By Javier Rodriguez 26 April 2012 from Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico
The US-Viet Nam war was a war of aggression against a people who never, not once, set foot on US soil to kill or bomb this country. It was not a war for freedom as the apologists of the empire like to say. That war, with US soldiers, Latinos, blacks and working class Americans, plus hundreds upon hundreds of war planes that dropped tens of thousands of bombs, sorties they called them, killed over 2 million Vietnamese people and injured that many more, men, women and children and like recent US bombing of Iraq, also demolished the country.
Of course the war generals also implemented the popular slogan “destroy the village in order to save it” which in practical terms ravaged the countryside with special killing platoons, assassinating and massacring villagers, such as the infamous attack on My Lai. Additionally and indiscriminately, they also used napalm, the war’s freedom chemical of choice, on those people. The napalm automatically affected thousands of soldiers, including Latino combatants.
That war was no different than the occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, the war against that other colonial power, Spain, the recent coup de tat against President Manuel Celaya and the democratically elected government in Honduras, and this one in particular hits the veins, the war on Mexico, where we lost over half of the territory. Indisputably history says, they have all been fabricated. No exceptions. The United States of America, with manifest destiny as its guiding moral civilizing light, has perpetually, engaged in wars of expansion, pillage and the stealing of conquered lands and their natural resources, that is oil and natural gas amongst many others.
Essentially, that’s how the foundation of this country was laid. It started with the stealing of the land from the native indigenous people of America -the ones who gave us thanksgiving- then slaughtering them, and the remainder placed in reservations. Some like the Apaches, who resisted like the Vietnamese, were defeated and moved two thousand miles from the Southwest, their natural lands. At the same time they were exterminating Indians, they needed labor so they brought white indentured slaves from Europe. Then it was African slaves by the millions, no visa, with no salaries paid or no freedoms of any kind, under the most brutal conditions of travel and work ever in the history of mankind.
Then it was our turn to live manifest destiny. They began fabricating the war against us, the Mexicans, which resulted in the invasion and stealing of the individual homes, the ranches and businesses of the Mexicans who chose to remain in the newly conquered land, and all with the help of the newly formed government institutions.
Historically, the wars have been fabricated and wrapped up in patriotism and freedom by the ruling classes through their control of the means of communication and ideology, the press, schools and universities. And after the wars, they have always then treated the soldiers indifferently after serving the country. If I am not mistaken, today over 50% of the homeless are veterans, the suicide rate is growing, the medical services, including mental treatment for example illness due to depleted uranium used in the Iraq conflict, have been significantly reduced. And, since the overwhelming majority of soldiers emanate from the working and the extinct middle class sectors, the bank foreclosures are affecting “our heroes” and their families as well.
Mathematically for certain, this phenomena has to involve Latino veterans in huge numbers, because incredibly, as reported by Colorlines.Com months ago, 66% of all Latino homeowners have lost their homes due the massive foreclosures since the bubble exploded. In other words, as in the days after the Mexico-US war, the banksters of today have managed to legally reap a gigantic chunk of Latino Mexican wealth and not a single bank CEO has been charged or imprisoned for these massive crimes against humanity. In China, white collar criminals are executed. Though I am not in support of capitol crime, I am for exchanging the 2 million plus Latinos, African Americans, undocumented and other working class poor people in US prisons and provide them with real social rehabilitation, with good paying jobs and education, for all the white collar criminals, their lobbyists, the CEOs, their rich employers and the corrupt politicians that have provided them a legal legislative cover, to exclude them from prosecution.
Lastly, veteran soldiers, like the rest of the 99%, including the estimated 11.8 undocumented immigrants and their families, pay more in taxes than the 1% parasitic class of super wealthy Americans. And to add insult to injury, it is the taxes of the 99% who in real terms pay for the wars, while the globalized capitalist American corporations, again the 1%, reap the contracts and mega war profits. This leads us to the historic conclusion that wars are an extension of politics?
The false and inhuman values of fighting for wars of freedom are instilled on the people, our people by the empire’s military machine and its over nine hundred bases in the planet. Only the naïve, the zealot patriots and los Latinos mas arrastrados, continue repeating and justifying the lies of the elite and its empire of capitalist globalization.
Javier Rodriguez is a long time activist in LA’s social movement, particularly Latino politics, has been active in the field of immigrant rights since 1971, with 22 years as a rank and filer in labor, an activist against the war in Viet Nam, was the initiator of Latinos Against the War in Iraq, is also an independent journalist, a media and political strategist, and today is presently with the Dec 12 Coalition and Occupy LA. He has been traveling throughout Mexico since 2 March 2012, when then he was part of a nine person truck convoy, that delivered 10 tons of humanitarian aid to three Tarahumara communities in the PRD Municipal District of Cachiric, Chihuahua.
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