Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Today is the day we are supposed to think about the troops who have given up so much to protect us. It's a bit like Mother's Day, one day a year so we can push their existence to the back of our minds the rest of the year.

Or you can go the other way. You can angrily rail about the troops and war crimes. But I find people who blame low level soldiers for high level murder to be a bit classist. They are, after all, picking on mostly poor kids for taking the designedly ONLY job where they have a chance of promotion and education. I can't fault them for that.

We ask these men and women to risk their lives and to follow orders above all else. It is therefore our job to make sure that they are only risking their lives for noble causes and only following orders that will not make us ashamed. We fail them on those lines all the time. We are now at war in 4 places. Because our soldiers cannot question their orders to go into these places and fight, we MUST. That is the job of all citizens, that is our responsibility. And we fail them. Over and over. We fail to give them opportunities to do something other than soldiering. We fail to keep them from being sent in to war for financial betterment of our elites rather than the safety of ourselves and/or our allies. We are their protectors as much or more so than they are ours. And we fail them every time we let shady politicians find new ways to expand warfare.

Barack Obama was supposed to be the anti-war candidate. Some of us knew he was full of shit from the very beginning, but we should hold him to his lies none the less. We need to come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to stop bombing Libya and droning Pakistan. It's been 10 years of war. 10 long years, with no end in sight. Our troops have sacrificed lives and limbs and families and too often sanity. We have sacrificed our tattered social services to pay for never-ending war. We are not safer. It is long past time for us to end this. Think about that this Memorial Day.

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