imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Pat Tillman: Hero or Wasted Life?

by Gary Sudborough Monday, Apr. 26, 2004 at 12:19 PM

An argument against calling American soldiers engaged in an illegal and immoral war "heroes" as is done continuously by the corporate media. This is even more so in wars that leave a radioactive legacy of cancers and deformed children like the present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is no doubt about the bravery of Pat Tillman or his idealism in resigning from a lucrative career in the National Football League after 9-11 to, as he perceived the situation, protect America and fight the terrorists responsible for this spectacular, deadly attack on American soil. However, soldiers all through history have exhibited great courage in combat, although often fighting for mistaken, spurious reasons or even against their own best interests. I know there were many German soldiers in World War 2 who were fervent believers in fascism and willingly sacrificed themselves for an ideology which cost tens of millions of lives, lead to the death camps and devastated the continent of Europe. The same could be said of Japan's kamikaze pilots. Their sacrifice was exceedingly brave, but was their emperor really that close to God. The German and Japanese media certainly attempted to make heroes of these men. There were many true believers among the Protestants and Catholics who fought one another in the bloody Thirty Years War and exterminated about sixty percent of the population of northern Europe. Naturally, the kings and nobles had their own economic and political interests in these religious wars. Are all these people heroes simply because they were courageous in battle or possessed an ardent belief in their mission or ideology?

Pat Tillman obviously didn't realize that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were planned long before 9-11 occurred and both were intimately connected to US control of oil reserves, rather than to any so-called war on terrorism. He was probably oblivious to the fact that terrorism has been used before in history as an excuse for wars of aggression, perpetrated for other reasons. Hitler used the excuses of communist terrorism and terrorism against Germans for his annexations of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Ronald Reagan had his own war against terrorism in Central America in order to defeat socialist revolutions there, which were a threat to the capitalist system. Our own American revolutionaries were considered to be terrorists by the British. Using fear as a means of manipulation and control is nothing new.

Therefore, Pat Tillman was not defending the American people, as he imagined, but by participating in a war against the innocent people of Afghanistan and Iraq was actually increasing the anger and resentment towards the United States and raising the probability of another terrorist attack on the US mainland, rather than diminishing such a probability. He may just as well have worn the company logos of Chevron-Texaco and Exxon-Mobil on his uniform as the US flag because this is who he really was fighting for, as well as the weapons manufacturers and companies like Halliburton and Bechtel. 9-11 was the fear-inspiring event that George W. Bush cynically utilized to pursue his real agenda of corporate domination and profiteering.

In my opinion, the real heroes are people like Ron Kovic, Stan Goff and other veterans who have taken the time and effort to discover the truth about recent wars and the nature of imperialism. They are willing to oppose US interventions in other countries and suffer the ridicule and disapprobation of American society for challenging some of its most cherished myths-myths like the continuous glorification of war and the supposition that American troops always fight for noble goals like freedom and democracy. They also attempt to educate military personnel and that is essential in stopping this scourge of war. People are heroes for fighting against the real ills afflicting humanity like slavery, racism, oppression and injustice, not for fighting for myths created by a ruling class intent on wars for their own benefit. That is simply a wasted life.

The glaring hypocrisy of the US corporate media in its hero worship is easily illustrated by the Spanish Civil War. American soldiers, such as those in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, fought fascism in Spain and the troops and modern weapons of Hitler and Mussolini years before World War 2 started. They exhibited extraordinary courage in fighting tanks and airplanes with small arms and outdated artillery. Were these brave American soldiers of the "greatest American generation" called heroes in the US corporate media? No, they were either ignored or labeled "premature antifascists." Some were even hounded by the FBI for years after World War 2 and lost job after job for being leftists. Every American knows about the heroes of the Normandy landing on D-day, but ask an average American if they have ever heard of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Obviously, the criteria for who is deemed worthy of being depicted as a hero by the US corporate media is determined purely on economic and political motivations and not on actual courage or sacrifice, as the corporate media so pompously pretend.

I knew the instant I learned that Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan that the corporate media were going to make a propaganda extravaganza out of his death, lasting days, if not weeks. After all, MSNBC calls every American soldier killed in Iraq a "hero" and has a whole wall dedicated to them with photos of the deceased soldiers. From time to time the hosts relate little stories about these soldiers lives to their audience. No mention is given to poisonous effects of the US military's use of depleted uranium on the health of other potential "heroes." Little emphasis is placed on Iraqi casualties or the great suffering and misery of the Iraqi people. Neither the Pentagon nor the corporate media keep an accounting of the Iraqi dead and wounded. Of course, the insinuation here is that only American lives matter and the Iraqis are subhuman, much as Goebbels depicted the Jews and Slavs.

It has been my perception from watching war after war involving the United States that the corporate media always attempt to glorify each and every war and build public support for it, no matter how ridiculous the justifications for the war or how illegal, immoral and destructive the war happens to be. That glorification is probably the greatest evil perpetrated by the US corporate media and very dangerous to humanity's survival in an age of nuclear weapons. However, it is understandable, when one considers many of these media corporations are owned by weapons manufacturers.

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 27 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
real purpose Meyer London Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 8:02 AM
meyer this was written with someone like you in mind rip tillman Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 11:54 AM
John Stewart Mill (1806-1873) ? Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 11:57 AM
Mill Meyer London Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 12:02 PM
it's not an apology duh Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 12:25 PM
freedom Sheepdog Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 12:53 PM
i'm pretty sure it's the same duh Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:08 PM
pals Meyer London Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:12 PM
yup Sheepdog Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:15 PM
i get it meyer huh Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:23 PM
ww2 buh Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:24 PM
well said Sheepdog Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:29 PM
fighting for freedom Meyer London Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:32 PM
ok duh Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:33 PM
WW2 Sheepdog Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:36 PM
meyer, assumptions are the mother of all f-ups duh Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:39 PM
Operation Drop the Cheetos Meyer London Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:41 PM
i guess thats one option. bip Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 1:50 PM
could it be me? Meyer London Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2004 at 2:07 PM
Enjoy it Mark Reynolds Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2004 at 2:55 AM
have a good sleep Meyer London Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2004 at 6:10 AM
Logical Fallacy Debate Mentor Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2004 at 12:40 PM
try reading Owen. Sy$teMF@iLuRe Friday, Apr. 30, 2004 at 12:44 PM
Ignorant John Infante Wednesday, May. 05, 2004 at 3:35 AM
John Infante Rubber Room Attendant Friday, May. 07, 2004 at 11:02 AM
GEEZ, JOHN Sy$TeMF@iLuRe Saturday, Jul. 03, 2004 at 1:14 AM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy