The War Around Us
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Torture is a barbaric perversion, and yields no reliable intelligence. I am a founding member of Veterans Against Torture. Visit us here!

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Shrapnel-marked souvenir from the Iron Triangle, Republic of Vietnam, 1969

Click here, (my e-mail) to send your questions or comments.

Visit Poets Against the War. Most of the stuff is better than my humble poem (below).

The War Around Us

by Wolfgang P. May

Advisory Team Leader, Republic of Vietnam
 
About war much has been written.
More must yet be said
by those who saw them die,
so that the dead may rest,
and sight be gained,
to see war
for what it was and is:
 
War is not fighting,
though fighting's what we see,
nor is it death,
for death is but its end.
It is the rancor of disunited hearts,
the death of love,
the end of hope.
 
The war around us echoes in our hearts,
and grants it life.
Once, mortals dared to tame
this ancient beast,
and yet it thrives.
Each age must fight this force again
- or pay its price!
 
Peace!
 
Yes, I did see a few men die, and there were quite a few times when I had serious doubts about my own survival.  On some of those occasions, I was saved by the bravery of a few good men among the mountain tribes of Vietnam, the "Montagnards", whom our American government has disavowed, and whose survival today is very much in question.  According to a Special Forces document linked on this site, our Montagnards accounted for about half of all ground combat intelligence, probably saving thousands of American lives.  Most of the Montagnards are Christians, and they are now being brutally persecuted for these beliefs. Neither our government, nor any of our churches seem even vaguely interested in their plight, perhaps a reflection of their own shallow dedication to their faith.
 
My good friend, Mr. Kok Ksor, a member of the Jarai tribe, and the current head of the Montagnard Foundation, has tried in vain to secure some support among our American legislators.  Fortunately, he has been more warmly received by the European Parliament, and their legislators are now attempting to use their influence to enhance the Montagnard chances of survival in Vietnam.  If you can help him to submit his story about the ongoing torment of Montagnard Christians to your home town newspaper, please contact him at the link under this paragraph, and tell him I sent you! All he needs from you is a name and an e-mail address of a journalist.  He will do the rest.  You'll feel better about yourself for several days - perhaps longer.  I guarantee it!
 
Those who abandon their allies will ultimately have to fight for their own survival alone, abandoned by the rest of the world.  

Click here to visit my friends at the Montagnard Foundation. Tell Mr. Kok Ksor that I sent you!

All governments, all of them, without exception, lie to their citizens, when their leaders decide to plunge the nation entrusted to them into a war. In addition to developing fictitious reasons for a conflict for which they alone are mostly or fully responsible, they weave a clever tapestry of emotional reasons which fraudulently seem to justify the coming slaughter. With a condescendingly patronizing air, tinged with contempt toward the less affluent citizens of their country, whose sons and daughters will be doing most of the fighting, they count on a subservient media to portray their war as a consecrated and enobling crusade for justice, and besides, watching the spectacle on their home television set will, after all, be great entertainment for the whole family. 
 
Here is an e-mail I received a few hours before the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003: "Reality Check - Just remember while you watch the war on TV, which they have given a name like 'Countdown to Liberty' 'March to Freedom' etc, etc, complete with producers and directors, and for which they are encouraging you to become armchair generals, pretending that you're watching another made for TV reality show - this is as real as it gets, folks. Real lives! Real Blood! Real Guts!! Pray for our spouses, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends, who are about to enter this conflict, and the countless innocent people caught in the middle." 
 
During any war, beware of the information you hear and see about the conflict.  You may safely assume that the mass media and the government they have always promoted in the past are tuned to the same frequency. "The first casualty, when war comes, is the truth" said U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917.  Not much has really changed since then. 
 
Should you be unfortunate enough to serve in a war, despite your misgivings, trust those who have experienced war on a very personal level, and beware the advice of the many deceivers in our midst, who portray war as a character-building adventure, which broadens your horizons, and turns a boy into a man. 
 
Above all, try to wipe the images of the war movies you have seen from your unconscious mind - that portion of your consciousness which has a great deal to do with your "instinctive" reactions to dangerous situations. 
 
In a real war, you would not survive very long by imitating your phony "action" heroes. Instead, listen to the non-commissioned officers who trained you, and who are the backbone of every army. 
 
Follow the officers who are responsible for your safety, and who hate to write letters to your next of kin more than anything.  (That was my greatest fear in Vietnam, and it kept me up for several hours before each major operation, studying the map of the target area, visualizing the terrain features from the contour lines, and plotting the artillery concentrations I would request in case we ran into problems.  I am humbly grateful that I did not have to write even one of those horrible letters.)
 
Trust those who have survived combat for several weeks and months.  Whatever your religion, keep the channels to your Creator - whatever you believe Him to be, open.  You will need His help, and you may see Him face to face long before you expect your life to end.
 
When you return safely to your loved ones, tell them honestly about everything you have witnessed and experienced. Write it all down, and if possible, display much of that vital information, which might save the lives of to the potential victims of the next war, on your own web page, for the entire world to see. In return for carrying some advertising, most of these sites cost you nothing except your time.
 
If you have served in combat, if you have dodged some bullets, mines, mortars, and bombs that seemed to have had your name engraved on their tips, writing it all down for your friends, your "enemies", and those few who profit from our world's sufferings to see, will help to bring us together, and perhaps, just perhaps, you may even shame some of those hard-nosed amoral (without moral principles) swine who profit from the murder of others.
 
Our world needs as many witnesses to the realities and tragedies of war as we can possibly get. We need an interchange of honest information and opinion, from as many diverse viewpoints as possible - both from "our" side and from that of the "enemy". Your faithful testimony will one day build bridges across the abyss which separates the many cultures of our world, and provide a desperately needed appreciation and understanding of our common humanity. 
 
You will be providing fair warning to the new, ever gullible potential participants of future wars of their terrible reality, and rob the pious purveyors of poisonous propaganda of their undeserved mantle of repectability.
 
With your help, we shall identify and warn others about the evil men who lead us into unnecessary wars under false pretenses.  The Modern Desk Edition of Webster's New World Dictionary defines evil as: "Morally bad or wrong, wicked, harmful, injurious". Does anyone fit that definition better than a national leader, who abuses the trust of his citizens by consciously and deliberately prostituting himself to the pagan god of war, instead of the true God, whom he falsely professes to obey? Be not afraid to bear witness to the deceptions of these thoroughly corrupt and evil men (and women).  Wake up, and become part of the solution, for yourself, for your family, for all of us.
 
Only by facing the vile deceptions by the men and women we once trusted, and making others aware of their evil machinations, can we hope to disarm the perpetual cycle of violence, which can, and probably will one day end all life on this small and fragile planet.
 
It is bad enough that vile and disgusting manipulators of public opinion seek to lure us into ever expanding global slaughterhouses.  It is even more reprehensible when these same men avoided these same dangers when they were young, choosing to hide behind their mothers' skirts, like this mythical knight from a Monty Python skit: 

 

Visit Hung Dong Huyn, an American who served during the toughest period of our war in Vietnam

Click here for Rense.com. Great antiwar information.

Middle Earth Journal, by Ron Beasley: YES! Bush has pissed off most of our friends!

Bravery is a deception, which works as long as you are the only one who knows that you are afraid. Click here to read about my war experiences in Vietnam: