Bruce Gagnon blog
Nov. 6, 2009
Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan went on a rampage yesterday at Fort Hood in Texas. The insanity of the US wars in Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan has begun to creep back home in the form of soldier suicides, wife killings, alcoholism, drug addiction, and now this latest tragedy. There will be more such events.
How can you send soldiers to war over and over again and not expect them to snap like a dry twig on a windy day?
I was reading an article yesterday about US Army soldiers now in South Korea who are being told they will soon be moved back to the war front. They are livid. They said they volunteered for Korea in order to have a break. Their families had joined them and now they will be sent back to Iraq or Afghanistan for the second or third or fourth or fifth time. They are physically and mentally worn out.
A revolt is happening in the military these days. They are begging for relief and getting none. The American people, who love to clamor that they support the troops, should bring the poor guys home now....finally.
And one more thing....when US troops snap in the war zone and unleash a torrent of fire onto innocent civilians, who crys for their lost lives? Who ever remembers that they had died needlessly in these insane US wars?
* Related writing
Stephanie Westbrook (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Nov. 6, 2009
below the translation of a short letter I sent to a few Italian newspapers.
My Memories of Fort Hood
When I read of the tragedy at Fort Hood in my home state of Texas, where
a soldier killed 13 of his fellow troops and wounded 30, I couldn't help
thinking of my brief experience at the base.
It was the summer of 2006. I was in Crawford, Texas, home to Bush's ranch
and Camp Casey, the activist campout organized by Cindy Sheehan who
lost her son in Iraq. It was the second year for Camp Casey. But this time,
Bush had chosen to spend his holidays elsewhere, leaving us with more
Fort Hood, the largest army base in the U.S., where most soldiers heading
off to war pass through, is an hour and a half from Crawford. We decided to
go there to give information to members of the military. With us were
veterans of the war in Iraq and we had leaflets from the GI Rights Hotline,
an association that provides counseling to soldiers, including information on
how to get out of the military.
We set up about a hundred meters from the entrance during evening rush
hour as soldiers left the base. I expected to find myself in a hostile
environment, but that's not the way it turned out.
We had signs with a very simple message, "You don't have to go." It was
enough to cause many soldiers to stop for more information, even in
uniform, violating the military code and in sight of the guards at the
entrance to the base. Some drove by in their cars and flashed us the peace
sign. Others stopped just long enough to jot down the toll free number for
the GI Rights Hotline written in large letters on the side of our van.
Spouses, mothers and fathers of soldiers stopped to get material to take
Fort Hood has the highest suicide rate of all U.S. bases. Nidal M. Hasan,
the soldier who killed his fellow troops, had spent six years, from 2003 to
2009, as a psychiatrist at Walter Reed military hospital in Washington
treating soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome. He was soon set to
deploy to Iraq.
Over three years have passed since I was at Fort Hood. At the time, the
Republicans controlled the House, the Senate and the White House. Now
the Democrats have the majority. But I feel certain that if I were to go stand
in front of the base with the same sign, the scene of three years ago would