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Healthy Skepticism Toward Memorial Day

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I can point to George W. Bush and his administration and say that they are responsible for my current attitude toward U.S. military deployment, conflicts, wars, and Memorial Day.

The war of choice that is still Iraq---its utter devastation and inhumanity---brought into focus for my self what the Vietnam generation recognized decades ago. Not only is the current Iraq War brutalizing and tearing apart the lives of millions of Iraqis and squandering the lives of thousands of Americans but it is also an illegal war. 

For me, the conflict with Iraq began on a sterile television screen in a spread-out cafeteria during a high school musical production of Anything Goes. During breaks, I would occasionally venture out into the area to sit on a chair in the middle of the cafeteria and watch as CNN offered a glimpse into the bombings that were going on, bombings which I watched happen with a night vision green tint to them.

It would have been just another piece of U.S. history unfolding in the news for me except I became interested. Maybe, intrigued is a better word. I started to read books and inevitably, my taste for satire and humor led me to Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore. 

No longer did the war only have a life on a television screen.

As Kerry ran for president, the war had a life on the message boards of MoveOn.org. I would offer up my ideas on strategy and tactics for Democrats with the hopes that Kerry would win so that the wars could end.

Then, I had a blog on Blogger. I was on Newsvine. I was on OpEdNews.com and now, I attempt to post my writings everywhere I possibly can.

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My writings ask questions. I never claim to explicitly know what’s best for America or anyone.

I do not offer policy or guidelines for a better future (yet). I am just picking away at the ignorance and hubris of so many people who live in America and the world. I digress.

I have grandparents who served in World War II. And, I have a grandparent whose brother died in World War II. (I'm sure many more of my relatives have loved one who were involved and who died too.)

While my two grandparents never saw much combat of any kind, family members could tell me about what it was like to be part of what Tom Brokaw termed “the greatest generation.”

But, was “the greatest generation” manipulated into serving the country? Were they deceived into deployment for U.S. Empire?

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The great historian Howard Zinn writes in Chapter 16 “A People’s War?”A People’s History of the United States: from

Pearl Harbor was presented to the American public as a sudden, shocking, immoral act. Immoral it was, like any bombing-but not really sudden or shocking to the American government. Russett says: "Japan's strike against the American naval base climaxed a long series of mutually antagonistic acts. In initiating economic sanctions against Japan the United States undertook actions that were widely recognized in Washington as carrying grave risks of war."

Putting aside the wild accusations against Roosevelt (that he knew about Pearl Harbor and didn't tell, or that he deliberately provoked the Pearl Harbor raid—these are without evidence), it does seem clear that he did as James Polk had done before him in the Mexican war and Lyndon Johnson after him in the Vietnam war-he lied to the public for what he thought was a right cause. In September and October 1941, he misstated the facts in two incidents involving German submarines and American destroyers. A historian sympathetic to Roosevelt, Thomas A. Bailey, has written:

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for OpEdNews.com

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