Monday, August 26, 2002
PICTURE AND QUOTE: EUGENE DEBS
And here let me emphasize the fact--and it cannot be repeated too often--that the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses, have never yet had a voice in either declaring war or making peace. It is the ruling class that invariably does both. They alone declare war and they alone make peace. Yours not to reason why; Yours but to do and die. That is their motto and we object on the part of the awakening workers of this nation. If war is right let it be declared by the people. You who have your lives to lose, you certainly above all others have the right to decide the momentous issue of war or peace....
They are continually talking about your patriotic duty. It is not theirs but your patriotic duty that they are concerned about.
There is a decided difference. Their patriotic duty never takes them to the firing line or chucks them into the trenches.....
And that sort of settles that. I was going to cook up some rhetorical whoop ass for our infinite foes Pejman "I'm Still A Whore for the RNC" Yousefzadeh and our favorite Neo-Eugenicist Godless Capitalist. It wasn't going to be a long counter. The argument is simple: If you believe that this is a just war and you're young and able, then enlist Dr. Weevil, Pejman, Mike the Dog, and/or Godless. I might note, by the way, that Eugene Debs got sentenced for 10 years for making that speech during WWI. (You would think that all the leftists, union organizers and activists that have been killed, wounded or harassed would show that the left does have courage.) But I checked out both Pej's and Godless' commentary section and found out war veterans had already beaten me there. Here are the highlights and keep in mind that Debs quote, from www.thememoryhole.org (great new site and Orwell rulz!).
Take it away veteran Jo Fish:
GC, once again you miss the point of the Chickehawk discussion. Just let the ones who beat their chest the hardest and yell the loudest for war, look me in the eye and tell me why they could not have even done as much as Dan Quayle for goodness sake (at least he showed up for drills and finished his service without incident). John McCain said that "any service is Honorable Service" when he was asked about GWB's "lost years" in the TANG; he did not want to get into the same mud they were smearing on him in South Carolina. You are going to tell me that men like John McCain, Bob Kerry, Dan Inouye and others should just shut up and go along with the administration when the debate starts and not question the wisdom of the administration?
Is the position of the far-right that all of us, right-left-center who want a maningful dialog before bullets fly are somehow wrong or deluded?
Also, I understand your feeling of being a "contributor" as a researcher, and I'm sure that you do important and vital DoD work...but, you have to go there and live the life for a tour or more to appreciate what it means to be in the service. Spend 11 months off Iran on a ship during the Hostage Crisis or go 135 days without hitting dry land during the Cold War and then come and talk to me...watch a couple of your friends buy the farm during carrier landings during peacetime...and then come tell me how easy it all is. You know I'd go back tomorrow, as would almost everyone I served with if this is righteous thing, but not if we have to do the "McNamara's War" scenario again ( a war run of the Beltway, it already happened in Afghanistan to some extent) and I'm afraid that's what worries folks who want to this whole thing to slow down just a wee bit.
As for the police/firefighter anologies, they are faulty in one very important way: either one of those groups has the power to just walk away from their job. Just stop, quit, say "I'm outta here". They can also strike, have far greater legal rights than those afforded service members under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and generally get to go home to their wives and kids almost every night at the end of their shift. Does not work that way in the service...sorry.
Then Doubting Thomas, who has a site here: http://www.geocities.com/rangerhiq/TheDailyPage.html. Check out that great line about his parents SPRINTING to the recruiting station during WWII. Contrast and compare that to Pejman's math experiments and Godless proud pronouncement that "I just build the bomb, not explode it." (Let's not ask Godless if he would do work on genetic pathnogens aimed at specific minority groups. Let's just not ask...remember David Morse in the "Twelve Monkeys"?)
The point I'm making is that the people taking the risk chose [sic] to take the risk. They volunteered.
Yes, that's right, we volunteered. Many of us WAY before 9/11 (I did in 1982).
So, good for you, you choose not to be a soldier. Want me to clap for you? Should I look at you with pride in my eyes?
Someone above said the Army isn't looking for volunteers--eh? My brother is an Army recruiter and he's always looking for a few good men and women.
I don't believe I have ever said everyone who is pro-war should serve. Also, I didn't say that only currently serving military members or veterans are the only ones allowed to have an opinion.
But, if someone who is pro-war, capable of serving, and doesn't choose to serve and then is so smug, self-actualized, and unapologetic like you are about it, Godlesscapitalist, then excuse me here for the ad hominem, but you don't sound like much of a patriot to me. You're a "pick and choose" patriot." You like the rhetoric of patriotism, but don't particularly care to actually join in the long and distinguished line of American men and women who put their money where their mouths are.
Chickenhawk...I like that word. It is so appropo. Please forgive me for holding you in contempt, sir. I do.
In WW II my dad and his peers SPRINTED to the recruiting stations to join up after Pearl Harbor. My Dad sacrificed playing football at Notre Dame to serve in the war. To his generation it was UNTHINKABLE to put their own personal goals above the needs of their country at war.
Of course this is a different war and and we don't need 10 million men (or women now) to serve as we did then. But it sure is funny to see how attitudes have changed.