Sunday, April 03, 2011

What is there to thank our soldiers for?

Still trying to bring a promised piece by Arthur Silber, I am yet again sidetracked and failed in mission. Sidetracked on Silber's instructions though I must add, where he recommends reading the complete article from which he himself took the following.

What is there to thank our soldiers for? They are not defending our freedoms. They are not keeping us safe from our enemies. They are not protecting us from terrorists. They are not guaranteeing our First Amendment rights. They are not defending U.S. borders. They are not guarding U.S. shores. They are not patrolling U.S. coasts. They are not enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies. They are not fighting "over there" so we don't have to fight "over here." They are not avenging 9/11. They are not safeguarding the American way of life. Oh, and they are not ensuring that I have the liberty to write what I do about the military.

Of that, more in a moment. Firstly, a little something from myself to set the mood; part of a previous article.

Tawdry Tears and Tombstones
January 20, 2007

Tawdry. Taw-dry adjective
1. showy but without real value.
2. of finery: gaudy; showy and cheap.
3. low or mean; base: tawdry motives.
4. noun. Cheap, gaudy apparel.

The first description I feel best befits this image of Bush as he sheds a tear, or do I do the man a disservice and the tear is genuine? If it is, I can but only think that it is not shed for the marine who was being honoured, but shed for George W Bush.

And is that marine buried at Arlington Mister Bush? You are hardly likely to know are you, not for you the funerals of those that you sent so eagerly to their needless deaths, no Mister Bush, for those who’s lives you ended so prematurely, just a cold patch of earth and a tombstone.
Tombstones Mister Bush, those tombstones that caused me to write these comments some time ago in a forum other than where I write this.

Shame and decency are not to be found.
Yet they offer the parents of the dead a free headstone if it bears the inscription "Operation Iraqi Freedom"

Shameless, and overflowing with abject hypocrisy. Bush knows all too well why the troops died, I hope the spirit of the countless thousands, the spirit of every dead man woman or child haunts the son of a bitch to the grave and beyond.

But he cannot see the irony of this “magnanimous” gesture, forever and a day will that inscription, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” etched in stone, mock the man and his presidency for what they truly are.

But the bitterest of ironies is lost on this fool, because forever and a day those words will be synonymous with:

“They died for nothing.”

- - -

The above, in contrast to much I have written on America's armed forces, and in contrast to the crux of the featured article. is about the most forgiving thing I have ever penned on the subject of the Pentagons hired killers. But what is writ below is something that I couldn't hold truer in my own heart.

Thank a Vet?
by Laurence M. Vance

We've all seen the bumper stickers: "My son is in the Air Force," "If You Can Read This in English, Thank a Marine," "Proud Vietnam Veteran," "Fly Navy," and of course, "Thank a Vet."

Why should we?

Why should we call them heroes, give them military discounts, grant them veterans preference, express our support for them with ribbons on our cars, honor them with a holiday, hold military appreciation church services for them, and thank them for their "service"?

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. It had nothing to do with honoring current and former members of the military like Veterans Day is celebrated today. And if the sole purpose of Armistice Day was to honor World War I veterans, it should never have been celebrated since no American soldier did anything honorable by intervening in a European foreign war. And it doesn't matter if he was drafted or not.

Britain's last World War I combat veteran, Harry Patch, died last year at the age of 111. He boasted that he hadn't killed anyone in combat. "War isn't worth one life," Patch said, it is "calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings." In his autobiography The Last Fighting Tommy, Patch wrote that "politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder." In the last years of his life, Patch warned some young naval recruits that they shouldn't join. more


Cletis L. Stump said...

I always enjoying visiting here. The word origin of "tawdry", by the way,is very interesting.

Himself said...

I'm glad you do Cletis, I'm glad you do, and all the more a compliment that you are American.

Thank you.