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Veterans Day: Remembering Washington's Foreign Wars


November 10, 2014
Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War

Remembrance Day was established to mark and mourn the 20 million deaths that occurred during WWI. The US stands apart in having revised the date to celebrate all US soldiers -- living and dead -- and to promote support for the Pentagon War Machine. Something that should be remembers on "Veterans Day" is the long list of foreign countries that the US had attacked, invaded and occupied over the past two centuries. A partial list is provided below.

Special to Environmentalists Against War

Before there was a 'Veterans Day' -- complete with flags and marches to celebrate aging soldiers -- November 11 was an international day of peace.

Ninety-six years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, fighting ceased in the "war to end all wars." Congress passed an Armistice Day resolution calling for "exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding . . . inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples." Later, Congress added that November 11th was to be "a day dedicated to the cause of world peace."

When Remembrance Day in the US Became Veterans Day
Wikipedia

Armistice Day (which coincides with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day, public holidays) is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I.

Most countries changed the name of the holiday after World War II, to honor veterans of that and subsequent conflicts. Most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted the name Remembrance Day, while the United States chose All Veterans Day (later shortened to 'Veterans Day') to explicitly honor military veterans, including those participating in other conflicts. "Armistice Day" remains the name of the holiday in France, Belgium and New Zealand.

In many parts of the world, people observe a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. local time as a sign of respect in the first minute for the roughly 20 million people who died in the war, and in the second minute dedicated to the living left behind, generally understood to be wives, children and families left behind but deeply affected by the conflict.

In the US, the function of Veterans Day is subtly different from that of other 11 November holidays. Unlike the situation in other countries, where that calendar date is set aside specifically for honoring those who died in action, Veterans Day honors all American veterans, whether living, dead in action, or deceased from other causes.

The official national remembrance of war dead is instead Memorial Day, originally called 'Decoration Day', from the practice of decorating the graves of soldiers, which originated in the years immediately following the American Civil War.

Remembrance Day:
Remembering Washington's Foreign Wars

Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War

Here is a partial list of some of the foreign lands America has attacked since its founding in 1776. Countries invaded and attacked since the outbreak of The War to End All Wars, 100 years ago, are highlighted in bold font:

• French Territory (1798)
• Libya (1801-05; 1981; 1986; 1989)
• Spanish Mexico (1806)
• Britain (in the War of 1812)
• Marquesas Island (1813)
• French, British and Spanish Caribbean (1814-1825)
• Algiers and Tripoli (1815)
• Spanish Cuba (1822-1825)
• Greece (1827; 1947-49)
• Falkland/Malvinas Islands (1831)
• Sumatra (1832; 1838)
• Argentina (1833; 1890)
• Peru (1835-1836)
• Mexico (1836; 1846-48; 1859; 1876; 1913' 1914; 1915-16).
• Canada (1837)
• Fiji (1840-41; 1858)
• Samoa (1841; 1885; 1888; 1889; 1899)
• China (1843; 1859; 1866; 1894-1895; 1900; 1911-1941; 1927-1927; 1927-1934; 1934; 1940-34; 1934; 1946-49)
• Ivory Coast (1843)
• Ottoman Empire/Turkey (1849)
• Nicaragua (1854; 1867; 1894; 1896; 1898; 1899; 1907; 1910; 1912-1933)
• Japan (1854; 1863; 1864; 1868; 1981-1990)
• Uruguay (1855; 1868)
• Columbia (1856; 1860; 1865; 1866; 1870; 1873; 1885; 1895; 1901; 1902; 1903)
• Hawaii (1856; 1874; 1887; 1893)
• Paraguay (1859)
• Portuguese West Africa (1860)
• Formosa Island/Taiwan (1867)
• Midway Island (1867)
• Korea (1871; 1894-1896; 1904-05; 1950-53)
• British Egypt (1882)
• Haiti (1888; 1891; 1914-1934; 1959; 1991; 1994-96; 2004).
• Chile (1891; 1973)
• Guam (1898; 1903)
• Cuba (1898; 1906-09; 1912; 1917-1933; 1933; 1961; 1962)
• Puerto Rico (1898)
· Philippines (1898; 1899; 1948-54; 1989)
· Panama (1901; 1902; 1903; 1908; 1912; 1918-1920; 1925; 1958; 1964; 1989-1990)
· Honduras (1903; 1907; 1911; 1912; 1919; 1924-25; 1983-89).
· Dominican Republic (1903; 1914; 1916-1924; 1965)
· Russia (1918-1922)
· Yugoslavia (1919)
· Guatemala (1920; 1954; 1966-67)
· Turkey (1922)
· El Salvador (1932; 1981-1992)
· Iran (1946; 1953; 1980; 1984; 1987-1988)
· Italy (1948)
· Vietnam (1954; 1960-64; 1965-1975)
· Lebanon (1958; 1982-1984)
· Congo (1960; 1965)
· Laos (1962; 1965-73; 1971-73)
· Ecuador (1963)
· Brazil (1964)
· Indonesia (1965)
· Ghana (1966)
· Cambodia (1969-75; 1975)
· Oman (1970)
· Angola (1976-92)
· Iran (1980)
· Libya (1981)
· Grenada (1983).
· Lebanon (1983)
· Bolivia (1986).
· Libya (1986)
· Iran (1987-1988)
· Libya (1989)
· Liberia (1990; 1997).
· Iraq (1990-91; 1991-2003; 1998; 2003-6).
· Saudi Arabia (1991)
· Kuwait (1991)
· Somalia (1992-1994)
· Yugoslavia (1992-94; 1999)
· Bosnia (1993-95)
· Croatia (1995)
· Saudi Arabia (1996)
· Zaire (1996-97)
· Sudan (1998)
· Afghanistan (1998; 2001-)
· Kosovo (1999)
· Yemen (2000)
· Macedonia (2001).
· Philippines (2002-)
· Yemen (2002-)
· Colombia (2003)
· Iraq (2003)
· Liberia (2003)
· Pakistan (2004-)
· Haiti (2004 – 2005)
· Pakistan (2005-)
· Somalia (2007-)
· Syria (2008)
· Yemen (2009)
· Libya (2011)
· Iraq (2014-)
· Syria (2014-)


And How Many of These Nations Are Now Thriving 'Democracies'?
If there were any truth to the myth that the US uses its military might to promote democracy around the world, the most democratic countries on Earth would be the countries the US has spent the most time invading. By this reasoning, the most democratic nations on Earth would be:
• Honduras (7 interventions),
• Haiti (7)
• Cuba (7)
• Mexico (7)
• Nicaragua (9)
• Panama (10)
• Colombia (11)
• China (12).

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