echoes of my friend, Rusty Nelson, who was a USAF veteran who spoke at a Spokane commencement articulately decrying Bush’s war
I’m rushing this since it is officially, November 11, the dreaded day of dishonor we call Veterans Day. Parades, ceremonies, and a fake day off—Veterans Day, observed on November 11 each year, is one of the country’s 12 Congressionally designated federal holidays. Make now bones about it — this holiday is distinct from Memorial Day: more nonsense with roots from a Civil War-era tradition of decorating the graves of deceased soldiers.
Veterans Day didn’t always celebrate all military veterans. Once tagged as Armistice Day, November 11 has roots in one of the most perverted and destructive rich man’s conflicts in history.
Go back to 1918, when a world of direct and collateral damaged souls wanted an end of what was commonly called the “Great War.” World War I had slashed and burned European landscapes, but it was the beginning of that use of deadly new scientifically-approved technology — poison gas. More than 30 nations were dragged into this ugly great war of planes, tanks, bombs hitting all fronts with trenches and clouds of chlorine gas against galloping horse Calvaries . Revolutions had upended the governments of many of the combatant countries, and an influenza pandemic was sweeping the world.
On November 11 at 11:00 a.m. Paris time, an armistice came into effect.
World War I was over, but wars implanted in other countries were just beginning. 10 million men were killed in action, and another 20 million were wounded worldwide. The U.S. threw into the conflict in 1917, but it alone had lost over 116,000 lives and seen about 320,000 other casualties.
The bell tolled and silence rang at 11 a.m. Armistice day was nationwide. Multiple governors declared legal holidays. All those rah-rah veterans’ associations and groups made plans to commemorate the occasion with ceremonies, religious ceremonies, and fundraising for the American Red Cross. On November 11, 1919, the New York Times noted that people around the world would hold moments of silence at 11:00 a.m.
No great speeches on peace, no great conferences on structural violence, or blockades, or financial felonies, or war profiteers, or Wall Street’s hand in things. No War is a Racket until, well, until 1935!
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
I’m named after a grandfather, Paul Haeder, who was a lieutenant in the German Navy during World War. He was one of seven brothers, and his life in Dortmund changed when he was recruited at age 17 into the Navy, as he lived on a German tall ship, where he would spend a year learning the trade of militarism, German style. Many ports that ship went to, and alas he ended up in a tri-plane, fighting the British and French. They carried hunting rifles with them to shoot at the pilots and engines. They carried round rocks to drop on the cloth wings. They had grenades to toss on trucks and soldiers below. There was no synchronized propellers for front mounted machine guns, hence the hunting rifles.
I did grow up on the Azores (USAF father) and then in France (same father, but officer, US Army). I spent time with aunts and uncles and cousins in Scotland, England and Germany. For a child — I was precocious and always around smart people who had at least THAT history under their belts. I was in the middle of old wise adults, war survivors, and young adults with education under their belts. It was an international upbringing. I was anti-military even though I was forced to be a military brat. My father was shot twice in Vietnam, and he was wounded in Korea as a 19 year old. He was a socialist, but he was also so tied to the military — cryptography — that I blasted his philosophy out of my life. He was always supportive of my education, and he threw in bucks when I needed things to survive in college. He was not a hard-ass like myself, and alas, I did the ROTC thing with my long hair while working as a journalist for the college daily rag. I wanted to learn the insights of war makers to be a revolutionary. Look where that got me, now age 64, aging out of all relevance in this by hook or by crook country.
So, that grandfather’s brothers had all emigrated to the US, Iowa and South Dakota, and Minnesota. My grandfather was in post-WWI German, trying to survive, trying his hand at anything, including Pinkerton guard on the trains (bread trains they called them) in order to shoot to kill Germans who were starving. He didn’t last long doing that, nor did he last long in the coal mines.
Ironically, he was on the Rostock, in the Battle of Jutland.
It was a huge battle off Denmark. My grandfather was on the ship being transported to another front to fly. The ship was hit, he broke his jaw, and he held up a seaman with a broken arm and shoulder and watched that war theater between the Germans and British.
The point is that war is more than just messy. You can read about the Rostock and Jutland in Wikipedia. Whoever wrote the entry loves naval war.
Rostock also participated in the Battle of Jutland, on 31 May 1916. She served as the leader of the torpedo boat flotillas, flying the flag of Kommodore Andreas Michelsen. The flotilla was tasked with screening for the battle squadrons of the High Seas Fleet. As the German fleet reached the engagement between the British and German battlecruiser squadrons at 17:30, a pair of destroyers, HMS Nestor and Nicator attempted to attack the German battle line. Rostock and a number of the battleships engaged the destroyers, which were both disabled by the heavy German fire. The battleships destroyed Nestor and Nicator and their crews were picked up by German torpedo boats.
At 19:32, Rostock and several torpedo boats crossed through the German line and began to lay a smoke screen to cover the withdrawal of the German fleet. Some twenty minutes later, Michelsen detached several torpedo boats to assist the badly damaged battlecruiser Lützow. By the time the German fleet had assumed its night cruising formation, Rostock fell in with the light cruisers of IV Scouting Group on the port side of the fleet. Shortly before midnight, Rostock and IV Scouting Group came into contact with the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron. Shortly after midnight, the British 4th Destroyer Flotilla attacked the German line, where Rostock was positioned. She joined the cannonade directed against the destroyers as they pressed home their attack. The destroyers launched several torpedoes at the Germans, forcing Rostock and the other cruisers to turn away to avoid them; this pointed the ships directly at the battleships in I Battle Squadron. Rostock successfully passed through the formation, but the cruiser Elbing was rammed by one of the battleships and disabled.
In the chaos of the night engagement, Rostock’s search lights illuminated the destroyer Broke. Gunfire from Rostock and the battleships Westfalen and Rheinland smothered the British destroyer; although heavily damaged, she managed to limp back to port. The ship was attacked by the destroyers Ambuscade and Contest; the two ships each fired a single torpedo at high-speed settings at a range of about 1,000 yd (910 m). One torpedo struck Rostock at 1:30, though it is unknown which destroyer launched it. Rostock was also hit by three 4 in (100 mm) shells, probably from the destroyer Broke. The disabled Rostock called the destroyer S54 to join her; S54 took Rostock in tow, at times making up to 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph). The pair was subsequently joined by the destroyers V71 and V73, which had been detached from the flotilla to escort Rostock back to port.
At around 03:55 on 1 June, the four German ships encountered the British cruiser Dublin. The three destroyers went alongside the crippled cruiser and evacuated her crew, while flashing the first two letters of the British signal challenge. Smoke screens were laid to obscure the identity of the German warships. After about ten minutes, S54 departed with Rostock’s crew aboard, while V71 and V73 remained. Scuttling charges had been set in the cruiser, but to ensure Rostock sank faster, the two destroyers fired a total of three torpedoes into the ship. Rostock sank bow-first at approximately 04:25, after which V71 and V73 made for Horns Reef at high speed. Of Rostock’s crew, 14 men were killed and 6 were wounded during the battle. In the course of the battle, Rostock fired some 500 rounds of 10.5 cm ammunition, more than any other German ship. A second Rostock, of the Cöln class, was launched in April 1918, but was not completed before the end of the war.
So, back in the USA, the Haeders — all those brothers and their families — believed that the eldest brother, Paul, had perished in the Battle of Jutland. They even held a memorial for him in Waterloo, Iowa. News back then did not travel fast.
This legacy of war is in a box. Iron Cross and other German awards. The two purple hearts and one slug dug out of my old man’s chest when his helicopter was shot down in Vietnam. Bronze star, all sorts of medals, and the tri-folded American Flag given to his wife (divorced, my mom) at his graveside service at Fort Huachuca where his ashes are in a cemetery near where I used to go javelina hunting when I was still a meat eater (age 17).
Ironically, everything in my life has been anti-war, anti-imperialism, and yet, I was a college teacher in Texas, New Mexico and Washington, working on military bases teaching college composition and literature. Before that, I was a reporter for newspaper in Southern Arizona, with one of my many beat being the US military, Fort Huachuca and the aerostat balloons in the first part of the militarizing the border around drugs and immigrants.
I even taught college courses at Biggs Field, Texas, at the Sergeants Major Academy. My entire life has been pulling the scales off the infused propaganda and false history of this country, from sea to shining sea. Many of my students agreed with Butler’s short book on the racket of war. I did get some off-the-record detailed accounts of many of those soldiers’ dealings in Vietnam, the Middle East, Central America, Africa.
What this country is all about is this smoke and mirrors, facades, a disjointed fake right-left divide. What this country does around the military is more than criminal. Right from the playbook of the Roman Empire. But on steroid. So much more entangled in everything, now that the world runs on finance, trillions held in BlackRock and Blackstone and 100 banks. A world where media — books, history texts, TV, film, radio, Internet — are controlled by a dozen outfits. Who owns the world are those who need public and private armies to keep us, the 80 percent, in line. It’s an in line system with chaos of information, with disjointed fears, with people at each other’s throats at the center of the operating system.
Here, William Blum, in a 2014 interview on a book dealing with Obama, et al — William Blum Discusses his book, America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy
That’s the same task faced by every agency of the government which has a connection to foreign policy. The same task faced by the mainstream media. They want to make it look good. They never use the word imperialism. They never say this is a big lie or it’s totally immoral, so they’re all on the same side. They all have to find ways of putting it in the best light. That’s the joint task of all these institutions. It’s as bad as World War I. These young people, they have little idea of the extreme acts of terrorism carried out by our Al Qaeda types. I’m sure the average American shares this view that suicide bombings are inhuman, but one can raise the same questions about the average American soldier. What’s been done to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan is as horrible as anything done by Al Qaeda. So, we don’t have to look for Islamic brainwashing, we have American brainwashing.
We know about Blum’s writing tied to the number of interventions (wars, killings) the US had engaged in from 1945 to 1999, when Blum’s book concludes: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II. Portions of the book can be read at: this site. http://members.aol. com/bblum6/American holocaust.htm.
Here, his words in an article, “A Brief History of U.S. Interventions: 1945 to the Present” Z magazine , June 1999
The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows:
* making the world safe for American corporations;
* enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress;
* preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;
* extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a “great power.”
This in the name of fighting a supposed moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy, which in fact never existed, evil or not.
The United States carried out extremely serious interventions into more than 70 nations in this period.
That war debt for Germany was so crushing it took 92 years after the defeat in WWI to pay off. That is the racket of the slimy ones — the bankers, the psychologists, the propagandists, the marketers, the offence weaponry corporations, the entire system propped up by royalty of all brands, as well as the elite, the money hoarders, the purveyors of death who use soldiers, civilians, crops, rivers, hospitals, schools, industries as weapons, as the casualties of war. Don’t forget about the inept media (but really stealth and capable tools for oligarchs and militarists). The Military Industrial Complex is so much more than rivets, TNT, missile parts, bombers, napalm.
Again, back to Rusty Nelson, who was asked to speak at a commencement, and he was part of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane, and he worked hard at anti-war activism, and activism tied to environmental and educational justice. He said a few words in that address which got him promptly scolded by the superintendent and banned from ever stepping on a Spokane campus (K12) again.
This is from 2005 — Pacific Northwest Weekly Inlander, my old rag:
This issue led to an insurrection in Seattle last spring. Parents at Garfield High School didn’t want recruiters targeting kids just because they are low-income or black, and the parent-teacher-student association voted to keep recruiters out.
“One piece of research I did was to find out how many times recruiters go to Lakeside, which is our (Seattle School District’s) prep school,” says Amy Hagopian, president of the Garfield PTSA. “And recruiters don’t go there. The guy I talked to, in 10 years as a career counselor, said he’s never seen Lakeside kids join the regular military. They go to the academies, like West Point. They don’t just join the Marines.”
There appears to be a similar dynamic in Spokane. Military recruiters visit Lewis and Clark High School as little as once a year, even though they are allowed in the building as many as four times a year.
At Rogers High, the recruiters come once a month. Rogers is also the only Spokane high school with an ROTC program.
There isn’t the same sense of outrage, however, that the district isn’t sticking up for more options for the kids at Rogers.
“The Peace and Justice Action League has a campaign to educate high school students about the pitfalls of recruiting. But it hasn’t taken off. We are not seeing the interest we expected from students or parents,” says Rusty Nelson of PJALS.
“Each school is different. Some schools say come anytime you want. Others say come once a quarter,” says Capt. John Richardson, an Army recruiter in Spokane.
In Spokane, a more conservative and more low-income city than Seattle, military careers have long been an honorable choice for high school grads. The military has seen little falloff in enlistments here, Richardson says: “Our enlistments have not changed over historic numbers.”
The continuing war in Iraq and the stepped-up search for recruits “has not been a concern for the school district,” says Emmett Arndt, director of teaching and learning for Spokane Public Schools. “We perceive that a military career is a viable and high-interest career for students.”
But parents and groups such as Spokane’s Peace and Justice Action League say the pressure to get recruits has increased in recent years, and students need to be shielded from high-pressure sales.
The nation’s 7,500 recruiters had a “stand-down” day on May 20 for retraining and refocus in the wake of embarrassing, and widely publicized, ethical lapses. There were no such lapses in the Spokane office, Richardson says.
Rusty and Nancy Nelson retired from the PJALS in 2009. Both people I considered friends during my 10 year stint in Spokane. Things in the MIC and the embedded encircling business and finance realm are so so much worse in 2021. And explosion of perversity and crime in the entire offence weapons game, and the tethered industries of oppression. All those collateral casualties are worth it not just in the mind of Albright, but in all of their minds — every single one of them who supports and defends this country.
This image is what the robber barons and the money changers and the depopulation gurus want in every country: “During a period of hyperinflation in 1920s Germany, 100,000 marks was the equivalent one U.S. dollar.”
This story of war, this history of lies, this ramping up of rah-rah rot, oh, I could go on and on, but I am on my own deadline, hoping Dissident Voice runs this through on the United States of Armaments’ holy day, Veterans Day, a mental place where there are no peace colleges, no peace studies programs (mandatory) in K12. Yes, without that version of humanity — peace, ending cold and hot wars, stopping the deadly sanctions and blockades and financial dirty dealings — our youth are handcuffed by lie after lie after lie.
Armistice — “an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce.”
Ahh, 16 years ago — “War and Peace In Vietnam” by Paul Haeder, The Inlander.
Oh, do the google gulag thing, and try and find any robust, true, four year or graduate program on “peace studies.” You know, antiwar studies, teaching teachers or thinkers to pursue the antiwar ethos, the entire complicated message of getting war out of everything. There is no antiwar movement, and you will not find Peace Colleges, but you will find War Colleges, and you will find ROTC units on Jesuit campuses. Crocodile tears for mercenaries, and SEAL teams with knives and C4 explosives. This is our guy, our book seller, our celebrity, our pardoned fellow, our hero. Chief Petty Office Gallagher, US Navy:
Not in the brig long, for his murders of prisoners — see him wrist-cuffed?
And, it wouldn’t be Disneyland, La-La Land, America, without a murderer blessed by a wannabe murderer, Trump:
Other heroes —
Our boys in uniform —
Our girls, too —
Our women in civilian clothes running amok, running the racket — “How women took over the military-industrial complex: For the first time, the nation’s defense hierarchy is no longer dominated by men” !! Below — Donald Trump shakes hands with Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson as Chief Test Pilot Alan B. Norman watches during an event in July at the White House. Hewson is one of four women to serve atop four of the nation’s five largest defense contractors. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
President and CEO, Northrop Grumman
Effective Jan. 1, 2019
President and CEO, Lockheed Martin
Effective Jan. 1, 2013
Chairman and CEO, General Dynamics
Effective January 2013
President and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Effective February 2016
Undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment
Effective August 2017
Secretary of the Air Force
Effective May 16, 2017
Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration
Effective Feb. 22, 2018
Undersecretary of state for arms control and international security
Effective June 19, 2018
Amen! May they all go the way of the Dodo, and I mean that figuratively. Because we know what harsh minds they have, what machinations are brewing in their violent brains, and how their violent tendencies are washed away with Georgetown and Harvard university MBA’s/JD’s and through their rich lives and with their jet-setting ways, all part of the War is a Racket formula, updated AI and Drone and Pathogens and Satellite style.
Turned into this, thank goodness —
Ahh, Butler, stopping a coup against Roosevelt, against the elected (sic) president, and of course, a Bush in Hand is involved:
In 1934, a colossal claim reached the American news media: There had been a plot to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in favor of a fascist government. Supposedly in the works since 1933, the claims of the conspiracy came from a very conspicuous and reliable source: Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most decorated war heroes of his time. Even more unbelievable were his claims of who was involved in the plot – respected names like Robert Sterling Clark, Grayson M.P. Murphy, and Prescott Bush. While news media at the time mocked Butler’s story, recently discovered archives have revealed the truth behind Major General Butler’s claims. (light reading source)