Friday, August 03, 2012


Monday marks the 60th anniversary of my first White Sox game. There was no hero of the game that August 6, 1952, for two reasons. Early Wynn and the Tribe pummeled the Sox 7-1, denying any Pale Hose from donning a hero's mantle. Secondly, it would be over 50 years before the White Sox instituted their Hero of the Game feature in which a military man or women, usually someone coming back from a war zone or re-enlisting, is brought out to receive a tumultuous ovation from 20 to 30 thousand fans.

I do not stand and I do not cheer in spite of my respect for the awesome bravery and dedication of the honored. I view the event as a free commercial for the Military-Industrial Complex which has brilliantly woven adulation of military personnel into our culture so we will sheepishly avoid the hard and critical questions why we continue to squander trillions to spill oceans of blood in the Middle East while our own country flounders. This strategy has worked brilliantly as the only mention of foreign affairs in this election consists of each candidate one-upping the other in terms of financial and moral support they give Israel to attack Iran.

But after following the exploits of my beloved Sox in over 9,500 games since that first one, I do feel entitled to recommend my own choice for "Hero of the Game." He's an Iraq war vet who truly loves his country and served it, and indeed, humanity, well till no longer permitted. This soldier followed his conscience and in return was detained and held under the following conditions for eight months: stripped to his underwear, isolated from exercise and most normal detention activities, sleep deprived and allowed use of eye glasses for a single hour daily.

An international outcry finally forced this serviceman to be granted more humane conditions of detention. Even UN torture expert Juan Mendez who investigated the initial detention, concluded that he had been held in cruel and inhuman conditions. This soldier has been incarcerated another eight months and won't get his day in court till sometime next year. Many believe this unconscionable delay is to postpone the embarrassment his trial will cause Uncle Sam. His crime? Telling the world the truth about our senseless, and murderous and bankrupting Iraq war.

At my next Sox game I will stand and cheer when the service person trots out to a standing ovation. But my cheers will be for the soldier who can't be there to receive them for his unfathomable sacrifice to the dictates of his conscience: My Hero of the Game? Private Bradley Manning.

Monday, July 30, 2012


For a man who never wore a military uniform, Willard "Mitt" Romney sure has no qualms about promoting senseless, criminal, pre-emptive war. During his visit to Israel this weekend, Romney foreign policy advisor Dan Senor told us that Romney was ready to support a unilateral military strike by Israel against Iran: "If Israel has to take action on its own, the governor would respect that decision". What Senor, a neocon participant in the Bush administration war of revenge and conquest against Iraq, doesn't say, is that any Israeli attack on Iran would immediately draw in Uncle Sam into the conflict on Israel's side. In essence, Romney, has signaled he is A-OK with Israel dragging us into a catastrophic war which would make our three trillion dollar failed Iraq war seem like a walk in the park.

Assuming that Romney is not insane, the only logical explanation is that his cynicism about winning the White House using aggressive war mongering on behalf of Israel knows no bounds. Romney wrongly believes that Jewish Americans will desert the infinitely more sensible foreign policy chops of President Obama and vote en mass for Romney November 6. Besides not being fervent supporters of an Israeli strike against Iran, Jewish Americans gave Obama 75% of their vote in 2008 because of his progressive and enlightened policies on virtually every important issue facing America. Voting for the regressive policies of the GOP and Mitt Romney is a non-starter for a clear majority.

The best we can hope for is that Romney truly does not seek an Israeli or American war against Iran, but merely wants to become President. Maybe he figures that once in the White House he can pivot and adopt the cautious Obama policies on Iran. But anyone who seeks to become a Master of War to play with our world like its his little toy, deserves to be shunned for the fool and the war criminal wannabe he is.