Was watching the Atlanta Braves host a MLB game vs the Bosox, both teams decked out in their cami-unis on this Memorial Day Monday in the United States with a special ceremony honouring America’s war dead from the beginning of time as it were, coordinated across the land at three o’clock. It made the jumbo-tron in Atlanta, in all it’s glory, I’ll say that. Love-you-proud-and-free-and-give-me-liberty-or-give-me-death … “Amerika: Love it or leave ( it).”
Seriously, I felt my heart strings being wrent asunder when a beautiful young woman, couldn’t have been more than an adolescent gets on camera with her very young son, himself all decked out in what looks like a U.S. Marine’s uniform to my untrained eye – explaining why she wants her poor fathertheless three year old to know his Daddy and how she tells her poor kid that Daddy is in heaven and can’t come down to see him.
Understandably, the three year old is having difficulty processing all this according to his mom, why he doesn’t have a Daddy like other kids, a father who can be touched, caressed and kissed; why is his Daddy not alive?
Me too. I have the same questions. Why is a young man dead, exactly? Why isn’t a 22 year old (or so) still around, rather than his remains being laid to rest at Arlington, among the tens of thousands of small, humble, flagged-marked graves, each representing the dead body of a member of the United States’ military?
Why indeed? Just because the USA takes it upon itself to be the guardian of democracy doesn’t mean, in this day and age, that a guardian of liberty is really necessary. We in Canada can always develop our own defensive nuclear capacity if required by circumstances to do so and this is the rightist response. The alternatives from the left, are, as usual, far more numerous and boundless and can’t see a reason to go there right now, as this would just be an irreversible fork-in-the road, a tangent of no return, as it were.
I am treading very lightly here because the lives of young people have been lost and a significant slice of upcoming generations have been orphaned as a result of American participation in some war or other. The question is why: Why all the lives lost? I understand why we had to sacrifice red-blooded, honest Canadian blood in certain conflagrations beginning say in the twentieth century’: World War I and World War II had to be fought to make and keep the world safe for democracy; unfortunately, over-usage of this term has trivialised it somewhat; it is not my intention to do that here, far from it.
World War I was, essentially, a European war in which the Americans became officially engaged in 1917, a bare year before the war’s end. World War II was fought against Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohitho and was necessary to prevent Nazism and Fascism from literally subsuming the the globe.
Since the end of the Second World War in 1945, the US has been involved in wars to prevent the spread of communism (Korea, Vietnam) and to fight terrorism where it lives: in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also taken part in other disputes such as the Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961 in which the USA tried to overthrow Castro’s Communist government in Cuba, eventually facing down the Russians in the Cuban Missile Crisis (CMC) with no lives being lost as a result of this 1962 confrontation over the placement of Russian nuclear weapons on Cuban soil, less than 160 km. from the United States itself.
The fact that the United States has weapons of mass destruction placed in Turkey, close to the Soviet Union, didn’t seem to come under investigation during the interplay between Kennedy and Krushchev during the CMC, and unfairly so may I add.
Containing Communism definitely has a capitalist rationale while some pundits argue that the Excited States brings a lot of the hatred felt in other parts of the world for the USA upon itself – strong and free and very, very proud – and that the United States doesn’t have a clue.
Now a little dance, as I try to busta move to dance away the blues. A big thanks to my friend Ezra Soiferman for coming here on short notice and helping me produce this short clip.
Note: Music supplied by Fleetwood Mac, not Amanda Marshall as stated, even though the latter rocks
For now over and peace. Out.