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Novelist and screenwriter Clancy Sigal (Frida), writes Memorial Day: Remembering 70 U.S. Wars, Big and Small:

Except for mourning family members and Boy Scouts loyally placing tiny flags on veterans’ gravestones, hardly anyone knows anything about Memorial Day except that it’s a day off. It’s the saddest of the military holidays, invented after the Civil War, supposed to help us honor, or at least pause to remember, all the American dead from all  our wars. That’s a lot of men and some women to remember going back, well, how far?

Big and small, we’ve “done” about 70 wars starting with the mid-18th century so-called French and Indian wars where George Washington was blooded and when we got our first taste of industrially massacring Native Americans, mainly Ojibwas and Algonquins who sided with the French against our British masters.

Before penicillin, it’s hard to get an accurate sum total figure of all those combat deaths because so many men died of disease and what was later called shell shock.  

In our thirteen major and 60 or so “minor” wars, let’s call a round figure of one and a half million dead.  Compared to the mass war slaughter in, say, Russia or China, that’s small potatoes, but big potatoes for us.  Our dead include wars you never heard, such the “Quasi War” with the French, the First Sumatran Expedition and Sheepeater Indian War plus, of course, both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan.  A large number of U.S. wars were fought against our own Native Americans  (Modocs, Nez Perce, serial Seminole wars etc.) and other “colored” peoples in China, the Philippines, Haiti, central America, Mexico etc.

This doesn’t and shouldn’t take away from the genuine valor of so many American soldiers who fought, died, massacred others and were scalped in return.

Sadly or inspiringly, the truth is men and now women sometimes like to go to war. To do one’s patriotic duty can be exciting as well as deadly. You get a sense of purpose and usefulness, possibly your own worth by being in uniform. Personally, I liked being in the military including its chickenshit.

It’s also thrilling to watch war movies.  To “celebrate” Memorial Day, Turner Classics on TV is throwing shot and shell at us for a solid four-day, 72-hour marathon starting Saturday.  The lineup includes 34 “classics” from the Civil War on. Unless my eyes deceive me Turner is not showing, or avoiding, some fine anti-pro-war films, Renoir’s Grand Illusion and Kubrick’s Paths of Glory as well as All Quiet On The Western Front and Howard Hawks's The Road To Glory (co-written by William Faulkner). Turner’s bias is toward blood-and-guts “combat” stories, comedies and “touching stories of the families who wait at home”.

In the midst of all the testosterone-laden, gut-wrenching 'kill, kill, kill' is some real quality that fails in the mission of sending men off to war.  If you can make your way past The Dirty Dozen and Kelly’s Heroes, there’s The Best Years of Our Lives, the Quaker-friendly Friendly Persuasion, Sidney Lumet’s brilliant exposure of military sadism in The Hill, the German-made Westfront 19l8, and John Huston’s butchered but decent The Red Badge of Courage.

Missing, thank heaven, are Ronald Reagan’s favorite Patton and Katherine Bigelow’s “ballsy” recruiting poster The Hurt Locker. But I’m sorry we won’t see Clint Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima, a surprise masterpiece telling the battle from a Japanese point of view.

What’s not to love about war movies?  Vivid images of men shooting the crap out of each other heats my blood.  The gore of “this is how it is” is ultimately romantic and seductive.  Most war movies can’t help but call us to arms.  Rat tat tat to Black Watch bagpipe music. [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011Wisconsin GOP could simply re-pass law, but recall elections causing delay:

As Jed already noted, a county judge has issued a permanent injunction against the Wisconsin law stripping public workers of collective bargaining rights. The state Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the matter on Monday, June 6.

Still, as long as they would give 24 hours notice, Wisconsin Republicans could simply pass the bill through the state legislature again. They have plenty of time to do so before the July 12 recall elections.

However, don't count on Wisconsin Republicans taking this path unless they are absolutely forced to do so by the state Supreme Court. This is because they would like to avoid casting another vote that would anger the most important swing voters in Wisconsin—union households who supported them in 2010. [...]

Since union households account for almost the entire swing in Wisconsin public opinion, re-passing a union-busting bill right before the election elections would be harmful to Republican chances. That's the real reason why Wisconsin Republicans are waiting on the courts to enact the law for them.

Tweet of the Day
For $50 million/year, you can get the GOP to deny that gun violence & climate change exist. They'll pretend 2001-08 never happened for free

On today's rerun of the Kagro in the Morning show, it's our May 23, 2013 episode. Greg Dworkin on the lingering controversies and the variations in polling on the AP story. Also: the strange case of Josh Barro. On the IRS, Republicans now insist the President knew all about it, and if he didn't, that's evidence of a cover-up, too. Make your own untraceable AK-47 at a "build party." McCain looks to defuse a "nuclear option" showdown. Lamar! pretends not to see the difference between the ACA & Iran-Contra. A shocking chart on the shift in sources of federal revenues. "Why Private Schools Are Dying Out." When it comes to income inequality, the Medicis were pikers!

High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What fraction of that 1.5 million (5+ / 0-)

    are from the American Civil War?

  •  Peace. n/t (8+ / 0-)

    The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

    by Thinking Fella on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:44:26 PM PDT

  •  yeah, but you should have seen the other guys. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, justiceputnam

    i mean, except for the time when the other guys were us.

    anyway, the point is, we're real good at killing other people.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:46:42 PM PDT

  •  Not a word I can't agree with MB, kind thanks. (5+ / 0-)

    We are all made of star stuff, so please be kind to dust bunnies.

    by jwinIL14 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:47:06 PM PDT

  •  History Channel has a Awsome Docudrama (6+ / 0-)

    Showing Stalin,Hitler,Churchill,Patton&FDR as they were in WWI and WWII and their path in between.

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon May 26, 2014 at 08:51:20 PM PDT

  •  I was too young to go to Vietnam, but some of the (10+ / 0-)

    older students I went to high school with weren't too old; some of them went and some of them didn't make it back...

    A guy that I used to have a lot of interactions with back in the day when our kids were in Little League lost his brother in the early days of Gee Dub's invasion of Iraq in 2003...

    My wife has an uncle she never met and my MIL has a brother that she has never seemed to completely get over loosing as a result of his death in combat on Iwo Jima...

    When I was a kid, the guy who was the machinist and ran the machine shop at the place where my dad (who was also a WWII combat vet) worked survived being on the USS Franklin...

    These are only "my" wars because I know someone (or know someone who knew someone) who paid a price for them.  Some of these wars were noble, to the degree that any war can be; some were not.  Even when I was a kid going with my parents to decorate the graves of those who died in combat or who just died, it was always a maudlin occasion;  I can never say "have a happy Memorial Day Weekend".  I watch the movies because they make a connection with the past and the sacrifice, but I always get the disconnect between the jingoistic themes of some of them and the reality that a shot bullet or a dropped bomb or a thrown hand grenade means that somebody with a life and a history and a personal story dies...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:06:28 PM PDT

  •  "An Uncle Hung In The Square" (10+ / 0-)

    Justice Putnam Self-Portrait / copyright Justice Putnam

    The Justice Department is on Netroots Sundays 8pm to 9pm Pacific and Mondays 9pm to Midnight Pacific. Powered by Unity Radio Net!

    I'm Special Agent DJ Justice; Radio Host and Program Director for Netroots; and I'm manning the dials, spinning the discs, warbling the woofers, putting a slip in your hip and a trip to your hop.

    The playlist for Monday Memorial Day Special 26 May 14 9pm to Midnight Pacific Edition of The Justice Department: Musique sans Frontieres

     ~~ "An Uncle Hung In The Square" ~~

    1 - The Doors -- "Horse Latitudes"
    2 - The Be Good Tanyas -- "Ship Out on the Sea"
    3 - Andrews Sisters -- "Hula Ba Luau"
    4 - Creedence Clearwater Revival -- "Run Through The Jungle"
    5 - Dengue Fever -- "Sleepwalking Through The Mekong"
    6 - Buffy Sainte Marie -- "Universal Soldier"
    7 - Cake - "War Pigs"
    8 - Eric Burdon and The Animals -- "Sky Pilot"
    9 - Tom Waits -- "A Soldier's Things"
    10 - Buffalo Springfield -- "I Am A Child."

    Station Break

    11 - Moody Blues -- "Gypsy"
    12 - Jai Uttal and the Pagan Love Orchestra -- "Corner"
    13 - Nina Simone -- "Don´t Explain"
    14 - Erik Satie -- "Trois Gymnopedies"
    15 - Thomas Siffling Trio -- "Jazz Is Like Ginger"

    Station Break

    16 - The Sound Defects -- "Angels"
    17 - The Charmels -- "Dear Uncle Sam"
    18 - Herbie Mann -- "Coming Home Baby"
    19 - Jamiroquai -- "Everyday"
    20 - Surfer Blood -- "Voyager Reprise"
    21 - Terakaft -- "Tenere Wer Tat Zinchegh"

    Station Break

    22 - Shout Out Louds -- "Hard Rain"
    23 - Zero 7 -- "Give It  Away"
    24 - Chet Baker -- "Laura"
    25 - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble -- "Balicky Bon"
    26 - Bjork -- "New World"
    27 - Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard -- "Now We Are Free"

    Station Break

    28 - Pete Seeger -- "From Way Up Here"
    29 - Phil Ochs -- "When I'm Gone"
    30 - Victor Jara -- "Yo No Canto Por Cantar"
    31 - Paco Ibanez -- "Los Versos Mas Tristres"
    32 - Simon and Garfunkel -- "America"
    33 - Cisco Houston -- "Saint James Infirmary"
    34 - Mario Biondi -- "Winter in America"

    Station Break

    35 - Iron and Wine - "Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car"
    36 - Daughter -- "Candles"
    37 - Russian Red -- "Just Like a Wall"
    38 - Blood Orange -- "Sutphin Boulevard"
    39 - Cider Sky -- "Shooting Stars"
    40 - The Wooden Birds -- "The Other One"
    41 - Micatone -- "Nomad Sinners Lounge"

    Who luvs ya, baby?


    The Netroots Radio Player

     photo CrystalRadioKit.jpg

    Daily Kos Radio, Vintage James Baldwin, Labor History, Native American Documentaries, Flashpoints, Majority Report, RadioLabor News, Democracy Now, The David Packman Show, The Union Edge, The Professional Left with Driftglass & Blue Gal, West Coast Cookbook 6 Minute Recipes, Free Speech Radio News, Jim Hightower, Green News Report, ACLU Minutes, Breaking Through with Mom's Rising, The BradCast, Eclectic Mixes by Spc Agnt DJ Justice, Nicole Sandler, Ring of Fire, The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow, Liberal Fix Radio, Health, Science & History Specials, your Netroots Radio Favorites... and so much more, on right now!

    Go ahead, now you can listen while roaming the Big Orange and beyond!


    (12-String Ovation Balladeer Astoria, Oregon / copyright Justice Putnam)


    A Windy Day In Normandy

    Your floral-print dress
    A breeze across fields
    Of Sunflower and Lavender

    You told me the story
    Of the tragedy of
    Your family

    Your grandfather on
    His mailman bicycle
    The delivery of
    Resistance correspondence

    The fear of discovery

    (The inevitable retaliation
    Against the village

    An Uncle hung
    In the Square
    A few weeks short
    Of the liberation)

    I watched your tears
    As you prayed near
    The soldier multitude of
    White crosses and
    The occasional
    Star of David

    Here and there even
    An alabaster Crescent Moon

    You wept for them all
    As the tournesol
    Faced West

    Your dress clung in folds

    And your red hair
    Framed the History
    Of your familial grief

    (Saint Ceneri, France, 1994)

    © 2005 Justice Putnam
    and Mechanisches Strophe-Verlagswesen


     photo TournesolNormandyFrance.jpg

    (Field of Tournesol Normandy, France / copyright Justice Putnam


    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio. Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos, all are welcome!

    by justiceputnam on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:09:35 PM PDT

  •  Some here say more Americans have died in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, jan4insight, waterstreet2013

    gun related fatalities than in all our wars. They did the math. It's close. So we can make that 3 million.

    (apologies if I offend, it sounds petulant I suppose, and I am tired)

  •  killed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Any guess on how many were killed by American soldiers?  War is sometimes necessary to protect others, but often used for business and/or power.  Those wars are criminal, and the presidents responsible need to be jailed for murder.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:32:57 PM PDT

    •  Tens of thousands of indigenous people... (5+ / 0-)

      ...were killed in the century (1788-1890) of the Indian Wars. Three-to-five million Vietnamese were killed (but hard to know how many were killed by their own vs. the U.S. and its Korean and Australian allies in that war).

      The various counts for Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani war dead are so divergent as to be practically useless. At least 150,000 and possibly two to five times that many in Iraq died as a result of the U.S. invasion.

      16,000 Mexican soldiers in the war of theft 1846-48.

      60,000 Spanish military personnel in Cuba and the Philippines 1898-1899.

      12-20,000 Filipino combatants and 200,000 Filipino civilians killed in the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902). (Many of those civilians were killed by insurgents.)

      That's the short list.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many of the Vietnamese killed by their own (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson, waterstreet2013

        probably wouldn't have been killed without the massive U.S. intervention and escalation. Ho Chi Minh was popular north and south. The corrupt puppet regime in Saigon would have fallen quickly, which is, of course, why the U.S. jumped in (after rejecting Ho's offers of friendship).

        So the question is indeed imponderable...

        It always seems impossible until its done. -Nelson Mandela

        by chuckvw on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:15:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Ngo Dihn brothers were holding their own (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          until the U.S. embassy paid out $42,000 cash to get them killed on November 2, 1963. It's not unfair to figure that a similar flock of doves visited Dallas on the 21st.

          Intervention from a Colonel Polk had gotten Madame Nhu out of there -- a shopping expedition to Manila, then Paris. Jack saved it, so at least we didn't slaughter her in the mess.

          That was some time after President Ngo Din Diem visited the U.S. in 1957 and received a ticker tape parade up Broadway in New York. There's a plaque in the sidewalk there. A few steps up from Zuccotti on the west side of the street.

          American propaganda of the day complained on the home front that they weren't introducing democracy fast enough.

          More to the point they didn't want a multi-billion dollar war killing their people. They also didn't like drugs. They had to go.  

          "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

          by waterstreet2013 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 04:19:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The U.S. Army history has Vietnam at 2,600,000 (0+ / 0-)

        and the Total Extra Deaths total for Iraq from the NGOs looks to be 1,961,000.

        Guerrilla wars kill way more civilians than combatants.

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:47:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  'The Green Berets' is one of my favorite (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hawkseye, waterstreet2013

    Unintentional comedies of all time, just a laugh riot from THAT FANTASTIC OPENING SONG right up until the end where the sun is setting in the east. Fortunately it gets a lot of play this time of year! And because it's probably the most realistic movie about Vietnam ever made, I always learn something new about the war (like the fact that all the American soldiers who fought were at least 40 years old, none of that '19' nonsense!). And it's got George Takai.

    "Jika Anda membutuhkan produk untuk meningkatkan kualitas hubungan seksual Anda atau membutuhkan produk obat pembesar penis!" - Bintangpasutri

    by Fordmandalay on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:40:43 PM PDT

  •  A word the GOP cannot say (5+ / 0-)

    Some terms are kryptonite to Republicans. My favorite at the moment is "resilience". In the House vote four days ago to deny climate science, "resilience" was the term every GOP skirted.

    But what if we do have to deal with food security?
    What if human migration increases in an effort to escape once livable areas?
    What of the opportunity costs squandered?

    It's bad enough that the Pentagon brass have started to use the term "climate resilience" pretty regularly over the past six months, but now it appears the term is creeping into the business community.

    Great question for every GOP candidate this year: "Given that this has become a central concern for the military and business, what is your plan to enhance climate resilience?"


    It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

    by kosta on Mon May 26, 2014 at 09:47:46 PM PDT

    •  "black swan" events they're calling it.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kosta, waterstreet2013, JeffW if climate change and its effects are unpredictable, despite all the scientific data documenting otherwise:

      Companies that embrace pivot strategies will be better able to thrive in the face of extreme, unpredictable “black swan” events, such as rapid shifts in input availability or record storms like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. The one thing we know for sure is that such events will happen. And as the uncertainty expert Nassim Taleb argues in his book Antifragile, the best systems help organizations not only survive the unpredictable but get stronger.
      At least they do admit that bad things are on the way, but they seem to take the GOP attitude that nothing can be done so.. plan to adapt is the focus instead of planning to stop the damaging pollution. And a "black swan" effect is a surprise.

      I can almost hear it now. The climate deniers new meme: 'who could have predicted?'

      black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsigh least that's the sense I'm picking up on
      •  may be bending the term (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Eric Nelson
        Definition of 'Black Swan'

        An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult to predict. This term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor and former Wall Street trader.

        One lesson from the comparison of climate and macroeconomy models is that the climate models did better, so the "who could've predicted" line may quickly get ridiculed for its lameness.

        There's a Finnish joke about such lameness:

        A Chinese businessman from Shanghai was visiting Helsinki. His Finnish host decided to take his guest for a walk down Mannerheim Street, the main drag in the capital city. "This is our famous department store, Stockmann's. It was built in 1930 and took three years and several hundred site workers to complete," noted the Finn proudly.

        The Chinese businessman scoffed, "In Shanghai we have hundreds of such joints as well as real department stores. Our newest is 50 times bigger than that and was erected in just 6 months."

        "Well, here is the famous Marski hotel. It was built in the 1970s by a thousand men in just one year, and it is very high end." said the Finn.

        "Pssh. We've got skyscrapers that are among the highest in the world. A hovel like than would go up in a matter of weeks."

        Forlorn, the Finn finally comes up with a plan. He points to the landmark Post Office building and says, "Oh ho, where did that come from. It wasn't here when we started our walk!"

        It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

        by kosta on Tue May 27, 2014 at 03:49:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are Vets angry enough to go after GOP? (4+ / 0-)

    Senator Richard Burr has ticked off a lot of veterans groups. First, he allowed Bernie Sanders' S-1982 Veterans bill to be filibustered on Feb 27, 2014, falling 4 votes short IIRC of cloture, with only 2 GOP votes.

    Now Burr has sent out an open letter complaining about the VA and lack of complaints by veterans groups.

    I point out that the chief GOP opposition to S-1982 was the $2.1 billion per year in unfunded costs, $21 billion over 10 years. They demanded a funding offset.

    Meanwhile, the House and Senate passed, "Tax cut extender" bills that are in excess of $310 billion over 10 years with no funding offset. Zip. nada.

    $31 is bigger than $2?.  But the tax cut extenders were backed by corporate lobbyists seeking breaks for their clients.

    What if the US veterans held a march on Washington? What if 100,000 showed up one day and demanded funding for the V.A. in exchange for increased taxes on corporations, capital gains, stock trading, etc?

    Would the GOP so willingly say, "Sorry, but we're out of money."

  •  Best rant ever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mourn your dead land of the free!
    If you want to be a hero follow me.

    "The good Earth — we could have saved it, but we were too damn cheap and lazy." Kurt Vonnegut - "A Man Without a Country", 2005.

    by BOHICA on Mon May 26, 2014 at 10:22:09 PM PDT

  •  I wonder if we all had been taught history.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..through the lens of what we as beings invented and the connections that we made over time as we advanced as a society as James Burke teaches history.
    He may not call it a lesson in history but I do.
    James Burke creates a timeline through innovation, experimentation for survival, crops, the plow, the wheel, metals. How one person created a gadget for one purpose that another discovered a completely different use for, connecting different societies together.

     Would we see that war is valiant or heroic, something that is considered patriotic (?) Or we would instead question if it is useful, exciting and a way to prove ones valor. This is not a questioning of any of the soldiers we memorialize today, just a thought I began asking since I watched a series called "Connections" by James Burke.

    The limited U.S. history as I remember was a history of wars, who won, who lost, what territories were gained, what was lost, how many died, what was at stake. The Bronze age and how that gave advantage in war. That's how I was taught how to connect history together in a timeline

    Clancy Sigal

    Sadly or inspiringly, the truth is men and now women sometimes like to go to war.  To do one’s patriotic duty can be exciting as well as deadly. You get a sense of purpose and usefulness, possibly your own worth by being in uniform.  Personally, I liked being in the military including its chickenshit.
    Over the years I've heard many solders say they joined the military because there was no good jobs and couldn't afford college. So enlisting was a pragmatic choice.

    The authors asks this:

    It’s a dilemma.  How to pay tribute to the war dead while giving pause to young men and women who may be thinking about stepping into the dead soldiers’ combat boots?
    It's a different question than mine, but not too different, and one we might not even have in our minds if we hadn't been inculcated from the start as little boys to play with plastic soldiers (which when lit on fire burns like hell and sticks btw) or cap guns and a holster for 'cowboys & Indians'

     - Thx MB

  •  Tony Strickland (R)... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, eeff

    goes and makes robocalls touting his pro-NRA record here in Southern California the day after the UCSB massacre.  Strickland used to represent parts of Santa Barbara County as a state senator.

    I helped canvass for Rep. Julia Brownley (D) when she beat Strickland in 2012.  So now he's turned to go run in the much more Republican CA-25, which is being vacated by Rep. Buck McKeon (R).

    If you want to punish Strickland for this, help out Dr. Lee Rogers, who had the thankless task of trying to unseat McKeon in 2012, in a race that everyone wrote off.  However, Rogers actually got over 45% of the vote, and held McKeon under 55%, the first time that happened since McKeon was first elected to Congress in 1992 in a newly-created district.  Rogers is running again, and has a chance of pulling this off.

  •  Not a single rec list diary on "The Normal Heart" (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe I'll have to wait the requisite three days.

    I remember when DKos was THE place for first-hand sources or, at the very least, immediate linkage. Now it seems like the stories I read on here I read somewhere else 3 days, 5 days, even 7 days before.

    How sad.

  •  Hard to contain my pride of US genocide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A large number of U.S. wars were fought against our own Native Americans  (Modocs, Nez Perce, serial Seminole wars etc.) and other “colored” peoples in China, the Philippines, Haiti, central America, Mexico etc.

    This doesn’t and shouldn’t take away from the genuine valor of so many American soldiers who fought, died, massacred others and were scalped in return.

    No, nothing fills one's breast with pride more than official policy-based genocide.

    Mark Twain was certainly touched by the "valor" of American soldiers at the Moro Crater Massacre.

    It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

    by kosta on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:02:06 AM PDT

  •  I think the most crucial factor about America's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kosta, Calamity Jean

    wars is this: virtually none of them have happened at home.
    Virtually all of our wars have been elsewhere--either in conquering land that was not yet ours (but is now), or in places outside our borders. There has not been any fighting within our own "homeland" since the Civil War--and no foreign troops have been inside the US since 1812. For us, "war" has always happened elsewhere. It is not our homes which get leveled; it is not our civilians who are killed; it is not our cities that get destroyed; no bombs fall on us. In virtually all of our "wars", Americans in their daily lives had little reason to even know there WAS a war going on.

    We love "war" because we have not really experienced it in almost 100 years. Instead, we have been inflicting it on others, while we remain impervious. "War" happens elsewhere.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Tue May 27, 2014 at 04:41:12 AM PDT

    •  Here's the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lenny Flank

      Despite such heroics as displayed by Andrew Jackson in his removal of the Seminole scourge on Florida, most of what people of European descent did to Native Americans really wouldn't pass muster as "war", It was mostly along the lines of eradication. If you came upon a small group of Indians, you just killed them and faced no consequences. Besides, most of the 18 million or so Americans that lived here before the arrival of the Europeans died of imported disease, rather than gunshot. Indians had no resources for sustained war. Today we commemorate this extermination by naming our football teams after them, using our words, of course.

      It is not easy to see what you are not looking for, or to know what it is you do not know.

      by kosta on Tue May 27, 2014 at 07:11:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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