Monday, May 26, 2008

The Greatest Generation: The Life of Milton Wolff

One of the misnomers of progressives is that we are un-patriotic. To be sure, we are not typically flag waving, half-crazed fanatics, but even the ones who are or claim to be rarely can be called true patriots (most of the ones in this country today see nothing wrong with turning our national economy and all of our jobs over to the east). Indeed, I have always loved my country, even when it has done things that are wrong, and I am always appreciative that in spite of our beginnings (from slavery and theft of native lands) that there was something like this country to permit my ancestors to immigrate to and avoid the fate of Germany and Italy in the 20th century. In addition, not all progressives are opposed to war. Just the opposite. When the war is just, we can be quite supportive of organized violence.

Thus was the life, cut short this last year, of Milton Wolff. Milton was one of the commanders of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War, fighting Francisco Franco and his allies Hitler and Mussolini. For this, he was labeled a "premature anti-fascist" (apparently, fascism was OK before December 1941). He still saw action during World War Two, in Asia and post-war Europe, before being hounded out of government service by McCarthyism.

Milton continued his fight, back at home, supporting and campaigning for racial integration, opposing the apartheid government of South Africa, and conducting humanitarian missions for the Sandinista government in Nicaragua back in the '80s. This is the kind of life you will not see immortalized on the felon's military show on Fox 'news' anytime soon, or in the Ukrainian Nazi-based screeds of Robert Conquest. A life worth living by a genuine hero. This Memorial Day is for you.

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