Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Hate The War

This morning I received notification of my honorable discharge from the army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." After 11 years since beginning my journey at West Point and after 17 months of serving openly as an infantry officer this is both an infuriating and painful announcement.
But my service continues. To all those veterans who have endured similar trials and injustices or prematurely ended their military service because of the unjust policy: our fight has only begun.
The true honor and dignity of service does not come from a piece of paper, a pension or paycheck, a rank or status; only an unflinching commitment to improve the lives of others can determine the nature of one's service. From the first moment we put on our nation's uniform and swore our solemn oath, we committed ourselves to fight for freedom and justice; to defend our constitution and put the needs of others before our own. This is not an oath that I intend to abandon. Doing so at such a time, or remaining silent when our family and community members are fired or punished for who they truly are would be an unequivocal moral dereliction that tarnishes the honor of the uniform and insults the meaning of America.

The above is Lt Dan Choi's statement from his website. And it seems like it never ends. One disaster after another for the left under Barack Obama, our Corporatist War Hawk. The one who was going to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The one Michelle insisted was a "fierce advocate" for LGBT rights. And Dan Choi's discharged. All Barack had to do to overturn Don't Ask Don't Tell was issue an executive order. Barring that, he could have issued an executive order asking that all discharges under DADT be stayed until his 'study' was completed.

He didn't do that, did he? The 'fierce advocate' . . . for himself.

We were speaking this evening to a young women's group and Lynne Stewart was brought up as a question. A young woman wanted to know how Lynne could be in prison when a Constitutional Law professor was in the White House? How could, she wondered, a Constitutional Lawyer sit in the White House and allow an attorney to be imprisoned when no law was broken? (She's right, Lynne broke no law. For more on that topic see Third's "Editorial: She broke no law" and for Ralph Poynter's response -- Lynne's husband -- you can see Ruth's "Lynne Stewart" where she transcribes Ralph from WBAI's Taking Aim Tuesday.

It's one setback after another with our 'leader' in the White House. That includes the refusal to end the Iraq War, the disgusting decision to implement that ugly, tacky Samantha Power's plan of militarizing the US State Dept. It's all smoke and mirrors, low lights and trick mirrors, with Barack.

And its the people who suffer. The Iraqi people, the US service members, Lynne Stewart, the residents of the Gulf -- where is a leader? There's no leadership. He can vogue very nicely, he can pony and he can pose. But he can't lead. And this is more than demonstrated by the fact that he claims he wants to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and yet, today, this unequal practice, is the reason Lt Dan Choi has been kicked out of the military. Luis Martinez (ABC News) reports:

"I don't consider myself a victim," he told ABC News.
"As sad as I am, I'm not a victim. My unit is a victim," he said, arguing that Army units would be missing out not only on his skills as an Arabic interpreter, but the skills of other talented members of the military who are discharged under the policy.

Equality's a victim. Justice is the victim. Fairness is the victim. The Constitution is a victim. The people who believed in Barack's pretty words are the victim. Truth is the victim. And we are all the victims until we stand and demand that the US government honor "liberty and justice for all."

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last week, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4412. Tonight it remains 4412.

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