In today’s New York Times (here) there is an odd but telling article. I find it to be very much "on the point" for this website. A left wing, human rights lawyer that works for an organization that is often at odds with the Israeli government has just been discovered by "someone" to be a leading author and collector on Nazi memorabilia. He is now suspended pending an investigation. The article is "Rights Group Assailed for Analyst’s Nazi Collection".
I suspect that the "someone" who discovered this are agents of the government of Israel.
Marc Galasco of Human Rights Watch has been suspended.
The article, written by John Schwartz, a staffer at the Times states in part: "Mr. Garlasco, who worked at the Pentagon helping to target bombs in the second Persian Gulf war, has since traveled the world for Human Rights Watch, investigating and writing reports of the alleged use of white phosphorus munitions in Gaza, cluster munitions in Russia and Georgia, and other military practices in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon."
Now, the reason that this caught my eye is the obvious use of Nazi monikers or obvious display of interest in Nazi trappings of one sort or another by many commenters on this site as well as many, many American veterans. This sort of thing is very common in the Reich Wing that often comments on this site, but to be honest, I was surprised a "Leftie" like myself would be fascinated with this stuff. In my mind there is a lesson here. "Hobbies" often speak deeper about a man than words.
Should this guy be judged by his hobbies? Hard for me to say. On the one hand he is attempting to defend Palestinians against the perceived oppression of the Israeli government and hard right wing Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories. On the other hand he has written a 400 page book on Nazi medals and is a frequent and noted personage on Nazi memorabilia sites. Does this make him a criminal? No. A hard right wing neo-Nazi? No. A left wing politico with an unfortunate hobby when measured against his political views? Absolutely.
What I am trying to say is this. To some degree all of us, left wing or right wing or chicken wing, are expected to live a life that is line with what we claim to be doing and who we claim to be. That applies to you. That applies to me. It is the only measuring stick that the world has to judge us and frankly it is the main reason we are against commenter monikers on this site. It is not clear who you are as a person if you do not use your actual name. (Besides monikers are too juvenile for the serious subject matter of this veteran’s web site anyway!)
Why is this important? Because actions are the only way that the larger community has available to it to judge who we really are. We can talk all day, it means very little. It is all about the walk.
Reich wingers on this site who stop by and comment often seem to have these pro-Nazi interests. That alone does not make them bad people. After all, history requires historians and historians require personal interest in a subject to do their research. But right now in this country there is enormous dishonesty and that affects veterans deeply. In short, people who "champion" our rights or the rights of others do not always portray who they really are.
And because of that one fact, veterans have suffered for generations.
Just take a look at the older and established "funny hat" veterans organizations…they are lobbying groups for the defense industry. That is where they spend their time and efforts. Veterans are an afterthought at best and we serve as camoflage for their real agenda at worst. Let me give another example.
In the famous "you a liar!" outburst by South Carolina congressman Joe Wilson last week from the floor of the House directed against the President of the United States there were similar "misinformation" tidbits or shall I say, oddly phrased defense statements made by Mr. Wilson and his supporters. At one point when he was questioned about his obvious anti-immigrant views relative to health care and illegals, Mr. Wilson protested and claimed to have worked in immigration law. Here is a blog site article that explores that claim in depth.
In short relative to the blog’s researchers, as far as any South Carolina immigration lawyer that could be found knows, Wilson never worked in immigration law. Odd isn’t it? Once again we have an important politico not fully portraying who he is or what his core belief system really is. That is to say, on both the left and the right, we often have (lets be kind) "misinformation" about who a person actually is coming from that person himself. Why is that?
Because if people knew who they really were, they would lose all influence, as well they should. And so, important people involved in public discourse often change the picture of who they really are. That way they can push an agenda through the system by lying about who they are, what they want and who they represent.
The situation is getting worse and it shows up on this site in the commenters’ block all the time. People hide behind a false sense of who they are because they need to hide a very dangerous, anti-veteran agenda.
And the odd thing is that oftentimes veteran’s themselves are involved in this dangerous charade. We seem to be our own worst enemies, just read the commenter blocks on this site. We often simply will not portray who we are , what we want and what our agenda really is. And so we are easy to manipulate by the professionals in power who do this all the time.
We are not usually slick enough to make this sort of thing work for us, we are outclassed by the professionals in this area. If we would only be honest in our discourse with each other and with the government, we would have power. But no, we often resort to the same underhanded deceit that the professionals use when we hide who we are and what we want. It makes us weak. It makes it easy to divide us. No one wants to serve the interests of a liar.
And so it goes.
We veterans’ advocates must deal with "false flag" issues every day. The older and well established veterans organizations do not truly represent us or our needs. If they did, we would not be in the mess we are in right now relative to over a million backlogged cases, lousy health care administration from the government and a thousand other veterans’ care issues. No, they represent the elite in the military industrial complex and use us, America’s veterans, as a "blind" so that their real colors cannot be seen by those who would look.
They lie about who they are. And we continually allow it and in fact, often support it. I myself am a life time member of the DAV and a long standing member of the American Legion. My only defense is that I always challenge them when I find them stretching the truth or moving in a direction that is anti-veteran. I want them to portray who they really are. In my mind, they often simply do not do that. They have a hidden agenda that is often anti-veteran. We must all learn to recognize this and challenge it when it happens. Or we will stay in the mess we are in.
And in my mind, that is why we are in the trouble we are in right now – our advocates often do not truly speak for us, they simply use us as a "blind". Our "champions" are oftentimes our worst enemies. And all we want is to know exactly who we are talking to…and as these two articles point out, that is not always an easy thing to determine.
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)