Re: US Choppers Slaying Reporters, Civilians

The disturbing footage of the US military in action will be excused by many conservative warmongers in one of two ways (or perhaps both). One, although the incident is unfortunate, collateral damage is inevitable, and this incident should not discredit the greater good that is the war on terror in Iraq. And two, the people killed must have been terrorists, harbored terrorists, or supported terrorists. And if none of these three, then they must know terrorists, have done business with terrorists, or might possibly know or do business with terrorists in the future. Heck, if they live in Iraq they are Muslims and therefore potential terrorists so we might as well fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.

Update: Something just as disturbing is the comment section about this on

Letter to a Christian Young Man Regarding Joining the Military

Back on February 13, 2009, I wrote a “Letter to a Christian Young Man Regarding Joining the Military.” At the end of the letter I included this appeal:

If any readers are veterans, consider themselves to be Christians, agree with the sentiments expressed in this letter, and would be willing to let me append their name, branch, and rank to any future use of this letter, please contact me at The fact that you “served” and I didn’t might be what is needed to help persuade some young man (or woman) to not join the military.

I have now posted this letter on my website with the names of about 40 Christian veterans who contacted me. If you are a Christian veteran and wish to have your name added, please contact me with your name, branch, and rank and I will add your information right away.

Gitmo 9/11 Suspects

Some thoughts on the Gitmo 9/11 suspects that are supposedly behind 9/11 and are due to come to New York for a civilian trial:

1. Why haven’t they been brought to trial years before now? We didn’t just discover that they were behind the attacks.
2. Why are we fighting in Iraq? If the ones behind 9/11 are in custody, why are we killing people in Iraq at the cost of more American lives than were killed on 9/11?
3. Why are we fighting in Afghanistan? If the ones behind 9/11 are in custody, why are we killing people in Iraq at the cost of more American lives than were killed on 9/11?
4. What about Osama bin Laden? I thought he was behind it all. Isn’t that why we went into Afghanistan?
5. Why are these men being tried and possibly facing the death penalty? The actual murderers perished in the planes they hijacked.

Am I excusing anything these men may have had to do with 9/11? Certainly not. But neither do I make excuses for the U.S. foreign policy that created terrorists.

I Have the Answer

NPR (All Things Considered) is devoting an entire hour of programming today to the war in Afghanistan. The show was prefaced with a comment something like “We don’t have all the answers.” Well, I have the answer: Get out! Get out now before one more Afghan dies, before one more U.S. soldier dies, before one more dollar is spent. Get out now. Like Vietnam, we will eventually get out. The question is how many more Afghans will die before we do? How many more U.S. soldiers will die before we do? How many more billions of dollars will be wasted before we do? And how many more terrorists will we create before we leave? As Daniel Ellsberg recently said, sending more troops to Afghanistan will only increase the Taliban’s strength:

The more troops we put in Vietnam, the more Vietcong were recruited. And, the more troops we put in Afghanistan, the curve shows very clearly from 2005 on, the Taliban has come back having been, as you say, despised and reviled by most of the country. How can it be that they get the degree of support that they do now? One reason only: the number of troops, of US troops that they are fighting.

Vietnam: Still an Unjust War

Military enthusiasts in Pennsylvania have begun re-enacting, not the Civil War, but the Vietnam War. The stated purpose is to honor and pay tribute to Vietnam veterans. “It was time for us to be proud of what were called on to do, even though it turned out to be a very unpopular thing,” said one Army veteran.

I know two Vietnam veterans that would disagree. James Glaser and Michael Gaddy are not proud of their service killing in Vietnam.

Since the death of Walter Cronkite, I have heard some conservatives moaning about some things he said during the Vietnam War.  After a lecture I gave earlier this summer, a critic in the audience tried to defend the Vietnam War. But the war in Vietnam wasn’t just a mistake or mishandled, it was an unjust war that senselessly slaughtered millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians for the crime of being “commies,” “gooks,” or just being in the way. 58,000 American soldiers died while helping to perpetrate this slaughter. Why should we pay them tribute? The war in Vietnam is undefendable. It is still an unjust war.