by MolePost Columnist Thomas M.
This article was originally published at Molepost.com
Published November 11, 2013
Today is Veterans Day, the day when the media tells Americans that they must thank the veterans for their service and sacrifice.
I don’t think mere thanks begins to address the debt that we owe veterans. I believe that we owe today's veterans an apology for the lies that put them in harms way. Too often the media's bid to thank the military seems more driven by propaganda than by real gratitude. It seems to serve the American corporations and works to keep the profits coming in for the few from the on going conflicts; and I mean on going and on going and soon to be more. According to a report issued in December 2012, the US military is in 150 countries (1) and counting.
The truth of the matter is that war is big business. The U.S. is the world's largest arms dealer and the constant military incursions we undertake are creating a lot of wealth for some companies.
Another reason for the citizens of American to express a heart felt apology is for the way the veterans are treated when they return home; with rabid unemployment, homelessness, the lack of treatment for war related injuries, including the mental effects of the killing and destruction of the people who they are forced to invade.
Veterans deserve more than a wreath laying ceremony or a free steak dinner. They deserve to know that they will not be deployed for mere profit motives and that their lives are valuable - not something to be wasted because of lies about "weapons of mass destruction" or other less than half-truths. Veterans deserve to come home to gratitude, peace, employment - they deserve to flourish.
Let me say to our troops that I am sorry. I am sorry that we as a people do not think more carefully about what we do when we deploy our troops. I am sorry that our troops are put in harm's way to protect the wrong "American interests." I am sorry that our troops are too often injured or killed in skirmishes, like Vietnam, that later prove to be terrible mistakes.
I'm sorry to the people who have been hurt by us too - not only our own troops, but the people of Vietnam and South East Asia, Central America, the people of Chile, the Palestinians who have to face weapons we supply to their enemies, the Afghani's wrongly killed by our drones, and even the American journalists gunned down because we are too quick to see people as enemies. I'm sorry that we live in a world that can't seem to get it together enough to create and preserve peace.
I am especially sorry on this day that we did not pursue the peace that John Kennedy described in his American University speech on June 10, 1963, when he said:
"What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time."
I am also sorry that we as a people demonize our enemies so thoroughly that we are conditioned to kill them without concern or consideration for our methods. So many claim that we are a Christian nation but it seems they have forgotten Jesus's words when he said:
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Let's hope and pray that we can become the nation we claim to be. That we can act more carefully and more compassionately, and that, yes, we can even have concern for those we think are our enemies. They are people not so different than us.
(1) "Total Military Personnel and Dependent End Strength By Service, Regional Area, and Country". United States Department of Defense. December 31, 2012.