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By Allen Meece
In 1964 I was a seaman aboard a big new destroyer that was crossing the Pacific to provoke war with Vietnam from inside their Tonkin Gulf. In boot camp, we were taught the fake excuse for provoking a war, the "Falling Domino Theory." We had to stop the "communist monolith" which wanted to invade our country and abolish our freedoms and take our cars and girlfriends! We were told nothing about the capitalist hatred of socialism, love for the domination of foreign politics, trade, and resources. We had to defend. The best defense is a spirited offense, so we sent our high tech, high-powered war machine to a little rice-pot country called Vietnam, a primitive country smaller than California. It might take a year or two to beat them into anti-communists.
Eleven years later, in 1975, we turned our backs on those tough socialist guerillas and went home without apologizing for our atrocity and destruction. Twenty years after that, we gave them the status of a favorite trading partner, and we simply purchase the natural resources for which we killed. With remarkable self-control, they stopped wanting to invade Redondo Beach.
Half a century later, I'm researching why fifty-eight thousand of my brothers and sisters-in-arms and two million Vietnamese civilians and soldiers had to die for a lie that the enemy was threatening my country. Subsequent continual wars show that it was about economic power, not for defending our lives.
I had hoped that all those names on the Vietnam Wall would teach us to never again use violence to change the politics of another sovereign nation. Sadly, their message is being ignored by a mercenary government. As valorous as those fallen are, it seems they died in vain because our politicians are still listening to the war drums secretly manipulated by the power elite; the rich big shots with PR machines and lobbyists.
After seeing American military incursions into a string of socialist-leaning countries in the middle east all the way from Afghanistan to Libya, I've learned a few facts that the corporate media censors; our capitalist owners hate socialism, truly hate it, period. They fear that socialists will take their stuff and leave them as poor as everyone else. For an avaricious rich person, bankruptcy is death, so they freely kill for them and defend their status and to get even more stuff by exploiting foreign economies.
Warfare is welfare-for corporations. They know that any money gambled on promoting warfare can pay thousand-percent jackpot returns. That is why they'll never stop pushing for war. Their strategy is effective. That is why there is a "Warfare State."
They pay their "think tanks" to conduct anti-social and pro-war "research" and then give the fake results to public relations firms that convince the public mind that war produces peace and prosperity. Then the lobbyists sell the same lie in Congress. Our "representatives" endorse those corporate messages from whence cometh the gravy known as campaign funds. Some political scholars call it simple bribery.
Welcome to continual war. The mercantile minds who run it want quick obsolescence and disposal of everything they sell and so to them, war beats peace. The military/industrial marketplace is the God. The little people are ants.
The necessary first step out of this toxic swamp is to put an end to the bribery of commercial campaign funding. Replace it with flat rate campaign funding by the citizens' government. Show them who elected them. Then our representatives would at least have the option to ignore the endless drums of forever war.
Allen Meece is the author of "Tin Can," a novel about the Tonkin Gulf Incident, available at Amazon.com.
US Navy, DD950 destroyer which Allen Meece served on 1964-67.