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[casi] "What will I tell my children?

From: "sadiqa_li_fillistin" <>
Subject: [al-awda-unity] "What will I tell my children?
Date: Sun, Sep 22, 2002, 5:02 am

I had posted earlier that this particular post "very clumsy" was not
written by me. For some reason, it never reached the board.  So just
trying again.

With that I wanted to leave an article written by one of the members
in my group, who is a writer and also a former Gulf war veteran.

A Gulf War Veteran Asks: What Will I Tell My Children?

By Charles Sheehan-Miles, AlterNet
September 19, 2002

I'll never forget the morning of Feb. 27, 1991. I was a young U.S.
Army tank soldier, positioned near the banks of the Euphrates River,
when two trucks raced through our position at roughly 2 a.m. We
opened fire. One truck carried fuel and splashed its burning cargo
on the other, and burning men ran everywhere, only to be met by our
machine gun fire.

This was my experience of the "clean," "precise" Gulf War. And those
images have never left me since.

One day my son or daughter will ask me what I did in the war, and
I'll tell them. And they'll have other questions, questions that
haunt me, questions we should all be asking before we go to war

Where were we when our country allowed untold hundreds of thousands
of Iraqi civilians to die of preventable diseases as result of the
sanctions? Reaping the benefits of the "new" economy? Working for
high-tech startups, trying to provide a better future for our

Where were we when 300,000 sick and disabled Gulf War fought for
medical help from our government, and for years got in response lies
and bureaucratic misdirection? Were we buying our first homes?
Trading up to a new one? Saving for our kids' college?

Where were we, when Congress legislated away our rights to privacy
and due process? Huddled with our families, protecting them against

What about when the President named American citizens enemy
combatants and denied them the rights guaranteed in the
Constitution? Were we too busy worrying about the recession? Were we
too busy thinking about the next round of layoffs?

Where were we when Congress handed over its Constitutional authority
to declare war? The founding fathers wisely placed that power in the
whole body of Congress, yet they are too timid to insist on keeping
it. Were we too scared by the propaganda and lies? What if there
were terrorists in our neighborhoods?

Our children are growing up in a country that is no longer America:
a country where the government can search your house without your
knowledge; a country where your neighbors may be informants; a
country where Americans should "watch what they say;" a country
where people are "disappeared" if they look wrong, talk wrong or
think wrong; a country that dominates world affairs and keeps its
citizens scared; a country willing to sacrifice hundreds of
thousands of lives over politics, and where the people don't know or
care about the cost; a country where democracy is controlled by
corporations and the rich.

You know, I've been pretty busy too, with not a lot of time to spend
on all those "issues." I make good money. I've got a nice house in
the suburbs, a minivan, and I'm raising my children with a better
standard of living than my parents had.

Isn't that the American dream? Isn't it? Do you think our children
will thank us for their legacy?

The kill-the-Constitution coalition quips "the Constitution is not a
suicide pact." They are utterly wrong. Our nation's quest for
liberty is best typified by Virginian Patrick Henry's
exhortation, "Give me liberty or give me death."

That is the legacy I want to give to my children.

Charles Sheehan-Miles, a decorated Gulf War combat veteran, is the
author of "Prayer at Rumayla" (XLibris, 2001) and is a former
President of the National Gulf War Resource Center. He can be
contacted at

--- In al-awda-unity@y..., "sadiqa_li_fillistin"
<Eajsm63192850qte@a...> wrote:
> |
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> |        Very clumsy.
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