I know it’s a bit past now. But as social media fed a constant stream of praise for the military to my brain, I couldn’t help but jot down a few thoughts to the contrary, even if only as a debate exercise. That much one-sided hyperbole is too much for little ol’ me to bear.
Some people may say it’s negative. But I say cultural dogma is negative and never considering the other side of the coin is negative, and exactly the sort of thing that often ends with military action.
So here are a few thoughts from the other side of Veterans Day.
- I’ll consider honoring those who “served our country,” militarily, once there is a day honoring those who served it by becoming teachers, social workers, firefighters and members of the Peace Corps.
- The majority of WWII vets are now dead. With the possible exception of Afghanistan, all US military interventions since then have been unjustified hostile invasions, ham-fisted international police operations that should have been handled through the UN, or proxy wars against the “threat of communism,” which wasn’t in any way a threat. So I ask you seriously, why are these actions and people worth honoring?
- To be a vet, one must sign a declaration that they are willing to commit murder for reasons other than self-defense. There is nothing honorable about that act.
- The consensus of all intelligence services was the the continued meddling by military action is what caused the blowback that resulted in 9/11 and the global jihadist movement, which in turn resulted in the exponential crackdown on civil liberties in the name of security. Why should I honor those who took part in making our country, and the world, less safe and less free?
- The fetishization of military service as the highest form of patriotism has allowed the exponential growth of the military industrial complex to grow unchecked, because any criticism of its budgetary needs is demonized culturally. I’ll consider honoring the military once it starts paying its own way instead of bankrupting the country.