Archive for the 'military' Category


Flood of Incompetence

Wouldn’t it be nice if, during this time of a national environmental crisis, in which towns are being leveled by tornadoes and swept away by floods, we had some sort of force – a National Guard, perhaps – to help these towns and cities clean up and rebuild?  Wouldn’t it have been wonderful is some past President had thought of a situation in which we might need such a “Reserve Army” if you will, and had made provisions for such a thing?  And if a President had done so, wouldn’t it be a little irresponsible (maybe even slightly criminal) for a current President to commit that force elsewhere, out of the country which they had taken an oath to serve, to fight a foreign enemy on foreign soil and leave them there for an extended length of time, even when they are needed despareately at home?  Might that not be a reason for impeachment, especially if it had happened more than once during a particular President’s term?


4,000 and Still No Answers

The recent rash of violence in Iraq hasn’t been covered much in the news, but I feel it’s important to mention since many Americans still have friends and family fighting in this illegal and immoral war and the NNM is doing it’s best to distract us in every way possible.  Think about all the stupid things the NNM covers, while ignoring the important world events happening on a daily basis.  Who cares about Brittany Spears when their child is dying from a lack of health care?  Is the baseball steroid scandal all that important to those still rebuilding their lives from Hurricane Katrina?    When downtown Philadelphia is beginning to look and feel more like downtown Bogota, does it really matter that Obama gave a lightly poignant speech about race?  If our freedoms are eroding away and no one seems to notice, what exactly are our soldiers fighting for?

 4,000 US soldiers dead in Iraq (not including those who died of wounds after being airlifted to Kuwait, or those soldiers who have committed suicide at home because of PTSD),     29,451 US soldiers wounded in Iraq


We Need a Hero

When I was in college (sometime in 1997)  I read an opinion piece about the lack of heroes in America and I wrote a counterargument for a class I was taking.  I remember focusing on the small, everyday heroes (firemen, teachers, the occasional cop), probably unable to find the large scale heroes the piece was longing for, thus inadvertently proving the author’s point.  I wish I had that counterargument.  I think I would be amused at how naive and self-absorbed I was.  Here was this prophetic piece of writing in front of me and I dismissed it completely.  I actually believed the things my parents, teachers, politicians, and news anchors told me.  I didn’t look elsewhere because I had the opinion of everyone that mattered.  Even through college I remained ignorant of what was really going on around me.  I probably would be to this day if I hadn’t met my husband. (Man, that revelation is going to piss some people off.)  It terrifies me to think of how many things I missed in my youth.  But it horrifies me more to look ahead.

I see what this drop in the economy is doing to my city.  I’m watching my students get more depressed and angry by the day as their parents lose jobs, their rent goes unpaid, and they try to study on empty stomachs and lost hopes.  They’re afraid to graduate, knowing there’s not really anyplace to go.  We send some to college, but trade school is becoming a waste.  Who wants to get into student loan debt when there’s no promise of a job when you graduate?  They refuse to join the army and I’m torn between being proud that they won’t fight this pointless war and upset knowing that their salary would have provided them three meals a day and kept their family afloat, especially when supplemented with combat pay.  There’s an up-rise in violence, especially toward law enforcement.  This means that people are angry at the establishment, and as our nation degrades financially, the violence will get worse. 

There are no heroes in this city. There are no heroes in this country.  No one is standing up and saying, “Look around you. We are killing each other.  We are letting each other die.  Our children have little education and no health care.  Our young men and women are hustling on the streets to survive.  Our families are broken.  Unemployment is high.  Teenage pregnancy is high.  Truancy is high.  This has to stop.”  Not loud enough to be heard.  Maybe the problems seem so overwhelming that no one has any ideas(except Al Gore, Ron Paul, and Dennis Kucinich).  They’re stunned.  They’re looking at the wreckage of our city and our country and shaking their heads.  We need a hero.  Or maybe we have the heores, adn we just won’t listen.


Dear Army,

The world is changing.  We’re different people than we were 50 years ago.  We are a volunteer Army.   That word – volunteer – that’s an important word.  It means I chose to join the Army.  It means that I decided to serve my country when most people don’t.  So stop treating me like shit.  Start treating me like someone who made a commitment and is willing to keep it even though the Congress and the country is playing it fast and loose with my life. 

And stop wasting my time.  Teach me something useful.  Instead of being pissy because my folded tee isn’t the exact size of a dollar, let’s spend a little more time on common Arabic phrases.  Yell at me for not learning those correctly.  Because that will get me killed.  When I do get into a situation where I may be killed, remember that I chose to put myself there and I deserve the best health care you ungrateful assholes can provide.  For free. 

Please stop telling people they’re not supporting me because they disagree with something the President says.  I disagree with almost everything he says, and I feel a lot more supported when I know that everyone at home is trying to get me out of this godforsaken place so that I can get back to doing what I volunteered for – actually defending my country and its people.


Soldier Turned Protester

There have been suggestions made that I am anti-military or anti-soldier, even that I don’t support the troops, and while I have tried to address those claims, I find that it is difficult to do so.  I think this war is illegal and immoral.  I think people who signed up to fight it after 9/11 without doing their research aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer (my cousin included).  I know a lot of soldiers, and what I have noticed is that they believe in their country and their leaders, sometimes blindly, sometimes foolishly, but they believe.  That makes it remarkable when a soldier changes his or her mind and decides to protest against a war they fought in, they believed in, even when they returned back to American soil. Until they did their research.  Until they started paying attention to what this administration was really doing and saying.


The Culture of Life

Is as much bullshit as it is hypocritical.  When someone wants to have an abortion or has a terminal disease and wants to die peacefully this administration is all over it, but when Congress wants to expand health care for children, a soldier is murdered in Iraq, or people are being tortured by American Forces, no one says a word.  It is so difficult, deadly, even, for the people of Myanmar to protest their oppressive and militaristic government, and yet we haven’t gone in to “liberate” them from their personal hell.  I guess the Bush Administration isn’t as committed to freedom as we thought.  So we have to ask ourselves, what are they committed to?


War With Iran

France is discussing the option of going to war with Iran in the country gains nuclear weapons.  I can’t help but remind myslef that this is the reason we used for a pre-emptive war with Iraq, and that we set the precedent for other countries doing as they please in this area.

Let’s focus on this instead:

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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