Tuesday, November 11, 2014

You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy - Salon.com



Excellent -- and brave, on this Veteran's Day -- article in Salon about the knee jerk patriotism we are force fed on a daily basis. Since 9/11 it has been exaggerated to surreal extremes.

You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy - Salon.com: Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible. (Salon)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah... I'm a vet... served honorably to the tune of a Bronze Star, a Master Aviator Badge, and four Meritorious Service Medals. I took meaningful Oaths, served unstintingly, and opposed a "clear and present danger" ...too many times brought entirely on ourselves.

    I returned from Vietnam to having trash and bottles thrown at me, furious cat-calls, and other insult public and private. It is true that I enlisted in the face of all these things while many of my professors at college charged that I had made _myself_ their enemy... it remains that I must come to find that the United States had no business whatsoever meddling in Vietnam especially as it was _us_ to have turned our back on _them_ every time they came to us for aid and association as far back as the Wilson Presidency. They reader knows the history of our affairs with little brown men.

    Love of Country is not reflex absolution of a Country's sins. Recognition and amelioration of those sins is that mature love of country; it provides for a more efficacious country than that country which is enabled by the rewarding of the _commision_ of those sins.

    All this said, a person must take the ethical path available to them to make a life. In 1969, service was the was the sole path available to me. I took it...

    It remains to advise one that castigating ones military members rather than the architect of the functionary _using_ those members does not serve a country either. In the face of violent religious opposition one might have need of their soldiers. It's not the gun at all... it's the trigger puller. It's not the soldier, it's the MIC _behind_ the soldier.

    War for profit is the name of the game, as is a prison for profit. See how both of those things encourage more war and prisoners? Remove the profit incentive to fight fewer wars and have fewer prisoners per se.

    This is all to say... appreciate your service members! See to their wounds, provide what you say you will provide for their welfare, and support them into the travail foisted on them (which you presently don't), but don't worship them. It's very little, if anything, deserving worship.

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