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Memorial Day

The Great Con Of American Patriotism

American soldiers born decades apart in the state of New York, Ron Kovic and Maj. Danny Sjursen, are two crucial dissenting voices that have experienced firsthand the futility and brutality of America’s interventionist wars. Kovic, a Marine veteran who was paralyzed in the Vietnam War, has spent the rest of his life fighting against the U.S. war machine. The film “Born on the Fourth of July,” starring Tom Cruise, was based on his book, a work he hoped would combine with his activism to dissuade young people from buying into the toxic patriotism that leads Americans to fight destructive, ultimately pointless wars. In the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” Kovic tells [ScheerPost] editor-in-chief Robert Scheer, “I couldn’t stop speaking against that war. I was arrested a dozen times."

Memorial Day Salute To A Repentant Ex-Marine

In its recent front-page series on foreign domination and poverty in Haiti, the New York Times vividly recounted the role of the U.S. Marine Corps in this painful history. The accompanying photos showed Marines, in battle dress, boarding a ship in Philadelphia headed for Port-au-Prince more than a century ago, forming a skirmish line in the jungle, and posing with the bodies of Haitians killed while resisting the U.S. overthrow of their government. As the Times reported, one highlight of this mission was the brazen theft of $500,000 in gold from the Haiti’s national bank and its transfer to the vault of a bank on Wall Street.  One of the officers who departed from Philadelphia, to help oversee this brutal and murderous occupation was Smedley Darlington Butler, the son of a U.S. Congressman and the product of a wealthy Quaker family from the nearby Main Line town of West Chester.

For Memorial Day, Here Is How We Stop All Wars

For Memorial Day week, Clearing the FOG speaks with David Swanson, the cofounder and executive director of World Beyond War, an international organization that is working to abolish all war. World Beyond War will hold its annual conference virtually from June 4 to 6. The conference, called "From Weapons Fairs to War Zones: Unraveling the War Machine," will bring activists together to share how they are stopping weapons corporation exhibitions, divesting from war, closing foreign bases and more. They will discuss what type of world they are working to create. David also speaks about his recent book, "Leaving World War II Behind," that debunks the myth of that as "the last good war."

Veterans For Peace Statement On Memorial Day

We are tired of parades, memorials and pageantry. Take back your  “thank you for your service” and 50% off sales. We want people to live without threats of U.S. bullets and bombs. We remember the enormous loss of civilian life that is forgotten in today’s memorials and hidden from view in the U.S. consciousness. America has no space on its calendar to memorialize these victims. We grieve the loss of friends and the death of veterans unable to forget the tragedies and forgive themselves. We are ANGRY that there is a holiday that glorifies nationalism and patriotism and ignores the trauma that U.S. militarism enacts all over the globe.

Memorial Day Panel By US Anti-war Veterans

A group of anti-war veteran activists discuss how they view Memorial Day through the lens of their time in the military and their work afterwards. The guest list included Matthew Hoh, Clifton Hicks, Jovanni Reyes, Erik Edstrom, Ryan Keen, Keagan Miller, Danny Sjursen, and Chris Henrikson.

Memorial Day Is Killing Us: Celebrated To Death

For those first six months after my return from war, thudding back slaps and free beers from well-meaning civilians numbed my sense of betrayal. But over time, I realized that all of this "thank you for your service" stuff was just a culturally ingrained reflex, like saying "bless you" to someone who sneezes. When it comes to our military, the mantra of the public is: thank, don't think. To most of them, war -- the war my friends died for -- is elevator music. Perhaps Americans have generally forgotten that, almost 19 years after the Afghan War began, numbers, names, and percentages don't go in the graveyard, people do. For 18 Memorial Days, the American public has been complicit in allowing our troops to be sent into a series of wars that everyone knows to be costly and self-defeating, while simultaneously maintaining the audacious idea that, in doing so, they "support the troops." Believe me, that’s not patriotism.

The People’s Memorial Day

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. War culture runs deep in the United States. You can see the glorification of war consistently once you are aware of it - it is expressed in entertainment, the war memorials that are in every town, and the deference we are expected to show to people in the military, e.g. special treatment at airports. This war culture equates patriotism with worship of the military. And it is on broad display every Memorial Day. Now that we are sixteen years into the "war on terror", even though a war against a tactic is nonsense - especially given that terrorism grows as the US bombs more countries and kills more civilians - this Memorial Day is a good time to question who benefits from war and who pays the price. Highly decorated Marine, Smedley Butler, answered these questions this way: "War is a racket. It always has been."
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