Monday, April 28, 2008

On the "patriotic" generation

So, we hear a lot about the "downfall" of America, and American society. It is usually judged on moral grounds, that being a set of standards and values that all Americans are said or thought to hold to. We hear older generations and neo-cons and libs alike speaking of the loss of virtue, and the celebration of decadence. We are told to believe that long haired boys and bra-less girls are pagans and commies who have undermined the better intentions of the Great Society. This is nothing new, and is in no way a shock or an uncovered secret in America. I am not an investigative journalist breaking the story on the views held by upright citizens of the U.S.A.

I do find it irritating to no end though, and I am constantly being drawn back into the discussion of morality and patriotism by people of all ages, and it always goes like this..."wouldn't you agree that crime is up in our generation and drugs and sex are out of control?" Well...no, i surely do not agree with you. I will agree that criminal offenders that are claimed by the state as prisoners is up, yes, but to say that crime is up is just ridiculous. Also,, in a capitalist society that stays afloat on the premise of bread and circus, meaning basic needs and distractions, then no, sex and drugs are under a lot of control. In fact, sex is the tool used to sell nearly every product we buy, ranging from bottled water to car insurance. CAR INSURANCE FOR FUCK SAKE! Nothing says sex appeal like full coverage?!?!

Look, it is really not too complicated. As American citizens have banded together, much like they have in the last century, to expand civil liberties and social freedoms, that does not mean we have broken free of controllers of the system of capitalism and control. In fact, it really means that elements of control are being exerted more strongly than ever, and the illusion of crime and outrageous sex has been used a a tool of propagandists to dissuade the people from exerting their freedoms, leading eventually the the allowance of those freedoms to be stripped away, and even so through legal means. People actually volley to have liberty taken, be it int he voice of security or the rejection of lifestyle choices made by certain individuals who have chosen to exert their freedoms. This is not whack job conspiracy theory, this is a simple view of the model of consumerist society. To sell more product, you must provide a market, to provide a market you must provide a need. Ideology is also worth it's weight in gold at the check stand. This is understood by the purveyors of big business and enacted in purpose daily to increase profits.

Now, on to the catalyst of this posting, Patriotism and the selling of yesteryear.
I recently received an email from my wife, Angela, that was a forward of a message she got from her grandfather, a retired white collar worker in the Military Industrial Complex, WWII vet, and all around American male. In this email he states the claim that this generation is failing and does not support this country and all of the failures of the Bush Regime are due in whole to "This Generation".

Let's not even get into the lineage of a generation being the teacher of that generation, there-by making all of the actions of the generation, the effects of the lessons of the past generations. We will skip that for now. I decided to instead focus on the historical fallibility of his claims. I will first post his message in it's entirety and then follow with a play by play analysis. This is the message and response I sent out following.



Everyone has a different opinion on the war, and our current President, but, this article makes a lot of sense, and I hope you will read and give it some thought:

What a difference 60 years makes..!!!

'You aint gonna like losing.' Author unknown.

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism, b ut the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq, the mistake was his belief this country is the same one his father fought for in WWII. It is not!

Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression, the country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their leaders, so it was the people's duty to back those leaders.

Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them or not or whether the war was going badly or not.

And war was just as distasteful, and the anguish just there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we have had in the entire Iraq war, but that did not matter. The people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that war.

Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in. Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for war bonds to help the effort.

Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President. Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops' morale. And a bunch even enlisted.

And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our troops!

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage. No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies. A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crackheads, dope pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.

It is not the same country. It is now a cross between Sodom and Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.

We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims, that believe it is okay, even their duty to kill anyone who will not convert to Islam. It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists cause...Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits.

So...we either win it - or lose it - and you ain't gonna like losing.

America is not at war. The military is at war. America is at the mall.




Okay, here is the same email with my conjecture interspersed:

What a difference 60 years makes..!!!
Okay, let us start with this first statement...In the last 60 years, being that exactly 60 years ago marked the beginning of a new era of Imperialism across the world, with Soviet Russia and the then rising powers of China, and the Victors of the Great War, the U.S, all making fast and powerful moves across every border on each continent. The definition of imperialism is the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies. If we are to look at the number of U.S. military bases in the world prior to 1933, and after 1945, we will see an increase of dynamic proportions. These military bases were maintained through economic agreements with the foreign countries, and by threat of violence or withdrawal of funding, a.k.a. economic terrorism, on which they stood, and served no purpose of defense, being that following WWII, the U.S. was the only nation remaining that had not suffered great destruction of it's economic system. This then would say that the bases remained as a strategy of permanent residence of weaponry to be used at the whim of the governing powers of the U.S.


'You aint gonna like losing.' Author unknown.

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism, but the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq, the mistake was his belief this country is the same one his father fought for in WWII. It is not!
If a person is to have ambitions to lead a nation, one would then assume that that particular person understands the wants and needs of the people of that nation. You see, while this may be correct that it is not the same nation that it was during WWII, that is not to say that Bush would have an understanding of this, being that he successfully dodged service in the most violent and socially repulsive war, Vietnam, a war that defines imperialistic military state and the subsequent failure of the state to maintain such a strategy. While 30% of this country rests at or below poverty level, and 50% of the country is buried under debt, 15% of the country maintains a level of economic security that exceeds debt and 5% of the country remains obliviously wealthy, and also being that Bush belongs to the lower 5%, he is clearly out of touch with the pulse of this country. It comes as no surprise that he would not understand that this country is fearful and skeptical of foreign wars against non-combatant states, i.e. Iraq. He has never suffered the loss of life comes with the killing of innocent civilians in the name of a state, or worse yet, an oil contractor.

Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression, the country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their leaders, so it was the people's duty to back those leaders.
Well, interestingly enough, the reason this country pulled itself out of the Depression, was not back breaking hard nosed work, rather, the over spending of it's governments into the war machine. The surplus of wealth this country enjoyed after the war was in all truths, a debt. It was a debt that, to this day, is still being collected on, and healthily I might add, by certain companies that manufacture mechanisms of war. Is it any coincidence then that these are still the contractors that receive any and all military contracts in no bid agreements. This act alone defies the free market ideals of this nation, and violates the statutes against monopoly that was a great part of our economic trust. Also, might I point out that the leaders of this country are beholden to it's people and not the other way around. If you want to live in a country that values blind support of it's leaders, choose China, they have done well with this nationalistic ideology for 60 years.


Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them or not or whether the war was going badly or not.
WWII marked the first war in American history to see the term "conscientious objector" used by a large portion of it's own military. In fact, General Eisenhower signed the papers for the execution of one such soldier, Private Eddie Slovic, who was killed by firing squad for refusing to take part in the operations of war, a deed which was all too happily carried out by a man by the name of Patton. Eddie Slovic was an american born citizen and soldier in the american military, killed by the state, for resisting this "rallied behind" war. He was not alone in his refusal. In all, about 6,000 men were jailed for opposing World War II — from those whose requests for conscientious-objector status were denied to others who refused to register for the draft. General Lewis B. Hershey, then head of Selective Service, told a congressional committee that "the conscientious objector, by my theory, is best handled if no one hears of him." Hershey's theory has been pretty much followed in the years since the war.


And war was just as distasteful, and the anguish just as great, then as it is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we have had in the entire Iraq war, but that did not matter. The people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that w ar.
Well, being that the valiance and honor of combat on the field is now reduced to push button bombings, chemical warfare, economic strangulation and the suicide missions of search and destroy that are so prevalent in the streets of Baghdad today, War may have sunk to a lower level than in 1944. Also, note that the U.S. refused to enter that war until the economies of European nations were weakened and military of axis powers were spread out enough to make logistical reason for divide and conquer. It was not a war to end a holocaust. In fact, Henry Ford, the great american patriot and automobile producer, profited greatly from all sides of that war, producing Jeeps and tanks for the Nazis as well as for the Allied forces. Economic gains from deals with enemy forces is by all standards referred to as an act of treason.


Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in. Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for war bonds to help the effort.
There were harsh penalties in existence for people that refused to give up metal and money to the war effort. People were fired from jobs, evicted from homes, even jailed for "opulent use of resources". Rings of communist Russia, doesn't it?


Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.
Again, complaining is not the issue, self sacrifice is though, and none of that sacrifice came upon the backs of the media and bank moguls, the Rothchilds or the Rockefellers, both who report record growth in capital between the years 1934 and 1948.


You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President. Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops' morale. And a bunch even enlisted.
Charlie Chaplin would widely be considered a "fat cat actor" and he vehemently opposed war and the imperialism of the U.S. state, causing him to be blacklisted in Hollywood. Alas, anyone who puts stock in the political discourse of celebrities deserves what they get, and they pay for it dearly. Clear Channel, a derivation of Murdoch's ultra right Media monstrosity, controls 80% of media in the U.S. You hear what they let you hear in big media, period.


And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our troops!
They also taught eugenics and kept black and white children separate, bu mandate of "God". Did they happen to say any Jewish prayers in those schools? Nope. But I guess some gods are more equal than others.


Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage. No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies. A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.
Laughed out of existance? You mean tried for treason, and murdered, i.e. Eugene Debs, once presidential candidate and journalist, tried for treason for printing anti war articles, sentenced to death in prison. An american citizen.


There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crackheads, dope pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.
We are speaking about the era just following prohibition, right? The golden age of gangsters, when even police officers and Government officials were "on the take" from illegal booze runners. That is the same time period we are talking about, isn't it? We also did not have legions of medical dope pushers filling our children with every experimental drug that can be thought of for every symptom that is inconvenient for parents to handle. We call them doctors and pharmacuetical companies now though.


No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.
Again, he has never seen war, so his sense of courage comes strictly from the John Wayne films he saw in the theater while american boys were dying in Vietnam.


It is not the same country. It is now a cross between Sodom and Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.
Or was it perhaps when we found out that attacking Iraq was in no way defending our country?


We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims, that believe it is okay, even their duty to kill anyone who will not convert to Islam. It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists cause...Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits.
Of course they are sympathetic to what you are calling terrorism, it is their only line of defense. Not saying this is right, but it is true that economic sanctions imposed upon the people of Iraq was solely responsible for the deaths of up to 5 million people. Even Hitler and Tojo had to exert great amounts of force to kill that many people, and we did it without a single bullet.


So...we either win it - or lose it - and you ain't gonna like losing.

America is not at war. The military is at war. America is at the mall.
I agree, and we are at war to keep that mall, and that walmart and that starbucks and that exxon in business for another 100 years.


As long as we keep buying our stars and stripes from WalMart that are made in China, we will be blinded by that flag. Until we hold our government accountable for every move they make, and not offer up our lives for their war games, we will have an all powerful system of control exerted upon our backs and the backs of our children. Worship of the state is the reason the old testament god down a hailstorm of fire, and rhetoric that demands submission to state is inherently ignorant of the god it proposes to glorify. All Power To The People!

You can fight for what you hate all you want to, but I will be fighting for what I love...LIFE, LIBERTY, and JUSTICE.

Use the comments to agree or disagree. Let's just build a discussion out of this shit, okay?

4 comments:

Skyscraper_soup said...

Despair, my friend. It's something I feel in abundance when I think of home these days. I can't even dignify moronic fantasy-nostalgia rhetoric like this with an argument...I just don't understand people...let alone the American conscious. Depressing stuff. Add another one to the list. In the meantime, we watch the prime-time televised self-destruction of the dems as they tear each other to pieces over which left is left. Miss ya bud, - Black

Dan Jaboor said...

When my mom forwards stuff like that to me I usually just delete them. The next time I get the "Jack Schitt Family Tree" I may just refute it line by line. As far as what you replied; I think there's merit to some of your thinking, but I think the truth lies (oxymoron anyone?) somewhere in the middle.

Hevvy-D said...

Michael i think i have ur brain in my head. I made almost the exact same comments out loud while reading that little piece of garbage rhetoric.

I hosted an AWOL soldier who's father fought in korea and vietnam and his grandfather fought in WWII. He joined because of this kind of talk and left for the same reason. People choose to believe this shit... Despite mountains of evidence to show that Bush and his wealthy cronies seek total control through this jingoist rhetoric the "Greatest Generation" wants to sweep their conscience under their red white and blue rug.

The truth is not found in the middle between ridiculous "patriotic" bullshit like this guy's american wet dream and honest pursuit of justice. It is found in an honest pursuit of justice.

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