No War Ever Ends

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They call it missing in action, but those soldiers are missing at home, too, at every wedding and every graduation and every holiday.

Sometimes you meet an old man who has children and grandchildren now, and he never had a father. You meet amputees who had twenty good years ahead of them, playing softball or throwing a football around on Thanksgiving or pushing a stroller and lifting a baby ever so carefully out of it…

No war ever ends.

I remember Mr. Bush in the Press Club video, looking under a table for WMDs and all the elite reporters laughing, Karl Rove and Rumsfeld laughing and all the elite reporters laughing with them. Remember them!

There’s always broken souls and crazy men raging in bare rooms, and women who wake up screaming, and children alone in the dark, listening.

Names and dates of birth on tombstones and monuments, and a mother who remembers every birthday, soldiers buried in consecrated ground and others unburied in jungles and wastelands. This was the father who would have given the bride away. This was the brother who would have been the best man.

No war ever ends.


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  1. I decided to repost this diary from 2008 after reading an article about survivors of the war in Iraq on IPS.

    It’s been seven years since Fernando Suarez del Solar buried his son, Jesus. Seven years since Mar. 27, 2003, when just one week into the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Lance Corporal Jesus Suarez del Solar stepped on a piece of unexploded ordnance and came home in a flag-draped coffin.

    When he died, Jesus left behind a wife and infant son, Erik, who even today doesn’t understand what happened to his father.

    “He asks me, ‘Where is my dad?'” Fernando says, choking back tears. “‘Why is my dad not here?’ I try to explain that he is in another place, that he watches over and protects us. But my grandson just cries and says, ‘I need my dad, I want my dad,’ and I don’t have the intelligence to explain to him why his dad is not there.”

    “People don’t understand when one person dies, the whole family is destroyed,” Fernando says.

    The remoteness of the war in Iraq “produces a feeling of isolation” among families who have lost loved ones in the war, says Ami Neiberger-Miller, spokesperson for TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Programme for Survivors, a non-profit independent organisation of the military that provides grief support to families.

    On Mar. 10, TAPS estimated that the 5,398 U.S military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan had left 3,779 children without a parent, while 2,669 spouses had been widowed.

    The organisation reported that 10,796 parents had lost a child and 4,264 siblings had lost a brother or sister.

  2. And meanwhile in Afghanistan, even our “friends” don’t like us.

    This month, with President Hamid Karzai looking ahead to a visit to the White House, he received a terse note from aides to President Obama: Your invitation has been revoked.

    Incensed, Mr. Karzai extended an invitation of his own – to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who flew to Kabul and delivered a fiery anti-American speech inside Afghanistan’s presidential palace.

    “Karzai was enraged,” said an Afghan with knowledge of the events, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue. “He invited Ahmadinejad to spite the Americans.”

  3. I am still fighting the lies told in 1946 from WWII, that have been passed down generations.  The split over the truth/lies killed the family forever…

  4. may we all rest…


    • RUKind on March 31, 2010 at 05:43

    The broken families, the PTSD, the cancers from toxins, the substance abuse, and on and on. And the next generation has to work it out and they repeat the patterns. And the next generation.

    And the wars are non-stop now.weare in a constant state of war because our industrial society is built on making, selling and using lethal weapons. We finance countries to buy our weapons and often go to war against them later.

    None of this is about lives or ideology. It’s about money and power for a small cadre of people on this planet.

    Take this to the bank – the narco-terrorist-military industrial complex will thrive. Hell, the Afghan opium hasn’t even started to replace the Mexican cartel supply.

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