It is easy to sit on the sidelines and be a hero from the bench. Experiencing the guts of war and having an objective mind to evaluate what you've experienced is quite another. I'm not refering to men like George W. Bush, who used his father's pull in Congress and the Pentagon, to avoid going to Vietnam ...he protected Texas from the Vietcong air force. Or Dick Cheney who several times found some contrived reason to be exempt from the draft. Those two men PLAYED soldier, and paraded around like a great hero, and got mavelous contracts to foster wars that made huge profits for their buddy corporations. I'm not talking about George W. Bush and Karl Rove debasing the actual facts about John Kerry's heroism in Vietnam. No, I AM refering to men with real battle courage, men who fought in actual wars, knew what war meant and what real war means. I'm talking about men who truly can wear the mantle of HERO. What do they have to say?
"War, like any other racket, pays high dividends to the very few . . . The cost of operations is always transferred to the people who do not profit." -General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Medal of Honor
"There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword." -General Ulysses S. Grant
"War will exist until that day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." -John F. Kennedy
"The basic problems facing the world today are not susceptible to a military solution." -John F. Kennedy
"The necessary and wise subordination of the military to civil power [must] be sustained." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
"IN THE COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENT WE MUST GUARD AGAINST THE ACQUISITION OF UNWARRANTED INFLUENCE, WHETHER SOUGHT OR UNSOUGHT, BY THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DISASTEROUS RISE OF MISPLACED POWER EXISTS AND WILL PERSIST." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of the way and let them have it." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
The men quoted above knew both the realities of being in war, being truly heroic, and also serving as President of the United States. The exception being General Smedley Butler, who not only was awared the Congressional Medal of Honor twice, he wrote books and testified before Congress about how war has become a racket in the U.S. And they are/were from both major political parties. This is not a partisan question, it is a question of how much we want to allow war corporations to run our country. It is a question of how heavily we want to be taxed to support a bloated military. It is a question of how much is enough when it comes to starting wars and reaping astronomical profits. It is a matter of thinking for oneself and not being duped by war corporations who buy their wars, purchase political men and women, control the media, and get the American people to march to their orders like lemurs over a cliff.
It is disgusting to watch and read the so-called super-patriotism from people who sit on the sidelines.
"War hath no fury like a non-combatant." -C.E. Montague
"I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others." -Thomas Jefferson
"Many studies have discovered a close link between prejudice and 'patriotism.' Extreme bigots are almost always super-patriots." -Gordon W. Allport
[above quotes from "PETER'S QUOTATIONS: Ideas for our time" edited by Laurence J. Peter, Bantam]