Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

One of the things I want in life more than almost anything is a government that does not, willy nilly, add to the number of people that we remember each year on Memorial Day.

There was a point in the last couple months where the sabre-rattling made me fear that the United States might be going to war in North Korea. AND Syria. AND Iran. Possibly at the same time. OK, we’re already fighting in Syria, but I mean against the Syrian government.

The notion that the current regime wants to increase military spending by tens of billions of dollars is troubling enough. The fact that the plan has been offered by an amateur chicken hawk bereft of military experience is terrifying. Yes, he has some military brass in his Cabinet, and indeed, arguably, an overabundance of them. But the defense of the United States is supposedly under civilian control.

From The Atlantic, way back in December 2016: “‘Appointing too many generals would throw off the balance of a system that for good reason favors civilian leadership,’ writes The New York Times’ Carol Giacomo. ‘The concern is not so much that military leaders might drag the country into more wars. It is that the Pentagon, with its nearly $600 billion budget, already exercises vast sway in national security policymaking and dwarfs the State Department in resources.’ In The Washington Post, Phillip Carter and Loren DeJonge Schulman warn that ‘great generals don’t always make great Cabinet officials’ and add that ‘relying on the brass, however individually talented, to run so much of the government could also jeopardize civil-military relations.'”

And when the person purportedly in charge doesn’t seem to stand by the very words he says, it’s a scary time. He praises international strongmen, such as in the Phillippines and even, seemingly, North Korea.

The New Yorker’s David Remick: He “flouts truth… so brazenly that he undermines the country he has been elected to serve and the stability he is pledged to insure. His bluster creates a generalized anxiety such that the President of the United States can appear to be scarcely more reliable than any of the world’s autocrats… When [he] rushes to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for passing a referendum that bolsters autocratic rule in Turkey—or when a sullen and insulting meeting with Angela Merkel is followed by a swoon session with Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the military dictator of Egypt—how are the supporters of liberal and democratic values throughout Europe meant to react to American leadership?”

This letter to the editor of the News Tribute gets to my concerns: “The administration displays a worrying recklessness, and disregard for both international law and constitutional separation of powers. These actions threaten our security and democratic governance. The administration appears to have no/little concern for diplomatic means to conflict resolution.”

My hope and prayer is that the reckless policy does not add to the numbers we memorialize today, but based on history, that is an unrealistic wish.

“Musing”, in Rogerspeak, means that I have some idea, but nothing nailed down yet.

JonStewart.service
I spent part of Mother’s Day musing over this kernel of a thought. It was fed by the dire needs of this country, plus noticing that an increasing number of students are taking a “gap year, either right after high school or during their college years.

Also, there’s a bill in Congress that would require women to sign up for the military draft. Yet, it seemed unfortunate that the only area that seems of value culturally Read the rest of this entry »

war_peace
There was a time when I thought there were bad guys and good guys, and they were very easily distinguishable.

But now I think war is failure. Even a “just war” may be, at very best, the least bad outcome. And usually, just a bad outcome, with war profiteers (Blackwater, or whatever they’re calling themselves now). Pope Francis got it right this month: “Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off war.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Almost a year ago, Demeur sent me an article about the history of Memorial Day.

[Historian David] Blight’s award-winning Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) explained how three “overall visions of Civil War memory collided” in the decades after the war.

The first was the emancipationist vision, embodied in African Americans’ remembrances and the politics of Radical Reconstruction, in which the Civil War was understood principally as a war for the destruction of slavery and the liberation of African Americans to achieve full citizenship.

The second was the reconciliationist vision, ostensibly less political, which focused on honoring the dead on both sides, respecting their sacrifice, and the reunion of the country.

The third was Read the rest of this entry »

I’m in my church book study a couple months back. We are reading Jesus for President, VERY slowly, for it has much to offer.

Much to my surprise, I get really ticked off, though not at anyone in the room. It was the re-realization that the war in Iraq, indeed many wars, are in stark contrast with Christian ideals. Yet Christianists seemed to have embraced war as some sort of Christo-American manifest destiny.

It surely didn’t help that this was around the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, when I was also reading about: Read the rest of this entry »

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