Tuesday, January 27, 2009
PEACE NOW! or An eye for an eye
January 27, 1973
The United States and North Vietnam signed "An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" through the exit of all American troops within 90 days. The United States, the Republic of [South] Vietnam, Viet Cong, the insurgent resistance in the South, and The Peoples’ Republic of [North] Vietnam formally sign but because South Vietnam was unwilling to recognize the Viet Cong's Provisional Revolutionary Government, all references to it were confined to the document signed by North Vietnam and the United States. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.
The Vietnam War resulted in a million Vietnamese combatant deaths, between three and four million civilian deaths and a countless number of injured. It cost the United States 58,226 lives (Australia lost almost 500, New Zealand 38) and 350,000 wounded. The financial cost to the United States came to something over $660 billion in current dollars.
The treaty stated, “... In pursuance of its traditional policy, the United States will contribute to healing the wounds of war and to postwar reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam and throughout Indochina.”
The Pentagon announced a “zero draft,” putting the Selective Service System on standby after five years of continuous operation. 1,728,344 men had been drafted in the previous eight years (principally for the war in Vietnam), 25% of all the armed forces.
We can be thankful the military draft, or conscription has not been reinstated since the Vietnam war. On the flip side, troops in Iraq & Afghanistan have experienced a *back door draft*, where they are required to do multiple tours of duty, even beyond when their contract with the military had expired.
The death tolls in the Vietnamese and Iraq and Afghinistan wars are high. The costs are simliar.
But we are not out of the woods yet, and progressives for peace do need to unite.
Michael Moore writes:
"Iraqing Afghanistan; Biden warns "there will be an uptick in U.S. casualties".
Get Afghanistan Right!
Progressives Fight Escalation
4 more soldiers died in Iraq- their helicopter failed, "no enemy fire involved".
The Iraq death toll is at 4236
The Afghanistan death toll just reached 570
I would rather we spend the money we would on war, to bring in peacekeepers, and humanitarian aid.
We need to keep Dr. King's dream alive, and embrace non violence as the way to go.
I would love for President Obama someday, to be the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, for following in the footsteps of MLK jr.
and working diligently for peace.
I want President Obama to honor his own words from his own Inaugural speech:
• "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
• On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
• The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
• Our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.
• America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
• To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.
• We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.