28 May 2007

We Are All Complicit

When I was a kid we always went to the military cemetery in Minneapolis on Memorial Day to honor my relatives who had died in WWI and WWII and Korea; particularly my Uncle Leo who was a tank commander, and killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Nobody we knew had died in Vietnam - yet. It always seemed to be sunny and windy; the flags snapped like shots in that wind.

There were flags, flowers, widows, prayers, proclamations, benedictions, bands, marches and twenty-one guns salutes. Then we went home to hot dogs, hamburgers, beans and beer. A morning to honor the dead and a lazy afternoon to mark the beginning of another summer that they were missing from our lives.

Few wars are just but some have been. We all have our own definition of a just war. Much formal writing on that out in the world - some by people who have actually fought in one.

I won't pretend to have a good definition of a just war, but most people can probably recognize one when they see it. I doubt by this point that the Iraq war meets anyone's definition of a just war or an honorable one. Except for a lunatic fringe of the Republican party that appears to include every single Republican candidate for President. No one, it seems, has the courage to say "The Emperor has no clothes."

Even the Democrats, who can say it, still couldn't stomach the simple and just legislative fight involved in doing the will of the people - which is clear now in the wake of elections and polls. So both of our parties are without courage - and perhaps this means on some level that all of us are without courage. We are all complicit. Thousands of our young have died because our president equates stubbornness with courage, and the Congress has none.

The soldiers who have died in Iraq are honorable men and women.

The Republicans and Democrats who sent them, and keep them there, are not.



RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

Politicians make no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:


Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:


Chris Copeland said...

The President is stubborn in many things... but in war you have to be stubborn. You don't send troops to battle and then go flimsy on them. You have to fight the battle to the end.

If you pull out before the battle is done then all you have fought for was in vain. We cannot let that happen again.

Courage is not pulling out. Courage is staying in to win.