This thought about war came to me today on news about other nations around the world seeking to rein in aggression by the USA.
My thought was about using the last stanza of W.H. Auden's poem "Oh What is That Sound" for a letter to friends. While looking for the exact wording on line I found it on Axis of Logic and included it in my letter. I'd first had these thoughts when shortly after the "End of Combat Operations" we started doing door to door searches for the "bad guys" in Iraq, much like the Redcoats did in 1776.
Below is my letter to friends
The Poem "O What is that Sound" by W.H. Auden ends with
O it's broken the lock and splintered the door,
O it's the gate where they're turning, turning;
Their boots are heavy on the floor
And their eyes are burning.
When the broken lock and splintered door was between US Army troops and SS troops, its was a good thing ...
between American Patriots and Redcoats a bad thing
between US Marines on Guadalcanal and Japanese troops a good thing
between Homeland Security and a homeowner hit on a drug raid on the wrong address a bad thing
between 1st Cav in Hue and the NVA a good thing
between the National Guard and gun owners in New Orleans a bad thing*
between American Army troops and British at New Orleans in 1814 a good thing
between the 1st Cav and Iraqi freedom fighters/homeowners in Iraq a bad thing
Its NOT the broken lock and splintered door, its who is on the opposite sides of the door.
* link to "Help Finally Arrives in New Orleans"
End of my letter. To a brother I then commented ...
There's a picture on that link with National Guard troops rifles ready to fire in New Orleans that really pisses me off. Should have been a US Army brigade of Chinooks, about 44 of them landing on flooded roofs, searching for trapped homeowners, unloading water, and flying people out of the super dome, doing real relief work.
To the editor of Axis of Logic:
I'm a combat vet of Vietnam, flew as a crew chief/door gunner with the 1st Air Cav, Jun '67-'Jun '68, was there for Tet of '68, the battle for Hue, the relief of the Marines at Khe Sahn, and the A Shau Valley in April '68.
We should have recognized an independent Vietnam in 1946 under Ho. Self Determination of Nations was a UN goal then. Ho's forces rescued American Pilots and got them to safety in China. The Vichy French turned the pilots they captured over the the Japanese who executed them. With a free Vietnam, neither the French Indo China war, nor "our" Vietnam war would have happened. No Dien Bien Phu, no Hamburger Hill (A Shau Valley II 1969) no millions of dead civilians
Had we stayed out of WWI, there would have been no Hitler or Stalin.
My hope is that perhaps France and China and Russia will use IMD's on America (financial Insturments of Market Destruction), and rein the USA in. It would be a better world.
You have my permission to use any of this letter
406 South Prospect Street
War, it's Madness, Sheer Madness
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