This is a pretty weak and naive argument. It assumes that the “solemn commemoration” precludes dissent, or that if a war is so blatantly wrong that “commemoration” doesn’t involve some sort of call to “snap out of it” and quit being political cowards, and speak up
Despite the shortcomings of the Legion, however, its anger over what Edwards is doing will resonate more broadly. His call to protest risks offending the sensibilities of everyone who believes the holiday should be solemnly commemorative rather than politically noisy. Even many vets who have come to despise the Bush administration believe that antiwar displays on that day are at best insensitive, reviving bad memories of the Vietnam era.
“reviving bad memories of the Vietnam era?” Does “commemoration also involve the whitewashing of past sins? Who is this author kidding? I usually like what Joe Conasan has to say. But what better time to set a contrast to unquestioning allegiance than to do so when too much “celebrating” and not enough repentance and change of course is happening?
And war protest is not to be dismissed as “politically noisy”. There are lives at stake. Even more so those of people in another country. And what can we say of those who have us fighting this war? Is this not the ultimate in “politically noisy”? It’s politically apocalyptic. It’s a disaster. “Noise” Mr Conasan? Surely this needs to be thoroughly explored on today of all days.
Now I’m a pacifist. But even those who justify some wars must realize that not all wars fit that “justifiable” criteria, and this is just one of those glaring examples, and so if we’re going to honor veterans, isn’t the illegitimacy of a war in the minds of a majority of the nation a justifiable circumstance for national reckoning and assessment? And just because we are repeating the Vietnam mistakes does not give us permission to avoid “reviving bad memories”. That sin, along with this one, is this country’s doing. This country elected these criminals and warmongers. We dropped the bomb on Japan, twice. And now we’re telling other countries they can’t be trusted with nuclear technology. And the supporters of that mass murder justify it on the basis of THEORIES about how the Japanese WOULD have done this or that, and so PREEMPTION was the only option.
The justifications we build for unleashing massive evil is a part of that evil system that keeps feeding upon itself. “Wars to end wars” and “wars to avoid worse wars” are amazing contradictions. “This is the only language THEY understand”. Sounds like it is the only language ANYBODY understands, and yet the justifications continue, and Jesus is ignored by Christians who in the end acquiesce to the bankrupt philosophy of redemptive violence.