Defending Our Country?
Whenever the military or veterans or troops are discussed, someone ends up trotting out that old line about how we should support them, because they are (or were at some time) “defending our country.”
But what if I think that some of them weren’t? What if I think they were fighting wars or proxy wars in order to gain a foothold over the control of oilfields in the Middle East (or protecting other economic interests)? What if these wars didn’t actually defend the country, but—instead—incited blowback against our country?
There are some soldiers who have acted to protect my country, but I honestly do not think that what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan is defending my country. I think the military is making things worse for my country. Why the hell would I want to support that?
Sadly, the actions of the military are largely beyond reproach, and the actions of individual soldiers even more so. “They were just doing what they were told,” people tell me—as if that alleviated them of any and all responsibility.
There’s no doubt that soldiers are, to some extent, cogs in the machine. But if that were true all the way down, then we wouldn’t have conscientious objectors.