Before I begin I would like to say something. I have noticed that I have a following of some sorts; a small but faithful group of people who read my articles and share them with others. While I truly appreciate the support they offer, I would like to ask that if you are among this group you refrain from calling me a patriot.
Patrick Henry was a patriot when he said “Give me liberty or give me death” and meant it. Nathan Hale was a patriot when, before he was hung, he said, “My only regret is that I have but one life to lose for my country.” All those who took up arms to face the world’s mightiest army across the battlefields during the Revolution were patriots; for they faced hardships and odds that would make many men today cower in fear. Those who took up arms to defend their homesteads against invasion by the Union Army were patriots. Even Edward Snowden was/is a patriot for sacrificing his life in America to inform you of the crimes being committed by YOUR government.
Me, all I do is sit in the safety and comfort of my home and scribble out these rants; with very little risk to myself being involved. If this country continues to progress on its current path there may soon come a time when writers such as myself are called to answer for speaking out against their government, but until that time comes, and my actions are proven worthy of the title, I ask that you call me anything you want; anything except a patriot that is.
The reason I bring all that us isn’t to be self-deprecating, it is simply because I don’t believe I meet the criteria to be called a patriot; and if I don’t, then there are a great many more in this country who are far less patriotic than I am – or possibly they are simply misguided as to what patriotism entails.
I could be wrong, but I believe that far too many people believe patriotism entails standing proudly when the national anthem is played, reciting the pledge of allegiance, voting faithfully in every election, or slapping a few bumper stickers on your vehicle proclaiming your support for law enforcement and the troops.
If I were to cover each of those; explaining why I don’t consider them to be acts of patriotism, I could probably write a short book. So, since the holidays are upon us, and I’ve already begun to see graphics floating around on Facebook telling us to remember that our troops are off fighting for our freedoms, I thought I’d focus on those troops; and whether your blind support for them falls into the category of patriotism.
Whenever I’m out and about driving around I see a lot of these things plastered to the rear ends of people’s cars, trucks and SUV’s…and I mean A LOT…
Don’t mistake me or my support for those who have enlisted in the military and stand ready, at any time, to lay down their life in the defense of their country; for at one time I was among their ranks; having served 13 years, 9 months and 11 days, (but who is counting) in the military myself. My concern is whether those who display those stickers support the troops or the conflicts they are engaged in all over the word; and no, the two are not inseparable.
Had you studied our history as much as I have you would know that most of those we call our Founders feared the establishment of a standing army; believing that it could, and would be used to enforce the tyranny of the government it served. A standing army is basically a full time army ready to be called into action at a moment’s notice by the government as opposed to a reserve force, or the militia.
While I realize that times are different now and we could face threats our Founders did not during their lifetimes, my gripe with a standing army is not so much the fact that we have one, rather it is what they are being used for.
I would hope that everyone knows our military falls under the authority of the Department of Defense; which is coincidentally a cabinet level position that falls under the authority of the Executive Branch. Yet under the constitution only Congress can declare war. The last time that happened was on December 8, 1941 after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. So under what authority have our troops been sent to Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the other sundry countries they been sent off to fight and die in?
If you believe that our troops can be sent all over the globe to, ‘take the fight to them before they bring it to us’ then why don’t you just accept that they no longer work under the authority of the Department of Defense, for these are not defensive wars, they are offensive wars. May as well rename the DoD to the Department of Offense if that’s what you truly think our military should be used for.
My belief, and it may differ from yours, is that our military should only serve to defend our country against attack and invasion. Aside from provisions for the militia and the establishment of an army and navy, the only other mention in the constitution that comes close to saying when the military shall be used is found in Article 4, Section 4, Clause 4, where it states, “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.”
It does not say that the government has the authority to wage offensive wars, or chase our enemies back to their home countries, occupy those countries for decades, and help the people rebuild and establish democracies in place of whatever form of government they may have had; which is exactly what our government, (as well as a great many Americans) believe the military should do.
Since Article 4 states that the United States, which in this instance means the government of these States united, shall protect each of the States against invasion, why hasn’t it done a damned thing to stop the invasion that is going on along our Southern border?
I know this is a touchy subject for some, while others say I am denying my own beliefs because liberty means the ability of all people to travel freely wherever they want; regardless of borders. For those who feel this way, don’t even bother trying to rebuke me over this, I won’t take the bait and you’ll be wasting your time trying to goad me into a debate on it.
I believe that there are people out there, (not all of them, but some), who want to come to this country to either partake of the benefits this country has to offer without adhering to our customs and beliefs, and that there are others who come here with the intent to do us harm. I will not back down on the belief that we need to protect our borders from those type people; and if that causes you to believe I don’t truly stand for liberty for all, then so be it.
I don’t know about you, but the only word I can use to describe thousands of people per month sneaking into our country illegally is invasion. So why isn’t our government doing something about it; why aren’t troops stationed along our borders to repel this invasion? Are we afraid of offending our neighbors to the South? Too bad, let them fix their country so that people aren’t forced to flee to America for a better life; we have enough problems of our own here to worry about providing for them as well.
Sorry I went on a tirade about this, but illegal immigration and restrictions upon my right to keep and bear arms are still two areas that I’m quite passionate about; so forgive me if went a bit off track for a moment.
So let me ask you a question, and be honest with your answers; Is our military being used to defend America or is it being used to impose American foreign policy upon the world and protect U.S. business interests? Before you answer, ask yourself why our troops are guarding Saudi oil wells and protecting opium poppy fields in Afghanistan. Could it be that they are over there to protect the interests of Shell Oil and Texaco, and maybe even to protect the cash crop, (heroin) that funds a large percentage of the CIA’s black, (covert), operations?
Has the Tabliban attacked us here on American soil? If not, then why do we have troops in Afghanistan? Have the Iraqi people attacked us? Then why do we have troops over there, and why have we bombed much of their country back into the Stone Age? If the ‘official’ report on 9/11 is accurate, then those who hijacked the planes that day were either Saudi or Egyptian. But oh no, we can’t attack them, they are our allies. Yet Saudi Arabia is one of the leading countries responsible for funding and breeding terrorists, and the Wahhabism, (which is the sect of Islam practiced by the Saudi ruling class) is the most radical and outspoken; promoting violence against the infidels and those who believe differently than they do.
Nevertheless the Saud’s are our allies, even though the Saudi Royal Family funnels huge quantities of money into terrorist organizations around the world. But by golly we took care of ole Saddam Hussein, didn’t we? And look what happened afterwards, the CIA created Al Qaeda stepped in and now we have a new enemy to send our troops off to fight and die against. Has America become the world’s policemen that sends our troops off to fight evil wherever it pops up across the planet?
I want you to read something, then read it again and again until it sinks in. In 1821, then Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams made the following comments, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama the European world, will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
Does that even come close to how our military is used today, or our foreign policy? If you’re honest, you’ll come to the conclusion that our military is being used for purposes it was not intended to do; such as topple tin pot dictators and aid and assist rebels fighting against the leaders of countries who pose a threat to U.S. business interests.
But Neal, they are attacking our troops, setting IED’s that kill and main our soldiers. True, but I don’t think an IED can hurt anyone in the U.S.; they only hurt and kill our troops because THEY ARE IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN! Bring our troops home and those IED’s can’t hurt them.
Since I mentioned bring our troops home I may as well ask why we have troops in any of the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Spain and Turkey? Are we at war with those countries? No, then why do we have troops there? Are we an empire with outposts all over the territory we have conquered or are we a country whose military is used only to defend itself against attack and invasion?
America freaked out when the former Soviet Union attempted to install nuclear weapons on the island of Cuba, yet we have bases all over the world; some of which I’m sure have nuclear weapons stockpiled away on them ready for use should another world war erupt. Yet we say this is to defend our country? How do you think the neighboring countries feel about us having a military presence in such close proximity to them? How would we feel if Russia began putting bases in Mexico and Canada; wouldn’t we feel threatened?
Is this whole thing, (countries trying to invade and set up military installations in them), a huge game of global chess with the superpowers fighting for control of the natural resources in the regions they seek control of? Do we keep troops in the Middle East because there is oil there?
I want you to read something else then ponder it as well. Smedley Butler was, at the time of his death, the most highly decorated Marine alive. For all intents and purposes he was a national hero; having served his country with honor and distinction. So why did Butler say the following:
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
I’m not saying there aren’t enemies out there, but until they attack the United States, not our interests abroad, but the U.S. itself, we have no justification for sending our troops into their country. How would we feel if Russia or China sent troops into America because they felt we posed a threat to their national interests? We would consider that an act of war, (which is justifiable), yet we condone the sending of our troops all over the globe, whether it be at the behest of policy established by the State Department, the CIA, or the President himself, not the mention the fact that our troops are also called into service to enforce United Nations resolutions.
Since I brought them up, let me tell you my thoughts on the United Nations; they can be summed up in a few short words…FUCK THE UNITED NATIONS! They don’t serve me or the United States; all they do is seek to impose their control over the world; they are globalist in nature and seek to eradicate the sovereignty of each nation; so fuck them!
In fact, if Americans had any balls at all they would march upon the nation’s capital by the millions and demand that the U.N. leave American soil and take their globalist agenda with them. Then, if they ever try to enforce a U.N resolution upon us, we should fly a couple of stealth bombers over and drop a few bunker buster bombs on U.N. Headquarters as a reminder to leave us the hell alone!
As a veteran I probably feel more strongly about supporting the troops than do those who plaster those stickers to their cars and trucks. I say we support them by not sending them to these countries where their lives are at risk to defend U.S. foreign policy or protect U.S. business interests.
I also say, that once they have served their country they should not be forgotten; thrown to the curb as useless trash the country no longer needs. If we can ask them to risk their lives defending this country, then by God we should treat them with the honor and respect that sacrifice deserves.
How many Iraqi war vets suffer from mental illness after having served multiple rotations in and out of Iraq; how many have lost their homes and are homeless; how many commit suicide after having seen and done some of the things their country asked them to do? Yet do you care about THAT when you slap that sticker on your car, or do you only care about defending them while they are actually placing their lives on the line for you misguided idea of patriotism and national defense?
And what about the POW’s and the MIA’s; the ones who lived through the war but never made it home; do you care about them when you slap that sticker on your car? Every war we’ve had has seen Americans held as prisoners of war, or been listed as missing in action. Some were found and made it home, while others died never seeing the U.S. again after having been asked to serve their country.
That, to me, is intolerable! If we send those young men and women off to fight, we should make sure every single one of them is accounted for when the conflict ends, and those that are living should be brought back home; not rot away in some POW camp somewhere. If we can’t make that promise to our fighting men and women then we have no business sending them off to fight and die protecting a country that doesn’t give a shit about them!
Have you ever watched the Mel Gibson movie We Were Soldiers? It tells the story of the U.S.’s first major battle in Vietnam. After a long, and costly battle, Gibson, who plays Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, wins a small victory; with the Vietnamese army abandoning their stronghold. When Moore/Gibson climbs aboard the helicopter to depart the field of battle his Sergeant Major, played by Sam Elliot, tells him that all Moore’s men are accounted for.
That is how a country treats those who it asks to risk their lives in battle to serve; no one should be left unaccounted for; either dead or alive they should ALL be brought home; not left to rot like forgotten toys.
If our government can do that to those it sends in to battle, then that government does not deserve our respect or support, and I damn sure am not going to support the wars it sends them off to die in.
I will, until my last dying breath, support our troops. I won’t, however, support the wars they are sent off to fight and die in. Our troops do not work for the U.N.; they don’t work for Wall Street; they don’t work for the CIA, and they damn sure don’t work for a government that takes its marching orders from the power brokers who actually run our government. Our soldiers should defend this country and let other countries fend for themselves; and for that they should be honored as heroes, not refuse to be tossed aside when their usefulness has come to an end.
And if you cannot support that position, then I suggest you tear that sticker off your car, because it is anything but patriotic; for a patriot loves his country, and his government only when it deserves it, (Mark Twain). Our government does neither, and I refuse to support our government, and the wars it sends our fighting men and women off to die in.
Oh, and have a Happy Thanksgiving…