RANGER AGAINST WAR: Ain't No Fortunate Son <

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ain't No Fortunate Son

Lance Cpl. Robert Crutchfield, (1987-2008)

Credit is a sacred trust, it's what our free society
is founded on. Do you think they give a damn

about their bills in Russia?

--Repo Man
(1984)

When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system,

a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow

--Anais Nin


And when the band plays "Hail to the chief",

they point the cannon right at you

--Fortunate Son, John Fogerty

_____________

Lance Corporal Robert Crutchfield, 21, died last month after being shot on the mean streets of -- his hometown, Cleveland, Ohio. A town that used to be the "Best Location in the Nation." His story is a microcosm of what is wrong with the U.S. wars.

"Crutchfield, wary of crime in his hometown, had followed the advice of commanders that a Marine on leave might be seen as a prime robbery target with a pocketful of money, so he only carried $8, his military ID card and a bank card (Home Safe From Iraq.)"

Just home after 14 months in Iraq, waiting at the bus stop with his girlfriend after grocery shopping, two thugs robbed him and then shot him point blank in the neck. The thugs were angry that a Marine would have only $8 in his pocket.


"'It is an awful story,' said Alberta Holt, his aunt and legal guardian when he was a teenager determined to flee a troubled Cleveland school for safer surroundings.

"He attended the inner-city East High School in Cleveland but requested to live with his aunt and grandmother and attend suburban Bedford High School for his final two years.

"'He saw his school was in turmoil and asked to get out,' Holt said."


Ms. Holt said she wished he had stayed in Iraq, where at least he could see who was shooting at him. He was due to rotate back to Iraq in a month when he was shot.

The playing field wasn't level in Cleveland. Here's a young Marine aware of the danger he faces on U.S. city streets, aware of the inferior education he was getting at inner city East High School in Cleveland, looking for an escape in the military, hoping to go to college upon discharge . . . and murdered by the sort of thugs he sought to escape.

Poor Lance Cpl. Crutchfield, just looking for a way out.
Disaffected youth in Cleveland, disaffected youth in Sadr City: who will get you first?

The American Friends Service Committee says the $720 million a day ($500,000/minute) spent on one day of the Iraq war could buy homes for almost 6,500 families or health care for 423,529 children, or could outfit 1.27 million homes with renewable electricity (
War Costs $720 Million Each Day.)

The TimesOnline UK reported in February:

"Since 2003 34,156 people have lost their homes to repossession in the Cleveland area, according to Case Western Reserve University, and the pace of those losses is accelerating. The new year is barely two months old and so far there have been 1,857 foreclosures in the Cleveland area (Cleveland: Ghost Town Created by America's Loan Scandal.)"

With more than 7,500 home repos each year now, it would benefit Cleveland if the U.S. declared war on them. The cost of two days of war could pay for these homes.

Maybe they could even build schools that wouldn't scare a Marine.

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10 Comments:

Blogger BadTux said...

Thank you for writing about Lance Cpl. Crutchfield. When I first read about his story I was just bogwallered. Complete brain freeze. The sad fact that there are parts of the United States more dangerous for our Marines than Sadr City is...

Well, I'll just quote ole' Merle here, and say let's liberate America first. Sigh.

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 12:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

B.T.,

I feel this story deeply because I have known Robert Crutchfields.

It is the tragedy of my country intersecting with the tragedy of another's.

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 12:49:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

badtux, My sister graduated from EastHigh in the 60's.The area discussed is my old home arena.Cleveland and all major cities share the same basic blight. We mourn this Marine and an America that no longer exists.

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 9:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor guy. He was in combat before and after he got out of the Marines.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 9:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Anon, i can never figure why the Dems don't highlight the inner city desperation during presidential elections.I believe BOTH parties have abandoned the inner city combat zones.
Theres more political capital in Bagdad and Kabul.But in reality the real war is here in America and our citizens are fighting to survive. jim

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 1:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Iraq has oil. Inner city Cleveland does not. As for the people who live there, they're all darkies, so fine white upstanding Christian Americans care about them only in the abstract. I mean, it's not as if they were real people, good white upstanding Christian Americans, right? Right?!

Obama doesn't highlight the inner cities because he doesn't need to -- he already has their vote. McCain doesn't because he doesn't want to -- it'd disgust his fine white upstanding Christian American supporters, most of whom wish they could just exterminate those pesky darkies. So it goes...

-- Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 2:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

anon,

Cpl. Crutchfield had not gotten out of the Marines; he was merely home for a month before his next rotation to Iraq.

B.T.: Are you implying that Obama would be more sympathetic to the pathetic circumstances of the poor blacks and whites (and latinos, and...people) in the inner cities?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 2:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

No, Lisa, I am implying that Obama is a political animal and will only talk about something if it'll get him votes. He has the votes of the black inner city population. He won't get the votes of poor whites, who tend to be rather sheet-wearing when it comes to the notion of voting for dark-skinned people (sorry, but I know my relatives, and the only dark-skinned people they'll vote for are "honorary whites" like Bobby Jindal). He likely has the votes of poor Hispanics also, despite McCain's forays into the Hispanic community. There are no votes to be had by focusing on the problems of the inner cities, so Obama won't focus on them -- at least, not as a campaign issue.

After he's elected... (shrug). All I can say about Obama is that he is a smarter man than Bush or McCain. Obama had the audacity to be right on Iraq and correctly predict its results at a time when everybody was pooh-poohing critics of the war. What will he do when elected? I don't know. After all, I remember a guy who ran for President as a uniter not a divider, as someone who would practice a foreign policy of humility rather than humiliation. We all know how that one turned out. But the thing Obama has going for him is that he's been right far more often than the opposition... which gives some hope, at least, that he'll be right once elected too. But (shrug) I have no delusions about Obama being magic or anything. In the end any President is limited by the people he leads, and the people any President of the United States leads right now tend to be apathetic, self-absorbed, ignorant, and unwilling to think for themselves. There's only so much that can be done with that base material... maybe when the Generation of Unwarranted Entitlement shuffles off this mortal coil things can get better. Or maybe the rot's too deep already. I don't know. But magic isn't going to happen. Best we can hope for is a President who doesn't make things worse, IMHO, as sad as that sounds :-(.

- Badtux the Cynical Penguin

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 3:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Badtux,

Yes, we will hope the next does not make things worse, and can possibly
nudge us back to a time before the fiasco. Though I know You Can't Go Home.

The problem: The "base material is apathetic, self-absorbed, ignorant, and unwilling to think for themselves."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 1:18:00 PM GMT-5  

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