The second part of this article takes us to Asia. My first adventure into political consciousness came with the Vietnam War. The lives lost and the tremendous financial cost, innumerable losses were also incurred in the United States. Besides the deaths of nearly 60,000 soldiers, there were 350,000 casualties. More Vietnam veterans are in mental hospitals and treated for mental problems than any other war veterans. A disproportionate number of veterans of the Vietnam Conflict are incarcerated, also. In fact, there are Incarcerated. Vietnam Veteran Programs designed specifically for these mentally wounded veterans/prisoners.
During the 1960s, along with the unrest of the Civil Rights Movement, the United States saw a socially contentious period in which leaders were worried that the Vietnam War would tear the country apart. With a war that brought to living rooms its horrors as it was televised to the public, the country was split between those who supported this war and those who supported the protestors. In May of 1964, hundreds of students marched through Times Square, while 700 marched in San Francisco. In 1966 three soldiers know as “The Fort Hood Three” refused to deploy to Vietnam, calling the war illegal and immoral; they were subsequently sentenced to prison. The May 4, 1970, Kent State debacle is, of course, an incident that will never be forgotten as students were shot by Ohio National Guard, who fired 67 rounds upon unarmed college students, killing four, and wounding nine others, one of whom was paralyzed.
The continuing cost of war does not end when the guns fall silent. Nations must deal with the aftermath. 400,000 Americans suffered physical wounds; thousands more suffered wounds to the spirit and others from efforts to defoliate the jungles to deprive the enemy of sanctuary. The Vietnamese and American veterans and their children suffered wounds from the exposure of their fathers and mothers. I’m 80% disabled from the war and recently involuntary retired because of disability. Agent Orange (Monsanto and Dow) had contaminated many Vets and Civilians of both sides with Dioxin Poisoning.
Afghanistan and Iraq highlight the problems that surfaced after the Vietnam War. Thousands of men and women maimed physically and mentally and hundreds taking their own lives.
Suharto of Indonesia, whose 32-year dictatorship was one of the most brutal and corrupt of the 20th century, died Sunday in Jakarta. He was 86.
Suharto during a ceremony in 1967 in which he replaced President Sukarno. More Photos.
Mr. Suharto was driven from office in 1998 by widespread rioting, economic paralysis and political chaos. His rule was not without accomplishment; he led Indonesia to stability and nurtured economic growth. But these successes were ultimately overshadowed by pervasive and large-scale corruption; repressive, militarized rule; and a convulsion of mass bloodletting when he seized power in the late 1960s that took at least 500,000 lives.
His dictatorship had been financed by World Bank and IMF-approved loans since 1967, so that Indonesia now has an official debt of some US$60 billion. Western and Japanese banks also dived in, lending crony companies another $40 billion. The current round of IMF loans is aimed at rescuing Suharto, his cronies and the big multinational corporations in Indonesia.
The Revolt against East Timors Megwhati Government was met with US media lies. The Revolutionaries where at first labeled terrorists. In early 1991, despite reports by Amnesty International and other human rights groups documenting the contrary, It had stated that East Timor’s “human rights situation has, in our judgment, conspicuously improved, particularly under the current military arrangements.” When Indonesian forces massacred 430 civilians at a funeral in the capital of Dili nine months later, In the face of international outrage at an Indonesian “investigation” of the tragedy which blamed the massacres on the nonviolent protesters, The USA claimed there was “no case to be supremely critical” of the regime. It was insisted that the Indonesian dictatorship had “responded in a reasonable and credible way” and argued that “essentially punitive responses from the international community are not appropriate”
Since East Timor finally became independent, much has come to light regarding the extent of the regime’s genocidal campaign against the people of that island nation, which lost one-third of its population in the course of the Australian-backed occupation.
US backed Ferdinan Marcos declared martial law in the Philpine on September 21, 1972, and did not lift it until January 17, 1981. During this time, he called for self-sacrifice and an end to the old society. However, in the “New Society” Marcos’s cronies and his wife, former movie actress Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, willfully engaged in rampant corruption. With her husband’s support, Imelda Marcos built her own power base. She became governor of Metropolitan Manila and minister of human settlements. The previously nonpolitical armed forces became highly politicized, with high-ranking positions being given to Marcos loyalists. In 1979 the United States reaffirmed Philippine sovereignty over U.S. military bases and continued to provide military and economic aid to the Marcos regime. When martial law was lifted in 1981 and a “New Republic” proclaimed, little had actually changed, and Marcos easily won reelection.
The beginning of the end of the Marcos era occurred when his chief political rival, Liberal Party leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, who had been jailed by Marcos for eight years, was assassinated as he disembarked from an airplane at the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, following medical treatment in the United States. Marcos cronies were charged with this crime but were acquitted. Aquino, however, became a martyr and his murder the focus of popular indignation against a corrupt regime.
When the Philippines revolted in a Revolution of Disobedience US Secretary of State said, “We lost a good friend in the Philippines.Government re encroaches with Military exercises and the possibility of establishing bases there again.