I’m diving in, since the complete set is only $9.99 on Amazon right now. What am I getting myself into?
Unlike my good friend Paul Elam, who is himself a US Army veteran, I do not believe the majority of wars America has fought in the last 75 or so years (the real ones, not the phony ones like the War On Drugs) have been fought for commerce or imperialism or any of those other things we commonly hear asserted in “liberal” and libertarian circles. Indeed, I find it incredibly naive to believe that any dictatorship anywhere in the world will not seize the first opportunity it has to create far more bloodshed than the US ever has if we cease most of our overseas operations. The world is filled with mass graves in places where great powers had the ability to do something and washed their hands and sighed and said these things were bad but did nothing but talk, and it is filled with hundreds of millions of people who lived because the USA acted instead of refusing to act.
There are those who disagree with me and draw a moral equivalence between what we do and what the likes of North Korea or Iran or China do and have done. They’ll tell you that World Communism was going to fix itself due to natural economic collapse–to which I can only say: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Right, and National Socialism would have also ended itself due to its own economic inefficiencies if no one had bothered to try to stop Hitler.
I will not argue this point further here, although I believe such beliefs dishonor those who actually have fought. The notion that the average American GI is an automaton indiscriminately slaughtering is misandrist garbage, and the notion that he has done no good with his service also dishonors him and his fellows, whether he says it of himself or not. There are hundreds of millions alive today who would not be thanks to GI Joe (the real one, not that goofy cartoon).
As a veteran on A Voice for Men recently commented:
I am not a warrior of imperialism nor were the family members who literally DID die in a war over freedom and evil in Europe and Asia.
I will simply celebrate the memory and wash the head stones of my sacred bretheren today.
Of course there are veterans who disagree with this. There are others who agree strongly, nowhere near as often heard from in our maintsream media, but many of them are men (and let’s face it, it’s virtually all men we’re talking about here, although some women have served with honor) who are rightly proud of their work. The right to such disagreement and debate as to the causes and justifications for war are woven into the fabric of a free society, which we still are–although at times I wonder how much longer that will be, as enemies domestic not foreign eat away at the civil and human rights that should be the very core of our nation’s values.
In any case, today we have reached an unprecedented level of suicide among America’s veterans. As Paul Elam notes and Forbes Magazine confirms, America’s veterans are now killing themselves at a rate of 22 per day. This is a horror we seem not to wish to face as a nation: at no time in our history has such an epidemic of suicides (virtually all of them male, as suicide in general is primarily a male problem, especially in the military) among those who have fought for their country. Yet there are fewer veterans in total number than previous generations of veterans and they have frequently never experienced horrors as great as seen in conflicts such as World War II or Korea; indeed, they are generally better educated, better housed, receive better medical care, and are less likely to be killed in action than any generation of veterans ever has been.
These suicides of our veterans cannot be due to “the horrors of combat.” To be blunt, not only is that a horrific and sexist stereotype about men who have served in combat, but most combat veterans of previous generations saw far more carnage that the vast majority of our Soldiers today ever will. They are killing themselves because they come home to find lives of devastation, not because the horrors of war are particularly worse today than ever.
The numbers tell the tale: 22 a day at home, 1 a day abroad. Something’s wrong when they get back here, and that is one of our great national failings.
IF you are a veteran who is homeless, destitute, despondent, alone, and/or being crushed by our horribly misandrist “criminal justice” and our sexist, abusive, civil-rights-trashing family court system, and our deeply male-hostile economy and male-hostile social safety net, please know I honor you for your service, and I am sorry for what has been done to you when you returned home.
And regardless of your situation, whether desperate or good, and regardless of whether we agree politically or not, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service and your sacrifice. And I pledge to continue to work to try to make it better for those of you who have been so ill-treated when you returned.
In fact, Bush did a little better (but not in a statistically significant way).
As someone who voted for both men (although I did not vote Obama in 2008, I did in 2012) I can only snicker. Most Presidents have sucky second terms. I will just enjoy watching the smug come off of some of the faces of the rabid Bush-haters. It will remain to be seen in the legacy of history of course; anyone who thinks they can really evaluate a President until he’s been out of office at least a few terms is fooling himself.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
Warren Farrell, author of “Women Can’t Hear What Men Don’t Say” and “The Myth of Male Power” joins us this episode to talk about the crisis in boys’ education, the need for real Men’s Studies programs unpolluted by ideology, the futility of arguing with feminists, and more. Join us to listen in, or call in with your own questions, as two historic figures, Erin and Warren, talk about past, present, and future especially as regards boys and men.
Join us Saturday 14 July at 11am Central (4pm London) time.
Click RIGHT HERE to find the show!
This video uses sounds from freesound:
Sound 1: http://freesound.org/people/OttoRecV8/
Sound 3: http://freesound.org/people/asdftekno/
Sound 6: http://freesound.org/people/cognito%20perceptu/
Sound 4: http://freesound.org/people/feveran/
Sound 5: http://freesound.org/people/Vicces1212/
Sound 2: http://freesound.org/people/Kasatchok/
Sound 7: http://freesound.org/people/OttoRecV8/
Click RIGHT HERE to find the show!
Hope you’ll all join us this Saturday at 11am Eastern!
Philip’s latest book is “When Women Sexually Assault Men, The Hidden Side of Rape, Stalking, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Assault,” advertised here:
Next weekend we will be interviewing Dr. Warren Farrell. An exciting month for Revelations with Erin Pizzey!
Click here to access this week’s show. (Reminder: it will air on Saturday.)
Hope you’ll join us on Saturday, and hope you’ll buy Philip W. Cook’s book.
Brian’s got a cool infographic up.
“PTSD” my ass. A few suffer that, yes, but if anyone thinks that’s the main problem they’re kidding themselves.