Veterans Day: Honor the Soldier … Scorn the Chickenhawk
We honor the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces.
Some of the most generous, dedicated, brave people we have ever met are veterans.
But the government scorns them …
Veterans receive horrible health care.
The big banks – which are continually being bailed out and otherwise enabled by the government – have been cheating veterans on their mortgages, and the government isn’t doing much about it. And in numerous other ways, veterans are treated like trash.
War is a Racket
“War is a racket“, according to one of the most highly-decorated military men of all time (and the hero who stopped a coup against FDR ).
President Eisenhower – formerly a top general – tried to warn us:
But we didn’t listen.
The Only Winners … War Profiteers
The heads of the big defense firms make huge salaries off of war, and are part of the oligarchy.
They not infrequently fund and sell arms to both sides of wars … and make a killing in the process.
Top economists have also proven that war is horrible for the vast majority of Americans.
Congress members – part of the super-elite which has made money hand over fist during this economic downturn – are heavily invested in the war industry, and routinely trade on inside information … perhaps even including planned military actions.
Similarly – as detailed below – the Federal Reserve helps to start wars by financing them (no, I’m not talking about the billions the Fed sent to Iraq or Gaddafi’s Libyan bank or other recently-disclosed shenanigans).
The Real Meaning of Veterans Day
David Swanson notes that Veteran’s Day began as a pledge to end all wars:
Believe it or not, November 11th was not made a holiday in order to celebrate war, support troops, or cheer the 11th year of occupying Afghanistan. This day was made a holiday in order to celebrate an armistice that ended what was up until that point, in 1918, one of the worst things our species had thus far done to itself, namely World War I.
A ten-year campaign was launched in 1918 that in 1928 created the Kellogg-Briand Pact, legally banning all wars. That treaty is still on the books, which is why war making is a criminal act and how Nazis came to be prosecuted for it.
“[O]n November 11, 1918, there ended the most unnecessary, the most financially exhausting, and the most terribly fatal of all the wars that the world has ever known. Twenty millions of men and women, in that war, were killed outright, or died later from wounds. The Spanish influenza, admittedly caused by the War and nothing else, killed, in various lands, one hundred million persons more.” — Thomas Hall Shastid, 1927.
The troops want to come home, and the American public want them to come home as well.
It is only the elite who want war. As Nazi leader Hermann Goering famously said:
Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Indeed, those who start wars on false premises are the biggest traitors.
As I wrote on Veterans’ Day 2008:
Today, I sincerely and passionately honor our veterans.
So many have endured unimaginable hardship, trauma or injury. Some have paid the ultimate price to defend our country.
Veterans are Against the Iraq War
You might assume veterans of the Iraq war support the war.
Overwhelmingly, that is false.
Talk to some of the veterans. By and large, they think that the invasion of Iraq, or at least our continued occupation, is wrong.
They have seen first-hand the killing and maiming of innocent Iraqi civillians.
They have heard the cries of those falsely accused, who were shipped off to Abu Ghraib.
They have woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, reliving the nightmares they experienced.
They know that the chicken-hawk civilians who started the war and their yes-men in the military leadership are wrong, that the war should be stopped, and the troops brought home.
Renewing My Commitment
That’s why on Veterans’ day, I am honoring the brave men and women who served in the military by renewing my commitment to end the Iraq war.
The Iraq war might have been forgotten by the mainstream media, but I will not forget the troops and veterans. I will fight to end the war [all unnecessary wars] . . . for them.