Friday, August 26, 2005

The un-American Legion

At the top of the page where the story I am reporting here ran in the venerable industry publication, Editor and Publisher, is a banner ad for Garrison Keillor's new column in Tribune News Services. It says, "I think the most un-Amerian thing you can say is, 'You can't say that.' " By that token, the most un-American organization in this country today is The American Legion.

Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway alerted us to their most recent assault on the Constitution, announced yesterday. Here is how Editor and Publisher reported it:
The American Legion, which has 2.7 million members, has declared war on antiwar protestors, and the media could be next. Speaking at its national convention in Honolulu, the group's national commander called for an end to all “public protests” and “media events” against the war, even though they are protected by the Bill of Rights.

"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu.

The delegates voted to use whatever means necessary to "ensure the united backing of the American people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism."
Whatever means necessary. Reichsfuhrer Cadmus explains further (followed by a wry editorial comment by E&P):
In his speech, Cadmus declared: "It would be tragic if the freedoms our veterans fought so valiantly to protect would be used against their successors today as they battle terrorists bent on our destruction.”

He explained, "No one respects the right to protest more than one who has fought for it, but we hope that Americans will present their views in correspondence to their elected officials rather than by public media events guaranteed to be picked up and used as tools of encouragement by our enemies." This might suggest to some, however, that American freedoms are worth dying for but not exercising.
Politburo Chairman Cadmus then goes on to take a swipe at Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star Mother who has symbolically confronted Bush over the Iraq disaster, although Chairman Cadmus does it indirectly by raising the image of Jane Fonda gamboling with the North Vietnamese 35 years ago.
"We had hoped that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War would be clear to our fellow citizens. Public protests against the war here at home while our young men and women are in harm's way on the other side of the globe only provide aid and comfort to our enemies."
The Representatives of the Fatherland then went on to pass a resolution (vote 4000 to 0, just like your average rigged election in a Banana Republic) voicing platitudes about supporting our troops, from old men who won't have to fight in this criminal debacle.

I just wanted to say this while I am still allowed.

Addendum (courtesy Phila from Bouphonia in Comments): The American Legion demanded complete withdrawal from Kosovo in 1999, and issued a public statement saying that troops should never be sent into war without a valid cause and a clear exit strategy.