The Flag Waving Problem (was Re: [sixties-l] Fixing the Problems of Who Owns the Sixties )

From: drieux (
Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 13:06:37 EST

  • Next message: drieux: "[sixties-l] Which AntiWar?"

    On Wednesday, November 14, 2001, at 12:18 , Ted Morgan wrote:
    > Given this life-venture, it always feels uncomfortable, or like a
    > betrayal of sorts, when some who seemed to be on this venture now seem
    > to have stepped off. That, it seems to me, is what's behind the
    > however-far-its-carried discussion about folks like Todd Gitlin who now
    > writes rather tamely critical, system-supportive stuff. Still, to my
    > mind, this means carry on the dialogue, don't dismiss and abandon -that
    > does seem a bit 'stuck-in-the-60s.' In the piece Radman circulated, for
    > example, Gitlin speaks of his having "written passionately against
    > [Arundhati] Roy's views in recent weeks, and I vigorously disagree with
    > Kingsolver about the flag" --since I think Roy's writing is on the money
    > (as well as marvelous writing), and I liked Kingsolver's piece about the
    > flag, I'd like to hear more (where did he write this?). What is it
    > about Roy's view that Gitlin feels is "wrong-headed"? But that's a
    > question of discussion, debate & argument, etc. More rather than less
    > of that is a good thing, don't you think?

    Without Argument, this whole 'flag waving thing' SHOULD be a matter of
    more rather than less - especially since what we are talking about is
    what does this symbol really stand for, which is one level of indirection
    away from 'so what does being an american really mean' - and hence the
    still unpleasant problems of actually implementing that indirection.

    half the reason that I became as Militantly Out about being a
    rests upon the complete assininity floating around in the USA about what
    notion should mean. The loonies of the Left had their Opinion, and the
    rankorous of the right, ever ready to protect me from THEM, got into a
    foot shooting contest during the eighties and nineties over who was more
    of a draft dodger than whom.

    So while for some, the whole pleasant 'oh, let us all just have this
    big hug fest' that comes on with the marketting schpeel about jumping
    off the ledge into the desperate need to 'rally round the flag' may
    help those who want to violate every possible writing of the flag
    protection ammendment to the constitution as they start shilling
    ProPatria Products - maybe now is a good time to sit back and have
    that irrational collection of debates, again, about whether it is
    the reference or the thing referred to that is important.

    My housemate ruth was wondering if I had a flag, since she sorta
    wanted to run up the flag, as a part of it all, and I pointed out
    that the only one i have, I sewed onto the back of my denim colours
    that i wear over the obligatory black leather jacket, so folks KNOW
    which club i rode with.

    While working with this problem, of course, I finally was able to
    get it out of my system,

            "My DD214 beats your flag waving patriotism any day."

    and we joked about marketting,

            "Got DD214?"

    to help folks re-awaken the debate another way around.

    I of course have as much respect for the Peace Corp Types and even some
    of the folks like David Harris, who did what they had to do, in
    service to country, well above those who like to mouth their Pro-Military
    stand, and never put it together that given the current crisis, and
    the reality check that even with the combined factors of an economic
    down turn and a RealWar[tm] no one in the administration wants to
    fire up the draft to fill in the manpower requirements for Homeland
    Security. So hey kids, what about this, since when we as a Nation
    have been so 'clearly attacked' - and the government is not going
    to fire up the Draft, least they traumatize the nice liberal suburban
    crowd who would otherwise be buying ProPatriaProducts, why not, as a
    part of the whole SavingOurPreciousResourcesForTheWar, just simple
    unfund and unmandate the whole selective service registration process?

    Given the wide plethora of FlagCrap on the market now, and the complete
    failure of any of the broad sweep of idiots being 'patriotic' - why not
    also just come out and openly state that the US Government is NOT going
    to waste any more of the Tax Payer's Dollars on Idiotic Flag Protection
    Constitutional Ammendments?

    Why we might even mandate:

            "Actions Not Emblems."

    as a basis for resolving one's patriotism.

    On the flip side of that problem is this 'Question Authority' - which
    who has ever stood Guard Mount will remind you is ONE of the eleven
    orders of a Sentry. Those who have been through the "Personal Reliability
    Program" also notice that one can not simply blindly follow orders,
    they are appropriately authenticated. And as every member of the military
    has learned, through god alone only knows how many times in 'General
    Training' - "simply following orders" is not a part of the acceptable
    against violations of the UCMJ - which, as you will note from reading the
    FM 27-10 Series, includes the laws and conventions of modern warfare.

    So the fact that the civilian community has opted to rip this piece of
    our heritage off, and make a trendy slogan out of it, only to confuse
    those who have never stood guard mount, nor read the laws of land
    or been through the Personal Reliability Program, who want to think that
    this is some 'liberal agenda item' - well, I guess we should sorta chaulk
    all of that up to the complete failure of the last 30+ years of public
    education in a culture where we were not recycling a reasonable
    of the american population through the military.

    Or in short - all of this sounds like a clear problem that the civilian
    community is just gonna have to work out how they wish to embark upon
    their own form of 'constructive engagement' - not merely with their
    own government, but with the various governmental and NGO's around the
    big bad world out there.

    So excuse me while I keep demanding that

            Civilians STOP SUPPORTING SCAB LABOR

    war is far too complex a process to be left in the hands of mere
    political hacks, ideological demagouges, and every little scab
    who wants to improve his personal position by engaging in acts
    of war with or without approval by a legitimate government.

    Maybe then we can get past the current rev of sheer folly, where folks
    are still thinking in idiotic terms of 'wars of national liberation' as
    well as the confusion that patriotism is something that gets doled out
    for military service. Granted that would mean finding a way to prevent
    the next round of Cheychna, Sierra Leone, Congo, Bosnia, Macedonia,
    Afghanistan, the list just wanders, as some new excuse is developed
    for why our armed collection should be suppressing/liberating the
    US v. Them....

    At which point wars will be left to professionals alone. And on
    behalf of the Union Label, let me make it clear,

            Nothing Screws Up a Liberty Call like a WAR.

    Next we work out some method for the civilians to feel all warm and
    fuzzy about being ProPatria. Flag Waving, Cool. Vicious and Rude
    Political Infighting with taunting fighting words, Ok, if no other
    method is available. Scab Laboring for War - NOT AN OPTION!



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