Tag Archives: war

Memorial Day Fantasy

A conversation between a 9 year old girl and her mother, overheard on May 31, 2121.

“Mommy, I heard in school that today was going to be the last Memorial Day. Is that true?”

“Yes, dear, this is the last Memorial Day. So, let’s go watch the parade, wave our flags and enjoy the day.”

“But, mommy, why is this the LAST Memorial Day?”

“Well, do you know why we have Memorial Day in the first place?”

“No, mommy, I don’t. What is it, anyway?”

“Memorial Day is the day we remember and honor those soldiers who have died in wars. All the wars since the Civil War. And World War 2. And the Vietnam War. And all the Iran wars. All of them. We remember soldiers who died.”

“So… we remember soldiers who died. But I don’t remember any soldiers dying.”

“You are too young. You see, governments used to go to war and send soldiers to kill each other. It was the way things were in the past.”

“But that doesn’t make sense. Why send soldiers to die? Who would be so cruel? Why do that?”

“Some claimed they were defending freedom. Some said it was to steal oil or other resources. Some said it was simply hatred of other people who looked or believed differently from them. Some said it was for land. All kinds of reasons were given. But no matter what the reason the result was the same. Soldiers sent to kill other soldiers. And to die.”

“That’s stupid. I feel sorry for the poor soldiers who had to die. That’s not fair…. But why is today the LAST Memorial Day?”

“Why? Because no one makes wars any more. The last soldier has been buried. The people of the world said “enough”. No land, no oil, no belief is worth sending my boy to die. So, this is the last time we will ever spend a day honoring the dead. There will be no more dead . Not from wars. This is the last Memorial Day”

A fantasy.

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Filed under government, Politics, United States

The War is Over

Ok. It’s time for the south to finally admit the war is over.

For years the defenders of the old confederacy have clung to the notion that the war is raging on. The heroes of the old confederacy are still memorialized by statues and revisionist history. Some still fly the flag of the losers.

Even here in the north I see a few folks proudly fly the flag of racism. The stars and bars. A symbol of racism. They fly it proudly.

But yesterday Irene Triplett finally passed away. She died in her nursing home in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Irene Triplett was the last American getting a pension from the Civil War. Yes, the Civil War.

HUH? A pension from the Civil War. Yes. The US hands out well over $40,000,000,000 (billion) dollars each year in pensions to the survivors, widows and children of war veterans. Veterans of the Vietnam War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Korea, WW2 and even the Spanish-American war.

Until this month the US taxpayers were sending Irene Triplett the sum of $73.13 every month. To honor the service of her father in the Civil War. Yepper, it is an odd set of circumstances. She is the daughter sired by him to his second wife. He was 84 years old. What a man!! And because of her disabilities she qualified, even as an adult, for a lifetime of support from the feds.

Her father was a southern soldier boy who saw the light and defected to the Union. He did so a few days before Gettysburg. Good timing. Later he joined the Union company of “Kirk’s Raiders” and fought for the winning side. Hence the pension.

So let Irene Triplett rest in peace. She is the last direct link to the war to save the Union. The last link to the defeat of the stars and bars and the end of slavery.

And across the south the monuments to the traitors , like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and others , have been dismantled. Torn down. Placed in storage. Confined to the dustbin of history, like the slave owners who wanted to destroy the Union.

Of course racism lingers on. It is a long battle. One I won’t see the end of. But the tide of history seems to be drowning the racist, the flag wavers of the old south and the modern day alt-righters.

Irene Triplett can rest in peace. The war is over. Some folks just have not figured it out.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/06/04/she-was-last-american-collect-civil-war-pension-7313-month-she-just-died/

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Filed under african-american, blacks, civil war, confederate flag, government, heritage, North Carolina, pensions, Politics, racism, Secession, United States

Re-Fighting the Vietnam War

The US lost the war in Vietnam. The USA bombed and napalmed and bombed  some more. And lost. In the end, the US forces left and the North Vietnamese united the country.

Ever since the US lost the Vietnam War many American politicians and military men of my generation have been trying to win it. In other parts of the world. In Grenada. In Lebanon. In Libya. In Panama. In Haiti. In Bosnia.  In Kuwait. In Iraq. In Afghanistan.

The idea that a superpower like the USA could be defeated by a small Asian country like Vietnam has stuck in the craw of some in my generation for many years. They simply could not understand it. Or accept it. Many still can’t.

And they have been fighting it over and over again in other parts of the world ever since. The military solution is, in their minds, the only solution.

So now we are on the brink of a war with North Korea. Make no mistake, this is a war of choice. Like Vietnam. Like Iraq. It is a war we are being pulled toward simply because those in power want it. They want to be “tough”. And they want simple solutions. Nothing is more simple than war.

Demonizing leaders of nations before attacking them has become par for the course. Ho Chi Minh, an ally in WW2, was suddenly a devil. Noriega, our man in Panama, became evil overnight. Saddam Hussein, who the US supplied with chemical and other weapons in his war with Iran,  was discovered to be a bad guy! And so it goes.

Which brings us to North Korea. Kim Jung -un is the new Ho. The reincarnation of Saddam. In preparation for war.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Kim is a great guy. He has his political enemies jailed or executed. He has poured vast resources into the military at the expense of other forms of development. By most accounts the North Korean people have an extremely low standard of living compared to their southern neighbors.

Kim is a big mouth, a braggart, a complete narcissist and shows signs of instability. No president of the USA could ever be accused of that! He likes to rattle the sabers.  He is certainly no one I would want to invite to dinner.

And, like Saddam and Ho and Noriega he has never attacked the USA. The only reason to attack Kim, like the attack on Iraq, is some theory of a “pre-emptive” strike. Of course, you cannot have a “pre-emptive” strike without a propaganda campaign to convince folks that war is inevitable.  Major powers using “pre-emptive” strikes are not new. Hitler attack the Poles in 1939 before the Polish cavalry could sweep through Germany. And Tojo attacked Pearl Harbor before Americans could attack Tokyo. Bush attacked Iraq before Saddam could unleash all those WMDs, which were never discovered.

The Trump administration seems intent on going to war. The American media is right there with him. Wars sell air time. Sell newspapers. Sell books. Make careers, in both the military and in journalism. So we see various editorials and proclamations about the “inevitable” conflict.

Of course war is with North Korea is not inevitable. The only outcome would be the deaths of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of North and South Koreans, Japanese and Americans.

The only other “solution” to the North Korea-USA conflict, according to “conventional wisdom”, is to close off North Korea and further isolate Kim. That has not worked and will not work . Especially since China and Russia are not about to stop supporting his regime. Has isolating Cuba led to the downfall of the Castro regime?

Only by opening up trade and cultural exchanges, bringing North Korea into the web of international affairs, will catastrophe be avoided. We have done so with characters less savory even than Kim. Stalin and Mao Zedong come to mind. Vietnam is now a trading partner. The world needs to make sure Kim has “skin in the game”, not further isolate him.

It is sad. Very sad. That a man like Dennis Rodman has shown more diplomatic skill than our current president. Rodman has gone to North Korea and tried to open up the doors of understanding. Instead of anticipating (hoping for?) war, he has tried to bring people together.

From a Newsweek article published today, Rodman, just back from North Korea  says the following:

“I’m not defending him, I’m not defending the fact that what he does as far as his country and his leadership. I think he has been passed a throne from his grandfather and his father. A lot of people say that the grandfather was worse than the father and the father is worse than the marshal today. I’ve got to hope,” he said, adding “I don’t love him. I just want to try to straighten things out for everyone to get along together, that’s it.”

“Things can happen if Donald Trump, if they sit down, have some type of mutual conversation, they don’t have to be like a friendship conversation, just a mutual conversation, saying: ‘Hi, I would love to engage in some words and politics and over the history of your country and my country and just try to start some dialogue,” Rodman said, “I think that’ll open up maybe the door just a little bit.”

What a state of affairs when Dennis Rodman seems to be the sane one in the room! When a tatooed body pierced former athlete makes more substantial diplomatic efforts that the US State Department.

But then again, Dennis was not around when the USA lost the Vietnam War. He sees no need to fight it all over again.

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Filed under Foreign policy, government, Politics, POTUS, president, Trump, United Nations, United States, US