Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong wrote this song, sung by Edwin Starr. This is a protest song about the Vietnam War, although it makes a broader statement of the need for peace and harmony in our everyday lives. Never has it been as obvious and appropriate as it is today. The last U.S. combat brigade leaves Iraq. In many ways this war compares to the Vietnam war. (58,196 American casualties in Vietnam/ 31,907 casualties in Iraq)
Americans have grown weary of hearing about how we’re spending billions to fix Iraq’s broken democracy and Afghanistan’s non-existent government when we are trillions of dollars in debt on the homeland. And in the early amber pre-dawn hours just before the sun greets the day, soldiers began to clamor over into Kuwait, with a few hundred members staying behind to wrap up administrative and logistical duties. They will fly out of Baghdad later Thursday. Do you think these soldiers will be treated like the Vietnam veterans? Is this homecoming overdue?
1,366,350 Iraqi deaths. 320,000 American Vets have brain injuries.18 American Vet suicides per day.Vietnam vets came home with post-traumatic stress syndrome, exposure to Agent Orange, disfigured, and handicapped. Just like soldiers returning from Desert Storm had been exposed to mustard gas. Many, if not most who endured serious combat are mentally insane. These are borderline POSTAL people. These soldiers will be thrown back into civilian society. Am I the only one who is concerned about their mental state? If you use the military death rates as a barometer of how intense these conflicts were then the Vietnam War was much bloodier than Iraq/Afghanistan, though not nearly as bloody as WWII and about the same as Korea and The War of 1812. American troops in Iraq cross the border into Kuwait bringing over seven years of unhappy conflict to its final, conclusive end.
And the question still remains, where are the weapons of mass destruction? What ever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Where are the chemical and biological weapons? Did we ever find the nuclear weapons that Colin Powell claimed Saddam Hussein was developing back in 2002? Just curious, if democracy is still not established in Iraq, what was the purpose of our soldiers being there for seven years?
Some proponents of the occupation in Iraq claim that it puts us at an advantage with access to oil resources. However, the top five exporting countries accounting for 66% of United States crude oil imports in May while the top ten sources accounting for approximately 86% of all U.S. crude oil imports are as follows: The top five sources of U.S. crude oil imports for May were Canada (1.997 million barrels per day), Mexico (1.290 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1.093 million barrels per day), Venezuela (1.011 million barrels per day), and Nigeria (1.004 million barrels per day). Canada remained the largest exporter of total petroleum in May, exporting 2.527 million barrels per day to the United States, which is an increase from last month (2.486 thousand barrels per day). The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Mexico with 1.428 million barrels per day. Again I ask why we have occupied Iraq for this long. Someone? Anyone?
"In a lot of respects, we are back to square one," said Anthony Shadid, a Baghdad-based correspondent for The New York Times. "The landscape looks a lot like it did back in March after the election."
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record showed that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.
“I believe President George W. Bush's decision to initiate war in Iraq will be the greatest and most costly blunder in American history,” Said Republican Rep. Paul Findley.
The reality is that it was widely reported that Saddam Hussein had made a plan to assassinate the elder George (H.W.) Bush after the Persian Gulf War. The plan was thwarted but it was rumored that George W. Bush still held a grudge. It was speculated that September 11 provided the younger Bush the opportunity to strike back at Hussein and he took it.
Whether this is true or not is up to speculation but one thing is for certain, it was a strange maneuver to suddenly turn from the war in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden the one responsible for 9/11 and then direct more than 100,000 troops to invade Iraq who for all intents and purposes was occupying a neutral position. Time will only reveal the true reasons for the occupation of Iraq.
A magnet and training ground for terrorists from throughout the Middle East was created; women's rights took a big step backward; about a third of Iraqi Christians have been driven out of the country by Shiite Muslim fanatics; and the Iraq government was put in the hands of Shiite Muslims friendly to Iran, thus, losing a counterweight to Iran in the region.
The cost of War in Iraq, according to the National Priorities Project is upwards $742,306, 210, 536 and growing every minute, which are funds and resources that could have been used to bolster this great nation to a level only rivaled by Rome, Persia, Greece, and Egypt. Just imagine the possibilities. And the countless lives lost during this senseless and pointless war could have been lives that elevated and evolved technology, culture, agriculture, the economy, the workforce, inventions, literature, and an overall more abundant and richer life in this country.