Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

A Marine’s Poem leads to US Representative David Obey’s anti-liberal tirade


Survivor’s Guilt

I stare at this paper and don’t know what to say
I don’t feel right saying “happy memorial day”
I don’t find anything happy in the price you’ve paid
We’re both just pawns when this game called
war gets played
My body came home but my spirit just stayed
That hot Iraqi day when you were slayed
Watching my back so I could sleep unafraid I
heard the explosion from where I laid
And instantly I watched the skies go grey
I watched my life just float away
How could things go this way
You were my brother in arms and you took my place
But not like the way that car bomb took your face
And blew off your limbs
When I think about it my head starts to spin
I get noxious when I think of your family
I want to tell them I truly am sorry
I’m sorry your son died protecting me
This isn’t the way things were meant to be
You see that day your son took my duty
Your brother sacrificed four 4 hours of sleep
So he could go guard a gate for me
Your fiancée took my fate from me
I’m sorry your father took my place for me
I’m sorry I can spend memorial day with my family
Today should have been a memorial for me
At least then the survivor could have lived guilt-
free

–Cpl. Cloy Richards

When Tina Richards, the mother of Corporal Cloy Richards, who is returning to Iraq for a third tour, encountered Representative David Obey (D-WI), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Richards mentioned her son was a Marine who was returning to Iraq and that she had just been to Obey’s office to drop off her son’s poem, “Survivor’s Guilt”.

Obey became infuriated and went into a tirade against, “idiot liberals” who call for an immediate cutoff of war funding:

It doesn’t. The President wants to continue the war. We’re trying to use the supplemental to end the war, but you can’t end the war by going against the supplemental. It’s time these idiot liberals understand that. There’s a big difference between funding the troops and ending the war. I’m not gonna deny body armor. I’m not gonna deny funding for veterans hospitals, defense hospitals, so you can help people with medical problems, that’s what you’re gonna do if you’re going against that bill.

When Tina Richards and the other members of the Occupation Project, an anti-war group, suggested that all that was necessary was not to pass any more war appropriations, Obey seemed to become unhinged, accusing one man of “smoking something illegal” and pointing to his empty inner coat pocket and almost-shouting, “do you see a magic wand?”

Obey’s office has been one of several around the country where anti-war sit-in’s and other forms of non-violent protest have been taking place.

Obey’s Tirade youtube link from Grassroots America

See also: Congressman’s video blunder shows Democrats split on war Washington Times
Tina Richards, A Mother of a US Soldier Crosses Paths With Rep. David Obey Al-Jazeerah
Protests target state’s lawmakers: Activists urge Obey, Kohl to vote against funding for war Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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10 March, 2007 Posted by | Bush, David Obey, democrat, democratic, idiots, Iraq, liberal, marines, media, military, news, poetry, politics, protest, scanlyze, tirade, US House of Representatives, video | 3 Comments

‘I was a Racketeer for Capitalism’ — Maj. General Smedley Butler, USMC (1935)

‘I was a racketeer for capitalism’

Maj. General Smedley Butler, USMC (1935)


Major General Smedley Butler was a two-time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor and (once) of the Marine Corps Brevet Medal. In 1935 the following excerpt from his speeches was published in the magazine Common Sense:

America’s Armed Forces: In Time of Peace

…In the past two years large National Guard forces have seen active service in 20 strikes in as many different states, from the Pacific Coast to New England, from Minnesota to Georgia. They have used gas, bullets, and tanks — the most lethal weapons of modern war — against striking workers. Casualty lists have been impressive. In one instance they erected barbed wire concentration camps in Georgia to “co-ordinate” striking workers with all the efficiency of the fascist repressive technique.There isn’t a trick In the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” (to point out enemies), its “muscle men” (to destroy enemies), its “brain guys,” (to plan war preparations) and a “Big Boss,” (super-nationalistic capitalism).

I Was a “Racketeer”

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent 33 years and 4 months In active service as a member of our country’s most agile military force — the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from a second lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups. This is typical of everyone in the military service.

Thus I, helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras “right” for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. I was rewarded with honors, medals, promotion. Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents.

Smedley Butler (wikipedia)
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler (Marine Corps History Division)

Some discussion of this piece at commongroundcommonsense.org: Insights of a Marine General, Published in a magazine called “Common Sense”

Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy

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23 January, 2007 Posted by | Al capone, archives, books, Brevet Medal, Brown Brothers, capitalism, China, Congressional Medal of Honor, covert operations, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, marines, Mexico, military, National City Bank, repression, scanlyze, Smedley Butler, speeches, Standard Oil, strikes, unions, war | 2 Comments