An Iraq War Veteranís Quest for the True Meaning of Liberty and
by Andrew Mason
high school in 2001, I had no idea what the future held for me.
Then 9/11 happened. I had the Bushian mentality (being raised in
a staunch Republican household) of "letís go get some," and since
he had said that I could either be "either with the terrorists
or against the terrorists," I wanted to be against the terrorists
like every other American. My motivation and will to live were at
their highest they had ever been after I enlisted in the Marine
Corps. I thought to myself, "I am going to make a difference
in this world. I am going to fight for our freedom!" I graduated
from high school a semester early in January of 2005 to attend Marine
Corps Basic Training. I deployed twice to the killing fields of
Iraq, and I was completely oblivious to the fact that the war was
based on total lies. I had friends who were maimed and murdered
all in the name of nothing genuinely patriotic. I wish more of them
were able to read the articles at lewrockwell.com and campaignforliberty.com
before they made the fateful choice of enlisting.
I barely made
it out of my first deployment alive, after a few close calls with
IEDS and mortars (I was a M1A1 tank driver and later a gunner),
which in turn lead to the collapse of my morality. I guess it is
a little difficult to keep your morals when you witness the carnage
most of us have faced there, like children running out in the streets
getting their heads blown off, and suicide bombers blowing themselves
up and killing my mentors. I came back from the war a soulless degenerate.
I started hating Muslims for what I thought they stood for from
my experience in the Middle East. While on my post deployment leave
I would drive past the local mosque and look with pure disgust.
I would think to myself, "Look at all of these terrorists,"
as I held a death grip on my steering wheel. It is amazing what
war and war propaganda does to the mind. Man, was I wrong.
At that point,
my morality had sunk into the abyss. I started drinking heavily
to help numb my hatred towards life itself, which helped pass the
time until my next deployment to Iraq. My next deployment consisted
of wondering around the desert aimlessly looking for "bad guys."
This was kind of a metaphor for what was going on in my mind. I
felt completely lost about everything, and I thought to myself,
"What the hell are we doing here?" I was discharged, somehow
honorably, in 2009 and I still felt completely lost. I moved back
to Ohio with my family, and I started praying like my parents always
told me I should. I thought I might go into law enforcement like
many veterans do, so I moved to Southern California to scope out
a potential career.
After a few
months of praying and cleaning up my act, I started finding answers.
I was living in San Diego, where I was going to school at the time,
and I wanted to work in the security industry for some extra cash.
I was speaking to a Vietnam veteran who was giving a class for those
who wish to get into the security industry, and he completely opened
my eyes to a fact that had not been brought to my attention in the
Marines. He said to all of us, "The reason the U.S. has so many
enemies is because we create them by not minding our own business."
Right then and there it was like the veil of deceit had been ripped
from my eyes. I went home and started searching for all things related
to foreign policy, which is how I found Ron Paul on YouTube. I watched
Dr. Paulís famous "What
If?" speech, and I could not help but become furious. It
was not because the Congressman offended me, but because he had
enlightened me about just how wrong I was. I knew, as soon as I
was done watching his speech, it was not a "What If" speech
but a "What Is!" speech. After watching the "What
Is!" speech, I was led to Web sites like campaignforliberty.com,
antiwar.com, and lewrockwell.com. I started to become even more
outraged after realizing that I had been lied to my entire life
by my government, the media, and my history teachers. I really took
a hit in the face while watching our former fearless leader President
Bush jokingly say in front of the elite media "Those weapons
of mass destruction gotta be somewhere." I wonder if the thought
of my fellow veterans blood-curdling screams or the children of
the Middle East getting blown to smithereens in the name of protecting
us from those non-existent weapons ever crossed his mind. Probably
not, just like the real sounds of war havenít entered the mind of
our current chicken-hawk-in-chief, Barack Obama.
is no longer a holiday I will celebrate, unlike most Americans who
thank our service members for "defending our freedom."
I can only hope that someday all of the flag-wavers and veterans
marching in the parades realize that the people of the United States
have been manipulated into every war of the past hundred years,
and are continuously being bombarded with propaganda to continue
the wars today. Will my fellow Marines ever come to know that Major
General Smedley Butler is not just the name of a war hero whose
words we had to memorize by heart? Will they ever come to realize,
as General Butler realized, that we are and were nothing but "musclemen"
for the criminal corporate and banking cartels, and servants for
the Corporatists who are perpetuating the destruction of the very
idea they claim to be fighting for. I have come to this realization.
I wrote this
article to give some truth to the concluding statement in Mark Crovelliís
Honor and Morality Goodbye in the U.S. Armed Forces." In
his concluding statement, Mr. Crovelli said, "May God protect us
all from this group of people whose allegiance is to secrecy, immoral
war, and lying politicians, instead of to defending the people of
the United States." I believe that some sort of divine intervention,
in combination with a good conscience, has indeed shown me the light
towards real morality and real patriotism through articles like
the ones found at this Web site and other liberty-loving websites.
Furthermore, I see that many more veterans have and will come to
see the light of truth. My goal is to help highlight the fact that
they, like myself, have sworn to "uphold and defend the Constitution
from enemies both foreign and domestic," and that our greatest threat
comes from the state itself; not the Middle East. As long we continue
to educate all of those who are and were serving in the military
about the constant stream of lies our government spews, they will
join the true patriots and the actual fight for the restoration
is a former corporal in the U.S.M.C.
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.