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In a meeting, the father of one of the little girls in the class pointed at the teacher while telling the school's principal, "I want her to promise never to mention the word peace in her class again."
(Since, as libertarians have frequently observed, there is no meaningful difference between today's Red State and Blue State authoritarian political beliefs, it's impossible to tell whether the little girl's war-adoring daddy was a Bleeding Heart Liberal or a Compassionate Conservative Neocon.)
At any rate, the principal reportedly tripped over her pension in her headlong rush to acquiesce, and the teacher caved to the father's intimidation. Her lawyer, projecting a hefty payday, likely had little difficulty overcoming the teacher's fear of verbal bullying, but his attempt to convince a jury that "peace" is a positive concept may be a daunting one. Why? The school was so panic-stricken it cancelled "Peace Month" scheduled to begin on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
(Perhaps they can rewrite King's famous speech, "I have a Nightmare," and schedule a "War Month" instead.)
"Peace" has long been a dirty word in America. Eugene McCarthy was the "Peace Candidate" during the Vietnam War years and never even got his party's nomination. Richard Nixon campaigned on his secret "Peace with Honor" plan to end that war, and we all know what happened to him. President Bush The first had a nice little war going on in Iraq, but it ended too soon and he lost reelection during a time of relative "Peace." Don't expect Republicans to forget that lesson anytime soon.
The last American president to be seriously considered for the prestigious Nobel War Prize was Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, the Cold War ended on his watch with such unexpected suddenness that the Great Communicator didn't have time to assemble a blue ribbon panel of warmongers charged with the responsibility of developing plausible pretexts for keeping it going. The Berlin Wall just couldn't be saved.
But end the Cold War did, which meant that new ways of warfighting had to be developed quickly, before American citizens got used to the idea of "Peace" and actually wanted some. The philosophy that emerged, based on Hollywood "Delta Force" movies that depicted American war-making as competent, called for a smaller leaner meaner highly mobile techno-killer fighting force capable of waging two wars at once. To prove the new paradigm, two wars were needed. So, with perfect political logic, even though the majority of 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian, President Bush attacked Afghanistan and Iraq.
While foreign wars are favored by conservatives, liberals prefer ongoing domestic wars. For decades they've supported the War on Some Drugs, the War on Relative Poverty, the War on All Guns Unless You're From the Government and You're Here to Help, the War on Christians Who Don't Like Liberals, and now the new War on Anyone the Police State Chooses to Call a Terrorist so They Can Inflate Their Budgets and Have Fun Kicking Butt. (The one domestic war they don't support is the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy of Radio Talk Show Hosts War on Whiny Liberals.)
Tradition tells us that Americans have always been war lovers. Take the movie "The New World," currently playing in theaters. It purports to tell the story of English swashbuckler John Smith and his encounter with Pocahontas in primitive America. According to legend, the young Indian maiden averts a war and saves Smith from certain death at the hands of her father, the Chief, by throwing her body atop the Englishman. ("You know how it is with teenage daughters," a recently excavated colonial-era birch bark newspaper account reads. "She wants a turkey feather headdress, Daddy buys her a headdress. She wants her own canoe, Daddy buys her a canoe. She wants an Early American Colonist and bats those big brown eyes, well, what's a Daddy Chieftain to do?"
While the real Powhatan tribe describes the whole affair as "a dishonest and self-serving myth" on their website, modern Neocon revisionists have their own take on the story.
"Smith and the Chief smoked a warpipe together," Professor Gory Bludgeon of the War College insists. "They were all ready to go musket-to-axe when that immature Pocahontas chick spoiled everybody's fun. Just like that bleeding heart teacher in Indiana."
(Originally published here) Originally published 15 March 2006
Garry Reed's articles have appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, LP News and other print and online publications.
-- Garry Reed
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