Guest Blog: The TRUE Cost of War…TRUE LIVES for TRUE LIES


by Tina Bell Wright
ProfTinaWright-225In April 2007 I was asked to write a commentary for PLAYAHATA.COM..I had to choose a modern day villian or playahater…I chose the corporate interest fueling the Iraq war. Many understood this war was unnecessary, but few were paying the physical, emotional, and mental price…only the Iraqis and our youngest men and women that join the military to serve this country or access better opportunities really understood the cost. Today (Nov 5th 2009) Texas (Fort Hood Massacre) and anyone by their TV got a little glimpse.

It is ironic that veteran’s day is around the corner. The irony has never been lost on me that we say we honor and respect our troops but we allow them to make unlivable wages (where some families must depend on AFDC). They fight on battlefields beside private entities that are often compensated 5 times what our soldiers make (Blackwater). Corporations and capitalists defend a system where banks that rip off consumers can then rob the treasury for bailouts in order to keep their 600 to 1 percent salary rate when compared to an enlisted Marine who puts his/her life and mental health on the line daily. Our GIs can’t get decent health care (Walter Reed) but the Walton family (Walmart) can go anywhere in the world for the best health care their money can buy (Walmart being richer than 160+ countries) with the money they make from outsourcing American jobs to China and paying Chinese workers a couple dollars a day. The irony of it all…we accept this as inevitable. We believe what we are told to be true…we buy the true lies…

But the only inevitable thing is this system is unsustainable…and cracks in the dam (the numerous anecdotal stories that do not get reported of soldiers suffering from PTSD and crimes they commit) will give way to the dam breaking soon enough (today’s massacre).

I went back to the commentary I wrote over two years ago…that day I had a first hand encounter with one of the many anecdotal situations that play out everyday in the lives of our returning soldiers…The writing has been on the wall…and here it is:

my playahater choice is a little more personal because of one person that

crossed my path two weeks ago. I was on a Southwest flight to

Sacramento.Sitting beside me was a young brotha (24). He was a Marine and had

already done 3 tours of duty in Iraq. He was supposed to finishing his time in

June and was getting out, but he was not feeling too secure in that

since the military can now call back discharged soldiers to tour, despite the

fact that they have completed their contracts and done their time.

Slavery is alive and well in 2007.

Back to the plane and the young brotha. He was from a military family;

His father had served as well as his aunt and uncle. He had always wanted

to be a marine. He has two young children. His hope now is that the

military service legacy that defined his family will end with him. He does not

want his children to follow in his footsteps. Why? War is hell and he has

lived it. This brother was real jittery and obviously had seen more

than any human being should. When asked what his job was in the marines, he

answered: “you don’t wanna know what I do” (saying this repeatedly).

Then coming with:”I’m a killer.” He then wanted to share with me the

4000 pictures and 100s of videos he had taken in Iraq. He watched the

slideshow of bodies mangled, children decapitated and blood and guts lining the

streets without any reaction. He wanted to talk about it and said it

helped, so I just listened, trying not to get nauseous from the gore.

And for all that they must bear: being away from their families, killing

men, women and children, living with that nightmare and coming home to

subpar medical facilities and families that can’t afford to live without

food stamps, they get abandoned and random strangers sitting beside them on

a plane must serve as psychiatrist. This war is my Playahater, and the

ITT Corporation embodies what’s wrong with the poor fighting the war for

the rich’s interests. We all deserve better than this, but especially

brothers like this, and the Iraqis with which they now share the dance

of death.

Original Link:

Many believe the TRUE LIES that corporate interests fuel through corporate media…even when our TRUE LIVES…reality…is all we need to know.

TRUE LIES by Taalam Acey

“We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover the burden is reality and arrive where reality is.”
“Take no one’s word for anything, including mine – but trust your experience” – James Baldwin, The Fire next Time

one final note…

i went to see “This is it” again…and i think MJ really did say it best:

“The time has come. This is It. People are always saying.. ‘Oh they, they’ll take care of it.’ ‘The government will do it. They’ll’ …THEY WHO? It starts with US’s US. Or else it’ll never be done.”
– Michael Jackson

Return to The Southern Shift


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