Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fleet Week

Fleet Week in San Francisco starts today. Each year in early October, the afternoon skies --which today are blindingly bright blue-- suddenly scream with the sound of jets, these amazing flying machines and the men who man them. I work in Pacific Heights, and they come close to our building. Everyone around me is irritated at the "militarism".

I think they're beautiful.

This part of the world, addicted to smug highminded nonsense as it is, prefers to think that if you do not have men with guns around, Eden will return. Our film commissionerette recently refused the Marines permission to film a recruiting movie on our sacred and peace-loving streets. The Oakland Airport "mistakenly" stranded 200 Marines returning from Iraq so that they could not enter the terminal to greet friends and loved ones. And of course, we can't have the evils of ROTC in our schools.

A line attributed to Orwell has struck me as very true: "Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready on their behalf to do violence against those who would harm them."

Last year I posted angrily about the JROTC thing here and my cyberfriend A, a (gay) Marine warrior catastrophically wounded in Iraq told me to remember that freedom means people have a right to make choices and that if even San Francisco were ever in, say, post-earthquake trouble and needed the help of the much-despised military, "we'd come anyway."

"We'd come anyway".

Pretty well sums it up for this old chickenhawk.

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