It is not our blood being shed. But we are responsible.

“Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave. This chamber reeks of blood. Every Senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval and all across our land…

There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes. And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us.” -George S. McGovern, September 1970

Emphasis mine.

This is from his short speech prior to the vote on the original McGovern-Hatfield Amendment, which would have required complete American removal from Vietnam by the end of 1971. It failed.

McGovern died last year. He would have been 91 today.

The anti-war picture we don’t remember

The anti-war picture we don't remember

Pictured is a protest against US involvement in Vietnam, it occurred in Berkeley, CA in December 1965.

The first thing that came to mind was Mad Men. Well-dressed people with the distinctive design of the early 1960s. While famous Vietnam protest photos show the student revolt and the rise of counterculture, there were opponents early on. In 1965 the war had about a 60% approval rating, but there were still large protests.

Opposition to Vietnam may be crystallized in the American conscious as Kent State, days of rage, and the hippies, but it was inaugurated by people who wouldn’t look out of place in Leave It to Beaver.

Two neoconservatives loudly agreeing with one another

I’ve watched most of the debates in the three post-9/11 presidential races. As I’ve grown and met more people, read a wider range of news sources, and taken college-level social science courses, the foreign policy talk of the candidates has become more jarring and disturbing.

Aggressive, interventionist foreign policy is not just wrong in a┬átheoretical way, or a moral way. Its history is one of corpses, strewn from Vietnam to Iran, from El Salvador to Iraq and Afghanistan. Not just soldiers, but women and children of every race, faith, and creed. The United States has undermined democracies in favor of despots who promise open markets for goods, and to be an ‘ally’ in the region. Our war with the Taliban is not just against hardline Islamic fundamentalists- many fighters are poor farmers making a few hundred dollars as a hired gun.

My issue is not that American politicians have used these methods in the past, but rather at every opportunity they champion them as a sort of ideal foreign policy.

Continue reading “Two neoconservatives loudly agreeing with one another”

Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvz2E7R0wxw

Megadeth, known for its outspoken lead guitarist and vocalist, Dave Mustaine, released this seminal song on their second album in 1986. Mustaine’s comment “If there’s a new way/I’ll be the first in line/But, it better work this time” sums up most of my sentiments about the purpose of Occupy.

Megadeth, known for its outspoken lead guitarist and vocalist, Dave Mustaine, released this seminal song on their second album in 1986. Mustaine’s comment “If there’s a new way/I’ll be the first in line/But, it better work this time” sums up most of my sentiments about the purpose of Occupy.