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Happy Patriot's Day!

Hey, happy Patriot’s Day, everyone!

Yes, it’s the phony-baloney holiday cooked up by conservative senators before the ashes of the Twin Towers had cooled so that we could ‘commemorate’ the terror attacks! And what better way to commemorate the senseless death of thousands than to loudly assert your loyalty to the homeland and impugn the patriotism of anyone who dissents?

I got scolded at work yesterday – and keep in mind that, for San Antonio, my workplace is pretty liberal – for mocking the notion of Patriot’s Day. It was implied that I was disrespecting the memory of the dead by belittling a day allegedly crafted in their honor.

What was I supposed to say? That I don’t believe for a second the people who came up with Patriot’s Day gave half a shit about the victims of the terrorists, but were just looking for a convenient hook on which to dangle their jingoism? That what really upsets me is the fact that my own memories of 9/11, my own emotions and reactions to the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to a war on American soil, are constantly being evaluated, mediated, officiated? That I can’t possibly have a moment of quiet contemplation about what the attacks did to my country, to the people I love, because I know that dissimulating fucker in the White House is going to trot out sometime today and shit all over it? That as much as I think this is an important day that we should be honoring the victims, America’s leaders have done everything in their power to make me dread each anniversary, that each of the past six years has done more to soil that honor? That no matter how much I might want to think good thoughts and maintain a patriotic attitude today, all I can think about is this disgraceful war against a country that never wronged us? That I almost never meet or talk to anyone who was in New York on 9/11, but every fucking day in this highly militarized town I see some 23-year-old vet hobbling around on a mechanical leg or being pushed down the street in a wheelchair? That no matter how hard I try, I can’t shake the absolute certainty that what we have done in the intervening years since 9/11/2001 is absolutely, demonstrably, measurably worse than what was done to us?

Instead, I just shook my head and said “sorry”. I don’t know what I was apologizing for, but I do now: to every person who died on September 11, 2001, to everyone whose lives were torn apart by violent fanatics, and to every Iraqi who suffered and died in our pointless, hapless invasion and occupation, to every soldier who’s been crippled or killed fighting a war that our ideologically blinkered leadership couldn’t be bothered to plan: sorry. Happy Patriot’s Day.


Sep. 11th, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
Send your scolds a link to the Naomi Klein piece from yesterday's Guardian and underline the bit about how there were two lobbying firms devoted to hooking up security-oriented businesses with the right people on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to 9/11 -- there are now 543. (Not 543 security-oriented businesses, note, but 543 lobbying firms for security-oriented businesses.) There are some real patriots for ya work chums.
Sep. 11th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
The more I read about the ungodly degree of profiteering going on in Iraq, the more I think, where are all the 'patriots' on this issue? These are corporations who are literally making millions from the blood of American soldiers -- witness the weekly convoys of empty trucks across dangerous, insurgent-infested terrain (accompanied by military escorts) for no reason than to justify their outrageous cost-plus expenditures -- and nobody seems to have a goddamn thing to say. I mean, didn't we used to hang people for this shit?
Sep. 11th, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Greg Rucka posted this quote on his lj this weekend:

"I don't want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster."


I guess that about covers the difference between leaders and scumbags.
Sep. 11th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
Yep. As much as the right-wingers love to compare the GWOT to WWII, they seem to forget the wildly popular liberal progressive president who won the war, and the utter contempt in which he held war profiteers.

Also, to continue the WWII comparison, we've now been in Iraq longer than we were in WWII. By this time in 1946, we'd halfway rebuilt Europe and achieved total victory against the Germans AND the Japanese. By contrast, we still haven't won in Iraq, the bodycounts soar every day, we're losing our grip on Afghanistan, we still haven't caught the architect of 9/11, and by our own government's admission, we're at a higher risk of terrorism than we were at this time in 2001. If Roosevelt had done this shitty a job, is there any way people would have voted for the Democrats in '48?
Sep. 11th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
Don't forget that once upon a time 'supporting the troops' meant rationing food, gas, rubber, metal, etc. rather than a bumper sticker arms race.

It's a subtle, but graspable, distinction.

Say, I wonder if race has anything to do with the difference in seriousness with which these situations have been treated?


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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