Saturday, November 12

VETERAN'S DAY REMEMBRANCES

Hi youse'all! Since Charles didn't get around to posting a commemoration of Veteran's Day until after Veteran's Day was over
for those of us on the East Coast (I believe he posted at something like 9:35 PM PST) I didn't get a chance to PROPERLY say all the feelings, thoughts and emotions that I experienced on Veteran's Day and hope you'll indulge me a little and accept this post "a day late and a dollar short"!!
War is, arguably next to genocide, the most awful thing that human beings can inflict on each other. It has, of course been "refined" over the years where it used to be that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of innocent men, women and children were killed or maimed deliberately (e.g., Attila the Hun - after he was through using a defeated opponent's people to help him acquire food and etc., he would kill, in a very deliberate fashion, the "innocents" lest they later grow up to become his adversaries again), and Attila set a pattern that lasted hundreds of years, emulated by countless "conquers" both in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and ultimately, the New World.
The slaughtering of civilians ended roughly around the time Napoleon was finally, thoroughly beaten. For hundreds of years thereafter, huge numbers of innocents were spared being targets of war and if many of such innocents died, they were considered murdered in war as "collateral damage". A certain city was the capital of the enemy and to destroy it thoroughly might bring the victor a more certain victory, e.g. Hitler and his continuous, non-stop bombing and missile raids on London (perhaps even hoping that the civilians would, understandably, "break" under this horrific, non-stop and ever increasing attacks on THEM and THEY would force their government to surrender, give up anything to retain their lives and whatever material goods they owned that were still intact). To the best of my knowledge, this technique of warfare which didn't work for Hitler, also didn't work in the Spanish Civil War (where Hitler's warriors became hardened to this ghastly strategic concept of war), nor work against the Russians by Hitler nor by the Allies (including the USA) against the enemy led by Hitler. History also shows us that, in a perverse fashion, civilization and the machines of war flourished side by side; people normally would build towns and cities where there were railroads
to take their goods to market and to return industrially produced products to the village. The railroads ALSO made it so much easier for the military to move, in massive numbers, materials of war and men to replenish their supplies of both. Hence railroads became targets as did the civilian populations which had grown into cities of hundreds of thousand if not millions of people around them. Even where the railroads were used to transport innocent civilians (Jews, Catholics and Gypsies to death camps) the railroads became the harbingers of death. We were back to the mass murder of innocents, such that the USA used Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both to destroy their war making capacity and to hopefully push the few remaining civilians to force their governments to sue for peace, which of course they did.
For decades thereafter, the World lived under the concept of MAD (mutually assured destruction) whereby if the Soviets attacked the USA, the Soviets would, via counterattack, simply cease to exist and of course vice-versa. Then came Korea and Vietnam, where more often than not, the tremendous loss of innocents was attributable to "collateral damage" even in circumstances where they were clearly not innocents (an older woman peddling her bike along a rice paddy, carrying three mortar rounds for HER side, e.g., the Vietcong could use against Americans could hardly be called an "innocent").
Subsequent to Vietnam, except for small flareups of warfare, a new concept of warfare was developed by America, the "smart" bomb, where we could destroy a building or groups of buildings that in fact engaged in building the machine and equipment of war, without the necessity of our having to destroy the piano factory or school standing right next door.
Then came 9/11/2001 where thousands of innocent civilians were deliberately murdered NOT because they were engaged in making war material, but because by earning money through commerce they, (through taxes) helped make the USA stronger militarily. And the psychological damage, sort term, was indeed terrible, but quickly resolved itself to the USA by our "simply" taking over another nation thousands and thousands of miles away for harboring those murderers.
Where does this fit into a thread on Veteran's Day, you're probably asking yourselves.

Well it fits in in the way I think we define, to a minor degree, the word veteran. Clearly, those of us who actually fought enemy soldiers with rifles, machines guns, mortars, knives etc. were Warriors fighting Warriors. As horrendous and bloody a way of "making a living" as I can imagine for HUGE groups of people. Yet scattered out through a number of comments on a variety of threads (leave it to the lizards to recognize the significance of the day) on LGF yesterday, were many words of thanks and offers of prayer from non-combatants, together with, for the first time in my life, "confessions" of men who had deliberately sought to avoid serving in the Vietnam War. Comments by men who believed themselves somehow second class citizens because they DIDN'T go over there and kill the enemy with rifle or knife or artillery, who didn't want to go in harms way.
Men who said they felt, if not cowardly, somehow less "manly" than those of us who did fight. I was literally shocked to read these confessions. My attitude had always been you didn't enlist, you had an exemption, you had a high draft number you LUCKED OUT of having to be a Warrior even if "only" for two years. As for those who ran away to Canada or Sweden or the London School of Economics as a Rhodes Scholar, well, for me, the less said the better (unless of course you "didn't inhale") in which case jokes aplenty sprang up all over the place.
Today, I'm afraid we are all or about to be all "veterans" people punished by and indeed killed by war, whether we are warriors carrying rifles or carrying lunch buckets or briefcases.Those of us who did carry rifles, et. al., although "true" veterans/Warriors, at least get the chance to fight back and exact a measure of good old fashioned, normal, human revenge. And we could not do that without the help of those carrying the lunch buckets or briefcases. We are ALL in this War on Terror together and while it is most certainly appropriate to thank and express appreciation for the the men and women who do the "dirty", bloody work of combat or close combat support, it is not and neither I nor any veteran I know felt it was in anyway a "put down" of those who didn't actually do the fighting. Indeed, while the USA and it's allies continue to try to find new ways to fight wars that spare innocents, the other side is back to the Hitleraian mode of kill the innocents and force their innocents to force their governments to surrender, if not completely, then in small, incremental ways; assigning geographic regions where only Sharia law shall govern; where police authorities of the entire nation are forbidden to enter, much less enforce what we as a nation believe to be more civilized behavior, where women have freedom and rights, where children go to schools other than the Madrases, where people either assimilate or leave the nation. Period. And in this fight we are all possible Warriors and need only the courage to push for what is right, what we know is right IN OUR COUNTRY and to deservedly mock all those who pretend some sort of "kinship" with the enemy.
God Bless America and God Bless All of Her Veterans.

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