"A brilliant man would find a way not to fight a war."
--Admiral Yamamoto (Pearl Harbor)
I grew up one of the indoctrinated. As a kid, I saw the daily Vietnam body counts on the nightly news. Those soldiers were dying 'defending our freedom,' it was said. I watched gobs of WWII war movies. Again, the message was that US soldiers nobly died 'defending freedom.' I tipped my cap to Iraq I, Iraq II, and Afghanistan in the name of freedom.
Over the past few years I have finally seen thru the deception. The truth is that none of these were just wars. Freedom in the United States was never legitimately 'under attack' in these conflicts.
Sadly, hundreds of thousands died. But, by and large, these soldiers died in wars of aggression in remote lands. Rather than sentries of freedom, these people, by following orders, became instruments of empire.
This past Memorial Day weekend, there was perhaps no better reflection of our blind allegiance to militarism than the observances that took place at all Major League Baseball games on Monday. It included all players decked out in special camouflage-laden attire in honor of the battle colors of various branches of the armed services.
Predictably, the stated objective behind these activities was to recognize the military--those who 'defend and protect' us. My angst grew as I watched games throughout the day.
Like notorious empires of past, we are blindly celebrating militarism.
Capacity for force is not something to be recklessly brandished. It should be revealed reluctantly in legitimate self-defense situations.
Although developing self-defense capacity can be useful, truly free people are saddened when capacity for force is legitimately put to use. It means that voluntary cooperation failed in those instances.
Parading military capacity and deeds done in the 'name of freedom' indoctrinates minds to the misuse of force.