Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Thank You’s

Thank You’s

By Marti Hiken
November 28, 2012

Every football game now includes a patriotic salute with a huge flag displayed in the center of the playing field, jets flying overhead and pictures of vets and GIs in uniform.

The advertisements for joining the military or honoring our vets run all day long on the television. (The military has an endless supply of our money to spend on advertisements.). One poignant propaganda piece even brought tears to my eyes it was so well staged and effective. It portrayed a young female GI in uniform who looked worried, maybe scared, not lost, but forlorn, as she departed from an airplane in a busy airport. As she left the plane an elderly man sitting in the airport witnessed her lost look. Clearly a vet, he stood up and proudly saluted her.

The local news has its hand in the pie, too. Not a news show goes by without some vet, sometimes disabled or clearly suffering from PTSD, singled out for a “thank you for your service” from somebody.

The “Thank You’s” have become a national pastime, a politician’s wet dream, and a patriotic duty. It has come to the point where anti-war Americans (the vast majority) have no say in either the policies of this country, or the patriotism that is one-sidedly pro-war, pro-drones, and pro-military. It has become a veritable duty to support the entire war machine, including the drone-makers, weapon manufacturers, and the lobbyists/politicians who run the government.

Veterans and servicemembers are being used and abused in the process. They are nothing but cannon fodder and helpless pawns who are sacrificed in order to keep the military budget rising, for the perpetuation of the lies, for enticing our young people to join the military, and for electoral victories.

Scratch beneath the image of any patriotic woman or man who says the deeply felt “Thank You” to the veteran and you find someone who would support all wars – regardless of their legitimacy. Such people usually have a family member currently serving in the military, served themselves, or feel it is necessary and politically correct to publicly thank someone. What she doesn’t consider is that the GI might be very much against the wars, someone who is suffering from PTSD, or who doesn’t want to hear the words at all: they know better. They’ve seen first hand the atrocities being committed in our name.

Why don’t these “thankful patriots” consider the infant bombed by a “wayward” drone missile, who has been killed or lost a limb, who also will suffer from PTSD, or whose father has been killed during a brother’s wedding celebration? Why don’t they consider the weapons manufacturers who are profiting from that drone? Why don’t they consider someone the President has decided to assassinate because his name appears on a “kill list?” Why don’t they consider and mourn for the people in far away lands who have had no military and have had their countries overrun by foreigners – namely, Americans, Norwegians, Swedes, British, Australian and so forth? Why don’t they consider Guantanamo an abomination?

Maybe those who say the “Thank You’s” should light a candle for all those who have been maimed and killed by U.S. servicemen and women. Maybe at the next football game the audience should rise for a moment of silence for all children who have lost their parents and limbs.

The blind, unwarranted patriotism of Americans is harming us, not helping us. “Support our Troops” does not mean “Bring them home” in their patriotic lexicon, but rather, it means “Support their Illegal Wars” throughout the world. We look forward to the day when our soldiers return to their appropriate status, as defenders of our country, who protect us against real, not imagined enemies.

*************

Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former Associate Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. www.progressiveavenues.org

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

FIRST TARGET ACHIEVED: Help Scoop.co.nz To Fly In 2015

Scoop is NZ's oldest and largest independent online news service. We have described ourselves as fiercely independent for more than a decade and we would like to stay that way... By making Scoop’s connection to the public and contributors more explicit we hope to achieve the level of support and sustainability that will enable Scoop to fly as a community asset. More>>

ALSO:

Greek Riddles: Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth? More>>

ALSO:

McBeth On The Cricket World Cup: It's How They Handle Fan Pressure

Brendon McCullum's team has achieved impressive results in the lengthy buildup to the contest and they deserve to be among the favoured teams, but... Their results need to be kept in perspective and fans should get a much better idea of the Black Caps chances when they face England in the capital on Friday. More>>

Keith Rankin: Contribution Through Innovation

The economic contribution of businesses and people is often quite unrelated to their taxable incomes. EHome, as a relatively new company, may have never earned any taxable income. Its successors almost certainly will earn income and pay tax. Yet it was eHome itself who made the biggest contribution by starting the venture in the first place. More>>

ALSO:

A Public Conversation: Reinventing News As A Public Right

Alastair Thompson: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Once journalism was possibly a noble profession, though that is certainly now, to quote our Prime Minister, a 'contestable' notion. It certainly seemed at least a little noble when I joined the ranks of reporters in 1989 . But ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news