Me: “Not interested, thanks”
Her: “Don’t you want to support the war?”
Me: “I gave at the office.”
Her: “If you’re anti-war, you’re anti-American.”
Me: “I beg your pardon? Who are you talking to?”
Her: “We think it’s unpatriotic for an American to be anti-war in this day and age. Un-American.”
Her: “We don’t understand why liberals even want to live here if you hate this country so much…”
Me: “Stop. You know what, Lady? How’s about you and your Tea party pals shove it right up your wrinkly gray ass. You’re so enthusiastic about killing people for Jesus? You go do it.”
Being against war is unpatriotic?
Being anti-war is Un-American?
Only the filthy hated commie liberals are against war?
Despite the fact that these Tea party asshats are significantly outnumbered by the rest of us, it’s their country and the rest of us should just pack up and leave? How’s that supposed to work?
Here’s a question for you, what kind of person is pro-war?
No, seriously, what kind of psychopath thinks war is a good idea? And when exactly did enthusiasm for war, war, become a criteria for patriotism or being an American?
According to the TEA Party biddy above who told me I wasn’t much of an American, there is no difference between supporting the troops and supporting the war. If you’re not pro-war, you don’t support the troops. If you want to end the war, you don’t support the troops. If you question the United State’s reasons for going to war, into this war in particular, you’re not a “patriot” and shouldn’t even be allowed to call yourself an American.
When did peace become unpatriotic?
As most of you probably know, I’ve been to war myself. I spent almost all of my adult life in the uniform of the United States. I believe that war is sometimes a necessary evil. I believe that the military option is sometimes the only option – when all else has failed. I do not believe that war should be a first option or even the second. I do not believe that war should be waged preemptively. I do not believe that you can bomb an enemy into democracy. I do not believe that war is diplomacy by other means, I believe that it is a failure of diplomacy and an abject failure of civilization. War has been my profession for more than twenty years, I did it because it was my sworn duty to do so and because it was what I was good at. I’ve lost more comrades in arms than I can remember along the way and seen some pretty terrible things.
To have some feeble old bitch tell me that I’m not American enough is pretty goddamned galling.
It seems I run into these people far too often of late. Maybe I just notice them more. Maybe it’s my demeanor or the fact that I can’t just walk past these assholes without wanting to slap their little Ben Franklin hats off their pointy heads. Or perhaps it’s where I live, the bastion and birthplace of Sarah Palin’s Fuck Yeah America Conservatism. These people not only think war is the answer, they think war is the only answer. Might makes right. Kill them all and let God sort it out. Nuke them till they glow, then shoot them in the dark. Be nice to America, or we’ll have our B-52’s drop some freedom on your country. They think in sound bites and those pithy phrases you find on bumper stickers. They carry guns and drive Hummers and they just can’t wait to declare war, war on drugs, war on the poor, war on terrorism, war on liberals, war on illegals, war on science, war on Islam, war on this and war on that. To them, war is what General Jesus would do, war is awesome, war is all fireworks and drums and stars and stripes forever. The funny thing is that the biggest most outspoken of these pro-war chickenhawks never seems to have served in actual war themselves. Not one of the band of American patriots who took us into the current conflict ever served in combat – Bush hid out in the National Guard and did his patriotic duty in the bars and frat houses of the Gulf Coast, the great patriotic warhawk himself, Dick Cheney, spent considerable effort to avoid putting his own ass on the line and the only enemy he ever faced with a gun in his hands was an 80 year old lawyer in a Texas cornfield.
Oddly though, one of the few conservatives with actual and extensive combat experience, John McCain, is commonly referred to as too liberal for conservatives. They don’t like Colin Powell or Eric Shinseki either.
One of the most fervent pro-war ultra-conservatives I ever met, a local Scoutmaster, once spent an entire hour explaining to me why he couldn’t serve in Vietnam back when the country called him to war (needy wife, poor old mom, the farm, flat feet, bad ear, poor eyesight, college, etc, etc, but he would have served, boy he would have. If he could have. Sure, you bet), but that was different from the un-American liberal cowards who refused to fight.
They love to wave the flag, these patriots, and they love to sing the Star Spangled Banner and send other people’s kids off to fight and die with parades and fireworks. They love those little yellow ribbon magnets. They love to hear the body counts on the evening news, twenty Taliban killed, fifty terrorists dead in a firefight, American troops victorious again! God Bless America! They turn their eyes away though, when those flag draped metal boxes come back. Somehow you never see those on the news, do you? One thousand one hundred and twenty eight US military men and women died in Afghanistan this year, four more today, how many of those did you see come home on TV? Why is it that they never broadcast images of the VA waiting rooms full of the maimed, the torn and sundered, the burned and scarred and blinded? These patriots love their little bake sales and their little letter writing campaigns and their little tea parties, it makes their little red white and blue hearts sing to see the bombs and the missiles and the sleek fighter planes. They’ll happily spend their hard earned dollars on a “Piss On Obama” bumper sticker for the back of their giant gas swilling Lincolns, but somehow can’t afford even a dime more in taxes to fund the VA or provide for all those returning soldiers. Walk it off. Suck it up. Quit whining they tell us. Our generation didn’t get a parade either – except, of course, they did. Fuck you. Be a man, keep it to yourself. They can write a thousand enraged letters to their conservative representatives, demanding lower taxes and more jobs and smaller government and more war and Obama’s head on a pike, but somehow the Greatest Generation and the Not So Great Generation and the Fuck You I Got Mine Generation that followed can’t seem to get themselves worked up over inadequate equipment, unfunded VA facilities, eroding veteran’s benefits, lack of mental health and medical support for returning combat forces, and so on. Suck it up. Walk it off. We didn’t get a parade. Fuck you. Here, buy a yellow ribbon, support our troops and don’t forget to support the war!
They’re pro-life, these patriots, oh God are they pro-life. They tell me that you can’t be both a Christian and pro-choice, oh no sirree. Life is sacred. God given. Well, sacred as long as it’s in the womb of a liberal. They see the bulge of that belly and they’re all misty eyed and teary with compassion for that unborn American baby. They have to save those babies, for Jesus. This, this is why we go to war, to save the children! Then they go home and turn on the news and sneer with contempt at Iraqi and Afghan children, shattered and orphaned, maimed and scarred. Bastards had it coming for being born to terrorists. When the missiles fall they feel nothing but pride for our technological superiority, when the missiles fall on the wrong target – on innocents, on children, on friendly forces – well that’s just too bad. Shit happens. America can do no wrong, and when we apologize for our mistake these patriots feel nothing but the hot embarrassment of shame – not for innocent life lost, not for innocent life they claim to revere, not for innocent life they claim is given by their God, no they feel ashamed because patriotism means never, ever, having to say you’re sorry. And they just can’t seem to understand why damned near everybody in the world hates our fucking guts, even our friends and allies.
How they love war and war stories. How they love to talk about beating the Nazis and the Japs and Gooks and the VC – well, the ones that weren’t actually there anyway. Those that were, those that landed on the beaches of France, or spent that terrible winter in the black forests of the Ardennes, or at the Chosin Reservoir, or Tet and the Hanoi Hilton, or stood among the burning tanks on the Highway of Death, they don’t talk about it much. But these patriots never stop to wonder why.
Oh how these patriots love the troops and respect us veterans – until they discover that some of us don’t live up to their myth of America, then suddenly we can just get out, move to a different country, fuck off and die. Sarah Palin, when she was the Mayor of Wasilla, shook my hand and looked at the medals hanging on my Dress Blues and called me a real American hero – try to guess what she and her supporters think of me today. I voted for Obama and I still believe, I’m the enemy and un-American, yes I am.
Oh yes, how these patriots love us combat veterans. Three purple hearts, Bronze Star, Silver Star, and you’d better not speak ill of our heroes, you liberal bastards – unless, of course, the guy who received those decorations was a democrat, you know, like say John Kerry. He’s only a hero if he supported the war in Vietnam. It never occurs to them to wonder why he didn’t, even though he did his duty there far above and beyond anything these patriots could imagine.
How about Major Richard Winters? The man who led Easy Company of the US Army’s 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne from the beaches of D-Day to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. A man whose brilliant leadership and raw courage at Normandy saved countless Allied lives and opened the way off that murderous beachhead – tactics that are still taught to this very day at West Point. Two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, and a Distinguished Service Cross – and there is a movement afoot right now to see him awarded the Medal of Honor before he dies. He was the principle subject of Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers. He came home from war and choose never to return. When recalled to active duty for Korea, he offered to train troops but refused combat himself – and indeed went to Washington and pulled strings to get out of it. He was quite adamantly anti-war. Is he a coward? Is he un-American? Is he no patriot? He’s 92 years old now, and in poor health, but were I you, I’d be damned careful telling this man to his face that he should move to a different county because he’s not American enough to suit the fucking TEA Party.
I’ll ask the question again: what kind of person is pro-war?
And do we really want those people in charge?