this was a response in September 2003 to an email or journal that my friend Kevin (ex marine military intelligence who served in Korea) wrote for his friends every few days called "The Daily Gripe". I've pasted it verbatim.
well, I tried responding to this yesterday... but on 2 hours of sleep, I went on a rant and typed out 8,437 chars, which vastly exceeds the allowed 4,300 chars for a post. :-/
anyway... the point I wanted to make was that trying to pass out a phrase like "train for war, pray for peace" as being anything remotely related to the viewpoint of the American military machine is just plain silly. the average soldier? sure.... but that's about it.
our country since it's inception has waged an imperialistic war with the rest of the world in the name of democracy and later, national security etc.
I went on at great lengths to explain the CIA's THOUSANDS of minor and major "shadow" operations around the world, the numbers of democratic leaders we've overthrown, imprisoned and/or assassinated, to be replaced with puppet dictators, entirely against the name of democracy, but all for the financial interests of select members of the government, military, or at times private groups... quite often operating without the approval or even knowledge of either congress or the president himself.... all in the name of national security. and how of these thousands and thousands of operations, NOT A SINGLE ONE has been shown to have done anything but DECREASE our national security in the end, and that any temporary benefit was vastly outweighed by the greater detrimental effect on global peace.
Egypt in 1952, Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1953, Korea in 1960 and 61, Laos in 1960, Zaire in 1960, Dominican Republic in 1963, Vietnam in 1963, Bolivia in 1964 and 71, Brazil in 1964, Indonesia in 1965, Ghana in 1966, Greece in 1967, Cambodia in 1970, Chile in 1973... the list goes on. a few times things got big enough to make it into the press, but even then the media has generally done a fine job of smoothing things out, by either flat out lying, or by only telling a very slanted fraction of the real story. Ever heard of Rachel Corrie? An American girl... an international peace activist who was run over and killed in Palestine in 2002 by an Israeli soldier... you might say "big deal", but then consider that that bulldozer was bought with the $15,000,000.00 PER DAY of AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS we fund Israel with, the solider was funded with those dollars and the bulldozer was made in America.... and even though there are a large number of witnesses who were literally a few feet away from her when it happened and everyone knows that the solider looked her in the eyes as he ran her over, and then backed over her again with the plow down for good measure... our government did nothing. we allowed the Israelis to handle it, which was done by finding the soldier innocent of a simple accident and nothing more was done about it. I find it hard to handle with such "patriotic fervor" when an American girl is in Palestine as an internationally recognized peace activist defending a doctors home from being illegally bulldozed by a religious nation founded and funded with my tax dollars, and is run over repeatedly and crushed to death on purpose by an Israeli soldier funded by my tax dollars, in a bulldozer bought with my tax dollars and built here in good ol' USA... and when a small group of immigrants is allowed, against the wishes of the global community, to wage a genocide against an indigenous people simply because they claim the sky god said they could in some book 3,000 years ago... again, -with my tax dollars-? maybe you're starting to get the picture here.
or let me put it another way... how Saddam "killed thousands of his own people" so he's an evil man and not allowed to have weapons of mass destruction, even though our government officially admits now that he had NOTHING to do with 9/11, nor was he EVER a threat to the United States, and at one point even offered Bin Laden to us on a silver platter... BUT... it's ok Israel has 400 nuclear warheads. and maybe you don't see something a little frightening about the fact that when the global community met in Geneva to discuss Israel's war crimes against Palestine... in 2 of the 3 votes, the United States was the ONLY.. I repeat, THE ONLY dissenting vote on finding Israel guilty. and on the third vote, was one of only 5 dissenting votes in the entire world. It is a globally known fact (mainly outside of the US) that Palestine is at a MUCH higher risk of violence from Israel than vice versa. The death tolls on both sides as well as tons of other information easily back up this statement as the Palestinian dead far outnumber the Israeli dead at an ever growing pace... over 3,000 Palestinians dead in the past 3 years alone... more than 3 times the amount of Israeli dead. go do a research on what -really- is going on over there... I think you'll be shocked. basically a nation of native people is being slaughtered by a US funded religious machine, and those who DARE to defend their land and homes are branded terrorists by the US. oh, and did I mention that in part we're funding the Jews to kill the Arabs in a sense? this is a RELIGIOUS war we're funding. that couldn't possibly have anything to do with Arab resentment of the US... heavens no. and remember that's just this one case... keep digging, the list just goes on and on.
or how about the CIA's involvement setup of the worlds largest Opium pipeline into the US, and the worlds largest Heroin pipeline into the US... most of us have heard about "Air America"... but check into things like "the golden triangle" and "the golden crescent".
I could go on and on and on.... but the point I'm making is pretty blunt and simple. the United States foreign policy has been one of waging ceaseless "secret wars" on third world countries, killing either directly or indirectly hundreds of thousands of by and far mostly innocent people, peaceful democratic and/or religious leaders, generally under the very false guise of "national security", not by the will and certainly not for the benefit of the American people as a whole, but for a select group of military, paramilitary and private people and organizations who directly benefit monetarily. and yet we have the balls to cry foul when a man we armed and trained to fight one of our dirty little wars comes back and dares to do to America what we've been doing to the world for decades.
I want to make it clear that I do respect the soldiers of the American military in the capacity that they were willing to risk their lives for what they believe to be the American ideal... patriotism, freedom, liberty, democracy... whatever... when sadly, by and far they are blind to the truth. but again, to risk your life for such a noble ideal, however misguided, takes a certain kind of person. I respect them for that. I however, will let people like that be the gears in a corrupt global political and economical machine while I try to remain one of the small percent with open eyes who aims to build a new machine.
I don't think you can honestly tell me that you think the war in Iraq was about freedom and democracy, and I don't think you can honestly tell me that the war in Iraq didn't massively erode the already (rightfully so) shaky global opinion of the United States.
take the fall of Iraq for example... a group of maybe 150 select Iraqi's and US military personnel in a closed off square in an otherwise empty part of Baghdad, along with carefully placed media camera crews... surrounded by 3 US tanks on the perimeter.... and all this across the street from the headquarters of the international media. sound like a massive popular uprising of the people? who knows... but it sure looked good on television.
so as far as I'm concerned, all you people who misunderstand what patriotism really is, have a media brainwashed opinion of your own government and military... you can go hug your sky god and ask for his magical blessings while you go fight the next media blitzed imperialist conquest for oil. I'll be busy trying to open suckers eyes and making a difference at the root of the problem. ignorance is the enemy here, and until the day you people wake up and realize what's really going on, this won't ever end. you'll keep fighting a war on terrorism or whatever war they come up with next to strip away my rights and freedoms here on American soil and kill thousands of people in third world countries who don't want to follow uncle Sam's orders, democracy be damned... and the world will continue to hate you and fight back against your actions... and you and people like you will fail to understand why... will rally for the next attack against the heathen aggressors.
hopefully I've made enough of a point here that I need not go on.
quit watching CNN and listening to what the US government and military and mainstream media are spoon feeding you. start talking extensively to people from the rest of the global community as I do... start reading alternate viewpoints... open your mind and look at the big picture... quit being sheep.
open your eyes.
Glad to hear former military members, like me, are speaking out. Wish more of them would. Wish more that it made some difference.
Spitting in a Wishing Well
just to clarify, I wasn't in the military. but because I have friends who were, I like to speak up about it. unfortunately, they often take it as an insult to them.. which it's not. I have a lot of respect for soldiers... I even recently considered enlisting. but I don't agree with what the government has been doing... and wasting thousands of american lives on lies and misconceptions is not my idea of spending your life for just cause in the defense of your country. :(
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