May 26, 2014

By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher

It’s that lovely time of year again, when I fire up my political barbeque and throw some nationalistic jingo-patties on the grill!

This is when all the veteran-lovers dog pile those who admonish rather than praise their military service.

support the troopsI want to take a moment to remember all the innocent people whose lives were stolen by acts of war, rather than remember or thank those who tried to take them.

In memory of the lives of the children in the Pakistani schools, and the other unfortunate victims who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when the US decided to drone them.

In memory of those who have the incredible misfortune of being in the Middle East as the US decided to declare war on “terror”.

In memory of the countless victims of Napalm in Vietnam and the victims of the Atomic Bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

And in my thoughts are with the survivors who are forced now to live in the aftermath, amidst the unintended consequences brought on by nuclear waste, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous.

There cannot possibly be a logical reason for why these innocents had to suffer or die. I know why the soldiers had to die: because they signed up to join a fight. That’s what happens when you show up at a gun fight… people get shot. But the innocents? They didn’t want it. Like myself, they never asked for any of this.

I often wonder why people “support the troops”. Here are some of the responses I’ve gotten:

It’s patriotic, and therefore somehow either righteous or moral. Okay. So was it righteous or moral for those in opposing countries to support their troops? Is it patriotism that is righteous and moral or is it just “our team” that is righteous and moral? My guess is that the folks in 1939 Germany who supported their troops would not fall into this noble category. Let’s take Sophie Scholl, for example. She did not support the troops. She called them out where they stood. What would the flag waiving patriot say of her? Much like the destruction of war, it’s always acceptable in other countries, just not this one.

It’s service in military that ALLOWS me to speak as freely as I wish. ALLOWS ME??? Rights don’t require permission, and I don’t need to be “allowed” to speak freely. I simply do it. That some tyrant might compel me to do otherwise through violence doesn’t mean the right ceases to exist, it simply means someone stole it from me.  All the wars combined, and all the dead soldiers combined have not kept the one tyrant that really does hate me for my freedom from abridging them: the US Government (i.e. their employer).

“They died protecting our freedom.” And yet, we have over 1,200 more laws on the books than we did in 1980. I am less free now that these soldiers are dead than I was before they left to fight. A troublesome fact that tends to short circuit the ones espousing these talking points.

I see these preposterous memes out there saying stuff like, “Memorial Day Weekend, Don’t Forget Why You’re Able to Enjoy that Cookout.”

cost of war

Another one had a child asking his dad what the cost of their barbeque was, and it showed a picture of the Arlington gravesite.

costs of war

Really? This collection of dead corpses was necessary for me to barbeque today? And all their victims also needed to die for this culmination of freedom to come to a head in my backyard with some burgers and a cold beer? I hardly think that anyone would give their life for me to barbeque or eat a hotdog. And if you would, I would simply say, “Please don’t bother because I’m not asking.”

“Freedom isn’t free.” What do they mean? Of course it is! How much in tax dollars do you reckon is dedicated toward the wars, the regulations, the enforcement, the jails and courts all to keeps us plebes in line? I haven’t taken that Common Core math or anything, but my hunch is that NOT spending money on all that is cheaper than spending the money. And not having all that would make us freer, which means that freedom is actually free. Slavery on the other hand, has quite the big price tag.

Soldiers are fed a bunch of tripe about freedom and liberty, defending the homeland, and all that sort of nonsense. People who don’t serve are shamed into gratitude every year.

It used to be that if a child left food over on their dinner plate they would be told about starving children in Africa. Now, though, I’m finding people are being told that every single thing they do is a privilege afforded to them by perpetual war. Bromides like, “If you can read this sign, thank a teacher. If you can read this sign in English, thank a soldier”. Are you kidding me?!

Memes like this one actually credit military service for our rights in general!

cost of war

This is patently untrue. Rights existed before the formation of government and any of its wars. They exists now. The question is, who’s stymying the free exercise of them. Some goat herder in a desert in Afghanistan? Some rice farmer in a jungle in Cambodia? Or some legislator and his goon squad here in the states?

So, all these “patriots” are telling me is, millions had to die so that I can speak English and cook outside. I’ve written extensively about the erosion of civil liberties for over a year now, so clearly these guys didn’t die to protect THOSE freedoms. But I can still talk shit on the internet in English and barbeque, so that means, they must’ve died for THOSE freedoms.

Not to say that you can enjoy these few remaining freedoms unmolested, mind you. Google: “wrong house raid”, and see what you get. A series of articles about paramilitary SWAT teams breaking into peaceful homes of innocent people will come up. This sad reality confirms the lie told to those who went to fight. What our military is perpetrating abroad is exactly what they are to prevent from happening here, and yet the more we fight abroad, the larger our domestic police state grows.

I think it’s about time folks put out the torch of “they fight/die for our freedom”. No they don’t. That’s not disrespectful any more than it is disrespectful to inform people that the United States is not the “greatest nation on earth”. The facts simply do not bear that out.

If in fact our foreign policy is predicated on protecting America from terrorists, whereby making military service somehow noble, then I would ask if the same Americans who praise this activity by our troops abroad would praise it if they imposed the same tactics here.

We have real domestic threats now. They are more commonly referred to as serial rapists, murderers, child abusers and molesters, kidnappers, spousal abusers, and muggers. These people have actually hurt Americans. No question about it, but we aren’t blowing them up. Imagine for a moment what it would be like, if you had a neighbor who was a registered sex offender, and a tank rolled through your neighborhood shooting up houses to get THIS one guy.

No one wants a violent criminal preying on innocents. Nor would anyone want a violent hero coming to the rescue who’s willing to take out swaths of innocents to MAYBE peg the one guilty guy.

Ron Paul once posited the idea of what Americans might think about Chinese or Russian tanks rolling down our town streets, as a brief exercise in empathy. He also suggested a letter of marque and reprisal for Osama bin Ladin. On both counts he was mocked for challenging the scorched earth policies of the US Department of Defense.

This hackneyed American patriotism has folks belligerently believing that the military consists of the archangels of freedom! In the past 235 years, we’ve spend 21 years not fighting a war… amortize that over 235 years and it amounts to about one month a year at peace. And all this fighting, killing, and dying has amounted to nothing more than platitudes for tee shirts and bumper stickers.

On a day like this one, when we should be reflecting and remembering the willing participants of our numerous wars, perhaps gratitude isn’t the most appropriate sentiment to have. Thank you for killing them? Thank you for dying? Thank you for all the economic stimulus? Thank you for English? Just stop. It’s enough. Bring them home and recognize the wars for what they really were and are: atrocious acts of democide. And while we’re at it, let’s see the military for what it really is: an indoctrination mill that takes otherwise peaceful, well-intended individuals and turns them into serial killing mercenaries.

We… and by “we” I include our future generations… will not know peace until we take away our endorsement of such atrocious acts of mass destruction. We don’t even have the right to tell our children to not to hit their peers or demand they use their words rather than throw a tantrum, when we thank people for doing this very thing as adults. Your thanks is your endorsement. Can you not thank the homeschooler for rearing their children outside the government system in peace? Can you not thank the free market capitalist who gets what they want through peaceful trade? Can you not thank the writers and the philosophers who assuage through reason? Can you not thank the individuals with the courage to live free on their terms?

If you must remember a hero, think of all the peaceful demonstrators and activists who never harmed a living soul, yet left an indelible impression on human history. But if you insist upon remembering our soldiers, and have any reverence for their lives at all, then, for the sake of every innocent life on earth, reflect on the words of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe: I will fight no more forever.

There are peaceful ways to live free. Seek them out. Everything from gardening to expatriating are actions toward real liberty. No one but you can defend your rights, and the best defense of your rights is the relentless free exercise of them.