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Not just for those of us in Louisiana

By Remy Benoit

The Gulf, the bayous, the city of New Orleans is important to all of us. Last week another rig burned up, fortunately not spouting more oil into the water, into the bayous, into our lives.

From Joel Schectman, Newsweek, at Reader Supported News BP Threatens to cut aid to spill victims if not allowed to drill.

Pete Seeger Live for the Gulf.

And then there is Senator Vitter. Yes, let's take the For Sale sign off the Capitol lawn. End the power of the lobbyists with the voice of the people. If you notice, it reads WE THE PEOPLE, NOT WE THE CORPORATIONS.

If we make nothing here to make corporations more money we are selling our national soul. If we let foreign countries have tax breaks, waivers for safety, we are selling our national well being to the highest bidder. If all that money from that is not in your pocket, you really should ask where it is going.

And while you are here, speaking of lobbyists, corporations including those who make our medicines, I would really like your Senators and Representatives, state and federal,to hear from those of you who have had negative results with your medicines.

Recovering as I am from a heart attack, implant of a defibrillator/pacemaker, the meds that were supposed to make me better, stronger, left me with severe muscle pain, terrible pain in my hands, and difficulty concentrating. These side effects are commonly listed, and we accept them,we pay outrageous prices for them, but WHY? Why not demand medicines that don't make you more sick, that don't impact on your liver, kidneys, etc.? AGAIN nothing will happen, nothing will change, unless you make it so. Perhaps we need to pay more attention to herbalists, to Native American medicine men.

And the dispersants in the Gulf? What will we hear about them and what they have done some years down the line as they are already making people sick. Remember, Agent Orange was okay, or so we were told.

It is time to re-evaluate our priorities; to re-evaluate what we accept as truths. Perhaps it is time to learn to touch nature and maybe in doing that we might find respect for life, including that of our soldiers. Are we so fearful of the real face of war that what we see in the eyes of our Veterans terrifies us so much that we turn away from them; leave them alone after they have given all; leave them to carry for the rest of their lives all the horror they have known without our recognition of any of it? If we are so fearful of the real face of war, why do we not work hard every day for ways to bring peace, even if all we can do is try to find peace for ourselves and share that with others?

The past is gone. We need new ways of thinking to cure the vast negative legacy of so much of the past. For that we need to find new ways of thinking, including the acceptance of the truth that what each of us does each day impacts in some way on the whole planet. If we are spreading hate in the name of the Prince of Peace, that needs to be re-thought. We tend to blame others for our own inadequacies, for our own fears, failures, and shortcomings. Doing so in the name of any religion is yet another failure of our own; a refusal to face our own inadequacies. It is so very much easier to hate than it is to love. Love takes effort; love takes acceptance; love takes courage. If we don't like ourselves, if we don't like our lives and refuse to change ourselves and our lives, how can we like, how can we love others?

No matter where we live, no matter what our mores or dogmas are, we each, if we are blessed, have two legs, two arms, a brain, physical, mental, and spiritual needs. The more we look for similarities instead of differences, the more mouths we will feed, the less hate we will breed.

This is a real legacy of real war. Face it, change it, so it doesn't happen again.Robin Lindley: The Real Face of War.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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