English

10
Mayo

Forced disappearances have become commonplace throughout Mexico as a result of the so-called drug war in the country.

Thousands of mothers of the forcibly disappeared marched through Mexico City Sunday, to honor their missing children and to demand their safe return.

This is the fourth year in a row that the march to coincide with Mother's Day in Mexico and many parts of the world was held, with participants chanting slogans demanding the safe return of their children, such as, “Why do we search? Because we love them.”

The march ended with a rally at the Angel of Independence.

Mexicans have been living with an epidemic of forced disappearances since the outbreak of a violence between drugs cartels as well as the government.

The issue was placed in the spotlight after the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' training college in the southern state of Guerrero.

Seven months have passed since the students were alleged arrested by local police and turned over to an organized crime group.

The parents of the missing students continue to demand their safe return and have publicly questioned the government's claim that says the students were killed and their bodies burned.

30
Abril

The effects on U.S. soldiers pale in comparison to the suffering we inflicted on the Vietnamese in their own country. We ruined their lives, their economy, and their country.

Thursday, April 30, is the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam, with the North Vietnamese capture of the South Vietnam capital, Saigon. It marked the end of the U.S. decade-long war in Vietnam.

By the end of the Vietnam war in 1975, over 58,000 U.S. military service members were dead and more than 300,000 had been wounded. For many U.S. military who lived to return to the United States, it meant surviving the after-effects, what we then called “post-Vietnam syndrome,” and now refer to as post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD: flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety.

But the effects on U.S. soldiers pale in comparison to the suffering we inflicted on the Vietnamese in their own country. We ruined their lives, their economy, and their country. U.S. service members — and their Australian, New Zealand, Thai, and South Korean allies — killed between 1.5 and 3.6 million Vietnamese people. We napalmed their countryside, and sprayed more than 18 million gallons of Agent Orange dioxin on the countryside, the results of which continue to affect generations today.

For most of us who lived and served during the Vietnam War era, the Fall of Saigon is a date for remembrance of our personal and national losses. It also heralds that which brought us into the anti-Vietnam War movement.

 

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a 19-year-old in September 1965, just six months after the United States deployed ground troops to fight in Vietnam. I thought it was the right thing to do. A couple of my high school chums were already casualties. My grandfathers were both Army veterans and my parents had served in the navy in World War II. As was true for so many kids my age back then, with two previous world wars and the recent Korean War, it seemed most families had military backgrounds.

I went in as an apolitical Nebraska Republican, who believed that I could make a career in the military. With my squadron I had two deployments to Iceland, literally and figuratively on the opposite side of the planet from my colleagues in Vietnam.With the deployments adding up to 14 months, I came to understand the stress and PTSD faced by active duty personnel and veterans of all wars, but especially unpopular and controversial wars.

Around the fifth month of my deployment, guys who were buddies would get into fights over the slightest irritation. In our deployment in 1969 we were extended. We were continuously tracking a Soviet nuclear sub and had a plane over or near the sub at all times. For those of us on flight crews, it meant 14-hour arduous days, without rest.

Getting extended put those who were already stressed near the edge, developing some psychological and behavioral aberrations. Meanwhile, I was questioning the reasons U.S. soldiers were fighting and dying in Vietnam.

We were told that the Geneva Accords and the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) Treaty — signed in 1954 by most nations in the region, and also the U.S. and Australia — obligated U.S. military intervention in Vietnam. That we had to fight to prevent the Communist takeover of South Vietnam and the spread of communism around the world.

By my 21st birthday, I had my doubts about the altruism of the operation. I had read the accords and the treaty. I had lost close friends to the war. It seemed to me that the real underlying goals of the U.S. war were political and economic hegemony and natural resources, such as oil.

Only halfway into my four-year enlistment, I became an anti-Vietnam War activist. For me it was the anti-war movement that guided me when I got out in November 1969 and ever since.

 

On Monday, May 25, the United States will celebrate Memorial Day. Since soon after the American Civil War ended in 1865, this has been a day to remember and honor service members who have died. This year — also the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War — U.S. leaders are looking to resurrect patriotic support of that ill-begotten war. The Department of Defense has mounted a heavily funded initiative to convince younger U.S. generations that the Vietnam War was a noble enterprise.

Included in their efforts is a well-funded website, “United States of America – Vietnam War Commemoration," as well as plans for annual celebrations, such as Memorial Day events around the country. They are planning to tell their version of the war for the next 10 years, representing the 10 years of the Vietnam War.

The promotion of such patriotic sentiment for a war that was, by all accounts, a disaster, is dangerous in an era when future wars are being considered in countries such as Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and planned out of public sight. Those of us who are veterans for peace believe that the Vietnam War was a grievous mistake if not an horrific crime. And that is why Veterans For Peace has decided to meet the governments’ campaign with our own — Vietnam War Full Disclosure.

Vietnam Full Disclosure is calling on concerned citizens, who were seared by this war, to each send a letter to The Wall, the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. These victims will share their memories of this war and its impact on their loved ones, while expressing their concerns over future wars. On Memorial Day, Vietnam veterans will present these letters to the Vietnam Memorial and read excerpts from some of the letters. 

As Veterans, our legacy includes these commemorations and the resistance to wars present and future. It is a legacy of awareness and resistance, of ensuring that the society and system that sends young people to fight their wars understands the absolute duty to care for them when they return. It is a legacy of tolerance, diplomacy, respect and dignity to help us right the wrongs of imperialism and global economic domination for the benefit of the few to the expense of the many; a legacy of teaching and helping younger generations continue the fight for all of us, now and into the future.

The development of a legacy of peace is ongoing and that must be the legacy of the Vietnam War.

 

Jim Baldridge,

USN Jan ’66-Nov ‘69

VP-24 ATN2, Flight Crew 9

VFP Chapter 105, the Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter

 

See www.vietnamfulldisclosure.org for details on Vietnam Full Disclosure, including ways to participate between now and Memorial Day.

30
Abril

Over 3 million Vietnamese civilians and fighters were killed during the U.S.-led invasion of the Asian country.

Thousands of Vietnamese gathered Thursday in the city once known as Saigon to mark 40 years since Vietnamese soldiers took back the city, ending the bloody and divisive U.S. occupation.

Solidiers and traditional performers marched through the streets of Ho Chi Minh – once known as Saigon, the former capital of South Vietnam – is a special victory parade marking the day.

People started to gather at dawn to watch the day's events marking the end of the Vietnam-U.S. war and the reunification of the country.

The city was covered in red banners, with some of the reading, “Long Live the Glorious Communist Party of Vietnam.”

People started to gather in Ho Chi Minh at dawn to watch the parade, said teleSUR correspondent Vincent Montagud.

Men, women and children were also featured in the well choreographed display since it was important that the day's events represent all Vietnamese society, organizers told Montagud. “When I was dancing, I felt the entire atmosphere here today. We celebrate victory and it is very important to me.

That's why I wanted to participate in this event,” local volunteer Hong Anh Tu told teleSUR. Over 3 million Vietnamese fighters and civilians were killed and some 58,000 U.S. soldiers died during the Vietnam War, after the U.S. invaded the country to stop the communist ambitions of then President Ho Chi Minh, at a time when the Cold War was at its peak.

Today, the U.S. and Vietnam have friendly diplomatic relations, while the U.S. has become the southeast Asian nation's largest foreign investor.

26
Abril

Sixteen people killed in cold blood by the Mexican Federal Police; unarmed people of an auto-defense movement – in January 2015; just discovered by a team of investigative journalists.

Mexicans well remember the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students of last September, unarmed students of a college that caters to the rural poor, who were protesting the government’s education reform which would make school unaffordable for the poor. Their killing was provoked by the police in connivance with drug cartels.

An outrage – tolerated and even supported as an oppressive action against anybody seeking their rights – by Mexicans highest authorities.

Such oppressive police tactics around the globe are clearly the result of the violent police conduct in the US, either directly by training, or indirectly influenced by their brutal behavior – ‘if the empire can, we can too’.

While he professes the contrary, targeted police killings, allegedly to fight drugs, but with the real purpose of suppressing dissent, has increased drastically since the neoliberal President Peña Nieto took office in 2012.

Mexicans need to know that their police has been trained by the United States of America, the country that screams freedom and liberty at every corner of the globe – lies and deceptions, everywhere one looks; the most abusive and criminal nation in the world; the only rogue nation over the last 100 years, indeed an ‘exceptional nation’, as Obama and his cronies like to think of their country – a government dominated by an elite of hypocrites, supported by an equally murderous media which has prostituted its commitment to truth for lies and falsehoods to the elites of empire.

The criminal behavior of police and military forces throughout the world is the direct or indirect product of the US. They train armies and police in their 'client' states to assure oppression whenever there is a chance that people may claim their civil rights. This is what empire does.

The police chief in charge of the squadron that murdered the 16 unarmed protesters in January, as well as the one responsible for the Ayotzinapa disappearances, were nominated and are supported by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The President himself was literally implanted by empire, because Peña Nieto would not have been elected by Mexicans, an honest and noble people, other than by fraud - fraud paid for, planned and instigated by Washington. Only a puppet ‘authority’ can tolerate these murderous acts against unarmed people, and only because he knows he has support at the highest level - actually at the level of Washington.

Mexicans - be aware!

Latin Americans all over the Sub-Continent BEWARE!

Look at Europe! - The Old Continent dotted with puppets, with stooges of Washington; non-leaders that are drawing Europe into misery, first with lies; if that doesn't work, the atrocious boots of NATO will follow, either as an armed direct intervention, or as one instigating a war with Russia which will undoubtedly unfold in -where else - Europe. That would be the third time in 100 years - wars provoked by the Anglo-Saxon empire – and Europe reduced to rubble – to be rebuilt by empire to fuel its economy.

Latin America ! - Don't follow the path of Europe. Stay your own course.

President Obama is just about discovering that he has 'neglected' his 'backyard' - and now is doing everything possible to take it back, including by training your sovereign countries’ police and army. Just look at Venezuela, look at the threats- some tacit some direct, but all real – on Bolivia and Ecuador, on Brazil; all hidden as local subversions or disguised as the uncovering of corruption. These activities are the brainchild of nefarious Washington 'think tanks' (sic) which are planning to dismantle and destroy the social developments that have taken hold over the last 15-20 years throughout the sub-continent of Latin America and the Caribbean, the only population and societies, other than those of China and Russia, that have resisted the merciless onslaught of empire throughout the world. 

Brothers in solidarity, don't let your achievements, often dearly paid for with blood, be taken away. They are yours to stay! Don't fall into traps of lies, deceptions and aggression.

Take back your countries where they have been taken over by empire.

Empire will not let go - until and unless it is defeated. And defeated it will be. It is gradually sinking into internal disarray and into international discredit; into an abyss of darkness, from where only ashes will rise.

 

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, the Voice of Russia / Ria Novosti, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.