Archive for Prayers

Memorial Day: Empty Prayers for Peace

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by loonwatch

Another Memorial Day is about to pass in the shadow of war and conflict, as it has more often than not since the first, official Memorial Day.

Flag-draped coffins of dead soldiers still return home:

DOVER, DE – MAY 26: The transfer case of U.S. Marine Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey lies in a transport truck

Veterans with missing limbs, fractured bodies, and PTSD outnumber the dead. 18 Veterans a day commit suicide. 23% of the homeless population in the USA are Veterans.

This is ostensibly a solemn day, a day where we are supposed to remember the fallen and their families.

It is not a day for those on the wrong side of America’s wars, the so-called “collateral damage,” the silent, faceless, nameless, mostly (in the past few decades) Muslim, forgotten victims of the most powerful war machine known to human history.

It is a day to remember our fallen.

It is not a day to question why we invaded Iraq based on a lie. It is not a day to question our continuing presence in Afghanistan and the Afghan-Okinawa we plan to leave there over the objections of Afghans. It is not a day to count the ever increasing (over 1,000) US bases in foreign countries. It is not a day to question the escalating drone warfare in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc. that is killing civilians and breeding “resentment.”

Privileged politicians come together to offer platitudes and prayers for the fallen in a display of faux unity. Many haven’t seen war or served in the US Army, and like Dick Cheney did everything in their power to dodge the draft. Our Politician-in-Chief, the ironic Noble “Peace” Prize Award winning President Barack Obama prays in Orwellian-speak,

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have borne conflict’s greatest cost, mourn where the wounds of war are fresh, and pray for a just, lasting peace.

What does a “just, lasting peace” mean? Will it be achieved with “sugary-sweet” words and empty prayers? Is a “just, lasting peace” reached with the continued enhancement of the Military Industrial Complex?

Memorial Day has become like many other national holidays, one in which feigned piety  and American Exceptionalism combine with the crass consumerism of making a quick buck. For most, Memorial Day has become “a made-to-order signal for a pre-summer shopping spree.”

But all of that is not to be talked about, it is a day to remember the fallen.

The soldiers, many from the lower, despised, forgotten rung of society, who joined the Military for economic and educational opportunity and have been used as so much cannon-fodder are to be remembered.

It is not a time to recall the Islamophobic courses teaching soldiers that we are at “War with Islam,” that we may have to employ “Hiroshima” tactics to “defeat Islam.” It is not a time to recall the warnings from soldiers about the Crusader mentality pervading the ranks of the Military.

No, it is a day to remember the fallen.

Prayers and reminders of the old lie, “Dulce et Decorum Est/Pro patria mori,” (It is sweet and meet to die for one’s country) are to be repeated ad nauseum, to justify the violent preservation of the American Empire.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

French Far-right Star Compares Praying Muslims to Nazis

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by loonwatch

European Loonieness keeps marching on. Instead of focusing on combating the anti-Muslim sentiment raging in France they French elite chose to focus on the 500 women who wear Niqab. Go figure!

French far-right star compares praying Muslims to Nazi occupiers

(Reuters)

Marine Le Pen has put paid to the idea she would put a softer face on France’s National Front for elections in 2012 with anti-Muslim comments that have aroused a storm of criticism. Le Pen, the likely next far-right challenger for the French presidency, compared overflowing mosques in France with the Nazi occupation — remarks indicative of a drift to the right in parts of Europe that could let the National Front eat into support for the ruling conservative UMP party in 2012.

Le Pen, the frontrunner to succeed her father Jean-Marie Le Pen as head of the party, made the comments on a television show last Thursday with about 3.4 million viewers watching. On Monday she dismissed any suggestion of a gaffe. “My comments were absolutely not a blunder, but a completely thought-out analysis,” she told a news conference, adding she was merely saying out loud what everyone thought privately.

le pen 1Given support of 12 to 14 percent in recent opinion polls, Marine Le Pen is regarded as more electable than her father, who was convicted in 1990 for inciting racial hatred. But her remarks suggest that far from moderating the party line, she will go all out to outgun conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy to secure the slice of the French electorate that opposes high immigration.

(Photo: Marine Le Pen at National Front headquarters in Nanterre near Paris December 13, 2010/Jacky Naegelen)

“The National Front has changed: it’s more dangerous than before,” said an editorial in the left-leaning Liberation daily after mainstream politicians and Muslim leaders slammed Le Pen’s comments. “Given a lick of paint by Marine, xenophobia is back in the spotlight.”

On Thursday, she told a party meeting that after a steady rise in the number of Islamic veils and burqas worn in France, home to five million Muslims, the crowds praying outside mosques were akin to an occupation.

Her remarks chime with a growing right-wing mood among voters in Europe, where far-right parties are taking up worries that high immigration facilitates Islamic fundamentalist terror cells and makes tight labour markets even tighter. Since France banned burqas, which cloak a woman’s face and body, calls for bans have been heard elsewhere in Europe, most loudly in the Netherlands wherepopulist politician Geert Wilders wants to tighten rules on immigration and ban the Koran.

occupationIn France the National Front scored a strong result in regional elections in early 2010, even after Sarkozy offered tough solutions of his own on immigration and crime. The party is enjoying a revival reminiscent of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s surprise showing in the 2002 presidential election when he got through to the second round before losing to conservative Jacques Chirac.

(Photo: German troops march past the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, 14 June 1940/German Federal Archive)

Marine Le Pen’s remarks on Muslims provoked angry comment. Several UMP politicians spoke out against them, and government spokesman Francois Baroin called them “one more provocation”. Veteran socialist Laurent Fabius called them shameful and France’s anti-racist group MRAP filed a lawsuit against Marine Le Pen for incitement to racial hatred.

“These remarks constitute a serious attack on the dignity of Muslims in France and are synonymous with an incitement to hate and violence,” France’s Muslim Council (CFCM) said in a statement. CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organisations, also protested: “The Crif is outraged by the comments of Marine Le Pen comparing prayers in the street to the Occupation, which were made only to stigmatise the Muslim community. These remarks amount to a double and dishonest manipulation of history and language.”

le pen 1Analysts view Le Pen as much closer to Wilders than far-right leaders of her father’s generation, but note that to keep her party faithful from drifting towards the UMP she needs to cling more than ever to hardline principles. “Le Pen has realised the limits of de-demonising the National Front — it works on the outside but less so with her militants,” analyst Sylvain Crepon told Liberation.

(Photo: Jean-Marie Le Pen with a campaign poster that reads “No to Islamism. Youth with Le Pen” and shows a map of France covered by an Algerian flag and minarets, March 7, 2010/Jean-Paul Pelissier)

Analyst Dominique Reynie said that by reinforcing her base, Le Pen would bite into Sarkozy’s first and second-round scores if he seeks reelection in 2012. “If the National Front gets a high score, that means it has taken votes from the left. Those may not necessarily go to the candidate on the right afterwards,” he wrote in a column.

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