chunk of flesh with tiny shreds of fabric still attached.  I didn’t know what to do with it so I dug a small hole beside where I laid, gently placed the little girl’s memory into it and slowly covered it with dirt.  I laid there beside that hole the entire night but had to abandon that position the next morning when we were rousted in the dark and told to get ready to welcome the choppers that would take us back to our base.

I think about those girls every single day.  Somehow that keeps them alive, at least inside my brain.   There are so many other lives I feel like I must remember, both of my friends that came home in a bag and those whose lives I am directly responsible for taking.  In my heart, as long as I live their memories remain but what happens when I die?  Who will remember them?  Their lives cannot be wasted like that.  No god would ever allow that.  Life is a one time thing and two little lives disappeared in a cloud of laughter and play and dirt and blood and flesh torn from bone.

I hate war.  I hate our “leaders”.  Since I walked away from that tiny hole, I’ve hated my life but never found the courage to end it.   There is nothing good or honorable about war.  Tiny children, mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters, all innocent people, die and then all sides go home and 50 years later nobody remembers, nobody cares, nobody wants to stop the next war or the next or the next.

I put silly notions of a loving god into that tiny hole and left it there.  Any god that allows that is to be despised, not worshiped.  Children aren’t supposed to be harmed because adults are assholes.  But that’s war.  That’s what creates profits.  So they are just “collateral damage” in the disputes that insane, stupid men with short pricks cause over and over and over.  Tiny children with no names die and people think about sport teams and mindless actors that pretend to be brave in front of cameras.

So fuck Obama and Bush and Johnson and Reagan and anyone that has happily created hell for those who never did anything to me or my neighbors.  I’ve lived with those two little girls for 45 years.  I hope we can all be forgotten very soon.

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Posted in Politics, PTSD, Religion, Vietnam | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Book By A Friend – Walter Brasch

A friend who is a columnist/author asked that I pass along an article about his latest book.  I recommend anything he writes. He also has a blog So, here I happily offer that article.

Journalistic Novel Provides Blueprint to Understand Occupy Movement

By Corey Ellen (Carmichael, Calif.)

If you have trouble understanding the issues surrounding natural gas fracking in Pennsylvania or reasons for the Occupy movement, a good start might be Walter Brasch’s critically-acclaimed novel, Before the First Snow.

Skillfully mixing humor with tragedy, Brasch tells the story of Apryl Greene, a folksinger and photographer for labor unions and social causes. She’s a ’60s “flower child” who is trying to build a school for peace and the arts on 40 acres of land she owns along the Susquehanna River in rural Pennsylvania.

On the eve of the Persian Gulf War, with Iraq having invaded Kuwait and now holding 10 percent of the oil in the world, government and corporate business are playing to the fears of Americans by simultaneously pushing for war and for “clean” nuclear energy with well-paying jobs in a depressed economy. What they haven’t said is that real estate deception, government bungling, and manufacturing processes defects threaten the people’s health, safety, and environment. Brasch’s underlying theme is that social problems haven’t been solved, they just exist in different times under different conditions.

Into Apryl’s life comes David Ascher, cynical, liberal, and burdened with the responsibilities of being executive editor of a major magazine. On tour to promote his book about revolutionary journalists, he’s looking for another story; she’s after something more important. Together, they are driven to find out who are trying to seize her land; more important, why.

Literary critic Ron Primeau calls Before the First Snow “a brilliant book that touches the nerve of where political decisions intersect with the pulse of what it is to be human. The characters and events are vivid and the momentum is never lost. The layers of the plot and characterization work because the writing style is so fresh and clear.” Primeau praises Brasch’s deft handling of plot development. The odd-numbered chapters focus upon the present, leading to the invasion; the even-numbered chapters, each tying into the next one, are historical vignettes that begin in 1964 and also end with the beginning of Desert Storm. Apryl appears in all of the chapters, sometimes as a major character, sometimes for only a scene. But through her life, says Brasch, “We can feel the Movement as more than a collection of facts.”

The media, civil rights and civil liberties, the labor movement, the environment, and social activism thread their way through all chapters. Among the chapters are penetrating looks at the unionization of farm workers, the 1967 “Summer of Love,” the Chicago riots of 1968, a chapter that explores the life of a wounded veteran of the Vietnam War, and an interesting chapter that merges the lives of those who were at Woodstock with the soldiers at Kent State.

Michael Blake, the Oscar®-winning writer of “Dances With Wolves,” says Brasch is “an exceptional writer.” Dan Rather calls this fast-paced mystery, “First-rate fiction that explores and contemplates modern American history, culture, politics and journalism.” Rather points out, “What Brasch and his characters have to say about the intermingling of corporate and government power alone makes this book worth reading.” Heidi Prescott, senior vice-president of the Humane Society of the United States, says Before the First Snow is, “A powerful look at humanity and the reverence of life as seen through the lives of a social activist who never lost hope, and the reporter who covered her story.” The industry magazine, Independent Publisher, says Brasch “meticulously builds a scenario of greed, corruption, and intrigue, set against the backdrop of social protest. In so doing, he weaves a compelling story of history and contemporary American values.”

Brasch, a journalist/activist with roots in the ’60s, is an award-winning syndicated columnist and multimedia writer-producer. He also does a weekly commentary for several radio stations. Previously, he was a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and tenured full professor of mass communications.

This is Brasch’s 17th book. Most of his books blend history and contemporary social issues to make powerful insights into the collective consciousness of the American people. The Midwest Book Review noted that “Brasch is a master at weeding through the political lies, deceit, corruption, rhetoric, and hyperbole to help us find the truth. He is a man we need very much in today’s complex society.”

Before the First Snow is available from, most bookstores, or through his publisher’s website at


[Corey Ellen is a literary critic, whose writings appear primarily in West Coast media.]

Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.
Latest Book: Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution


Posted in Another Perspective, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

PTSD, Pretty Words and Reality.

I’m on Facebook. I see a lot of posts that advise us to live in the moment, to let the past go, to forgive ourselves and move on. Those are wonderful sentiments for some, I suppose. I guess there are truly people who can do those things and go on about their lives. I wish to whatever god might or might not exist that I was one of them.

I wake up every single morning of my life thinking about all the people I was directly responsible for their never waking up again. I don’t mean that as some sort of esoteric thought. I mean I wake up and I see the faces of those who I saw die and those I killed. I cannot forget them. They are there when I close my eyes at night and in my nightmares and when I wake up and when I see Facebook posts about some new atrocity my country has committed in my name and with my taxes.

I have been deeply ashamed of this country for many, many years. I have watched as Americans mindlessly cheer the deaths of people they do not know, in lands they didn’t even know existed until those people were murdered, for reasons they think they understand but don’t. I see normally intelligent people cheer these murders on when the murderer is of the same party as they follow and then get furious when the exact same murders are committed on orders from the party they do not follow. The women and children and men are just as dead and maimed regardless of which party ordered it but for some reason it matters to some people which party ordered it.

Bush started two completely unnecessary wars that Obama has gleefully supported and then pretended to call one war “finished” while leaving behind tens of thousands of the most vicious, violent mercenaries of modern times to guard the oil we stole. Obama ignores his own generals when they tell him that murdering more people will never result in any sort of “victory” but will only result in millions more hating us. Now he and his wealthy owners want to start another war and kill millions more and America yawns and goes back to arguing about issues that are meaningless to the government like religious demands concerning women’s bodies.

The difference between me and probably 99% of Americans is that when I hear about another school or hospital that we’ve bombed because there “might” have been someone we wanted dead inside, I don’t see the designated “terrorist” of the day, I see tiny little bodies torn to shreds, I see the faces of the parents as they frantically dig through the rubble and then I see their bodies being blown to small pieces as we bomb the rubble once again. This is reality. This is what is happening in my name. Over and over and over. I’ve heard it estimated that we murder hundreds of innocent men, women and children for ever person some faceless ass decides is the “terrorist de jour”.

I can’t put the horrors I committed behind me with a pretty picture and a few nice words because I am reminded every single day of what I did by seeing that it has never stopped. It just changed locations on the planet. The faces I see, the cries I constantly hear, the tiny bodies I watched wailing parents try to reassemble are directly related to the exact same scenes that are played out every single day in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Somalia and, in the next few weeks, in Iran. I can’t leave them behind because they keep piling up. I can’t forgive myself because what I did is still happening and I am powerless to stop it. And it’s all wrapped in the filthy flag and supported by a sick religion.

So you can post your pretty pictures of the murderer that’s our current President and make fun of the halfwits that want to take his place but no matter who you vote for, the dead will pile up and the hate will grow and the world continue to reek of death. And every single morning I will awaken and know that more people died that night that never needed to die and when I go to bed I think about those who died that day that never knew why we murdered them and who will spend whatever remains of their lives mourning their husbands and wives and children and brothers and sisters.

I realize that very few of you have any idea what I’m talking about. To you I highly recommend that you spend every waking moment thanking whatever power you think exists that you do not understand. Be forever thankful that you do not understand the feeling of being too much of a coward to end the sorrow by suicide so you look forward every day to when time and circumstance end it for you. I can NEVER apologize to those I’ve killed nor to those my country has killed and that breaks my heart every day.

I don’t believe in the Bronze Age fantasies of heaven and hell so I see no time when I will ever meet those souls again. I took sons from their mothers and fathers from their children and that is how it will forever be. I behaved in ways so evil that I am still stunned that I could ever have been so damned eager to do it. I can’t take it back. I can’t repay that debt to the universe.

If you have even one single thought about participating in the hell that this nation is inflicting on the world then you will be as damned as I am or you started out with no soul to damage. Every war can be avoided. Every death is useless. Every nightmare is hell that never need happen. They call it PTSD but I call it my personal hell. It’s not a pretty place and I want to leave.

So, I wish I could take that lovely advice and forget what I’ve done and what it sounded like when I did it but I can’t and my heart says I never should because to accept or, worse, to forget is to dishonor their lives and deaths. When I finally die, the memories of many, many people will die with me. Forever and ever.

Posted in Another Perspective, Politics, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments