Duncan Hunter is a hero to many Americans. I am not among that number.
Commenting on the upcoming trial of a fellow participant in the United States government's invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq, Hunter said “I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians, if not scores, if not hundreds of civilians. Probably killed women and children, if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So, do I get judged too?”
Hunter was a willing participant in the illegal, unconstitutional, unnecessary war of aggression against the country of Iraq. He obviously shows no remorse for his callous indifference to the suffering, destruction, death and chaos he helped to inflict on the people of that country; people who had not attacked the United States; people who were of no threat whatsoever to the citizens of the United States.
I suspect that if Duncan Hunter had been born in 1840, rather than in 1976, he would have gladly participated in the Yankee Empire's invasion and destruction of the Confederate States of America.
At the behest of Abraham Lincoln, he would have willingly donned the blue uniform of the Yankee invaders. Hunter surely would have kicked down doors of Southern farmhouses, and set barns ablaze.
He would have participated in the slaughter of hogs and cows which belonged to the women and children left behind by the men who were defending Dixie against the invading U.S. Army; hogs and cows which would have provided meat, milk and butter to sustain Southern families through the winter months. If any Southern women or 12 year-old boys had resisted his violence, he likely would have run his bayonet through their hearts without flinching. Surely Duncan Hunter would have smiled as he looked back over his shoulder to see the smoldering ruins of Atlanta, or Vicksburg, or Chattanooga in the distance. In 1890, Duncan Hunter would likely have reminisced fondly of his time in the Union Army, recollecting his killing of 'hundreds of Rebel civilians.'
Is Duncan Hunter a hero? Sure, he is, to Americans who glory in the invasion and destruction of defenseless countries thousands of miles from America's shores. To an unreconstructed Southerner, Duncan Hunter is just another pawn in the Yankee Empire's killing machine.
A couple of years ago, my family and I attended that most Southern of cultural events – a 'fiddlers' convention' in the community of Frankville, Alabama. Frankville is only a 45-minute drive from our home in rural Wayne County, Mississippi. This was the third time we had gone to the 'convention' and we have always enjoyed ourselves at this event. It has been held annually since 1926, and takes place in the old school building. Prizes are awarded for best mandolin picker, best banjo picker, best guitar picker, best band, and of course, the most prestigious, best fiddler.
We arrived at the venue around 5:30 to listen to a local bluegrass gospel band play a set, which lasted until 6:30. The barbecued chicken we purchased was reasonably priced and, though not the best I have eaten, was pretty tasty.
Following the bluegrass set, the master of ceremonies took the stage. After the usual welcoming remarks, he launched into praise for President Trump. He was particularly grateful that Mr. Trump had authorized lobbing a few bombs into the sovereign nation of Syria just a few days before. Full disclosure: I admit to having voted for Donald Trump in November of 2016. The two primary reasons were (1) To defeat his Democratic opponent, and (2) I was hopeful he would, at the very least, scale back America's useless, unconstitutional foreign military adventures of the last 100 years or so. The MC didn't give the reason for the Syria attack, he was just proud of Mr. Trump for having done so.
After the typical platitudes about being 'proud to be an American,' the MC moved a large American flag to the center of the stage. I knew what was coming next. He spoke of what a great country we are all blessed to live in, and he implored everyone to join him in pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. My wife and I, and five of my seven children were standing about five rows from the front of the auditorium, so the MC could clearly see we were not joining him and the 100 or so others in the building in the pledge. The look of astonishment and contempt on his face, upon seeing we hadn't joined him and the others in the 'patriotic' recitation was plain to see. I fully expected to be accosted and rebuked by him before I left the building for not participating in the pledge, but he spoke not a word to me. Had he chosen to do so, I was prepared to respond in this way:
America is a wonderful country, in spite of the wickedness of those who rule over us. However, I will not pledge allegiance to a flag if it represents a government which takes money from me by force to help fund Planned Parenthood; which takes money from me by force to wage endless wars in lands 7,000 miles from America's shores; which takes money from me by force to pay those who refuse to work; which takes money from me by force to fund the FDR gem, Social Security, whether I want to participate or not. Furthermore, am I going to resist the men (and God forbid, women) who might show up on my property some day to confiscate the firearms my sons and I use to kill deer and turkeys, and which we use to defend our home and property against intruders? Perhaps I wouldn't if I have pledged allegiance to the flag stitched on the shirt sleeves of the government agents. Last, but certainly not least, because I am an unreconstructed Southerner, I won't pledge allegiance to the flag adored by those Lincoln-worshipping conservatives and liberals of both the Fox News and CNN variety. Thus far, in the first 60 years of my life, I have avoided the Stockholm Syndrome.
Anthony Powell is an unreconstructed Southerner, a married, home-schooling father of seven, four of whom are still at home. He and his wife own a screen-printing business. He is a life-long resident of rural Wayne County, Mississippi, who has lived on the same 20 acres his entire life. In his spare time, he hunts, fishes, enjoys Scrabble with his children, and plays bluegrass music.