Friday, May 4, 2018

"Reclaim Armistice Day?" Whatever for? by Cindy Sheehan

"Reclaim Armistice Day?"
Whatever for?*
 Cindy Sheehan

There has been a movement among veterans and other activists to do something called "Reclaim Armistice Day."

As this year will be the 100th anniversary of the so-called end of fighting in one of the most ridiculous wars the US has been involved in (in a tragically long line of ridiculous wars), the {not very} R.A.D. movement is once again planning festivities, or whatever they want to call them on Veteran's Day, this year. (Yes, I called it "Veteran's Day," get over it.)

I do understand that some veterans who have also fought in other ridiculous and deadly US wars are still upset that in 1954 the US Congress changed the name of "Armistice Day" to "Veteran's Day" and the implication of the cult of veteran worship, but, really, it doesn't matter if Veteran's Day is called Armistice Day, or Unicorn Farts and Rainbows Day---nothing will change the fact that on November 11th, 1918 at 11 am, The Armistice of Compiègne, was signed for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I (but didn't even end the war--that didn't happen until the Treaty of Versailles in 1920).

Of course, air, ground and sea efforts ceased for the allied powers, but the further wreckage of Germany with the punishing terms imposed on them, unquestionably gave rise to the demagogue Adolf Hitler and "WWI, Part II," which was even more deadly. 

France and Great Britain demanded that Germany pay 33 billions (US dollars) in reparations and accept complete responsibility for the war, which was hard for Germany to swallow at the Treaty of Versailles, but the allies threatened to recommence hostilities if Germany didn't sign. 

Even the website for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum states:

In the aftermath of World War I, Germans struggled to understand their country’s uncertain future. Citizens faced poor economic conditions, skyrocketing unemployment, political instability, and profound social change. While downplaying more extreme goals, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party offered simple solutions to Germany’s problems, exploiting people’s fears, frustrations, and hopes to win broad support.

So what was so special about Armistice Day, 100 years ago anyway?

Things inarguably improved in the US and the "Roaring 20s" roared in until the stock market crashed in 1929 and it would take "WWI, Part II" to lift the US out of those harsh economic times. Once again, with this R.A.D. effort the US "antiwar" movement exhibits its gross devotion to national chauvinism.

As one of the main organizers of the Women's March on the Pentagon (WMOP) (Oct-20 to 21) which is a non-partisan march on the bi-partisan war machine, I can categorically state that we ARE a movement that is free from patriarchy, Democrat Party control, and the hypocritical energy of Dem loyalists. We are not afraid of holding a major protest a few weeks before the mid-term elections. We are not only anti-Trump; we are anti-Imperialism. Some activists have actually said to me, "Cindy, you can't have an antiwar march so close to the mid-term elections, you'll 'harm' the chances of the Democrats!" My response always is, "What does that say about YOUR party that you're afraid an antiwar march will 'harm' them--you need a new party!"

WMOP is also a movement that is organizing around the energy of being internationalist and advocates for ALL women and their families around the world (not just Pink Pussy Hat Democrats or activists with some antiquated idea of R.A.D.) which is emancipated from the constant propaganda of war and war terms--we don't have to "fight" the powers that be, we just ARE the powers that be. We don't want a seat at the table, we are BUILDING AND OWNING THE WHOLE DAMN TABLE.  

Besides, even if the name of one day to commemorate the end of one of the US Empire's long list of ridiculous wars is "reclaimed," does that change the fact that the US is currently bombing at least seven countries? Does it bring one person back, or end the slavish liberal devotion to the Democrat Party? 

Change the name of November 11th to Unicorn Farts and Rainbows Day--it makes no difference to me or anything, truthfully, but only a principled, internationalist, anti-Imperialist movement, like WMOP will ever come close to smashing US Imperialism. 


*This article is in response to some forces who think that the "girl shit" or "Swarm of Cranks," of the Women's March on the Pentagon (which announced weeks before the R.A.D. event), should cancel our march and be subsumed, and thereby, consumed, by the event on 11/11/18.  We still find it strangely odd that anyone would organize an event in DC so close to another  (already planned) event anyway: There certainly is enough war to go around, but resources and people power are limited.

We call on the R.A.D. forces to respect our action and our time-frame, not just because we were "first-come" but because of our months of hard work and organizing for the WMOP movement. 
You are more than welcome to join us!

Thank you. 

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