Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Victims Day

Herewith, with a minimum of editing, an email exchange I had today with my daughter:

She: Am  I an ass for not jumping on the Facebook  “Thanks to all our fabulous vets for serving our country freedom isn’t free we love you God bless the USA”  bandwagon?   Even my liberal buddies are doing it. 

I refuse. I'm an ass, right?

Me: You most certainly are not an ass, my girl. I of course am not jumping on that particular bandwagon either. In fact, I think that along with the huge sidle to the right the country did in electing and then deifying Ronald Reagan, it also went way overboard in elevating the military to some sort of exalted status. This status has only gotten higher since. I wince when the president and just about any other politician from senator to county clerk just gushes himself half to death talking about the troops. Why this overblown praise for an institution that our revolutionary forefathers feared and mistrusted? I really don't know, but I regret that the country's original stance toward the military has been altered. It is correct to fear and distrust the military establishment. Just the other day, I read for the first time an American who speculated that a military coup in this country is not beyond the realm of imagining.

I would venture to say that the vast majority of the "volunteers" in this all-volunteer military are there because they could not find gainful employment in an economy that just grinds down the poor and the people from the wrong side of the tracks. So where else could these people go? Societies from the beginning of time have used their mudsills to do their dying for them. Ours is no different. Rather than praise beyond the skies for these poor wretches and the blizzard of American flags on the countless graves from coast to coast and in God knows how many foreign countries, we should drape in black mourning the headstones of all the victims our country has sent to war to die too young and for trumped up causes. It's valiant and false to say one died for his country; it's infuriating and true to say one died for the interests of the rich and powerful. So what do you think relatives of the victims of war plus those whose interests are served by war will say? What do you think the powerful who send people to die for their advancement and security will say?

The correct stance on Veterans Day should always be pity for victims and anger at the people who sent them to die.

Here in Oklahoma the fever of rabid patriotism is high all the time, but probably out of control today. Every little bit I can do to lower it, I will. So I will definitely help you to do that very thing today.
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