Shock & Awe | a comment

Mr. Burrill (click on the link to see photos) asked to remember the “Shock And Awe: Images Of The 2003 Invasion Of Iraq” war that President George W. Bush sucked this nation into in 2003. This poor decision led to nearly 20 years of “war” and kazillions of wasted dollars and lives, hopes and dreams of so many innocents.

Here’s a Novemberf 2011 Columbia news, views & reviews opinion column:

Opinion: Hey Congress, before you think about the next war …

The human costs, so far, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are beyond tragic. The financial costs are numbing and  mind-boggling. In spite of the lessons learned or unlearned from previous wars, political hawks and media blabbermouths who have never been to war are so damn eager to commit the young men and women of this nation to war.

About World War I, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George (another politician – not a war veteran)  is reputed to have said, “This war, like the next war, is a war to end war.”

Ask any combat veteran about the costs of war.  Ask those who suffer physiological, psychological or emotional scars about the costs of war.  Ask surviving family members.

Ask William Tecumseh Sherman who said, “I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”

Here’s what we think: When the next justifiable war comes, and it will, the draft must be reinstated immediately and all congressmen, and congresswomen, who vote for war must be drafted first. The second draft call must include the Seans, the Rushes and Glens of the world. No excuses!

Before that next war comes, we want those folks who send America’s men and women into harm’s way to talk with surviving families whose sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands or wives are not coming home. We want those folks to look into the eyes of wounded soldiers in veterans’ hospitals and rehab hospitals. We want those folks to read Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.

And when those things happen, old as we are, we former veterans will lace up our boots and strap on our rucks again, too.

– Brian L. Long, editor, Vietnam veteran and retired sergeant major

[EDITOR’S NOTES: (1) We wrote this opinion a few weeks ago; just three days ago, a firefighter friend and veteran from western PA sent this THE FINAL INSPECTIONto us in an email.  We think it is appropriate to include with this editorial. (2) “In reviewing the news stories of these past few weeks, it becomes clear that the Western world’s addiction to war truly knows no bounds. Libya is reeling from NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ intervention which has crippled a once prosperous nation, destroyed its infrastructure, robbed it of its ample resources and devastated its population. But for Western military powers, this is not enough. Iran, Syria, Yemen … The hit list is growing exponentially, and so are the stakes. There is no end to greed until we stand up and say ‘enough is enough.’ In fact, it’s too much. The drums of war are beating and it’s up to us to choose whether we march along, or we rewrite the score.” (SOURCE:]

dulce et decorum

Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. is a Latin phrase is from the Roman poet Horace: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.”


  1. Thanks, Brian. Excellent commentary! If only people would listen. Congress is disgusting. It is their job to declare war. The have not done so since WWII in 1941. They have allowed presidents to do so, which has cost the lives of millions of people world-wide since then.

    Here is a reminder that President George H. W. Bush, who recently passed away, was responsible for the first Gulf War. Please remember that he wasn’t such a great man that we have been hearing on TV, radio and newsprint. Let us also recall Iran-Contra – he was largely responsible, also. But we must also know that a famous writer once said about this country, “We are the United State of Amnesia.”

  2. I can’t imagine the world would be any better if we had turnd a blind eye to the invasion of Kuwait. We did that with Germany’s aggression before WE2; that didn’t turn out too well. Some would argue the problem was we stoped short in the first Gulf War. President Clinton’s subsequent failure to hold Saddam to account didn’t much either.

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