Monday, May 26, 2014

What Memorial Day Means to Me

     It wasn't Memorial Day but a particular Veteran's Day in November 2008. It was on the 11th, exactly a week after Obama got elected President of the United States. Bush, who vowed to "sprint to the finish" of his illegal presidency, couldn't be bothered to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in the last Veteran's Day of his administration. Instead, he sent Dick "Five Deferments" Cheney, which was kind of like sending Jack the Ripper to Lilith Fair.
     The choice of sending Cheney was an odd one, considering his craven refusal to get drafted, even going as far as to impregnate his wife Lynn so he could weasel out for the fifth time. Bush laying the wreath himself was audacious, considering the champagne flight playboy joined the Texas Air National Guard to himself avoid getting sent to Vietnam. After all that money spent and all that media exposure from the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth strenuously trying to get us to believe that Bush was the real military man and Kerry just an imposter and Bush couldn't be bothered to go to the Tomb of the Unknowns on his last Veteran's Day as Commander in Chief.
     Nothing seemed right about that administration, starting with its legitimacy (You may remember Bush got pelted with eggs on January 20, 2001 by people who knew the election was stolen, making W break from Presidential tradition before he was even sworn in and was forced to ride instead of walk down Pennsylvania Ave.). There was this odd detachment on the part of the administration that ignored Richard Clarke's warnings about al Qaida, ignored warnings from several nations and its own Central Intelligence Agency that an attack by bin Laden's people, and where and how, was in the works. There was a strange detachment on the part of Dick Cheney, he who infamously said that "deficits don't matter."
     An administration and, as it would prove, a greatly bloated government, was fully in place, the transition had proceeded smoothly, much more smoothly than the chaotic Clinton transition eight years before but at the same time there was something that wasn't right about our White House. It was like looking at a hyper realistic wax mannequin from a distance. It looked right, but one harbored increasingly uneasy doubts it would actually move.
     Then on September 11th, 2001, after essentially a sleepy, uneventful first 8 1/2 months, America changed forever and not for the better.
     The administration that didn't care to hear reports that bin Laden was "determined to strike" within our borders suddenly got very concerned about al Qaida and showed it by attacking two sovereign nations where al Qaida's leader was not. Like a crow on a dunghill, Bush blared platitudes from a bullhorn atop the rubble of the first and most catastrophic failure of his "presidency" and we declared him a conquering hero and gave him 90+% approval ratings simply because he was the boob in the Oval Office.
     So, when we sent too few troops to pacify a nation whose military was nonexistent but whose insurgents were very good, indeed, when we were told by bozos like Wolfowitz the war would cost a billion dollars tops and would be paid for by Iraq's oil industry, when that billion dollar war turned into a multi trillion dollar boondoggle in which contractors were spoiled and pampered like royalty while our troops, without adequate vehicle armor or adequate body armor were getting slaughtered, when Bush essentially put the entire Constitution, and our rights and civil liberties, into suspended animation, we trusted him, a guy who couldn't even eat a pretzel without adult supervision.
     And the few of us who railed against this were called traitors, seditionists, fifth columnists, terrorists. Because most of us fell into Bush's reductionist and paranoid, "If you're not with us, you're against us" mindset.
     And then Dick Cheney. of all people, was sent to the Tomb of the Unknowns to lay a wreath. By this time, Bush was plainly phoning it in, most of his time spent, it now seems, in looking over a growing list of felons he could pardon in his last days in office. He'd had enough and was very akin to Wilfred Owen's "devil sick of sin."
     And nothing is ever learned. We lay wreaths, watch wreaths being laid by statesmen who'd never served in the military, put up flags, set off fireworks, gorge ourselves with barbecued animal carcasses, drink to excess and say stupid things to each other such as, "Happy Memorial Day," blithely forgetting the fact it's not supposed to be happy and isn't to many families who had lost loved ones to war.
     And few, if any, of us realize on Memorial Day that due to old men, oil cartels and the diktats of the Military Industrial Complex who gasp for air in peacetime, more and more families across America will be visiting cemeteries, looking at and receiving triangular folded flags and forlornly looking at the eternally empty spaces in beds and dinner tables.
     Nothing is learned. Like Charlie Brown, like a PT Barnum audience, we keep getting suckered into supporting another war, another police action, another corporate intervention dressed up as something vitally  necessary and patriotic. No war is ever too expensive until the VA medical bills start coming in, when veteran's mortgages are foreclosed on, when veterans wind up on the streets and can't find jobs. Then, suddenly, the Republican Party starts waving price tags around and saying, "We can't afford this!" while lobbying for yet another round of tax cuts for the wealthy and taking hostages until they get it.
     And honorable, truly honorable men like Gen. Smedley Butler and his jeremiad against war and the reasons for it, is someone well known only to a handful of liberals who remember what a democracy is supposed to stand for.

1 Comments:

At May 27, 2014 at 9:51 AM, Blogger opit said...

bin Laden as responsible for 9-11 stank from the get go. How a 6'4" CIA paymaster and intimate of the Bush family Saudi prince could never be located while requiring daily dialysis at a hospital was just as dysfunctional as invading a nation who had nothing to do with the attack ( or another which had the temerity to request legal forms be submitted from a nation which was snatching innocents to be interned and torutured indefinitely without trial ) was still happening in a nation which made the biggest public stink since the protests against Vietnam.
http://www.leadingtowar.com/
The note on Mother Jones about 'The Iraq Math War' badly understated the real devastation caused by the destruction of a leader and nation which had stabilized an area too poor for western style government - even though the CIA had sponsored the leader ( Saddam ).
http://justforeignpolicy.org/
Posted over 1.5 million dead in Iraq as a consequence of the invasion
http://antiwar.com/
http://www.channel4.com/news/iraq-secret-war-files

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger