Viet Nam Memorial

Veterans Day

In terms of views over the years, this is one of my least popular videos. I often think I should have written the script differently, or perhaps put the emphasis on different matters. But each year on this day and on Memorial Day I find myself rolling this old clunker out because I have no other words to say.

I love our veterans. I honor their sacrifices. But I loathe beyond description the vile machinations of those who turn our sons into corpses, both dead and living, for the sake of imperialist and corporate interests.

I have often heard feminists and others opine that with women at the helm, war would be a thing of the past. I suppose they forgot about Hillary Clinton, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, any number of female European monarchs, or indeed the white feather doling harpies of Britain that coerced peaceful men into war with the power of shame.

Women, like older, rich men may be even more likely to support the bloodshed, and for the same reason. Because they don’t have to pay the price for it.

Being an MRA means fighting for difficult, sometimes impossible dreams. But if I can be permitted to dream for a moment , let me say that if you want an end to war, put the men’s activists in charge. We are the only ones that care enough about men to put a stop to it.

  • http://none universe

    No, Paul, this is not an old clunker. This is classic Bently.

    The lead text announcing your vid and the vid itself are timeless. Applicable to many times and places over the years.

    Those alive today who agree with your assessment are legion.

  • Aimee McGee

    Paul, intellectually I know your non-violent stance, when I hear the words in this video, I’m struck with the emotional impact of that stance.
    My gender and country of origin has protected me from having to make the difficult ‘big’ decisions in the name of peace. My stance is based on received knowledge, from the death of one grandfather and the permanent psychological scaring of the other.
    Respect to you

  • JJ

    I commend your point of View; despite that I am a veteran.

    The fact is, and has always been; that the right thng is rarely ever the popular thing. When it is popular; its popularity lasts a mere fleeting moment.

    We live under the heel of a government that still largely does the right thing by allowing people rights; since their ignorance allows it to serve the governments purposes. When that changes, all rights might get terminated.

    The government we live under has largely been saying what is good is evil, and what is evil is good. Again, when it serves the purposes of the state. Only lip service is paid to the obvious truths we all know that crossing these logical facts (like not allowing murder) leads to societie’s death.

    Our veterans should only risk their life when the state has a “legitimate” interest. The poppies handed out today, and Memorial day are a testament to the fields of WW1.

    They are a stark reminder to me that we may not have fought a “good war” realistically since before the Mexican American war; and quite literally may never have fought a needed war? To the vicotors go the spoils; and the re-writing of all history.

    I say this adage all the time: When the rich wage war; it is the poor who die!

  • Dean Esmay

    It won’t happen until what Typhonblue calls the “Apexuals” are no longer allowed to seize power.

    But never mind, I won’t go into that argument today.

    I honor and grieve for the fallen.

  • TPH

    Veterans day for me always has a great source of frustration. I work with homeless vets and have seen the war wounds, both psychological and physical.

    Watching women cross the street with their heads down, to avoid eye contact and being near a homeless vet in a wheelchair angers me. Watching men turn their heads and ignore the homeless vets enrages me.

    I’ve decided to take a different approach: Veterans Day is Fathers Day for me. I honor my Father for what he did in war and the scars he got on his back and legs from a Japanese machine gun emplacement and a grenade that exploded near him.

    It’s Grandfathers day for me because I never got to meet my paternal Grandfather, he died as a Second Officer on a cargo ship, carrying war supplies to Britain. A volley of UBoat torpedoes ended his life along with 90 other men. I honor him deeply.

    It’s Great Uncles Day for me. Both of my Maternal Great Uncles died on Omaha beach before they could even charge down the ramp of their landing crafts. I honor them greatly.

    It’s Uncles Day for me. An Uncle of mine came back from Vietnam hooked on Heroin, numbing the horrors he saw and participated in. He put a shotgun barrel in his mouth when he couldn’t take the pain anymore. I honor him deeply.

    It’s Cousins day for me. One of my cousins was maimed by an IED in Iraq. He lost his legs, his manhood, and his vision in both eyes. My honor for the man could not be any greater.

    I honor the fallen soldiers, the soldiers that came back, the ones that still serve, and the ones that live with incredible psychological and physical injuries. I honor them all.

    Veterans day is personal to me. War has affected my family deeply as it has millions of other families.

    As long as men are considered to be disposable assets at the hands of government and society, war will continue. As long as there is money to be made by killing others, war will continue.

    The horrors of war have been turned into entertainment. We watch as a cruse missile with a video camera flies through a window and blows up a building full of people.

    The media sanitizes the grotesque horror of people being blown up, burned, shot, and maimed because it’s too graphic for us to see and comprehend. Perhaps if we did see the real reality of the incredible carnage close up, we might just change our minds.

    If women truly value men, then perhaps positive change will happen. Unfortunately I don’t see that happening any time soon. Women don’t have to put their lives on the line for their country and corporate masters.

    Only men can change their future. Time to form ranks and march forward.

  • Dennis

    I couldn’t agree with Paul more. In my younger days I marched across the country in the Peach Torch Marathon and our motto was “Bring Our Boys Home Now.” I had many friends who were in the worst of the fighting in Vietnam. One of my friends lost his pancreas, his kidney and part of his liver from the war. His story of how he was injured is one of unbelievable horror. He was sent in to retrieve the bodies of a platoon that had been ambushed and they themselves were ambushed trying to accomplish their mission.

    It was so painful to see my friends come home. In time, they knew they had been betrayed by their own government (the corporate war profiteers) and the pain of deep anger they felt has never left my mind for a moment.

    Again, before the Bush war on Iraq I protested, along with my younger compatriots knowing full well that the war was about oil and war profiteering, to no avail. The public, mesmerized by pro-war propaganda, wanted blood and that’s what they got. But it wasn’t their own and we are still sacrificing young men to another war that never should have started in the first place.

    I hope many more people watch Paul’s video and take it to heart. A man’s life is precious and, if we’re the advanced society we say we are, it’s about time we recognized it. It is appalling to realize the dwindling opportunities many of the young (mainly men) face these days make military service their only viable economic option. All the more so when war profiteers are so powerful.

  • Ben

    It’s a good thing there are plenty of 18 year old males around to die for all these humanitarian causes. If it weren’t for so many 18 year old males, going to war would be seen as dishonorable, because this nation would have to send 18 year old females, which would be oh so shameful. So, apparently, in order to determine how honorable a military operation is we must first determine who is going to die for it.

    Quick related story: Just today in my Professional Development class, we had a 2 hour lecture by a Doctor of Computer and Electrical Engineering regarding graduate school opportunities. It was a great lecture and actually made me consider applying for graduate school.

    The lecturer pointed out that one of the main reasons that she went on to graduate school was due to relentless sexual harassment against her due to her working as a female engineer in the male dominated US Department of Defense. So, as a veteran on Veterans Day, I am told about the Department of Defense harboring chauvanistic male dominated spaces which harass women to the point that women must get doctoral degrees to secure tolerable working conditions in those fields. (I am making every effort to accurately reiterate that part of the lecture). This class of 50 has only one draft-exempt female student and 49 draft-obligated males, by the way. She went on to point out that it is important for women in engineering to go to graduate school so that they can get the same respect that men get and not face sexual harassment.

    Oh, and I am not knocking today’s lecturer at all. I really enjoyed the lecture and have the utmost respect for her and her impressive engineering accomplishments — I really mean that. In case someone from my school takes me up on my offer and actually visits AVfM and reads this, I want to make myself perfectly clear here. She may very well have faced sexual harassment while working as the only female Electrical and Computer Engineer in the office when she was with the DOD. We talk openly in my Professional Development class about the problems my female colleagues may face as they enter the field of engineering next year, as well as problems my male colleagues may cause for women, especially in the male dominated Department of Defense. But pointing out the much more serious sexism against men by the Department of Defense is shunned. I am walking proof of that.

  • Shrek6

    Thank you for this Paul!

    We also celebrate Remembrance Day here in Aus, but we have Anzac Day in April as well. On these days the grog flows freely.
    The RSL (Return Services League) many years ago had been successful in putting through parliament a law that closed all Pubs (grog outlets, bars, hotels etc) and that the only alcohol that could be consumed was at an RSL club and only by its members.

    They couldn’t wait for the march to be over, so they could go and get drunk with their mates. Well, that law was stripped away after much opposition and now the pubs are open after lunch time for everyone.

    And the glorification of the theatre of war that goes on, is in my opinion, nothing short of disgusting. How dare they make such a mockery of the bodies mutilated and lives destroyed, during those very dark times.

    I’m not sure of my facts here, but I know that for a very long time Vietnam Vets were not recognised by the RSL, as returned soldiers. Not sure if they are today. Maybe some of the other Aussie members here can help out with that one.

    I was fortunate to have just missed the Vietnam draft by just a couple of years. So, I am not an ex-serviceman. And if you want to know, I would never volunteer to go fight anyone else’s war. And I warn my children off doing so as well.

    Sure, if war came to my homeland, I would be in line picking up my weapon, to help defend my family and country.

    As you rightly say in your video, which by the way is nothing but GOLD standard and I will show it to my children, we have only ever been used as gun fodder for the rich and for those who seek to rule the world. They play Chess with real human beings and their Chess Board, is the world map.

    It’s time we stand tall alongside our fallen brothers, and we refuse to be taken to the slaughter by these people. Take back the power and authority over ourselves and refuse to be used as corporate property.

  • The Unforgiven

    Great Video!

    Veterans day used to be known as armistice day and began as a reminder of the horrible cost of war and the value of peace, it was hoped that by having a day dedicated to remembering the horrors of war, it would prevent any future wars.

    Perhaps if we remembered the true meaning of armistice day, we would live in a world with no veterans at all.

  • Verdad

    Well spoken Paul, I hope these truthful words reach the ears of more young men such as myself…

  • OneHundredPercentCotton