Tuesday, June 03, 2008

On the fence

What do you think about the military?

There's this pervasive idea that only desperate people volunteer, that these are poor and not-too-bright young men and women. When I really think about it, it smacks of an easy exit and rings untrue, one of those conventional wisdom things which aren't wise at all.

But it's hard to support all these demographics that keep voting Republican, for all these christian-right reasons.

(We) hipster poseurs laugh at patriotism and scorn national pride, too embarrassed and self-aware to belong whole heartedly to something.

I see images like these, and they break my heart.

Feature Photo 1st Place. John Moore, Getty Images. Mary McHugh mourns her slain fiance, Sgt. James Regan, a US Army Ranger killed in Iraq, at Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007. Mary
=> 2007 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar Contest Winners-Single Category Images

Freedom isn't free, is it? But would you join if you knew you'd be sent to fight not for freedom, but so Bush and his cronies can have more cheap oil? (Which has been a total fiasco, btw) So he could "avenge" Desert Storm?

So, which one do you agree with? Thomas Jefferson, who said "From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots"? Or Albert Einstein, who thought that "The pioneers of a warless world are the young men who refuse military service"?

Is it true, as George Orwell said, that people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf? But in what way is the U.S. safer since they invaded Iraq?

No comments: