12 January 2004

In response to one of those emails I received about our soldiers in Iraq, full of overwrought sentiment claiming they are "fighting for our freedom", I wrote the following:

...they're not protecting anyone's freedom, despite the adamant opinions and contorted logic expressed by the most vocal contingency in our country.

You cannot kill another nation's citizens, concertina wire their townships & villages when they fail to provide the information you THINK they have, inadvertently kill & maim innocent noncombatants, and then logically proclaim you're protecting their freedom, or the freedom of the citizens in your own nation. That's akin to shooting up the neighborhood of the man who robbed you, as a way of protecting your property from future theft.

The terror alerts are sounding with even more regularity. If this war was making us safer, we would have less worries about terrorist attacks, not more! We're not more free because of their sacrifice of life and limb. We're less free because of the fear we've engendered by invading Iraq without international support, and based on lies, half-truths and the monumental ignorance of many Americans.

According to various mainstream news reports, since 9/11/01 we've targeted Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Lybia, et. al. for military aggression. Those countries' inhabitants are far more knowledgeable about the geo-political manuvers that affect their nation than we are. And, because our current foreign policy of Pax Americana recklessly uses war to institute peace, too many of them are more likely to join the same religious fundamentalist movements we seek to eradicate.

You cannot make peace through war; you will only export death, destruction, despair and eventually desperation. What the soldiers are doing is obeying orders. By itself, following orders is the right thing to do, however, put into the larger and proper context, it's tragic.

Death & destruction are not the ingredients of the foundation for democracy; they only build a foundation for puppet regimes, and those never last. History has documented (and continues to document) the crumbling of every last one of them.

U.S. citizens can now be held indefinitely, without charges, without access to legal counsel and without notification to family members. Does that make you feel more free? Is that what the U.S. soldiers are fighting and dying for in Iraq? Unwarranted arrests, investigations, or detentions don't only happen to the other guy. Some people might think that's a good thing... but would the country be safer if it happened to you?

Military personnel deserve all the empathy, sympathy, and prayers for safety the American public can muster, because ultimately, we too share the blame of putting them in harm's way through our incuriousness and apathy about politics and history.

...fighting for our freedom? Absolutely not, but they are fighting for their lives!

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