Memorial Day. An event whose meaning is coming way too close to simply being the glorification of war and of those who agree to kill in the service of those giving the orders to do so. Often blindly, with little or no idea of the reality around the manipulations, the crimes, which may have been committed by those giving the orders in their efforts to justify their war in the minds of the citizenry.
Is it honorable to fight, to be willing to die, to protect one’s home and loved ones? Beyond a shadow of doubt. Most who agree to take up arms upon the orders from those giving them likely believe that is what they’re doing. Yet, what if people with the most honorable intentions are following the orders of commanders with less than honorable intentions? Commanders acting in the service of profiteers who are seeking to obtain foreign resources or to destroy foreign competition in the marketplace?
In the final analysis what determines the true nature of the killing: the honorable intentions of those doing the killing or the less than honorable intentions of those ordering the killing to be done, the intentions/motives to be found at the foundation of the conflict? At what point do we demand to know all the information around any event or situation before we pick up arms? At what point do we teach our young people to utilize the utmost in critical thinking, to be absolutely certain it really is necessary for the protection of home and loved ones before taking the life of another human being? When do we begin teaching our children that killing another human being simply because of “orders”, because someone else told you to, is a betrayal of one’s most intimate, authentic self? We, as a culture, are failing in teaching our children to be intelligent, autonomous persons rather than merely the tools of those who have managed to gain the reins of political and economic power.
At what point do we realize that corporate profiteering via military adventures and the attempt to “Americanize” the world at gunpoint is not going to lead to any desirable future? When do we, as a nation, realize that fairness, respect, friendship, will go a lot further than threats in creating a world we will genuinely want to live in. We would be acting more in genuine service to ourselves, our children and our future by maintaining a strong national defense while simultaneously engaging in sincere actions of friendship and cooperation with others. Stop the misguided, murderous, military adventures taking place in service of corporate profiteering.
At what point will we realize that simply “following orders” and the invoking of the cliché of “national security” should never be enough to persuade us to take the lives of men, women and children in foreign lands?