Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Screw Iraq, Afghanistan & Gaza: Let's invade Detroit!

Returning from the 2010 Social Forum in Detroit, I saw several soldiers at the DTW airport, waiting for their flights. And once again I was struck by the thought that every American soldier seems to be a whole autonomous unit unto himself or herself. Every American soldier truly IS an "Army of One". Highly trained, efficient, skilled, confident and respectful -- these men and women in uniform are just the kind of people that Detroit really needs to get itself out of its slump. And every other city in America needs this caliber of person too.

So please tell me why, exactly, are these walking human resources being wasted way over on the other side of the world when their dedication and skill sets and -- let's face it -- salaries and healthcare benefits are so desperately needed here at home?

No, we don't need our soldiers' weapons skills in places like the Gulf Coast states or the Rust Belt. But we do need their dedication and heart.

We need the Marine Corps' skill sets. "The few, the proud." We really do. And we need that kind of bravery and willingness to get the job done here rather than there.

Second Marine Regiment in Al Anbar. Tarawa. "Keep Moving." I was there. I saw for myself what our Marines can do to help re-build a country.

We need our soldiers' ingenuity, dignity and courage here at home, helping to put America back on track -- not over in Afghanistan, not over in Iraq and not even over in Gaza -- where the corporatists who run America pay the cream of Israeli youth to do their dirty work for them, wasting their young lives being thugs to the brutal Occupation instead of being honorable men who refuse to shoot babies at point-blank range.

When I see a soldier at an airport, I just want to go up and hug him. Or her. You think that our boys aren't doing a good job? Then go see Sebastian Junger's new documentary movie "
Restrepo" (http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/restrepo/) That's the kind of ability and dedication I saw demonstrated again and again and again when I was in Iraq.

These guys are good.

But we need these men and women's dedication and skills here at home, not over on the other side of the world.

And we need to be paying these men and women to be using their skill sets here, in America, in civilian life -- in a job corps as well as a Marine Corps.

Screw bailouts for bankers, oil executives, Wall Street schemers and global corporations with no ties or loyalties to our country. They have done nothing with the money that Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama gave them except to use it to rip us off even more.

Let's take back all that money -- and give it to our returning soldiers instead. Let's fill up ALL of our airports with returning soldiers. We truly need this lost generation's abilities here at home. Now.

PS: While I was at the Social Forum representing the Free Palestine Movement, my booth was next to a booth manned by Peggy Logue and her husband. Logue is another dedicated Marine Mom. And she was selling her new book, "Skin in the Game," all about her Marine son's experiences in Haditha and her conflict between wanting to support her son's efforts and her moral obligation to try to stop the needless bloodshed caused by global corporate wars. "
Intense, raw, and profoundly honest, 'Skin in the Game' illustrates the human side of war and the daily struggle for peace." http://www.amazon.com/Skin-Game-Journey-Mother-Marine/dp/142692433X

At the Social Forum, I also talked with Kyle Kajihiro, a representative of the American Friends Service Committee (http://afschawaii.org) in Hawaii, and he told me how the entire Pacific Rim area has become just another highly-militarized "American Lake" -- to the benefit of global corporatists, not us.

Screw that.

We need skilled men and women here at home, not hunkering off somewhere in faraway places like Guam or Okinawa, defending rich people's interests -- not ours -- because that's the only job that our young men and women can get.

PPS: The Detroit airport is the only airport I have ever seen besides, of course, the Norita airport near Tokyo, where all signs are printed in both English and Japanese.