Thursday, March 29, 2007

Luminaries: The Fifth Year of War in Iraq Begins. No. 448.

From Tom Baxter

I have been part of the antiwar team at the Capitol, Sundays 12:30-2:30;
Thursdays 4:00-6:00 for the last five years.

Involved in almost every antiwar event in Tallahassee since returning from Vietnam. Involved in the planning for the Luminary Memorial Forth Anniversary Memorial at Lake Ella.

Didn't support the inclusion of the names of soldiers who had their lives wasted in Iraq; didn't object.

Wasted, wasted because it took our President took four years before he consulted with others to develop a 'new' strategy. A 'new' strategy as opposed to 'staying the course' but still continues destruction of the Iraqi nation and people.

A failed strategy, that after turning Iraq into a battlefield, killing almost a million of Iraqis, turning millions upon millions into refugees, destroying Iraqi society, so the options open to children are begging or selling their bodies on the streets of Baghdad. A strategy that can not even make the road between the Green Zone and the Baghdad airport safe after four years, nor reduce the rate of acute childhood malnutrition to the obscene levels seen under Saddam. There has been one thing our
strategy has been able to do: protect the MEK, who murdered so many Kurds and Shias on Saddam's orders from the Kurds and Shia.


Two requests at the memorial brought me almost to tears. One was a request from a couple who asked me to photograph a luminary for his parents. They looked at everyone and this was the only "Wyatt, Age 26." I complied.

Later a young man approached and wanted to make a luminary for a fellow Marine, PFC Chaires.

---Tom Baxter
Fiat justitia; ruat coelum
USAV 1967-69
Tallahassee, Florida
Write on my gravestone: "Infidel, Traitor." --infidel to every church that compromises with wrong; traitor to every government that oppresses the people."--Wendell Phillips

Letter from SU ECENIA at Tallahassee Democrat.

This coming Monday marks the beginning of the fifth year of the war in Iraq. And, while President Bush prepares to send more troops to Iraq and Congress continues to debate what it intends to do, the tragic loss of mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers continues.

As of Wednesday, 3,192 Americans had sacrificed their lives in this unnecessary war, tens of thousands had been wounded, and an untold number of noncombatants had died.

Many people I know are torn. They oppose our continued involvement in Iraq, they want to do something, but they don't want to do anything that might imply any disrespect for the men and women making the sacrifices.

If you feel this way, join other Tallahasseeans from 7-9 p.m. Monday at Lake Ella for a luminaria walk. We will place more than 3,400 luminarias around the lake commemorating the coalition troops who have died in the conflict. "It's Time To Come Home" is both the name and message of the grass-roots group that has organized this event.

This is an event at which Tallahasseeans can honor the immense sacrifice of those who have died and, at the same time say: No more. It's time to come home.

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