First published as a radio commentary in 2005. The number of dead American soldiers is now above 3,600. Some say there are over 700,000 Iraqis dead from the Iraq war and occupation.
Hi, this is Jody Paulson from Moscow, ID with what they don't tell you.
If you woke up to the Washington Post on Aug 5, 1964, you would have read in big bold letters, "American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression." We now know there was no second attack, just as we now know there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
At the end of 1964, three years after the war had officially begun on Dec 11, 1961, 216 American soldiers were killed in Vietnam. At the end of 1965, that number rose to 1,926. Today in Washington DC there's a wall with over fifty eight thousand names on it. Perhaps there's a few names you know. A generation later, as of Feb 7th '05, almost 2 years into the current war, 1,448 American soldiers have been shipped out Bagdad in a box.
In the March of 1968, after weeks of their ranks being culled by maiming and death, Charlie Company entered the village of My Lai and massacred over 300 unarmed civilians including women, children, and the elderly. Recently a doctor told Dahr Jamail, one of the only unembedded American reporters in Iraq, that he had videotaped the testimony of a 16 year old girl who was trapped in her home in Fallujah for three days with the decaying bodies of her family members. "When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything." The girl and her brother hid behind a refrigerator as "they beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head," causing her brother to fly at them in a rage. He was shot dead.
The doctor's first hand assessment of the besieged city is "All I can say is that Fallujah is like it was struck by a tsunami. There weren't many families in there after the siege, but they had absolutely nothing. The suffering was beyond what you can imagine. When the Americans finally let us in people were fighting just for a blanket."
We are engaged in a war we cannot win. George Santayana once wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." With a looming economic disaster and the whole world against us, can this nation really survive another Vietnam?
I'm Jody Paulson, and I just thought you should know.