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The Leaf Chronicle should be ashamed

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way. – Mark Twain’s War Prayer

The Leaf Chronicle NewspaperIn the Leaf Chronicle today was an un-attributed editorial, for which any organization that prides it’s self on having the highest journalistic standards should be ashamed for publishing. Their editorial paints those who disagree with the policies of politicians with the taint of not supporting the troops, of disloyalty. Indeed they proclaim that America would do well to heed the words of the commander of the 101st airborne division:

The last thing that you want to have happen is an Army in combat, with people saying that we really question what our government is having them do – Major General Jeffery J. Schloesser, the commander of the 101st airborne division

I could not disagree more.

Our soldiers are true patriots. They are not like those faux patriots in the corporate media, and Washington DC. You know the people who proclaim their patriotism at every opportunity while showing themselves to be anything but. Our troops are honorable people, and understand more than most Americans the true cost of our freedoms, and the need to defend the right of everyone to make use of them. General and later President Dwight D. Eisenhower probably voiced their point of view the best when he said:

May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion – Dwight D. Eisenhower

But that is exactly what General Schloesser hinted at with his words that those who voice their opposition to the war in Iraq, the policies of politicians, and the way this county has been run since September 11, 2001, are against the troops and thus disloyal to our nation.

Indeed. Americans have a right to free speech, and those who oppose the war won’t be stopped from expressing that.

He chose the wording with clear intent when he stated “Won’t be stopped” and not “shouldn’t be stopped”.

We can look back in time to read the playbook that is being used to target open dissent in this nation.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.Joseph Goebbels

Here is a list of 20 things which make me oppose this administration and the wars it has started:

  1. 3566 US dead, 25,830 US wounded, and up to 650,000 dead Iraqi civilians.
  2. Shredding of the Constitution and the principles it enshrines.
  3. Signing statements
  4. Secret Rendition.
  5. Torture.
  6. Indefinite detention.
  7. Suspension of Habeas Corpus, the great writ.
  8. Warrantless spying.
  9. Enabling and supporting war profiteering.
  10. The massively botched response to Hurricane Katrina.
  11. Violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act.
  12. National Security Presidential Directive 51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20.
  13. The Patriot act, which was anything but.
  14. Lying to Congress, the American people, and the world to justify a war in Iraq.
  15. Sidelining the war against Al Qaeda and Bin Laden in Afghanistan, for a more profitable war in Iraq.
  16. No bid contracts.
  17. Obstruction of the Congress’s legitimate oversight responsibilities.
  18. Leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent to the press to punish a critic of the administration.
  19. Politicizing the justice department.
  20. Firing the US Attorneys then lying about it.

To paraphrase George Orwell, it’s only in times of universal deceit like these, that telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

Our soldiers should be opposing this criminal administration. Isn’t it their duty after all? Does the oath every soldier swore not state, “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

Indeed prominent members of the military leadership have come out opposing this administration, it’s policies, and the war in Iraq. Retired Generals such as Wesley Clark, Major Gen. John Batiste, Major Gen. Paul Eaton, Lt. Gen. William Odom, Gen. Anthony Zinni, Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, Gen. Eric Shinseki, Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, Brig. Gen. John Johns, and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. All of whom retired after distinguished careers.

Lets not forget the stories we have covered here on Clarksville Online, including Spc. Donald Hudson’s poignant “A soldier in Iraq asks in despair: Why are we here?“, our coverage of a CNN story about a Clarksville, TN resident Spc Jefferson, and Army Lt. Col. Paul Yingling’s devastating assessment for the Armed Forces Journal entitled, “A failure in generalship.

Even the military does not speaks with one voice on this subject, and that is not a bad thing. As President John F. Kennedy said:

Without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive – John F. Kennedy

You can best support our troops by pushing to have them brought home to be with their families, by ensuring that no soldier’s blood is ever again spilled for a lie, that no soldier ever dies in vain.

I could keep going but lets end this with a quote from a Journalist on this matter. It’s from Edward R. Murrow, a true example of what the Leaf Chronicle should be aspiring to become. He said:

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it. – Edward R. Murrow

I just hope the Leaf Chronicle, and the corporate media, learns that lesson in time.

Mark Twain’s War Prayer Part 1


Mark Twain’s War Prayer Part 2


Bill Larson
Bill Larson
Bill Larson is  is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave. You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.


  1. “You can best support our troops by pushing to have them brought home to be with their families, by ensuring that no soldier’s blood is ever again spilled for a lie, that no soldier ever dies in vain.”
    As a wife of a soldier serving, as a daughter of a man who served 21 years, and as a friend of many fighting I coulodnt disagree with you more. Our soldiers fight to give another country freedom. it may be a long fight to over come. but let me ask you, what have we lost? wars take time. but our men and women are heroes. the last thing they want is for you to protest them doing their jobs. for you to use the every things they stand for against them. for you to say your rights have been taken away. the rights blood has been spilled for you to have. they want your love. they need your prayers. families that wait everyday for news have to put with people like all of you. and its disgusting.

  2. We have lost a generation of young men, future business men and women, scientists, thinkers, doctors, future leaders of our nation, husbands, fathers, sisters, mothers. We lost all of their descendants who would have been born if they had not been died in order to generate huge profits for George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the military industrial complex that president Eisenhower warned us about 50 years ago. We have lost 3,589 soldiers in Iraq. Over 35,638 soldiers have been wounded, some disfigured for life. “What have we lost?”, I really can’t believe you said that.

    You are the wife and daughters of a soldiers, so I should not be able to question your statements, I see how this game is supposed to be played. But sorry I served in our nations military, I pay taxes which are used to give you and your husband the life you seek, I vote, I used to be a republican, heck I even voted for Bush once. I have just as much right to question this war as you and your husband, so does any other American.

    You can’t give our freedom to a nation which doesn’t want it. You definitely can’t give freedom to a nation by raping and pillaging it. You can’t police a civil war. We don’t fight for their freedom by killing innocent civilians, men women and children in Iraq.

    Our troops are doing their job, no more, no less. In the conflict in Afghanistan they were heroes, in Iraq they are simply being used. I have no doubt the individual soldier fights for the right reasons but that only works when their leadership does as well, and is honest with them, with the nation. That’s not the case with the war in Iraq.

    I could not care less if anyone doesn’t like my protesting this immoral, illegal, and unjust war. I do this simply because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s popular You claim to speak for all troops something that is patently untrue. I claim only to speak for myself and the readers of this site who agree with my position.

    When I served in the military we had a saying. I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. You would do well to take that to heart.

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