Remembering the Victims of Empire
I found a wonderful post on Libberants, entitled, "Remembering the Victims of Empire." It's really amazing. Here is a quote (but be sure to read the entire article!):
Yet once the platitudinous speech has ended, the trumpets blown in a pro forma rendition of “taps” and the black bunting and flags taken down, it’s back to business as usual. Politicians and generals plan the next big military campaign in an occupied portion of the globe against civilians wanting nothing more than to be free of the empire. Ordinary Amoricons, most of whom have no friends or relatives wearing the imperial uniform and deployed in harm’s way, get on with their barbecues, trips to the beach or the mall, and grumble at having only one day off with which to party. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, some of whom relish the adventure of combat in service to the empire, many others of whom simply wish they were back home living their lives in peace, continue to stand watch in dangerous parts of the world, unappreciative of the fact that their service, and potential sacrifice of the ultimate, is to essential further enriching the establishment and spreading the boundaries of the empire. If they are wounded or killed in making this happen, so what? After all, the Wolfowitzes, Cheneys, Bushes, Feiths, Negropontes, Rices, and Boltons reason, they all volunteered. No one put a gun to their heads and forced them down to the recruiting office to sign on the dotted line. Taking a bullet comes with the territory. Besides, we don’t know any of them personally.
No one put a gun to their heads? I've heard that a million times from all the "Wolfowitzes, Cheneys, Bushes, Feiths, Negropontes, Rices, and Boltons" out there. It is the standard line. But anyone whose been a private in the Army knows the total absurdity of that statement. It is routine for judges to give a young man a choice: join the army or go to jail. I've never met a private who joined the Army because his life was going just so well. Officers? They're another breed. But the majority of men dying in Iraq didn't join the Army because they wanted to spread democracy around the world. They joined because they had no where else to go. They dropped out of college. They dropped out of high school. They couldn't handle the real world, for one reason or another. Their family had given up on them. Maybe they'd given up on themselves. And what could they do? Sign the dotted line, and tomorrow we'll take care of you. Three meals a day. A job that you can work and be proud of. More spending money than you've ever had. And guess what?
It's noble to be a warrior. It's a straight ticket to heaven.
God forgive us all.