Friday, October 21, 2011

A Soldier Shouts a Nation's Epitaph: "There Is No Honor"

He looms large over the New York City policemen to whom he directs his words.  Expressions that might pass for shame cross the faces of the cops.

The big guy wears a patch of medals on the left side of his camouflage jacket.  Smaller than the sea of brass and ribbon that adorns the tailored uniform of Betray-Us Petraeus but unlike the general's, the big guy's medals were earned in combat service in the armed forces -- two tours in the Middle East.

The police have been abusing participants in the Occupy Wall Street protests, and former Sgt. Shamar Thomas, in the viral video of the week on the web, is shaming them:  "It doesn't make you tough to hurt these people.  This isn't a war zone!"

And then he delivers the epitaph for the United States of America, words that will live in infamy as they ring with truth:

"There is no honor in what you do.  No honor."

There is no honor in accepting  $4.6 million bribe from JPMorgan Chase to beat the heads and mace the eyes of United States citizens peaceably assembled to exercise their Constitutional right of free speech.

There is no honor in ten years of war based on lies, wars whose toll on innocents is greater by far than the "value" of the "enemy leaders" slain in them.

There is no honor in a nation that spends trillions of dollars and thousands of young lives fighting these wars, while refusing to provide jobs for the one in five workers who have none, refusing to provide government medical care for those who have none, refusing to feed those who have nothing to eat.

There is no honor in a nation whose voters applaud aspirants to its highest office for saying that those who can't afford health insurance should be left to die.

There is no honor in a nation that tortures prisoners never charged, never tried, in black sites built at enormous profit by former Vice President Dick Cheney's Haliburton Corp.

There is no honor in a nation that creates the myth of an American Dream and then forecloses on the homes of those who believed in it.

No honor in a nation that forces its young into usurious debt in order to become educated. 

No honor in a nation whose parents with children are forced into bankruptcy to pay obscene medical bills.

No honor in a military that kills women and children and then orders bomb strikes to obliterate the evidence.

No honor in a nation that willfully destroys the thin envelope called ecosystem that sustains life on the planet, in order to extract natural resources that add to the riches of the wealthiest handful of its people.

No honor in a country where there are fewer and fewer jobs, paying less money than at any time in more than a decade, except at the very top where the number of people making more than $1 million increased by 20 percent over 2009. The median paycheck of working America -- barely 80 per cent of us -- is $507 a week, the lowest level since 1999. The richest one per cent of us -- who control our government, our lives, our very destinies, make that much every 72 seconds. There is no honor in this.

There is no honor in a government that rigs the official inflation measures in order to hold down cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security recipients,.

How can a nation honor the elderly citizens who helped build it by taking away at least 4% of their retirement capital every year? (Banks pay less than one-half of one percent on FDIC-insured savings deposits; short-term US government bond funds pay essentially nothing.)  There is no honor in a nation whose government policies wipe out 11.5% of retirees' accumulated savings.

There can be no honor in a nation that labels dissent as "terrorism" and whose President actually ordered the murder of a citizen who had never been charged with or tried in a court of law for a crime.

What honor is there in national policies that negate the Constitution, imposing de facto a state religion?

There is no honor in violating international law in quest of hegemony, utter dominion over the rest of the world.

There is no honor in making the obscenely rich even richer at the expense of the sick, the poor, the aged.

There is no honor in these United States. No honor.

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