Memorial DAZE!

By Phillip Farruggio

"May 29, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - My neighbor is a Vietnam vet suffering from the effects of Agent Orange. He is in his early 70s and looks at least 10 years older. In and out of hospitals with lapses in memory, the guy still maintains a ' gung ho ' Amerikan exceptionalist mindset. Will he ever learn the truth about how his life and that of millions of others, military and civilian, was damaged or destroyed by our country? On Monday he will both display and salute our flag, the one that the Military Industrial Empire had hijacked long ago. With the exception of WW2,Memorial Day will be an endless bunch of hogwash celebrations and remembrances to honor men and women who dutifully followed orders while never questioning the evil ones who controlled them. Ignorance is most certainly bliss!

We already see that over 50% of our taxes goes down this rabbit hole of bloated, obscene and unnecessary military spending. Having nearly 1000 bases replete with advanced weapons systems, and of course those poor kids in uniform, in over 100 countries we should NOT be in, does not make us safer. Matter of fact, it has and will make us LESS safe! Too many afflicted people in the Middle East despise us for what we have done to them in recent years. All the honor guards and pomp and circumstance that this empire throws at us does not save the day. The con job of being in a ' War with Terror ' tells only half the story. The other half is listing what we have done to terrorize the people in the Middle East! Dropping the ' Mother of All Bombs' or drone missile strikes only exacerbates things, doesn't it?

I salute our young service people, not the ones who randomly or without just cause have murdered women, children, the elderly or innocent Arab men in places they should never have been sent to. During the Vietnam War era, we peace activists never pointed fingers at the overwhelming majority of our returning G.I.s. We only took issue with those who professed such animus for the Communist gooks they were so proud to have killed, tortured or burned alive. Many guys from our neighborhood signed up, hoping to ' fight the good fight', only to return home in a box. These 18, 19 and 20 year old kids did not know what the hell this war was all about. They, including this writer, believed, in the early stages of it all, that we were doing a noble thing to help the South Vietnamese fend off the invading North Vietnamese communists. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis gave us the hype and spin that we were protecting our great nation from a possible Communist attack. The Russians, like the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, never played fair... only we did! That was the Kool- Aid that most of us drank at the time.

In this baby boomer's lifetime I have never seen such a militaristic mindset amongst so many citizens. Too many car license plates have those military logos on them. Too many parents have those signs on the back of their cars " Proud Parent ( Grandparent ) of a Marine ( Soldier ) ". Every sporting event has to now have the honor guard with the flag before the National Anthem is sung. Football fields will have one giant flag cover the whole field! The fans stand there with their hands over their hearts, and faces down in reverence. It seems the Amerikan way of war is now the norm. This Military Industrial Empire has won over the hearts and minds of too many good people! If it doesn't stop our nation will not only become bankrupt fiscally, but morally as well!

Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. A graduate of Brooklyn College, he is a free lance columnist. Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been a street corner protest activist leader and Green Party member since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at