[image from rory’s site.. site linked to image]
I jotted a few things down after watching those horrible scenes unfold at Bagram Airfield on Monday https://t.co/x9TCq1bnAc
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/RTFanning/status/1428721582197837832
notes/quotes from article – aug 20 2021
Rory Fanning, who served two deployments to Afghanistan with the 2nd Army Ranger Battalion, reflects on the soclaist politics and practice that will be needed to stop future wars
The military felt dangerous but also safe. There was order in the military. It seemed to offer a coherent worldview that revolved around solidarity among fellow soldiers and fighting for freedom. The military represented honor and purpose.
The sense of betrayal and disgust by what I saw and did in Afghanistan—where I spent a great deal of time at Bagram airbase—led me to reject the idea that the United States is a force for good in the world
Socialists taught me that one person is never solely responsible for such epic crimes. It is the conspiracy in plain sight carried out by the ruling class that causes such chaos and destruction.
Beyond asking how we are going to place the millions of Afghan refugees in homes in the United States and elsewhere, the next most relevant topic is: How do we prevent a war like Afghanistan from ever happening again? So I’ll stick to that.
There have been hundreds of thousands of recent high school or college grads who signed up for the military for reasons similar to mine. Kids who were lost. Kids who had no sense of community. Kids who were in debt or were just plain poor
As a socialist, I know that the only real weapon the poor and working class have is solidarity, best demonstrated through an organized, collective agreement to withhold our labor. If we want to prevent a disaster such as the war in Afghanistan from ever happening again there needs to be a plan to reach all those that are signing up for the military and build alternatives for them. How do we interrupt that moment when young people make the decision to work for a state that advocates wars that benefit a handful or rich and powerful people at the great expense of the rest of us.. How do we win over these kids before the U.S. ruling class does? How do we share a worldview that communicates a way of fighting oppression and exploitation rather than reinforcing it?.. *There is power in showing young people an alternative and then helping them fight for it.. I wish I knew about socialist politics before I signed up for the military.
and.. especially if that *alt is a legit alt.. ie: a nother way.. that gets at our essence.. our deepest needs..
I speak to high school and college-age students now. I feel overwhelmed by all those I’m not reaching. I constantly ask myself if it’s all in vain.
Can there be a victory for ordinary people in a real and sustained way? Can we win reparations for all those who have been victimized by the ruling class? Will I see it in my lifetime?
you/we could see 8b legit free people.. ie: imagine if we
I know one thing: bottom-up socialism, communicated one conversation at a time, and then collectively struggled for is the only thing that can get in the way of another major war, the ongoing climate catastrophe, and increased exploitation and oppression in the world. So I keep at it. I keep going to the schools trying to communicate the benefits of socialism and the horrors of capitalism and imperialism.
But there are days like August 16 in Kabul that make me despair and want to give up. Over my desk, I have a taped quote from Howard Zinn that I read from time to time. It keeps me going: ‘..if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an *infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory‘
*yes and/but that’s also what’s keeping us in the same song
today we have the means to undo our hierarchical listening – to self/others/nature.. for a legit detox.. for a legit leap
Another world is possible. It has to be.
ie: a nother way
Works for @HaymarketBooks. Wrote Worth Fighting For, co-wrote Long Shot with @CraigHodgesNBA. Walked across the US for the Pat Tillman Fdn. in 2008/9.
his site: https://roryfanning.org/
Fighting to End the Unending Wars
Rory Fanning (@RTFanning) tweeted at 6:39 AM – 19 Jun 2018 :
“I consider myself a revolutionary socialist,I would encourage all soldiers who have a conscience to lay down their arms and join me and so many others who are willing to stop serving the agents of imperialism and join us in a revolutionary movement.” https://t.co/4rXIVry7aq
He explained that he took the offending selfies at his May 2016 West Point graduation ceremony and kept them to himself until last September, when he tweeted them in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was taking heat for kneeling for the national anthem to raise awareness of racism. Many other military personnel also tweeted in favor of Kaepernick, although most were supporting free speech, not communism.
He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and was assigned as an assistant machine gunner in Khost Province.
“We were bullies in one of the poorest countries on Earth,” Rapone said. “We have one of the most technologically advanced militaries of all time and all we were doing is brutalizing and invading and terrorizing a population that had nothing to do with what the United States claimed was a threat.”