A Young Marine Speaks Out

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I’m sick and
tired of this patriotic, nationalistic and fascist crap. I stood
through a memorial service today for a young Marine that was killed
in Iraq back in April. During this memorial a number of people spoke
about the guy and about his sacrifice for the country. How do you
justify ‘sacrificing’ your life for a war which is not only illegal,
but is being prosecuted to the extent where the only thing keeping
us there is one man’s power, and his ego. A recent Marine Corps
intelligence report that was leaked said that the war in the al-Anbar
province is unwinnable. It said that there was nothing we could
do to win the hearts and minds, or the military operations in that
area. So I wonder, why are we still there? Democracy is not forced
upon people at gunpoint. It’s the result of forward thinking individuals
who take the initiative and risks to give their fellow countrymen
a better way of life.

When I joined
I took an oath. In that oath I swore to protect the Constitution
of the United States. I didn’t swear to build democracies in countries
on the other side of the world under the guise of "national
security." I didn’t join the military to be part of an Orwellian
("1984") war machine that is in an obligatory war against
whoever the state deems the enemy to be so that the populace can
be controlled and riled up in a pro-nationalistic frenzy to support
any new and oppressive law that will be the key to destroying the
enemy. Example given — the Patriot Act. So aptly named, and totally
against all that the constitution stands for. President Bush used
the reactionary nature of our society to bring our country together
and to infuse into the national psyche a need to give up their little-used
rights in the hope to make our nation a little safer. The same scare
tactics he used to win elections. He drones on and on about how
America and the world would be a less safe place if we weren’t killing
Iraqis, and that we’d have to fight the terrorists at home if we
weren’t abroad. In our modern day emotive society this strategy
(or strategery?) works, or had worked, up until last month’s elections.

My point in
this; to show that America was never nationalistic. If anything
they were Statalistic (giving their allegiance to the state of their
residence). This is shown in the fact that the founders created
states with fully capable and independent governments and not provinces
that were just a division of the federal government. These men believed
that America was a place where imperialistic values would be non-existent.
Where the people trying to make their lives better by working hard,
thinking, inventing and using the free market would tie up so much
of normal life that imperialistic colonization and the fighting
of wars thousands of miles away for interests that are not our own
would be avoided. They believed this expansion of power could be
left to the European nations, the England, France and Spain of their
time. However this recent, and current influx of nationalistic feeling
has created an environment where giving up your rights, going to
a foreign country to fight a people who did not ask for us to be
there, nor did their leader do anything to warrant us being there,
and dying would be considered honorable and heroic. I don’t believe
it anymore. I don’t believe it’s right for any American to go along
with it anymore. Yes I know that we in the military are bound by
the UCMJ and somehow don’t fall under the Constitution (the very
thing we’re suppose to be defending) but sooner or later there is
a decision that every American soldier, marine, airmen and seamen
makes to allow themselves to be sent to a war that is against every
fiber this country was founded on. I know that when April rolls
around I will be thinking long and hard on that decision. Even though
we in the military are just doing as we’re told we still have the
moral and ethical obligation to choose to do as we’re told, or to
say, “No, that isn’t right." I believe that if more troopers like
me and the professional military, the officers and commanders, start
standing up and saying that they won’t let themselves or their troops
go to this illegal war people will start standing up and realizing
what the heck is going on over there.

The sad fact
of the matter is that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We
are fighting the Iraqi people who feel like a conquered and occupied
people. Personally I have a hard time believing that if I was an
Iraqi that I wouldn’t be doing everything in my power to kill and
maim as many Americans as possible. I know that the vast majority
of Americans would not be happy with the Canadian government, or
any other foreign government, liberating us from the clutches of
George W. Bush, even though a large number of us would like that,
and forcing us to accept their system of government. Would not millions
of Americans rise up and fight back? Would you not rise up to protect
and defend your house and your neighborhood if someone invaded your
country? But we send thousands of troops to a foreign country to
do just that. How is it moral to fight a people who are just trying
to defend their homes and families? I think next time I go to Iraq
perhaps I should wear a bright red coat and carry a Brown Bess instead
of my digitalized utilities and M16.

Notice I never
once used the word homeland in any of this. I have a secondary point
I want to bring up now. Never once was the term homeland ever used
to describe the country of America until Mr. Bush began the department
of homeland security after the 9/11 attacks. Taking a 20th century
history class will teach us that the most notable countries in the
last century that referred to their country in this way were Nazi
Germany and Soviet Russia. Hitler used the term fatherland to drum
up support, nationalistic support, for his growing war machine.
He used the nationalism he created in the minds of the Germans to
justify the sacrifice of their livelihood to build the war machine
to get back their power from the oppressive restrictions the English
and French had put on them at Versailles. This is the same feeling
that has been virulently infecting the American psyche in the last
hundred years. This is the same feeling that consoles a mother after
her son is killed in an attempt to prosecute an aggressor’s war
10,000 miles away. It’s also known as Patriotism these days, but
I say, “No more." No more nationalistic inanity, no more passing
it off as patriotism. Patriotism is learning, and educating oneself
to understand what their country really stands for.

I
heard a lot during the memorial service about how the dead Marine
did so much good for others and how his helping others was like
a little microcosm of America helping because we have the power
to do so. Well if we have the power to help people why aren’t we
helping in Darfur where hundreds of thousands of people have died
in the last 10 years. Saddam was convicted and sentenced to death
for killing 143 Shiites who conspired to assassinate him. (I know
all you “patriotic” Americans would be calling for the heads of
anyone who conspired to assassinate supreme leader Bush). And yet
we spend upwards of 1 trillion dollars and nearing 3,000 lives to
help these Iraqis when they don’t even want us there. Not to mention
we don’t have the legal justification to be there. I guess we should
wait around for the omnipotent W Bush to decide who we should use
our superpowerdom to help next. It’s about time to throw him and
the rest of the fascists out. Moreover it’s about time to start
educating Americans about their past and history, and letting them
know that imperialistic leaders are not what the founders of this
great country wanted.

December
8, 2006

Philip
Martin [send him mail]
has been a Marine for 2 years. He is in the infantry (a “grunt”),
and spent 7 months in the al-Anbar province of Iraq. He went on
more than 180 combat patrols in and outside of the city of Fallujah,
where he was hit with 2 IEDs (luckily never injured) and was involved
in a number of firefights. He is currently stationed in Twentynine
Palms, CA, and due to return to Iraq for a second deployment in
April 2007. He is 21-years-old.

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