We veterans need to teach the logic of mourning war dead instead of making a show of honoring their memory to assuage our guilty conscience.
Mourn all human beings who perished in violence because insane and ignorant war leaders misleading citizens into thinking war was necessary, courageous, helpful, God-demanded and good!
There is an enormous difference, and entirely contrary meaning between "mourning' and the "honoring' heralded on TV and in the phony pious words of our government officials. Mourning is akin to regret. Honoring is akin to praise.
It is a difference that has been equivocated intentionally by the spokespersons of our Imperialist Military Complex, by our capitalist planners of resource and trade wars and their conglomerate owned white glove fascist media, disinforming us on the our own public owned broadcasting frequencies with the connivance of our dual-party Congress.
Mourning: We mourn the passing of a loved one. High awareness mourning can bring grateful feelings for having had the joy of knowing a particular victim of war. We can mourn for someone else's loved one. We can mourn having made a mistake.
Honoring: One honors someone for a particular achievement. War is no achievement. Serving the making of war is no achievement. We can honor and praise defending one's country as an achievement, a contribution to society, but honoring, praising our own soldiers indiscriminately for having died killing people defending their country is obscene - a twisting of honor into dishonor and dishonoring us all.
It has been a pretty slick suckering-in, that military co-option of the word "honor.' "Honor' used as indiscriminate praise for soldiers who willing or reluctantly killed designated enemies of the corporatist governed United States as if they were enemies of the American people.
Mourning dead U.S. soldiers is a turn-off for boys considering enlisting to participate in more war. Honoring dead, especially dead in action, soldiers with hero adulation, is an encouragement for gullible kids to enlist and earn glory proving their manhood.Mourning is anti-war! Bad for war profits! "Honoring' is pro-war! Good for the stock market!
From those who believe in the existence of an unscientific irrational mystical metaphysical "evil force' opposing a "good force,' and believe that some of us were born "evil' or have fallen under some powerful magical force called "evil', there will arise a cry for selective mourning.
Those who see evil rather than insanity and ignorance will not wish us to mourn those gone so insane as to have reveled in cutting off the ears of their kills as souvenirs, or throwing prisoners out of airplanes, or carpet bombing from a mile up in the sky, or getting a kick out of shooting everyone in sight in a designated "free fire zone,' or torturing people who opposed the invasion of their country.
Superstitious people, sure of there own goodness under any and all circumstances, might well say, "No we cannot mourn those Americans who murdered even children point blank at Mai Lai type massacres in Vietnam, U.S. perpetrators of massacres like No Gun Ri in South Korea, or pilots who dropped napalm or incendiary bombs targeting the civilian populations of Japanese and German cities, let alone those bestially insane SS trooper's throughout Europe representing the homicidal insanity of the freaked out of their mind leaders of capitalist founded fascist Nazi Germany, or cruel civilian slaughtering Japanese servicemen, etc., etc., a list ad infinitum, of those we should not mourn.
However, every intelligent person should mourn that men gone murderously insane were not hospitalized before causing massive death and grief. The very trees that witnessed execution murders could weep along with the mothers of the executioners, that their charming little baby boys could have grown up to be brought by greed based aberrant and miscreant social miseducation to act as crazed demons.
Mourning is a broad concept, both useful for emotional relief from helplessness, guilt expiation and seeking to understand circumstances that brought about the mad and inhuman materialist rapaciousness and hatred that spawned the limitless horrors of mass slaughter and genocide. Such belated sorrowful awareness can lead to a resolve to do everything under the sun possible to prevent such untoward events as those that led to the acceptance of murderous death and misery in the first place.
Mourning can embrace bitter regret, perhaps shame, for mistakes of allowing highly placed international industrialists and bankers to use intensely sick and dangerous demented individuals like little Adolph Hitler, born of woman like all of us into the miracle of life, to unleash war and carnage for their blood soaked profit. Or of allowing one's nation of only six percent of humanity to have seized possession of half the world's resources necessary to the sustenance of life, and to protect this conquest with a thousand military bases throughout the surface of the planet stocked with more weapons of mass destruction than the rest of the world combined.
False honoring can continue to destroy us and everyone within our reach and under our power. Sincere mourning can save us from ourselves, regret our involvement and keep us from forgetting how we once failed to protect ourselves from war promoters.
On a Memorial Day sensitive veterans don't think about honoring. Not even those who were murdered or imprisoned for opposing war. That will be for a separate remembering in gratitude. On a War Memorial Day we mourn ALL war dead, and especially those we killed.
And what is more critical to our survival is that we mourn whatever support, justification or acquiescence we gave to war.
Why is this so difficult? Are we afraid of getting beat up by angry and riled up militarist minded pseudo-patriots goaded on in ignorance fostered by corporate money? We ex-GI war participants must be willing to take on the war mongers no matter how powerful, and fight courageously to make promoting war the high crime against humanity it was declared at Nuremberg.
jay janson, member, Veterans For Peace, Chapter 34 NYC, May 19, 2010
Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC; First effort was a series of (more...)