What We Should Really Remember On Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, we hear countless repetitions of something like “Let’s remember what this day is about.  God bless the troops.  Thank you for giving us our freedoms.” As many people repeat these knee-jerk reactions on government holidays like this one, let’s consider some other points.

First, Memorial Day technically is about remembering fallen troops.  I point that out because these days, most government holidays have devolved into the same thing – some vague government glorifying holiday where we all get together, eat hot dogs, wave flags, and praise all things military.

On this day, we really should remember fallen troops.  It should be about remembering and paying respect to the men and women who have lost their lives while in the military.  These are people’s loved ones, friends, parents, and children.  I think military men for the most part are well-intentioned.  They’re doing what they think is best.  They’ve found a way to start a life and gain skills.  They love their families, their hometowns, and are doing what they’ve been told is the best thing to preserve and honor these things they love.  Individual servicemen don’t make the big decisions, don’t decide to start a bombing campaign, or to overthrow a government.  They are just following orders and “serving their country”.  And I get that. But should we respect it? No.

Following orders should not be respected.  Blind obedience should not be saluted.  It is not an admirable quality to obey. And people will jump on this idea and run with it, reminding us that soldiers in Soviet Russia or Mao’s China were just doing their jobs.  They’ll remind us about how people should always do what is right, and if an order is immoral, they should disobey. And I agree.  A good philosophy, a natural sense of right and wrong, and an independent mind should be much stronger within all of us.  But the difference here is, sadly, military recruits are the most propagandized among us . Starting as small children, we are all told the glories of our government, its world-wide endeavors, and the terrible nature of the “enemies”. Then following on this childhood propaganda, those with a calling to “do some good”, and “serve their country” enlist in the military.  They go to boot camp, which is like public school on steroids.  Independence is driven out of them.  They are taught that to obey is morally good.  In the military, it all runs on efficiently giving orders, and obediently following them.

Further, military members are reminded more than anyone else – that what they’re doing is “giving people their freedom”.  At home everywhere they go they’re thanked, praised, applauded, and slapped on the back. They are told there is an imminent threat to America and they must deal with it. Every time a person is killed or tortured, or a village is bombed, they are told there was a good reason; that they’re “fighting terror”, and protecting freedom back home.  And being directly in the grips of something, it is much more difficult to come to terms with the truth.  In other words, there is a lot of direct, personal bias about what they do.  It would psychologically be very difficult to just realize one day, while you’re in it, doing it – “wow, maybe what I’ve been told about what we’re doing over here isn’t the whole truth.”

What I’m trying to say is I support the fallen troops.  I feel for them and their families. It breaks my heart that there are good young, excited men who get swept up in this and their lives are over, far too early.  The average military supporter, or parent, or flag waiver never questions any of it.  To many it’s just a mindless, lifeless salute.  If we really care about the individuals in the military we would question what is going on! Instead of calling them all brave heroes and getting on with our day – we should ask, was this necessary? Did this need to happen? The person who really supports the troops – will step up and question the government narrative! It is NOT disrespectful to be skeptical of the official stories and justifications.  This memorial day, if you say you support the troops, don’t just parrot that phrase, then move on with your day.  Don’t just accept the idea that since they “died for our freedoms”, it’s all okay, it’s all justified.  IT IS NOT.  It is not okay.

McCainISIS
John McCain with Syrian “Rebels” (including future ISIS leader directly behind him) months before ISIS rises out of nowhere.

The truth is, governments lie.  Governments use propaganda.  Governments manipulate things to their advantage. Governments are self-serving institutions that see themselves quite separate from you and I. Your government is no exception.  We are indoctrinated to hear words like “us” and “we” and associate ourselves with government.  But it is not a two-way street. Governments do not see themselves as bodies of the people, by the people, for the people – as the myth goes.  No, your loved ones’ deaths are not always necessary.  The government is not always sending them off to “protect freedoms”.  Sometimes your government is the aggressor.  Sometimes the “threats” are not so much threats, but propaganda tools.  Sometimes people benefit from continual war, and sometimes they use you and your loved ones in their schemes.  Yes, sometimes governments use covert means to work towards their goals, which can include overthrowing democracies, assassinating elected leaders, inciting protests and riots, completely fabricating stories, and getting the media to report whatever they want. Sometimes operations are launched solely to benefit certain special interests.  Sometimes the benefit is just continual and unrelenting love of government by their own subjects, reinforcing that we need them, that there are threats lurking around every corner, and without their 700 military bases abroad, and surveillance and police state at home, those threats would be upon us.  Sometimes terrorist groups are created, funded, and trained by governments to get the ball rolling and create justification for future action.

HenryK

And this doesn’t just apply to the current war on an idea, the “War on Terror”. Governments, bankers, and special interests have been doing this stuff for hundreds of years.  Again, if you care about the troops – look into who makes the plans, who controls them, and how those people view the troops. Because the truth is, the powers that be at the highest levels DO NOT CARE about you or your loved ones in the military.  Like the rest of us, we’re all viewed as dispensable means to their ends.  In fact crisis and turmoil are their favorite tools, and if a few people have to die, to them it’s worth it.  Plus look at how these people view the rest of the world, how they view civilians, and if these people seem to have any empathy for other human beings.  Their rhetoric during campaigns would lead us to believe one thing, but the foreign policy we see in action tells us something altogether different.

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

In summary – support your loved ones, support individual soldiers, and support their right to their lives – but don’t blindly support the system they are a part of.  Question it.  Research it.  Discover what is going on, and what has been going on for a very long time.  If we really support these people as individuals, and not just cogs in the government machine, stand up for them.  Supporting them should not be waving a flag, and chanting USA.  Support is questioning what they’re a part of.  Support is figuring out if it’s all been necessary.  Support is seeing the truth, then encouraging them to leave the military.

If you’ve read all of this, and feel offended, want to shut me up, tune me out – you’re not supporting troops.  You’re not supporting your country, or freedom, and you’re not being a patriot.  You’re practicing blind nationalism.  It’s interesting that the most vocal flag waving troop supporters are also the most rabid, outspoken supporters of anything the government does outside our borders.  Without understanding the issues, these people will cheer on any invasion, any bombing campaign, any drone attack, any operation anywhere.  In other words it’s a twisted inversion of supporting the troops.  These people blindly support their government, and in doing so, send the soldiers off to hostile situations, then claim to support troops.  As it stands, you could menckenfeardo a better job to support your loved ones in the military.  Right now it’s people like me and millions of others who really do that.  We support them, and their right to the truth, their right to their lives – their rights as individuals to live to their full, beautiful potential.

[See the links below to start your own research.  If you’ve enjoyed this article, or think someone else would find it helpful, please like, share, or follow]

On a side note: The whole sentiment behind “they fought for our freedoms”, which is the statement “freedom isn’t free” – is not exactly true.  It is a carefully crafted and used piece of propaganda to again, get people dependent on government for all things, including their very safety and freedom.  In reality no one else can give me my freedom.  I am simply free because I am an individual human being.  People or governments can violate my body and property, but they can not give me freedom.  In the same way, governments can not truly give you your rights.  You already have them.  They can simply infringe upon them.  In other words, philosophy and natural rights trump government.  I understand the sentiment comes from the fear that without our glorious military “we’d all be speaking german/japanese right now”; or Iran would just be nuking the whole world, or Saddam would be gassing me in my house, and other imagined atrocities.  So I guess the idea is that “we” must go around the world intervening, overthrowing, bombing, and creating terrorists – so that we can have our freedoms here at home.  Again, just not true, and it becomes more evident when you dig into the truth of war, governments, and foreign policy.  See links at the end of the article for more.

And finally, its interesting how the freedom goalposts here at home keep moving.  Because life under the US government was something entirely different 100 years ago than it is today.  But the propaganda keeps telling us this is the “land of the free” every year.  Today this “freedom” that they grant us now includes civil asset forfeiture, roadblocks, cracking down on free speech and whistle-blowers, killing hundreds of civilians a month, mass surveillance, militarized police, FBI-planned terror attacks, the prison-industrial complex, the drug war, smuggling guns to Mexican cartels, no-knock raids, throwing grenades at babies, and naked body scanners.  This freedom also includes terrorizing blueberry farms, ripping children away from their parents, regulations on everything, an overall higher tax burden than ever, 12 years of forced indoctrination for children, and much more! I have a feeling when we look at all this objectively, this is not the freedom people imagine as they repeat the slogans.

[US now tied for 31st in the world for Press Freedom; Now tied for 12th in the world in Economic Freedom (used to be 2nd as of 2000); down to a score of 19/100 on Internet Freedom; Ranked 46th in Press Freedom by Reporters Without Borders]

Book by Adam Kokesh: Freedom! – Free to download in all forms, pdf, audio, etc. See Chapter 3 for War

maccarther

8,444 total views, 10 views today

  • This is me . . . rising from my seat . . . standing . . . and applauding this article heartily.

    Well done. It’s like everything I’ve ever wanted to say about the subject but haven’t.

    Bravo, bravo, bravo!

    And to thank you, you now have a new follower.
    🙂

  • I have to agree with J.L. on this one. I was in the US Army for a short time before a medical discharge and come from a long line of military service for several generations including some of my children who serve. This article hits the nail on the head because it is true. Blindly following orders is not making moral decisions. What we do affects the lives of many. Thanks for your courage to write this article.

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