I was never a POW but what about the next American War?

Two things happened in the last few days. First, I was shopping at Wholefoods and while waiting in line to buy dinner, I saw the cover of a May 2014 Economist Magazine with an Eagle sitting on a desktop globe and the banner headline asked: What Would America Fight For? The question haunting its allies

Cover of Economist Magazine May or June 2014

In that cover piece, The Economist said, “A survey last autumn by the Pew Research Centre suggests that 52% (of Americans) want the United States to ‘mind its own business internationally’, the highest figure in five decades of polling.”

After reading that, I laughed and thought: Americans may not have any say about the next war just like they had no real say in Vietnam or the 2nd Iraq War because they were lied to.

That leads me to mention one of my favorite quotes from President Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

You see, the reason I laughed is because all Congress and the President has to do is come up with a lie that fools more than half of all adult Americans to have the okay from the people to start the next war—and when that happens will probably be decided by those who profit the most from war.

It wasn’t that difficult to discover the corporations that benefit the most from death. I Googled: “who profits the most in the United States from wars” and discovered from USA Today that the business of war is profitable. In 2011, the 100 largest contractors sold $410 billion in arms and military services. Just 10 of those companies sold over $208 billion. Based on a list of the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in 2011 compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 companies with the most military sales worldwide.”

The top five were:

  • Lockheed Martin with arms sales of $36.3 billion in 2011—total sales were $46.5 billion
  • Boeing with arms sales of $31.8 billion—total sales were $68.7 billion
  • BAE Systems with arms sales of $29.2 billion—total sales were $30.7 billion
  • General Dynamics with arms sales of $23.8 billion—total sales were $32.7 billion
  • And Raytheon with $22.5 billion in arms sales and $24.9 billion in total sales

What happens to individual fortunes and lost jobs when 78% of Lockheed Martin’s income comes from arms sales; 46% of Boeing’s; 95% for BAE Systems; almost 73% for General Dynamics, and more than 90% for Raytheon?

If you’re curious how much the defense (arms) industry spends to lobby Congress, all you have to do is visit Open Secrets.org to discover that 978 lobbyists who worked for this industry in 2011 spent/donated $138,182,721 to influence elected representatives to make sure the federal government continued to spend heavily on defense and of course the best way to justify this much spending is to start another war, and who will the U.S. attack next?

Then Sunday Morning (May 11), I went to the theater to see “The Railroad Man”, and the horror of war hit home hard. I think this is a film that every adult American should see—especially the CEOs of the arms industry, the lobbyists who work for that industry, Congress and the President. “The Railroad Man” was based on a powerful, real story of British troops who became POWs in Singapore during World War II. The main character, Eric Lomax played by Colin Firth, survived the war but came back with a severe, traumatic case of PTSD that makes what I brought home from Vietnam seem tame in comparison, but I was never a prisoner of war—water boarded and tortured.

Let’s look at the cost of two recent wars: the Vietnam War (1965-1975) cost $738 Billion with 58,209 U.S. deaths and 153,303 wounded, and the 2nd Iraq War (2003-2010) cost $785 Billion with 4,800 U.S. deaths and 31,965 wounded—according to a report issued June 29, 2010 by the Congressional Research Service.

The reason I mention only these two wars was because both were started based on lies fed to America through the corporate owned media so enough Americans would be fooled long enough to support the wars.

What do you think the next lie will be, and where will that war be fought?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

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And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

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The Noble Nightmare: Part 3/3

Imagine the cost in lives and dollars if the United States were to rule over 1.9 billion people in other countries for a few centuries until future freedom fighters drove the U.S. out after centuries of revolution.

For example, Vietnam was occupied by China for more than 1000 years from 221 B.C. until 938 A.D. when the Vietnamese resistance was finally successful and drove the Chinese out. Once the Chinese were gone, what form of government replaced them? Was it democratic?  No!

But then it would not have mattered, because a few centuries later the French arrived and occupied Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for almost a century before they too were driven out by a popular resistance that eventually became another oppressive regime. Then the United States moved in and fought a war in Vietnam—based on another lie—for almost twenty years, leaving millions dead before it too pulled out. And during this time, South Vietnam was never ruled by a democratically elected government. Instead, the noble United States supported one dictator after another in South Vietnam.

The Government of Vietnam or Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) was originally led by Ngo Dinh Diem until his assassination in 1963. Afterwards, a series of “revolving door” leaders emerged, including Nguyen Cao Ky, General Khanh, Duong Van Minh, and Nguyen Van Thieu.

During the Vietnam War, the US dropped more than three times the number of bombs on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos than it dropped on Germany, Italy and Japan during World War II. Were those bombs only dropped on military targets? No!


carpet bombing spares no one

It is estimated that the civilian death toll in Southeast Asia from America’s war (1955 – 1975) was 465,000 to 2.5 million. When we include military deaths that number is 1.1 to almost 3.9 million.

If we are unable to learn from history, we are guaranteed to repeat the same mistakes made by others.

Then of course, there is this incomplete history that many in the U.S. would rather never hear:

1. In 1953, the United States overthrew a democratic government in Iran and installed a dictator, the Shah of Iran, who ruled with American support until 1979.

2. In 1954, the United States overthrew a democratic government in Guatemala and installed a military dictator, and with American support brutal military dictators dominated Guatemala until the late 1980s.

3. In 1964, the United States overthrew a democratic government in Brazil and installed a military dictator, and with American support military dictators dominated Brazil until the late 1970s.

4. In 1965, the United States overthrew a democratic government in Indonesia and installed a military dictator, Suharto, who then with American help killed over 500,000 people–the people who supported the old democratic government. Suharto to this day continues to receive American economic, political, and military support.

5. In 1965, the United States helped install the brutal dictator, Mobuto, in Zaire, who killed tens of thousands of people and looted his country of over 8 billion dollars. The United States continued to support the brutal dictator Mobuto until just the last few years, when we are now calling him “a relic of the Cold War.” If he is a relic, he is the United States’ relic!

6. In 1973, after America had withdrawn from Vietnam, the United States overthrew a democratic government in Chile and installed a brutal dictator, Pinochet, who killed tens of thousands of people–people who supported the old democratic government. With American economic, political, and military support, the brutal dictator Pinochet dominated Chile until the late 1980s.

For a more complete list, see Dictators Supported by the United States and/or America’s Other Most Embarrassing Allies.

Now tell me how noble America’s government is.

One lesson we should learn from all this history is that one man’s noble cause often turns out to be a nightmare for millions.

Return to The Noble Nightmare: Part 2 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy, a suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Follow”.

The Blood Price – Part 3/4

The excuse for the wars in Southeast Asia was to protect Western democracy from the possible spread of Communism. To do this, the United States dropped over 7 million tons of bombs in Vietnam. In Laos, the US dropped 270 million cluster bombs and more than 20,000 Laotians have been killed by these bombs since the war.

In Cambodia, the US dropped 2.75 million tons of bombs.

For a comparison, in World War II a total of just over 2 million tons of bombs were dropped.

The Vietnam War lasted 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day. The number of military dead numbered in the millions. There is no way to count the number of civilian dead.

It is estimated that in Vietnam 411,000 – 2,000,000 civilians were killed; 20,000 – 200,000 in Laos, and 200,000 – 300,000 in Cambodia.


The United States is a peace loving nation!

What about government and religion in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia?

Vietnam has a Communist government. According to the CIA Factbook, 80.8% of the population belongs to no religion; 9.3% are Buddhists and 6.7% are Catholic (that’s almost seven times the ratio of Christians in Japan and we won that war).

In addition, Laos is still a Communist state. The predominant religion is Theravada Buddhism (67%). Animism is common among the mountain tribes. Buddhism and spirit worship coexist easily. There also are small numbers of Christians and Muslims—only 1.5% of the population is Christian.

Cambodia, however, is a multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy. It is no longer a Communist/Socialist state, and 96.4% of its population is Buddhist while 2.1% is Muslim. Despite the French colonization in the 19th century, Christianity made little impact in the country. There are around 20,000 Catholics in Cambodia which represents 0.15% of the total population and less than 2,000 Protestants.

If we use the result of America’s wars in Southeast Asia as an example of what is to come, what will the Middle East look like fifty years after the war in Afghanistan ends?

Continued on August 4, 2012 in The Blood Price – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

The Blood Price – Part 2/4

For the United States to defeat Japan, the Japanese suffered tremendous loss of life. Before the two atomic bombs were dropped that ended the war in the Pacific, Osaka was hit hard suffering more than 10,000 civilian casualties in March, June, July and August 1945.

Total dead on both sides of World War II is estimated to be more than 73 million. The majority of deaths took place in the Soviet Union and China (about 85%). Japan lost more than two million troops and 500,000 – 1,000,000 civilians.

In comparison, the United States only lost 1,700 civilians.

The result today: The government of Japan is a constitutional monarchy where the power of the Emperor is limited, a ceremonial figurehead—a symbol of the state and the unity of the people. Power is held mostly by the Prime Minister of Japan and other elected members of the Diet (Japan’s parliament).  The Diet is made up of two legislative houses.

How about religion in Japan? Shinto (practiced by 83% of the population) and Buddhism (92 million Japanese identify themselves as Buddhists) are Japan’s two major religions. The Muslim population is about 115,000 – 125,000 and there are about 5,000 Hindus in the country along with 2,000 Jews.

About one to two million Japanese are Christians (1% of Japan’s population) and many live in Western Japan where Christian missionaries were active during the 16th century.

Then there is Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where the United States failed to achieve its goals—maybe!

Continued on August 3, 2012 in The Blood Price – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”