Hero of War

July 11, 2009

One of the advantages of living in Buffalo is that we are in sthe reception area for Toronto’s 102.1 radio station. It is/was the Lovely Lettuce’s favie station. And I think it is pretty good in an psuedo-alternative sort of way.
Any old way, I digress. A few days ago, I heard a song by Rise Against that I loved. Although to be accurate, I loved the song before I knew it was Rise Against.

Embedding is disabled for this video so you will have to go to youtube to watch it.

I think it is a great anti-war song that shows compassion and understanding for the soldiers fighting in the name of our flag. It doesn’t accuse or judge.

He said
“Son…Have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say
If I said that you could.”

Just carry this gun.
You’ll even get paid.”
I said
“That sounds pretty good.

Black leather boots
Spit shined so bright
They cut off my hair
But it looks alright
We marched and we sang
We all became friends
As we learned how to fight

A hero of war
Yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home
They’ll be damn proud of me

I’ll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it’s a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

I kicked in the door
I yelled my commands
The children they cried
But I got my man
We took him away
A bag over his face
From his family and his friends

They tookoff his clothes
They pissed in his hands
I told them to stop
But then I joined in
We beat him with guns
And batons not just once
But again and again

A hero of war
Yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home
They’ll be damn proud of me

I’ll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it’s a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

She walked
Through bullets and haze
I asked her to stop
I begged her to stay
But she pressed on
So i lifted my gun
And i fired away

And the shells jumped
Through the smoke
And into the sand
That the blood now had soaked
She collapsed
With a flag in her hand
A flag white as snow

A hero of war
Is that what they see
Just medals and scars
So damn proud of me

And I brought home that flag
Now it gathers dust
But it’s a flag that I love
It’s the only flag I trust

He said
“Son…Have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say
If I said that you could


A German View of the U.S.A.

November 2, 2008

Der Speigel’s website has a long English language article on the U.S. and the presidential election:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,587736,00.html

The beginning of the article:

“America is a wonderful country, with jaw-dropping wilderness and wide open spaces that seem as far removed from New York or Los Angeles as the moon. America has the best universities with the most brilliant scientists who win a host of Nobel Prizes year after year.

This is also home to the world’s leading think tanks, where highly impressive studies are conducted on topics like the future of world politics, religion and capitalism. These institutions produce works written in a readily understandable language based on a firm belief in the power of reasoning, rather than ivory tower musings with no connection to reality.

In all cultural spheres, from classical to trash, this is where the avant-garde emerges, time and again. Capitalism is regularly reinvented in America before it sets out again to conquer the world. America still attracts immigrants from countries around the globe. And, of course, from a historical perspective, it remains a uniquely superior power.

This country believes that it has a predetermined role in the history of mankind — a manifest destiny.

America? A horrendous country that betrays its own values every few years, thus forfeiting its moral right to lead the Western world. It elects presidents who know nothing about the world, and have no interest in learning more, which explains why they readily succumb to errors and illusions, only to reveal their utter amazement when they finally — and usually too late — admit their mistakes. Since 1945, America has been fighting wars in countries that it knows very little about, and under premises that have almost nothing to do with reality.

America is a superpower around the globe, but a Third World country at home, with an infrastructure that defies description. There are collapsing bridges, power failures along the entire East Coast, and homes in places like Florida, North Carolina and Texas are regularly destroyed every year by hurricanes that flatten houses as if they were beach bungalows in Haiti.

There is also the obscene contrast between rich and poor, which has hardy interested or shocked any administration since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. What is even more obscene is the ignorance of a government that allows millions of people, in the richest country in the world, to live without health insurance. This is a government that stands by idly as the (primarily black) city of New Orleans disappears under floodwaters. Yes, the most obscene aspect of all remains the unacknowledged racism in this country of pragmatic enlightenment — the ongoing prejudices of whites against blacks.

America is an extreme country, and no one feels indifferent about it. No matter whether you live in Karachi, Hamburg or Tbilisi — you are bound to have an opinion about America. The US has friends and enemies all around the globe. America serves as a role model for Western industrialized societies, a model based on the spirit of Protestantism. But it also provides a paragon example of the downsides of this approach: materialism, unbridled consumerism, reckless exploitation of people and natural resources. This country the size of a continent has fascinating strengths and unparalleled weaknesses. It inspires both devoted admiration and aggressive contempt.”

The article goes on for many more words and is worth reading in its entirety.