The last Monday in May is Memorial Day in the US and I thought I’d repost this commentary by a USA war vet with the user-name Jude. (r. a. note)
Posted by r. a. Commentary By Jude Mon., May 30, 2016
So it’s Memorial Day, which means that the US is awash with mostly obligatory tributes to military personnel.
I hate this shit. I didn’t fight for your freedoms.
In the six years I was in, I never once defended your right to vote, or to carry a gun, or to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure (that one doesn’t really apply anymore, anyway), or any of the other things you enjoy as a citizen of this country. I just didn’t.
Neither did anyone who went to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Vietnam. It’s all bullshit.
It’s a fucking lie that we tell ourselves and each other so that we don’t have to think about why we send young men and women to serve, suffer, and die for old men’s vainglorious ideas and profit margins.
I passed through Burlington, Wisconsin on Saturday to visit their annual chocolate festival. Who could say no to that, right? Well, while there, I got myself a beer.
I had to put up with the shitty metal cover band in the beer tent. There’s a 45-year-old lead singer acting a fool–pouring beer on his own goddamned head, making dumb-ass sexist remarks, saying stupid shit about his teen-aged daughter, etc.
Since that wasn’t reprehensible enough, he then proceeded to thank all the veterans in the crowd, specifically pointing out one man whose–well, I’ll just quote this asshole.
“I wanna thank all of our veterans for what they do for us. Every guy in the band, our fathers were all in the military. My dad was in Korea! This guy right here in front–his son is in Iraq right now. He’s over there FIGHTIN’ FOR OUR RIGHT TO PARTY!”
I wanted to rush the stage and strangle that fuck with a microphone cord.
It’s all bullshit, folks. We don’t do anything for anyone’s freedom.
The military hasn’t actually deployed en masse to defend your freedom in a long, long time. Unless you call rich people fucking over the world’s poor and powerless a form of freedom. As you may have guessed, I don’t. It’s bullshit. And it needs to stop.
I don’t mind honouring sacrifice…and I also don’t mind remembering military dead and wounded. Remembrance and memorial, it would seem, also involve reflection and assessment.
We send our young people overseas to be bored, pull duty, sometimes get shot at, and occasionally get hit. Then we never ask why they’re over there in the first fucking place, because doing so, apparently, does them a disservice.
What kind of jack shit is that?
A real Memorial Day would involve commitments to cease sacrifices that don’t actually do anything in the name of freedom. Losing your legs so that Chevron can see higher profit margins is not noble. It’s a god damned shame.
Dying in the service of defence contractors doesn’t bestow sainthood on the deceased. It just means that a life got snuffed out for no good reason.
Reflexive military worship is a cancer on society. Unscrupulous people use it to justify their actions and avoid any criticism. Wondering if someone’s death was worth the cost doesn’t dishonour the person.
We send young people to absorb bullets and get blown to pieces and if we ask why, we are labelled as subversives and seditious (rebels)!
How fucking ridiculous is that?
So this Memorial Day, take a minute to actually reflect on the acts and deeds of people in uniform. But that involves critical thought instead of blind acceptance of the rightness of our leaders’ actions.
Honour the dead and care for the living, but don’t think that people in uniform today are actually standing between you and tyranny.
Original source of the commentary. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28485.htm#idc-cover