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Citizens must protest against senseless wars

In the summer of 1969, as a young man, I attended a rally to protest the war in Vietnam. What I learned that summer has affected my life for 60 years now. I learned that politicians can create and promote conflicts that the American people will buy into without any research of their own.

It is usually fueled by lies, deception, greed and personal gain without regard to human life. So, it brings me to how this tragedy could possibly repeat itself. And in Iraq it certainly did. We were told of weapons of mass destruction that never existed. We lost more than 5,000 brave American service men and women. An estimated 800,000 Iraqi citizens died. An estimated $2 trillion were spent. Stories of C-130 transport planes delivering pallets of $100 bills to fly-by-night contractors, and to this day the American public has no idea where this money went.

Have we learned anything? As in 1969, like today, it was the lower- to middle-class families that lost their sons and daughters. It was a new generation sadly deceived about facts that were not true. And, as in Vietnam, Iraq is about to fall to civil war. Think about what our country may have been if those 5,000-plus American heroes had lived? Think, about the $2 trillion being spent on rebuilding American roadways, schools, hospitals and research.

But most important, future generations must learn from these crimes and stay involved in rallies, such as the one I attended in 1969, and speak out to prevent this from ever happening again.

Christopher M. Swan Sr.

Hamburg