Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Military Version Of Call Me Maybe Is Best—We Let Our Troops Die Without Caring Very Much At All

The song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen  is sweeping the nation.

Or maybe it is done sweeping the nation and I’m a bit behind.

The New York Times recently reported that this song is the first ever to enjoy such great success without radio play as a part of making it a hit.

I’ve watched a number of versions of this song on You Tube and the best one was performed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

You see that video above. If it won’t play here than just click it through to You Tube.

Our soldiers have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for a number of years now. We don’t care much anymore because our national character is so often just that cheap.

We’d let anybody die for us so long as we can live just as we please.

The soldiers you see in this video our are fellow human beings just as are the people they are engaging with in various ways in Afghanistan.

All people are complex and merit consideration as individuals and as who they are in the full context of our interdependent world.

Here is what my father—who died last year—wrote based on his combat experience in the Korean War—

“One thing that I learned is that the young men who fought in our wars should never be forgotten…Another fact I learned…is that millions may serve but far fewer fight. So, in reality, for many who have served, war is a glory-and-gory myth that feeds on its own legends and publicity. …Another truth I learned is that civilians are combatants in war–embattled victims perpetually on a losing side….That brings us to the biggest deception: The need to be ready defend our freedom if we are to keep it. Those who say that freedom has a price are absolutely right, and wrong: International conflict today is beyond ideology. The only freedom American and Russian leaders offer their  people today is the freedom to kill ourselves in the name of freedom.  This is not freedom, but allegiance to a suicidal death culture….Today, we are servile to our masters, mistaking economic well-being for true freedom, which is the freedom to live hopefully and not to die needlessly.”

I know our troops have to be fighting for more than our ongoing Presidential campaign where the two major party corporate-owned liars are discussing everything but the core issues of the disappearance of jobs in our changing economy and the realities of climate change.

Yet whatever that cause is, and whatever the virtues of service and sacrifice, something is obviously being lost on our troops.  USA Today reports that there were 154 military suicides in 2012 up until June 3. 

Meaning is very often hard to find. There is no shame in looking for relief in a silly pop song.  I don’t have a neat thought to round out this post. I just know that as my father said we are very much living in a “death culture” and that we really don’t care who we harm so long as nothing much is asked of most of us and even as others fight for us far from home.

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Now That Insubordinate McChrystal Is Gone, Liberals & Progressives Must Insist Obama Show Progress In Afghanistan Just Like They Would Have Demanded Of Bush

General Stanley McChrystal has been fired from his command in Afghanistan.

Given that General McChrystal could not discipline himself and those closest to him, how could he trusted to lead others?

Now that President Obama has moved forward in this respect, it is time for liberals and progressives to insist upon the same standards in Afghanistan that they would have demanded of George W. Bush.

We need to have progress or we need to get out.

Lives are on the line regardless of the political party of the President at a given moment.

And if liberals don’t have high standards—who will?

June 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

I Wish People Cared As Much About The Troops In Afghanistan As Much As They Appear To Care About Pelicans

I wish we cared about our soldiers in Afghanistan as much as we seem to care about pelicans.

Our soldiers are over there in that stalemated war and they seem to be forgotten.

As silly as all those yellow ribbons from a few years ago were in many respects, are the folks who once stuck them on their gas guzzlers not prepared to back Barack Obama as commander-in-chief?

As the Afghanistan War drags on, where are the anti-war efforts from the left? Was the issue for the left a few years ago dislike of George W. Bush instead of questions of peace instead of war?

I don’t think most people care one way or another about our war in Afghanistan or about the troops fighting that war.

All life is important, but we seem confused sometimes on what matters most.

June 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Memorial Day History & Links—Memorial Day For 2010 Is May 31

In 2010, Memorial Day is Monday, May 31.

Here is some history on the origins of Memorial Day and, also, links appropriate for Memorial Day

( We’ve been fighting wars for a long time. Above is an engraving by Amos Doolittle of  the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.)

Here is a brief explanation of the origins of Memorial Day—

Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.

Here is a much more detailed explanation.

The American death toll in Afghanistan recently passed 1000. Here are pictures of each of the dead along with their ages and hometowns.

(This representation of a disagreement between Tecumseh and William Henry Harrison is a reminder that sometimes U.S. troops were called upon to do harm to the native population. Tecumseh died in the War of 1812.)

Here is a list of minor and major wars in American history.

Here are numbers of American dead and wounded in our wars.

Here is the article that broke the story of mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. We say we care about our veterans, but that does not always appear to be the case.

Here is the Veterans of Foreign Wars home page.

Here is Iraq Body Count. This organization counts the number of Iraqis killed in the Iraq War. All people have equal value.

( Both a strong military and a strong resistance against going to war are important aspects of democracy. )

Here is the activist group Peace Action.

Here is a list of Medal of Honor winners for great bravery in American wars.

Here is information on women in American wars.

Here is the National Association of Black Veterans.

(Henry Hulbert, below, was a winner of the Medal of Honor in WW I.)

Here is information on the Revolutionary War.

Here is information on the War of 1812.

Here is information about the Civil War. (Photo below is of dead Union soldier.)

Here is information on World War I.

Here is information on World War II.

Here is information about the Korean War.

Here is information on the Vietnam War.

Here is information about the War in Iraq.

Here in an article from Salon about possible American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

War crimes take place in all wars and are committed by all sides. It is not a contradiction to acknowledge this fact and still respect the great majority who served honorably. At the same time, it is disrespectful to the concepts of democracy and human rights to ignore these facts.

The National World War II Memorial in Washington is excellent to visit.

As is the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington.

And the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

I called my father from the Korean War Memorial and asked him about the historical accuracy of how the troops were sculpted. He said based on my descriptions, it was an accurate portrayal. ( Photo below)

I’ve been able to visit Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu. Many of our dead from wars in the Pacific are buried here. This is one of the most important and impressive locations you can visit in Honolulu.

I’ve also visited Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

I once toured the Normandy American Cemetery and Monument near Omaha Beach in France.

Below is Arlington National Cemetery. I was fortunate to once visit Arlington on Memorial Day weekend and see the American flags at each gravestone.

Without people willing to die to protect the freedom of others, I would not be able to express my views in this blog post.  Without such people, none of us would be able to enjoy the day-to-day freedoms we often take for granted.

May 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments