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Our Grief is not a Cry for Concentration Camps and Torture of Prisoners

by Darnell Summers for VVAW AI Germany Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 at 7:03 PM
vvawai@oz.net (206) 374-2215 PO BOX 21604 Seattle, WA 98111-2604

I couldn't escape the Irony of the situation. Brown and black bodies being brought to Cuba again. This island used to be the biggest breeding station of slaves in the New World And once more there were being brought, by their white masters the protectors of the "Holy Grail ", to sit somewhere and rot. I sat there and thought of my own experiences for I too was once a prisoner of the US Military.

errorOur Grief is not a Cry for Concentration Camps and Torture of Prisoners

This is a speach given at an anti-war function in Germany.

Darnell Summer Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti Imperialist Germany

Cologne 13.01.02

For the past few days the US Military has been transporting suspected
members of the Taliban & Al Queada from a military prison in Kandahar
Afghanistan to another prison on the island of Cuba at the US Naval base at
Guantanamo Bay which was leased to the US Government by the new Cuban
Government installed after the war between the US & Spain in 1898 which
ended hundreds of years Spanish colonial rule in the Caribbean & South
Pacific(Guam & the Philippines in particular) and with the loss of their
stolen treasures to the US. I watched as the military guards paraded their
captives in front of the TV cameras at Kandahar, bragging openly that they
had been sedated and shackled like animals. They then dragged them along
blindfolded like slaves to Auction. They were forced unto the plane and
believe me this was no charter flight to Mallorca. A few buckets were set
among the prisoners to serve as toilets. It was outrageous.

When they landed in Cuba they were again paraded in front of a disgusting
array of reporters and cameras to be led into another facility where they
were thrown in open cages and exposed to the elements 24 hours a day.
America has a long history of running prisons with 25% of all prisoners
locked up in the world locked up in the US.

I couldn't escape the Irony of the situation. Brown and black bodies being
brought to Cuba again. This island used to be the biggest breeding station
of slaves in the New World And once more there were being brought, by their
white masters the protectors of the "Holy Grail ", to sit somewhere and rot.
I sat there and thought of my own experiences for I too was once a prisoner
of the US Military. I know first hand how brutal they are. I saw them use
the same tactics against their own soldiers at the notorious Army Prison at
Long Binh Viet Nam, LBJ, where I was a held captive in 1968, the first and
worst of several such places I would experience. The Daily Beatings, Torture
& Terror, there's no other way to explain it. I resisted, I was beaten. I
was one among thousands of American soldiers who had experienced this same
form of justice and Democracy. The spectacle of it all, the deceit, the
arrogance, the cold-blooded murder. The utter disregard for human dignity.

They say they're only protecting their way of life. Well, their right to
live only means untold millions must die to serve that end and that includes
the victims who died and those who were injured during the World Trade
Center attack.

I sat in front of the TV and searched the faces of the US soldiers looking
for that tell-tale sign of fear in their expressions, I knew what to look
for, I had seen it in my own face. You can feel it somewhere in your stomach
and your face has a mind of its own. A fear generated by the realization
that you don't want to be where you are. You want out, but you're thousands
of miles away from home killing and bombing in someone else's country.
Setting it up for the kill, making it ready and ripe for rape, pillage and
plunder. A strange mix of apprehension and doubt.

I found what I had searched for across the TV screen. The US and its Allies
along with a few other petty-thieve states are sending a message loud and
clear. Whether Viet Nam, The Balkans, Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan, there's a
plan and a Modus Operandi.

It's important that I stand here today in front of this audience being able
to speak to all of you as an eye-witness to their treachery and victim of
their crimes. We are here to discuss and express in many forms what we can,
what we should, what we must do. The role that veterans can play is crucial.
We are the direct link to the soldiers fighting today. We must confront
them. We must show them a way out of their situation.

One thing is certain, as they boast that the world has changed forever and
that they are in charge and everything is under control and we should all
return to our desks because the fire is next door and not in our building
the reality is that the outcome is uncertain and many things are possible.

Let me read something that I think speaks to the present situation, its
from an article written by Howard Zinn, a prominent American historian.

"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is
civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people
all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the
leaders of their government and have gone to war, and
millions have been killed because of this obedience. .
.. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the
world in the face of poverty and starvation and
stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that
people are obedient while the jails are full of petty
thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are
running the country. That's our problem."

VVAW AI / StormWarning!
P.O. Box 21604 Seattle, WA 98111-3604 (206) 374-2215

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