Monday, November 11, 2013

On Veterans’ Day (formerly Armistice Day)

We celebrate the veterans of the armed services today for their willingness to “protect our freedoms.” The problem is, not a single round of American ammunition discharged in my lifetime, not a single bomb dropped, not a single splash of napalm, not a single cloud of defoliant, not a single cluster round—not a single one of the trillion+ dollars of kinetic or chemical rounds discharged since 1952 upon largely non-white foreigners has advanced the cause of American “freedom” by so much as a millimeter. On the contrary, each and every US adventure abroad has brought with it a contraction of domestic civil liberties. I have nothing against “our troops,” who believe in their cause as sincerely as the soldiers of another empire seventy years ago at this time (“Gott mit Uns” was the favored slogan back then, I believe), but I’m not prepared to assign to their depredations a noble cause. The most brutal and aggressive country on the face of the earth seventy years ago was...well, you know. Today, it's us.