Memorial Day Blues
Come every Memorial Day, jerks like Cheney and Bush implore us to honor our war dead--the implication is that we owe them for the liberty and freedom they delivered to us. Sadly, most of our fallen soldiers were serving to advance the ambitions and dreams of the rich and powerful, who, far from the battlefield, have been willing to spill the blood of others for their personal gain.
Certainly there have been times where it has been necessary to defend the country, but most military actions have been designed to advance the agenda of the rich and powerful who stand to gain from it.
When a George Bush asks you to feel a pang of guilt for the price that a soldier paid on your behalf, he is pulling a fast one on you. That soldier likely died to pump up the bottom line for a Haliburton or Bechtel, not to insure that your first amendment rights are intact. Bush is, in truth, attempting to perpetuate the myth that military adventures benefit us all. Why is he doing this? One central reason is that weasels like him will always need fresh cannon fodder (this means you, your friends, your children and grandchildren).
If we are to truly honor people serving in the military, we would not waste their lives on missions inspired by greed and naked power lust (or religious fanaticism, for that matter). We would not send them on ridiculous adventures meant to line the pockets of venal, corrupt, power mad oligarchs and corporate slime balls. We would accord the proper respect to those who serve by allowing them to defend the country and the Constitution, as they were meant to.
I want to honor all those who have fallen in war throughout history as follows: As human beings, we can do better than to engage in violence as a means of sorting out our problems. We owe it to those who have died by the sword to prove that there is a better way to live.
I suggest that it's worth resisting the call to war, to militarism, to nationalism. The greedy few have manipulated the masses throughout history to die for them, to advance their bloody fortunes, while invoking fuzzy patriotic nonsense about "honoring our war dead". I saw we honor them by not adding to their ranks. There would be no greater tribute to those who have fallen.