Home Opinion Dear Editor Much to be said on war and violence

Much to be said on war and violence


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

AH1100 – 1200 hours on 19 April 2017, a large number of Vietnam War veterans gathered in Artesia to commemorate the war. It was one of the most uncomfortable hours I have experienced. It was full of spin echoing the party line we heard from the government of the time. This is not intended to detract from the honor of their sacrifice and hell resulting from a war we should not have entered.
Our leaders claimed we were protecting the U.S. when we were seeking to restore Western control. It was started as the rebellion against an ally and colonial power. They were fighting for their own land against foreign power, like the other two revolutionary wars. The rebels won two out of three.
I agree that wars start over economic issues. War is the ultimate evil and greed, the primary force, is “the root of all evil” 2 Timothy 3:10. We call it the “profit motive.”
Mass insanity is a good description of a war. We keep waging war when nobody wins an argument or a war, but still we keep doing it.
War is evidence of shattered mental health. I was a veteran and graduate student as well as a former National Guard member when the massacre at Kent State happened.
Kent State was not the only massacre, but the Vietnam villages were massacred, and when discovered, the junior officers were left to take care of the fall like Lt. Calley who led a platoon in the massacre of a hamlet, My Lai. They could not have done otherwise without being court-martialed for disobeying orders. As usual, the action backfired when we used Agent Orange to defoliate the jungle by infecting our soldiers. We cannot rightly hold the junior officers accountable for its use. Did we learn nothing from the Nuremburg trials?
We did it again in Iraq, waging war on the people who do all they can to survive. Americans were verbally attacked, being blamed for “losing” the war and the veterans were the exonerated. I’m sure that the veterans of the war knew better. People, both in Vietnam and America, knew the behavior created enemies and that the problem was in Washington.
We entered combat for sure because of a lie, which was not the first and probably not the last. We made the same mistakes in Iraq, deceit and marking the killings up to collateral damage.
We must eliminate win at all costs and adopt the life principle, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.”
There is much more to say about war violence and mental health, but that must wait for another letter or letters.
G. Stanley McConnell