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Reply #67: Of course, that's not what I said either [View All]

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davekriss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-25-06 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #57
67. Of course, that's not what I said either
Since we live in a world of soundbites, let me bite: We, everyone of us, need to be extremely very certain that what we do is right before we agree to pick up a gun. Right circumstances surface from time to time. WWII comes to mind; more recently maybe the First Gulf War (ignoring April Glaspie's gambit) and perhaps Afganistan.

Need for or having a military is not something to gloat about. It is a horrible thing, put in place to do horrible things. War as an honorable profession went out with The Grand Illusion, i.e. in the mustard-gassed trenches of WWI. Now we seek to terrorize a civilian population into compliance by bombing them back to the stone ages and unleashing well trained Death Squads to disappear anyone who complains about it.

Defending the property rights of the top 0.1% of our population in places like Panama in 1989, or Haiti in 1994, or Grenada in 1983, or Cambodia and Laos in the sixties and early seventies, or covert operations in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua in the eighties, Vietnam in the sixties and early seventies, and of course now in Iraq -- and I name just a few -- what greater evil were our troops overcoming while committing the everyday evil acts of war in these excursions? They were overcoming with bombs and bullets the desire of a local population to to resist the demands made by transnational corporate elites, and by their agents, the WTO and IMF. Our soldiers were killing hope, a hope for better schools, clean water, working hospitals, self-determination and a small patch of land to call home. I will never kill anyone to thwart such hopes; I will never be proud of those who do.

What are our troops doing protecting the Columbian Cao Limn oil pipeline for Occidental Petroleum? (Are you aware of that?) What greater evil is overcome when our soldiers fire a bullet or train a local mercenary how to launch a soulder-harnesse missle? -- or, worse, show the local where best to place the electrodes to elicit maximal pain. What imminent threat and greater evil did the Republicans in Kansas face that we all easily conclude that these little wars of frightful terror were right and just?

Major General Smedley Butler had it right when he said, in 1935:

    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. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 19021912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.
Any one aware of how our USG uses our troops, and for what, should think thrice before signing up.

The odds are the recruit will be asked to fight an illegal action or war, kill and torture citizens against Geneva Conventions and the Military Code of Justice -- I mean, there's fifty years of history there. We as parents owe it to our children to make them aware of this immoral history and dissuade our sons and daughters from signing up. If aware, and they sign up anyway -- maybe to gain money for college, or just to have income and training -- then when the USG executes an illegal aggressive war then these soldiers can't escape their measure of culpability, too.

WWII was a just war. The first Gulf War was a just war (though we'd have to ignore the murky waters surrounding April Glaspie's green light to Hussein days before the war). The invasion of Afghanistan might be a just war (ignoring the fact that the war might only have been made necessary due to Bush Incompetence, LIHOP, or MIHOP -- the latter splatters some culpability on the Bush Regime).

The soldier fighting a just war unequivocally commits evil things, but responsibility for the evil is not his own, it falls to the moral ledger of the aggressor nation. But a soldier fighting an unjust war, and Iraq is an unjust war, unless lost in some kind of video-game fantasy that he fights to protect the homeland, that soldier shares a measure of culpabiliy for his acts, though most accrue to the Bush Regime that lied us into the war in the first place.

There is no exit; hell is other people. Commit evil and, unless the people around you easily assign guilt for that evil onto someone else, then expect to pay for it. Perhaps by being shuned when you come home, or denied access to care to right your emotions again, or lose your job and house to frantic self-medication with alcohol or worse to keep the flashbacks at bay.

There is no honor fighting an unjust war; only the soldier of conscience is a hero, and such a soldier puts his gun down at the first possible moment. For the rest we can only pray they come back home whole and healthy.

I read a little bit about an interesting movie called, "Sir no Sir"; it's about resistance by US troops to fight as commanded in Vietnam. It shows it is possible to reclaim your soul even when in the belly of the dragon.
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