Chicken Hawks and "Other Priorities"
Walter Lippmann once said, "I don't like war-like old men." He was trying to point out the unfairness of old people waging wars that young people would have to fight. But at least back in the good old days, the old men that Lippmann was referring to were all veterans of either World Wars One or Two. They knew the horror of battle first hand. They knew that sending the children of America into mortal combat - however just the cause might seem - was the most terrible decision a civilian leader could possibly make. That's not the case anymore. Far from it. The astounding thing is the fact that the career of Dan Rather was destroyed because he told the truth: George W. Bush evaded the draft in the 1960s by enrolling in the Texas Air National Guard. Through the machinations of his powerful father, he was able to jump out in front of a waiting list of over two-hundred people. And when he was securely installed, the cowardly little thug went AWOL! And how about Dick Cheney? When asked why he didn't volunteer to fight in the war in Vietnam - a war he enthusiastically supported - his pathetic response was, "I had other priorities." It must be stated for the record that for anyone with a keen sense of irony, the Bush administration is a virtual treasure trove of goodies, is it not? The gift that keeps giving!
A generation after the fact, these same dirty old men - these draft dodging chicken hawks - are the ones waging a senseless war that they know is doomed for defeat - and young people are dying in it by the thousands. Does anyone know what the latest body count is? I've lost track.
And now we are re-learning a lesson that we should have learned forty years ago: Our government has been hijacked by the armaments industry and will make war if only for the sake of keeping the cash (our tax dollars) pouring into the coffers of the weapons manufacturers who fiance the campaigns (and in some cases the lifestyles) of these murderously corrupt politicians. Whenever a candidate for public office courageously speaks out against this atrocious situation, he or she is accused of being "soft". Forty years ago they were "soft on communism." Today they're "soft on terrorism." It's the same old tired and stupid accusation - just a different "ism".
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of misplaced power whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties and democratic processes."
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
The military industrial complex that Ike spoke so presciently of in his farewell address to the nation forty-seven years ago this January should be permanently shut down. It has not only looted the economy of a country that has the potential to be the greatest place in the world in which to live (Dirty little secret: It's not) but it has also turned this fragile planet into a powder keg. The United Nations - for the sake of life on this planet - has got to put the merchants of death out of business not only in this country, but across the globe. Why is it that this manner of dialogue is always dismissed as the ramblings of a fool and a fanatic? Why is it that so many people who call themselves "Christians" would tolerate a situation that utterly flies in the face of the words of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount:
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called, 'children of God.'" (From the Gospel according to Matthew)
What is being done at this very moment by our government - in our name - is sheer madness. But we could put an end to it tomorrow if we really wanted to. We should tell our young people that the government of the United States cannot be trusted and that the situation will not improve much next year if the Democrats are put back in power. They should be made aware that joining the military is not a good option. That's why the sons and daughters of privilege don't enlist. That's why George W. Bush didn't enlist. When the fools in power bring the draft back (and it's going to happen - count on it.) a mass resistance needs to be organized. We should no longer support a government that wastes so much of the treasure of this once-great nation on weapons of war. Think what might happen if there were no longer any children willing to don a uniform and march off to die? What would happen if there was a nation-wide tax strike? What if we all stood up and shouted, in unison, "We are not going to support this insanity anymore." It's not impossible! It can be done - It will be done - Thy will be done! All we are saying is give peace a chance.
From this day forth, I will no longer "support our troops." If "supporting" them means encouraging the murderous agenda of the Bush administration, then count me out, brother or sister! I just want them to come home, safe and sound. I don't want them to kill or be killed any longer. I don't want them to have to deal with lost limbs and wasted lives anymore. Anyone who seriously believes that the war in Iraq is going to have a happy ending and that the USA will emerge from the carnage victorious has been watching too much FOX News (FLASH: They've been lying to you from the moment they went on the air).
This war is over. This war is lost. Get used to the idea. Come to terms with it. Stop being in denial - GET A GRIP, FOLKS! The almost four thousand American kids who have lost their lives in this hideous atrocity (not to mention possibly a million or more Iraqi men women and little children) have died for nothing. This obscene situation was engendered only because a handful of GOP connected corporations wanted to loot a country that is in possession of the second or third largest oil reserves on the planet. Is that an "un-American" thing to say? Quite frankly I couldn't care less if I tried. I refuse to be a "good German", thank you very much. Just call me a citizen of the good ol' planet Earth.
I was just curious: Is there anyone out there who still believes that sending this disgusting, half-witted little frat boy to the White House was a good idea? Anyone? Anyone???
War is over if you want it.
By the way: In case you were too caught up in the latest misadventures of Britany Spears and Paris Hilton to take notice, the middle class in this country is being totally and permanently destroyed. Just thought you'd like to know.
Happy Labor Day, everybody!