Early each New Year’s Day I head for Lake Michigan with a handful of friends. We look for a quiet stretch of what, only six months earlier, was warm Chicago beach. Then we trudge through knee-deep snow in bathing suits and boots, fighting wind gusts and hangovers. Sooner or later, we arrive where the snowpack meets the shore and boot through a thick crust of lake ice, yelling and swearing as we dive into near-freezing water.
Maybe we need to start making video games where “kids scream when their parents die and many [innocent] civilians die”. Maybe a more realistic war experience would mean fewer young people would participate and regret it later.
God Bless You Sir!
I was in tears somewhere in the first few paragraphs, and by the end my face is drenched.
How many times have I recommended Smedley Butler’s “War Is A Racket” be required reading in America’s middle schools, high schools, colleges & universities … thank you for making it real …
Powerful piece. I appreciate your efforts to counter some of the propaganda with which those students are barraged.
I’ve seen firsthand the effects of experiences like yours in my nephew who has done two deployments in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Even in a room filled with relatives, his eyes never stop darting around, on the lookout, haunted. Damaged.
My nephew hasn’t achieved the separation that you have, though. He will still tell you that he was “protecting” us over there. And the saddest part is that there is a note almost of contempt for those he was protecting, that comes through in his online comments. It looks like it’s going to take a long time to get over “drinking the kool-ade.”
You, at least, are doing an admirable job of “making lemonade.”
This gentleman is an absolute hero, in the truest sense. Speaking truth to power requires a lot more courage than following orders. If every Veteran who sees through the b.s. would speak out, no doubt fewer naïve young people would sign their lives away to the military.
Rory, if you stop by… you probably realize by now that the lack of invitations is to prevent the truth from getting out.
So much money goes into glorifying war… with Hollywood one of the central conveyors of that delusion. Of course, a mass media that never tells the true story; but rather, traffics in simplistic good guy-bad guy frames with “U.S” being “the good guys” does a tremendous disservice to Truth and those eager young persons (mostly males) who sign up thinking that the military will open career and travel doors.
Earlier I listened to a BANNED TED X talk. I didn’t realize there was such a thing until today!
Here’s a brilliant scientist, Rupert Sheldrake explaining how science too frequently falls into dogma and then closes the door on asking the questions that make for science, in the first place.
Then I thought about the Media closing rang\ks AGAINST Sanders and only repeating tidbits of his responses, often giving them the wrong context and slant while leaving out the full impact of his TRUE positions and messages.
So much in the way of mass perception is carefully vetted to favor the story of American conquest, the illusory spreading of Democracy and other covers to endless war that mostly exist to further the business, banking, and natural resource interests of the 1%.
Imagine if THAT was told to all the kids–of which a percentage will return home maimed in mind, body, or spirit… and that’s IF they return home at all.
Like the poem goes–“What if they gave a war and nobody came…”
Thank you for working towards that utterly SANE objective. And thank you for turning into a whistle blower. If people didn’t enter a number of questionable entities, there’d be no voices FROM THE INSIDE to expose the true nature of the belly of the Beast.
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I am impressed.
The author may not have had much success in getting into schools but kids talk. And if one convinces two more, and those two convince four and it is repeated 26 times, then that is around 6.23 million. Even one small step can have a massive impact when a critical mass is attained.
I happened to skim the front page of the NY Times today and it informs me in a muted, seemingly just-the-facts style of how Sanders broke his own pledge to stay issues-focused by attacking Clinton. Nothing of the fact he was shooting back the same “unqualified” label that she started (at least not in the key first paragraphs). And no real issues to mar this police report for the record. With sharp media like this, intelligent people can make reasoned decisions. Wait, you can’t tell me this paper could be grossly distorting the truth, from such little details to slightly bigger stuff like weapons of mass destruction?? Like Michelle Alexander says about how it’s a hard truth but a necessary one for Black folks to face about the Clintons’ full record, it’s a hard truth but a necessary one that “smart people” need to face about our official intellectual establishment in the U.S.: it is as corrupted as anything else in the teetering empire (I thought a poll some weeks ago showed Clinton distinctly ahead of Sanders among those with highest institutional educational attainment). If you want the truth, you’re going to have to look for it. Or listen to it unfiltered.
Rory Fanning, as a truth teller you are a transformative revolutionary. Thank you. May you keep healing through the loving truth.