Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorializing Memorial Day: There is no question that the only thing that stands between us and a tyranny of some sort is our service men and women. We sleep safely because we know some of the most sophisticated weaponry and well trained humans manning that weaponry exist and are on guard in our country. We are also blessed by geography with friendly nations to our north and to our south with a few small exceptions which have not mattered very much.

History though is written by the winners. I need only direct your attention to the following excellent editorial link in the Boston Globe entitled "The Ghosts of Forgotten Battles" by Howard Mansfield:

It is an editorial on a little (VERY LITTLE) known war in 1676 called King Phillips War occurring in the very western part of Massachusetts in a town now called Turner’s Falls. It is not a very well known war or a very pretty war probably because it was about the ambushing and slaughter by the English of hundreds of Wampanoc Indians who had gathered to fish. Their only sin was that they existed. It was the first hint of the slaughter to come and ultimate occupation by the English of land that had been home to an Indian population for thousands of years.

Yes, history is written by the winners and for a clearer understanding of that fact and of the sometimes inglorious part of US history I suggest reading the late Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States.” The soldier, though, does not make policy in our country. He/she stands ready to snap to attention at the call of a civilian Commander-in-Chief. It is because the ones who call on the soldiers to wage wars in this country are civilian authorities that we honor those who fight despite the most domestically contentious and divisive wars.

On the one hand we hate war and on the other hand we glorify war. I believe there is NOTHING glorious about it and that we should make damn well sure we elect a person to our highest office who does not cavalierly sound the clarion call. There is too much at stake as more and more nations secure nuclear weaponry. Our country grows weary and destitute from ad infinitum trillion dollar wars with no end in sight. They make some in our land very very very rich and they make graveyards like Arlington very very very full!