JUNE 2, 2012 6:35PM

NOBODY says it quite like Ted

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"Next Memorial Day, Remember America’s Victims Too

Self-Delusion and the Cult of Militarism


May 30, 2012

"Memorial Day: our national celebration of charred meat . . . "


"However, as we begin the countdown to next year’s Warapalooza—only 362 more days before you fire up the grill or, if someone near and dear died in one of our wars, spend the day at the graveyard grumbling about the fact that too few Americans share your sacrifices . . . "


"Let’s make Memorial Day 2013 a day to remember all the victims of American warmongering. By all means, shed a tear for the 58,282 American men and women who died for transnational natural gas corporations during the 1960s and 1970s, and a patently absurd “domino theory” in Vietnam. But make sure you cry 35 times more for the 2,000,000-plus Vietnamese men and women our soldiers were sent to kill—people who posed no threat to us, who did us no harm.

Let’s build a wall for America’s war victims in Washington. It’s the least we could do.

That sucker would be big. Huge. Big enough to stimulate the local construction economy.

Hang a flag and place a flower on the grave of one of the draftees too clueless or afraid to evade service, of a rube so ignorant of history and politics that he enlisted to fight in one of our countless optional wars of illegal aggression, of a bloodthirsty thug who seized the chance to commit murder for the state. They were our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters, and we loved them. We miss their unfinished lives.

Our war dead deserve recognition for helping to expand the American empire, and for lining the pockets of the profiteers and their pet politicians."


"And so we, the Left, ought to declare that Memorial Day 2013 should belong not just to the jingoists and war criminals and patsies, but also to their victims. We should hang banners and march on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans murdered by U.S. forces since 2001. Call 1-800-Flowers; ask them to deliver a bouquet to a cemetery in Fallujah."


"War is almost always a struggle of the rich and powerful fought by the poor and powerless. War kills, maims, and makes people crazy. It destroys infrastructure. It sucks away resources—money, technology, people—that would be better deployed somewhere else.


Most Americans know this—or they think they do. On a gut level, however, we’re sheepish and embarrassed about the crimes committed in our name. We’re in denial.

It’s understandable. We’re not insane. We’re in a state of cognitive dissonance; we want to be one thing—peace-loving, good people—but we know we’re the opposite—passive, tolerant and fearful of “our government” (which not only can assassinate any one of us at any time, for any reason, but actually asserts the legal right to do so as consistent with the democratic values to which we supposedly adhere)."


“Our” leaders feed us mass delusion. “You came home and sometimes were denigrated, when you should have been celebrated,” President Obama told a group of Vietnam vets on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the start of the war. “It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened.”

And it didn’t.

As historians have proven, no one ever spat on a soldier returning from Vietnam. To the contrary: the antiwar movement was pro-vet (in part because so many servicemen were conscripts). The spat-on-vet story began circulating after—of all things—Sylvester Stallone’s character in “Rambo 2″ talked about it. Obama knows, or should know, the truth. He’s old enough to remember.

“You persevered though some of the most brutal conditions ever faced by Americans in war,” Obama went on. “The suffocating heat. The drenching monsoon rains. An enemy that could come out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly.” Why was the weather so tough, the enemy so fierce? Obama left that, along with much else, unsaid: we were invaders and occupiers, half a world away, propping up tyrants in a place where we had no business whatsoever.

And finally, an outrageous claim, one so widely accepted that the media didn’t bother to quote it in news accounts, much less question it: “We hate war. When we fight, we do so to protect ourselves because it’s necessary.”

What a kidder!

We Americans have fought a handful of battles, much less entire wars, to “protect ourselves.” From the Barbary States to Latin America and Cuba to Grenada and Panama and Pakistan and Somalia and Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military has attacked without just cause, without legal justification, with impunity, 99 percent of the time.

It’s bad enough to live in a nation in thrall to the cult of militarism. It’s worse to lie about it. And it’s insane to believe the lies."










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Mr. Rall Talks of cognitive dissonance and denial, yet so many amongst us are about to play the lesser of two evils game AGAIN.

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
― Albert Einstein
What man can do to destroy each other is beyond belief; yet it's the same species that has set foot on the moon and is trying to reach the stars.
I take it that Ted does not squeal with glee when the fighter jets fly over the football stadium at the end of the national anthem.
Thanks for the link to Ted's Blog... here's part of what I posted about Memorial Day:
"In July of 1980 when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund announced a design competition, I was coming out on the other side of a very strange situation (yet another tale to be told) and with time on my hands I put together a proposal for a design based on the Great Seal pyramid on the back of the US dollar bill:

My design was an incorporation of a children’s art project and a proposed amendment to the U. S. Constitution:

1. The memorial will be constructed as a pyramid assembled with bronze castings from models and drawings of the heads, torsos, limbs of children collected from students in art classes from all over the world. With dimensions sufficient to seat a joint session of Congress, it will serve as a memorial to all those who gave their lives during our conflict in Southeast Asia: U. S. Armed Forces, NVA, Viet Cong, Laotian, Cambodian, any and all who served in SEATO forces as well as the millions of civilians who died.

2. As an integral part of this memorial I propose the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

Section 1. Any resolution of Congress that commits U.S. Armed Forces to military actions beyond the borders of the United States shall not be authorized for any period of time greater than one year and thereafter it shall not be extended without a Congressional declaration of war as required in Article 1 Section 8 of this Constitution.

Section 2. For the purpose of a Congressional Declaration of War the Senate and the House of Representative shall sit in a public open joint session in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

I can’t remember if I actually submitted the design proposal; but I do remember writing it up, making several renderings and fashioning at least three sculptures, one of a crying infant in the arms of its screaming mother. If I did, I’m glad it wasn’t selected for the competition..."
I am an atheist but having seen the actions of the United States during 71 years of life, I might find it possible to believe in Satan.

It seems that the rule is not "Death To Our Enemies" but "Death To Those Who Have Things We Want".

If this is civilization, I'll pass.
Really amazing, isn't it. Furthermore the species that has sent a man to the moon, could be devoting their destructive resources to affirmative means, such as building meaningful educational institutions, feeding the poor, affordable health care for all, and really providing MEANINGFUL services for those they send to fight their wars.

Thanks for taking the the time to visit and comment, FusunA.
"But... But... But", says the US Military Industrial Complex. "if there's no Warapaloosa next year, we won't buy new yachts and people will lose their jobs!"

I respond, "if we do hold it, people will lose their lives. They can get another job."
Thanks for the visit Brassawe, my dear friend.

I don't watch football, as I consider it to have become an american sublimation for real war, with all the war-like references to describe the play by play, but I would presume Your thesis, that Ted is not there, if at all to cheer the screeching fighter jets soaring overhead.

Thanks for that pithy conjecture.
Jmac, we are on the verge of more wars. Late last week, american commandos were airlifted into North Korea.

With six overt wars and uncountable covert wars, the mendacity of the liar-in-chief is unrestrained.

I think now would be an excellent time to turn Your extraordinary blog post. I'd be the first to rate it.

With a whopping 69,000 jobs "reportedly" created in Friday's jobs report, it is time to expose the gross failures of this administration in the most crucial of areas, far ranging they are.

It is time to drown out the lesser of two evils crowd.

Thanks for visiting Jmac, and Your bringing Your extraordinary comment along.
Nothing says it better than this post Mark.

For it is not the social programs bringing our national budget to run those huge deficits, it is the endless wars.
Maybe soon Syria will be added to the list.
In politics, they often refer to flip-floppers Sky.

As far as I am concerned, the current liar-in-chief surpasses anything seen, heretofore.

The clue should have been evident when he flipped on FISA way before he was nominated. I hate to admit I supported him anyway - the single vote I regret more than any.

Thanks for the visit.
Such a succinct fifteen words, but says so much: ""if we do hold it, people will lose their lives. They can get another job."

I tend to be verbose (understatedly so). I wish I could say as much as You just did in so few eloquent and elegant a manner in just fifteen words.

Thanks SO much, Amy - the way You've contrasted lives and jobs is superb.
Mission, thanks for taking the time to visit, especially at such a sensitive time. There are so many countries that the liar-in-chief has between his crosshairs - he truly is becoming more and more bloodthirsty in his craven attempt to overcome the gross failures of his administration.

He knows that most of "his base" is gone, but with the wretched jobs report of Friday, he is more desperate than ever to find a segment of the citizenry to appeal to and has chosen the warmongers as his last best hope.

In my lifetime there has never been a president to get us so entangled in so many blood lusting affairs in so many countries; and this liar campaigned as the peace candidate.

Yes, nixon promised us peace and proceeded to carpet bomb SouthEast Asia as a Christmas present, but mr. hopey changey makes despicable nixon look like an amateur.

Thanks so much for the visit; and a note to any who wish to comment: It's midday weekly shopping time, so responses to any further comments will likely be delayed, I'm sorry to say.
You knowi think the most effective and aesthetically correct memorial to America's collateral damage victims would bea bronze statue of the little naked Vietnamese girl burned by napalm. Let's mount that on the DC mall.
CC, how perfect Your timing is.

The fortieth anniversary of that picture just passed last week, and as someone who was VERY active during that period, that single photo was a key to turning the tide of the war. Even the "moral majority" (which was NEVER moral, nor the majority) turned against that folly.

What an excellent suggestion. Thanks So much for Your invaluable contribution, CC.
There is a phenomena called Okinawa Time - it is time that is estended by approximately a thousand percent - my wife is from the far northern countryside, where they are even slower.

Therefore, I am still here, and grateful to see You appear, RW.

Your presence, however, does not change the fact that You excluded me from the gathering - WHAAAA !

Thanks for visiting, nevertheless.

Please send airfare for the next gathering - I will send You a genuine MIJ IOU redeemable at airlines everywhere.
Thank you for this, Mark. Just when I thought I've seen enough crazy, I am in for a schoolin'. R
Thanks for posting this. Obama's lies are even more disgusting when you look at the deplorable way he has treated veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan (e.g. redeploying troops with traumatic brain injury, PTSD and suicidal depression - many on antidepressants and antipsychotics)>
“We hate war. When we fight, we do so to protect ourselves because it’s necessary.”

The battle cry of the thoroughly fluoridated brain. Since the British Empire packed it up on Tecumseh no American has ever been threatened by a foreign nation. The British Empire ( Venetian Merchants-Byzantium Empire-Rome) realized early on that America would make a fine attack dog. History has proceeded accordingly since that epiphany.
Thoth, my dear friend, so nice to see You visiting me. I am but a piker compared to my friend Libby. She IS really on the ball and far less vituperative than me.

Libby is THE real deal, and more and more people are responding daily to her FACT-based posts.

Please don't forget to visit snarky old, curmudgeonly me from time to time to. I always derive great joy just from seeing Your face, here.
Yeah, Dr., another illustrious of the atrociousness of the armchair warriors.

Send them off to find endless wars with ever-changing mission goals, force them into extended their service with the stop-loss schema that forces them to re-up, a broken contract by the goverment; then when they return home, the awful realities hit home.

The budget contains adequate sums to support soldiers in Afghanistan, the place where traditionally empires go to die, and at a cost estimated to be a million dollars per servicemen.

Then they return home to find no jobs and inadequate health care. Exploding PTSD, and so many wonder why. Guh!!!

obamination, a good a decent man as our "dear friend" repetitively dubs him.

Maybe the moron thinks Attila the Hun was at heart a good a decent man. Idi Amin, too.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my esteemed friend.
Yeah, Jack, we are protecting ourselves from the awesome threats poised by nations like the awesome powers of countries likePanama and Grenada.

American exceptionalism run amuck.

Thanks for the great observation, Jack.
Somewhere, I don't know where, I made the claim that america had sent 100 paratroopers into North Korea. I have just found that the source of this report, a publication called "The Diplomat" was sloppy in making such an erroneous claim, and unlike others, I want to retract my contention.

As I cannot find the place where I made such a comment, there is no better place for me to admit my error than here:

[r] Wow. thanks, mark. Talk about refreshingly finally blunt!!!! This is sobering and I say let us really dedicate 2013 Memorial Day to America's victims. Let's call it the "year of amends". Colossal war crimes to amend but a beginning. Hey, even better, let's stop warring and droning. I know, I know. What am I, nuts?

Glen Ford recently referred to Obama as Dick Cheney with a halo and singing Al Green! How about a well-heeled Dr. Strangelove. Dr. Jeklyl/Hyde.

As Eckhart Tolle says America slips into a collective inpenetrable exceptionalism egotism. It took the anti-war protests of the 60s to finally break that collective ego by making America face the FAILURE AND AMORALITY of the Vietnam war and the neocons never forgave the DFHs for that. But now we've got the post-anti-DFHs neolibs, and they are just as bottom-feeding foreign-peoples- killing as the neocons, except they con too even more than the neocons, and say it is all for humanitarian purposes (R2P or as escobar says RIGHT TO PLUNDER), that bullshit only lasts until they get their power and their resources and then they let entire populations twist and starve and bleed in the wind as they move onto the next Western-axis-of-evil DOMINO!

best, libby (thanks for the plug :-)!)
The basic problem with the voting system is that a huge number of people look with disgust at the offerings and don't vote. This is a legitimate opinion. If all those people who don't vote were recognized as worthy of exerting an opinion, their not voting would indicate none of the candidates qualify. Therefore there should be no president. Considering what the last elected presidents accomplished, the country would be better off with no president at all. They're all not qualified. At least then, congress wold have to declare war if anybody wanted one. Hopefully, not.
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