(Book - Letters The Olympian Refused To Print)
A platoon of soldiers smoking dope before they leave JBLM. One actually goes AWOL to dodge a drug test before being shipped out. Once in Afghanistan they drink liquor received through the mail, smoke hash until the smell won’t go away, kill unarmed civilians for sport, lie about them being armed, cut off body parts for souvenirs and the Army can’t seem to find anything wrong happening here. Or rather they can’t seem to find anyone to blame. And everyone is bending over backwards to pin the deeds on someone or something else. We were all high at the time. It was the Lt.’s fault. It was the Capt.’s fault. The General didn’t know this was going on.
Any real investigation going to show up in this paper? Or will we be spoon-fed whatever pabulum the media guys at JBLM want us to swallow?
I expect the Army brass will want to cover this up as soon as possible because it’s embarrassing. Though why would it be embarrassing to an organization whose mission is to kill people? Will this platoon of soldiers become the next rush of heroes? Will we see a new wave of SUPPORT THE TROOPS stickers? Are we so hyped up on extremism from the politicians and hate-mongers that this is codoned as just another day at the office?
God or Allah, I hope not.
(228 word count)
My father was a veteran. First man on the beach at Normandy on "D-day". He and a buddy in a two-man rubber raft. He had a knife (to sink the raft) and a flashlight (to let the landing craft know where the beach was). He was of German heritage, fighting for the U.S.A. and against those who spoke the same language. It messed up his mind.
Lots of great stories about his buddies. Lots of day and nightmares about the less than great times. Lots of stuff he never talked about. Lots of stuff I will never know.
He's gone now.
I did think he was brave to have done what he did, but I never honored him on Veteran's Day because he didn't want the memories to come back again. Even though at the time (I was born in 1947) America thought differently about war and soldiers and heroes. That was then.
I'm a veteran now. My two sons don't even know about Vietnam. They could care less and I am not disappointed. I'm not proud of what I did. I'm no hero. Like so many of today's youth, I joined for the benefits, not the war. Do I want to be honored? For what? By whom? I didn't sign up to save America. I didn't sign up to fight for our freedom. I didn't sign up to protect my family or friends. The answer is no, I do not want to be honored for being a veteran.
As a member now of Veterans for Peace I educate others on the costs of war. What it did to my father. What it did to my best friend who, as a medic, stepped on a landmine one week in country. What it has done to me. I counseled both my sons against signing up. Neither did. I consider myself fortunate I don't have to remember what it could have done to them.
So, Veteran's Day. Big deal. Go plant a tree. We need more trees. We need fewer veterans.
More information about this event here
This was a great discussion about the topics of Anti-Semitism, Anti-Jewish Oppression and Jew-Hating, Islamophobia, and Anti-Arab racism in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as the greater global environment of (waning) US and Anglo-American hegemony.
move cursor over image for "mouseover" effect:
Truth is the first casualty of war.
Friday 1 October 2010
Percival Landing Olympia WA
Since all wars begin with aggression, and (it seems to me) that most people oppose aggression, then all wars must begin with lies. The aggressor must lie in order to convince most people that war is necessary.
For example, people are told that war is necessary to combat terrorism, or some other perceived threat. As far as terrorism goes: the reality of terrorism must be considered in the context of provocative and antagonistic policies and behaviors on the part of states that choose to label their adversaries as "terrorists." Terrorism oftentimes is, ultimately, a form of blowback for oppressive/abusive/otherwise violent policies/practices.
All wars begin with aggression. Therefore it is common that the perpetrators of wars must lie in order to placate the body politic into believing that war is necessary, or that war really serves some real and true interest.
The only legitimate function of a military is to defend against invasion by an aggressor. All other military functions are (or ought to be!) illegal and immoral.
Why I Support the Boycott of Israeli Goods from the Olympia Food Coop
By Peter Bohmer
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Peter Bohmer's ZSpace Page
The decision by the board of the Olympia Food Coop to not buy Israeli made goods and boycott them is a positive and important contribution towards ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. It is part of a global grassroots boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) movement to pressure the United States and Israel to fundamentally change their policies. I strongly support this courageous and important decision made by consensus by the Olympia Food Coop board on July, 15th, 2010.
The big buzz is NATIONAL SECURITY. OK, I hear that. Uh, but what does it mean?
Well, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotamayor says we have to choose between freedom of speech (aka, WIKILEAKS) and National Security. So I guess we have to decide if we want to know what our government officials are doing [supposedly] in the name of the people - us - or do we want them to keep it all a secret? Let me think on that for a minute......
Keeping what a secret? Well, for example, are our U.S. soldiers killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan? Do you really want to know that? Would it just make your day that much brighter to know that, yes, they are! Can't you just trust your neighborhood politician to let you know that they are keeping you safe from some Afghani whose daughter was just raped by a vengeful marine, or whose unarmed son was just shot by a passing patrol. That same Afghani might just want to board some plane, fly over here and cruise the streets of, let's say, Cinncinati and start yelling "Americans, stay in your own God damn country."
So, those governing this country need to keep things secret in order to protect us, you and me, from people they have pissed off in some other country around the world. And that, my friends, is National Security.
PS - As our C.I.A. & F.B.I. agents jokingly say, "If we told you the secrets, we would have to kill you." Now it's up to you. Do you really want to know? I'm still thinking........
I think this is an important story—because the USA was lied into war against Iraq as well, and Daniel Ellsberg made this very clear in his testimony for the defense of Patty Imani.
CONAN: Well, thanks very much. It's kind of you to say. In the film, you described witnessing one of the fundamental lies of the war. I think it was your first day on the job.
Mr. ELLSBERG: That was in the Pentagon. And I was made aware within hours, by hearing Secretary McNamara and President Johnson assure the country that there was unequivocal evidence of an unprovoked attack in international waters and that we sought no wider war. I knew within hours of taking employment, by coincidence, that very same day, that everyone of statements was false and the Congress was being misled on that. It was only within a few days of that that once it became clear that there had been no attack at all on our destroyers.
That wasnt clear, initially, but what was clear was of the statement that there was unequivocal evidence or as much unprovoked or false.
CONAN: The Gulf - that Gulf of Tonkin incident. In fact, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution became the legal framework in terms of Congress for prosecuting the war.
Mr. ELLSBERG: That's right. Years later when I revealed some of those same cables and documents that I had in my safe that night, August 4th, 1964, when I revealed them in the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, Senator Wayne Morse who's been one of the two senators who voted against the Tonkin Gulf resolution told me, if you had given me, on the foreign relations committee, those documents which were now out in 1971.
Warning graphic content:
The US Military Doesn't Want You to See
To think of the abuses that have occurred in Iraq. And to think that the war was unnecessary—unrelated to legitimate national security prerogative. There was no immediate threat of attack from Iraq. It is a war of choice. An act of aggression. A crime against the peace. An immoral and illegal occupation.
Why aren't more people infuriated about this.