Squandered Heroism 

10 May

RePosted without permission from Facebook 

During the last hours, I’ve seen many justifications for joining the military. To avoid confusion, I’ll address them in a single post.
1. I thought I would be fighting for freedom, or to defend the constitution.
If you were a soldier in recent history, you probably weren’t. Instead, you were a person who got tricked by propaganda. That doesn’t make you a hero; it makes you someone who got tricked.
That’s happened to many people. I personally have been tricked by government propaganda. I voted for Obama in 2008. When I learned that I had been tricked, and had encouraged others to do the same foolish action, I decided to work to make amends. I spent thousands of hours helping people see the lie of the duopoly. 
If you were tricked by military recruiters, help prevent the same thing from happening to others. Share your experiences, and speak out boldly.
2. Many people don’t care about all that, they just want money for college.
That’s a morally unacceptable position. That’s saying, “I signed up for a job where I might have to kill innocents because I wanted the money.” It’s not new to say, “I idd violence because I wanted money.” It’s not moral either. 
3. A soldier is like a gun. You don’t blame guns when someone uses a gun for mass shootings; blame only the president, not the soldiers who follow his orders.
A soldier is not a gun. A soldier has thoughts, morals, and judgment. If a gun had human level intelligence and then chose to be part of a school shooting, I would blame the gun along with the wielder. When a soldier chooses to follow an order to bomb a school or hospital, I similarly blame the solider along with the politician ordering him.
I know the military makes a big propaganda show of calling soldiers military property, but the fact is slavery was outlawed by the 13th amendment. You are not an object. You are not a thing. You are a human being, with human abilities, and human responsibilities.
4. I still think what the military is doing is right. I’m proud of the work I did/am doing/will do.
In that case, I disagree. I don’t think you are an immoral person, but I do think you have been mislead. Sure, the American army in 1776 did great things. But today’s military is not fighting for our freedom. It’s getting involved in civil wars, and creating blowback. 
There are certain parts of the military that are purely defensive, at least in theory. But that theory rarely pans out. My only moral opposition to those is the tax funding, which applies to every government worker and contractor, not just to military.
5. Come to my base and say it to me and my platoon, so I can kick your [butt]
Fighting ideas you dislike with violence is exactly why the military is failing at its current attempt to beat radical Islam with bombs. Ideas are defeated with better ideas. Women’s rights happened through ideas and debates, not bombs. The same hold true of minority rights and even democracy. Beating up individuals doesn’t change minds any more than bombing does.
In the next few days, I will be putting together a working group for Counter Recruiting. The goal is to undue the lies and bluster military recruiters use to dupe young men and women into misusing themselves in the pursuit of immoral wars. All are welcome to join this group.

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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Uncategorized


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