Monday, July 4, 2011

We Always Thank the Veterans for Having Saved our Freedom

I posted my opinion on Facebook the other day, that the 4th is for celebrating our Independence from England and the creation of this country. It is not Veteran's Day, Memorial Day or Armed Forces Day. These are the days we recognize our military veterans. It seems that at every turn, someone is thanking veterans and currently serving military for our freedom. When I think back, I think of all of those military servicemen and women who have given their lives at the command of the politicians, I realize that most did not die to preserve freedom. They were convinced that was why they were there, but were they really "preserving" our freedom?

We reconcile all of those deaths with the preserving of freedom, because we don't want to admit that most died in vain. Most recently, of course, the thousands, who were maimed and died in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not preserving freedom. There was absolutely no reason to have attacked Iraq. We went into Afghanistan to capture or kill Bin Laden. We failed and many have died there for no real reason other than politics.

Vietnam was not about freedom. It was originally about French colonialism, and the U.S. was drawn to it because Ho Chi Minh sought help from China, after the U.S. turned him away at the end of WWII. Eisenhower and his minions came up with the Domino Theory to justify U.S. involvement in what turned out to be nothing more than a civil war, which we eventually lost. Thousands more U.S. soldiers died in vain.

WWII was about fighting for freedom. WWI, probably wasn't. The Spanish American war was about imperialism on our part and it was the Hearst Newspapers' and others' "Yellow Journalism" that brought the U.S. into that war. It was about acquiring territory. No fighting and dying for freedom there.

It could be said that the American Civil War was about freedom. It certainly was about preserving the country and it's Union. Had the U.S. government failed in the preservation of the Union, alliances with other countries on the part of the south and it's lack of natural resources, could have ultimately destroyed the United States.

The various Indian Wars, and we do recognize the dead from these wars on Memorial Day, were nothing more than the conquest of the United States by the United States Government. Many soldiers died, but did they die for freedom? I think not.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers have died around the world in conflicts in which we have become involved. Most probably didn't die for our freedom. They died because some politicians decided that they should die for our own best interests, whatever they may have been.

I am a cynic. I know that. I am also a product of the 60's and the Vietnam War era. I still have a hard time cozying up to the military. It is a necessary evil. We have to have it to maintain our sovereignty. Should we recognize those, who have died for this country. Of course. It takes nothing but sheer courage to walk onto a battlefield and lay down your life for what you think is right. It takes even more courage to do it, when you have no choice, and you know that you are risking your life, not for freedom per say, but because the pols have decided to sacrifice you for their perceived ideals. Nothing should be taken away from these courageous men and women, who join the military and willingly go where they are sent and take up arms against another country or group. Let's just not always say they are fighting for our freedom, because, often, they clearly are not. ...and let's leave July 4th to celebrate the birth of our country.