Recently, while watching the Phillies get outgunned by the Yankees in the World Series on TV, I was brought up short during the third game when the announcer made a welcoming call-out to a very special audience. It was the same announcement they make at most American or National League baseball games that are televised. Like most of the American-style jingoism that is part of that country’s psyche, it was the kind of thing that usually just washes over your back — like the way they sing God Bless America in the middle of each game.
What the announcer said was that they welcomed the US service men and women who were watching the game on the US Military Services Network in — get this — 175 countries around the world!
So, while they were extolling the benefits of a "free, democratic society in America" because of the sacrifices made by US troops, what do you think the people in those 175 countries were grateful for with US troops inside their borders? Were they happy to be protected from themselves? Were they proud to have a foreign occupation force in their lands?
Do you ever wonder about the American corporatist hegemony in place today? I do, but I don’t think our leaders do.
* cranky old fart
I write this as the grandson of a WWI soldier, the son of a WWII soldier, the nephew of a WWII pilot and a WWII sailor, brother of a contemporary soldier and as a former member of the RCN (O58838).
There are many schoolchildren (and a number of adults who sound like schoolchildren) who have been undoubtedly encouraged by their teachers to write essays and letters to the editor about the great sacrifices made by our valiant soldiers in wars since and including WWI. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen have indeed fought heroically and many have died in the cause of freedom. They died to keep others free in the world wars but are now fighting to protect the corporatist interests of America in lands where democracy is not ready to flourish.
So why have our brave young had to die or be maimed in such fruitless enterprises? I have often said that when you have to go to war you know you have lost the battle. That is the battle for peace, for understanding, for reconciliation. Faith groups who espouse killing the "other" because "god" is on their side have no moral credibility in my mind.
We waste the lives of our better young men and women because of the inherent short-sightedness, stupidity, lack of mediation and negotiation skills of our political leaders.
Remember our brave warriors but scorn the self-interest, ineptness and cupidity of those politicians who make these disastrous decisions. That’s what we should be remembering. As a Canadian, as a human being, I feel humiliated by the inability of so many of our so-called leaders to anticipate and arrest the wicked behaviours of the malcontents, the greedy and the despotic. As long as we use war as our primary negotiating device, we must consider ourselves, as a race, abject failures. Everything else is just stuff.
Support our troops? You bet! Let’s start by not putting them foolishly in harm’s way for no effective purpose.