Monday, May 29, 2006

A Neo-Memorial Day

Here are this retired Navy veteran's thoughts on Memorial Day.

We suffer under a regime that gives a glad hand to America's veterans as it exploits and abuses them to support their hidden agenda.

Though its vision of a U.S. global dominance enforced by military power is a proven failure by any coherent measure of effectiveness, the American neoconservative movement refuses to concede the obvious. America's armed interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq have produced more instability in the world than existed prior to them. America's standing and prestige in the world have all but vanished.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ronald Reagan called on America to become the "shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere." George Herbert Walker Bush encouraged America to become a "kinder, gentler nation" and to use its strength as "a force for good."

Those were wonderful, inspirational sentiments. It's too bad that neoconservatism, as embodied in the young Mister Bush's administration, has turned our nation into one of history's greatest bullies. What's worse is that neoconservative policies and strategies have done profound damage to all of America's instruments of national power.

Our military might, on which we spend more that the defense budgets of the rest of the world combined, has been demonstrably ineffective at achieving America's foreign policy aims. We are, at present, engaged in a "generational war" that has no end in sight with an enemy that has no army, no navy, no air force, and no military budget whatsoever.

Our economic clout is now rivaled by the European Union and China. There's a very real possibility that the euro and or the yen may replace the U.S. dollar as the world's currency standard.

Our information environment is an Orwellian quagmire. Domestic and foreign consumers alike can no longer trust any information that comes from the U.S. government, and our so-called "free press" has become--wittingly or not--a hapless echo chamber for the propaganda of Karl Rove and his henchmen.

Our diplomacy defies the very definition of the word itself. We're presently attempting to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions through uncooperative proxies who have more to lose than gain by going along with our desires.

It's in this context that I'm particularly sickened by the public proclamations of young Mister Bush and his echo chamberlains who are using this Memorial Day as an opportunity to promote their delusional, sinister agenda.

Buy our war or we'll shoot this dog.

If Bush had wanted to give America a genuine message, he wouldn't have delivered his Memorial Day speech before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He would have given it in front of the Monument to the AWOL Texas Air National Guardsman.

Which would, in fact, have been the White House.


  1. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Very well said. Unforutnately, I think I disagree with you on the timeline of neoconservativism. Those are nice quotes from Reagan and G.H. Bush, but they were empty words then as they are now. While they were saying cutesy phrases like that, they were neck deep in scandals like Iran Contra. In my opinion, what happened in South America during Reagan was a practice run for what we are now doing in the Middle East. A lot of the same people who were involved in Iran Contra under Reagan are members of PNAC and some are in the current Bush administration.

    And as far as Bush's Memorial Day speech, I am not surprised a bit. Any chance he has to toy with the emotions of the masses, he will take. Every tragedy that we endure seems to be more ammo for the Bush admin. It still amazes me how an administration this terrible can still have such unwaivering supporters.

    Have a nice Memorial Day.

  2. Anonymous3:46 PM

    Well said. It pains me to see the deconstruction of the military in pursuit of a foreign policy that's both incomprehensible and inarticulate simultaneously.

    I am sure as hell happy that I don't have to get up for reville, read the airplan and man up today. I don't know if I could do it, with a "cheery aye-aye, three bags full, sir"


  3. The "Monument to the AWOL National Guardsman" is quite a tasty phrase and perfectly sums up my sense of choked-up irony on this always sad holiday, made especially acute by AWOL's malfeasance.

  4. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Well said, Jeff.

    I saw about 1 min of his speach yesterday and had to turn it off. He was talking about how brave our service men and women are, the sacrifice and laying down their lives to spread freedom and to safeguard our country...or something like that.

    What sacrifice has he ever made? Spending a couple of weeks in the Guard before he went AWOL? And we know Cheney couldn't go to war because he was busy...that was a sacrifice. And I could go on. This administration is using the lives they have stolen to further the depth of their pockets.

    You quoted daddyBush: "kinder gentler nation" and "a force for good." Sounds nice, but the kinder/gentler has turned its love into a rattle snake in the name of peace. And force for good has been spun so badly and so tightly that the original "intent" has been lost.

    A very depressing day....

  5. Jeff - Concur w/ the others - you express this well. The sight of the current POTUS at either the Tomb of the Unknowns or, worse, the Vietnam Wall, is almost more than I can handle.
    A somewhat related item: GovExec reports that security clearances have been denied to investigators trying to review material pertaining to the NSA wiretapping:
    966 days to go.

  6. Well, it's over. For another year, anyway.

    Let's see, is it two more Memorial Days and two more Veterans' Days?

  7. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Dear Sir,
    After reading your column at MYDD I want to thank you for displaying this White House for what it is. As a former "Tin Can" sailor, 1952-1956, I know there were times I would like to have had a transfer to accomodate a political campaign and only show up for FREE dental work. My frustrations and embarrassments that this administration produces are never ending. I am one who believes if we have a regime change in Congress, there SHOULD BE INVESTIGATIONS into every thing they stonewalled. Not impeachment, but let him dangle at the end of every lie that is proved until 2008. Also, expose his TANG service record. Include Alabama if they have something other than a dental appointment. I don't think that qualifies as service.

  8. Tin Can Sailor,

    Thanks for stopping by and posting. I rather like your idea--don't worry so much about impeachment, just investigate. Bring it all out to light and let him dangle.

    And let him go on TV three times a week if he likes and try to explain it all.

  9. I like Tin Can Sailor's idea, sort of a "humiliation du jour" for the remainder of this administration. What I'd like to see posted somewhere for starters would be the current POTUS's DD Form 214, followed by his Flight Evaluation Folder.

  10. I'd like to see all that too.

  11. Anonymous3:52 PM

    2 more Memorial Days, 3 Veteran's Day.

    Had Lurch over to the house here in AZ, the day before. Lot's of good food and good discussion.
    Safe travel my friend!

  12. Anonymous4:21 PM

    Another advantage to avoiding impeachment is it could turn the post-election, last two years from a bush-bashing witchhunt into a real attempt to solve our nations problems. Unfortunately, the far right will resent any attempt to break their stranglehold on power, and will never work with us.

    I think that if (D)'s are willing to work with moderate (R)'s, instead of trying to use this to get their own stranglehold, we might have a chance to fix what went wrong, and cure the divisiveness that the "great uniter" created.

  13. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Mr. Bollinger,
    I believe if there is a ground swell for new Democrats in primaries and in November there is a chance for problems to be solved. Unfortunately, Too many Democrats at the top are just as one of the fat cats as Republicans. And the loser advisors are worse. They take a % of political donations and don't produce. They are getting rich off failure. Improvement in the government is going to happen from the people, not those that are there. Not all but there are Democrats that should be put out too. Lieberman anyone? Jefferson? We need middle left not middle right. Clinton? Schumer and Emanuel are busts already.