Letters to the Editor -- Circleville Herald 

Dear Editor,

As a member of Veterans for Peace I helped build the "Cost of  War: The
Final Formation" that Mr. Dossman  believes is foolish in his 2 March
letter. I am saddened to note that Mr. Dossman's bombastic approach, the
same taken by Mr. Bush in June 2003 when he dared the Iraqi insurgents to
"Bring it on!" and attack my brothers; is the same aggressive war fever
that has resulted in the deaths of so many throughout all the 20th century
wars Mr. Dossman refers to.

World War 11 arose from a defeated and humiliated Germany at the end of
World War 1. Had Woodrow Wilson's less punitive, less aggressive "14
Points" prevailed; Germany  handled more respectfully at the 1919 Treaty of
Versailles ; the angst, fear and humiliation  that Hitler  thrived upon may
not have been so ripe for his promises of revenge. Similarly, the October
1917 Russian Revolution  came from a promise of "peace, bread and land" to
a populace decimated by World War 1 and the exploitation of monarchy and
capital. To avoid wars and revolutions, we must address the conditions that
cause them.

Ho Chi Minh asked for the liberation of Vietnam from French colonial rule
at the treaty of Versailles. Vietnam was given back to the French. At the
conclusion of World war 11, Ho Chi Minh appealed to the United States for
assistance as the Japanese were expelled. Vietnam was given back to the
French while we financed the French colonial war against the Viet Minh.
1954: France loses at Dien Bien Phu, the Geneva convention guarantees the
re-unification of Viet Nam in proposed 1956 elections. The United States,
knowing that Ho Chi Minh would win, blocks these elections,  and installs
the first of a series of corrupt South Vietnamese dictators and our begins
our own extension of the French colonial occupation that we know as our own
Vietnam War. 58,000 of my brothers died there, 20,000 after 1969 so that
our efforts would appear to have ended well, so that Nixon would, in his
own words, not be 'the first President to lose a war." How many more of my
brothers must die in Iraq while we, to use George Bush's phrase, " stay the
course" in this war of choice?

The borders of Iraq were carved at the Treaty of Versailles, more to
preserve British colonial rule than respect the widely disparate character
of the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites now artificially thrown together. Much of
the Islamic world has suffered under Western colonial exploitation. After
11 September 2001, one obvious question we never asked was " Why? Why did
19 young men ( none of them Iraqis) believe so desperately in their cause
they would die for it? In our own post 11 September angst, fear and
humiliation, rather than ask this difficult question; we settled for the
angry satisfaction of war, regardless of the lack of evidence. 2300 of my
brothers have now paid the price for this lack of critical thinking on our
part. 18,000 are wounded, many, many very seriously, $400 billion wasted.

As Veterans for Peace, many of us have given our youth to what we can now
see, was not for freedom, but for bombastic war fever, oppression,
exploitation, for oil. We are a nationwide organization of veterans
committed to seeing that our children do not have to fight. Join us in an
organizational meeting as we form a local chapter 18 March at 9800 SR 22
East. We shall stand with People for Peace, the Circleville Friends (
Quaker) Worship Group 19 March on the Pickaway County Courthouse steps at
10:00 and remember aloud the names of all the US. Iraq War killed in
combat. We must stop the killing, now.

Lt. Brad Cotton U.S. Army ( Ret'd)
Member, Veterans for Peace