Nov. 11th —Veterans Day Reflections
— Respect and honor to those who’ve served, those who’ve sacrificed — stop using our military for economic gain!
As many groups, organizations and government entities now organize for November 11th’s Veterans Day, I’d like to point out Veterans Day is a lot more than national, state and local politicians gathering to make a few short statements and stand for photo-ops in front of Americans flags, active veterans and monuments of tribute for the sacrifice of our veterans.
Veterans Day is much, much more than that!
Yes, indeed. We memorialize this day as a tribute to those who gave their lives, became injured or their families afflicted by answering America’s call. But it’s also about too many veterans who stand today in all kinds of disarray, discomfort and social disorder. It’s about those who struggle for housing, health-care, counseling, companionship without war stories and other well-needed services.
It has become a fact of reality that America should never go into a war unless fully prepared for the aftermath of that war! When you see the politician standing for recognition at various Veterans Day Memorials, please remind him or her about the part they otherwise do not think much about. Those whose needs are not met because they didn’t get to become a police officer, a firefighter, a prison guard, the football coach or janitor in a school — not every veteran got or gets this kind of privilege. Usually, those who receive this status are somehow connected to the patronage of a politician. And forget not that some veterans simply transition from one war into another, becoming victimized from America’s immoral Drug War or, more recently, from our government’s cruel deportation policies!
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A true tribute on Veterans Day also means helping our living veterans who are troubled, however way they’ve become afflicted!
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War Has Changed
Today, war is different. It’s become sanitized. Boots on the ground today are not like the boots that were on the ground yesterday. In other words, somebody else, besides US troops, are doing the dying. The US controls the technology of war which produces most of the killing.
The US is more likely to utilize NATO coalitions, bully other nations into participation, implement lethal drone technology, invoke highly advanced intelligence capabilities and principally rely upon proxy military forces to include anything from the military of smaller nations, organized or disorganized non-state groups and especially private mercenary soldiers, this often combined under US guidance.
In Syria it’s been reported that CIA-backed forces often were competing with Pentagon-back forces. In Libya, the Trump Administration is supporting a military force in Libya that is now attempting to overthrow the United Nations-back government of Libya. Who the hell knows what has happened or will happen in Afghanistan, Iraq, and several African nations like Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere.
America, with two expansive oceans east and west and friendly neighbors north and south, astoundingly maintains around 1,000 military bases around the globe. This seems more for economic reasons rather than for actual national defense purposes. The past three years America has seen three consecutive 700+ billion dollar Pentagon budgets. What are we defending, this?
Can’t we, as an American society, do better? There’s a reason why members of congress maintain a 15 to 20% approval rating but enjoy a 95% re-election rate!
It’s because they’ve become pedigreed politicians who perpetually support the war machine as they appeal to a donor class spawning from profiteering corporations, whether it’s the banking, health and insurance industry, the oil-petrochemical-agri industry … or even the owners of professional sports teams!
“America’s Past Time” of going to a baseball game has become exactly that. Past its time! Few can afford the price of the tickets or cost of a beer and a dog at the game. Some can’t even bring their kids!
What happened America!?!
One would think we’d learn from our mistakes. But, sadly, Bob Dylan’s song Masters of War, written back during the Vietnam War, applies ever more so today. Why? Because the enormous profits by oil and mineral-extracting companies (diamonds and gold, etc.), the defense and intel-tech companies rule the day!
[NOTE: My below-version of Masters of War begins with a one minute moment of silence. Please reflect on this before hearing the song — thank you!]
“Blessed be the peacemakers for they shall inherit the earth,” and, especially, support anti-war politicians of which we see fewer of because today’s kind of war has become so sanitized it becomes ignored, accepted even.
In America we worship, almost as much as god, the GDP Index. We seem to care only how well the wealthiest Americans who comprise 85% of investors within the stock market are doing. In the countries of those folks who live under America’s bombs or within the wars to which we support, their important index has become the Median Age Life Index. Where America bombs, the average age is near 20. In America, that average age is near 40!
So when you think of Veterans Day, November 11th of each passing year, please do also think of everything written above!
PS: As a personal note, please do not fall prey to Liz Warren’s Yuppie Rebellion. Only the now well-established political revolution of Bernie Sanders can turn around much to what is described above. America needs a true “political outsider” like Bernie Sanders; not a fake “political outsider” like the billionaire Donald Trump. Think. No billionaire can possibly also be a political outsider!