America Is No longer at Liberty to Discuss the Horrors of War …

By TLB Contributor: Ken LaRive

At least once a week something seemingly out of my control comes over me, and I have to write something down. It wells up inside, infiltrates and permeates my mind in the middle of the night, and the formula is tossed like a subconscious tennis game to completion.

The time is 06:30, and the golden glow of the sun can be seen through the trees from my office window, growing by the moment on a perfectly blue sky. And as I look to fill this blank screen with these thoughts, a dread fills me… It sits inside as a kind of frustrated wonder, as what I want to say might just be beyond my ability. Thoughts so profound, I just don’t know where to start… and I know that most likely what I say will make little difference in the broader spectrum…

The block of sliver tags…

I saw a photograph of a war memorial where the dog-tags of every man who died in Vietnam were suspended from a ceiling on filaments. From the photographer’s vantage point of just a few yards away, it looked like a large block of silver, topped with vanilla icing.

Men commented on this photograph on Face Book. All seemed to think themselves patriots in one form or another, but with far different perspectives in the viewing… Some looked at it with pride, a display that indicated the comradeship of men in arms, men who fought together as one. Others viewed it in incomprehensible wonder… Others in awe and reverence… And others still, expressed gratitude for their service, noting that they had paid the ultimate price to advance our freedoms… And all, including myself, felt the utmost respect for these men, our brothers… I was, however, the only one there who expressed that this war memorial reflected the horror of war. Horror, for the loss of our humanity, without reason. It was the thought that war had no good reason that set them off…

I saw there, over sixty thousand men, my brothers, who died for nothing that could be positively defined… and when I asked the question, “What did these men die for?” no one could tell me. Not one. One stated that it was to fight Communism, and yet could not define that word when questioned… And yet, they all collectively reveled in a patriotism that could not be denied. And then, one of them questioned my loyalty to America, which stimulated another to call me a traitor, and another said I was a “Freak’n Liberal.” And yet, though I asked the question again, could not get a definitive answer. I had to withdraw, and it has haunted me ever since to understand it…

Traitors and cowards…

I’m fixing to be sixty-six in a couple of months, and I am no longer the wide-eyed and trusting boy who left his family and home for a place he had only recently found on a map. I was 57 on the draft in 1969. There were men all around me who were refusing to go, and some gave up everything to go to Mexico or Canada… and at the time I thought they were traitors, cowards… but I no longer think this.

I grew up in service, and learned a lot about myself and the world. God knows I needed some form of structure living in that virtual hell-hole called the inner city of New Orleans. I thought it was normal to have six murders over a weekend. I thought it was normal that the black man and white man would fight, and the destruction of property from City Park to Pontchartrain Beach was the transition for a greater good. And I realize I was conditioned from a young age to accept it…but I no longer do.

I looked at that twinkling silver cube that must have taken a stupendous effort to create, and the true horror of it gripped my heart and soul. I saw the lives of men who would now be grandfathers, husbands, sons and brothers, just like me. And the loss, the monumental loss, filled me with the greatest revulsion. When I participated in war, at 19, the questions I have today were indeed asked then, but the true gravity of the situation was not understood. It took fifty or more years of living to do it, and I’m still trying… as somewhere along the way, from learning the pain of death of a loved one, changing a diaper in the middle of the night, to working hard offshore for my family… somewhere in the middle of it all, as I grappled to find my self-worth and God in my life, I developed an empathy based on Love. An empathy based on life experiences, something that is lacking at 19… an element of immaturity sorely needed for the war machine. You see, they don’t require men like me to war, because I would ask the question why. And yes, I would die for this country, no doubt, but I will not die so that some man, or a corporation, will get rich… Before I pull the trigger on a fellow human being, I must know why. And I don’t think that is too hard to ask!

I could not understand my feelings back then, dull and incomprehensible feelings that welled up in me. I grappled to understand the hate-filled glares on the faces of people at the airport, and some had even spit in our faces… I tried to understand the man who wrote obscenities on the bombs lighting up our horizon, and the people being incinerated by Monsanto’s Napalm. And through it all, deep in the quick, I felt the yearning and lonely solace of my country so far away, marking the days for my return… And as I closed my eyes in the night, in a room of forty other men, I was haunted by the memories of the life I had left behind… I had hugged my girlfriend around the waste while sitting at her kitchen table that last night… my arms held her tight as my head settled on her stomach… And like the man I wanted to be, swallowed back my tears, my greatest fears, and told her I’d see her soon… I told her not to worry. I laughed it off, and told her a guy who was raised in New Orleans could survive anything. But the body bags were already coming home… the football hero, a neighbor’s nephew, the young boy who had worked at the meat market…

I remember the seven people who told me goodbye as I boarded the plane the next morning, and saw them standing at the window from my seat… I saw my sister Cindy, and the love of my life, Maddy, and both were crying. I could never forget this.

We have all been betrayed in this life. Tragedy has stolen loving lives from us, painful relationships that dissolved, and yet we come away from these pangs with a new understanding and insight. But in war… this is another matter…

As I now travel to the Veteran’s Administration for checkups… There are many men there suffering from what is called PTSD, Post Traumatic Syndrome. They saw things, did things, things that they never could justify, and so can not forget. There were horrors so great it follows them throughout their lives… But to me, it seems that those who come away from that experience with some form of justification, are more able to cope… like the men commenting on that war memorial. They used words like justice, honor, good, and right, to keep their sanity. You see, without words such as these, the loss would be just too much to comprehend, too much to reason. But for me, I find my solace in my unswerving need to find truth. My sanity, my very salvation, is this need. There are those I have known who have had faith, and are now but empty shells, and no matter how I try, my words bounce back unrealized…

Facts I consider today that I had no clue about at nineteen…

  1. The military industrial complex, that we hear about, grew large enough in WW2 to win the war. It was so lucrative, so big, it refused to dissipate, and we were warned by one of our greatest hero, General Eisenhower, that it would control our country if left unchecked. He was right. Find his warning here. From that time til now we have been in one war after another, and they get around this Constitutional breach by calling it a police action. When there is a lull in the tide of war, another fear is soon promoted, a new enemy created, and threats even from factions inside of our own government are manifested, like our right to bear arms, our open borders, or government spying, and out of this fear we buy every weapon and box of ammunition within reach. Very profitable, and pure genius! Unfortunately, few see through this…
  2. International banking cartels vie to control the world first by war, and then by reconstruction. They care nothing about anything but profit and survival, and make money no matter who wins, as they back both sides.
  3. Industry once found in America are put overseas in places conquered in a variety of methods, some by war, and others economically. These businesses are not regulated as they would be here, nor are there any viable labor laws. For all intent and purpose, they utilize the populous there as slave labor. Prices can be kept low, and commodities sold back to us, the largest consumers on the planet, accepted by us even with low quality design and workmanship. They are intentionally configured to break one month after warranty…. we live in a throw away society for a reason…. It is designed that way, and it is very lucrative… and that is the true reason for war.
  4. War is a racket. And here was our warning… and here. …and here. But we did not listen. We did not have the power to change…
  5. The Federal Reserve prints money out of thin air, and charges us interest for that privilege. When President Bush Jr. took the reigns of the Presidency we were at 6 trillion in debt, and when he got out we were at about ten. Now we are at 18.1 trillion, and gaining with no end in sight. What is happening now as Saudi/OPEC floods the market with oil, is destruction of the last viable industry we have left, the oil patch. It is all about competition, as we made it clear that we the people overwhelmingly want to be energy independent. The US and Russia are considered competition to these oil producers, and if they can destroy the infrastructure, cause layoffs, it will take years to recoup. If we could learn form the past, we would look at 1983, but one major difference is that we are about to default on our loans, just as the USSR did in the middle ’80s. We are told to keep calm, as our country is sold to the highest bidder.
  6. Our congress is the best money can buy. Almost to the last man they are sponsored by a multitude of industry, just as NASCAR drivers. Both sides of the isle take their standing orders from the same source, and all can be likened to a fixed wrestling match.
  7. War is about corporate profit, and has little or nothing to do about fighting Communism, terrorism, or bringing in a nebulous idea like Democracy. A Republic based on law, as was our original concept for America, has been hijacked by a Progressive mindset of big government, and the domination of the people both mind and spirit, by hook or crook. The only moral compass is found in their offshore bank accounts, and that is a black bottom line. They do not want to promote a Republic based on law, because they are the same people responsible for the destruction of ours…
  8. My era, Vietnam, was motivated by the false flag of The Tonkin Gulf Incident. Learn more here. And though most have been well conditioned to believe the official narrative of 9-11, it too was a false flag. Learn about this here, and here, and here. The world you live in does not belong to you, and from every direction there is a concerted effort to control your mind and destiny. But of course, most will deny this.
  9. Our Constitution has been suspended by the NDAA and Patriot Act. What seems viable is an illusion, granted by a powerful central government who dominates and controls every aspect of our lives from cradled to grave. Those truly in power in America control the media, our educational system, central banking debt slavery, and we are now considered a socialistic state, where over fifty percent of the population are now getting some form of government assistance. Socialized medicine, has given government power of over a third of industry, with all of our personal information at their disposal.
  10. Two days prior to 9-11 Rumsfeld stated that over two trillion was missing from the Pentagon, and yet we haven’t the money to secure the borders. Can you wrap your mind around what two trillion dollars is?
  11. We are not allowed to audit ether our own Fort Knox or the books of our true masters, the Federal Reserve. They have more power then the president, and is unaccountable by even international law or our Constitution. They can destroy us economically by just a simple notation, a virtual transfer of funds. We are utterly at their mercy, and supposed to trust them, and be calm. We trust them with our future, the future of our children, our sovereignty, our lives and fortunes. We are told we are free, and yet we are not at Liberty to question their actions. Not at Liberty…

Author’s note: Once, back in the year 1974, I became friends with a Marine who had spent two hitches in Vietnam. He had actually reenlisted to go back. I asked him why, and he told me he wanted to make things right, to have a second chance, and to back the men in his unit… the men he had left behind…

One night, after a few drinks, as the girls talked and laughed in the living room, he brought me up to a spare upstairs bedroom. There he pulled an old sea-chest from his closet, painted green, with his name and serial number stenciled on the top…

“I’m going to share something with you Ken,” He said in a serious voice… And he unlocked the pad, and opened it up. There on the top was a hand-made comb cut from a piece of aluminum, a clothe pin made out of bamboo, a plastic wallet with pictures of oriental children, faded from water, a woven straw hat with what looked to be a bullet hole in the middle, and there, wrapped in a gallon Crown Royal bag, was a human skull, with a bullet hole at the temple.

I had to sit down.

He had brought that skull from the theater of war, as a souvenir, a trophy. I was speechless, as I let this sink in, and I realized that this man had a side in him that he kept well hidden, and yet respected me enough to share it… but to me, it was a burden I carry to this very day, and hard to admit.

I knew emphatically, for all intent and purpose, that the side he was showing me was indeed insane, and a growing fear swept over me. What horrors had this man witnessed, that he would smuggle these items back, and keep them hidden under lock and key, as his life continued…

I didn’t understand it then, and not to this very day… but to me he was ruined in a way, so deep inside, with a pain so great, he could never, ever be whole again. And soon afterwards he divorced his wife, and disappeared from my world… and I must admit I was glad. I saw in his eyes that he was capable of anything, and that his mindset was created in the horrors of war… and his perspective has influenced mine.

And in the process, over a period of many years, I have learned to hate war. It is indeed, the greatest of all waist, and the truest horror for men. And I work to stop it.

TLB recommends you read more great articles and commentaries by Ken at his blog Facets

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