Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

A woman in church today wanted us praying for the veterans, and how we're supposed to be thankful for their sacrifices for our freedom.

Well, yes indeed, we should be praying for them. They have sacrificed, or more precisely, been sacrificed, by this nation that has played them for suckers - using them to crush others in their own homes and to subvert American liberties by cultivating militarism, by building a cruel empire, and by providing an excuse through permanent war to build a police state at home.

As we read in Jonah, Nineveh was not saved from destruction by its armies, and Nineveh owed no thanks to its veterans, who had only made Nineveh an object of wrath through their cruel deeds, as we read in the prophet Nahum. Nineveh was saved by its little children, and even its cattle, who turned back the wrath of God through his compassion. You want to see who's protecting America? Don't look up at that F-16, or at the arrogant young men turning Okinawan women into whores or shooting up the ragheads in Iraq. Take a long look at that baby there, playing with his mother in the park. Thank God that he's there to turn away the wrath aroused by America's killers, as it was in Nineveh.

When these veterans come home, every bureacratic device is used to screw them out of treatment for the injuries they sustained through the wicked deeds they were lied into, and to deny them as much other help as they can be done out of. After all, the money is needed for more wars and to pay off war contractors and other campaign contributors, so how can we waste it on binding up their wounds - never mind those they were sent to torment abroad?

As Juan Cole pointed out today, veterans are 11% of the population and 26% of the homeless, so if you want to do something for veterans, then support homeless shelters, not more lying imperial wars to turn more men into shattered veterans, laden with the guilt of innocent blood and lying on our sidewalks.


Blogger Cecilieaux said...

Sorry, but what's the "sacrifice"? These folks all signed up for whatever they were dealt. They didn't know that armies kill people and get killed?

These were poor kids who signed up for the gamble that they could get an education (ha! double ha!) if they didn't get sent to war. They lost their bet.

They're bad gamblers. But heroes to whose sacrifice we are in debt? Absolutely not.

Shavings Off My Mind

11/13/2007 5:18 AM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

Any of us that has ever been suckered into wrongdoing or foolishness under false pretenses owes them some compassion. Not gratitude, just compassion.

11/13/2007 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always think similar thoughts when my students tell me they're planning on joining the army. What do I say, "It's a great opportunity to gain skills, discipline, and an education so long as you don't get killed or suffer mental trauma?"
Last week two of my girls were visibly upset because their dads had just redeployed to the Middle East. What do you say? "I hope they come back okay," while thinking that they're merely security guards for American corporate interests?


11/17/2007 6:38 AM  
Blogger Peter Attwood said...

I've always warned people thinking of yielding to military seduction as follows:
1) You can't believe anything the recruiter tells you anyway. They're liars who get punished - maybe by being sent to Iraq themselves - if they don't rake in so many suckers. Once you join up, they don't have to do anything for you that you were promised, and they don't. You can't even trust them to let you out when they agreed to in your contract. "Stop-loss" is their term for that particular act of treachery.
2) Would you want the Chinese army doing in your neighborhood what they will be doing in someone else's just like your family and neighbors? I didn't think so. It sucks to be hurt or killed doing something honorable - but because you were doing something disgraceful for money?
3) You don't really get skills and education. That's what the recruiter promises. But like an employer, they're going to train you for what they want you to do, and that's just to kill poeple, and then you really won't have any other skills. And what discipline are you likely to end up with? You're more likely to end up a drunk or drug addict, more likely to beat your wife and kids when you get home, and more likely to be lying on a sidewalk than if you hadn't signed up.

As for kids upset about being shipped to Iraq, you need to give them contacts with other veterans and their families that can help.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (, Military Families Speak Out (, Gold Star Families for Peace (, Courage to Resist ( among those that can do a lot for people who want to come out of that life.

11/17/2007 3:01 PM  

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