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Our New Iraq-Afghanistan War National Holiday

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message David Swanson     Permalink
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"We promise to leave no soldier or veteran behind."

Oh? Will you provide them with jobs, housing, healthcare, apologies, explanations, truth about what you've done to them? I didn't think so. Jackson Lee showed big photos of military members in action in our wars, none of veterans living on our streets. Her holiday is about celebrating war, not about caring for the people we imposed war on. A separate amendment introduced by Jackson Lee toothlessly expressed the sense of Congress that access to treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder should be expanded. I'd prefer Congress actually expand that treatment and, more importantly, reduce the incidence of the trauma.

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The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon (Rep., Calif.), author of the language granting presidents war-making power, was quick to agree with Jackson-Lee:

"I thank the gentlelady for doing this. I think she is exactly right on. I think everything that we can do to honor these warriors who are out there fighting for our freedoms and freedoms of those around the world we should do."

Congressman Adam Smith (Dem., Wash.) agreed:

"I am just in awe of how great our military is . . . and what a tremendous job they have done for us."

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Chairman McKeon emphasized that not only was celebrating troops a way to celebrate war, but passing this amendment was grounds for passing the underlying bill to fund more warmaking:

"We have a good bill, this National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. It is a very good bill. We have a lot of good things in it; but this amendment, this amendment alone is reason to vote for the bill."

The amendment passed on a voice vote, but Jackson Lee insisted on a roll call, upon which it passed unanimously.

The same bill proposes April 9th be made Yellow Ribbon Day, honors in various ways the veterans of a wide variety of past wars, defunds the U.S. Institute of Peace (thus saving the cost of 5 hours in Afghanistan), and requires that all suspected foreign terrorists who are not killed be tried, if they are tried, by the military and not in courts. This is, I repeat, the same bill that formally gives presidents virtually unlimited power to make war. This may be the worst bill ever deemed likely to pass into law. A holiday for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars somehow just doesn't make up for that in my mind. I'd rather party like it was 1999, before the current madness really kicked in. I hope we all still have jobs from which to get time off for Jackson Lee's holiday.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)

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