Friday, April 20, 2007

Raging Veteran Grannies

The Raging Grannies (click here for their website) performed a piece of street theatre in front of a Chevron station at 9th and Howard Streets on Thursday, and an AP photo of the demonstration made its way to one of my favorite blogs in the universe, Princess Sparkle Pony's Photoblog out of Washington, DC (click here to get there).

From the Chevron station, they marched up to the Federal Building on Golden Gate Avenue to speak to Nancy Pelosi's office about "The New Iraq Oil Law" which has been written by the United States for the Iraqi legislature to pass next week.

The plan is to take the previously nationalized Iraq oil industry and give it away to the multinational corporations who are really driving this obscene occupation. There's a good article written on Counterpunch by Ben Terrall describing the San Francisco demonstration and the craven New Iraq Oil Law (click here to get to the article).

Though they were supposed to be dressed as oil plutocrats, in truth the demonstrators didn't really look like rich people...

...but their props were good and the balloons were colorful, and they seemed to be enjoying themselves on the plaza immensely.

The flag in the plaza was at half-mast on Thursday, presumably because of the Virginia Tech massacre, which left me curiously unmoved, perhaps because 185 innocents had been murdered in Baghdad on the same day thanks to our invasion and continuing occupation.

The best piece I've read about the domestic massacre was by Mike Daly, an angry New York Daly News writer, who wrote a column entitled, "Yes, Virginia, guns kill innocents" (click here for the whole thing). Here's an excerpt:
"Still love those guns, Virginia? Ready to admit that it's madness for any psycho to be able to saunter into a gun shop and acquire firepower capable of killing 32 innocents? Feel different now that the blood is the blood of so many of your most promising young people?

You've been shrugging for decades as illegal guns from your state plague our city, killing and maiming and terrorizing New Yorkers by the thousands, at one point comprising 47% of the guns our cops recovered. You even yukked it up with a "Bloomberg Gun GiveAway" raffle at a gun shop that sold at least 22 guns used in crimes in New York."

I have been friends and work colleagues with Vietnam veterans for the last three decades, and though each of them has dealt with the horror of their experience in their individual ways, all of them were traumatized to some extent, and some of them returned in a very deadly mood. The term "go postal" stems from the fact that so many returning Vietnam vets procured jobs at the United States Post Office on their return, and some of them freaked out spectacularly. The tens of thousands of Iraq war veterans are going to be in a huge mess too, and nobody's really talking about it. As a society, we're going to be living with the repercussions for the rest of our lives.

Note: I posted an earlier version of this on Friday, but in an inspired bit of computer idiocy, I erased it on Saturday morning. So if you think the post has changed, you're right. And I hope it keeps Ms. Egan's brilliant comment when I try to repost.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Actually Mike I think the blowback from these PTSD vets will be MORE horrific than Vietnam era veterans. Timothy McVeigh from the first Gulf War put many more notches on his weapon than earlier guys and these...well they'll just be worse. Rotten medical care coupled with fewer jobs and much more mayhem at their disposal will contribute to the madness. What they saw and what many of them did no doubt will people their nightmares. No good can come of this.