The Watering Hole. 11/11/15. Veteran’s Day.

The best way we can honor Veterans is to stop making them.

But as long as poor kids sign up to fight rich kid’s wars, we will continue to see mothers grieving over their children’s caskets.

OPEN THREAD

39 thoughts on “The Watering Hole. 11/11/15. Veteran’s Day.

  1. I think the best possible way to keep politicians from starting needless and horrific wars would be to reinstitute the military draft. In the process, make sure that wealthy kids, children of politicians, of the upper crust be as available for conscription as poor kids from inner cities. Then sit back and watch enjoy the diminishment of yap yap from the Dogs of War. Watch also the popular anti-war protests that erupt whenever sabres start to rattle. Remember, it was Vietnam and the anti-war movement that essentially forced changes in the rules of conscription — ‘lottery’ in ’68, end of Draft in ’73. An “all-volunteer” military sounds nice, looks good on paper, but its major benefit is to the warmongering pasture bull politicians who ‘serve’ only the M.I.C.

    • Sad to say it – but some of the very things that attract kids to the forces – help with tuition for college, medical and other benefits – these things are the best chances a kid at the bottom of the economic ladder have to get up and out and somewhere. So the way it’s set up today, there will always be volunteers.

      Back in the 1090s, the First Crusade sort of got this model going. I couldn’t see any of this discussion here, but around about this time, the feudal system had one big advantage and one big drawback which happened to be the same – primogeniture – winner takes all – if you were the first-born son, jack shite if you were son number 2,3,…n. Made for an easy system of inheritance – no arguments. The downside was that the ‘spare’ or ‘spares’ that you had were usually equally well-trained in the art of dealing metal death as the first-born, but usually without the opportunity to learn some of the softer skills.

      As a result, Europe in the late 11th Century was awash with large numbers of heavily-armed, highly trained, over-sexed and extremely frustrated ‘spares’ – from princes all the way down to the lowliest third son of a minor knight in Normandy.

      Pope Urban 2 came up with a cracking idea to solve this socio-political chaos – round all these killers up, stick ’em on ships and send them to ‘the Holy Land’ to liberate the places of Jesus from the Musselman! And so off they went, killing, robbing and raping their way across Orthodox Christian Byzantium on the way.

      And when they got there, these heavily-armed, bloodthirsty, greed-crazed, religious fanatics slashed and burned their way to Jerusalem, where they slaughtered 1000s on about the 15th July 1099 when they took the city….

      … plus ca change… huh?

      The Arabic word for a Crusade: Holy mission of determination and struggle – sometimes featuring heavily-armed and committed, morally compromised killers who do it all for the glory of God – “Jihad”

      • You’re absolutely right — poor kids are attracted to volunteer because it’s a shot at financial opportunity, one that many of them might never have otherwise. That’s the shame of it, that military is the best, maybe the only, such option they have available. If “we” were only as interested in waging peace as we are in waging war, then ‘service’ might be worth it, and not only for poor kids.

        I was born in ’42; there was a massive war underway at the time. Since then there’s been Korea, Nam, Grenada, Panama, Bosnia, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, and now maybe Syria — and those are only the ones I recall. How many undercover ops have there been? Chile? Nicaragua? More? Bottom line is that the only one of all of those that was ‘necessary’ for national preservation was the one in the early forties. All the rest were nonsensical. Amurkkka slamming its dick on the table.

        I still think, however, that the only way to diminish the stupid and nonsensical altercations is to make it impossible for anyone to avoid. Maybe then the ensuing public protest will finally be enough to stop all the shit dead in its tracks.

        I put it this way, some 25-30 yrs ago. Nothing’s changed, sadly.

        One wonders if they ever heard the cry.
        The sound, the summons, which to faithful says:
        Your God has called, your time is come to die
        And travel on – conclusion of your days
        On earth, the end of all familiar things –
        Your Lives, your Loves, interred now, sans the pain
        Inflicted by ungodly bands of kings
        Who find their purpose in despotic shame.
        So now all living walk upon a cache –
        Abysmal graveyards – globally extant,
        Concealing flesh and bone returned to ash
        From which it came. Tears want to flow, but can’t
        As souls of murdered dead now roam – set free –
        And living close their eyes: Afraid to see.

      • Good History lesson.
        I was a third son from a lower middle class family whose only chance at a college education was the GI Bill.

        • The GI Bill was, indeed, a very good thing. Lots of my HS buddies (and several of our HS teachers) benefited immensely from it. College education these days is even trickier for most young folks to find the means of paying for. Seems to me that Bernie’s solution — all public college education free — would be like the GI Bill but far more encompassing, and without the need of joining the military. And if we could cut the “defense” budget back to something reasonable — 150 billion maybe? — all that college stuff could be paid for. Oh, I know ISIS might still try and sneak Ebola over the Mexican border, but a highly educated citizenry could surely find a way to deal with THAT!

        • Well the church was an opportunity – the smart ones learned to read/write and weasel their way into positions of real power and the ‘chastity and poverty’ thing? Somewhat optional

        • I’m a ‘second son’. Two thoughts – good thing my folks weren’t Catholic (on the other hand, I might have grounds for a hellova lawsuit) and, good thing I wasn’t born around Renaissance/Classical times. As a boy soprano, I never would have had the opportunity to father children.

    • Maybe, if we do have a draft, we could be so cynical as to put a HUGE price tag to opt out, thereby allowing the ruling/leisure class the means to exempt their children from military service, while at the same time having the ruling/leisure class pay the financial costs of their wars.

  2. I’d love to see a draft lottery that weighted the family’s income. More income, more chance of getting selected by your friends and neighbors.
    Happy Veterans Day to all…to and for those who survived, and those who didn’t.

    • Good idea. If they want to say they should get a number of votes equal to their income, then they should also have to have the same proportionate chance of sending a son or daughter off to war. More income, more votes = more income, more chances at being selected to serve in a war.

  3. It was once a great privilege to be in Ypres one summer evening in 1993. I was in Europe for the funeral of a close university friend of mine, dead of an embolism at 27. Two of us took off to Belgium and France to seek the graves of our dead relatives in the WW1 graveyards, dotted about the old battlefields.

    Every evening, at sunset, since the end of the war in 1918, and only suspended during the German occupation of 1940-1944, a member of Ypres Fire Brigade blows the ‘Last Post’ at the Menin Gate – the eastern gate through which 100s of thousands of soldiers passed to the Ypres Salient, one of the bloodiest battlefields of the entire 1914-18 war. On the gate are the names of 90,000 men who passed through the gate, but never came back and were never found.

    Last year saw a significant rise in the interest and attendance at this simple ceremony and the videos you can find on Youtube are very different from the simple ceremony we saw – just one fireman, in the lights of the gate, a warm, summer sun just below the horizon and 20-30 people quietly listening.

    In Britain there are no separate Veterans and Memorial Days – I note the tone is a little different in the US on this day compared to what I know as a result. But still …

    • There is a possibility that the last person to die in the last war will also mark the extinction of our species.

  4. Yes the bastards wasting lives by ordering an attack on the last day to win that last promotion…. that’s what fragging was invented for.

  5. Moron – sic – the Jeb ‘Is it too late to change the’ BUSH – ‘Kill Baby Hitler’ question.

    Stephen Colbert finds a new angle on this one over on C&L who also go down the abortion track I went yesterday. “No cub scouts, no little league, and NO marching bands”

    Check out comment thread featuring Zooster friend ‘Paul’ , where we are reminded that perhaps without Prescott! Bush and his business support, the Third Reich might not have had such a jump on unleashing world war 2 … maybe Jeb! goes back and kills grandpappy! – why the fuck not? As was said yesterday:

    “Yes I would kill a baby BUSH, hell yeah, got step up -like the man said”

  6. The USA always has enough money to send the young to war.
    Why isn’t there enough money to take care once they are back home?

    Substantial sums of money need to be appointed to a Veterans fund. The Senate and Congress can NOT take any money away from said fund.
    There should be NO veteran on the streets or in substandard housing.

    Shame on the USA. Just shame.

    • “Why isn’t there enough money to take care once they are back home?”

      They’ve outlived their usefulness to the ruling/leisure class.

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