How best to show respect for the U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like “the fallen” and expose the lies about what a great idea it was to start those wars and then to “surge” tens of thousands of more troops into those fools’ errands.
Nicely put, Ray. This article should be read by those who reflexively wave their flags today in ignorance of reality. If they could but pick the scabs from their eyes that propaganda has so thoroughly ravaged and realize that their real tears are the blood of their most unfortunate and impoverished fellow citizens–often out of sight and mind in our society. If only enough could and would see, then maybe change might be effected.
I will send this to my nephew who is going to flying school in Florida who wants to be a military pilot . And i would like to recognize again that around 20 vets kill themselves daily. I would like the proponents of war to explain to all the reason why .
Thank-you Ray. You’re always ‘right on’ in your summation of U.S. foreign policies.
ISIS was trained and armed by the CIA in Jordan, financed by Saudi Arabia to fight in Syria. How do you think they could even begin to use the sophisticated weaponry that has fallen into their hands (and dropped from the skies) if they hadn’t been taught how to use it? John McCain made nice with them a while back and now he’s saying they are a bigger threat to humanity than climate disruption.
Play both sides against the middle… that’s our game. It’s SO profitable for the MIC.
The ethical deficits in our nation’s leaders have bankrupted our national treasury and our moral authority world wide. As long as corporations sing, our current cohort of leaders will dance, and our sons and daughters will pay the piper.
Excellent article by one of the few remaining real journalists. Having served in Vietnam, I have real issues with these never-served warriors who show up in battle garb and talk about feeling our pain and loss. These resource conflicts have nothing to do with democracy, freedom, rights and they should all be booed off the podium/stage, refused to speak or make an appearance. In fact, they should be behind bars for war crimes. (Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woo, Bush 2, Obama…add to the list). These traitors are rewarded (Betrayus a great example) while others go to prison. The White House loves these “heroes” (Dakota Meyer one of the most recent who lied about his heroics and was under investigation. Since he won’t be marrying into that Palin bunch of creeps, I wonder how he liked that barbeque they held instead?) Heroes? What is a hero? Well, Hugh Thompson (who stopped the murders at My Lai) is one but his heroism was buried (C. Powell was one of those who kept that under wraps for months). Manning is another but he/she is doing time for outing war crimes. How about all of those down in Gitmo who refused to go along with torture and were silenced? How about all of those who outed the govt. for war crimes, torture, corruption, etc.? How about all of those where were raped, reported it, were victimized again (some killed or committed suicide)? How about all of those who refused to do wholesale killing (families, dogs, livestock) as thrill kills and were threatened (or killed by friendly fire)? How about all of those who decided this was not their war and refused to become a war criminal by continued participation? No medal for these heroes. They are being hunted, defamed, ridiculed as cowards,doing time, their lives destroyed. Medals should not be for those who serve and are cannon fodder (I do love that Kissenger quote and he is so loved by these sociopath war profiteers/war lovers). These men and women volunteered and were trained to kill, to do their duty–At all costs, including their lives. This is what they are paid to do. So the bonus of above and beyond the call is a piece of metal attached to a ribbon. That brings no one back from the dead, replaces limbs lost, a mind gone, etc. The day of celebrating those losing their lives in resource wars, political gamemanship, regime change agendas need to come to an end. We need to celebrate the ones who resisted, who called for change, who called out our govt and our leaders for the liars they are, and stop rewarding them for continued failures and the sacrifice of our youth on the altar of greed,avarice, and arrogant exceptionalism.
They did not fall, they were pushed.
They were not “heroes” they were gullible dupes and chumps - fooled to believe that their class-interests and those of their bosses were one and the same.
…and that has been true of all wars.
The lie goes on and on… “Dulce et decorum pro patria mori…”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If these elected and appointed terrorists in DC want another surge they should be the ones doing it! 90% of the retards in DC have never seen battle, but they are only too willing to spout off and send in the kids who can’t get into college, or find a decent paying job, thus killing our next generation!
This is a good analysis, albeit within too limited a frame. Essentially, it analyzes the impotent outcome of each surge along with the relative culpability of each presidential administration.
The broader questions that come to mind are:
- Why is militarism, itself, given such a prominent position in U.S. society
- Why exposing the now gargantuan and entrenched power of the Military-Industrial Complex is so important… since WAR is its necessary product and it must find cause for war to move “inventory”
- Why people like Ray McGovern still lend an imprimatur of justification to Militarism and “Military Intelligence” given the tragic fact that both have produced nothing but broken lands, livelihoods, and lives since W.W. II
This type of analysis–battle by battle–never places the spotlight on the Casus belli or the FAKE triggers used as pretexts for implementing plans for imperial domination (as per–The Project for a New American Century). Also, it does not question the inverted paradigm that asserts that war-making leads to peace, or the destabilization of nations, that of Democracy-building.
Monday morning quarterbacks can argue into perpetuity about the relative strategic errors of specific war initiatives and imposed strategies. The more pertinent question is WHY WAR at all… when muscular forces could and should be used to build up nations’ REAL security through preparing infrastructure for an onslaught of floods, fires, droughts, tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes.
This “fighting over there to protect ‘your’ freedoms here at home” is as idiotic as this idea that wasting precious resources on the implements of mass murder somehow will make nations safe!
IT IS BAD KARMA and it must stop!
And on Yogananda’s witness, I can state with certitude that these unnecessary battles opening up old tribal scar tissue ARE contributing to the imbalances in the planet’s etheric web that express through yet more violent and tragic earth changes.
THIS is right on! (Deep State at work):
(By the way, Frederick Kagan is the brother of neocon-star Robert Kagan, whose Project for the New American Century began pushing for the invasion of Iraq in 1998 and finally got its way in 2003. Robert Kagan is the husband of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who oversaw the 2014 coup that brought “regime change” and bloody chaos to Ukraine. The Ukraine crisis also prompted Robert Kagan to urge a major increase in U.S. military spending. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “A Family Business of Perpetual War.”] )
One thing that struck me, is that the figures that were about our troops and how many of them died. Not mentioned is how many of our victims died, which is greater by a factor of 1000.
I truly am sorry for every American soldier who was used as a fodder unit for the neo-con agenda and corporate profit. Should they have known better? Maybe except that propaganda works.
However, today I will try and think about the grieving mothers (and fathers and siblings…) in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen and Libya. Their loved ones were real people too, lest we all forget that fact.
I object to the frame “our victims.” It presupposes that citizens who now and beforehand opposed wars imposed through propaganda, the central position of the MIC, and the Deep State are somehow onboard with what THEY did.
I see others using this frame.
It could be that persons who adopt the we/us/our/ALL Americans (as one uniform group) ARE in uniform and that would explain this customary knee-jerk reaction or bent of mind. Otherwise, THEY are so identified with the 1% that they inadvertently take its acts and pass them off onto citizens. Think tanks and the Frank Luntz followers do this… for MONEY. In a time of influence-peddling, this tactic is no stranger to forums like this one.
How different is this from:
- Attempts to slime the rape victim’s “past sexual history” rather than hold the offender to account
- Media campaigns that denigrate the Black kids’ reputations in lieu of holding dangerously sociopathic police officers to account for their crimes
- Blaming Acorn for the financial crisis brought on by the same banking-Wall St. entities that used their lobbying power to eviscerate the Glass-Steagall Act
- Blaming Putin for his aggression in Ukraine
- Blaming “both sides” for conflicts in Palestine
- Blaming the flawed characters of whistle-blowers rather than the culpable individuals and entities they expose for massive wrong-doing
ALL of these narratives traffic in faux frames and because they are widely disseminated as media’s official LIES told often, a lot of people come to believe in them. I blame organs of deception FAR more than those who end up deceived.
When a bank is robbed, it’s not the everyday customers who are blamed.
However, in this time of rabid lawlessness on the part of empowered persons (in finance, govt., military, and corporate positions), very slick inverted PR frames are increasingly utilized to attach culpability to the least feasible entities… and thereby protect those who DO the trespassing.
Gen. Eric Shinseki, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2003 that the US would need between 300K to 500K troops for the taking and occupying of Iraq. Of course the neocons and neoliberals were certain that you can invade a country and win on the cheap. Now, that Slick Oily, Shrub, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, General Keane, Frederick and Robert Kagan, Sen.'s John McCain Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Robert Menendez have made such a clusterfuck out of the middle-east, that there is no real solution short of a total bug out from the middle-east that would satisfy absolutely no one. We will never be able to negotiate a fair and equitable (and we never would think of) peace. Military wise Eric Shinseki will be vindicated when the neocons and neoliberals are told straight out by the pentagon this time around that they will more than likely need a force in the range of 300K to 500K to take back Iraq and maintain order in the country. But we will also be stuck doing the same thing for Syria whether or not Bashar al-Assad remains in power. A large amerikan military force will be needed to maintain order and oil flow from Iraq and Syria for the next couple of decades. (Just what the Neocons and Neoliberals wanted all along) Amerika and it’s host of little fiends (aka, UK, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and the UAE) will be too busy hop scotching all over the middle-east and northern Africa trying to contain their newest Frankenstein creations. Well, at least the amerikan military will be! Meanwhile, with the US tied up in the middle-east, north Africa and Ukraine, China and to a lesser extent Russia are able to start cutting deals in south and central amerika (amerika’s own back yard) central and southeast asia and my oh my Germany and France also. Amerika thought that it would be able to hold on to it’s economic supremacy by using it’s military supremacy! No such luck! Amerika has made itself a pariah nation! Just think, the great exceptional, indispensable country can no longer employe it’s people because it can no longer manufacture things, and it can not feed it’s people, let alone the world because it dumps poison by the ton on the food it does grow, and it’s running out of clean water with which to water it’s genetically modified crops with! Though rumor has it, that the US is trying to sneak fracked water into the irrigation systems of it’s friends in big Agribusiness. That’s so that they can kill a whole bunch of birds with one stone, our crops and our people! Stay tuned, up next mutation nation!
War! What is it good for?
And you conveniently leave out the fact that Bush did not have a majority of votes (in 2000) that put him in office or that the governor of Ohio made sure to “hand Bush” the election thanks to touch-screen voting machines that could be programmed by those who owned them (back in 2004). Bev Harris proved how THAT works.
Memorial Day 2015
- My memory of war starts with World War II. I was just a boy during the war and it was largely an adventure to us, but I remember the quiet pride and the sadness in the eyes of the increasing number of mothers who hung a gold star in their window, never knowing if my mom might be next and my big brother, a Pearl Harbor survivor, gone.
- The wars, great and small, were legion in the last century. My dad lost his leg in the Philippines in 1913. WW-I, was the “Great War to End All Wars.” An entire generation died in the trenches. One of my uncles, who lied about his age, was the first, and youngest, soldier from Oregon to die in that war, at the battle of Chateau Thierry.
- The memory of man is short and only twenty years passed before another generation was thrown into the meat grinder to stave off domination by Hitler’s Nazis, Mussolini’s Fascists and Imperial Japan’s expansion.
- We had hardly buried the dead and recovered from the shock of the realities of nuclear annihilation when East and West went at it in Korea, a war which still goes on, the fighting finally just stopped by mutual agreement.
- The cold war and the covert wars went on, with the poisonous testing of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons. I was present at one such series in 1956. The memory has never ceased to haunt me. Then along came Vietnam. Since then, the “little” wars have gone on all over the world, like brush fires in the California hills, consuming human and material resources.
- In 2001, we saw the tragedy of 11 September and its aftermath. We watched another war start in Afghanistan, which has been swallowing up armies since the time of Alexander the Great and has now gone on for thirteen years. We had a horrendous war in Iraq, which has killed US troops in the thousands, and Iraqis in the hundreds of thousands and fostered still more hatred and unrest. We are facing yet another Obama instigated “preemptive” war in Iran and possibly Syria. Once more the toll will be enormous.
- Amongst the dead may be the man who would have discovered the cure to cancer and other deadly diseases, the composer who may have surpassed Mozart or Brahms, the playwright or poet who might have succeeded Shakespeare, the statesman who could have brought about world peace or the person who might have been able to end world hunger.
- Those are the might-have-been’s. The reality is the millions of humans who have died, fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, fighters and civilians in this past century, all with the dream of peace and human dignity before them. Yet, with the new millennium, war still goes on around the world, and apparently it will continue until we once again learn to talk, negotiate and compromise, not legislate or dictate at the point of a gun.
- Let us give pause in remembrance of those who died, often alone and forgotten, victim of mine and booby trap, sniper fire or disease and infection, whose resting place is unmarked save for perhaps a little more verdant growth where they have nurtured the soil.
- Let us give pause in remembrance for those who survived, maimed in body or soul by the atrocity of war.
- Let us give pause in remembrance for those who survived to carry on, with nothing but memories, of which they do not speak.
- Let us give pause in remembrance for those whose lives ended abruptly, without warning, on 11 September. And of those of all nations and beliefs who continue to die by war and terrorism.
- Let us give pause and reflect, that we might carry out our lives in such a way that love and tolerance might overbalance hatred and bigotry in the scales of life and the dream of peace might become a reality, so those we remember today did not die in vain.
Thank you, Brother, and Welcome Home. To the extent we tell the truth, we offend our nice neighbors. Truth is not welcome in their comfort zones, and the American Dream has been reduced to “give me a comfort zone if not a home loan.”
Of course, today’s heroes are official traitors; few officials are not traitors.
The USA is now experiencing growing internal civil strife, and no official effort is made to even acknowledge it, much less is there any thought to addressing it. This strife is the direct result of unresolved internal turmoil from the Civil War, the interminable imperial wars, the Civil Rights movements, and the still unresolved quasi-official major political assassinations of the 1960s, including JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy - the very most prominent of our leaders then who publicly demonstrated they were determined to address our existential and unresolved internal turmoil.
Our officials are on the wrong side of history, and our majority is busy channel surfing to avoid all history. The Chinese proverb, ‘may you live in interesting times,’ seems to have us pegged to our own short attention spans.
Steve, We must face the fact the most , if not all, died in vain. War is NEVER the answer. In America war and violence is ALWAYS our first option. Peace doesn’t produce the enormous hidden profits of war. Can anyone imagine a financial accounting of the trillions spent on these latest wars ? Laughable , I know, but incredibly sad. The treasury is stolen by privateers. False flags will continue to reinforce the lies.