I know this post is day late, but I felt it appropriate to write about this topic. Most of us, may have only been slightly aware of Veteran’s day as it passes. Of those who are aware most use it as an opportunity to commemorate the bravery of those who fought in wars on behalf of this country. While I do appreciate anyone who was willing to give their own life, or at the very least put their life at risk on behalf of the freedom’s I enjoy, I tend to reflect upon how often wars and military interventions have little to do with protecting our freedoms, and how many of the people who fought in wars had no choice in the matter and how war and militarism are enormous wastes of lives and resources, as well as means that expose the ugliest sides of humanity.
Simply put, we do not have a military that exist for purely defensive purposes. The US has a history of using its military might to intervene in nations that are not immediate threats to its population and has pursued a course of world domination, while assuming the role of world police man. It has done this through the creation of a massive warfare state, that takes a huge amount of wealth from working people in the form of taxes and gives it to well connected weapons manufacturers and military contractors. The founding father’s themselves loathed the existence of large standing armies, which we now have here at home and in military bases across the world.
I do not need to go into the fact that war is the worst way to solve any political dispute. It takes huge numbers of lives, causes huge numbers of injuries, spreads disease and destroys wealth. All wars create atrocities committed by people on both sides and the US military has done it’s share. What is more I find myself on veteran’s day contemplating the injustice of conscription which was used in the United States since the Civil War. Conscription is a form of slavery, pure and simple. It may in fact, be that the biggest accomplishment of the New Left of the sixties, that it has not been used since. The fact that people fought and died in for this country having no choice about it, is dreadful, but should not be ignored.
I could go on about all these topics, but I have made my point clear. When we celebrate our veterans let’s not forget to reflect on the inherent injustices of war and what a detrimental way it is solve political disputes. I tend to be of the opinion that if our political leaders want to use violence to solve their disagreements, then they should do the fighting themselves.