I read an article today on the Alternet entitled, “Stop Thanking the Troops for me: No, They Don’t Protect Our Freedoms.” Click HERE to read and it was very refreshing to hear someone voice what I have been thinking a lot lately when I hear these mindless statements about how “thankful” we should be for all of the military “heroes,” blah blah blah. How does killing civilians in illegal and unjust wars make you a “hero?” What an offensive concept.
The heroes are the conscientious objectors (when there was a draft), not the people who participate in these acts of domination at the behest of the 1% who perpetrate the horror of war for profit. At best they are impoverished people with few choices coerced into the military by a merciless ruling elite, but some are nothing more than murder-for-hire thugs who have no problem not only robbing innocent people of their freedom but of their lives and would do the same to us if ordered to do so. In fact, not only do they not protect our freedoms, they jeopardize our freedom and endanger us all by marching to the tune of imperialism and causing needless suffering and inequity that inevitably lands on our doorstep.
We need to rethink what a “hero” is and question the authoritarian idea that it is somehow heroic to allow yourself to be used as cannon fodder and maimed or killed in the process of maiming or killing other members of the human race for the dark purposes of the oligarchs who control the world’s resources, rather than pointlessly injurious and destructive. Might the internal conflict that many war veterans experience that leads to so much suicide be the result of trying to reconcile feeling shame and grief at one’s participation in such gruesome violence with the public accolades of being military “heroes?”