Militant MadAmerika

Militant MadAmerika  | veterans-day-449x300 | Military US News Veterans War Propaganda

Op Ed Commentary     

 

From the Monday November 4th USA Today cover: “Elite warriors lost without war… For many highly trained ‘killing machines’, returning to civilian life is difficult and frightening.”  This writer is not making this up, and this is not from some Saturday Night Live script! No, on the contrary, this is just how far our nation has regressed into a militant mindset, whereupon war is the natural course of things. The quintessential question is this: Where are we now at war? It seems that, ever since the last real war our nation engaged in, WW2, this empire has always been militarily involved overseas… but were they really wars? Korea and Vietnam were what our empire’s leaders like to refer to as ‘Police Actions’, shipping our young soldiers into harm’s way to support covert and overt foreign policy decisions.

As our constitution dictates that Congress alone must declare war on another nation, the aforementioned military excursions were not wars! The only wars in both cases were civil wars between the peoples of those two countries. Fast forwarding to Afghanistan in 2002, once again our empire decided to invade and occupy as we sought out a small terrorist group whose numbers could have fit into a bowling alley! Of course, by the very act of such an illegal invasion, that bowling alley size group of insurgents has mushroomed into a Super Bowl stadium size. In 2003 we once again illegally and immorally did the same thing to Iraq… at the cost of hundreds of thousands of their civilians and over 4,000 of our military. No declaration of war by Congress, just some bullcrap resolution giving Bush the freedom to disgrace our nation internationally.

As Veterans Day is once again upon us, what can we Americans do when it comes to the memory of those who served and are gone? We all mourn the dead kids in uniform who had to face the fire, regardless of why and how and by whom they were sent. Yet, there is this tragic culture of militarism gone mad that confronts me… and hopefully some of you. For what seems like years now, we cannot watch any important sports event without the pomp and circumstance of militarism. Honor guards and salutes to our flag and celebrating our ‘wounded warriors ‘is consistently thrown at us as if we were actually a nation at war. We are not at war! To use those brave kids as pawns for media propaganda is insulting to anyone’s intelligence.

Yet, empires, especially those that are desperate to maintain control, need to force feed the populace with the threat of attack from without. The Israelis have been somewhat successful with that rhetoric and PR, albeit they do have a much greater peace movement there than we have here. Wherever I go, I see bumper stickers and yellow ribbons trumpeting our troops and our branches of service. Why no bumper stickers celebrating our 9 to 5 working stiffs who are getting financially squeezed because most of our tax money goes for this War Economy?  

Go and watch the 1992 film A Few Good Men. In it, they mention the term Code Red for (in the film) the ‘toughening up ‘of a soldier who is weak. The officer tells the grunts to haze and harass the weak soldier in question. Is not that what just occurred in the Richie Igcognito/ Jonathan Martin Miami Dolphins situation? Jonathon Martin is a well educated young man, by the way- half white and half black, who comes from a family of well educated folks. Incognito and many of Martin’s black teammates do not come from such a background. Thus, Jonathon Martin is the enigma who may not enjoy having team meetings at strip clubs etc. He may not enjoy the use of the ‘ N’ word as freely as his football peers. He was cast as being, like with Private Santiago in A Few Good Men, a weak sister. Did the coaches or someone in authority issue the Code Red to Incognito and others? The point is that this whole football mindset, both amateur and of course professional, has regressed into this ‘Yes Sir, No Sir ‘militancy that is indicative of our national culture. We are a nation that celebrates ‘Elite warriors ‘whether they be in camouflage or a football uniform.

This writer played high school and college football decades ago. We had certain militancy then, but we also had young men who questioned authority. One incident always brings a smile to my face: In the late 60s, our high school team was going through what is referred to as Hell Week. This was during late summer, before classes began and weeks before our opening game. During Hell Week we went through ‘Two a day ‘practices in the hot and humid NYC summer heat… in full equipment. One afternoon, right after our lunch break, one of our teammates came out without his girdle, or hip pads. The coach , a tough former ‘ block of granite ‘ lineman who played with Vince Lombardi at Fordham College, wanted to know “ Who took Constantino’s girdle? “ No one answered. He called out to our team captain, Elliot Forest, and told him that he, Forest, was responsible for the lost girdle. He yelled at Forest repeatedly for being a “lousy captain and not a winner!” He challenged Forest to answer him. Forest just looked at him and said “Why don’t you go **** yourself… I quit! “He had finally had enough of the coach’s bullying tactics and public humiliations. “ Get the hell out of here Forest and leave your equipment in the locker room!” Forest left the field and went to change. We all stood there, waiting for the coach to say something to begin the afternoon workout. He stood there, what seemed an eternity, and then told his assistant coach to “Go get Forest.” Minutes later, Forest came out of the field house, with half his pads still on. He walked to the group and stood there. The coach looked Forest in the eyes and said “Forest, you stood up to me because you felt you were justified and that I was wrong in what I said to you. You’re a man Forest, and I hereby apologize in front of all these young men.”

Perhaps it is time for more Americans, including those in uniform, to stand up for truth and question those who lead. Does not matter if it is our soldiers, police, bureaucrats or just plain citizens. Ben Franklin said “Dissent is the lifeblood of democracy “. Frederick Douglass said “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has. It never will.”

 

Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on TheSleuthJournal.com, The Intrepid Report ,Nation of Change, The Peoples Voice, Information Clearing house, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net

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About The Author

Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. A graduate of Brooklyn College ( class of '74 with a BA in Speech & Theater), he is a free lance columnist posted on World News Trust, Nation of Change Blog, Op Ed News,TheSleuthJournal.com, The Intrepid Report, Information Clearing House, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch and many other sites worldwide. Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been a street corner protest activist leader and Green Party member since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at PAF1222@bellsouth.net

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