Memorial Early

May 26, 2013

6342588543_83fee887f8_mWar remembered by the dead. Today is the day before Memorial Day, which is tomorrow, Monday — a sober holiday in its intention, but nowadays more to the BBQ and cheap beer.

America is fairly bloody place, started out that way, and now, with a shitload of neurotic, gun-toting civilians trying to keep more guns in more civilian hands more often, and our neurotic,’Global War on Terror,’ or via the Donald Rumsfeld/Newt Gingrich favored motto of ‘the long war,’  the killing keeps on keeping on — President Obama attempted last week to address and maybe-start an-end-to this octopus-like ‘terror war,’ but there’s a huge hitch in reality vs patriotism-fueled bullshit.

Words of war are chucked around like little bubbles floating in a fairy tale.

(Illustration found here).

Yet, based on some near-pure lies and a shitload of pure lies, the US invaded Iraq (which had no bearing on 911/01) and near 4,500 US GIs died — meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians died, and that country right now is once again on the edge of civil war — and 2,250 American dead in Afghanistan (and still counting), and that country a currently deepening horror hole. (via).
Any celebration of Memorial Day should be tasted with more-than-a-drop of bitterness.

Even old people like me, growing up in the ungainly shadow of Vietnam and the lies believed: Once in office he (Dick Nixon) escalated the war into Laos and Cambodia, with the loss of an additional 22,000 American lives – quite apart from the lives of the Laotians, Cambodians and Vietnamese caught up in the new offensives – before finally settling for a peace agreement in 1973 that was within grasp in 1968.
Shit like that way-pisses me off.

USAToday had a piece last week that touched a most-sad chord about war, military and bullshit. The narrative was about the effect of Sept. 11, 2001, on way-young kids at the time, elementary school, near-babies:

All three children — Barrett, 8, Tristan, 11, and Zack, 9 — would reach manhood as fighting churned on.
Barrett’s desire to challenge himself, Tristan’s drive for excitement and Zack’s love of all things military would draw each on separate paths toward war.
As the conflict in Afghanistan slogs through its 12th year, all three young men have given everything to a war growing longer as they grew up.
Zack died in a Blackhawk helicopter crash March 11.
Just days before his planned return home, Tristan was killed March 22 by an improvised explosive device.
Another roadside bomb mortally wounded Barrett on April 17; he was removed from life support as his parents stood by four days later.

In the last few years, the US has killed a shitload of people, including its own — Martin Luther King Jr., from the speech, ‘Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence,’ delivered April 4, 1967:

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home.
It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population.
We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.
So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools.
So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit.
I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

In April 1967, I was a couple of months away from graduating high school. A few of my classmates didn’t make it long afterwards.

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