And I tried hard to be proud of my service but all I could feel was shame.
The racism could no longer mask the reality of the occupation. These were people, these were human beings. I’ve since been claimed by guilt anytime I see an elderly man like the one who couldn’t walk and we rolled out on a stretcher and told the Iraqi police to take him away.
I feel guilt anytime I see a mother with her children like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worst than Saddam as we forced her from her home.
I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl, like the one I grabbed by the arm, and dragged into the street. We are told we are fighting terrorists; the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country.
It’s long been used to justify the killing, subjugation and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government. It’s a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship. It’s more destructive than an artillery shell or a bunker buster, or a Tomahawk missile.
While those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them. Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger or lob a mortar round. They do not have to fight the war, they merely have to sell the war.
They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way. They need soldiers who are willing to kill and be killed without question. They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon when the ranks in the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on Earth, but there’ll only be a war, if soldiers are willing to fight.
And the ruling class, the billionaires who profit from human suffering care only about expending their wealth, controlling the world economy. Understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression and exploitation is in our interest. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country.
And, convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior. Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation. The vast majority of people living in the U.S. have nothing to gain from this occupation.
In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag draped coffins roll into the earth. Millions in this country without health care, jobs or access to education, just watch as this government squander over 450 million dollars a day on this occupation.
Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in other country to make the rich richer. Without racism soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war.
I threw families onto the street in Iraq only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country and this tragic, tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis. We need to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land and not people whose names we don’t know and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify.
The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, is the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable, is the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable.
Our enemy is not five thousands miles away, they are right here at home. If we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers we can stop this war, we can stop this government and we can create a better world.
“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy… The loss of Liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger real or imagined from abroad…”