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'Light Em Up': Warrior Cops When the Wars Come Home

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/08/light-em-warrior-cops-when-wars-come-home

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Like many, I bow up in anger at the actions of the Chauvins out there. But in my personal experience, I remember a K-9 officer who lived in my last neighborhood who, along with his wife, helped me corral my recalcitrant hound and get her back into my house. In my town, a college town, the protest are by an large coordinated with the mayor and the chief of police and pulled off without incident. Peace and Speech are both central. Perhaps that is part of the reason I have chosen to stay here. It is Blue where I live surrounded by red in a state that is purple.

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Great thanks to the author and CD for publishing this serious indictment of the “new” cops coming from foreign wars to American streets! Instant submission is demanded and met with brutality and violence at odds with the states mission “To Protect and Serve”, now a sick joke!
This is a very important aspect at the core of many violent police responses and confrontations - a racial and “enemy” mentality now as the author writes, “Come Home” to America.
The racist atrocities committed and terms used to describe the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere by US forces are central to how those civilians as well as fighters are thought-of and treated! The “towel-heads” and sand “people” many of us have heard have built a racist and deadly violent mindset, that cannot - MUST NOT - be tolerated in police forces!

DEFUND and re-Purpose Funding to community needs!

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Heaven help the cities and towns the Warrior Cops come home to.

Sadistic yes, warrior, fuck no.

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No more “thin blue line” BS. No more cops as warriors. No more special flags for how much their lives matter. We need but a single flag for how much all our lives matter, black or white, rich or poor, the powerless as well as the powerful.

How about that old-fashioned American flag I served under as a military officer for 20 years? How about the stars and stripes that draped my father’s casket after his more than 30 years of fighting fires, whether in the forests of Oregon or the urban tenements of Massachusetts? It was good enough for him and me (and untold millions of others). It should still be good enough for everyone.

This passage, from William Astore’s conclusion, troubles me – casts me into a difficult place where I don’t quite know how to feel about ye olde Stars & Stripes (forever?) Astore’s point is well-taken: that “Thin Blue Line” flag belongs to another country which has invaded and infested this one.

But my country ('tis of thee) – how have its people ever benefited from the flag Astore prefers? Some of us have refused the pledge for years, because we regard that patriotic framework as an unnecessary wall of oppression between us and them (many of them internal outsiders). What is the meaning of any flag in the first place, aside from “keep the hell outta here!”?

I’d been idly musing if there might be a third flag to suggest, but come to think of it: I might be done with flags entirely (except when needed as face-mask material). There’s already a flag for the nation I belong to: the human body, the planet Earth.

Wind-socks, on the other hand, are very cool: telling you not only which way the wind blows, but also how hard. Flagpoles without flags could be put to practical use.

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Thanks, Mr. Astore. Here’s to a conversation about walls and bridges: about the PTB, their foils in the corridors of power and their storm front on our main streets, currently. Blowback?
Walls & Bridges- John Lennon
Steel and Glass
" There you stand with your LA tan
And your New York walk and your New York talk.
You’re mother ( country ) left you when you were small
But you’re going to wish you weren’t born at all. ( hope dies last )
Your phone don’t ring, no one answers your call
How does it feel to be off the wall?
Well your mouthpieces sqawk
As they spread your lies ( so many )
But you can’t pull strings if your hands are tied.
Well your teeth are clean
But your mind is capped
You leave your smell like an alley cat. ( Yes, this )
Steel and Glass ( it’s coming down? )
Steel and Glass ( it’s going down ?)
Steel and Glass ( finally? )
Some of us have been trying to remodel or rebuild this steel and glass model for over 50 years, Mr. Astore.
Walls & Bridges, indeed!!

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Good article, thank you.

In a speech to evangelicals in January, Trump announced that “We’re going to win another monumental victory for faith and family, God and country, flag and freedom.”

Faith, God, Country – we know he couldn’t care less as long as he is re-elected. Family – he only cares about enriching his own and Freedom is freedom to do as he pleases.

The Flag though – his response to Drew Brees informs us, “honoring our magnificent American Flag. OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high." He wraps himself in it and claims it for his own, his cult of supporters do likewise.

Europeans coming to the US are struck by the ubiquity of the American flag – In Europe national flags are flown on special state occasions, commemorative events, deaths of leaders etc. Not every day - outside gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores etc. That’s the sort of thing you get in countries with authoritarian regimes.

In front of people’s houses it usually says “white people” – often times “Republicans”. When we begin to see less flags we will know that in the US “Black Lives Matter”, that the US is becoming de-militarized, with less of the warrior cop culture, more egalitarian and so on. Right now as the UK group UB40 song says “your flag is flying but it looks dirty to me” this is especially true as Trump dishonors and drags it through the gutter.

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Whether it a Republican or a Democrat in charge , US Politicians are always trying to manufacture foreign threats to “US Freedoms and liberties”.

The Democrats blamed Russia for Hilary Clintons loss to Herr Trump.

The White house now claims Venezuela behind the protests in the USA.

~https://news.antiwar.com/2020/06/07/white-house-tries-to-link-protests-to-venezuelan-government/

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The U.S. leads the world in inventions. The UniParty Consensus ( The Feds ) controls The Patent Office.
What were expecting from them?
A Peace Machine instead of a War Machine?
{ snark in the dark? }

Or think of what’s happening this way: America’s violent overseas wars, thriving for almost two decades despite their emptiness, their lack of meaning, have finally and truly come home.

Since U.S. foreign policy has been, with few exceptions, one big lie, everything from " bringing them freedom and democracy to WMD’s in Iraq " it stands to reason that the lies have been exposed and now are at last coming home.

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“My oldest friend, a great gut I’ve known for half a century, recently retired as a deputy sheriff. I know these people because their my people.
Many cops - I’d say most - are decent people.”

This is where people who defend the police of today, fail to put these two points together. Yes when you are close to certain cops they seem to be “good or decent” people, because you are close to them.
The reality is todays police forces are not good people, the good ones either didn’t get hired for that reason, or if they were hired, have been pushed out because of this trait. It’s not “a few bad apples” anymore, the bad ones have rotted the whole dam basket.
I even fell for the sheriff near Flint, MI., believing he might be the only one kneeling that was sincere about his actions. Then I watched this last night, and realized what a phony he was.

(h)ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea1E9-eoNkc
“Busting Copaganda: The Truth Behind Police ‘Taking a Knee’ and ‘Joining Protests’”
The Grayzone Platform

Other than this one issue, agree with the rest of a good article.

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Gulf of Tonkin? Escalated interventions, based on fabrications, it’s the American way since our founding. Just don’t ask the historians; after all, they’re selling books based on telling the world, and us, how great we’ve been. A Pax de Pacifier!
Since WWII we’ve been living on laurels, which now sound phony and canned, pretty much.

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Yes, Amerika was founded on slavery and calling the Native American’s " SAVAGES" WHICH TRANSLATES IN TODAY’S NARRATIVE AS TERRORISTS.

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Speak to the neighbors or family of any soldier returning home from war overseas and they will claim them as decent people, all loving there family and good fathers and mothers.

Among these “decent” men was one Chris Kyle lauded as a great hero who had been over in Iraq and had executed over 150 people. I am sure that every one of the family members that had a loved one murdered by the American Hero Chris Kyle would have insisted that the person Kyle murdered was a decent family loving man.

Mass murderers that invade anothers Country and start killing the people there are never “decent”.

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True, and there may be irony in the example you brought up (Kyle). I don’t have solid proof, but there is circumstantial evidence Kyle was murdered for turning down the Boston Bombing contract.
That said, I do make a distinction between military personnel who do “wake up” to the fact they were used by the empire and disavow what they were used for. For me the groups like Veterans For Peace, etc. prove this. Those who go on to join police forces have taken the opposite path, and prove they enjoy that mindset of killing and causing pain for others.

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Yes, the old joke about, " What’s in a name? "
Well, somone labeled a savage, you’re not going to sleep well. " sleeping with one eye open ".
Someone labeled a terrorist? Prison or death, it’s just a matter of time. AIM ( American Indian Movement ) members I knew thought this would be their ultimate fate. Teddy Means ( Russell’s brother ) said this out loud in front of hundreds of university students, mostly white and mostly female, too. People just don’t get the connection.
Too bad for the conquered, right?
Dick Gregory made some of the same points about the Black Panthers and other orgs.
" What’s in a name? " Plenty, actually.

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It’s the $$$, retirement and benefits!

Assuming your referencing those that chose the police path after leaving the military, that’s probably true for some, for others it’s maintaining that superiority overs others, and adrenalin rush they experienced in war. What ever their reason, once they join the club, they either join in, or are pushed out.

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When I put on a military uniform in 1985, I underwent a subtle but meaningful change from a citizen to a citizen-airman. Soon after, however, the U.S. military began telling me I was something more than that: I was a warrior.

US police and military need to be abolished. In addition to deeply entrenched racism, misogyny, and sadism, the modus operandi of both institutions is dehumanization. Both institutions are founded on the principle that “might makes right” and that the first order of business is to assert authority through violence. The sociopathy has reached such a degree in both institutions that police and military personnel embrace the brutalization of innocent civilians as, at best, collateral damage.

There are models of civic institutions that respond to emergencies, threats, crimes, and violence without the glorification of violence and hate.

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Enjoyed reading your excellent reply…thanks.