- Q and A with Mayor Steve Williams: Audits ALWAYS have Findings....
- Q and A with Councilman Caserta: Mayor Needs to be Held Accountable, Independent Audit Necessary
- Special Prosecutor Will Be Appointed in Cabell County Regarding State Police Investigation of Mayor's Sick Leave Payment to Skip Holbrook
- Donations Needed for Guyandotte Christmas Open House Planned Dec. 23
- Complaint alleges Stockert-Sizemore Funeral Home violated the West Virginia Preneed Act and state Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
- UPDATED...State Auditor Citied Lack of Adequate Policies, Controls for Some Huntington Financial Materials, 2013 and 2014
- Marshall University Board of Governors to hold emergency meeting this afternoon
- The ACLU of West Virginia Urges Governor Tomblin and Legislature to Enact Reforms to Keep Truant Children Out of Juvenile Court
- CFPB Takes Action to End Student 'Debt Relief' Scams; CFPB Warns Borrowers About Companies Charging High Fees for Free Federal Loan Repayment Programs
- "My Brother, My Brother & Me" Sunday Night at City Hall Auditorium
OP-ED: Remembering on Memorial Day
The fact that the US government has lost every major war it initiated since World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq Again is not going to be reported by the news anchors. Instead someone with his finger on the button will invoke the glory of Good God by to bless the war dead. Even the grim oblivion of unknown soldiers lost will be presented by the president as somehow full of dignified solemnity, while their survivors look away through a veil of ambiguous loss and unassuaged grief forever.
No combat veteran I ever met sings the praises of the going war with our bombs bursting in air. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman said, “War is at best barbarism… Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”
Modern US wars are dogged by so much crime and abuse from killing millions of civilians in Korea and Southeast Asia, to the torturing of POWs instigated by Bush and Cheney and continuing with the torture-feeding of shackled prisoners under Obama, to the pandemics of rape and suicide among active service members and veterans that Memorial Day looks today like a masquerade, a bizarre Kabuki Dance with festooned members of Congress, the Joint Chiefs and the White Housers stifling their smirks while the parade passes.
On television there will be the millionaires’ farce of giant war profiteers Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Maytag, General Dynamics, General Electric, General Motors, Bell Helicopter, Unysis, Aerojet, Raytheon, MIT, Alliant Techsystems, etc., running ads to convince viewers that they themselves are public-spirited corporations, and the dead and wounded weren’t maimed for a nickel mine, a helicopter company, a munitions factory, an oil field, pipeline or shipbuilder. With a $700 billion military budget, and the revolving door spinning between the General Staff and the board rooms of the weapons builders, it’s clear that President Eisenhower didn’t get his wish when he warned, “I don’t want people who have a financial stake in crisis and tensions to have a voice in national policy.”
It has been reported by members of the Duluth, Minn.-area Veterans for Peace, Chapter 80, that their peace group’s float has been barred from participating in the town’s Memorial Day parade.
It is not likely that the Northland Veterans Services Committee, which organizes Duluth’s parade, approves of indefinite detention without charges, abusing POWs at Guantanamo Bay, bombing shepherds in Iraq, or strafing villagers in Afghanistan. But what about the “stupidities that breed war” and the “chicaneries that sell the war spirit” as Robert Lynd called them in Revolt Against War in 1937. It’s chicanery to exclude any military veteran from the parade.
It is the causes of war that the Veterans for Peace want us to consider and grapple with, especially on Memorial Day, so as the colors roll by and the Clergy and the Congressmen pay homage to the latest Just War Theory, we might try and force ourselves to remember that war is always a gory, senseless slaughter and, nowadays, mostly of innocent bystanders.
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John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a nuclear watchdog and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, edits its quarterly newsletter, and writes for PeaceVoice.