Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Of Duty and Honor - the responsiblities of Citizens and Soldiers.

The Unapologetic Mexican:
"IT IS REMARKABLE, this spirit we inherit, this blood we inherit, these dreams and these roads that we wake to find wound around our wrists and across our cheeks like war paint, like sleeplines, like shooting stars tattooed as gentle but indelible reminders. We are children for so long. Our desaturated comic strips blow into pulpy confetti clouds of memory and the palms open to reveal magenta astral charts...alien and familiar all at once. Nameless glyphs that reappear. Faultlines and gold-laden veins that bleed through old tests and texts and packaging slips. Emerald grit upon the fingertips. The voice that sings the moon to sleep reprises her reminders in the secrets that we speak. Drafts of warm air, cool lilac exhalations, and sunset's shadow. Desert sun and greyhound buses and memories of a home you've never touched with your hands."
Daayaam, that's fine writing; goes down like a stubby of Bohemian after a hot day riding a stuker and tossing bales of wet alfalfa - which is what blogging feels like some days, and no Bohemian pilsner to be found here in Reno.

This blog is a challenge and a joy - for I have to say that while it is beautiful, it's template needs a little tweaking for those of us who cannot read six point gold type on a parchment background.

But unlike most pretty blogs - it's worth highlighting or even fuzting with your browser text settings. That was a pretty post. But this is Graphictruth, where pretty is valued only to the extent that it helps the blade of truth slip between the ribs of ignorance.

So check this out.

You forge of your self a dull weapon.

PERHAPS A READER cannot readily agree with the stance of holding soldiers personally accountable for aiding such massive crimes as the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps even though it is made clear to us in everything from time-worn fables to Self-Help books to music lyrics to television shows to age old films to mama's words to our own inner urging—that each person in life is born alone, dies alone, and in the meantime, must stand up and be counted for what they have lent their hand to while here—we still imagine somehow that culpability for anything from kidnapping to assault and battery to murder is mitigated and even nullified, nay—justified, by immersing the self into a collective such as the military. Those who argue as much enable the State to carry out unmentionable crimes and and will do so for the end of time, justifying such dangerous and indiscriminate allegiance by arguing that the cohesion of their nation-state justifies all. These are the people who hand over their will and thought with but a slight gesture, and so they are that oppressive State. They forfeit the discernment and skepticism and autonomy necessary to mark one as a reasonable individual and they do it for a song, for a mediocre fee, for a fable, for a fluffed-up casus belli. For these people, even questioning the codified if unspoken set of rules that make these wars possible is taboo, after a point. And yet those who hold this ideology see fit, somehow, to bemoan the wars waged by the greedy elite when it is only their own ideology of Human as Mindless Tool that makes these wars a reality.

Please tell me why should I not form a militia, or my own government? My own group of people who decide upon a book of laws? Why are they, then, not justified in killing where killing would otherwise be thought a crime? Because they are not your gang? Yes. And that is all. So at least we can be clear on that. There is no great morality that can be defended by any nation, and especially one that operates on the dictums the US does and engages in the hypocrisies that she historically has.


There is no such thing as Liberty and Democracy, nor Freedom when you seek dispensation of same from a Government. Because in the end, those glorious ideals and speeches and laws will be communicated with steel and blood and agony and murder, and based on reasons you may or may not agree with. Just as we see now. Just as we have seen in the past. Just as we will see again. For there is no law of society but force. Everything else is a conditional addendum. And to loan your body and will and force to the State—and unconditionally—is to forego your humanity and forge of your self a dull weapon.


A dramatic - and damnably accurate assessment of the current situation. Nonetheless, I do support the troops. Not because I support the war, or even the supposed intent behind the war. I support their survival, so that they may internalize the experience of being cynically used as if they were Janissaries instead of free citizen-soldiers. I also remind all US Soldiers of their nearly unique oath of service - to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic."

I remind everyone that in supporting the troops, we are supporting fellow citizens in dire straits that are not of their choosing, and if many do not have the courage to take a principled stand such as First Lieutenant Ehren Watada it's due to having families to support - or due to what their friends and families would say. Sadly, many are willing to do wrong in order to be seen as "doing the right thing" by those who do not know better.

If they are unaware - as many are - as to their rights and duties as Citizen-Soldiers under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the Constitution of the United States, it's our duty to find out and tell them. They are kinda, well, busy.

So my support to them is specific and limited to doing what is needful to survive. I discourage adventurous heroism. Dead heroes can't vote. I suggest that every non-citizen in US service who wishes to do so, pursue the citizenship they have - in my humble opinion - earned in the most honorable possible way.

But I'd also suggest requesting written orders for any actions that could be considered a war crime. Hell. in this clusterfuck, get written orders for everything, and make multiple copies, especially if related to combat injuries. Funny how hard it is for the VA to find such things.

Most of all, come back alive, in as close to original condition of issue as possible, and rejoin civilian life as an armed, dangerous and motivated citizen voter. We will help, and that, too, is Supporting the Troops.

And hey, we may need you, should it become clear that it's time for a Constitutional Convention.

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nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez said...

i appreciate what you're saying here. thank you.

i hope you don't take my response too harshly over at my blog. what you have to factor in (or not, but if you would like to understand) is that i deal with the same denials and faulty lines of reasoning (as i see it, granted) over and over and over and over again. and i especially get irked when i hear them as if they are brand new and with a whiff of condescension.

so i appreciate that you are into "graphic truth." perhaps you will suss out the truth, even if you disagree with some.


you can tweak the styles and font sizes on my blog. try here.

and also, I support the troops' survival. but not at the cost of innocent lives that were invaded for a lie.

Bob King said...

I prefer style fourteen, but still wish you'd make the comment text a little darker in the "primo" settings. I ENJOY the pretty stuff.

"and also, I support the troops' survival. but not at the cost of innocent lives that were invaded for a lie."

I agree and disagree. I think that holding soldiers accountable for the logical consequences of a war - and often the logical consequences of personally surviving such a war - amounts to shifting the blame from where it should lie. The Prez LOVES being referred to as "Commander in Chief" - and since he does, I think he should be judged for the consequences of his decisions in that capacity.

Oh, and lots of people signed up in order to defend this nation. The fact that they are innocent of the truth in that regard does not make them less innocent, or less ill-used.

I think it's up to us to get them out, and up to us to do what we can to support them, help them and keep them safe until then, and after that.

We were all asleep at the switch post 9/ll, that, or intimidated, or feeling helpless - and we allowed evil to run unchecked.

And even if you or I are some exception - it's still our duty to do exactly what we should do if we were not.


nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez said...

agreed on the IMPEACH. i think it is absolutely necessary.

i agree that the "War Pigs" at the top of the heap deserve the true criminal procedure and blame for their dirty deeds. yet, i feel the truth of the nuremburg trials in my bones: following orders does not excuse us from our deeds, nor the moral consequences.

i'm glad we can disagree on some points and remain reasonable.

Bob King said...

Hm, I think we agree in essence on this one. One thing I do believe - and double-check this with any Iraq or Vietnam vet you care to - nobody gets out of such wars alive without consequences. This is why I'm more bullish on ensuring the trials focus on those who think they got away with something.


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