James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A son in service doesn't mean support for Bush

The midterm elections approach rapidly, my head is full of observations and my files (and fire-hazard stacks of paper on desk and floor and chairs) are full of information that has been ignored or grossly underplayed by the corporate news operations. Yet I haven't done any writing or posted anything new here.

Some things are more important, on a very personal level, even to one who is full of passion and anger about the state of our nation.

Our youngest kid is home on leave from the military, a substantial leave, before heading off again to foreign places. He enlisted more than three years ago because, like so many others, he could not find a decent place in this out-sourced, minimum-wage, hand-to-mouth Republican economy.

I've spent as much time as possible with him, without intruding on his need to spend time with others, and will continue to do so for another week. He'll be away this weekend, visiting relatives, so maybe I'll get some work done.

He is not headed for Iraq or Afghanistan, a fact for which we are deeply grateful, and the odds at this point are that he won't be shipped off to Iran either. There could be some shooting where he's going next – minor by comparison with the horrors of the Mideast – but the danger level is not terribly high.

Still, parents worry and try not to worry.

The fact that I have a son in the military does not for a second change my belief about the wrongness of the war in Iraq nor my rage at the very thought that the madmen in the White House might bombard Iran. I cannot understand those parents of soldiers who cling to the irrational belief that George W. Bush and the empire-lusting neocons have done what they have done to “protect us from terrorists” and "rid the world of an evil dictator."

Apparently some people cling desperately to the fantasy rather than face the fact that their sons and daughters are dying to further enrich a handful of billionaires who want more and more wealth and power, always more, beyond any possibility of satiation.

One of my wife's brothers died needlessly in Vietnam, killed by what is known as “friendly fire,” a horrible phrase. Someone made a mistake, he was blown to pieces.

The army lied to his parents about what happened; they discovered the truth a year or two after his death when they talked to a man who was with their son at the time he was killed.

Such lies are the norm. They are part of the pattern of death-producing fabrications that is created on high by the fools and sociopaths who have led this country into one disaster after another over the last 45 years – led us there to feed their own fantasies and unlimited greed.

To allow such madness to continue, to accept the lies, even if they offer comfort in the face of the death of a child or brother or sister or spouse or parent, is to permit the terrible needless suffering of other young people, the death and maiming of other children and brothers and sisters and spouses and parents.

It must stop.