“It has been said truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom he abuses to burn that flag.” –Zell Miller, Democratic Senator from GA, and keynote speaker at the GOP’s nominating convention in NYC last night
I know this what they preach in the military. I’ve heard it from family members who served. The exact words, the precise justifications. It may serve to ease the conscience of our trained killers, but to see the world through this lens is distorted, at best. The soldier does what he is told. Period. The soldier never stops to ask the critical question, “Whose interests am I serving here?” The assumption is “our” interests, the US, the West, democracy. The truth is our military has been sent in harm’s way for big business, time and again for 150 plus years. Our soldiers would do well to learn the nation’s history before they blindly accept a mission to defend what’s not their’s to defend. Of course, if we had better schools, it would make it that much more difficult to recruit new soldiers.