Mother: Something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.
Flag: a piece of cloth, varying in size, shape, color, and design, usually attached at one edge to a staff or cord, and used as the symbol of a nation, state, or organization.
When a mother sends her son (or daughter) into “service for her country” and she gets the proverbial knock on the door, she is soon given a memorial flag. Such may be an appropriate tribute for those who may still believe that we are fighting for freedom, but for anyone who understand its true motivations, a can of oil might be more fitting.
Ironically, while “our troops were fighting for our freedoms” over the previous eight years, a United States law (18 USC Sec. 700, January 2009) was passed which stated, “Whoever knowingly casts contempt upon any of the United States by publicly mutilating,defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling upon it shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”
You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that. Defend that. Celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”. The American President
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Henry David Thoreau
A week ago today, I was literally cooling my jets in a freezing cold DC jail for protesting the continuation of the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For an offense (crossing a police line) that doesn’t even have any jail time associated with the penalty, if convicted, I stayed in jail for 50 hours. I was arrested with seven others and six of us had the similar fate of spending an unreasonable amount of time in jail for standing up for peace and justice.
After spending two nights in jail, we were taken to the court building where we spent another eight hours in a holding cell in leg shackles. When we were finally summoned to the traffic courtroom our wrists were shackled to chains wrapped around our waists.
During our unfortunate incarceration, two male members of the group had to go to the hospital for numbness in their hands and fingers because of the tightness of the handcuffs. After sleeping on cold concrete for 50 hours, Elaine Brower and I were cramping up in pain.
For minor infractions, we have to return to DC for a hearing on June 9th—since my charges don’t require jail time, and since I have already done 50 hours, I wonder what penalty will be imposed for my inevitable verdict of “guilty.”
“You must not kill your neighbor, whom perhaps you genuinely hate, but by a little propaganda this hate can be transferred to some foreign nation, against whom all your murderous impulses become patriotic heroism”
In the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, at the end of a filibuster, idealistic freshman U.S. Senator, Jeff Smith (played by Jimmy Stewart) gives an inspiring speech where he says, “Lost causes are the only causes worth fighting for.” Before he collapses on the Senate Floor, he croaks out, “you fight for the lost causes even harder than the others—you even die for them.”
“Love thy neighbor,” is the reason that Senator Smith (everyman) gives for fighting for “lost causes” the hardest. Whether one believes in this Christian command or not, it is the best reason to fight for lost causes.
Here in the U.S., we rarely even know our next-door neighbor, let alone our planetary neighbors that live across the globe from us. And we rarely even care what happens to our neighbors. Fight for them? Sacrifice anything for them? Die for the lost cause?
We have no leaders in this country that…well we just don’t have any leaders in this country. No one in the establishment is telling us that this nation kills more people and uses more resources than any other, and to be responsible humans, we must sacrifice! No “leader” that wants to keep sucking off the public-corporate tit, that is.
By Mike Whitney
Hat tip: Global Research
December 25, 2009
Mike Whitney—President Barack Obama recently visited Dover Air Force Base where he was photographed with the flag-draped coffins of soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why did Obama do this and what was your reaction?
Cindy Sheehan–”I think Obama did this as a publicity stunt and used the dead troops (that he was responsible for killing) as props to show that he “cares” about the troops. This stunt was in the middle of the “discussions” about how many more troops to send to Afghanistan (after he has already sent about 35,000).
It made me sick.
MW—On Thursday, on orders from President Obama, the US military launched cruise missile attacks on Yemen which were followed by raids by the Yemeni Security forces. An estimated 120 people were killed. Obama’s actions indicate that he accepts the Bush Doctrine, that he thinks the US has the right to assassinate people without due process on the mere suspicion they may be linked to a terrorist organization. Is Obama right? Does the US need to be more aggressive in the “post 9-11″ world?
Cindy Sheehan—And Obama reiterated this doctrine during his Nobel acceptance speech–which some are calling the “Obama Doctrine” now.
No, I do not agree with these extra-legal executions. I do not agree that the CIA can be jury, judge and executioner in Pakistan and indiscriminately kill people with their drones.
I adamantly disagree with the doctrine of “pre-emptive” strikes or invasions and I don’t agree that they keep Americans “safer” and, even if they did, innocent people are getting caught in the crossfire and we are creating enemies that we will never be able to kill.
Actress Marisa Tomei reads the speech given by Cindy Sheehan at the 2004 Vertern’s for Peace Conference after her son Casey died serving in Iraq. Part of a reading from Voices of a People’s History of the United States given October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles California (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.)