by Edgar J. Steele
April 23, 2003
These are extraordinarily perilous times. As regulars followers of this list know, I believe we have embarked upon a path which leads to World War III, the first war started by America. It is for that reason that I have so adamantly opposed America's actions abroad, of late.
And, no, I do not consider it necessary to close ranks and support the President once the shooting starts - not when we shot first. (Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and obviously had no "weapons of mass destruction.") And, no, I do not consider it necessary to support our troops in everything that they might do.
I have taken a lot of heat from a lot of sources for these positions, yet I refuse to budge even one inch from the standards imposed by my principles.
Some have dismissed what I have reported out of hand, as being lies created by myself or forwarded out of my desire to harm America. Neither is true. Would that it were. I would much prefer merely to be deluded, to the reality of what America is becoming - and what some of her sons now are doing in her name.
I forward with this email a couple of photos. Generally, I avoid forwarding photos, though I receive many from all over the world every day. There are sundry reasons for not doing so; suffice to say that I endeavor to maintain a certain loft with these columns. When I have incorporated photographs, it has been pointedly to dispel misperceptions. That is my reason tonight and I do not do so lightly.
A correspondent of mine from the Middle East, whom I will not identify so as to ensure his safety, forwarded the images I include herein. It is important for America to see them.
Some were offended by my reporting that American soldiers had countenanced looting, some even encouraging it and still others actively participating in it themselves. Many refuse to believe any of these things possible. The following photo is of American marines in one of the Baghdad museums. It speaks for itself.
Similarly, the next image speaks volumes. Yes, the Iraqi soldiers in the foxhole are dead. Yes, that is a white flag on a stick jutting up out of the hole. Yes, those are American marines again.
I have no reason to believe that the marines in the second picture had anything to do with the deaths of the Iraqis shown, of course, but I am sure those men did not commit suicide.
In 1970, while I was back home in Seattle on leave from my unit, I met up with a college chum who had just volunteered for his second tour of duty with the Army in Viet Nam. He showed me a series of photographs of dead Vietnamese who he claimed he personally had killed. Some were soldiers, some were not. Some were armed, some were not. He carried them around with him always, he said, as one might carry photos of one's children, so proud was he. He might as well have made a necklace of his victims' ears (don't laugh - some did that very thing). Clearly, he had gone completely native, something like the message of the movie "Apocalypse Now." I have never seen him since.
War does funny things to people, even when (especially when?) they are on the side of overwhelming superior force. However, I firmly believe that following orders is no excuse for murder or looting.
This is not a just war in which we are engaged. Nor are we acting with compassion and proper motives at all times. Now we are preparing to enter into Syria and Lebanon. This we must not do. The killing must stop now. No more can we afford to do Israel's bidding, for we are losing our souls as we "go native."
I am not yet ashamed of America - I love her so. But, I am ashamed for some Americans.
New America. An idea whose time has come.
Copyright ©2003, Edgar J. Steele
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