Song: One Tin Soldier
Artist: Original Caste
Album: One Tin Soldier
Today’s Quote: “We’ve opened up a new front on the war on terror. It’s an attack on the unique, the unorthodox, the unexpected; it’s a war on different. If you act different, you might find yourself investigated, questioned, and even arrested — even if you did nothing wrong, and had no intention of doing anything wrong. The problem is a combination of citizen informants and a CYA attitude among police that results in a knee-jerk escalation of reported threats. …
“The problem is that ordinary citizens don’t know what a real terrorist threat looks like. They can’t tell the difference between a bomb and a tape dispenser, electronic name badge, CD player, bat detector, or a trash sculpture; or the difference between terrorist plotters and imams, musicians, or architects. All they know is that something makes them uneasy, usually based on fear, media hype, or just something being different. Even worse: after someone reports a ‘terrorist threat,’ the whole system is biased towards escalation and CYA instead of a more realistic threat assessment. …
“If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn’t be surprised when you get amateur security.”
— Security expert Bruce Schneier
Be sure to thank a veteran today. Thank him for his sacrifice. Take a moment at 11:00 AM to thank the veterans of all wars for their sacrifices. Tomorrow write a letter, send an email, or make a telephone call to your representatives in Congress and your Senators to ask them why our government treats the veterans they sent to war so disgracefully and why our veterans can’t get the medical care and other benefits they have earned and are entitled to receive. Ask them why the military retirement system penalizes military retirees when they collect Social Security and why Veterans Administration programs are not fully funded. Our government owes this nation’s veterans a hell of a lot more than they’re giving them. It is the moral duty of the President and the Congress to compensate our veterans for their sacrifices and suffering. It is immoral for them to believe otherwise.
The armistice that ended “the war to end all wars” was signed at 5:00 AM on November 11, 1918, but it did not take effect until 11:00 AM. During the intervening six hours, thousands of soldiers on both sides fought and died for no other reason than for the glory of their generals’ egos. There was no tactical or strategic advantage to be gained; the war was over.
Think about the veterans who have survived our wars and the sacrifices they made while wearing the uniform and the treatment they’ve received from the very government that sent them to war. Most importantly, think about those who made the supreme sacrifice and either came home in a box or didn’t come home at all. Think about why they died. It was always for duty, honor, and country but sometimes it was more than that. Sometimes the supreme sacrifice was made for a much less noble cause, for glory of someone’s ego. How many soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines have died so some officer could get a promotion, some general could pursue his own personal or political agenda, or a president could perpetuate his misguided and defective national policy. How many have made the supreme sacrifice for their country simply because one man could not admit he made a mistake or take action to correct his error.
“During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus, 1990
[Edit] There is no penalty for drawing a military pension and social security. I’m drawing both.