Spitting on Veterans

Tracked down the “Spitting on veterans” business.  Never made any sense to me.  I don’t remember anybody doing it, and can’t see why anybody like me would do it.  I might think veterans are not the brightest bulb in the box, or simple victims, but spitting on them or anybody else for their weaknesses isn’t cricket, no matter what I may think of what they may have done. 

Stiffed, by Susan Faludi discovered the origins of the rumor.  Vietnam-era veterans were far more political than the troops today.  First of all, they were mostly draftees.  Professional cadres, as we have today, consider it part of their job to be apolitical.  The German pre-WWII Heer took it as far as not being allowed to vote.  The Vietnam boys were always ready for protest, whether off-duty in their own era, or marching against the Iraq war today.

The people who spit on them were WWII veterans, who either considered them losers if parading with their units, or traitors, if protesting.  No matter how they suffered in a war — probably because of their suffering — soldiers support the war they were in.  Even today, Korean war veterans are appalled that anyone would negotiate with a Korean government, as though talking to what is perceived as the archetypal Monster betrays their own efforts as archetypal Heroes.  Women, of course, know that any male can be either Hero or Monster.  If we just talk to the Beast, the very thin skin that covers the Hero may sluff off.  It does no good, for us, to fights Beasts; that way lies dead women.

When we consider that most of the victims of all wars are and have always been women — maybe we should be doing more spitting on ALL the beasts.


One thought on “Spitting on Veterans

  1. It’s the pro-war people who are now calling the soldiers “boys,” or “kids,” as though anyone shoved through basic training and into a war zone has any childhood left. By age, they ARE children. But even the 6-year-olds being dragged into the wars in Africa are no longer children.

    War is what happens when both sides have screwed up. It’s the worst alternative, and usually has a long lead-up. It’s a struggle for resources and territory, with a thin veneer of Freedom or Democracy or even Protecting Our Women — whatever sounds good after the fact to keep it funded. It kills more than it can ever save — and it mostly kills women.

    No one’s protecting our country. We’re in the middle of a resource battle, and anybody who cooperates with us is viewed as a collaborator. Ask ourselves what would happen to anybody who collaborated with an invader in our own country — whether validly or not. What would WE do?

    At a pro-war gathering, Clear Channel used an 18-year-old Navy wife and her terror for her loved one as a barrier against discussion. When I went further along the overpass, many Navy family members at the protest hurried up to me and whispered their fears and asked what they their future might be, as though I could guide them any more than I could guide myself. All I could do was offer comfort.

    They looked over their shoulders in fear — a gesture the WWII Germans used to call “Der deutsche Blick,” or “German Glance.” Should Americans be looking over their shoulders because they’re afraid to talk?

    The troop cycle has just been upped to 15 months. They’re being issued amphetamines. Rice has called their injuries and deaths “acceptable by-product.”

    There are ways of getting one’s loved ones registered as conscientious objectors, before it’s too late — and it’s a rather complex process. Google it.

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