A. First, The Apologies
I must apologize because this post is going to be a bit more disjointed and stilted than my normal posts. I am a bit of an emotional wreck today (Veterans Day – 11 Nov 2019) as I am starting to write this. I am not normally like this and have not been this way over the last few years, but, as I have become more politically aware, such things like this affect me more deeply, especially when my daughter is also going to be affected by this.
I also need to say that a lot of what I am going to say is NOT going to be popular. My own family does not even get a free pass from my wrath and truth dropping, which is especially painful because they are ALL conservative. But, I implore you to search deep and to think about what I am saying because I say this all with a heavy heart and thinking of my daughter and her future.
B. I am a Veteran of the Iraq War
I am a Navy veteran of the Iraq War where I sat in the middle of the USS Enterprise watching dials barely move while our jets bombed the crap out of Iraq. I do not want you to construe my sacrifice and service with those who were on the front line. My sacrifice of sitting was nothing like the sacrifice of those who were on the front line. I do not have PTSD, or nightmares, and I do not even suffer from fireworks on 4th of July. I did not experience the horrors that they had to. Save your tears and reverence for them, not for me.
C. I Have Always Been Nonplussed with Veterans Day
Even as a veteran I never cared about Veterans Day. I never took the day off or celebrated or anything like that. It just did not matter to me. That part of my life was far in the past – just over 20 years now (since 1998). However, a little more than a few years ago a friend of mine who was a veteran of the Army from Afghanistan – a mechanic – so he did not really see combat, he took it off every year to enjoy free food and talking to other veterans. He was a rather entertaining, wise, and gregarious fellow who has recently’ish died in a tragic car accident. Once I heard he was doing it, I decided to take that day as a vacation day too. Several times I have met with him for lunch on Veterans Day. I still take this day off and I remember him.
D. A Political Awakening is Painful
Over my years of research, studying, and blogging my tears and anger never started to well until after I started to put my policies together in 2019, until I started to research a little bit about the affects of US foreign policy – imperialism and colonialism, until I reflected upon how I was apart of that system of violence, murder, and destruction.
Our country is so very messed up in many, many ways, and glorifying war is one of those reasons is because we glorify it in movies and other media, as well as the socially required blind patriotism, blind nationalism, as well as glorifying, ennobling, and indoctrinating war and sacrifice in our schools which ends up bordering on veteran and war worship.
E. This Post’s Genesis
Today, I went to my daughter’s school’s Veterans Day program. Once I returned home from that I started writing first by putting my thoughts into a few Facebook posts and then moved those thoughts to a draft blog post as I am want to do. I really needed to get that deep feeling of despair out of my head and, because of that, I also live streamed my thoughts on this through my Twitch channel too. It was an emotional day and I am NOT that sort of guy.
So, here we go…
I. Video of My Live Stream
Here is the video of my live stream. I recorded it while streaming to Twitch and then uploaded it to YouTube so I could keep access to it. Here ya go. It is ~ 55 minutes long and is an overview of what I am writing here. There is quite a bit more words added to this post after this video was recorded.
Also, note that my chat window was not functioning properly and my stream looks like crap because I was just starting to get my stream together. Someone had popped in and had posted some comments, but they did not show up. Thankfully, I fixed that issue later that day so my future live streams will go better.
II. Reflecting Upon the Veterans Day Program
A. This Post is NOT an Attack on Schools or Teachers
I do not want this post construed as an attack on teachers or on our school system, because this is not. We are all victims of a horrifically broken country where one of the main points of attack on our society, on our citizens, and on our freedoms is upon our education system where our schools, our teachers, our parents, our children, and society at large have had to suffer the burden of that.
I write about this 50 year assault on our education system in my post The System Suppression Inherent to America’s Two-Party System if you want to read more. I unknowingly suffered from that assault when I was in school. My daughter is suffering from that now and so are her teachers, especially here in Wisconsin where our former Tea Party governor – Governor Walker – gutted like 320 million from our state’s education system and hobbled teacher’s unions into almost nothing, which resulted in tremendous harm upon our schools, teachers, parents, and children.
B. Indoctrinating Our Children to be Sacrificed
I spent the morning at my daughter’s school’s Veterans Day program, although she was not a part of the program. It was the younger grades that were performing. The entire time my eyes were on the verge of tears with rage and sadness. When I looked up on that stage at that group of innocent children who were just trying entertain and honor us, all I saw were blood-stained dollar signs in the place of some of those innocent children. These blood-stained dollar signs symbolized that some of those children were going to join the military to die not for peace, but for corporate profit.
I saw how such programs while being a nice sentiment were just indoctrinating our kids to be OK with war and to glorify blindly sacrificing their lives for their country, and indoctrinating them into incredible harms of patriotism and nationalism. How many children are going to serve because of this continuous indoctrination through our education system or because someone in their family served and/or died in service, and wanting to carry on that tradition of service and sacrifice. This is destructive because it perpetuates the cycle of war and death paid through by the blood of our children.
C. Being Truthful to Our Children
My daughter did ask me why I was on the verge of tears. I told her. I do talk to her about politics because I want her to know. I want her to understand the truth about how things are even if they are horrible. I feel that this is a responsibility I have as not only a parent, but also as a veteran who has to live with the fact that, as a veteran of the Iraq War, that I was part of the murder of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians for corporate profit. I have to live with that every day. I never want her to carry that burden. No one should ever have to carry that burden.
We are not only failing our children, but we are also failing the world en toto because we are not teaching our children:
- peace, non-violent communication, or conflict resolution
- to celebrate peace, the peace makers, and the ending of all wars
- the horrors that soldiers have endured and the loss of their families or friends, the broken forms that return
- where the money trail for wars leads and who profits from wars in the first place which is the reason for all wars – profit.
Because, if we did explain this in clear and uncertain terms then adults would have a lot of explaining to do. Then politicians and their corporate owners might have to take responsibility for why these children see the tears and despair in their family members’ eyes as they cry over their lost friends, families, mothers, daughters, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc… who all died for corporate profit. They might have to explain why tears and nightmares torment their loved ones from the horrors that they have seen and that they have inflicted upon others. They would have to explain why their father/mother returned from war, but has never really left the war. The parent that they knew and loved before is now forever gone even though their broken visage stands before them.
It is easier to brainwash our children to glorify war and to glorify a soldier’s sacrifice for war and nationalism as the corporations cash in on their blood sacrifice, than it shall ever be to teach or talk about the truth. Lies easily roll off those practiced silvered tongues when greased so heavily with money so that their consciences do not intercede.
It is never easier to teach our children the truth when the truth is so bloody, horrible, and reprehensible especially when we have been complicit in it directly or indirectly by our collective action or our collective inaction.
My daughter’s teacher could see the tears welling in my eyes as she took our picture before we left. I am pretty sure she thought she had an idea why those tears were there – perhaps she thought I lost someone over there or that I was overjoyed with the show of support, but I am pretty sure that whatever she thought was the reasons for my tears that she will be completely wrong. =(
D. Conservative Hypocrisy
As a veteran I should also strongly point out something glaring, if you did not already know this – the extremes of conservative hypocrisy and mercilessness as they:
- vote continuously for war, yet it is NOT their children who shall die for corporate profit
- vote for the privatization of the VA Hospitals which has resulted in such horrible inefficiencies that veterans are committing suicide in the parking lot because they cannot get the treatment they need
- destroyed mental health access which veterans desperately need
- vote for the deportation of veterans. Did you know that our veterans are being deported to other countries?
This is just the tip of veteran betrayal iceberg. What about all of those veterans? Where was your reverence and support of the troops then? Are you protesting how they are being treated? Are you protesting those who voted for these bills? Are you protesting those who voted for those politicians who voted for those bills? The voters who put them in office need to be held accountable too, for they made this happen. They betrayed our suffering veterans. My parents are some of these horrifically guilty voters. Because of this we do not get a long so well. =(
Anyone who votes for these politicians or these bills are complete hypocrites. They spew platitudes to make themselves to feel better as they claim to support the troops and to feel good about themselves, but then they completely betray those soldiers whom they profess to love as soon as their sacrifice for corporate profit is done.
Conservatives (voters and politicians) voted not only for these wars for profit, but they also vote continuously to abandon our soldiers year after year, bill after bill. These politicians have names, addresses, phone numbers, and offices. They should be held responsible. For if we do not hold them responsible then they will continue to sacrifice our children while they gleefully get paid to do it.
Now, to be completely fair, those horrific warhawk neo-liberal Democrats are also very much to blame. It is not just the Republicans. These centrist trolls also have names, addresses, phone numbers, and offices too. Both corporate parties are to blame.
This needs to change. We need to end them both so that we may not only save our own children’s lives, but also the lives of the innocent children and families that our soldiers will murder around the world for corporate profit.
E. Armistice Day
Did you know that Armistice Day was replaced by Veterans Day? Did you know that Armistice Day was originally created as a day to commemorate the end of World War I, to commemorate the end of war and the beginning of peace. Following World War II it was then renamed to Veterans day to honor those who served in the military, especially those who died. This was a subtle shift to celebrate not the end of war, not the beginning of peace, but to celebrate those who served and died in those conflicts which ensures that on this day that we do NOT concentrate on bringing peace or on ending war, but to glorify those who die in Humanity’s massive failings by allowing war to even exist at all.
For the benefit and safety of our children we need to return this holiday to Armistice Day so we can celebrate the ending of wars and talking about peace so that we do NOT glorify humans killing humans for corporate profit. We need a day where we nationally celebrate peace and the ending of wars, a day which will save the lives of our children globally.
Because, without every single person standing up and saying no the wars and the murder of our children, like we see is happening globally such as in Palestine, Yemen, and even here in our own national stain – the horrific ICE detention centers where innocent children are dying on American soil.
This is an amazing video Reclaiming Armistice Day (Acronym TV, Nov 2015) which covers this topic well:
I am NOT alone.
- Video Info
- Text Info
I have even added this to my policies: US Machine For War And Terrorism @ Interstellar New Deal
III. How to Honor Veterans
You can honor veterans by voting to not create more war, by voting to not send our children to war, by voting to not have our soldiers murder innocent families across the globe. You can thank us by voting for a candidate:
- who values peace more than war.
- who values equality more than inequality.
- who will lobby to change Veterans Day back to Armistice Day so we can celebrate ending wars and celebrate peace, and saving the lives of our children.
You can thank us for voting for those candidates who value and protect us not just in their empty words, but with their votes and their influence.
IV. Related Quotes
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.Edmund Burke
Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leadersâ€¦and millions have been killed because of this obedienceâ€¦Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thievesâ€¦ (and) the grand thieves are running the country. Thatâ€™s our problem.Howard Zinn
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.â€ â€œIt is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it.Martin Luther King Jr.
The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places.Dalai Lama
- You’ve Been Conditioned for War (Psychology Today, Jan 2020)
- If you donâ€™t stand for the special song, the magical sky-cloth wonâ€™t freedom! (Free Xenon, Sep 2018)
- Open Letter to Conservatives Who Think Progressives Should Just GTFO If They do Not Like It (Free Xenon, Nov 2019)
- My policies: US Machine For War And Terrorism @ Interstellar New Deal
- As a Veteran, I Refuse to Celebrate War (Truthout, Nov 2019)