Action alert by Ed Flaherty –
Please join Veterans For Peace and PEACE Iowa at the Clinton St/Iowa Ave entrance to the Pentacrest in Iowa City at 5:30 – 6:00 PM on Monday, March 19th for a 15-Year Peace Vigil.
The middle of the month of March is a muddle of murky memories. March 16th marks fifty years since the U.S. massacre of 500 Vietnamese civilians in the village of My Lai. It epitomized the disgrace and shame of a war built on lies which claimed 58,272 American lives and over three million SE Asian lives. But that was more than 40 years ago, and University of Iowa students have no memory of it.
March 19th marks the beginning of another US war built on lies, 15 years ago in 2003, with Iraq the target. Most University of Iowa students were alive then, but most too young to have clear memories of it.
But, as William Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” So it is with the Vietnam War, so it is with the Iraq War. 500,000 US veterans of the Iraq war have PTSD. We still had over 5000 troops in Iraq as of a few months ago, and how many are there now? How much educational expenses could be covered by the trillion dollars we have spent directly on the Iraq war? What about the state of affairs in Iraq today, having lost hundreds of thousands of lives in the US war and with infrastructure and social structure severely fractured? Maybe most importantly, what can we learn from these tragedies?
We must do more than mourn the past. We must learn from it and build a better present and future.