Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wave more flags

Well I’m glad that’s over – Veteran’s day, that is. Like a number of holidays that formerly had meaning and that once brought out the best in us, this is one that is another occasion for an emotional and irrational fugue and witch hunt. You hear things like “If you don’t honor the troops you might as well just submit to these terrorist activities that are going on” that I heard on the radio Saturday.

People swoon and babble and wave fetishistic symbols glorifying war and militarism; people put yellow ribbons on their Toyotas and paint flags on their faces and call it honoring the troops. Every military action, visible or covert, necessary or unnecessary, moral or legal or not; on this day it becomes “fighting to preserve our freedom” and every examination of presidential perfidy in getting our troops killed and maimed needlessly “dishonors and demoralizes our troops.”

It’s another day of self adulation and self delusion; another day to tell ourselves how wonderful we are and absolve ourselves of wrongdoing and stupidity and cupidity by waving flags. It's a day to mock people who don't love war for war's sake. It’s a day to forget about veteran’s benefits, proper medical care, and combat pay. It’s a day to look at military hardware and demonstrations and ignore the lack of adequate equipment, planning and leadership that costs lives every day. Honor is cheap, genuine appreciation and concern costs money that can better be stolen by Republicans or given to movie stars. The fact is that we pay athletes and entertainers more than we pay a whole regiment and that doesn't bother us at all as long as we buy a magnetic ribbon made in Taiwan.

So maybe the tide of public support for Bush’s War is ebbing, but as long as we adore war the way we adore professional football, we will go through this again and again, falling for every sales pitch by every military-industrial-Republican administration looking to make a buck off the backs of our men and women in uniform. No matter what they tell you, every time we go off to interfere in someone’s civil war, to prevent some country from voting the way we don’t want them to vote or to respond to some event that never happened, we aren’t fighting for our freedom, we’re giving it up.


Anonymous said...

Once again, you have a way of putting things into a perspective that is lost on many of us. I agree that the true meaning of this honorable holiday, has been co-oped for the gain of everyone from Hallmark to Halliburton. Too bad, sad, in fact. I resent STRONGLY that this holiday has been related to Iraq... it's not about that. It's about the 40 photos I saw in the Washington Post a few days back about who was killed in that immoral war. While I honor them, I bemoan their senseless loss (many of whom have barely seen 20 years of age.) UGH.

Capt. Fogg said...

Thing is - I'm someowhone who gets teary eyed when passing a war memorial. When I hear all this nonsense about ultimate sacrifices for freedomI think about some kid who will never get to be 21, bleeding to death in the sand while some cigar smoking bastards sit around a monopoly board.

So much of what we are encouraged to believe and to celebrate is a mental virus planted to get more out of us, to make us into game pieces on their game boards.

Think Cheney and Wolfowitz talked about the nobility of the "Ultimate Scarifice" when they planned to invade Iraq?

Crankyboy said...

We're number one still right? I mean even though we are number 55 on the list for literacy; 48 for life expectancy (edging out Albania in 54th place) and 184 (higher number is better) out of 226 for infant mortality rates (once again edging out Croatia which has a higher rate of infant mortality but not beating Cuba, Canada, Slovenia, Malta or Greece. At least we are better than some countries.

Capt. Fogg said...

You liberals all hate America.