Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Kos Zuniga grew up, as did S. Gilliard, in a family that had come to positively experience the US military as a means that fostered his personal, or in Gilliard's case that of his father's, emancipation with (and into) mainstream middle-class America. Kos is a first generation immigrant kid from El Salvador, Steve is African American guy from NYC. Both tend to romanticize an alledged meta-ethos of the US miltary. Until only 5 years ago Gilliard was still very much proposing an imperialist 'Listen you punks, if you are not with us we'll show you and our military will bulldoze you into the ground you elitist European sissy bastards' policy approach.

On dKos I had posts deleted countless times and I also got banned by Gilliard, which led to one of (what now is considered by many) the greatest mythical pig fights and one of the most memorable internet wars ever (thousands of posts on various boards with troll attacks, cracking pass words, deleting entire data bases) and to the implosion and destruction of one the up to then most promising message board's.

But then Bush got into power and things changed. Gilliard became a liberal. Nice!

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Tue May 23rd, 2006 at 06:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  You're also responsible for one of the most courageous posts I've seen anywhere in this forum site : when you spoke out and up in support of the poster who dared to object that US military who have suffered so in Iraq must take their due share of the responsibility for their having accepted--willingly or not--to follow orders which are, even to some, perhaps many of themselves, illegal and immoral.

  This was done in that diary here where the memorial candles are flickering.  Your post pointed out how, by straight-forward analogy, those SS soldiers of the Nazi Reich who are deemed not worthy of memorials and homages and for whose cemetery visits you mentioned having protested Reagan and Kohl (?)--is really no different.  

  It really takes a person of exceptional insight, I think, to draw this astute parallel as you did.  Indeed, it's one or the other; trying to have it both ways is pure hypocrisy.  If this war is an unjust, illegal one, then our pride in those who are executing the executive's illegal orders in furtherance of that war is perverse, is misplaced to say the least.

  If the German people who supported Hitler were blame-worthy for having done so, then we, today, who say, 'I support our troops!' are hardly less so.  We cannot merely 'support our troops'; this is tantamount to saying "I support Bush and this war!", since the troops are there because and only because of his orders.

  We are living in denial and in a double-standard.  And that denial has cost uncounted Iraqis their lives and possessions.  One day, when our history is recounted, we shall have our place of shame right alongside--if not below--those who interned the Japanese-Americans in World War II, and other now recognized outrages of our history.

  You have rare integrity and fairness of mind, Ritter, very rare.  So many people, when the issue strikes close to home for them, prefer one standard for themselves and another for others.  I was hoping to meet you at the lunch.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu May 25th, 2006 at 04:26:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

 By the way, my father, 88 years old, was a career US Air Force officer and pilot; my mother, a US Army Captain in the Nurse's Corps.  He doesn't 'support our troops' unless they're opposed to the war-- and he dosen't support the current "Commander-in-Chief" and, no, I'm not proud of the even minor role he had in support of the Vietnam War--in which he never had a direct or a combat role; all the same, it isn't something that I think should be pointed to in pride; he's my father and I love him; but that dosen't mean that I think his part in that war was something deserving respect or pride.

 If anyone taught me to understand these distinctions, it was he.

 I was born on a US military base abroad and I was walking before I discovered that not eveyone wore uniforms and saluted.

"In such an environment it is not surprising that the ills of technology should seem curable only through the application of more technology..." John W Aldridge

by proximity1 on Thu May 25th, 2006 at 04:34:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series