All posts by Jay Janson

What Dead GIs Would Say To the World on Memorial Day About Being Praised As Heroes

A lot of people in Third World nations previously invaded, currently being invaded, or suffering sanctions and the threat of invasion by Americans, will be watching telecasts via satellite of festive celebrations on Memorial Day in the great United States of America.

Telecasted news coverage of the Memorial Day holiday in the USA will show video clips of parades and speeches glorifying America’s military and sanctifying war itself, obscuring the mourning of the deceased soldiers by families and friends. Many people watching in countries Americans invaded, will surely be wincing, their gaze turning serious and solemn, as they hear American GIs, who died while dutifully taking part in the killing, maiming and destroying in dozens of smaller countries all around the world, praised as heroes.

Many people watching the telecast in the countries Americans invaded will have gotten to know these mostly young American men who died invading their country in a deeper and more poignant sense than even their own parents. For example, of the two and a half million uniformed Americans, who were sent to Vietnam, hundreds of thousands mingled with Vietnamese up close in following out criminal orders and experienced a variety of emotions, some feeling guilt, shame and anger about the horrific suffering they were creating within a soft-spoken Buddhist population.  Final body count statistics show fifteen Vietnamese defenders killed for every one American GI killed – imagine how many Americans GIs felt about this sickening ratio which they were perpetrating. This author, during Veterans For Peace meetings, has heard members speak personally of never-forgotten-atrocities they were pained to take part in. I remember one veteran telling of picking up the cap of a Vietcong his unit had killed and finding a picture of what must have been the Vietcong’s wife and child secured in the cap’s lining, and thinking ‘we just created another orphan and widow.’ The citizens of nations bombarded and invaded must sometimes wonder what the dead American soldiers being thanked and praised on Memorial Day by politicians and generals, would say if they could speak out from their graves.

Your author can well imagine what his four basic training bunk buddies, whose bodies were thrown into a hole somewhere in North Korea, would say about being thanked for dying for their country every Memorial Day. During sixteen weeks of basic training, how very full of life and fun they were, as most 18 or 19 olds are. Likable Ed, Joe, Bob and Bill found themselves in a very poor country – people speaking a language they could not understand – in mortal combat with Koreans in their Korea. They were told they were fighting communism, but they would have realized while dead in that hole that they were sent to die to protect capitalism, colonial capitalism, the opposite of freedom for most of the world. They would have been pissed to know criminal media portrays them as just so stupid to have been suckered into killing fellow human beings and dying young – for who and for what?

Granted that many who died in military action, remained to the end duped and loyal to the propaganda they had been fed, gung-ho to kill anyone designated as ‘communist’ or ‘terrorist,’ but a much greater multitude of those GIs who lost their lives in combat in someone else’s country, had come to see the truth of an imperialist USA, ruled by its wealthy speculative investors on Wall Street, who use the nation’s armed forces, as Martin Luther King said, “to make atrocity wars and covert violence to protect unjust predatory investments overseas.”1

Let’s suppose these hundreds of thousands of savvy dead Americans chose someone well spoken from their midst to be a spokesperson for all of them – the dead GIs who died fighting citizens of some country far from America – dead GIs who finally lost faith in their countrymen, their ministers, priests and rabbis, their universities.

Further suppose that having lost faith in their own countrymen, who had sent them to a ignominious death, these angry dead Americans had their spokesperson speak to the whole world, and especially to that great majority of humanity living in the Third World in nations once attacked or being attacked by Americans in uniform today, figuring that only the people in the nations attacked are capable of uniting and using their huge numerical superiority to halt America’s blood lust. Here below, in this author’s imagination, is what this intelligent phantom spokesperson for the dead GIs might best say:

(What Dead GIs Would Say To the World on Memorial Day About Being Praised For Their ‘Heroic Sacrifice’ – if They Could)

On Memorial Day, while our family and friends mourn our permanent absence, conglomerate-owned criminal media, having used our patriotism to have us fight unjust wars based on fake news and lies, now hypes our humiliating death as beautiful military service. All this unctuous praise is heard from commentators whose TV channels deceived us into participating in senseless massacres of millions of innocent human beings right inside their own beloved countries.

We expect those who mourn us as fallen comrades, must do so in bitter heartbreak and anger. For more than a half century, all of us veterans, both living and dead, were tricked into criminal disservice, in many cases genocidal disservice, to our country and humanity. While only some relatively few of us paid with our lives for our ignorance and naive belief in our country’s honorability, tens of thousands of living veterans are physical or mental cripples.

Confronted with constant indoctrination to love of war by fear promoting corporate mass disinformation media, veterans, who have survived, must remember that we who have paid the highly profiled ‘ultimate sacrifice’ [read threw away our lives for worst than nil] were sent to our death by capitalists to make money on the deaths of those we were killing. Our own vastly smaller number of deaths are praised as heroic, but the death of millions we were sent to attack are carefully never mentioned.

Whether we gave our lives in that ‘good war’ against the fascism that American industrialists and bankers seeking huge profits helped build up by rearming Germany, or died during the invasion and occupation of Iraq, which presidential candidate Obama fluffed off as “a dumb war,” our politicians pat our families on the back with the same ‘compassionate’ thank you.

For whether we died fighting the powerful land, sea and air forces that had attacked and declared war on our country, or died after being lied to and deceived into committing war crimes in near defenseless small nations, it makes no difference to Wall Street. The Street makes money either way – from the death and destruction of a ‘good’ and officially declared war, or atrocious crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.

Whether we lose a war, after murdering millions of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians, or stalemate, after bringing death to  three million Koreans, our deaths are considered to have contributed to saving all those millions from having to live under communist governments.  We note that our government today, ironically enjoys lucrative trade, and has the warm relations, with the communist governments of China and Vietnam.  Today, no one repeats the slogan ‘better dead (like us), than red!‘

Whether some hundreds of us died killing Afghanis in Afghanistan to be better able to chase the Saudi Arabian, Osama bin Laden for years, or merely a dozen of us fell during the manslaughter of a thousand Panamanians, who stood in the way of America’s successful capture of their former CIA enrolled drug dealing President, we receive the same gratitude from the industrial-military-complex during commercial TV programing

Whether we were two dozen, dying during our invasion of the Dominican Republic to prevent the restoration of democracy and their elected but overthrown President, or three hundred blown away in our sleep by a suicide truck bomber in Lebanon, we all died in government issued clothes and were worthy of a thank you from the Presidential advisors whose plans our commanding generals were carrying out (for the profits of Wall Street scions).

Whether we fell serving atrocities happening before our very eyes or were victims of errant friendly fire, we receive the same level of appreciation from politicians and media. They hold us up as exemplary, to entice ever new bamboozled young men and women recruits to aspire to similar glorification.

We, the guilt ridden American military dead, appeal to the good people in all the nations invaded by Americans and Europeans to effect the same level of solidarity that the racist neocolonial speculative investment banker driven imperialists of the countries of mostly Caucasian population display2, and bring their five centuries of genocidal plunder to an end earlier than otherwise.

Confronted with constant indoctrination to love war by fear promoting corporate mass disinformation media, veterans, who have survived, must remember that we who have paid the highly profiled ‘ultimate sacrifice’ [read threw away our lives for worst than nil], are watching from our graves as criminal media portrays us as just so God damned willing to have forgone forty or fifty years of mornings, love, friendship, sunsets, and the sheer exhilaration of being alive, to have been shot like pig in a poke or shredded by some stupid land mine, as some mentally challenged moral failures as human beings chart the value of their dividends and derivatives watching the stock market figures while their hired CIA criminals keep their beholden politicians and media personalities in line.

And just one more thing. Let the Third World understand that that dippy ‘why me worry,’ Mr. and Mrs. average American overwhelmed with their personal enjoyments, it is they who are responsible for the murderous crimes of their US government. They, yes, the American-entertainment/news-advertising-TV-mesmerized public, glued to the flashing screens of idiot boxes, and suckered by charming commentators reading them the fake news from the prompter above their TV camera, unseen on the screen being watched.  They are responsible for all the deaths of the millions we were ordered to kill. Some day they will hear that Martin Luther King held all of them, that is, all Americans and himself responsible, not reelected government officials.3 The US  President is just one public servant, don’t let Americans shrug their responsibility off on him foolishly, for his being so highly profiled in the criminally collaborating fake news networks.

On Memorial Days no one should focus obsequiously on us. We paid both the price of our ignorance and our parents and teachers indifference to their citizen responsibilities.  Though they saw a good deal of the death and dying on TV they had no or too little compassion to act. Quite apart from the loving attention of dear families and acquaintances, we voiceless dead veterans despise your media anchors feigned pious interest in ‘honoring’ our cadavers.

Let a Third World in solidarity get Americans to join the human race and mourn the people we were sent to kill but fell in love with before dying ourselves. Everyone who died, died because of American indifference. Those millions of innocent beautiful people that we killed in their own beloved country, be it Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Congo, Guatemala, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, their dead children now belong to America more than to their parents. Americans violently took these children from their parents and sunshine and games, saw to these children never growing up to be men and women (oh, collaterally, of course).

Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark in his book The Fire This Time: US War Crimes in the Gulf wrote, and has since kept repeating, “the greatest crime since World War II has been US foreign policy.” America’s most famous defector from the war establishment would, of course, would be gratified to hear this spoken of by activists who present themselves as anti-imperialists and protest their government’s deadly use of America’s Armed Forces on innocent populations overseas, but do not tell the whole truth; namely, that the atrocities they protest are in reality prosecutable crimes against humanity and crimes against peace under the Nuremberg Principles of International Law, which former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark reminds us, are part of the law of the land by Article Six of the United States Constitution.

This is why the spokesperson for the GIs, who died in warfare on innocent populations directed an appeal to Majority Humanity in the ever targeted for plunder Third World and not to intellectuals and professors of the still plundering First World. It is the beautiful ordinary people of the Third World, less neutered by commercialized modernity, who will eventually throw forth leaders, who will not continue the mesmerizing diplomatic gentlemen’s agreement not to ever mention the law in regard to the First World’s free handed destruction of country after country of the former outrightly colonial Third World.

Crimes are meant to be prosecuted, and criminals made to pay for what they have done! Otherwise, how on earth will the US-led Western speculative investors in profitable genocidal crimes against humanity ever stop investing in the massive murder of millions of children in their own beloved countries, often as not in their own homes in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Congo, Guatemala, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, just to name some of the nations in which lives have been taken to a total of tens of millions in order to maintain, as Martin Luther King cried out, “unjust predatory investments.”3

  1. Martin Luther King’s New York Sermon that shook the world, “Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence“.
  2. Every single nation of majority Caucasian population, even tiny Lichtenstein, Andorra and Monaco, is a member nation of the coalition that murderously occupies Afghanistan.
  3. Ibid.

“US Foreign Policy is the Greatest Crime Since WWII,” former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark

Last week, the present US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, during his trip to five Latin American nations, made headlines world wide when he made the following barely veiled threatening statement: “In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad, and the leadership can no longer serve the people.” and shortly afterward referring to the elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, added: “If the kitchen gets a little to hot for him, I am sure that he’s got some friends over in Cuba that could give him a nice hacienda on the beach and he could have a nice life over there.” US secretaries of state have a lot of balls, as Tillerson’s gangster tough guy remarks showed.

There are few countries in Latin America that have not experienced the USA both secretly and overtly backing a right wing military government coup. The US Secretary of State’s criminally insane backhanded remarks favoring a civil war, with all the probable loss of lives a civil war would bring, seems to fit as appropriate within a US foreign policy of world domination.  Human suffering has never been of any consequence to the financial interests of that 1/10 of 1 per cent of Americans who, to one degree or another, rule us all.

That is the way it has been since the end of the Second World War, a war made possible by the American investments and joint venturing in the rearming of a prostate Nazi Germany1, a war that made the USA rich and the first all powerful single superpower.

Now that China is about to replace the USA as the most powerful economy in the world2, maybe the days of such arrogance from a US Secretary of State are numbered, though the all powerful criminal media owned by the US military industrial complex would have us think otherwise. The CIA overseen mainstream media is preparing its audience for a probable future ‘necessary’ war with US designated ‘adversaries’ Russia and China.

However, although ‘Might makes right!’ might continue to prove to be axiomatic and to assure US capability to make war whenever and wherever, there is a countering ultimate truth that whoever has the most money can buy the most guns. Also worth noting is that overspending on one’s military could lead to the demise experienced by the now non-existent Soviet Union.

There is something else that has made this archival research peoples’ historian wonder, and that is the prevalent assumption that the US and its allied neo-colonial powers will forever continue to get away with murder, mass murder and genocide. That there be no law against invading other countries the way the USA has done to so many dozens of vulnerable Third World nations. At Nuremberg in 1945, Nazi Germans and Japanese leaders were held legally accountable for their much shorter run at doing the same as Americans have been doing since these principles were universally signed on to. It is also worth remembering that according to the long since universally adopted Nuremberg Principles of International Law, every single soldier following illegal orders to invade or bomb shall be tried as criminally responsible for his actions.3

Back in 1991, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark wrote, “US Foreign Policy is the Greatest Crime Since WWII,” in his book, The Fire This Time – US War Crimes in the Gulf, in which, Attorney Clark sites specific crimes in dozens of nations bombed and invaded by Americans since WW II.4

The question arises, ‘how long can indescribably enormous crimes go unpunished?’ How long can the human race, so phenomenally accomplished in science and art, in space exploration and medicine, afford to let this unearthly criminal insanity continue — an indescribably idiotic wholesale extermination of millions of children, women and men?

Yours truly, just back from a month in China, as guest of his students of thirty years ago and marveling on the calm, warm, intelligent and joyful behavior of people throughout all levels of society, tuned in on C-Span Public TV Channels to watch the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee discuss the “present day threats to American interests world wide,” and the eighteen year and failing occupation war in Afghanistan. It was embarrassingly amazing to listen to government officials tossing outright fabrications back and forth while continually congratulating one and another obsequiously on ‘each other’s fine service in protecting our great country.’ Freaky! People who are really great, don’t need to keep telling each other and everyone else how great they are.

Seems, when time runs out on ‘exceptional America,’ a very considerable amount of Americans should be able to escape being put in the dock, by simply claiming, with good proof, criminal insanity.

  1. 27 Million Died in Russia Because Wall Street Built Up Hitler’s Wehrmacht to Knock Out Soviet Union.
  2. “According to conservative estimates, by 2017, China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, and by 2050, its economy will be twice as large as that of the United States. Chinese influence will extend well beyond the economic sphere. The full social, cultural and political repercussions of China’s ascendancy will be felt sooner. In the coming decades, the West will be confronted with the fact that its systems, institutions and values are no longer the only ones on offer.” [When China Rules the World -The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order by Martin Jacques] See also Nobel in Economics Joe Stiglitz, The Chinese Century.
  3. GIs Who Invaded Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Were Criminals By International Law & US Army’s Own Law. Regarding any order to invade and or kill in another country: “An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders — if the order was illegal”.
  4. The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf by Ramsey Clark, 1992.  Relying on evidence gathered firsthand as well as eyewitness reports, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark accuses the U.S. government and its allies of committing war crimes during their attack on Iraq. Clark also presents evidence that the U.S. provoked the war to gain permanent domination over the Gulf. Amazon Book Review.

GIs Who Invaded Vietnam, Iraq, etc. Are Criminal Under International Law and US Army’s Own Law


Memorial Day will someday mean a double mourning, a mourning for the violent deaths suffered by of millions of American military and a much more agonizing mourning for the deaths, maiming, destruction and suffering these Americans in uniform brought to millions of innocent men, women and children by committing crimes against humanity in their own beloved countries for the lies of their government and media.

Regarding any order to invade and or kill in another country: “An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders — if the order was illegal.1

“I was only following orders,” has been unsuccessfully used as a legal defense in hundreds of cases (probably most notably by Nazi leaders at the Nuremberg tribunals following World War II). The defense didn’t work for them, nor has it worked in hundreds of cases since.

Here below copied are the very clear Nuremberg Principles of International Law, which former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark unequivocally states are part of the law of the land by Article Six of the US Constitution.

Principle I
“Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.”

Principle II
“The fact that an internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.”

Principle III
“The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.”
This paraphrases to, “even if you are head of state you still can be tried under international law.”

Principle IV
The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him”.
This principle could be paraphrased as follows: “It is not an acceptable excuse to say ‘I was just following my superior’s orders'”.

Principle V
“Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.”
Principle VI “The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes Against Peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(c) Crimes Against Humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population,

Principle VII
“Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace … or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.

Memorial Day 2017, like Memorial Days over the last sixty odd years, have been used to herald US invasions, bombings and military occupations as fighting for freedom to distract from the horrific truth of continuing US crimes of against humanity and crimes of genocide in more than a dozen smaller nations.

Regarding what US GI’s did to the soft spoken Buddhist Vietnamese, the United States of America dropped more than twice the amount of bombs on them that were dropped during all of the Second World War in Europe, Asia and Africa by all sides. This was after the US government first brought back in the formerly fascist French Colonial Army in US ships, and financially supported their attempt to recolonize Vietnam for eight bloody years. (Vichy France had turned its colony over to the Japanese during WWII.)

Martin Luther King cried out one year before his assassination:

They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps…. So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs… So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers… They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords…What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? …We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing — in the crushing of the nation’s unified Buddhist Church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men.2

How many African American veterans would continue to wear proudly their I am Vietnam Veteran caps if they read or listened to the video of King’s sermon “Beyond Vietnam: a Time to Break Silence,” which has been blacked out of US monopoly media since 1967?2

The reason six US Presidents and US mainstream media gave for the many millions of deaths in French Indochina was seeking to prevent a communist government in Vietnam, but in spite of all the six or seven million deaths, maiming, and malformed births throughout Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Vietnam has had ever since a communist government and is, presently, like the Chinese communist government, a favorite trading partner of the United States of America. How do the families of fallen American GIs who know this feel about their sons and daughters having given their lives for this abject failure of the US government and military in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Iraq which took the lives of so many innocent millions and achieving nothing but death and destruction.

Regarding what American servicemen and women accomplished in Iraq,3 namely the taking of more than a million lives, many of which were children, we recall a TV interview of President Bush, jokingly peering under his desk for the missing weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was accused of having as a reason for invading that prosperous oil rich nation which provided good health care to its citizens, and presently is a destroyed country. No compensation, indemnity, reparations were ever given, not even an apology.

Indian writer Arundhati Roy captured the humanity of the victims of US militarism:

Each of the Iraqi children killed by the United States was our child. Each of the prisoners tortured in Abu Ghraib was our comrade. Each of their screams was ours. When they were humiliated, we were humiliated. The U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq — mostly volunteers in a poverty draft from small towns and poor urban neighborhoods — are victims just as much as the Iraqis of the same horrendous process, which asks them to die for a victory that will never be theirs.4

Not this during this year, nor during most probably many years to follow, but in some year future year, when the economic power of the USA wanes and China and other formerly victimized nations supplant the USA as more influential, will law be restored. And because there is no statute of time limitations for aggression and genocide, the USA, Europe and the UN Secretariat should be sued for reparations in such mega colossal amounts that Wall Street investments in past illegal and unconstitutional use of US Armed Forces will turn out to have been worse than just unprofitable.

  1. See “Obeying an Unlawful Military Order,” The Balance, Oct 18, 2016.
  2. Beyond Vietnam,” a blistering sermon by Martin Luther King in New York, 1967.
  3. Iraq’s health care system
    Iraq had developed a centralized free health care system in the 1970s using a hospital based, capital-intensive model of curative care. The country depended on large-scale imports of medicines, medical equipment and even nurses, paid for with oil export income, according to a “Watching Brief” report issued jointly by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in July 2003.

    Iraq developed a Westernized system of sophisticated hospitals with advanced medical procedures, provided by specialist physicians. The UNICEF/WHO report noted that prior to 1990, 97 percent of the urban dwellers and 71 percent of the rural population had access to free primary health care; just 2 percent of hospital beds were privately managed.

    Infant mortality rates fell from 80 per 1,000 live births in 1974, to 60 in 1982 and 40 in 1989, according to government statistics. A similar trend characterized under-five mortality rates which halved from 120 per 1,000 live births in 1974 to 60 in 1989. (Later studies have questioned these optimistic Iraqi government figures.)

    With the 1991 Gulf War that followed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the situation changed dramatically. The war damaged hospitals, power generation, and water treatment facilities; foreign nurses left the country; and the health budget was slashed. From US$500 million in 1989, the import budget plummeted to US$50 million in 1991 and then to $22 million in 1995. Spending per capita fell from a minimum of US$86 to US$17 in 1996.

    In the eight months following the 1991 war, mortality rates for children under five shot back up to 120 per 1,000 live births, the highest recorded increase for any country in the world in the 1990s, according to the UNICEF/WHO report.

    From Pratap Chatterjee, “Health Care in Iraq Was Better Under Saddam Hussein,” January 18, 2007.

  4. Arundhati Roy, “Tide? Or Ivory Snow? Public Power in the Age of Empire,” August 23, 2004.