By Susan Wilke
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — In response to the recent editorials concerning our need to go into Syria, I offer some different viewpoints. This is history repeating itself starting with another country in a civil war in the ’60s and ’70s, Vietnam.
We were convinced that it was the Chinese who were aiding the North Vietnamese and would eventually take over the rest of Southeast Asia. It turned out it was not true but we stayed in this protracted conflict for years continuing to kill tens of thousands of civilians and our own troops.
We also introduced our own chemical weapons in this war. Napalm burns skin on contact, and Agent Orange, a defoliate used to destroy food crops, that also contained dioxins that caused cancer in the civilian population as well horrendous birth defects that are still being seen today three generations later. Agent Orange has also affected our troops and some of their children as well.
Agent Orange was made by a chemical company, Monsanto, just one partner in a group of military contractors of the military industrial complex.
Fast forward after the tragedy of 9/11 in 2001. Who was to blame? Instead of treating the bombing of the World Trade Center as a criminal conspiracy and using stealth and intelligence information to locate and capture Osama Bin Laden to bring him to justice, we end up bombing Afghanistan killing innocent civilians. In addition, we are now using drones that supposedly only kill Taliban and not innocent civilians, pure hubris.
If that was not enough, George W. Bush wanted to finish what his father couldn’t finish, part two of the war with Iraq. The excuse was made that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraqi territory even after UN inspectors went into the country and found none. We invaded anyways. The people and entities who made out big time, again at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers and the misery of the Iraqi civilians, were the military contractors.
The real reason to go into Iraq was to take over the second largest oil reserves in the world and denationalize the oil industry which belonged to the people of Iraq and privatize it so as to lower the price to sell it to the world’s largest oil companies, like Exxon Mobile, Chevron and British Petroleum. The military industrial complex is one of the biggest consumers of oil.
In this war, the military contractors introduced something as deadly as chemical weapons to Iraq’s civilian population called depleted uranium ammunition for tanks and artillery.
So why are we taking the high moral ground about Syria using poison gas when we have been pushed by military contractors to violate the same laws that forbid the use of chemical agents? As for Bashal Al-Assad, he is cruel to his own people but no more a threat on the international scene as Saddam Hussein. Neither of them had or have the power to threaten the world that Adolph Hitler had during World War II. Why kill more Syrians with bullets to stop Al-Assad and add more pain to misery?
It is just another excuse to get into another war and give our money to the military contractors while our own needs are ignored here at home. I leave you with the words of wisdom of a WWII career soldier, general and later U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower who said, “When people speak to you about preventive war, you tell them to fight it themselves. I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.” Most Americans would agree with this statement.Susan Wilke is a North Tonawanda resident.