no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Collateral Damage

May 27th, 2012

‘Collateral damage’ is a truly awful term. It is a shorthand way of saying that some people’s lives (theirs) are simply not worth as much as other people’s lives (ours), that some people’s lives are meaningless; their deaths can be written off, ignored.

And by this crude calculus, the term ‘collateral damage’ allows men to justify murdering even those who are undeniably nnocent.

 

memorial day: Take this day to remember the innocent children murdered by unmanned aerial vehicles.

For Memorial Day: War is a Racket

May 26th, 2012

Formerly Decoration Day, the holiday was first observed after the Civil War as a way to remember the many who died in that conflict. It is not about celebrating soldiers, nor celebrating warfare, nor celebrating “America”. Memorial Day is about remembering the true costs of war, measured in “Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes.”

Smedley Darlington Bulter

General Smedley Butler, USMC retired

So in remembrance, this year I  highly recommend you read Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” (which is also available for free online, here). It is one of the best, and briefest anti-war pieces out there.

His short essay begins thusly:

War is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

Smedley Darlington Butler was a two-star general, and when he retired from the United States Marine Corps, he was he most decorated Marine in history.  He knew a thing or three about war, only it was not until later in life that he fully understood what a racket it is.

You can read Racket this afternoon, and in only a few hours you can learn the lessons of Butler’s entire lifetime.

I can think of no better way to honor their deaths by learning the mistakes of history and vowing never to repeat them; question anyone (politician, or otherwise) who is calling for more of them.

 

Fighting for Your Freedom

April 4th, 2012

How many times have you heard something like, “Those soldiers are fighting for your freedom of speech, show some respect!”? How many times have you probably repeated it? That’s what you’ve been told. That’s what they’ve been told, too. They believe they’re fighting and dying for “your freedom”, but are they?

I want to make it perfectly clear that I wish we lived in a world without war, so that young men don’t have to get their faces melted off by IEDs (like the subject of Nina Berman’s “Marine Wedding”, which kind of prompted this article), or so that entire families of Afghanis don’t get rape-murdered in their own houses, or so that Pakistani children don’t get bombed to oblivion by Predator drones.  But we don’t. So, until we do, I feel for anyone who has had to endure these (and countless other) horrors; particularly because most of them don’t understand why they’re fighting. 

flag draped military coffins

Are they fighting for “your freedom”? No. Kissinger said it best:

Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.

It doesn’t matter if the soldiers believe they’re fighting for “your freedom” when in-fact they are being used and abused as pawns in someone else’s war, it doesn’t matter if you believe it, either; no matter how many people believe it, it is still a lie.

I feel like an asshole for suggesting that your son or daughter might have died for a lie. Or that your brother or sister was horribly wounded, paralyzed, brain damaged for a lie. But I shouldn’t because that’s the truth and it’s worth being called a treasonous asshole if I can get a few of you to wake up: despite what they and you and “everyone else” believes, like most soldiers in most conflicts in all of human history, they go to war and fight and kill and die for lies.

I mean no disrespect by all this, I simply refuse help perpetuate the lie; no soldier under any flag, went to war to fight for me, or for my way of life, or for my “freedoms” or on my behalf, despite whatever propaganda to the contrary they may believe.

Sanctioning this lie by pretending to owe them some gratitude for their “service”, or by pretending there’s some noble cause, or by draping the lie in a star-spangled banner and decorating it with a Purple Heart only makes it easier to weave the next lie, easier to persuade the next group of kid soldiers to go fight for it.

And as long as they’re fighting for lies, they’re going to keep dying for those lies.

 

 

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics