That’s what war has always seemed to me. Grown men (and now women) bashing each other about for power and control.
Taking lives. Hurting people.
In my lifetime our country was never in danger ourselves so I don’t really buy the “they gave their lives so we could be free” pap. It’s not true. Think about it.
It’s all about definition. Some might say that we haven’t fought for our freedom since the Revolutionary War. The only time we were actually invaded was the War of 1812. We were attacked at Pearl Harbor, so WWII might have been about freedom. It’s a hard question.
But one thing seems clear to me. We are not currently fighting for our freedom.
We have been fighting for oil, for revenge, for image, for status, for political power or other reasons. Not for our freedom.
I suppose it’s a necessary justification or people wouldn’t fight. How would this go over: “Hey, soldier, sending you over to the Middle East so you can die for oil. How’s that sound?”
I also don’t buy all this sanctimonious crap about “supporting our troops.” As if there are people who do not. Only seriously deranged people wouldn’t “support” people who are risking their lives. Even if we believe that we’re in a war because political leaders had to lash out so they wouldn’t appear “soft” after Sept. 11.
“Supporting the troops” is a propaganda line meant to imply support for this war. There’s nothing tangible behind it. But let’s be real: if we are human, than we wish our troops to be safe and well. That does not necessarily mean we support a war.
I support our soldiers by praying for their safety. I have supported them by sending numerous CARE packages, cards, letters. How many people who repeat the mantra have actually done this? Probably far too few.
The real support is proved by action: “what are you doing to help make the lives of our soldiers better?”
Instead of repeating a “support the troops” message, why not send a CARE package? A card or letter? Visit a Veteran’s hospital? Donate to Veterans for Peace?
Otherwise, it’s just another mindless political slogan.
Memorial Day is also a good time to pray for the repose of the souls of those who have lost their lives for all the reasons: for freedom, for oil, as revenge for Daddy Bush or any other reason we’ve sent men and women to die.
I can’t go so far as to thank people for dying for revenge or for oil. I just feel sad that it happened. Post-mortem appreciation feels a little late.
So by all means, let’s pray for soldiers who are in harm’s way. For those who have been maimed and injured. To welcome home those who have done their time.
And let’s pray for an end to war and that we find some leaders worldwide who don’t need to have others die for their political advantage.
But it’s also a good time to send a card, note or package overseas. To show appreciation when soldiers can actually know it. Not after they’re dead and buried for a meaningless war.