From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: U.S. | Anti-War
Americans Should Drop The False Patriotism
by Marti Hiken (info [at]
Wednesday Nov 28th, 2012 12:58 PM
Every football game now includes a patriotic salute with a huge flag displayed in the center of the playing field, jets flying overhead and pictures of vets and GIs in uniform.
The advertisements for joining the military or honoring our vets run all day long on the television. (The military has an endless supply of our money to spend on advertisements.). One poignant propaganda piece even brought tears to my eyes it was so well staged and effective. It portrayed a young female GI in uniform who looked worried, maybe scared, not lost, but forlorn, as she departed from an airplane in a busy airport. As she left the plane an elderly man sitting in the airport witnessed her lost look. Clearly a vet, he stood up and proudly saluted her.

The local news has its hand in the pie, too. Not a news show goes by without some vet, sometimes disabled or clearly suffering from PTSD, singled out for a “thank you for your service” from somebody.

The “Thank You’s” have become a national pastime, a politician’s wet dream, and a patriotic duty. It has come to the point where anti-war Americans (the vast majority) have no say in either the policies of this country, or the patriotism that is one-sidedly pro-war, pro-drones, and pro-military. It has become a veritable duty to support the entire war machine, including the drone-makers, weapon manufacturers, and the lobbyists/politicians who run the government.

Veterans and servicemembers are being used and abused in the process. They are nothing but cannon fodder and helpless pawns who are sacrificed in order to keep the military budget rising, for the perpetuation of the lies, for enticing our young people to join the military, and for electoral victories.

Scratch beneath the image of any patriotic woman or man who says the deeply felt “Thank You” to the veteran and you find someone who would support all wars – regardless of their legitimacy. Such people usually have a family member currently serving in the military, served themselves, or feel it is necessary and politically correct to publicly thank someone. What she doesn’t consider is that the GI might be very much against the wars, someone who is suffering from PTSD, or who doesn’t want to hear the words at all: they know better. They’ve seen first hand the atrocities being committed in our name.

Why don’t these “thankful patriots” consider the infant bombed by a “wayward” drone missile, who has been killed or lost a limb, who also will suffer from PTSD, or whose father has been killed during a brother’s wedding celebration? Why don’t they consider the weapons manufacturers who are profiting from that drone? Why don’t they consider someone the President has decided to assassinate because his name appears on a “kill list?” Why don’t they consider and mourn for the people in far away lands who have had no military and have had their countries overrun by foreigners – namely, Americans, Norwegians, Swedes, British, Australian and so forth? Why don’t they consider Guantanamo an abomination?

Maybe those who say the “Thank You’s” should light a candle for all those who have been maimed and killed by U.S. servicemen and women. Maybe at the next football game the audience should rise for a moment of silence for all children who have lost their parents and limbs.

The blind, unwarranted patriotism of Americans is harming us, not helping us. “Support our Troops” does not mean “Bring them home” in their patriotic lexicon, but rather, it means “Support their Illegal Wars” throughout the world. We look forward to the day when our soldiers return to their appropriate status, as defenders of our country, who protect us against real, not imagined enemies.


Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former Associate Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. She can be contacted at info [at], 415-702-9682.

The Progressive Avenues website,, is regularly updated in the “What’s Added, What’s New” link on the Home page, at


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Beeline
Wednesday Nov 28th, 2012 5:28 PM
The effectiveness of a nations propaganda can be measured by the difference between what people say in an open public forum and what they say in private to a trusted friend. I find it quite disquieting that a nation would give up its young people so willingly to the war machine. And that even if the young soldiers survive the physical conflict they are committing suicide in unheard of numbers but no one offers a solid answer as what to do about it. Most seem satisfied with a yellow ribbon bumper sticker.

People are trapped by the propaganda machine. Their minds have become solidified and unchangeable. The truth is rapped up in layers of nice emotional stuff and most people do not see the trap, except perhaps the very few who study sociology. Perhaps it is too painful to admit that we have been deceived for so long. This emotional pain will not heal unless people really find the passionate energy to do it.

I know one starting place. It's the armies formal battle flag in Washington. It has many battle streamers attached to it. The army defines the significance of these symbols as an official campaign or a particular combat action or series of actions that have historical significance or military importance to the army and to the nation.

Some of these ribbons are scarlet colored with 2 black stripes. These are the so called battles of the Indian wars here in the states. There is a ribbon for the battle of Pine Ridge better known as Wounded Knee in which 356 Lakota men, women and children were massacred. Many were buried in a mass grave. The U.S. soldiers received 20 medals of honor for this deed. As long as this "energy" is symbolized as being a good thing by the U.S. army then our military will continue to massacre people. There will be no healing and the U.S. will sink deeper and deeper into the evil pit that it is digging.

If folks really care about America then the energy of wanton destruction should be transformed into the quest for regaining the national SOUL.