20 June 2005

A poor 11 year old boy whose father had been killed in Iraq.....

First off, let me apologize for the gap in posting, I'm leaving for CRC and then Iraq on Saturday so I have been trying to tie up all my loose ends and get some quality time with my wife and also my parents who have come to Hawaii to visit me.

So last week, I wrote about the antiwar crowd that disrupted the Cambridge, Massachusetts Army Birthday celebration. I wrote about how the son of SFC Paul R. Smith (Congressional Medal of Honor winner, posthumously) was booed by the crowd when he led the pledge of allegiance and I also wrote about how the towns deputy mayor was angered over the celebration of the Army's birthday.

It looks like the antiwar crowd just doesn't know when to shut up, apparently Joseph Gerson a man who was arrested at the event is as clueless as the rest of the protestors. Here's what he had to say:

The Army increasingly unable to recruit young women to kill and to be killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, had secretly planned another offensive. A Blackhawk helicopter, the Under Secretary of the Army, parachutists, and other military hullabaloo would descend on Cambridge Common, ostensibly to celebrate the Army's 230th anniversary. The piece de resistance would be the televised induction of new Army recruits in the Red Soxs Fenway Park. Maybe Leni Riefenstahl had risen from the dead to produce more military propaganda!

So apparently celebrating the Army's 230th birthday on its original muster field with a little bit of showmanship is Nazi propaganda. Maybe I'm stupid, but I would think that 230 years of continuity in service to the greatest nation in the world's history is a cause for celebration. Either the author is choosing to make the Nazi comparision out of ignorance or he is unaware of the significance of Cambridge Common in American history. But there's more ignorance to be read.

I found myself near the stage where the Secretary of the Army, a poor 11 year-old boy whose father was killed in Iraq, and others would be speaking. I stopped and stood with my protest sign. I wasn't blocking anything, but I could certainly be seen. Others saw and joined me with their peace signs. Then the first of several soldiers and police came ordered us to move.

Ok first off, what rock do you have to be hiding under to have never heard of Paul R. Smith or his wife and son? Reading this article that phrase in bold just stuck with me and to me embodies all that is wrong with the antiwar movement. They claim to support the troops wholeheartedly and yet one who is published on a site like Common Dreams and who actually attended this event is unaware of who David Smith is? I have a feeling that he was identified before he stood up to give the pledge and yet this author is so consumed by his delusions that he totally misses the identity of that young man? The antiwar crowd does not support the troops if they did, they would have known who David Smith is and they would have applauded his sacrifice, not booed him. Secondly Mr. Gerson, you were doing something wrong, I've been to protest rallies and police don't just order you to move for no reason whatsoever, so I'm gonna have to call BS on you here my man. Unfortunately this story didn't end with his arrest, apparently Mr. Gerson took the self righteous stance we have come to expect from the anti war crowd and decided to share his thoughts with the judge at his arraignment.

Meditating in my stuffy cell the statement I wanted to make to the judge came to me. In court, he refused to allow it leaving me little to do but to call out illegal war and Nuremburg.

Heres what I had planned to say:

1.If the President of Harvard has the right to graze his animals on Cambridge Common, a 30-year resident of the city has the right to walk there, even to carry a sign condemning an illegal war.

Fortunately the judge had a dose of common sense and decided not to humor this deranged fellow. But I'll respond to the charges. No one stopped you from carrying your sign Mr. Gerson, you have that right as an American, a right provided to you by the millions of American veterans and the current crop of heroes we have in our military services, especially SFC. Paul R. Smith. You were arrested Mr. Gerson for trying to upstage this event. Apparently you forgot to check out the Boston Globe story on your activities. According to them your crowd was near the stage disrupting the ceremony, so either the police, military and the Globe are lying or you are. Given your next statement I think we all know who is lying.

2. I went to protest an illegal war. As the Secretary General of the U.N. has recently reiterated, the invasion of Iraq was illegal. The Nuremberg Principles are clear: those who fight an illegal war are by definition war criminals, and silence is consent.

No offense Mr. Gerson but I don't care what Kofi "Kickback" Annan has to say about the war. For me and a majority of American citizens, our Congress and our President gave the war the only legality it needed: their approval. Also you are accusing nearly 1 million American citizens of being war criminals, that's how many men and women have served since the invasion began in March of 2003. Are you on favor of setting up a tribunal for all those men and women, or is this just another knee jerk anti Bush diatribe? How can you support the troops when you say that anyone who served in Iraq is a war criminal? Check this out Mr. Gerson starting in early July I'll be a 3 time participant in the war. am I a three time war criminal? I value my society, my country and the young men and women I am forutnate to serve beside, I don't use them as props for my own quixotic crusdae to "smash the state" while also accusing them of being war criminals. For shame Mr. Gerson.

3. I went to protest the cynical harvesting of our city's youth to serve as cannon fodder in a criminal war, which even senior Pentagon figures are now saying may never be won. We need to protect our children.

Protect them from what? Their own free will? I tell you what Mr. Gerson, I'll make a deal with you, no recruiters on campus if teenagers are prohibited from getting abortions (unless the mothers health is in danger or she was raped, and if abstinence is taught as the main form of birth control. Let's protect them from those things as well as the free will to choose to join the military.

4. I went to protest a military occupation of my home town which was to have had the pageantry of a fascist rally and which was organized in secret. We must protect what remains of our constitutional democracy.

The Army's birthday is not a military occupation, the fact that you can hate your country this much is provided by the statement that a celebration of freedom is fascism in disguise. Secondly the Army's birthday is never organized secretly. I don't know what planet you live on, but every year on June 14th, the Army celebrates its birthday, some years it's more low key, some years it's very festive and patriotic. Now for the third time in the same article you have compared our Army and its members to either Fascists, Nazis, or war criminals. And again I ask you, how on earth do you think you support the troops? People who call the celeration of the Army's birthday a fascist rally DO NOT SUPPORT THE TROOPS, people who call the men and women who have served in Iraq war criminals DO NOT SUPPORT THE TROOPS, and finally anyone who would dare to boo and harangue the son of a deceased Congressional Medal of Honor winner DOES NOT SUPPORT THE TROOPS. And yet the antiwar crowd wonder why most military members vote Republican?

5. We all need to do more to stop the killing. Civil disobedience is not the only way to protest, but people who oppose the war, oppose the harvesting of our young for the killing fields, and oppose the subversion of democracy must put more of our life energies into resisting. Signing Internet statements and turning out for vigils and demonstrations are necessary, as is lobbying our Congressional representatives to cut funding for the war. But, we must use our imaginations to find ways to do more if we are to become the political force that turns our nation around and provides real security for our and future generations.

Yes we do need to do more to stop the killing, 500,000 dead in Darfur, 1 million dead in North Korea in the last decade, and an unknown number of dead in Iran, you're right we do need to do more to stop them killing. Where is your outrage Mr. Gerson for the dead in these places. Where is NION and Moveon.org and the other colaitions against tyranny? When is the next rally in Central Park to denounce Kim jong Il or the leaders of the Janjaweed militias of Sudan? Why not fight real tyranny instead of hating your homeland, why haven't you been arrested for protesting genocide Mr. Gerson? Why are you a coward that boos children whose parents were killed in the service of freedom Mr. Gerson. Why?


Post a Comment

<< Home