A popular refrain that one hears when talking about the troops is that they fight, kill, and get killed, maim and get maimed so that we can enjoy our freedom here at home. The troops make the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free.
Does anyone with even a partially functioning frontal lobe and a sliver of conscience believe this bunk?
Let’s reframe that question: Are we fighting the global war on terror because 3000 people got killed on September 11th– or were 3000 people killed on September 11 because the US has been swinging its nuclear tipped disco stick (figuratively, and sometimes literally) all over the world for the past 70 years not in pursuit of securing our freedom, but in pursuit of profit.
Don’t take it from me, take it from a decorated veteran, Marine General Smedly Butler who said, “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”
And Smedley died in 1940. Wars were always fought for the 1%, and the super rich have usually been smart enough to let enough of the spoils trickle down to keep the rest of our consciences in check.
We are told, repeatedly, that all of this violence is to secure the peace, to protect our freedom.
Fill in your own killing for peace is like verbing for noun here.
We tolerate these lies, I think, because we don’t want to dishonor the dead, or sometimes worse the walking wounded by implying that they kill and get killed for a lie. So we keep fighting.
I’m starting to think that when people say that US soldiers die to protect our freedom, that freedom is some sort of euphemism that we all understand to mean our very comfortable way of life. I mean, lets admit it, even with Wall St criminals like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein stealing and raping us blind, most of the 99% are still fairly well off when compared with the rest of the world. So really, all of these wars that serve to expand and protect US interests boil down to money, right? Can we just be honest about that? We don’t fight for freedom, or democracy, or liberty, or to stand on the right side of justice, we fight to get richer, because greed is American as Baseball, Apple pie, and stuffing your face with pig innards while enjoying a baton twirling contest at the county fair.
So, now that we are being honest with ourselves are you cool with your tax dollars propping up the greatest purveyor of violence in the world just so your lawn can be green, and your clothes can be had on the cheap and your cars can run on oil harvested where… over there?
Many of us, if we are honest with ourselves, really are perfectly fine with it.