November 11, 2007

War loving veteran's day parade.

All vets are welcome, except those who oppose Bush's wars.

Organizers of the Denver Veteran's Day parade refused to allow several anti-war veteran groups to participate.

Even if you risked your life and made enormous sacrifices to serve, you better just shut up if you want to be recognized for it.

Iraq and Afghanistan vets were denied permission to participate in the Long Beach, California Veteran's Day parade as well. At least those who don't approve the "war".

A caption under a picture of a few anti-war vets:
James Dasinger, right, and Jason Lemieux, both members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, watch the 11th annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade on Saturday. The group was not allowed to participate in the parade. Dasinger is an Air Force veteran and Lemieux is a Marine veteran.
Another article on this story notes that Lemieux has served three tours of duty in Iraq.

From the article:
The groups on Saturday morning approached 9th District City Councilman Val Lerch, chairman of the parade committee, in a final effort to participate. Lerch, however, said the parade line-up was set for this year.

"They stood peacefully and honored our veterans," said Lerch, whose 9th District includes the parade route. "And I thank them very much for that."

WHAT THE HELL!!!!!?????? "...stood peacefully and honored our veterans." ???!!!!!!

They ARE veterans!

Can this idiotic statement be taken in any other way than to suggest that those who weren't allowed into the parade somehow aren't actual veterans? That they're not our veterans?

Those who are patriotic enough to try to stop something they know is wrong from first hand experience aren't "our veterans"?

Lerch should be horsewhipped.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Yinn for observing that apparently it's only acceptible for Veterans Day to be about the supposed glory of war, but never about the true cost of it.

In other words, a big fairy tale for the benefit of the public to foster and continue a state of mass denial about the horror and aftermath of war. How many more years can they live on the last just war, WWII?

ADDENDUM: Another article in the Press-Telegram which touches on some pro and con arguments on denying anti-war vets the chance to be recognized. There are some EXCELLENT comments left by readers which I recomend reading (click on the "share your comments" link below the article. The level of comments in Long Beach show just how shamefully ignorant and stupid online commenters in this area are for the most part.

Within the piece is a crucial bit of information could be easily overlooked. It turns out this parade was sponsored by Paramount Petroleum Corporation, which donated $10,000. Gee. But they'd never promote sending soldiers to their deaths to secure oil-rich territory.

This lends credence to the absurd notion that being anti-war is considered being "too political", while being pro-war isn't. Why?

The piece again contains an all too telling quote from Lerch.
"They voted unanimously to exclude a group, believing it had a political agenda," said Lerch, whose 9th District includes the parade route. "And I agree with the board's actions. For 11 years, this has been a parade to honor and support this nation."

The city did offer to set up a designated area near the parade, he said, where groups can stand and hold up signs.

"They can stand on the corner with signs all they want," said Lerch, a veteran who served 24 years with the U.S. Coast Guard. "They're not honoring those people by protesting."

Are those against this misguided and costly war "honoring those people"? I certainly think so, perhaps even more than those who excluded them.

The piece also notes an inarguable legal fact.
However, City Attorney Bob Shannon on Wednesday said the parade committee is a private, non-profit organization, and therefore reserves the right to choose its participants.
Which doesn't make it any less a disgrace they decided to exclude any vets from a Veteran's Day parade.

This reminds me in a grim way of a classic from "The Simpsons" where Grandpa Simpson and other elderly vets sat at the bar and told lies about their war service at the VPW... the Veterans of Popular Wars.

ADDENDUM: One quarter of all homeless are Vets.


At 11/11/2007 3:48 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

Something similar happened on Memorial Day with us. A local peace group got entry into the parade to walk solemnly in a line with each member holding part of a rope hung with photographs of the Illinois troops who have been killed in Iraq. But at the entrance of the park where the community gathered to hear speeches and music, we were denied entry while the Sousa-playing bands got in with no problem.

The attitude seemed to be that the "glory" of war was OK but the grief was a political statement. I suspect, however, that if it had been the American Legion holding the display there would have been no problem with entry.

In effect, they refused entry to the dead soldiers. One of the photographs was held by the young man's mother. Shame on them.

At 11/11/2007 4:40 PM, Anonymous Blue Kansas said...

I am reminded of the wheelchair-bound veterans who protested the Vietnam War at Nixon's second Republican Convention in Miami Beach, 1972. The guards actually spat upon them and prosecuted several for peaceful demonstrations (all were exonerated). See Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail.

Today's soldier is NOT defending my freedom. If he were, he would be in Washington, not Baghdad.


At 11/11/2007 5:11 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

I can tell you that many of the mainstream vets orgs have been doing this exclusion since at least '04.

At least one of the major vets orgs "magazines" publishes neocolonialist propaganda from a "think tank" right outta Wolfy's PDA "things to do today--Bomb Iran"

I should add proudly that VVA NEVER does this.

At 11/19/2007 9:33 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Why don't you ask the people who are in uniform and serving now: "Who is doing a better job supporting you: A) the VFW and the 'traditional' patriotic groups or B) the Veterans Against the War and the anti-war protestors?"

I could be wrong, but I'll bet they go with the first one.

At 11/20/2007 7:12 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Depends on what you mean by support. If you mean wearing all patriotic hoo-haw you can find and slapping bumpter stickers and magnets on your SUV and talking bullshit, then yeah, VFW all the way I'd imagine.

But if you're talking about guys and women who KNOW what it's like and are trying to protect their fellow soldiers and ensure that they don't get killed or maimed for some absolutely worthless cause, then I'd go with the other groups.

Both outfits work to ensure that soldiers get what they have coming, both active duty and after service.


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