Friday, February 17, 2006

So Much For Good Wars

As you may have heard, the student leaders at the University of Washington have refused to authorize the building of a memorial for deceased alumnus Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, one of the top American fighter aces of World War II. It has oft been said by all sorts of people, from liberal newsman Tom Brokaw to liberal historians like Steven Ambrose, that World War II was a good war fought by the alleged "greatest" generation of Americans. Not so to those currently in charge of memorials at the University of Washington, for them there is no such thing as a good war, to them Boyington's heroics boil down to him being just some guy who killed a lot of people (he had 26 confirmed kills).

The students attempted to justify this injustice in any number of ways, one claiming that a member of the marine corps was not what the University of Washington was looking to produce. Yet another claimed the University of Washington had already erected enough monuments to "rich white men." Even those not ultimately hostile to a Boyington monument wanted him recognized for his "sacrifice" and "service" as opposed to his positive achievement of destroying a great number of enemy planes, earning the Congressional Medal of Honor, or enduring the final 20 months of the war as a prisoner of the Japanese. Even the ultimate "good" war, turns out to be just as bad as every war, because people were killed. This context dropping and disintegrated thinking is alarming and sad. The Japanese attacked us, Hitler declared war on us, we defended ourselves and in the process individuals distiguished themselves heroically defending their country against some of the gravest totalitarians of the 20th century.

The pantheon of these heroes makes for a long list, just some of the names on that list include, Audie Murphy, Chuck Yeager, Jimmy Stewart, Joe Kennedy Jr., Chester Nimitz, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Pappy Boyington. We celebrate these heroes, not just because they excelled at killing enemy soldiers and out-maneuvering enemy generals (though they did this), but because without their heoric efforts our country may not have prevailed. Thus we come to the actual reason for refusing a monument to one of these heroes. They don't want American to win. They don't want America to prevail. To them America is perhaps the biggest mistake in the world. It is America that is responsible for 1) Indian holocaust, 2) racism and slavery, 3) Puritanism, 4) worker exploitation, 5) environmental rape, 6) the mass extinction of animals, 7) global warming, 8) dropping two atom bombs, 9) invading countries for oil, 10) stealing the southwest from Mexico, 11) using "free trade" to expropriate the wealth of developing countries, 12) oppressing women, 13) oppessing chickens, 14) having too big a gap between richest and poorest, 15) not taxing rich people enough, 16) taxing poor people too much, 17) not nationalizing companies, 18) paying companies too many subsidies, 19) supporting the world bank and IMF and making loans to poor countries, 20) requiring poor countries to pay back loans, 21) giving money to autocratic governments in Africa, 22) not giving enough money to autocratic governments in Africa for AIDS, this list could go on forever. Clearly America is, as one enemy has deemed, "the Great Satan." Honoring anyone who allowed such a country to go on existing would be perverse.

The students at the University of Washington are hopeless, mired in so much PC mental garbage that any of them climbing out of it will be a truly heroic act. But I wouldn't count on it. I suspect Boyington would prefer no monument until the students understand and appreciate why they are building it and why Boyington risked his life in the skies over the Pacific.

9 comments:

Nicholas Provenzo said...

You might want to take a look at the pro-Boyington letter I drafted at the Rule of Reason (http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com). Over 115 Marine Corps veterans signed it before it was delivered to the University community.

Alexander said...

Nice response from the school, idiots.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

I know. You gotta see this though--http://exposetheleft.net/video/scarpappy.wmv

It's an interview with one of the students--I blog about it at ROR.

--Nick

Alexander said...

About as sickening as it gets. Nice to see the reemergence of the "American industrialists to blame for the rise of Hitler" argument that characterized communist propaganda in the days before the Soviet-Nazi pact. I'm sure Washingtonians (particularly outside of the Seattle area) are pleased to know they are "educating" scumbags like that guy.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

I know--it's awe inspiring . . .ten bucks the kid has an "A" average from his sociology professors . . .

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toddfboyle said...

Alexander your rant is an amalgam of so many things, I don't know where to stick my fork in. Obviously it reflects more about your beliefs than Baptiste's. (and that's fine.)

Decisions to build monuments ought to be evaluated prospectively, based on whether it delivers benefits or costs or harms to the real stakeholders -- the thousands of people who will experience this thing. You're actually imposing on them a message, an experience without their consent.

Can you go along with this? I will admit that many monuments are a gesture coming out of emotions for the past, i.e. an expression of the minds of a bunch of people, in the present time, but looking backwards.
That's fine if they do it in their private location but YOU are imposing it on a future public. SO lets get this out in the open and duke it out. The burden of proof is on YOU that this benefits THEM.

During the era of history when ground warfare grew ever larger and more industrialized, the contenders for power and sovereignty (i.e. western governments) quite naturally learned to develop and sustain martial qualities in the populations. That seems to be exactly what Scarborough is doing -- broadcasting complimentary and positive images of the military, broadcasting his "thanks" for the military, and so forth.

Far better you all should wake up and abandon this particular crusade, since the proliferation of nuclear weapons, there will never again be any massive, ground-based industrial war of attrition.

The characteristics you're sustaining, maintaining in the culture (obedience, bravery, willingness to die for a cause, pledges to flags and nationalism, support for enormous military industrial complex, etc.) are not only useless in our national or personal security: they are actively harming it.

You are the ones who are treasonous, You are the ones who are betraying the real interests of this country. You are the oppressors of freedom and liberty. The military is *slavery*. Justify that, please. The military's oppression of Lt. Watada is only the latest example that our military enforces obedience above conscience. When a man subordinates his moral judgment to obey the command of another man, that is subhuman, demeaning and dangerous to us all.

You all have a lot to learn about life. Almost the entire right-wing talk radio are NOT even veterans, let alone combat veterans. Most of them have no 2nd language or even traveled outside the United States---they are experts only at flattering and soaping their victims, the narcissitic and self-absorbed segments of the public.

Again there are huge flaws in your whole regime, for example, you worship military tradition above the rule of law. Article 6 of the constitution requires all Americans obey treaties ratified by congress. We have *numerous* treaties not to invade other peoples countries. Yet, our unprincipled and treasonous military including your glorious Marines, are occupying two countries in the middle east and have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. They killed over 2 million completely innocent Vietnamese and Cambodians. They killed hundreds of thousands in Central America by proxy. Korea, Lebanon, where does it stop. It has all been illegal.

Sayyyy. Where are you, on a rule of law? I should have asked.

Kind regards,
Todd

Todd Boyle said...

Alexander your rant is an amalgam of so many things, I don't know where to stick my fork in. Obviously it reflects more about your beliefs than Baptiste's. (and that's fine.)

Decisions to build monuments ought to be evaluated prospectively, based on whether it delivers benefits or costs or harms to the real stakeholders -- the thousands of people who will experience this thing. You're actually imposing on them a message, an experience without their consent.

Can you go along with this? I will admit that many monuments are a gesture coming out of emotions for the past, i.e. an expression of the minds of a bunch of people, in the present time, but looking backwards.
That's fine if they do it in their private location but YOU are imposing it on a future public. SO lets get this out in the open and duke it out. The burden of proof is on YOU that this benefits THEM.

During the era of history when ground warfare grew ever larger and more industrialized, the contenders for power and sovereignty (i.e. western governments) quite naturally learned to develop and sustain martial qualities in the populations. That seems to be exactly what Scarborough is doing -- broadcasting complimentary and positive images of the military, broadcasting his "thanks" for the military, and so forth.

Far better you all should wake up and abandon this particular crusade, since the proliferation of nuclear weapons, there will never again be any massive, ground-based industrial war of attrition.

The characteristics you're sustaining, maintaining in the culture (obedience, bravery, willingness to die for a cause, pledges to flags and nationalism, support for enormous military industrial complex, etc.) are not only useless in our national or personal security: they are actively harming it.

You are the ones who are treasonous, You are the ones who are betraying the real interests of this country. You are the oppressors of freedom and liberty. The military is *slavery*. Justify that, please. The military's oppression of Lt. Watada is only the latest example that our military enforces obedience above conscience. When a man subordinates his moral judgment to obey the command of another man, that is subhuman, demeaning and dangerous to us all.

You all have a lot to learn about life. Almost the entire right-wing talk radio are NOT even veterans, let alone combat veterans. Most of them have no 2nd language or even traveled outside the United States---they are experts only at flattering and soaping their victims, the narcissitic and self-absorbed segments of the public.

Again there are huge flaws in your whole regime, for example, you worship military tradition above the rule of law. Article 6 of the constitution requires all Americans obey treaties ratified by congress. We have *numerous* treaties not to invade other peoples countries. Yet, our unprincipled and treasonous military including your glorious Marines, are occupying two countries in the middle east and have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. They killed over 2 million completely innocent Vietnamese and Cambodians. They killed hundreds of thousands in Central America by proxy. Korea, Lebanon, where does it stop. It has all been illegal.

Sayyyy. Where are you, on a rule of law? I should have asked.

Kind regards,
Todd

Alexander said...

Todd, responding to your rant almost seems pointless. Not only do you presume a whole host of things about my beliefs which are unwarranted and unsubstantiated (i.e. connecting me to the current government, the current administration, right-wing talk radio, etc.)

But respect for the military which defends a free republic and maintains our government, constituted as it was 217 years ago to ensure our individual rights, is (or should be anyway) normal of the citizens of that republic who benefit and could very easily be in that army or be close to those who are. This predates the industrialized mass warfare of the 20th century. Heroes of the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, Indian Wars, and the Spanish-American War were revered long before any of the bloodbaths of the 20th century and numerous statues and monuments stand as testaments to that, all over the country. Recognizing the heroics of a warrior in WWII is perfectly in keeping with that. Now, I will agree with you perfectly about a whole host of issues relating to contemporary military usage, policy, etc. but that does not mean we abandon honoring our heroes of the past. The military as such is not at fault for the whole host of ills you cite, the civilian leadership and the ideas they operate under (liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican) is. They direct the policy and issue the orders, they decide what is the national interest and then use the military to secure that interest. The irrationality of government policy and leadership from the late 19th century onward is the culprit for whatever ills you would like to point to, the military by itself is incapable of ever doing such things pursuant to the constitution, Articles 1 & 2. Now, you obviously don't care for war as such at all, regardless of context. That's perfectly ok as far as you go, but for the rest of us who live in reality and realize that not everyone in the world is a pie-in-sky idealist who likes to deal in floating abstractions like yourself, there is the slight problem that people would like to destroy our republic through force. Even if we confess past sins and ask for absolution from our enemies do you really think they will say, "Oh, ok, that's all we really wanted"? They deal in death and death is what we must give them is we want to live and live the way freedom and liberty (even heavily hampered by innumberable state interventions) have allowed us to. So you will have to excuse the rest of us, Todd, for erecting monuments to those who risked their lives or died trying to do that on our behalf.

Goodday, sir.