Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why? Random thoughts while considering the perplexing world of military rationalism

This column was published at as, "Proud to Be a Vietnam Vet?"

“It is such twisted thinking that leads those who refuse to examine the content of their minds to bleat about the soldiers who "fight for our freedom." What nonsense. Shall we next be told that Sunset Boulevard hookers are peddling virtue?” Butler Shaffer

Why would someone be “proud” to be a Vietnam veteran? Certainly, one shouldn’t necessarily be ashamed, particularly if they were conscripted. But what is there to be proud of? The US government lost the war. It was a war that, by all historical perspective, should not have involved the intervention of the US government and its military. In other words, the operation was misguided and a failure. What is there to be proud of?

Why is a soldier who is killed or captured in war considered a hero? It would seem to me that the first objective, when striving to be a successful soldier, is not to be killed or captured. It is impossible to achieve your goal of destroying your enemy when you are dead or locked up under his control. Instead of a “hero,” shouldn’t you be considered a failure?

Why does a US soldier say he is fighting for freedom when he, as an enlisted individual, is not free?

Why is it that military failure is never blamed on the military, itself, i.e., the individuals who make up the military? When confronted with the question of why the military lost the Vietnam War, or why the military did not protect the country (or even make an effort) on 9/11, or why was the military on that same date unable to even protect its own building- the answer is always, “it was someone else’s fault.” Members of the military can never seem to find fault in their own actions as reasons for their collective failures but always seem to find someone (or -thing) else to blame- be it politicians, war protestors, insufficient financial and asset support, etc.

Why do militarists proudly point out soldier’s benevolent acts toward civilians suffering the effects of war when it is the soldiers that caused the suffering in the first place?

Why do soldiers claim to be fighting for democracy (majority rule) in Iraq when the American democratic majority, for whom they claim to fight for, clearly has said they do not want the American military in Iraq?

Why do soldiers, who have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, violate that oath when partaking in illegally executed wars?

Why are soldiers who refuse to fight in violation of that oath considered “deserters” or “traitors?”

Why are soldiers considered the “best and the brightest” when they fail to understand the clear language of the US Constitution, heed to authority without question, and are unable to grasp the clear evidence that the leaders that command them are ignorant, corrupt, and deceiving? Shouldn’t they be
referred to as the “clueless and easily deceived?”

Why do soldiers claim “they fight for you” when “you” never requested the soldiers or anyone else do such a thing? Isn’t that a rather arrogant claim to make? I certainly don’t recall making such a request. “Excuse me, sir; do you have a signed contract that quotes me agreeing to your services?” And if soldiers do “fight for me” why am I not allowed any input on how they go about doing that? Instead they receive and accept orders from elsewhere.

Why do soldiers claim they “answered their country’s call?” How do millions of people “call” you? In reality, the only parties that called were the draft board and/or the recruiter.

Why do soldiers claim they defend “the country” when the largest threat to “the country” (the permanent regime located in Washington D.C.) is not only ignored but protected? If “the country” truly is “the people” and the role of the military is to protect “the people,” why does the military not protect “the people” from its government?

Attempts to answer these questions without the use of expletives, slogans, revisionist history, clichés, or slander are welcome.


jk said...

You blame the leaders, not the soldiers.
You will never know how many attacks they may have stopped on this country. That's a good enough reason to fight.
--Your argurment reaches the peak of hypocrisy:
You want soldiers to do jail time by going back on their enlistments, but you yourself will not put your life on the line for liberty? What do you do all day? Do you fight for American Ideals and values?
--Were soldiers that died in the Revolutionary War failures? Where is the line drawn?
--Soldiers are the reason you can be a poor journalist/photographer.
They are part of the reason we don't fear perpetual attacks on this country.
--Yes we could have sat on our hands after 9/11, but sometimes there is a time to show people there are consequences for your actions.(and it's a 2 way street I realize that..)

litch48 said...

right on sir, have have made some good points and have, poured some salt in some real sore wounds, but truths you do speak and written of, I am an vietnam vet myself and I can tell you that most gi's in nam could have give a shit less rather the war was won or lost they we're just trying to live out an sentence the goverment had given them, military service or jail, and I love the article you did on "ma" cain it was great, keep up the good work

pitca said...

Thank you Roger
Recent American history is full of unilateral preemptive military strikes against defenseless nations and innocent civilians , a racket in which profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. As Smedley Butler, a former general for the US marines who was twice awarded the Medal of Honors states, " Americans will shoulder the horrible bill in lives, shattered minds and back breaking taxation for generations to come." In recent wars, the real reasons for inciting wars has been for the benefit of international banking , American oil interest and other big corporations. Especially in this time of illegal war, and voluntary military , support our troops is nothing more than a cliche.

pitca said...

Thank you Roger!!!
The Vietnam war, much like the war in Iraq is senseless. It is my belief, that the real heroes are the men and women who resist war.
The reasons America has engaged in most of its wars has not been to establish a democratic government, but to benefit American oil interests or international banking or other forms of war profiteering. In the words of General Smedley Butler, US Marines, who was twice awarded the medal of honor by Congress, "War is a racket. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." He also stated that while new billionaires and millionaires are being born out of this profit, the general public shoulders the horrible bill in lives, shattered minds and back-breaking taxation for generations.