By Mickey Z.
30 January, 2013
World News Trust
“Mess with the best/Die like the rest” – U.S. Special Forces
“The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service.” – Albert Einstein
I am proud to declare that I was not among those celebrating the recent announcement from U.S. Defense (sic) Secretary Leon E. Panetta about lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat.
Mic Check: Not all equality is created equal.
Any American woman who cherishes the freedom (sic) to fight alongside her male military counterparts is — both directly and indirectly — signing up for and endorsing Daisy Cutters, cluster bombs, and predator drones; depleted uranium, napalm, and white phosphorus; launching cruise missiles into crowded cities, blowing up dams to deliberately flood rice paddies and starve civilians, shooting enemy soldiers after they’ve surrendered, destroying villages in order to save them, etc. etc. etc.
Of course, the most common excuse for this ongoing catalogue of crime is: “Our troops are just following orders.”
By activating the Google function on your interwebs machines, you’ll easily find many reasons why this concept has no legal basis. For example, Principle IV of Nuremberg Tribunal (1950) states:
“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.” (And I hope I don’t have to explain that “only following orders” also has no moral footing.)
Besides following orders for equal opportunity atrocities, these fledgling female freedom fighters are also volunteering to be paid as foot soldiers in a war on nature.
Waging War… on the Eco-System
The U.S. Department of Defense (sic) (DoD) — the interventionist institution formerly known as the War Department — is the biggest polluter on Planet Earth, for example, releasing more hazardous waste than the five largest U.S. chemical companies combined.
To add insult to injury, the world’s worst polluter — the entity wrecking havoc upon the landbase that makes all life possible — also gobbles up 54 percent of U.S. taxpayer dollars. But it takes more than obscene amounts of money to keep this criminal enterprise afloat. It also takes more than the volunteers (of all genders) willing to be paid to wage illegal, immoral, and eco-system destroying wars. The DoD will be able to maintain its crime spree as long as most of us continue to unconditionally support (sic) those troops.
As long as the yellow ribbons fly, our future remains in doubt — as does the efficacy of such “support.”
While most American citizens — even if they identify as “antiwar” — are manipulated, harassed, coerced, and guilted into hanging yellow ribbons, generation after generation of U.S. military personnel has suffered a distinct lack of support from their own government (and the corporations that fund it). Our (sic) troops are just as controlled and exploited as the U.S. citizens programmed to worship them.
Yellow ribbons, flag-waving, repressive laws, peer pressure, and loud chants of “USA” don’t qualify as support. Rather, this is self-policed obedience orchestrated by a corporate-dominated state.
Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the number of suicides among people serving in the armed forces has jumped more than 25 percent since 2005. In 2010 alone, 454 service members killed themselves in combat zones.
Life doesn’t get easier for those who make it home. About one-third of the adult homeless population is veterans and, according to the VA, is 95 percent male, mostly likely to be: single; hail from an urban area; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders.
People of all ethnicities may sign up to defend (sic) the land of the free (sic) but 56 percent of all homeless vets are African American or Hispanic (despite only accounting for 12.8 percent and 15.4 percent of the U.S. population, respectively).
More VA stats:
>> 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.
>> Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness.
>> Only 8 percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly 20 percent of the homeless population is made up of veterans.
Another 1.5 million veterans, says the VA, are considered at risk of homelessness due to “poverty and lack of support networks.”
Yes, you read that correctly: “lack of support networks.”
Despite the government’s demonstrated unwillingness to truly support volunteer soldiers, Americans continue to enlist — and this shouldn’t surprise anyone. We grow up watching war movies and playing with guns. We’re surrounded by war memorials and war monuments, and are taught to obey and fear those in uniform. We witness the demonizing of those who oppose war. Our media is overrun with militaristic fervor. Our tax dollars finance war and pro-war propaganda. Our government passes laws designed to thwart dissent.
Even if we remain immune to wartime spin and propaganda — even if we don’t buy into the story that America has been dragged into conflict after conflict and perpetually left with no choice but to wage a humanitarian war against a savage enemy — we still face the guilt factor of the “support the troops” peer pressure, e.g. no matter what we think or how we feel, once the actual fighting begins, all Americans must unite behind our troops to insure their safety through victory.
Reality check: The “support the troops” mantra specifically ignores any real examination of who those troops are, what those troops are doing in war zones, what happens to them when they come home, and why many of us don’t want them waging war in the first place.
In other words, when we’re told to “support the troops,” we are, in essence, being compelled to support the policies that exploit those troops.
We often hear justifications like this: Don’t blame the soldiers; they only volunteer because they lack any other feasible economic options.
I wonder if the same economic excuse making would hold water for those who opt to become gang members: the poor black kid who “enlists” in the Crips, the poverty-stricken Hispanic who “enlists” in the Latin Kings, or any underprivileged kid anywhere in America who “enlists” in any of the myriad mafias and crime syndicates.
These kids also face a stark choice — being destitute or choosing a uniform and weapon — but no one hangs yellow ribbons for them.
Of course, there are two primary differences between the kids I just described above and those who volunteer to join the U.S. military:
1. The U.S. military is far more dangerous and deadly than any gang or Mafia family.
2. The U.S. military is considered legal.
Ponder this: If a more equitable economic climate were created via radical activism, young Americans would no longer feel compelled to enlist solely for financial reasons (and by doing so, provide manpower for wars of empire). In such a scenario, those who do volunteer could then rightfully be exposed as willing accomplices to U.S. war crimes and maybe we can finally retire all those counterproductive “support the troops” stickers… and get busy with the counter-recruitment.
Occupy Counter-Recruitment: Educate yourself on the realities of U.S. foreign policy and spread the word far and wide — especially to those young enough to volunteer. If Americans of any gender learn the truth and refuse to enlist, the interventions — and the inevitable atrocities — will decrease proportionally.
Message to all potential enlistees: The U.S. Department of Defense (sic) is the most violent institution the planet has ever known. Paid volunteers are nothing more than willing accomplices to the continuing carnage.
Oh, and one more thing: Let’s stop with the “our troops” charade. You and I may foot the bill, but “we” have no say in how that money is spent. If those truly were “mine,” I’d bring them right home and put them to work doing something useful… like turning the Long Island Expressway into the world’s longest organic farm.
Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.
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