Monday, February 9, 2009

Soldier Pat Tillman Former Arizona Cardinal, War, & the Superbowl

I was raised in a family with a big football tradition but never watch or keep up with professional football games like i do with the Lakers. Something about basketball's beautiful finesse and non-combative spirit that draws me to it more so than all of the war and dominance that is the essence of football. Add to that all of the U.S. promotion of war and patriotism through killing that they absolutely make sure to take advantage of during a world wide viewed event like the Superbowl and you have the makings for a perfect blend of extremism, fanaticism, and the paving of the road to fascism.
Yesterday's Superbowl was no different. It was just like all of the rest i never really analyzed to much when i was a kid but remember clearly how everything unfolded. All of the stores packed with people buying up cases of beer, all the avocados, and all of the chips. I'd arrive to the designated family members house who was hosting the game, usually the family alcoholic and the one with the biggest T.V. The television would remain on the channel all day that was airing the Superbowl and the drinking and gluttony would commence. Throughout this time everyone's conversation would continuously be littered with the mention of all of the new commercials they were so excited to get to see this year and everyone guessing at how cool the half-time show would be. There was just one problem, by the time those moments in televison land arrived 98% of the household crowd was drunk, slurring their words, red in the face, and willing to accept anything as fact that the T.V., at the controls of the U.S. corporate and military media, presented to them.
Even at the beginning of the game, after about 6 hours of pre-drinking and the arrival of a really good buzz, not a soul could escape the emotional tear jerking sound of the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful blended with the screaming and fiery sound of bloody bomb dropping military jets flying overhead and all of the visions of Marines, Army, Navy, and Airforce personel watching the game in some far off land in one of over 100 countries the U.S. occupies with military bases. You can't help but feel empowered through war and invasion, especially if you're full of beer - the stuff we call "liquid courage" on the streets and even more so if you happen to be watching right when they bring the President on screen to Christen the Superbowl tradition on Holy Sunday, in this case it was the unquestionable super hero Barack Obama who had one hell of an orchastrated Superbowl election and inaugeration himself.
But what does this have to do with Pat Tillman the ex-Arizona Cardinal and U.S. Special Forces hero? Everything. Because there were really only two reasons yesterday why i sat and watched off and on all of the festivities. One, because i really enjoy making a psychological study out of it and now that i have a little son we sat and watched together as i asked him many questions about what was being presented to him. i want him to begin at a very early stage to think critically and know exactly what he is being confronted with in the media. We had a wonderful exchange about sports & competition, war, greed, buying things we don't need, waste, alcohol and it's affect on the body, family, and community and you'd be surprised at how amazingly bright and intelligent his little mind is. Two, i watched in memory of Pat Tillman, his excellence in athletics, and his unbelievable courage to give up a professional football career and all that goes with it to join the military and do what at that time he felt was the right thing to do. I watched yesterday's Superbowl looking for just one moment when his name would be mentioned, his picture would be shown, his service to his country and the death that it brought would be remembered but i never saw anything. i might have missed it if they did do so but am pretty sure that it never happened because doing so would have made everyone remember Pat and ask, "what ever happened to that guy?"
Well, i write to you today to urge you to head over to your local bookstore and purchase the book, "Boots On The Ground By Dusk : My Tribute To Pat Tillman" by none other than his Mom Mary Tillman. It was written just this last year in 2008 and is one of the most heart wrenching and truly emotional stories about family, faith, friendship, loyalty, courage, honor, and truth that i have read in a long time. I got to know Pat and his whole family through this book and i thank his Mom for having all of the strength to share with us and even more to write about her son and how he died in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004 or should i say how she, Pat's brother Kevin who served in the same unit as him, his wife Marie and the whole family investigated and came to the conclusion that to drum up Superbowl (my word) support for the war he was murdered by the United States secret military forces, his own military men at the behest of the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld crime families who are still at work in our lives and in the world regardless of a new black president who uses the words hope and change.
It would have been nice to see a tribute to Pat be shown yesterday and even more to see his Mom Mary be given an award, recognition, or just something to honor their sacrifice. After reading the book though i knew that this would never happen. She is a Mom on a mission. Questioning everything and everyone about her son's murder. From her story i learned that she is not to be messed with and has no fear of asking even that 4 star General Petreus they brought out to the middle of the field yesterday to do the coin toss why she is getting NO REAL answers as to why Pat was set up and shot directly in the head blowing his brain and skull clear off of his body by U.S. soldiers. YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK! It has everything to do with uncovering the lies and secrecy that all of the governmental and military leaders work everyday to keep from us. It has everything to do with freedom and democracy and everything to do with your freedom to question and not just go along or be carried along with false patriotism issued and cultivated through a yearly football game used to develop and promote a war mentality, a "just bombed them" mentality, a "we gotta kill them before they kill us" touchdown mindset.
The Superbowl is not "just a football game" people. That kind of reasoning is for Homer Simpson. We have to begin to think and confront things like the Tillman family and the greatest thing that her book taught me was to do it before we lose any more of our sons and daughters in U.S. wars around the world for profit and before they are forgotten, purposely sidelined and wiped away by another and another war that each and every generation in our country has to live and fight through. Sure the soldiers are recognized and long as they are right in line with the Superbowl mentality, never questioning the reason for why they are being asked to kill or injure other human beings. But as soon as they do, there is a purposeful campaign by all of the forces of the State to silence them, their families, and threaten their existence. Pat & Kevin Tillman along with the whole Tillman family and all the other families who have lost a loved one and questioned the military and government are a real testament to this. Please reasd the book. You won't regret that you did.

-Hueteotl Lopez

-"Fascism is not the easiest thing to identify and analyze; nor, once in power, is it easy to destroy...Points to stress are: (1) Fascism is more apt to come to power in time of economic crisis; (2) Fascism inevitably leads to war; (3) it can come in any country; (4) we can best combat it by making our democracy work.
-U.S. Army: Army Orientation Fact Sheet 1945

- "The first step in a fascist movement is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the inteligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other."
-Bertrand Russell

No comments: