What If . . .

Though made for Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign, this never gets old.

I don’t completely understand the pro-war stance by so many Americans or neocons or any pro-war agents around the world.  It’s as if no one stops to think of the consequences.  Oh, you can make a joke and say “Oh, yes we do.”  But if you do it means either that you enjoy having men, women, and children maimed, murdered, and incapacitated for several years if not a lifetime.  And this is good?

That’s one part of war.  The other part of the patriotism that attends war may be even more grotesque.  American flag waving, cheers for “the Red, White, and Blue,” Those who cheer on war like to hold the American soldier in some kind of sacred reverence as if he is going to put his life on the line in some Christ-like self-sacrifice with the American populous acting as the father who supervises over his son’s immolation.  I can’t think of a greater expression of abandonment and betrayal of a son by his father.  This is how many Americans view war–as some symbolic sacrifice whose meaning shall remain unspeakable to carry the sacredness of death, war, and sacrifice and honor the grieving mother and wife back home.  It is a ceremonial Greek tragedy.

There is no threat to home or community or family.  Generally speaking he has to be flown over to the Persian Gulf to fight, if, in fact he engages directly in any combat.  So it’s not like the American soldier is keeping you safe in any way from an invading army. To the contrary, it’s the American army that is the invading force.  It invades other countries always with the rationale that it is “fighting terrorism” or “spreading democracy” or “fighting communism,” justificiation that you know full well are lies.  As if the role of “fighting terrorism” or “fighting fascism” or “spreading democracy” should be their mantel.  I guess this rationale follows from the American Exceptionalism rationale, that the U.S. somehow knows what is better for other peoples half way around the world.

When American military goes into other regions around the world, have you once seen any examples, shining or otherwise, of an improved society?  I haven’t.  All I see is structural devastation and charred bodies of babies, mothers, and fathers.  No, the U.S. creates such chaos and destruction of civilization that the survivors in those areas can’t even organize themselves out of that chaos to rebuild or even to retaliate.  Instead, they rely on other nations for help in rebuilding or even with retaliation.  Economies in those regions of the world are destroyed, making it that much more difficult for communities to rebuild.  Warmongers will argue “Well, we offer aid and reparations after the invasion.”  So, let’s see how that works.  You go into a country, blow it to smithereens and then gain lucrative contracts financed by the American tax-payer and forced on an enemy whose hometown is obliterated with fewer and fewer resources for them to rebuild on their own?  Have Americans forgotten their own national ethic of self-reliance?  But that’s precisely what these wars do–they build empires or nations that serve empire.

Generally, the most rabid pro-war supporters don’t take kindly to any criticism of their American soldiers, as though these boys are unfortunates who’ve accepted a duty to . . . what, go and kill people in some foreign land?  That is not just anti-war rhetoric or anti-American rhetoric.  That’s the truth.  These soldiers go overseas and kill lots of people who’ve done nothing to them.

And if you question the meaning or criticize it as pro-war rhetoric the phrase “Support the Troops” you will catch hell from any mother, wife, sister, or friend of a soldier.  My guess is that most soldiers did not sign on to fight in a war.  They were looking for the benefits (college and whatnot), training, and a way out of their home and community.  A lot of communities and families can be too much.  Independence is not only a good thing.  It enhances your survival.

It infuriates me how all of the pro-war folks believe that any war that Americans take part in anywhere around the world that the reasons are just and justified.  In all of the wars that you’re familiar with point me to just one just war that the U.S. has fought in.  Just one.  And by “just war” I mean the Christian version for just war where your land and property are being attacked by an invader.  You’d be hard pressed to find such a war in the annals of American wars.  No, all we have are wars begun and supported by John McCain, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Lindsey Graham that often serve private interests of wealthy donors.

You want to honor the soldiers? Then don’t send them to unwinnable wars with outdated equipment in disrepair. Honor the young men and women. Let peace and prosperity reign so that there are plenty of jobs and opportunities for them and their families. Don’t consecrate them for their murdering deeds overseas. Don’t consecrate for them deeds for which they personally feel regret or shame. Leave them alone.

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