Yet throughout history you can find untold millions of folks, if not billions, who changed horses and ran away from this concept at full gallop for various reasons: "To defend their homeland," "To serve their country," "To get an education," "To see the world," "To defend their religion" (!), etc., etc., etc. So I herein provide a refresher course, which I wrote with the intention of provoking thought, particularly in young men and women who might be contemplating these notions-and to anyone out there who is a cheerleader for "our armed services," which of course means most Americans.
Warning: If you have blood pressure problems, it might be wise to stop here and go read another article.
If you join the armed services, what are you if not a murderer for hire? How can there be "good men and women" in the armed forces? Do good men and women really offer to kill for others? I really can't see it.
How many people did Hitler kill? One, that we can be reasonably certain of, since it is general knowledge that he committed suicide. As for millions of other deaths generally attributed to him, as in, "Hitler killed six to ten million Jews," it robs so many others of proper credit and is thus unfair, since Hitler did not kill those millions--other people did it for him. In the same vein, George Bush did not kill anyone, nor did Osama bin Ladin, as far as I know. They have others do the killing for them.
If you are willing to kill another human being, what business have you on this planet? If you want to kill someone, I say kill yourself. I won't even get into the opportunities lost, because we squander over half our taxes on the military (which, incidentally, can't catch a cave man after how many years now?).
I do not support our troops. I support our conscientious objectors, and other thinking people. I support nurses, doctors, teachers, construction workers, garbage men, laborers, cooks, waiters and waitresses, writers, inventors, organic farmers, architects, scientists, engineers, computer programmers, landscapers, and all those who choose to actually do something with their lives. To the destroyers I say: Why don't you get a life?
Far better to be a prostitute, even, than to be a military person. You are at least hiring out to bring pleasure to others, not misery and destruction.
If you can't bring yourself to kill yourself, and you still feel a vague need to kill someone, at least get to know a great many people first. Then pick the one you like the least. It will probably be a Republican. Then you may have some real personal reason to kill, rather than doing so because some wacko politician wants others killed, but can't seem to do it him or herself.
'Nuf said. I bring you now to an article in the news today:
... [Ehren] Watada himself did what he believed he had to do seven months ago when he became the first -- and only -- commissioned officer in the United States publicly to refuse deployment to Iraq.
His conscience, he said, had overtaken him. He told the world what he had privately told his superiors months earlier: that he believed the war was illegal and immoral, and he would play no role in it.
Watada tried to resign; the Army denied him. He said he was willing to fight in Afghanistan; the Army refused him again: A soldier cannot pick and choose where he fights. As his unit shipped off to Iraq, Watada stayed to face the consequences.
Ehren Watada, I have no doubt, joined the Army in good faith--as I well realize most people do, in spite of the food for thought I passed out above-but when Ehren saw the light his conscience provided, he followed that light, and became a conscientious objector, at least according to his own inner light.
You may now say, "Yes, but he's still willing to kill, just in a different place." One point for you. But Ehren is still following the light of his own conscience, after carefully evaluating the situation in Iraq, and he is not blindly following a mandate he no longer believes in. I applaud him for that, especially given the enormous personal sacrifice he is making.
I think the time is overdue for most Americans to go potty or get off the pot. Are you a Christian who believes, Thou shalt not kill? Or are you one who would advocate for young people to go out and "see the world" and kill the strangers they meet out there, regardless of who they are or why they themselves have been sent there?
I've stated my preference, and I'm not even religious. What about you? Are you with Ehren Watada, who won't fight in a war without even a make-believe cause, or do you support the people who are willing to kill complete strangers, just because those well-known lunatics, George Bush and Company, are too chicken sh*t to go do their own killing? Is it possible to support Ehren Watada and those still fighting in Iraq?
And if so, can anyone please explain to me how I might resolve these polar opposites? Because after nearly six decades on this planet, I have been a total failure in trying to do it on my own.
Ehren Watada, I salute you!
To read more about First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, click here.