Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Will They Ever Learn?

                                             Photomontage: Gail F. Wilson

I have never considered myself a particularly political person, but my views on war are becoming more concrete and clear as I get older (and wiser?). I recently became involved in a cool project, sponsored by History and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, whereby every name on the Vietnam Wall will have a photo associated with it. A gentleman involved with the project called to interview me about my experience of losing my dad in Vietnam. He then went on to question me about our more recent conflicts. While it's difficult to answer the question, "Knowing what you know now, would you still have supported [fill in the blank]?" what I can answer is there has got to be more thought given to our intentions, our expected consequences, and any potential unintentional consequences.

I recently heard a reporter state that Iraq and Afghanistan can never happen again, as in, they won't because we'll talk things through. Based on my increasing jaded and cynical outlook on war, I don't believe that and here's one reason why. In 1958 my Father was sent to Vietnam as an "Advisor", he went back 10 years later and was killed. Our country just sent 100 "Advisors" to Uganda . . . what are the consequences? Are they there to "talk"? Or are they there to stay and escalate in numbers?

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