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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Abuse of HERO

I'm a Hero. You're a Hero. She's a Hero. He's a Hero. Wouldn't you like to be a Hero, too?

Our brave Heroes. Our Heroic men and women. My Hero. Your Hero.
They're all American Heroes.

Everybody costumed in camouflage is a Hero? Being there makes one a Hero? Getting shot down while flying an A-4 Skyhawk "tinkertoy" bomber names the pilot Hero and answers the experience requirement for the presidency? Death of any kind while in uniform guarantees Heroic status? He was a hero? She was a Hero? Fallen Heroes, sacrificial Heroes, martyrs to materialism and military mania, today's mythical media-made Heroes dominate our deeply embedded culture of war.

When did ordinary translate to Heroic? How did the everyday common doing one's job morph into Heroic feat? Here, there, everywhere, all the time Heroes... the qualifications for heroism have been Orwelled into mediocrity.

Lies have become truths. Informed, questioning citizens have been labeled traitors. Nationalist thugs have become super-patriots. Innocent Iraqis were categorized as enemies. Black became white. Peace became war. Up became down. Occupation disguised itself as democracy. Heaven became hell. Slam Dunk became quagmire. Human beings became collateral damage. Day became night. Escalate became surge. Wrong became right and Hero became a marketing tool, a muzzle that inhibits open debate, a shield to protect war profiteers, and an absurd justification to extend the illegal war against Iraq.

Hero sold America this unnecessary war as Heroic hopefuls rushed to exact revenge on innocents. Heroes actively fighting, wounded or dead were used to dissuade concerned citizens from questioning their government or demanding accountability. To voice dissent was propagandized as sullying the sacrifices of "our Heroes". Heroes, who survived America's battles, have long been hired by war manufactures to put a good face on their evil products because as everyone knows: Heroes are good. And finally, the most hideous assertion. Americans must continue to fight and die because to end the Iraq war would mean that all of our Heroes (and over one million Iraqis) have died in vain. More must kill and die for nothing rather than admit that those who died before them died in vain. No one should die for a oil leaking pack of lies!

Last century Alvin York took out five machine gun nests and captured 132 prisoners. Sgt. York, motivated to protect his wounded comrades, did all of this single-handedly. His actions were extraordinary and therefore considered heroic. A little over two decades later, a seriously wounded Lt. Audie Murphy, surrounded by enemy forces and under fire, held his position while calling in artillery fire and then ran to climb atop a burning tank to man its machine gun. Murphy had stopped a German counterattack. His actions, also extraordinary and above and beyond the call of duty, were those of a hero.

9/11 saw several hundred heroes (many of whom since have perished) commit astonishing acts of selfless courage. Today those surviving heroic firemen, policemen, medical personnel, and citizens who, after saving lives and digging through the rubble and ash of recovery work, are not only sick and unable to work but have to beg for public assistance and medical care. The 9/11 responders exploited to inspire enlistment and launch a war were then rendered "Forgotten Heroes" when they were no longer useful physically or politically. In hindsight the neglect and abandonment of the 9/11 Heroes, if nothing else, has exposed how skewed the American concept of Hero has become.

Every member of the military is an automatic HERO drooled over by a public whose conditioned responses to flags and uniforms resemble those of Pavlov's dogs. It is an unfortunate American shame that many of those whose humanity, concern, convictions, and courage lead them to take extraordinary actions above and beyond the ordinary remain unsung Heroes. Some have even been threatened or punished for telling the truth or refusing to obey wrongful orders.

Hero is even being used to shield Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, from questions about his character and
competence. It is implied that to seek information about Senator McCain is somehow unpatriotic. Heroes must not be questioned even if their act of heroism is suspect. John McCain, a prisoner of war, survived. Survival is simply survival. Surviving is not Heroic.

Heroes are a dime a dozen in Bush's America. Heroism has been cheapened. Heroes are sold to the American public on the television, over the radio, and on the Internet accompanied by the tinkling of piano keys or the sad solo tone of a trumpet. Families who've suffered the loss of a loved one in one of America's numerous military ventures are given Hero to assuage their grief. He couldn't have died for nothing. She couldn't have died for oil. It comes around full circle as
Hero potential is used to lure our young into the clutches of recruiters. Uncle Sam Wants YOU - to be a HERO! What better way fill the slots left emptied by those who've died.

Hero is the most effective, stealth propaganda campaign waged as yet by the Pentagon and it's partners in crime, the war profiteers. Who sees the truth when blinded by the dazzle of HERO?

Only when Johnny (and Jenny) come marching home and need care for wounds mental and physical, does the shine on Hero tarnish. Tragically, he and she become Forgotten Heroes. Those who called upon Our Brave Heroes to serve, then callously toss them atop the others of generations past, on the refuse heap of lives wasted for lost causes.

We must break this cycle of abuse.
.......Kitchen Window Woman.......

*Note - I haven't written for a long time. I had a case of writer's block. This one has been on my mind for a while. Today we are on our way to the Veterans For Peace Convention in Minneapolis and are real excited. Then we will go on to Detroit to visit family. I will write if I have access to a computer. Hope you are all well - Peace. KWW

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Blogger Buffalo said...

Damn well said.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Hillbilly Artist - H. Hinkle said...

Nice to see you writing again, keep at it while it is flowing!...I had a creative block for a while too but I am back too.
Wish we could see you next week...maybe next time you can come to the mountains again. (:

7:37 PM  
Blogger deuddersun said...


May I publish this at the API site and my blog, (as a guest contributor)?


8:58 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Hi Bro,
Glad you like it. I'd be proud to have you put it up at API. PEACE - KWW

11:40 AM  

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