Thursday, September 07, 2006

Robert Koehler: 'Comic Book Patriotism'

With the NDP's position on no extension in the mandate for our troops in Afghanistan and bringing the two adversaries to the peace table, already the questioning of one's patriotism is being flung around, similar to the USA. The two main adversaries in Afghanistan were already engaged in a civil war long before 9/11. In this context, it is all the more interesting and timely to read Robert Koehler's article, "Comic Book Patriotism". Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago based journalist, national syndicated writer and editor at Tribune Media Services.

Comic-book Patriotism
Remember when we murdered Iran's democracy? Remember 9/11?

Tribune Media Services

September 7, 2006

“You, sir, should be horsewhipped.”

Nothing like a little intimidation to liven up my ongoing meditation on a just society. To be threatened with e-mail violence by a Marine Corps major (ret.) steeped in righteousness — wow, how deliciously personal and unfair. What a lovely mixture of bile and adrenaline it sets to bubbling. What a temptation it creates to respond in kind.

Instead, I’ve decided to make this conversation — about violence, ignorance, idealism — public. This is bigger than both of us, sir.

I stand accused, for writing a column defending a young Marine deserter who fled apparent criminal abuse at the hands of fellow Marines (returning Iraq vets who acted as though they were haunted by the demons of PTSD), of “disrupting the good order and discipline” of the Corps, and of an almost treasonous failure, judging by the tone of the letter and the proposed punishment, to appreciate how good I’ve got it: “It is the likes of men . . . you belittle and criticize that provide you with the privilege of the free speech you so eagerly abuse.”


Read Robert Koehler's full article here.

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