[Rushtalk] A Leftist's View on Veterans

Richard Whitenight rwhitenight2004 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 10 12:01:22 MST 2014

Just in time for Veteran’s Day on Tuesday, a leftist writer at Salon.com
has penned a column saying it’s “childish” to honor America’s men and women
in uniform as “heroes.”

In a column titled “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence
on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy,”
David Masciotra argues it’s been 70 years since American soldiers fought a
war about freedom and “forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must

“Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and
Americans will worship him,” Masciotra writes. “It is a particularly
childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all
active military members and police officers as ‘heroes.’”

Citing police brutality, sexual assault in the ranks and alleged murder of
civilians by the U.S. military, the author claims calling today’s troops
“heroes” “betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism,
authoritarianism and totalitarianism.”

“Even saluting a Marine, while holding a coffee cup, is tantamount to
terrorism,” Masciotra insists.

His reasoning continues:”The war in Iraq was clearly fought for the
interests of empire, the profits of defense contractors, and the
edification of neoconservative theorists. It had nothing to do with the
safety or freedom of the American people. … Wars that are not heroic have
no real heroes, except for the people who oppose those wars.”

Masciotra even goes so far as to suggest Americans “should do everything
they can to discourage young, poor and working-class men and women from
joining the military.”

And rather than give soldiers the blanket title of “hero,” Masciotra
suggests America start using the term for teachers, hospice workers and
social workers.

Several social media outlets, like Twitter, have erupted with criticism of
Masciotra’s column.

Even television personality Montel Williams was incensed over Masciotra’s
screed, launching a Twitter campaign
Salon.com apologize for the column.

Williams has blasted out several tweets, including the following:

   - “This piece by @DavidMasciotra is as offensive to #Veterans as it is
   intellectually dishonest.”
   - “Glad someone fought to defend ur right to prove ‘stupid is as stupid
   does’ from cheap seats.”
   - “I’d encourage you all to let @salon and @davidmasciotra know just how
   offensive this piece of mindless stupidity is.”
   - “@Salon owes #veterans an apology. This is as asinine as it is
   offensive, intellectually flawed.”
   - “Is this really @Salon editorial position? An apology is owed.”

A quick survey of the @Salon and @davidmasciotra Twitter feeds finds
several sources taking up Williams’ call, though @Salon has yet to issue
any kind of response. The Twitter handle @davidmasciotra does not appear to
be linked to Masciotra himself.


Richard Whitenight
Arlington, Texas

Twitter:  @rwhitenight0648

My e-mail is being maintained by the NSA, CIA, FBI, and the Department of
Homeland Security.  You can't get better secure e-mail than that.
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