Friday, November 09, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4 ... What the hell are we fighting for?

Anti-war Vets Slam Parade Ban

LONG BEACH - Iraq veteran Jason Lemieux might not be marching in the 11th annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade on Saturday.

The Marine, who served three tours of duty in Iraq and is now against the war, was hoping to march as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, a national organization that calls for immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq.

The group’s application, however, was rejected last month because of its political views, parade coordinators said.

“I wanted to march like the rest of the Iraq veterans,” said Lemieux, a 24-year-old Anaheim resident. “I served my country. I’m a veteran of a foreign war. I think I deserve that respect.”

Iraq Veterans, along with the groups Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out, applied to march together in the parade this year under the entry “Military Patriots.”

After reviewing each group’s mission statement, the Veterans Day Parade Committee, a non-profit group that organizes the event, voted unanimously to reject the application, said parade coordinator Martha Thuente.

“They do not fit the spirit of the parade,” she said. “The spirit being one of gratitude for what the veterans have done. We do not want groups of a political nature, advocating the troops’ withdrawal from Iraq.”
Oh, the irony! What better way to show gratitude for what veterans have done than to bring them home from an illegal war!?

But wait, there's more!
City Attorney Bob Shannon on Wednesday said the parade committee is a private, non-profit organization, and therefore reserves the right to choose its participants.
Each year, the parade generates funds through community fundraisers and corporate sponsors, Thuente said. Paramount Petroleum Corporation donated $10,000 this year.
Yet another example of this war being about the oil.

And BTW, the $hitty Attorney is being duplicitous:
The city provides the staffing, flags, banners, utilities and police protection, Shannon said, but does not play any role in the approval of parade participants.

“The fact that the city does provide staff is a disconnect,”
Shannon said.
So taxpayers provide the streets, the staffing, the flags, the banners, the utilities and the police ... but it's a private event. Yeah, Bob, there's a disconnect ... between you and reality.

I'll give the last word to Iraq veteran Jason Lemieux:
“It feels like I’ve been betrayed by the very people I fought to serve,” he said.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak