Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Amber Waves of Grain

Veterans Day 2012

O beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain.
         --America the Beautiful (Kathanne Lee Bates)

I have never been in the military but my younger brother, Duke, served as a Marine, and we two Ohio boys were raised to believe in the importance of patriotism and the essential role our soldiers play in defending our country. On Veteran's Day 2012 we rightly honor those soldiers who served our country not merely by paying taxes but by risking their physical bodies for the sake of America and its values.

Most American soldiers believe they are serving their country by fighting its wars but some soldiers have a different opinion, for instance, my friend Reno DeCaro, a veteran of the US Marine's elite Force Recon Division, who writes:

Reno: The sad news is that there is not a veteran alive who has served this country, regardless if this was his intention—look up patriot Pat Tillman---or if he was aware of it or not. What our guys in the military have served, and are still serving, is special interest groups and their bought representatives, i.e., elected officials. The agenda of those elected leaders only serves the welfare of the American people if, by chance, America's welfare happens to overlap with the welfare of some special interest group that brought our leaders into power.

Yes, I’m a veteran, a veteran of close to five years of service with the US Marine Corps and have five more years working for the US Army in a civilian capacity. I feel I have more right to speak about veterans than the draft dodgers and others who never dreamed of joining the military, but call themselves “commander in chief” or "advisers" to the commander in chief.

In addition to courage and love of country, I was given a brain and life experience to see through the “racket” that is sold to the American people in the form of patriotism. Major General Smedley Butler, one of the Marine Corps great war heroes, wrote a book called War is a Racket after more than 30 years of service with the Marines. 

General Butler: “War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket. “

Reno: This country has been involved in more wars all over the world--some euphemistically called "military actions"--than any other country during the last hundred years. Every four years we elect someone who is willing to continue the racket of his predecessor. Sometimes he even receives a Nobel Peace Prize while waging war, approving institutionalized torture of people 10,000 miles away who are no threat to us, while limiting the personal freedom of Americans.

Unless you believe third-world cavemen with AK 47’s, RPG’s and IED’s are a threat to America, there is no reason for us to fight in Afghanistan killing tens of thousands of innocents while ruining the lives of tens of thousands of the best of our own people. The war in Iraq was something we were lied into, killed hundreds of thousands of people and did not benefit a single American not heavily invested in defense corporations.

Bringing our troops home to protect our borders from criminals crossing illegally en masse from a country with the highest crime rate in the world, while millions of illegals immigrating are putting stress on our social-service network is what would be in the interest of the American people. Which candidate capable of getting elected or which mass media outlet even raised that issue during any elections? None!

Every election is about “Hope and Change”. Nothing that is hoped for ever happens and the change is always for the worse as it affects the majority of Americans. This is not about Republicans or Democrats but about America's massively corrupt system of governance.
Nick: While I do not possess ex-Marine DeCaro's experience in the military, I do share his belief that patriotism--love of country and the willingness to fight to defend that country--is a most admirable human virtue. So how should we judge those who would exploit this most noble of virtues for ignoble ends?

Are not those men, hiding safely behind their desks while talking of "defending our freedoms" by putting American soldiers in harm's way for the sake of doubling some executive's million-dollar bonuses, the very opposite of patriots? Aren't they, rather, abusers of true patriotism for ends which only benefit a few and do not benefit our country as a whole?

This exploitation of a noble virtue for ignoble ends is a foul crime and deserves a new name, for which I suggest, in analogy to a similarly vile violation of human innocence, the term "patriot molestation".

When the next "military action" is proposed, or for that matter many of our present conflicts, every thoughtful American should ask (especially those who actually have to risk their lives): "Is this action truly in the service of my country, or is this just another case of patriot molestation?"

Reno: Don’t buy into the same lies we were told during Vietnam. “If we don’t fight them there we will have to fight them here.” Once we left the Vietnamese alone and went home they had no interest, nor the ability to fight us. The hundreds of billions a year of our tax dollars wasted to bomb people living in caves back to the Stone Age, and to bribe their leaders to pretend to like what we are doing there, could certainly be spent more wisely by funding jobs to rebuild America.

The same applies to the Iraqi wars and every conflict we have been involved in. The Kaiser posed no threat to the US in WW1, Hitler did not have the means to invade England, never mind America during WW2---Japan was economically and politically forced into a first strike that was known to Roosevelt days in advance. There was no domino effect of communism after we withdrew from Vietnam; Cuba has not harmed us after the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the list goes on.  All lies to motivate the good people of the country to risk their lives to enrich a few.

After two Iraqi wars and an eleven-year war against Afghanistan, America the beautiful is nearly bankrupt but the number of its billionaires has doubled.

Who could argue against those historical facts without lying? And if these facts are correct, why should any patriot--someone who has the true interest of the American people at heart--allow his noble feeling of wanting to protect his country to be abused? Abused by those who profit without fighting. Abused by some patriot molester sitting safely behind a desk.

No one has better expressed the evil of exploiting the noble virtue of patriotism for ignoble ends than Rudyard Kipling who wrote, concerning the real motives behind World War 1, these famous lines:

If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.


Anonymous said...

Kipling was gung-ho for WWI before it all went sour.

nick herbert said...

Reno: In that case Kipling must have been German. The only people for whom the war had gone sour were the Germans, who lost that war.

The fact that Kipling started out supporting the war was his patriotic instinct--the noble sentiment Nick talks about. After his son was killed he no doubt looked a little closer at the reasons that had been given by the British government for entering the war. That is when he discovered that the reasons were lies.

The fact that there are people who close to a hundred years after the beginning of that war are still unaware of those lies is not surprising. After all, FOX NEWS did not cover that part, and the history books are busy spreading new lies about more recent wars.

Wes Hansen said...

I'm an ex Marine Corps infantryman myself - I served from 04/90 to 04/94. I would encourage everyone who reads this post to check out this link: http://911research.wtc7.net/index.html.

You may also be interested in this link: http://threadsofspiderwoman.blogspot.com/2012/11/history-of-department-of-peace-in-us.html.

“My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions . . . or bury the results.”
- Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold

“We grow up in a culture where accountability, learning to accept responsibility, admitting mistakes and learning from them was critical to us. When we don’t see that happening it worries us. Poor military judgment has been used throughout this mission.”
- former Chief of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni

Anonymous said...

Kipling was as big a nationalist shithead as anyone else in Europe during 1914.

nick herbert said...


I could not dig: I dared not rob.
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?

Anonymous said...

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, —
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Anonymous said...

I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, I win where I fight.

Where would we be if it were changed to;

I am a free spirit thinker, I fight when I think it is best, and I only fight for the causes I see fit; so therefore I don't fight except when I want to. (and I will probably get my ass kicked because I am not use to fighting).

Not saying I disagree only saying where would we be without our soldiers, who in their mind, are fighting for their country. Not a racket.

And who is the final judge of what and when something is in somebodies mind and at what point of maturity are they to bring them to this enlightenment? When do they mature to the thought and awareness of what purpose they may really serve. Or by what means of delivery is this special information to one, who's normal grinding day is filled with hard work, taking care of their soldiers, wives, children and others? Where is the time and energy to have explored and tear down the filters, smokes and mirrors of reality.

You don't know what you don't know. And for most of us working stiffs we don't have the time or energy to set out to discover what we are unaware of. Life usually has it's time and process of revealing things in it's own time.

For most patriots it started out getting a job and a paycheck. It may mature into a sense of duty and responsibility but it mostly is for your fellow Soldier, Airman, or Marine that you feel that sense of loyalty and duty to. He has your back, you have his.

So you are immediatelly serving anothers needs for support on the battle field.

The definition of patriotism is:
love for or devotion to one's country.

Since I myself served directly in the Army for 22 years and for the last three years serving soldiers on the battle field in Afghanistan, I feel I have the right to change the definition of patriotism:

My definition is: Love or devotion to one other than yourself in a group effort to preserve your values and way of life, even if it is suffering the manipulation of the racket because without the racket where would be!!

And I would argue that we are certain that we are unaware of the alternative. The alternative may be 69 virgins in heaven. I prefer to live in the here and now, so I will take it when and where I get it.

Bulldog 7 "OUT"