Swans Commentary » swans.com March 28, 2005  



A Marine Son's Story


by Nicholas DeVincenzo






(Swans - March 28, 2005)  My father was an Italian immigrant and a marine who fought in World War II. He died a few years back and had a military funeral. As his oldest son I was presented with the flag that draped over his coffin. That flag means a lot to me, and I know what it meant to my father. Why I am telling you about my father is to point out that though I have never served in the military or seen combat, I know indirectly what war does to people, and to their families.

My father was in and out of the mental wards of veterans and state hospitals most of his life. The last years of his life were spent in a veterans home in Menlo Park, New Jersey. Throughout my life I got to meet and see the side of war that isn't so glorious. As a young boy, because of my father's mental problems, other World War II vets helped me make sense of things; they explained to me that war is hell, and what it can do to the men and women who fight in them. They knew all too well what my father had gone through. I will always be grateful to them for their wisdom and kindness. So when I see men who did not serve, like Cheney, and Bush (who sort of served) waging a war of aggression predicated on lies, I am compelled to speak out against them.

Each pretext this administration used to justify the invasion, such as WMDs or linking Iraq with 9/11 has been proven to be false. The new (post invasion) reason given is that America has been chosen to democratize the world. A noble idea, but realistically, destroying the infrastructure of a country, and killing the very people that you are supposed to be liberating is insane (100,000 Iraqi civilians killed). Many of our troops are starting to question what our president has done. The establishment of military bases and the control of Iraqi oil are just two of the real reasons for the war. (America uses 20 million barrels of oil a day.) The truth is that the invasion of Iraq and the reordering of the Middle East was planned long before the events of 9/11. This is all stated quite clearly within the writings of the neo-conservative think tank called PNAC (Project for a New American Century). In fact 9/11 was the catalyzing event the neo-cons were hoping for in order to hasten their foreign policy goals. It was their new "Pearl Harbor."

I ask you, who are these men, claiming moral superiority, that have sent our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, to endure the horrors of war? Some would have us believe that it is GOD'S will that has led us into the quagmire in Iraq, and not the plans of mere men, whose perception of America's future may be fundamentally flawed. Getting you to agree with them is the job of Bush's spin doctors and perception management team (the linchpin being the trauma of September 11th).

The right to dissent is an essential component of our democracy. My father and many others fought for the freedom I have to question the motives of our government officials. No one should think they are not supporting the troops or being unpatriotic by doing so. I want the Iraqi people and the world to know that there are many Americans who are aware of, and opposed to this administration's corruption and deceit. Bush and company have no mandate since half of us voted against their policies.

I would like to take a moment to publicly apologize to the people of Iraq, and to offer my heartfelt support to the US troops and their families. With so many lives at stake, as citizens of this republic, it is our duty to understand what has been done in our names.

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Internal Resources

Iraq on Swans

America the 'Beautiful' on Swans


About the Author

Nicholas DeVincenzo has been doing delivery work for the past decade around Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, driving about 200 miles a day with some 50 stops to deliver snack boxes to offices, banks, etc. He resides in Northvale, New Jersey, with his wife and 10-year-old daughter. For over two years, he has regularly attended a weekly anti-war vigil with a group of activists to which Philip and Fran Greenspan belong. At age 18, he had an accident that left him blind in one eye. "But," in his words, "the silver lining is that though I lost vision it made me realize my own mortality. I used to say I had to lose vision in order to see; to become less self centered, that is. I went to a forest ranger school in Florida and was always environmentally conscious. The Iraq war stirred something in me that compelled me to protest the injustice I saw going on."



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This Edition's Internal Links

Facing Down The Demons: An Exercise in Self-Appraisal - by Michael DeLang

Some Call It Freedom But It Smells Like Death - by Phil Rockstroh

Neidermeyer Nation - by Richard Macintosh

BTK And The Double Life - by Charles Marowitz

The Art And Politics Of Film - Conversation between John Steppling & David Walsh

The ANWR Sing-Along - Poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith

Context And Accuracy, George F. Kennan's Famous "Quotation" - by Gilles d'Aymery

The Unlearned Lesson Of Joseph K. - by Anna Kuros

Puzzlement (Walter Laqueur Four) - by Milo Clark

Scores for Wars: Where Have Wars Taken The U.S.? - by Philip Greenspan

Spring In Mind - by Milo Clark

Spreading Democracy Instead Of Gonorrhea: It's Infectious! - by Richard Oxman

Blips #15 - From the Editor's desk

Letters to the Editor

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URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art11/ndevin01.html
Published March 28, 2005