Please, Don’t Thank Me For My Service

When I began writing these rants, what seems like a lifetime ago, I began to notice that when I wrote one condemning the Democrats all my Republican friends would pat me on the back and say, “Good job.” Then when I’d write one condemning the Republicans the few Democrat friends I had would do the same.

Once I began learning of the intricacies of our system of government, and how it came into existence I began writing articles that no longer adhered to the two party paradigm and became critical of government as an entity. When I began doing that I noticed that the congratulatory pats on the back became about as frequent as me choosing the right sequence of numbers to win the lottery – non-existent!

It seems that it is okay to criticize one side of the political spectrum, (except when it is your side I criticize), but it is NOT acceptable to criticize the system itself. People become upset, almost apoplectic at times, if you criticize government; or suggest that it be abolished altogether. They become even more upset if you begin criticizing the document that established our current system of government. Then if you really want to make them mad you can begin criticizing the men who wrote the constitution; exposing their crimes and unbridled ambition to establish a system which would marry the coercive power of government to business interests; which is one way of describing fascism.

But if you really, Really, REALLY want to upset people, start criticizing the government’s enforcement mechanism; the military and law enforcement. In yesterdays rant I quoted George Washington from a letter he wrote to John Jay, where he said, “Experience has taught us, that men will not adopt & carry into execution, measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power.”

Look at government, and I’m not talking about all the hired help; I’m only talking about those who hold positions within it according to the specific branches outlined by the constitution – it consists of a President, a Vice-President; 100 Senators; 435 members to the House of Representatives, and 9 Supreme Court Justices; a total of 546 people. There are what, 320 some odd million people living in this country. So what kind of coercion could 546 people use to make sure 320 million people obey the laws they write and pay the taxes they impose? Honestly, if it was just those 546 people in government, who would obey all the law’s they write and pay all the taxes they impose upon us?

I know I come across as being some kind of extremist radical who wants to live in a society without rules; but you’re wrong in making that assumption of me; and it’s due primarily to the fact that you don’t THINK about what I write about. Even as terrible a document the constitution is, I would be far less critical of government if it would ONLY act according to the specific powers found within Article 1, Section 8 of that document.

You see, it all boils down to what you think government ought to do; what purpose government should serve. Therefore, if you think that the purpose of government is to push forward your personal agenda regarding a specific cause, then I can totally understand why you see no problem with our existing system of government and its use of coercion and force to compel the obedience of those who disagree with you. Now you may be wrong in your support for such a system, but I can at least understand the reasoning behind your choice to support such a system. What I can’t understand are people who say that they love liberty, then turn around and support a system that is hell bent on destroying it; that makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

For a moment I’m going to put aside my belief that the constitution is not the greatest document ever written, and to play along with your misguided belief that it is. What does the constitution itself say the intended purposes for which this system of government was being established to serve? I’ll give you a hint; the answer is found in the Preamble.

The Preamble lists 4 purposes this government was supposed to serve:

-form a more perfect Union
-establish Justice
-provide for the common defense
-promote the general Welfare
-secure the Blessings of Liberty to those who wrote it and their Posterity.

A little over a decade prior to the constitution being written, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, which says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

In both of those passages you’ll find that the preservation of our liberty should be one of the primary functions of any system of government. Any truly freedom loving individual should use that as their litmus test to determine whether or not their government is doing the job it was created to do; and whether that government deserves their support.

The idea of government is that it has the power to make laws that the whole of those who agreed to that system of government should obey. Therefore, there must be some use of coercion to ensure that the governed obey the laws enacted by those who do the governing. But for those laws to be just; for them to be worthy of your obedience, they must be in accordance with the specific purpose for which that system of government was established; and if they are not, then neither the law, nor the government itself deserves your respect and obedience.

I want you to read something, and I know some will think that it is too long; but it is only 371 words taken from a book with over 17,000 words; so stop yer complaining and just read it:

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties?

If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force—for the same reason—cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

That was written in 1850 by the Frenchman Frederic Bastiat, and it is a more detailed explanation of something Samuel Adams wrote in 1772, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”

We, as the creators of systems of government, never relinquish our rights or liberty when we create a system of government; those rights; that liberty remains a part of our nature as human beings, and if the system we establish does not respect and defend those rights, then that system is unworthy of our support.

But as I said, that system consists of only 546 people, so how do those few people ensure that we, all 320 some odd million of us, obey the laws they write and pay the taxes they impose? They can do this because they have, at their disposal, a coercive power in the military and in law enforcement.
Now think about this; if your government enacts laws, or imposes taxes it is not authorized to do by the constitution, then that government is tyrannical and oppressive; right? Therefore, if the laws and taxes the government enacts are unjust, unconstitutional, what does that make those who enforce them?

Listen, I fully understand that people can be bad, they can be downright evil, and that some kind of policing power exist to protect the rights and liberty of those these evil people will prey upon; but what happens to liberty when government itself becomes evil; becomes destructive of your rights and your liberty? When that happens, are not those who ‘enforce’ the law not tyrants as well?

My God, can you not see the logic in that? If government is supposed to be preserving and protecting our rights and our liberty, and then government enacts a law that restricts a right; then isn’t government doing something that is contrary to the purpose government is established for? And if government is acting contrary to the purpose it was established for, and its enforcing arm, (the military and law enforcement), go ahead and use force against the people to make sure they OBEY the law; aren’t they part of a system that oppresses the rights and liberty of those the system was created to serve?

If you were to take an honest look at the history of the American Revolution you would see that the war itself was a war between those who loved, and were willing to defend their rights and liberty, against the army of their government who sought to make sure that they obeyed the law; regardless of whether the law violated their rights. You would also see that one of the things the people did was they actively resisted the enforcement of those laws by simply not complying with them; by burning down government buildings erected to house the ‘enforcers’ of those laws; and by physically threatening those who were chosen to enforce the law upon them.

They didn’t say, “Gee, it’s the law, I guess we better comply with it.” No, they said, “This law sucks; it violates our rights. Let’s go burn down a tax collection house and tar and feather the tax collector.” They didn’t care that they may be on the wrong side of the law; for they had a higher law they were obeying – Natural Law.

They knew that their rights and their liberty came from their nature as human beings, and that government, for it to be just and worthy of their support, should respect those rights and that liberty. They also recognized that it was their DUTY to resist and oppose every action taken by their government that restricted their rights and liberty – which is something the people in America today seem to have forgotten. We are taught from an early age to comply, to obey, to follow the orders given us by those in positions of power and authority.

SCREW THAT! That is the mantra of a slave; “Yessir, I be a good little slave and follow your orders massa.” I’m sorry, if that’s what it means to be considered a ‘good’ American, count me out; I’d rather be an outlaw than a slave.

For the remainder of my time with you today I’d like to direct my attention to those who proudly display those stickers like the one at the beginning of this article, supporting the troops. Why do people display those things? Is it their way of proclaiming their love of country; of their patriotism? I could go into a lengthy discussion on this, but if you love your country more than your rights and your liberty, it is likely that you are a Nationalist; regardless of your party affiliation; and hey, Hitler was a Nationalist too; with socialist leanings; hence the term Nazi; which stand for Nationalist Socialism – just something else for you to think about.

You probably haven’t done this, but have you ever stopped to ask yourselves what purpose a standing army, or military, could serve? I have, and there are 3 purposes a standing army could possibly serve. One is the defense of the country; which is the only justification for a standing army. The second is the conquest of other countries; such as an invading force like the empires of past times; the Romans, the Greeks, the Turks, and all those who sought world domination. The final thing a standing army could do is to be used by those in power to oppress the people government was established to serve.

We Americans are either hypocrites, or we’re blind. We say we believe in self-governance, yet we send our troops all over the globe to enforce OUR version of government upon others. Who says the people of Iraq or Afghanistan want democracy; especially after seeing how dismally it has failed here in America at defending the rights of those who live within our borders? We say we believe in the equal rights of all men; yet we send our troops over to those countries where the rights of the indigenous people are routinely violated, and their lives taken if they resist an occupying force; or worse, become accidents or collateral damage in our effort to provide them with freedom.

I know this might offend some, but here goes anyways:

In 1821 John Quincy Adams delivered an Independence Day Speech in which he said, “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 sound like America today with our constant state of war and our use of military to impose our will, defend U.S. business interests, or worse, UN Sanctions? Need I list all the countries our troops are deployed to, or where we have bases outside the U.S.? Are we at war with Germany? Why do we have over 40,000 US troops there if we’re not at war with them? Are we currently at war with North Korea? No, why do we have over 23,000 troops there? See what I mean; not to mention all the times we’ve sent our troops to places like Serbia and Kosovo to prevent human rights violations, yet human rights violations are being committed all the time by OUR OWN government and I don’t see the military being used to topple those who are guilty of them. Try explaining that, if you can.

Who, for the most part, does the military serve? Why, it serves the government. We don’t pay them; at least not directly. We don’t send them into harm’s way in faraway lands; to violate the rights and liberty of the countries they occupy. We don’t send our troops to guard the opium poppy fields in Afghanistan to protect the CIA’s cash crop from the Taliban. No, all that is Uncle Sam; and it is all done disguised as defending freedom. The sad thing is, people fall for that shit all the time. Well, not me.

All you patriots who display those stickers on your cars ought to read Smedley Butler’s book War is a Racket. But, since you won’t, here’s a quick quote from it for you to digest, “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.”

Does that sound like defending the country, or preserving freedom to you? It sure doesn’t sound like it to me; it sounds exactly like what fascism is; the marriage of the coercive power of government with business interests. But boy, we gotta display our American Pride, and woe to those who call us on our hypocrisy.

Listen, I was one of those ‘troops’ for over 13 years of my life, I know the sacrifices they make for their country. But, if I had it all to do again I’d be torn between making that choice again and not enlisting. The only good thing that came out my time in service was my wife; for without me enlisting I would never have met her. But serving my country? Hell, the way I look at it I was the one being served; a big fat lie and a healthy dose of the clap as well.

When I enlisted I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States; as has every enlistee before and after me. I may have been naive and foolish at the time, but that oath did not mean I was signing my life away to be used topping dictators, or defending U.S. business interests in some third world country. I thought, mistakenly I might add, that I was signing up to defend my country.

I’m all for the use of overwhelming, and devastating force, against those who attach the U.S., but did Iraq attack us; did Afghanistan; did the North Vietnamese, the Koreans, or those living in Serbia or Kosovo? I’m all for kicking ass and taking names of any country that attacks us. I am not for occupying them for decades after we’ve accomplished the task of teaching them not to mess with the US of A.

If we use our military for that purpose, for defending America against outside attacks, then there is one other thing that we, as a nation, need to do – and that is not slap a stupid sticker on our vehicle proclaiming our support of those we send into harm’s way either. We need to ensure that those we ask to risk their lives defending this country be treated with respect and taken care of when the conflict ends.

Look at how many homeless vets with PTSD and other ailments we have wandering our city streets due to their having lost everything after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet we’re more concerned about the health and well being of criminal invaders from Mexico and South America? What the fuck is wrong with you people?

Although I don’t agree with us having gone to Viet Nam, there is a film about that war that y’all should watch; We Were Soldiers. In it, Mel Gibson plays Lt. Colonel Hal Moore, who says that he will leave no man behind; dead or alive all his troops are coming home. I have been told many stories about how that is not the case. However, without violating the trust of those who told them to me, all I can say is that our government doesn’t give a shit about those it sends off to die in foreign lands; far away from loved ones back home.

How many POW/MIA’s did we leave behind in Viet Nam, in Germany at the end of World War II; to be shipped off to Russia? How many times were our soldiers used as human guinea pigs to test how human’s reacted to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? How many saw the benefits they were promised upon enlisting changed, or diminished after they had served their time and been honorably discharged from active duty?

Is that how America treats those who pledge their lives to defend her? Is your patriotism limited to slapping a stupid sticker on the back of your car or truck, and your support for the unjustified invasion and occupation of not one, but two sovereign nations?

I’m sorry I ever raised my right hand and swore an oath to defend a country that cares so little about the liberty it was established to secure for the people. I’m sorry I ever put myself into the position that I might be called upon to lay down my life for a government that treats its military force like spare parts in a machine; a belt, a washer, or a gasket; to be replaced and discarded when it is no longer serviceable.

You’re damned right I support the troops; I just support them differently than you do. If I had my way I wouldn’t be sending them off to fight and die in other countries; let alone have them violating the rights of those they were sent to invade. If I had my way, I would ensure that every single US fighting man and woman was accounted for at the end of the conflict, and that the family was told the truth about how their loved one died. If I had my way, every person this country asked to serve would be given the treatment and help they needed to overcome any illness or difficulties that they incurred while serving their country.

I certainly wouldn’t limit my actions to slapping a stupid damned sticker on my car, then supporting the son’s of bitches who didn’t care how they were being used, and treating them like discarded garbage when they came home, or worse, abandoned and forgotten by those they had trusted enough to pledge their lives defending.

As the band Reckless Kelly sings in their song American Blood, “God Bless America, but God damn Uncle Sam!”

So please, if you’re reading this, never again thank me for my service; for it is one of the few things I’m not proud of; for I was a whore for my government, and it should have been them I was defending you from; not those it said were our enemies.

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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