Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I Didn't Fight For Your Freedom

Great article.

I Didn't Fight For Your Freedom

So it's Memorial Day, which means that the US is awash with mostly obligatory tributes to military personnel.

I hate this shit.

I didn't fight for your freedoms. In the six years I was in, I never once defended your right to vote, or to carry a gun, or to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure (that one doesn't really apply anymore, anyway), or any of the other things you enjoy as a citizen of this country. I just didn't. Neither did anyone who went to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Vietnam. It's all bullshit. It's a fucking lie that we tell ourselves and each other so that we don't have to think about why we send young men and women to serve, suffer, and die for old men's vainglorious ideas and profit margins.

I passed through Burlington, WI on Saturday to visit their annual chocolate festival. Who could say no to that, right? Well, while there (this being Wisconsin), I got myself a beer. To do so, you had to put up with the shitty metal cover band in the beer tent. There's a 45-year-old lead singer acting a fool--pouring beer on his own goddamned head, making dumb-ass sexist remarks, saying stupid shit about his teen-aged daughter, etc. Since that wasn't reprehensible enough, he then proceeded to thank all the veterans in the crowd, specifically pointing out one man whose--well, I'll just quote this asshole.

I wanna thank all of our veterans for what they do for us. Every guy in the band, our fathers were all in the military. My dad was in Korea! This guy right here in front--his son is in Iraq right now. He's over there FIGHTIN' FOR OUR RIGHT TO PARTY!

I wanted to rush the stage and strangle that fuck with a microphone cord.

It's all bullshit, folks. We don't do anything for anyone's freedom. The military hasn't actually deployed en masse to defend your freedom in a long, long time. Unless you call rich people fucking over the world's poor and powerless a form of freedom. As you may have guessed, I don't. It's bullshit. And it needs to stop.

I don't mind honoring sacrifice, but the military doesn't have a monopoly on that, now does it? I also don't mind remembering military dead and wounded. But we do it all wrong. We just fetishize the suffering (like good Catholics, no?) without wondering why it ever happened in the first place. Remembrance and memorial, it would seem, also involve reflection and assessment. Just because someone died or was wounded doesn't automatically validate how he or she came to be in that state. We send our young people overseas to be bored, pull duty, sometimes get shot at, and occasionally get hit. Then we never ask why they're over there in the first fucking place, because doing so, apparently, does them a disservice. What kind of jack shit is that? more


Anonymous said...

The writer of this article is a hero. See comments like these:

"I was in the Army for 4 years. I have the same feeling about things the OP does. More irritating than some dumbfuck rock n roll singer giving a shout out to some soldier's dad is a politician's thanking us vets for our service. Fuck you, Bush. Fuck you, Obama. Bring the troops home. Quit fucking around." (Lloyd)

"I've got a message to the U.S. govt and the globalist NWO interests who spend a trillion dollars of borrowed, fake money, and recruit our blood and treasure to fight, kill and die around the world, then lanquish forgotten in VA hospitals, physically and mentally disabled by drug induced PTSD, or return to a country whose economy and vitality has been raped and sacked by the same wealthy, elitists who sent them to kill in our name...
'Don't Kill Anybody for Me!'"
(Blockade Runner)

"This is exactly all the thoughts that I think all Americans now have in the back of our minds, but have been afraid to say. So sad that it boils down to fighting for power, money and oil, instead of peace, liberty and freedom. Thank you for this insight on what we feel deep down already, just never say it publicly enough." (Stephen)

Anonymous said...

'According to an Army report last year, annual suicide rates in the Marine Corps and the Army -- the two branches most involved in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan -- increased steadily between 2004 and 2009, to more than 20 per 100,000 people'.'

... 'Ask yourself, why have over 20,000 veterans committed suicide, and why isn't it big news? Have they fought to protect the man next to them, but in the process done the unspeakable? Why were they and their buddies in someone else's country in the first place? ...'

Jude said...

Hey there. I'm the guy who worte the original article. I just thought it prudent to point out that a suicide rate of 20 per 100,000 people doesn't mean that there have been 20,000 suicides; that would almost certainly be news.

No, it means that, out of 100,000 people, you can expect 20 suicides. The 2005 suicide rate per 100,000 people in the US was 11.1 (17.7 for males, 4.5 for females). So 20 per 100,000 is significantly higher than either the overall or male-only rate (2.3 per 100,000 is statistically significant given the large sample size).

Hope that helps.

Himself said...

Thanks for your comment and great thanks for the article.

I will point out your comment next time my commenter visits, she's Dutch by the way, not that it matters.

Thanks to the net we are all people without borders, and in the main, people without nationalities. The thinkers amongst us that is.

Just two kinds of people now for all intents, good guys and bad guys.

Anonymous said...

Do they matter? - those dreams from the pit? ...
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won't say that you're mad;
For they'll know you've fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit.
(Siegfried Sassoon)

Thanks Jude for your great article.

Himself said...