David Swanson / World BEYOND War – 2018-08-04 01:40:12
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David Swanson / World BEYOND War
WASHINGTON, DC (August 1, 2018) — Now being planned and built in Washington, DC, which is already just about coated in monuments to wars and particular warriors, are monuments to: World War I, the Gulf War, Native American fighters in wars, African Americans who fought in the US war for independence, and the War on Terrorism, as well as one to Eisenhower the Warrior.
That War on (make that “of” — an easy alteration) Terrorism monument is supposed to be built by 2024, and the war it glorifies is due to end sometime in the next millennium or, as war planners like to say, “imminently.”
Most countries glorify their deeds, but many also mourn and regret and warn against repetition of their worst crimes. Not the good old USA, no sir. George Bush the elder said he’d never apologize and didn’t care what the facts were. That’s telling ’em.
I’m glad to be involved in planning to protest and prevent a weapons parade on November 10th. [See Action Alert below â€“ EAW.] But the wave of new war memorials in Washington, DC, deserves all the opposition that Trump’s parade is receiving, 1,000-fold. The memorials will last much longer than the parade — assuming that the militarism they glorify doesn’t put an end to all of us.
One year after the deadly rally in Charlottesville, the memorials denounced there as racist still stand. They stand because of a Virginia law forbidding taking down war memorials. Once any monstrosity is erected, if it’s for war, it’s here for eternity. That is sure to be true in Washington, DC as well. Can you imagine trying to get one of these desecrations of all that is decent removed after it’s up?
If you’re wondering, Virginia does not have a law banning the removal of peace memorials. You can take one down — if you can find one.
How does Congress get away with dumping the majority of discretionary spending into militarism each year? How does Trump get away with telling European nations to spend on war based on the size of their economies? Part of the answer is a culture of war. We ought to take a little more seriously the danger that lies in what we choose to glorify.
These war monuments do not mourn the dead. They omit the vast majority of the dead entirely. The Vietnam Memorial alone would eat up the space being used by several others if it included the names of everyone killed in that war. The war “on terrorism” has been a one-sided slaughter, illegal, immoral, counter-productive, and environmentally and fiscally and culturally catastrophic. Of the tiny percentage of deaths you’re supposed to care about, the majority have come by suicide. The monument will mention nothing of any of that.
That they are now building monuments to particular demographic groups’ participation in wars threatens all remaining trees and sidewalks left intact thus far in Washington, DC But that’s not the worst of it. They’re making a monument to the participation of the remnants of nations destroyed by genocidal US wars — their participation in later wars against other victims. And they have yet to build a monument to the victims of the wars against the native people’s of the continent.
They’re building a monument to black fighters in the US war for wealthy white male independence that will not only not mention the role of that war in advancing continental genocide, but also omit its role in preserving slavery. The African Americans who fought on the British side for actual independence cannot be expected to show up in monumental glory. And where is the monument to slavery, whose lasting legacy is certainly what has spared us an enormous pro-union Civil War monument eating up half the National Mall?
The tiny, hidden monument to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans is proving entirely insufficient to the task it takes on with its “never again” language. The absence of any serious peace monuments is killing us.
Will the Gulf War monument include babies taken out of incubators? I know I say that at the risk of giving them ideas, but I’m sure they’ve already thought of worse. Slaughter of thousands of retreating troops maybe? Decades of brutal blowback perhaps?
And World War I? What is that about? The total lack of World War I-justifying mythology in our culture, the surrender to its obvious insanity, makes WWI a weak link in the case for World War II’s status as the most glorious mass-killing in history, given the impossibility of World War II having happened without World War I. But now they want to remind us of World War I?
Clearly the idea is that all war must be glorious regardless of what idiots started it for what nonsensical, sadistic, narcissistic, greedy, cowardly, dishonest reasons. That seems to me exactly the wrong message to be surrounding the White House windows with right now.
David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
ACTION ALERT: Armistice Day, Not Weapons Day Everything You Need for November 10th and 11th
World BEYOND War
Stop Trump’s Military Parade on November 10.
Celebrate Armistice Day and Peace Everywhere on November 11
If you can be in Washington, DC, to oppose the Trump military parade, sign up here. There will be family-friendly, permitted, pro-peace events. There may also be opportunities to try to prevent the weapons parade. Or our public commitment to be there may discourage the parade planners from holding it. So it is important that we commit now en masse.
Sign up for any event on the world map here or add a new one.
Join in the Women’s March on the Pentagon on October 21-22.
Come to a free peace concert in Washington DC, November 9, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. planned by Code Pink.
We’ll also be part of Catharsis on the Mall, November 10-12, in Washington, DC
Veterans For Peace is planning a silent march to all the monuments in Washington, DC, on November 11.
November 11, 2018, is Armistice Day 100, a century since World War I was ended at a scheduled moment (11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918). For decades in the United States, as elsewhere, Armistice Day was a holiday of peace, of sad remembrance and joyful ending of war, of a commitment to preventing war in the future.
The holiday’s name was changed in the United States during the US war in Korea to “Veterans Day,” a largely pro-war holiday on which some US cities forbid Veterans For Peace groups from marching in their parades. Trump has planned for this year a super-pro-war weapons parade — a Trumparade — for Washington DC on Saturday November 10th, the day before Armistice Day.
Our goal is to get the weapons parade (now planned for November 10th) canceled but to carry through with our own peaceful Armistice Day celebration in Washington, DC, and everywhere else on earth. If the Trumparade is not canceled, our goal is to be bigger and make a more impressive showing for peace and friendship than the weapons parade makes for war and hatred and profiteering greed.
We need your help planning Armistice Day / Remembrance Day events everywhere on Earth, and adding our presence to those already scheduled. If you can start an event or a contingent to participate in a larger event, we can help you. The first step is: please enter it into our system so that it shows up on our map for people to find.
Find speakers, videos, powerpoints, activities, and ideas here.
One activity for 11 a.m. wherever you are, or some other appropriate time, is bell ringing. Hereâ€™s a kit from a Veterans For Peace chapter on a past Armistice Day.
World BEYOND War flyers.
JROTC Out of Our Schools
A graphic you can use.
A Facebook post to share.
A tweet to re-tweet.
#ArmisticeDay #NoTrumparade #NoWar #WorldBeyondWar
Chants and Slogans:
Shirts and Sweatshirts:
About Armistice Day:
Wait Just a Minute
On Armistice Day, Let’s Celebrate Peace
Armistice Day 99 Years On and the Need for a Peace to End All Wars
Reclaim Armistice Day and Honor the Real Heroes
An Armistice Day Poem
About the Trump Weapons Parade:
Trumparade of 2018 Stupidest Idea Since Philadelphia Liberty Loan Parade of 1918
Raining on Trump’s Parade
Hundreds of Thousands To Protest President Trump’s Military Parade If It Occurs
Veterans For Peace Condemns Military Parade
Marches on Washington to End the Wars
About the militarization of societies, police, and schools:
JROTC, Military Indoctrination and the Training of Mass Killers
Inside the US Military Recruitment Program That Trained Nikolas Cruz to Be “A Very Good Shot”
Florida Gunman Nikolas Cruz Knew How to Use a Gun, Thanks to the NRA and the US Army
Cruz, Instagram, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program
GI Nik Cruz
The Tide it is a Changin’
Can You Give Two Days to Stop the Slaughter?
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