In America, the uniform is sacred. Those who take other’s lives, or ruin them, to enforce state authority, heroes, wear uniforms. The uniform allows morality to be rearranged. Americans are outraged when someone kills their mother but put yellow ribbons on trees/cars saying “support the troops” when “our government” sends Americans in uniform to kill someone else’s mother. They’ve talked about heroes in other Empires. Mark twain called America’s army “uniformed assassins” after their Philippine massacres.
Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff told Congress in 2008 that 108 detainees had died in our custody, with at least 25 classified as homicides but no one was ever prosecuted. Obama rejected any action against Bush officials, saying “nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.” So Americans who killed prisoners escape while whistleblowers face prison. America denounces countries that do what we do: Remember Nuremburg?
“Our government” continues the military/security arms race for profit, not security. America bombs countries into the Stone Age, forces down airplanes of heads of state to search them, and refuses to honor grants of political asylum.
“Our government, leader of the free world” has a dreadful record just since 1898; segregation, lynching, mass roundups, deportations, massacres, concentration camps for Japanese and Philippines’, secret medical experiments, infiltration of dissenting political groups, Red Scares, war crimes, corruption, coups, assassination, torture, lies; WMD. Arguing that whatever “our government” says must be true, and that military/intelligence agencies will respect anyone’s rights is choosing ignorance. “If you like your plan, keep it”.
As we reduce some wars “our leaders” demand new invasions. Eternal war represents unending losses for families, and perpetual profits for corporate/government interests; War maximizes presidential powers. The military/industrial/government complex is fuelled by a conveniently vague enemy: terrorists.
Eisenhower warned Americans to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex”; the coalition of corporations, agencies, and lobbyists who own us.
If you find a violation of American legal principles and don’t stand against it, you’re part of the problem. Acting on principle, popular or not, makes you as patriotic as anyone. The list of lies told by “our government” is so long it could/should be a field of university study.
Sweeping through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania recently, Joe Biden reassured them that American/NATO promises war if the territory of these Baltic nations is violated. From 1939 to 1989, all were Soviet republics on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to by FDR. No president would have fought with Russia over them. Now, under the new NATO, we must. Biden was making war guarantees Eisenhower would have thought insane.
Secretary of State Kerry says that in the Ukraine crisis, that America created, “All options are on the table”. Senator McStain wants to bring Ukraine into NATO, guaranteeing that any Russian move would mean war. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, others are calling for expanding NATO to include Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and moving America’s military into Poland and the Baltic republics. Most Americans can’t tell you where these countries are.
President Fancy words says, “All options are on the table” if Iran doesn’t guarantee they’re not building a bomb. Congress supports American military action saying; if Tehran doesn’t end uranium enrichment, America attacks.
We’re committed to defend Japan if China seizes islands we once admitted were Chinese. If North Korea starts a war with South Korea, we’re committed to fight there.
We’ve promised to defend the Philippines if China acts on its claim to islands of the South China Sea, and starts a war with Manila.
Are you prepared for these wars “our leaders” agreed to fight?
Who has taken away more of our freedom than any other: “our government”? How many of our freedom have “Islamofascists” or commies taken away: Zero. If America is such a peace loving country why is it constantly throwing down red lines and invading other countries?
The last CIA station chief in Vietnam, remembering a conversation with war criminal, Henry Kissinger said; “I had an opportunity to ask Mr. Kissinger what he thought of our intelligence. He was getting this flow of intelligence from CIA world wide at the time. What did he think of the value of it? And he thought for a moment and then he said, “When it supports my policy, it’s very useful.” America makes policy and then looks for reasons to support it.
Maybe, if Truman had let America act as it had since 1776, without any “intelligence” agency? No Shah of Iran, so no hostage crisis and no Ronald Reagan. No U2, therefore no refreezing of the Cold War. No Bay of Pigs, consequently no Cuban Missile Crisis. No arming of the Taliban, to teach those Russians a lesson. No WMD and the list almost enterers’ infinity.
“Our government” has no conscience, repeatedly ignores its own laws, making it like regimes it opposes. Ask an American Indian.
Annually historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, America has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; attempted to assassinate foreign leaders. The name of “our enemy” changes periodically, but generally it’s any society independent of the Empire with strategically useful or resource-rich territory. At home, rising poverty and vanishing liberty are the result of this. Add the risk of nuclear war, and the question is: why do you tolerate this?
We’re told that the fallen have died to “preserve our freedom” even as that freedom is shrinking daily by the hand of “our government” for “our security”. One real threat to freedom is the cascading debt fueled almost entirely by our everlasting wars and rampaging national security state. We’d do better memorializing the “fallen” by doing whatever would stop adding to their numbers.