Who’s to Blame For War After War?

I blame God for War.

I blame the Most Powerful Force in the Universe for not using its Almighty Abilities to stop war dead in its tracks.

Why does the Cosmos permit war to occur, when it has all the Love and Goodness we humans offer it day after day in prayer and spiritual offering? Why allow man to kill man in the name of religion, statehood or some foul political purpose?

Young men die (woman too). They never asked for a war, never sat in committee of Congress or behind a desk in a white house. None were privy to some fanatic’s plan to kill civilians indiscriminately. Yet, we fall to our deaths daily.

Lieutenant Vic Ellinger was shot and killed in Vietnam while I forced marched my platoon to come to his help, realizing after two of my men were medavaced out because of heat exhaustion that I was too late. I’ll never forget it decades later. I remember the only guidance I got then was from Lieutenant  Colonel Sallucci, who criticized me for allowing my men to walk too close together while in a formation, that a single enemy grenade could wipe out more than one soldier when bunched together.

Why did Vic have to die? I cried out in my silence. Why were we even there? What was our true purpose?

My good friend Charlie Ellis, lieutenant in charge of Second Platoon, was relieved of his duty shortly after two of his troops died in the field. The soldiers, one an experienced man, set up a Claymore Mine, stretching trip wire across the jungle floor, disguising it among the low bushes and leaves. They forgot where they set the wire, walked right into the wire, tripping the devise that triggered the explosion of C-4, killing them almost immediately.

I was relieved of my command after I called mortar fire onto enemy positions, “stepping” back each volley to get it closer and closer to the river across from my position, only to realize after the last request over the radio, the mortar fire had accidently fell on to us, wounding half of the squad I was accompanying in the field. There was an investigation into the munitions, the rounds, the mortar weapons themselves, as well as the human agents who plotted the firing and of course the one who ordered the shots.

Lieutenants were a dime a dozen in Vietnam, especially to a man like Sallucci, a Lieutenant Colonel who had been passed over twice for advancement to what we called a “Full Bird, a full colonel, and that he would be asked to leave the Army if passed over a third time. He wanted “body counts” and none of junior officers in my company provided him with enough. Two 0f us were relieved, and the third one killed.

War. It doesn’t matter who starts it. Why can not the Leader of All — the omnipotent Force Above us  — put a stop to it, perhaps removing the gland in a male that causes him to lust for power, to lust for battles just as long as he doesn’t have to be in front of the troops. And while we’re at it, lets hang all the chicken-hawks in government who always push for war as a first solution when they have never experienced combat face to face. Have their child, son or husband/father don the uniform and live in a war zone for a while. See how quickly those hawks pull in their wings and sue for an armistice.

A young man I met a year ago was awarded 100 percent disability by the Veterans Administration for his injuries suffered while in the service. His status was labelled” “Permanent,” which meant that he would received generous benefits for the rest of his life. He was barely 30 years old. But we all knew why he got the award.

The soldier was to have been an escort for chaplains until the morning of 9-11 some eight years ago. Instead, he was ordered to Ground Zero, where he took part in removing the corpses and body parts from the fallen towers, inhaling the fumes that coated his lungs, threatening him  — and many others similarly situated — with an early death.

That wonderful young American could be dead today. A victim of a war some terrorist dreamed up for some political or religious purpose, perhaps both.

He will leave behind a small child and a young wife. His life will have been cut in half, maybe more. Why. For God’s sake, why?

I want an answer.

I need some comfort.

I want   .   .   .   I need   .   .   .   Peace.  

6 comments on “Who’s to Blame For War After War?

  1. saradode says:


    I don’t have some perfect answer to your question, and I can’t imagine the horror of having been in Vietnam, and the memories you must live with. It’s certainly a question you have every right to ask.

    My only thoughts on this have to do with our concept of the Divine–who or what we understand God to be. I think you mention somewhere that you were raised Catholic (so was I); I’d guess then that you, like me, grew up with a vague concept of God as some bearded white guy in the sky, watching our every move for infractions of His law, making things happen according to some divine whims. But now you’re looking at Buddhism, and I assume you’ve probably looked into other spiritual traditions, trying to find “answers” and a way to live.

    I don’t practice any specific “religion”; I’ve come to the conclusion that none of us has the ability to truly understand and “own” the nature of God. I believe that God has revealed God’s self in many forms (the “white guy”, nature, multiple deities, “nirvana”–whatever “works” for an individual or culture), but that God’s only real concern is that we love (I’m not trying to advertise my own blog, but my latest post happens to deal specifically with this–http://saradode.wordpress.com is the address, if you want to look at it).

    But we have a choice as to whether or not we live by that. When you practice mindfulness, and try to find that stillness or emptiness within yourself, that’s when you’re trying to “hear God” within yourself–to allow space for God’s will to work through you. It’s a very quiet voice, but it’s there. If everyone were willing and able to do that, you’d never have had to go to Vietnam, and people wouldn’t set homeless people on fire for fun and condemn others for having beliefs different from their own. But it’s an effort worth making–when you can find the Divine within yourself, then you can start to show others just by the way you live (as Jesus did, for example).

    The world would no doubt be a very peaceful place if God called every shot (I do believe that God calls SOME of the shots, at times, but not 24/7!), but it would also be very strange–we’d all be like Stepford Wives. So it’s up to each of us, I think. Keep listening, and I wish you all the best.



    • contoveros says:

      God truly works in mysterious ways. Forty years after facing men in combat, I’m glad to face the Will of God with the same determination to accomplish the mission.

      That mission is to know, love and to serve Him in whatever capacity he sees fit.

      I like to share his love with others in writing. I also can be a source for joy and laughter to those I meet in person who need a friendly reminder that God exists in everything, the good and the bad. And it is in the so-called “bad” that we get to really appreciate Him. It is when we’re challenged to put our faith to the test that we can see he conspired with everything in the Universe to bring us to our knees and to come back to Him for help.

      I need help more and more and am glad to find it through his infinite mercy while hitting rock bottom. it is then that I have nowhere to go but up.

      I also like finding him in my often crude and crazy/stupid humor!

      Michael J

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Michael! It’s always so nice to hear your “voice” :). I often think about how much I miss our conversations via our various blogs a few years back. You were always an inspiration to me, because of your openness to so many aspects of the divine, and also just because of your “crazy/(not) stupid humor”!
        I don’t post much to my old blogs much; I’ve got (yet) another one. I’m not sure if you’ve seen it yet, but if you’re interested it’s at:

        (My apologies if I already told you this.)
        All the best to you, and I’m so happy to hear that you’re still sharing what you learn of God through your writing, etc.
        Nancy xo


        • contoveros says:

          On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 10:14 AM, Contoveros wrote:

          *What a joy to find you in my mailbox!*


          I can’t help but smile the whole time I read your words, got to the site of your new book, and purchased it over Amazon.com . . .*

          *I put the book on FaceBook, that is, I told my FaceBook friends that I had purchased it from my very first Internet friend, Nancy Bevilaqua.*

          *With love,*

          *Michael J,* *writing as Contoveros*


          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m sorry, Michael–I just found this today (I don’t know why I don’t get emails when someone sends me a message!). Thank you SO much for buying the book and mentioning it on FB! I use a different FB account now (I’m actually trying to stay away from it as much as possible, as it can be addicting and a major mind-drain and distraction–but I’ll bet you know that 🙂 ). I’m going to see if I can change the settings here so that I get notified of your messages, new posts, etc. Thank you again! I always think of you so fondly…



            • contoveros says:

              Yes it can be a major mind drain. I gotta limit my time there or I’ll end up spending half the day if I’m not careful.

              Good to hear from you again. See you later!

              Liked by 1 person

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