Thank You For Your Servitude

I wrote this last Memorial Day, on my regular Substack, where you can subscribe here It reflects my sentiments about our lust for war, which the great Smedley Butler so accurately described as a “racket.”

I don’t want to spoil anyone’s Memorial Day. To those who lost loved ones in uniform, your pain and tragedy is real, and you have my sympathy. I prefer the view that my friend Cindy Sheehan holds. She lost a young son in our senseless Middle East misadventures. They couldn’t assuage her with medals and patriotic rhetoric.

In my view, the last justified war that America participated in was the War of 1812. Our shores were invaded, and we were directly attacked. That was the only war of defense America has ever fought. I’m no pacifist; we all have the right to defend ourselves, and that includes the country itself. Some of you might respond, “Hey, what about Pearl Harbor? What about those dirty sneaky rotten Japs?” Please read my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963 for a detailed examination of FDR’s foreknowledge of the event. He might as well have been flying a plane himself.

Those who fought for independence against the Redcoats, and those who actually defended the homeland during the War of 1812, were heroes in my estimation. But I don’t get this labeling of anyone who dies in combat as a “hero.” None of the nearly million young Americans who lost their lives in Abraham Lincoln’s senseless internal conflict were heroic. Lincoln instituted an unconstitutional draft, so these boys were forced to fight. Unless they had money, of course. There was that whole “Rich man’s exemption” thing. No one who died at Gettysburg or Antietam was wealthy.

Did the youngsters killed in the Spanish-American War, precipitated by the first modern false flag, die for any reason whatsoever? How about those who occupied and committed atrocities in the Philippines, or Haiti? I’ll have a lot to say about all that in the upcoming Hidden History 3: More From the American Memory Hole. World War I? Don’t make me laugh. Even the court historians can’t come up with a reason for that pointless slaughter. But lots of bankers and One Percenters increased their fortunes from it, as the great Smedley Butler pointed out.

Woodrow Wilson brought back John Adams’ unconstitutional sedition laws, throwing lots of WWI protesters into prison. When Eugene Debs and others challenged this legally, the Supreme Court upheld Wilson. And that’s where that whole “yelling fire in a crowded theater” asterisk on free speech came from. Vaunted “liberal” Oliver Wendell Holmes made up the expression to defend the imprisonment of war protesters. So protesting a senseless war is yelling fire in a crowded theater. Got it.

By World War II, Americans had learned their lesson. They dutifully planted their victory gardens, bought their bonds, became air raid wardens, and idolized the “Greatest Generation” soldiers like no others before. Uncle Sam Wants You! Again, read my book for just a sampling of the atrocities committed by these “heroes” on the Germans and the Japanese. That doesn’t mean that the Germans and the Japanese didn’t commit atrocities on them. It means that non-defensive wars are full of horrific, criminal behavior on all sides.

Read about the atrocities committed by the Americans in Korea. My writings demonstrate that the “scorched earth” strategy began by Lincoln and his psychotic generals like Sherman and Sheridan set the precedent for all American wars to come. Rape and outright theft, targeting of civilians, destruction of property. You will find eyewitness accounts of this “total war” philosophy in every conflict America has been involved in. The videos documenting this kind of conduct landed then Bradley Manning in prison. No one defames our “heroes.”

Like Cindy Sheehan, the family of former NFL player Pat Tillman couldn’t be bought off with medals and platitudes of bravery. Eventually, the government admitted that Tillman, who had quickly grown to oppose American involvement there, had actually been killed by “friendly fire.” Until Oliver Stone’s film Platoon, Americans had no idea of exactly how common this is. In Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, our troops not only killed their comrades with carelessness, they sometimes targeted them for murder. Give a boy a gun and all that.

Especially since 9/11, after which we basically became America 2.0, our military has become almost sanctified. “Support the Troops!” While I’m writing this kind of radical contrarianism, most Americans today are tipping the hat to every military veteran by proclaiming, “Thank you for your service.” Exactly what are we thanking them for? Occupying smaller sovereign nations who have never attacked us? Urinating on corpses, or playing soccer with their decapitated heads, as was done in Iraq and Afghanistan? “Protecting” us from those who couldn’t hurt us if they wanted to? “Defending our freedom,” which our government is doing its best to crush?

Of course, I know that most soldiers, like most cops, are not bad people. Some of them probably go into the service with grand and noble ideals, and believe that they are defending us from the bad guys. Like the population at large, they continue to fall for the hackneyed propaganda that H.L. Mencken described as “an endless series of hobgoblins.” And every one of their deaths is tragic. But not heroic. Pointless. Led to the slaughter by bankers and chicken hawks who never saw a battlefield.

I mean no disrespect to anyone. I know there are some great people in the military. But enabling the senseless foreign policy that uses these young people in uniform as expendable cannon fodder ensures that it will continue. Mindlessly waving the flag, and cheering in parades is feeding the monster. “Patriotism” is to the Military Industrial Complex like blood is to a vampire. They need the cheers. And the approval. If you agree that those dying in these aggressive nation building wars are heroes, then you are saying the war policy is heroic.

The whole antiwar movement in the ‘60s amounted to nothing. I think the marches against the Vietnam war went on for about eight years or so, before we finally withdrew our troops. And those hippies who understandably didn’t want to lose their lives senselessly in that conflict, went on to applaud subsequent wars which were just as senseless. Look how many of them now are urging a war against Russia. Russia is no Iraq. Long live World War 3! We need more “heroes!” And the “I Stand with Ukraine” thing is predicated on the idea that Ukraine itself is heroic.

And the military worship is now combined with Identity Politics. The NFL has been receiving taxpayer funds for a long time now, for what amounts to military commercials before games. These rituals have absolutely nothing to do with sports, and are in-your-face state propaganda. Colin Kaepernick might have had a point, if he’d led players in kneeling during the military productions, and not during the National Anthem. And this military worship happens right alongside the players wearing pink and the sports industry being as “Woke” as the rest of corporate America. You can be “cancelled” for opposing war, or for being “racist.”

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