You are here
Home > Posts tagged "Veteran’s Day"

Veterans Day: when antiwar activists can tell parading soldiers to Get a Job!

What are active duty soldiers doing in veterans day parades? It's premature isn't it, and self congratulatory? They're being deployed to a public relations stint designed to admonish the public to remember their sacrifice, except present day recruits weren't drafted. They're economy dodgers. Yeah hardly voluntary and I don't envy the straw they drew, but it's hard to sympathize for signing up to kill and bully lesser armed people. Anyway, Veterans Day parades are a perfect example of soliders demonstrating their non-contribution to productive society, a chance for antiwar protesters to share an inside joke: GET A JOB!

WWII air veterans of Doolittle Raiders celebrate 71 years of bombing civilians

I read 30 Seconds Over Tokyo when I was still a war-playing kid, before I would understand the mischievous consequences of the Doolittle Raiders B-25 bombers deploying without their bombsights. This was to prevent US war-making advantages falling into enemy hands but it also precluded dropping bombs with accuracy. I'm pretty certain the account for young readers also didn't explain why over a quarter of the squadron's bombs were of the incidiary cluster variety. Readers today know what those are for. Doolittle claimed to be targeting military sites in Japan's capitol, but "invariably" hit civilian areas including four schools and a hospital. Of the American fliers captured, three were tried and executed by the despicable "Japs", who considered the straffing of civilians to be war crimes. After the war, the US judged the Japanese officers responsible, as if their verdict was a greater injustice against our aviators' "honest errors". Today we rationalize our systemic overshoot policy as "collateral damage". Every year since WWII, Doolittle's commandos are feted for their milestone bombing mission. This Veterans Day is to be the last due to their advanced ages. But it is fitting, because isn't it time Americans faced what we're celebrating? There's no denying it took suicidal daring, but the Doolittle Raid inaugurated what became a staple of US warfare, the wholesale terrorizing of civilians from on high, with impunity and indifference. To be fair, the American public has always been kept in the dark. American aircraft have fire-bombed civilians at every diplomatic opportunity since 1942, and a Private Manning sits in the brig for trying to give us a chance to object. We now know that the Doolittle Raid didn't turn the tide, nor shake Japanese resolve. It was a retalliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, intended to boost US morale as if to say, America wasn't defeated. Kinda like why and how we struck back at Afghanistan after 9/11, just as indiscriminately. The "Mark Twain" ersatz bombsight The Norden bombsight was a closely guarded US secret weapon. An airstrike without it would today be like lobotomizing so-called smart bombs, and deciding to opt for imprecision bombing. The official army record recounts that a subsitute sighting mechanism was improvised for the raid, dubbed the "Mark Twain" and judged to be effective enough. Now a bad joke. Indochina and Wikileaks-wisened, we know the mendacity of that assessment. The vehemently anti-imperialist, anti-racist Twain would not have been honored. Twain satirized Western so-called Enlightenment thus: "good to fire villages with, upon occasion". Post-postwar hagiographies of the raid have suggested the improvised bombsight was better suited to low-altitude missions than the Norden model. That conclusion is easily dismissed because the device was used only for the Doolittle run and never after. The sight's designer, mission aviator C. Ross Greening, offered a explanation for why he named the device after Mark Twain in his pothumously published memoir Not As Briefed. He didn't. The bombsight is named the "Mark Twain" in reference to the "lead line" depth finder used on the

Unlike in Colorado Springs, Americans in Auburn, Washington were not subjected to a completely pro- more war parade on Veterans Day

What a contrast in Auburn to what Right Wingers subject us all to here in Colorado Springs each and every Veterans Day as they use our collective public tax monies to parade their pro war sentiments through public streets. See events in Auburn, Washington... Anti-war veterans took part in the Veterans Day Parade in Auburn on Saturday, a day after a federal judge ordered the city to allow them to participate.--- Thank You, Antiwar Vets, for the service you do for our country. BTW, that photo headlining this commentary is of an antiwar vet at a protest by antiwar vets at a presidential debate in 2008. Unlike your ordinary American soldier, antiwar vets are actually defending Americans right to exercise their Free Speech and not just suppressing people militarily for the US corporate super rich in some foreign country or other. Antiwar Vets Attacked By Police Outside Debate

While the rest of the world celebrates Armistice Day…

We have Veterans Day, or, as I like to put it, "your recruiter lied to you and society used your entire childhood to condition you to accept that, so to make up for getting screwed like that we'll have a postal holiday and a parade for you". Just, you know, don't actually expect those benefits they promised you BEFORE you signed the enlistment or induction papers, and try to keep in mind as every politician with access to a microphone is praising your decision to "serve the country", that the renaming of the day as Veterans Day was a deliberate ploy to try to ease the sting of the use of United States soldiers, led by Doug McArthur, Dwight Eisenhower and Patton, to fire on an encampment, daily parade and daily petition to President Hoover to actually honor the promised benefits to Spanish War and World War 1 veterans. Instead Hoover gave their pensions to Investment Bankers, like his party and their TeaBag affiliates are promising to do AGAIN, only now they've got Social Security to give to the Investment Bankers along with them. They've also got enough RepubliFascists who ran under the false flag of Democracy selling your benefits to the Banksters under the equally false flag of "Bipartisanship". But, you're supposed, under the agenda set by these Thieving Murdering Bastards, to remember your fallen comrades... instead of remembering your LIVING Comrades, and yourselves, and your families, who are getting bent over the Proverbial Sink and preparing to be ass-raped by the Thieves once again.

Veterans Day eleventh hour jeopardy

Well here's a clever twist of a knife into a phrase. Had you heard the "eleventh hour" emphasis on Veterans Day before? What used to be two minutes of silence to commemorate the signing of the Armistice at 11am on 11.11.1918, in Fox News' hands leaves their viewers to infer it also means awaiting an "eleventh hour" last ditch rescue. Pared with pictures of active duty soldiers standing at attention, and Afghanistan on our minds, the message is unmistakable: send in the cavalry. Even the eleventh hour last minute idiom has been transformed. To act in the eleventh hour used to mean too late, but to the incorrigible can-do spirit of American procrastinators, it's when the cavalry rides to the rescue. As if the propaganda gift of Muslim Major Nidal Malik Hasan weren't enough, the media tasked with home front public relations is lined up to exploit Veterans Day too. Like Memorial Day, the holiday is meant to celebrate the peace achieved through the sacrifice of our soldiers. Both days commemorate veterans, not active duty soldiers. It may feel uncharitable to begrudge future veterans the honor, but this where it gets us to hoist aloft present-day soldiers: you wind up celebrating and their mission.

Colo. Springs celebrates underage vets

COLORADO SPRINGS- The average age of a uniformed participant in this year's Veteran's Day Parade was underage! The high school Junior ROTCs, the Young Marines, the Devil Pups, and the scouts, pulled the age downward against the ever diminishing number of retired combat vets. I think the Hussar-clad HS marching bands brought the mean down too. While officially the youthful paraders were there to cheer the old vets, it's hard to imagine the cries of "thank you" were not intended for the ears of those in attendance who were still part of the military. Actually a large number of those involved in the Veteran's Day Parade are active duty, when not on deployment. Belonging to a pro-militant fan club such as the Colorado Springs Young Marines does not make you a soldier, nor I should hope a soldier-to-be. But their recruits are already veterans of US militarism and the warrior indoctrination process. The Young Marines are sponsored by the Marine Corps, a rather audacious recruiting beachhead considering Colorado Springs is an Army and Air Force town. Note: the Marines have no JROTC program here, and the fewest nationwide. What does that say about the age they target? Not to be outdone by the Young Marines, the Colorado Springs Youth Marine Club goes by the name DEVIL PUPS, although it offers its conscripts the chance to "learn code of conduct from Godly Veterans." Note the better fitting uniform and helmet, sized for infants. The Devil Pups are affiliated with a Camp Pendleton Devil Pups Inc. Though They claim to be neither a mini-boot-camp, nor a para-military outfit, the Devil Pups require that children "must pass a Physical Fitness Test, cannot be on any type of medication for any reason, [and] cannot have asthma (no exceptions)." Do you doubt the Boy Scouts are a para-military organization? These scoutmasters don't. STILL SERVING THROUGH SCOUTING read one banner. Another read RETURNING TO THE VALUES SCOUTING NEVER LEFT. Were those the values of Kit Carson to which you're alluding? Here are elementary school students riding on a float sponsored by the Globe Charter School. They hold posters celebrating the four branches of the military, plus the National Guard and the Coast Guard. Rampart High School's marching band, the "Rampart Regiment" costumed in deaths-head Hessian uniforms. Our land-locked state also has a JROTC for students interested in the Navy. Three out of the four Colorado high schools enrolled in the Navy program are in Colorado Springs. They are Mesa Ridge, Wasson and Widefield. Oddly, none of Colorado's 21 Army JROTC high school programs are in COS. The Air Force has five of seven participating high schools: Harrison, William Mitchell, Air Academy, Falcon and Sand Creek. The parade of vintage cars provides a suitable reminder that all modern wars, post WWI, like these models, have been fought over the resource needed to fuel them. Unafraid to make that point directly, the Military Vehicle Collectors Club solicits donations to KEEP 'EM ROLLING. This 40s staff car ferried former Waves who served the Navy in

A Veterans Day wheelchair parade

This year's Colorado Springs Veteran's Day Parade falls on Veteran's Day. The theme is "a nation at war, a community of support." Doesn't sound much to do with honoring veterans. Are we holding an active-duty support-the-war parade on honor-the-Veteran's Day?   There will be 92 entries and five helium balloons. There are no entry fees because the city business community is so supportive of our soldiers over there, fighting to make the war safe for the contractors. Lots of military profiteers in Colorado Springs. Organizers say that fully half of the participants in the parade will be veterans or active duty soldiers. Fully half? What are the other half? By my calculations, that means that there will be more non-soldiers and non-ex-soldiers than veterans. In the Veteran's Day Parade. I have an idea about how to involve lots more veterans. The unseen, underappreciated veterans. The veterans not usually invited to join any reindeer games. This year let's invite the disabled veterans. And since the focus is this nation at war, this war, let's honor the freshly disabled. This year let's have a Veteran's Day wheelchair parade. I pictured it last year, maybe a handful of malcontents, youthful Iraq War Veterans wearing disaffected-youth garb accessorized with the odd army cloth article, walking with their canes or without, challenging parade watchers to look at them. I imagined it too complex an antiwar statement for most. This year there could be over 3,000 wounded Iraq War vets from Colorado Springs alone. There would be many more if you count the spiritually and mentally disabled, the post traumatic sufferers, and the yet to be, the terminally unabled. Forming a sea of true veterans, of youth sacrificed to war, in a mass to large to look in the eye.

Veteran’s Day parade, part 1

I should say that I had never watched a veteran's parade, I think. Wasn't it supposed to be a parade of veterans? This was a parade of mostly active duty soldiers and soldiers-to-be. It was very disturbing. There was a flatbed trailer, there may have been several of these interspersed, on which stood a current war hero. He straddled the platform, his hands on his hips, striking a valiant pose, his chin held high and to the side. A large placard read: recipient of medal so-and-so. There were marching bands, real young faces. I hoped that as excited as they were to be in the parade, that they weren't thinking of joining the military. I had just met a gentleman looking for legal advice for his daughter who'd recently signed up. She was a promising musician in high school, she played the coronet. A recruiter had told her that the army was in desperate need of musicians. They needed her for their marching band. The recruiter assured her that she wouldn't have anything to do with the fighting, but that she could serve her country in its hour of need, by offering to do something that she loved. She signed on. No sooner was she through boot camp that she learned she was being sent to Iraq. She and her fellow musicians were told: leave your instruments at home, you won't need them. Among the marching bands was a band called the Rampart Regiment, (actually Rampart High School's marching band, and state champions). But their uniforms were terribly unfortunate. They were black, a sort of turn of the century look with high hats, and a large black feather. They looked like Prussians, or what we would recreate in our minds if we were trying to visualize those mercenary Hessians! Their outfits hearkened to a day when the uniforms meant to intimidate. Does anyone remember what distinguished the aggressive from the defensive soldiers in the last world wars? The Allies had the frumpy uniforms because they didn't mind being seen as sympathetic. The aggressive soldiers are the ones who want to scare the bejezus out of their enemies. This has been true since warfare began. White hat versus black hat, it's true for cowboys and hackers. Good guys and bad guys. What was Rampart thinking to dress their band looking like black draped raiders? They look like Cossacks about to swing down and slice you in the back as you try to flee from them. What business do we have trying to glorify the terror of war? I was horrified too by what appeared to be den mothers, preening their little kids in their little uniforms, to salute the passing soldiers. These were not just boy scout uniforms but miniature military outfits. I couldn't help but think these kids were wishing that someday they too could be featured in the parade. At that point I noticed there weren't any wheelchairs in the parade. Top be sure many of the WWII vets may not be so ambulatory nowadays, but their

Vets Day part 2: the 3rd Armored Cav

Before the Guernica that became Fallujah,   before our use of chemical weapons in Fallujah, before there were civilians immolated in their beds by white phosphor in Fallujah, before Napalm under the disguise of Mark-77 was used in Fallujah, before our tanks were running over the injured Iraqis in the streets of Fallujah, before our helicopters were killing every last family trying to wade across the Euphrates River to escape the blood bath that was Fallujah, before we were turning back all able-bodied men from the age of 11 to 65 from the lines of refugees trying to leave Fallujah because we didn't want insurgents to escape our pincer movement, forcing them back into the city to make a stand, before we declared that anyone not evacuated from Fallujah would be treated as a combatant, before we declared our determination to make an example of Fallujah. 2. Before we tried to make an example of Fallujah the first time because the world saw what they did to the four contractor mercenaries, but had to pull out because we hadn't yet thought to cut off access to the hospitals from which were escaping horror stories of the atrocities we were committing against the civilians of Fallujah. Before we had thought to ban Al-Jazeera from Iraq for reporting on Fallujah despite our restrictions, before we killed the Al-Arabia reporter who dared to venture into Fallujah. 3. Before the famous desecration of the bodies of the contractor-mercenaries by enraged Fallujah youth who'd often seen contractor-cowboys ride through their streets shooting indiscriminately out the window; before our military tried to cordon off Fallujah with encampments. 4. Before the killing of three unarmed Iraqi marchers, and the wounding of dozens more, who'd assembled to protest a massacre the day before, both times by nervous 82nd Airborne soldiers who thought they had been fired upon first. 3. Before the massacre of schoolboys protesting the occupation of their school by American soldiers. The soldiers claimed to have been fired upon and yet the only bullet holes to be found after the killing of 17 unarmed Iraqi men and boys were from the American guns. 5. Before that time Fallujah had not been occupied. Fallujah remained restful throughout America's invasion of Iraq. It was not until the actions of the 82nd Airborne and the Marine Expeditionary Force that Fallujah erupted into a hotbed for the insurgency and, as a result of American anger, into American war crimes recalling Lidice and Guernica. Throughout this period, and in between the disastrous actions by the 82nd and the Marines, Fallujah and the Anbar Provence were the responsibility of the 3rd Armored Cavalry of Fort Carson, Colorado Springs. To their credit, they were not party to the unfortunate American actions.

Top