Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Years Resolution, CHANGE, and Afghanistan...

Cracker Swamp. Fl - After giving it much thought, my New Years resolution is, to write more.  Most of my contributions to VetSpeak in recent months, have been editorial comments on others' works that I thought were in keeping with our VetSpeak mission, but that's not really writing.  We are most fortunate to have a group of contributing writers who not only have strong feelings on related issues, but as well as being writers, are Veterans activists, military family members, or related issue organizers and/or issue oriented writers.  They are a fine chorus, one with which, as we begin the 2010 campaigns for peace and justice, I feel compelled to rejoin my voice. 
2009 has really sucked!! In just a year's time, CHANGE has become disappointment and despair. The only relief from the pain of our current dilemma regarding CHANGE, primarily the escalation of force in Afghanistan - but also health-care and the economy, as well - is to channel my energy into the things that I know, and things that I know that we can actually do something about.  Things learned over a thirty year period of Veteran advocacy and organizing, and a few years of anti-war service with VVAW, back in the day.   The most productive use of my time, at this point in my life, would seem to be to make that  knowledge of those things learned available to others.  Others, who I would hope might somehow be motivated to become activists and/or organizers, through my writing.  
Selfishly,  it is therapeutic to me, in that it provides a medium for venting frustration and rage against the empire, rather than letting it build up to a boiling point, inside my head and heart. I have incorporated it into my anger management therapy.  A good thing, not only for me, but for others close around me, as well.  My VA shrink suggests that I quit watching the news, if it makes me so angry.  He figures increased Xanax, and less TV, and I'll be on the road to recovery, and all that Iraq n' Aghanistan stuff will just quit being a stressor for me, Vietnam aside.  He indicates that the bonus is that the same thing happens regarding politics...take your meds and turn off the TV, and it will all go away.  On paper, maybe!  If you don't know what they are sayin', then you don't know what game they're playin', I allus say.
Truth is; reality dictates, at least for me, a different path, than that preferred by my VA shrink.  My family motto, "Persistance brings down even the strongest walls", 10 years Marine Corps service, and 4 years of back-in-the-day VVAW activism, all have me conditioned to another kind of  lifestyle...that, of direct involvement in things that directly impact my life, and the lives of those that I love, respect, and otherwise care about, or am associated with. 
That is, to me, how CHANGE is brought about...outreach, issue orientation, education, and direct action out in the grass-roots.  That's how it worked so well for VVAW, back in the chapter or campaign at a time, unified around a mutually agreed upon set of principles (then 11 Objectives), democratically organized around issues of mutual concern that are in relationship to the ugly side of US Imperialism, whether military, political, or corporate in nature, as practiced right here at home, as well as abroad.  I believe that it can happen that way again.  It is to that I end that I make this New Years resolution to write more, in 2010.
Veterans' issues are the same as others' issues, when you stop and think about it.  Our current national profile is not truly indicative of us as Americans.  It is, in objective reality, more indicative of the type of people that are in control of our government, and how, and for what purposes they use their power, at any given time, than us, as a people. In my opinion, we have once again allowed the tyrants to re-frame the argument. The argument that I'm referring to, is the one regarding our national identity and international policies being manipulated through government and/or corporate control of the media.  It is now time to seize the initiative and change the national debate, rather than to simply keep reacting to events, often too late .
The most powerful weapon that we have at our disposal is objective truth, spoken by those who have lived it, rather than those who make it an art form to design truth to their political, economic, or personal and/or corporate power grabbing ends.  We should speak for ourselves and not allow others with hidden agendas to speak for us, if we hope to succeed in bringing about our vision of CHANGE...just as VVAW, united with many others did, re Vietnam and Nixon, back in the day. 
So my resolution is to write more in 2010, and to share those hard earned lessons that I mentioned earlier with as many folks as I possibly can, in the mission to help empower folks with information, and win hearts and minds and activists to the cause...even if it's just one heart and mind at a time.  Especially considering the current Afghanistan escalation, and the work that we all now have ahead of us, as a result.
I hope many of you will join me in my resolution, and resolve to write more, too. We're gonna need all hands, to turn things around at this point.  Our voices linked together voicing one message of CHANGE, especially regarding our policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a very powerful weapon in the cause of peace and social justice.  To that end, your voice is welcome here at  I will be happy to post any articles that reflect our mission statement.  You are welcome to share your stories and organizational event information (with citation and attributions, when appropriate) in Word.doc, with ARTICLE in the Subject field, and e-mail it to me,, with a short bio...not's just in the spirit of getting to know you.  And as always, your comments on our postings are always welcome. 
Best New Year Wishes to All...
Willie Hager
On-line Editor


Anonymous said...

Aint took a happy pill yet. I COULD use a vaca from this day in & day out parade of evil banality, wading thru the blood, hearing the screams at nigt. If I did, I would be jining 90% of the dull witted accomplices to this.....
I dont sleep well, but Im my own man. and as long as i live in a country that thinks like this-
there is no other option.
i owe the Viets something. Not slipping into a TV/xanax coma is part of it.
Yeah, bro- youll get my unpleasant thoughts & we slip deeper & deeper into insanity and murder.
We are in a very deep hole, the new boss took a long, hard look & ordered up a bigger shovel.

ChuckPal said...


You set a fine example and your writing, well, deserves more writing. Certainly for the therapeutic value for self (as I have confessed to in the past as well about my own writing), but no one can speak or write with that certain quality/feeling unless they have been there and done that - like you and me, and so many others. Other contributors bring great value as well, and I don't mean this as critical of them - we need ALL of us. But the raw emotion that is often felt via our writing is extremely important. Keep up the great work, brother. We ALL look forward to more of it during 2010.

Semper Peace!