So today is Veteran's Day. Big whoop. People congratulate me for serving in a (neo)colonial war half a world away, and tell me that I was there defending freedom (some add peace, but that is a little much to even comment on).
Sorry, I call bullshit. Eisenhower said that he kept the South Vietnamese from voting in 1958 to make sure that they didn't vote for Ho Chi Ming, which he knew they would. Some freedom. So I was no more defending freedom and democracy there and then, then the people in the service are now.
The guys who are busy being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and now it looks like there will be even more are fighting for what? Not freedom in Iraq certainly. In Afghanistan, gee we got a recent election that is so corrupt that the opposition "party" pulled out of the run off. On top of that one half of the population are being denied any rights at all (would you care to guess which half that is?) Given what just happened with the Sputak amendment, I would think that the democratic party probably has not problem with that at all.
I thought I was busy defending the world from the communist menace. Of course, keeping these mostly brown people from electing their own government was simply schooling them in real democracy. I really believed that at the time.
Seeing the affect we had on the people there the way we corrupted an already corrupt government (in Thailand) the affect on me was kind of like a cold shower. Why was I there, what was I doing? I grew up at 22, apparently our rulers have yet to get to that level of development.
At any rate I was supporting an entirely corrupt government that was not in any real way representing it's people. I guess that could refer to either the South Vietnamese or the good old USofA.
You can't do that on a continuous basis over seas (ever since about 1948) and expect that what you will end up with here at home is going to be anything, but a corrupt government which in no real way represents it's people.
The founding fathers understood that we could not have a large standing army and a republic. It's interesting that we knew so much more than we apparently do 200 years later. Now look at us. At any rate you cannot continue to support dictatorships everywhere else (no matter what Orwellian phraseology you might use to justify it) and not expect that kind of thing to start to be reflected in the government here.
So celebrate each one of us who helped support a corrupt and vile government (take your pick) whose only purpose is now to take money from the middle class and lower classes and give it to the wealthiest here in this country, it was always their purpose to do that in other countries.
P.S. Oh yeah, I've wondered since I could wonder why we insist on "celebrating" Veteran's Day on November 11. After all, the only thing that happened on November 11 (well except for the execution of the Haymarket Martyrs and Nat Turner) was the armistice in WWI, which merely paused the Great War. Our peace with Germany came much later after all the other parties had signed the Versailles Treaty and the Versailles Treaty simply set the stage for another war. We've actually ended at least one war since then, and stopped all our colonial wars without any formal ends. I suspect that there are no living WWI veterans left in the USofA. (As an aside I did meet a WWI veteran once. He had been stationed in south Texas during the entire war and spent the entire time chasing Mexicans and Indians, never seeing one, he said.)