What are the Costs of War? (Bend)
A series of lectures and discussions were held today in Bend over the various aspects of the costs of war.
When I arrived at about 3 PM Ms. Lietta Ruger was speaking. Both her son-in-law and her nephew are due to be redeployed in Iraq.
She pointed out that the realistic figures for the loss of troops in Iraq is close to 4,000 not the 1,525 as reported by the mainstream media. The reason for this is that the U. S. military only counts the ones who are killed immediately in combat. The other deaths are counted as "mortally wounded" because they died later. (This is yet another example of the U.S. military distorting the facts).
She also mentioned the 11,522 wounded who are flown in at night to prevent public observation.
What hasn't been counted by the U.S. is the 100 thousand dead Iraqis who would still be alive were it not for U. S. intervention.
She mentioned how the voluntary U.S. military had become entrapment because of the Stop-loss program now in place, people who have come to the end of there stay in Iraq are required to stay longer.
Next Mr. Arthur Ruger spoke. He is a veteran of the Vietnam war. He said that he resented the fact that Zel Miller (A "right" wing fascist pundit) had stolen patriotism from him by claiming in as the territory of the Republicans.
He said that we don't need to feel reluctant to claim to be patriotic. "There is no 'No Trespassing' sign on patriotism or the moral high ground. (The Republicans have no moral high ground). He also said that we have a high duty to cover the backs of our troops.
Diana Popp, the moderator of the event then introduced DR J. David Kinzie, M.D. He discussed the psychological effects of war.
He mentioned the current $200.00 Billion dollar cost of the war.
He said that 15-17% of troops suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Women he said probably suffer from a higher percentage because many of them came from low-income, abusive situations. (That is Unlike the rich-bitch "representatives" currently in charge of the government).
He said that some persons develop an avoidance behavior where they become emotionally numb and unresponsive. Others suffer from hyper arousal: Anger, sleeplessness, Startle responses. All of which lead to withdrawal, and probably depression.
He showed slides of Goya's drawings of the horrors of war. Then he showed slides of the horrors being carried out in U.S. prison camps. He said that the situation in the prison camps probably came about because of vague orders and the atmosphere of aggression inside the U. S. military.
Cat Finney of Central Oregon's Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) community spoke next. She said that one of the most appalling things about war is the way it dehumanizes us.
Robert Marbos spoke of the spiritual costs of war. Truth breaks down, we dehumanize ourselves and others. We break our covenant with Christ.
He cited George Fox: the founder of the society of friends:
"The would look in vain for the coming of the kingdom, Jesus has already set up the kingdom (over 2,000 years ago).
-The apostle exhorts men to follow peace.
-Jesus commands us that we should love one another
-Use only the Lambs weapons (from revelations).
-Spiritual weapons are the only kinds of weapons that can be used (If you want to claim to be a Christian).
Cat spoke up:
-The light of God exists within us.
-Bush's Christianity is "interesting".
-Peace testimony is active testimony.
-The devastation of modern war makes urgent the elimination of war in all it's forms.
-She suggested that it's time for conscientious objectors to start preparing claims now for the upcoming draft in the middle of June.
-Quakers are opposed to war taxes. They believe in the value of Civil disobedience and Marches.
-She suggested that it is time for people to take "actions of serious consequence." Even if it means going to jail.
Robert spoke again:
-Peace in accordance with God and earth can be attained only through unity.
-Do we live a virtuous life that takes away the occasion for war?
-What are we doing to remove the causes of war?
-As we work for peace, are we nurtured by peace within ourselves?
Reverand Jeanne Pupke of the Unitarian Universalists spoke next:
-The work that you do will not be finished in a lifetime.
-We frequently feel absolutely alone and guilty.
-When we ridicule others, we give over the best part of ourselves.
-This room doesn't even have 1% of central Oregon, But...
-A dedicated band of individuals can change the world. It is the only way that change can happen. Margret Mead.