Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Thrice wounded wheelchair bound Vietnam Vet responds to Bush Supporter who calls him an unpatriotic wimp for opposing the Iraq War

For years now Bush supporters have claimed that anyone who opposed or criticized the Bush Administration’s policy on Iraq were unpatriotic, un-American, and not supporting the troops. I have been critical of the Bush Administration’s Iraq policy since 2002 when it became obvious that they intended to invade despite the falseness of their reasoning. When the war began I began contributing blood to a blood bank that supplied blood to our troops throughout the world. I sent emails to every member of the military I could find to let them know that we, the American people, appreciate their sacrifice for us and support them even if we disagree with decisions that the President makes. I began writing letters to newspapers that many if not most of us who opposed the war in Iraq were eternally grateful to all service members who put themselves in harms way for our protection and freedom. Only one newspaper printed my letter to the editor, The Stars & Stripes, the official newspaper to the US Military. All other US newspapers I contacted refused to print my letter. Every one but Stars & Stripes. The other newspapers, TV and radio continued telling the lie that all those who opposed or criticized the Bush Administration’s policy on Iraq were unpatriotic, un-American, and not supporting the troops. The lie was told so often and without opposition that nearly everyone believed it.

One Bush supporter named Frances Shannon recently sent a letter to the editor of a paper calling those who criticize Bush or oppose the Iraq War as unpatriotic wimps. A Viet Nam veteran wounded three times during the Viet Nam war who opposed the Iraq war and criticized Bush responded with this great letter to the editor. This is a must read.

You Calling Me An Unpatriotic Wimp?

Date: Jul 11, 2004 - 08:25 PM
When Americans opposed to Bush are called unpatriotic wimps, a disabled veteran in a wheelchair goes on the attack.
By Jack Dalton

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, right or wrong, is not only un-patriotic, but it is morally treasonable to the American people.
--President Theodore Roosevelt

In the small Texas town of Canyon Lake, a sea of Bush ideologues, there is a stong voice of reason: Doug Kirk, the much attacked publisher of the Canyon Lake Weekly. Recently, a letter to the editor from Frances Shannon went too far. Way too far.

“It is people like you who cry anti-war slogans, criticize our commander-in-chief for liberating Iraq and Afghanistan from barbarian rule that I was referring to as wimps,” she wrote. Besides Doug, she also included in the “wimps with no backbone that do not deserve to be called Americans” category, “wives, mothers, and others that complain.”

This rated more than a simple letter to the editor response.

For your information, Frances Shannon, when you were at home baking cookies, I and thousands of other “wimps with no backbone” were crawling around in Vietnam. While some at home were being “patriotic” and proudly waving the American flag with self-righteousness and vociferously supporting that un-mitigated disaster, as is being done today with Iraq, I and thousands of other Americans were getting shot to hell and back, as is happening in Iraq today.

Thirty-five years later, after all the pontificating about “never again” has faded from memory, that same flag of false and misguided patriotism once again “proudly” waves over America. It seems that never again is here again (if it ever went away).

The ease at which those of you who so blindly follow Bush can label fellow citizens as “wimps without backbone that do not deserve to be called Americans,” including those of us who are combat veterans, concerns me in some ways more than my serious concerns for George Bush. Having been decorated for counter-insurgency operations in 1966, having been three times wounded and living a life fighting the effects of Agent Orange, I am not a wimp.

By your statements, one can only conclude that you believe the only patriotic Americans are those that toot the horn for George Bush. I guess it makes no difference to you that the man you support has cut and is cutting funding for the Veterans Administration which to date has forced over 250,000 veterans out of the system due to a lack of funding. At the same time, this same man is creating more veterans and more disabled veterans.

If continuing my open opposition to the Bush cabal makes me a “wimp without backbone,” I guess I’ll be a wimp without backbone for whatever life I have remaining. For I will go to my grave in opposition to any and all who preach perpetual war for profit.

The thing that really stands out is that the vast majority of those who feel free to label their fellow citizens as un-patriotic, un-American, traitors, wimps, etc., especially those of us who actually wore the uniform and went to war, is that they themselves, for whatever reason, never wore this country’s uniform and never went to war. The arrogance of people to call anyone, let alone combat veterans, wimps and un-American is astounding!

My right to criticize was born in the thick of war. Your right to criticize was born in your front rooms from watching 30-second sound bites on Fox “news.” My right is carried by sacrifice, yours by privilege.

A Free Iraq?

As for the statement Iraq is liberated and the Iraqi people are now free, it would be laughable if it were not so very sad. Sure the Iraqi people are now free, free to be a part of the 60% unemployed and free to watch Halliburton import thousands of foreign laborers to “rebuild” Iraq. Free to watch the wholesale privatization of their nation’s resources, infrastructure, economy and everything in between by the same U.S. multinationals importing labor. But the Iraqi people have been liberated.

They are now free to see their fellow citizens subject to arrest, detention, torture, and murder in the same prisons that Saddam used for the very same purposes. But they have been liberated and they are now free. They are now free to watch their country turned into what it never was until the politically driven and ideology based invasion: ground zero for fools and fanatics. But Iraq has been liberated and the Iraqi people are now free.

They are free to wonder, with all the money Halliburton has been paid, when they will have potable water and electricity more than 8 hours a day; they are free to wonder about this and much more. They are free to wonder why Americans pay no attention to their own General Accounting Office reports that clearly state Iraq is worse off than before the invasion. (GAO report, 6/2004: “Iraq is Worse off Than Before the War Began”)

I could go on for a long time enumerating the theft of Iraq, but time and space prevent that. Be that as it may, one last thought on the “liberation” of Iraq: For those willing to use the brain’s memory cells, you will recall that in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, not one time was “liberating Iraq” part of the discussion. From the beginning, it was weapons of mass destruction, mushroom clouds over Manhattan, and the link between Saddam, bin Laden, and al Qaeda, all of which has proven to be false and deliberately so! It was when those “reasons” began to unravel that Bush’s adventure morphed in to a war of “liberation.” This was deliberate deception, just like with Vietnam.

I for one am really tired of Bush and company pissin’ on my boots while trying to convince me it’s raining. The crazy part is how many of you are reaching for umbrellas.
Jack Dalton is a disabled Vietnam veteran suffering from the effects of Agent Orange. He lives in Portland, Oregon. You can email Jack at


Blogger Brother K said...

So--hey again, Joe. I was just grazing . . . I like your hillside . . . and thought it was interesting that the Teddy Roosevelt quote about not criticizing the president made it into both of our blogs. Not a phenomenal coincidence, but a decent sized one. This was an amazing letter. I will certainly refer people to it (and your little corner of the world here).

4:33 AM  

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