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imperialism & war

then there was VETERANS DAY 2003...what a day?

this is a very sobering comment on today's VETERANS DAY by a real Vet who paid a very
high price so that we could freely read this today! The least we can do, is to give a moment
of our time to read his comments! Please do...
THIS REPOSTED FROM www.buzzflash.com


by Sean Lewis, Disabled American Veteran

Contemporary observance of Veterans Day started as "Armistice Day," November 11, 1918, in celebration of the end of World War I, "the war to end all wars," as it was known at the time. After the second "war to end all wars," the U. S. Congress changed this annual recognition of World War I veterans, and tribute to the Peace they secured, to "Veterans Day." In its present form, Veterans Day is intended to honor and show respect for all American veterans, from all wars, as well as from times of peace, though we have seen too few of those. In short, it is a day of thanks. This Veterans Day, 2003, is to be a most solemn observance; perhaps the most solemn in the memories of many young people. Certainly for me it is the saddest Veterans Day since I was discharged from the Army in 1993.

As has been the tradition since the days of Harry S. Truman, the President is scheduled to visit Arlington National Cemetery to place a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknowns. Undoubtedly, he will make some remarks from a prepared statement, serving up platitudes to the country, to veterans, to those presently serving, and to the honored dead. the words "service," "sacrifice," and "patriotism" are sure to pepper his speech; seasoning for the palate of a nation at war and hungry for leadership. But for many, this seasoning shall be like too much salt on already rancid meat, unable to cover up the sour, acrid taste that lies beneath. Under this conjured spice of rhetoric and platitude, a personal and political history of contempt for this nation and her military belie the true taste of this putrid meal being served to the American People.

To sample this spoiled meat, dear reader, one need but continue on.

This President is the only President to have never attended the funeral of a fallen soldier, nor personally met with the family to provide comfort and encouragement.

This President is the first to prohibit the Press Corps from Dover Air Force Base, where those who have given their lives for his cause make their return to American soil, thus depriving the populace from the privilege of honoring the sacrifice of these brave young men and women.

This President is the first to present a budget to Congress that provides less money to the Veterans' Administration than the previous year.

This President is the only President to have been Absent Without Leave (AWOL) from his own military service -- a deserter in a time of war.

This President is the only American President to have appeared publicly -- in official capacity -- wearing a military uniform, mocking those who actually serve.

This President is the first President to roll back benefits to active duty military personnel and veterans alike.

This President is the only one to have sent American troops off to war, then cut their hazardous duty pay.

This President has ordered that the Veterans' Administration is not to inform veterans of the benefits legally due them.

This President has rescinded military medical benefits for all retired military personnel, breaking a promise made to people who have decided to spend their lives in service since before the Korean War.

This President has pressed into active duty more National Guard troops than at any time since World War II, leaving states' militias ill-prepared to deal with normal duties, such as natural disaster response.

This President has instituted "processing fees" of $250 for veterans trying to claim their legally-due benefits, and increased co-pay at VA Medical Centers.

This President has sent our young loved ones off to war under false pretenses.

In addition to these atrocious, cynical slaps at the military and veterans, he has gone after their families. Money has been cut for military housing, military dependant medical benefits, and hardship pay, all of which help military families to deal with the harsh realities of day to day life.

But it doesn't stop there. With self-righteous mockery, this President signed into law the USA PATRIOT Act, diluting the Bill of Rights and compromising the very Constitution that he and every U. S. troop is sworn to uphold and defend. Ostensibly, this was to strengthen the investigative powers of our law enforcement agencies and prevent terrorism. If that is the case, the USA PATRIOT Act should be the perfect tool to find the traitor in the White House.

For the first time in American history, an unknown person in the current administration has committed treason. By publicly revealing the name of an operative of the Central Intelligence Agency, the most treasonous act committed during the current war, someone in the White House has killed dozens, if not scores, of American intelligence agents abroad. Yet this President does not seem concerned with finding the traitor. In fact, he doesn't even call him that. The official word calls this despicable act of treason "a leak," as though it were some simple matter of a staffer revealing to Geraldo Rivera that the President naps in the Oval Office.

As with any slab of fetid meat one might accidentally discover in the refrigerator months too late, the only appropriate action is to throw it out. Do not even open the container. It is rotten, and no amount of seasoning, grilling, boiling or searing heat will be able to make it safe. Just throw it out.

Yesterday, a friend let me know that she was thinking of me this Veterans Day, and wondered how she can show her thanks to veterans like me. A simple "thank you" is always appreciated. When you think of the freedoms that you have, thank a vet. When you hear a civilian speak ill of the military, keep in mind that this person is exercising a right that he is not willing to defend. When you hear the voice of anyone in power trying to feed you salted meat, exercise your rights, and don't accept "free speech zones." After all of this, the greatest honor given any of us would be to write letters to Senators and Representatives, telling them that America needs to support her troops and our veterans better than she is now and end this unconscionable disrespect being shown to them now.

Above all, remember.

Sean Lewis
Disabled American Veteran
Persian Gulf War I
Thank you. A very nice article 11.Nov.2003 15:51

seatac reader

Whenever I think of veterans day, I remember the poem "Flanders Fields"

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The name of John McCrae (1872-1918) may seem out of place in the distinguished company of World War I poets, but he is remembered for what is probably the single best-known and popular poem from the war, "In Flanders Fields." He was a Canadian physician and fought on the Western Front in 1914, but was then transferred to the medical corps and assigned to a hospital in France. He died of pneumonia while on active duty in 1918. His volume of poetry, In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, was published in 1919.

Bush is a Traitor to Humanity 11.Nov.2003 16:57

Mr. Smith Goes to Hell

Bush is truly the idiot son of an asshole, and his entire "administration" is a steaming pile. Anyone supporting these criminals is the stink on that pile, such as our own Senator Gordon Smith. Fortunately, every ill-conceived plan that this farcical bunch ever came up with has blown up in their own sneering faces. The neo-cons will go down kicking and screaming, but they are going down, and collaborators like Smith and the dirty cops that defend him and his ilk, will find their welcome worn out.

Here is something about Veteran's Day 11.Nov.2003 17:21


I was on the Tri-Met bus going down town, and the driver groused about the fact that he had to work on Veterans day.
Notice that banks are closed on Veterans day. Most of the people that work in banks as tellers have obviously never been in the military.
The bank bigwigs in the banks of course have been in the military. They no doubt were were members of the elite officer's corp of the U. S. military.
That is the elite officers corp in charge of the military side of the military-industrial complex.
Officers in the U. S. military would never do anything unethical. They wouldn't for, example, give a contractual advantage to a corporation for the possibility of future career advancement after he retires. I'm sure that has never happened.

I'm sure none of the former officers of the U. S. military worked today. They, I am sure, had a great time with their families, while the peon former enlisted people drove buses and what not.

Really. Did you think Veteran's day was for former enlisted people?

Yea 11.Nov.2003 18:01


'I'm sure none of the former officers of the U. S. military worked today."

I'm a retired naval officer and I worked today. I could have had the day off, but instead I went in and did my job. That's called responsibility.

"The bank bigwigs in the banks of course have been in the military. They no doubt were were members of the elite officer's corp of the U. S. military. "

uhhhh, yea. Whatever (sour grapes alert!)

To Leutenant Colonel Dumbass Redneck 11.Nov.2003 18:33


Way to show your disrespect for your fellow soldier, jackass! I'm sure Bushco would approve of your commitment to your "job". I'll bet that our national disgrace, the demented Commander in Chimp, could use a chump like you to push some of the policies listed above.

posters 12.Nov.2003 12:01

read yourselves

3 out of the 4 indy posters here expressed themselves in sloganeering, name-calling, and profanity. Can't you see that you're not only wasting what could be a real alternative resource, but also making sure that you are irrelevant?
Most of the material here seemingly comes from chlldren, crackpots, and cranks.

Alternative adult intelligences have to be out there somewhere and they have to have insight and intelligence. Why wont they contribute to or at least organize a real indymedia site.

Portland indymedia is a sandbox outlet. An enclosure where children ventilate. Often on these pages you read of elaborate conspiracies. I suggest that Portland Indymedia might be just such a plot. It's a locale that renders any point-of-view that is contrary to the mainstream illegitimate. It's nasty small mindedness and ruthless advocacy of ignorance effectively squeezes out real thought and dissent. It is parallel to that Gifford and Philben breakfast programming.

An exciting world of ideas and actions exist in the world - Portland Indymedia despises nearly all of them It does, however, very often do good work with environmetal issues.

Re: read yourselves 12.Nov.2003 15:12


Many of your allegations appear to have no basis. You seem only interested in provoking a response, by criticizing the site and the posters for the lack of intelligent discourse, yet you provide none of your own. Your post contained the very items which you are attempting to debase. It looks like you are a frustrated supporter of the Chimp, whos contemptable policies are leading the US towards failure. Some of those contemptable policies are listed in the article above, for which you had no comment. Instead, you chose to lash out at those who have contributed here, using the same tactics that you ridicule.

It looks like a pathetic spin effort to me, but prove me wrong. Can you point to ANY positive contributions that you have made to this site? I'm holding my breath.