Monday, August 4, 2008

The Theft of Patriotism

It's hard enough to have been there, knowing the full brutal impact of what armed conflict means, both to the warrior and to the civilians he brings this terrible art to, but to have civilian chieftains who haven't wielded anything more lethal than a poison pen pontificate on strategy, consequence, cost, effect, and goals as if they truly have the slightest idea what they are talking about just nauseates me. Donald Rumsfield is the one man that comes to mind when I think of a clueless military genius who should never have been given command of peoples lives and the security of this nation. Dick Cheney is another man that I believe whose motivations have more to do with personal and familiar enrichment than the well-being of our first line of defense; our fighting men and women.

I suppose they must think that because these kids volunteered to put on the uniform, then they must know the full measure of what they could be used for. Of course, those amongst us who actually live on the streets of America versus it's ivory towers know full well that from an 18 year old perspective, the prospect of a college education, veteran's benefits, and the respect that (at least USED to) comes with having served your country totally crowds out any thought of putting their flesh and bone on the line for what could be a totally unethical use or their service; i.e. the occupation of a nation for no rational reason other than making money for certain twisted individuals in positions of power. I know in my case, I was not having grandiose dreams of bringing the communist juggernaut to it's knees through superior American morality and firepower; I just wanted a place to be, a way to feed my belly and expand my horizons after finding out I was soon to be turned out of my home and not enough credits earned to graduate from high school. I also had the specter of the draft hanging over my head, with no college to save me from dying in a far-eastern rice patty for no good reason any kid my age could fathom. It was 1973, and I didn't know a hell of a lot about politics or human nature in my short 18 years of life. But the next four years was going to provide me with a unique education.

Now, all these years later, I have to endure the bullshit spouted by people who in some other universe might be considered good, patriotic Americans. People who haven't "Been" there, or had and where coddled, or simply enjoyed being a soldier to the exclusion of any kind of human empathy for anyone beyond immediate kin. People who have been indoctrinated by their fundamentalist ministers to equate shallow patriotism with being God-fearing, totally ignoring the concept I was always told Christ tried his damnedest to promulgate; that you don't hate anyone for any reason, much less "kill them for Christ". People who use these perhaps genuinely caring and religious salt-of-the-Earth type of citizens to further their capitalistic agendas, using them to harp this "love it or leave" mentality that dares to suggest to the rest of us that we don't belong here if we can't buckle under to authority. Sounds suspiciously like communism, if truth be told, only your average redneck could never understand that.

Well, I've had about enough of this, this fake, yellow- ribbon- on- your- SUV- bumper patriotism. I've had enough of this willingness for the masses to do the bidding of the intelligent and sly architects of this disaster in the Middle East which has already consumed over 4000 of our finest and our good name throughout the world. If ever I regretted one thing, it's that these individuals will probably never be brought to justice, that they will leave laughing to enjoy their insanely generous government pensions, and that they will retain Secret Service protection till the day they draw their last criminal breathes, thus I can never entertain the idea of kicking Karl Roves' ass on a street corner of our choosing. I might be a shrimp of a guy, but you'd be amazed what the right motivation can accomplish.

But what shames me the most is that I entertain these ideas as a Wiccan, whose code of conduct decrees that "An it HARM NONE, do as thou will". If the Christians can constantly find exceptions to all those commandments, why can't I find wiggle room in my simple creed? I can't, but a guy can dream............can't he?


Ingrid said...

D..don't get me started. Even though I'm not Wiccan, I'm not American so as a European (having been born and raised there but having lived in North America since the mid 80s), I constantly crinch at the simplistic nonsense that people spew re. patriotism. The Bush administration has even debased that notion even more. Now of course you realize, it's not just politicians waging war, but military leaders who get into politics (patreus) lord help us..


deuddersun said...

It's about Global Empire, Michael. Read "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman" by John Perkins.

The only thing the neo-cons "worship" is the almighty dollar and they will do anything to control it and us.