Interesting Stuff

Whatta Country! Ottawa KS Meets Iraq


Franklin County Kansas is flat as an iron and apart from the grain elevator, the red brick courthouse is the tallest building in the county seat of Ottawa.

It has all the proper patriotic symbols–the scales of justice statue, the Kansas and American flags.

Like many other courthouses it has carved in stone the names of all “the boys” who died in the wars of America. It has a section for World War I, a bigger section for W.W.II, Korea, Vietnam, and now two names under “Iraq.”

Hard to not ponder as you stand there looking at the monument: Did the guys in W.W.I die in vain since we keep having wars?

We like the paraphrase version of General George Patton’s quote “Don’t die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for your country.” In Ottawa, Kansas the Iraq War is two names on a monument –with not much room for more entries…hopefully.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. “[A]ll the proper patriotic symbols…” What? No ten commandments? Heathens…er, traitors, I mean. It sure gets confusing.

    Do you suppose those two soldiers died in the first Gulf War, the War for Kuwaiti freedom? Judging from the rhetoric I keep hearing from the right the County will have to keep a full time stone mason on salary chipping in new names and countries like Iran and Syria. Or should we just call it the War against Islam, to make it easier on that stone mason.

  2. Guardian, Very nice monument to our fallen heros and hopefully you are right about no more entries. Did you happen to notice if there was a Ten Commandments nearby?

  3. Did those two guys die fighting to protect us from WMD? or from liberating the Iraqis from the bad guy Saddam? Or was it the “war on terrorisim” or the fight to spread democracy in the Middle East. Perhaps they died to keep the terrorists from invading our shores and fighting in our streets. Who was it that said we would be greeted with confetti and flowers as Iraqi freedom liberators?

  4. First, it was “make the other sonuvabitch die for his country.”

    Second, why is it the exact same response every time someone wants to bash the war.(We know for a fact that there were “WMD’s” because WE SOLD THEM TO THEM! And if the given portion of the equation is that there are 2-3oo million people that hate us and want us dead,what would possibly make anyone think that they won’t follow us back here when we leave?

    Last, are we really to believe that Sadaam wasn’t really that bad of a guy? I mean he didn’t do anything to us! I am in no way trying to justify the prosecution of this war. In fact, I believe someone should be “hung” for HOW this war has been fought.

    Lest we not forget, that monument has a bunch of names on it that represent good honest soldiers that did what they were asked to do, for us! They made the ultimate sacrifice for us and I just wish, for once, we could just honor that fact and thank them and their families for their sacrifice.

  5. BoiseCitizen
    Sep 30, 2006, 7:02 am

    Or that the “war would be paid by Iraqi Oil revenues”. Another favorite,”The insurgency is in it’s last throes”. Can you imagine Eisenhower saying,”You go to war with the army you have”? Then invading Europe with only 150,000 troops? I wonder when this will all end.

  6. So many lie’s were told.
    So many live’s lost.
    How have we allowed our goverment to do this to us.

  7. The troops go to war with the commander-in-chief they have not the C.I.C. they might want or deserve, as I explained to one of my grandsons.

    Unfortunately our current pathetic excuse for a leader, and his useless band of draft-dodgers, apparently have no clue how to handle, finish or get out of the war they started.

    My family has been involved as soldiers, sailors or airmen in every major war since 1864, as well as peacetime volunteers. It is my opinion that never has any American armed force been as poorly represented by their civilian leadership as the current generation. I will do everything in my power to discourage my grandchildren from volunteering, at least until we get some grownups back in the White House and at the Pentagon. I have no desire to see my family members names on a stone memorial anywhere.

  8. My God, that monument does say “Iraq”. What’s gonna happen when one of their sons or daughters falls in another country? If we are to believe some people, this “war” will continue for years, maybe decades to come. As long as the profiteers such as Mr. Cheney’s former employer can keep putting their shills into office.

    War for oil? I was hearing on the BBC the other night that the Iraqi government is close to signing a deal with China for oil. Hey, it’s their democracy, ain’t it? Be careful what you wish for, etc…

    What are we fighting for? Is it about the 9/11 attacks? Are we even yet? When will Halliburton and its subsidiaries say “enough, thank you”?

    We are fighting because the 9/11 attacks provided an excuse, a business opportunity for certain business interests connected with the current administration to make money hand over fist. This is the most cynical excuse for a war that Americans have ever had to suffer.

    If there is anyone in Congress with a backbone, he or she should propose conscription. The troops who are fighting this war are being forced to endure a burden that no American soldiers have ever been shouldered with in our history: In ever previous war, when it was over, it was over. You went home, and you knew your dues were Paid in Full.

    But now, because they know the consequences, neither the administration (‘junta’ is a more proper term) or Congress have the GUTS to let our troops off the hook. Plus, the American people, especially young ones, can choose to ignore this war completely. No war in our history has been such a “lifestyle option”. No war has less engaged the populace at large.

    But for a soldier who signed on for four years, and having served and honorably discharged, a trip to the mailbox, a ring of the telephone sets off a little bit of the same kind of adrenaline that a nearby explosion did in the mean streets of Baghdad did a few months ago.

    For God’s sake, let them off the hook. And yes, I know what the fine print on the contract says, and yes, I also know that we’ve never actually invoked this fine print. In the past, when We fought a war, We fought it as a nation.

    Winston Churchill’s words come to mind: “Never have so many owed so much to so few”.

    I’m not sure exactly what so many are getting out of this war, but I know that too few are doing all the dirty work, and that too few are getting any benefit.

    Sometime, somebody’s going to have to ask the American people what they are willing to sacrifice in this Great Endeavour to bring democracy to the middle east, or what ever the #%&$ the mantra de jour is… To be sure, we are all paying for this war in one way or another, but the cost is so subtle we seldom associate it with the war. Are we willing to sacrifice our sons and daughters? How would young men and women act when they see their friends being turned into soldiers, not as a matter of choice, but by force of law? I wonder if they’d start taking an interest in the world as it exists in its gritty, bloody reality.

    Whatever granite carvings we owe those who fell before them, we owe something to those who those who currently serve — something more meaningful than a yellow ribbon when it’s popular.

  9. Razzbar, I would be proud to be your mother, sister, wife or daughter. What an appropriate description of the mess we are in.

    Men of my generation – the Vietnam generation – are suggesting a return to the draft. At least it would be fair, instead of redeploying the same troops over and over. If the Bush daughters had to face the draft, as well as the children of the other exploiters, perhaps a solution would be found to end this apparently useless war. (No deferments except for serious health problems.)

    At this point does anyone even know why our young people are there, except to practice for the next war? I agree with Razzbar entirely. What a horrible experience for our young people to be sent back to the “war” over and over, while the rest of the population goes to the mall and worries about what’s popular in clothing and electronics.

    I am no longer proud to be an American because of the actions of the Bush administration.

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