American Culture

Memorial Day 2018: remembering the fallen vs celebrating war

The business of America is war.

I hate this fucking holiday.

Memorial-DayIt’s proper to honor those who died in service to the country. But with each passing year it feels less honest. For too many among us, what’s really being celebrated is war itself. We’re arguably the greatest warmongering menace in the history of the world and it has been a very, very long time since we engaged in anything remotely like an existential  conflict. Mainly today’s soldier is deployed to fight over economic interests, score-settling, religious hatred, or to try and tamp down the logical results of a foreign policy that’s spend decades creating enemies.

I’ve always felt war should be the last resort, not the first, and that waging it should make future wars less likely, not more.

Call me a dreamer…

Many countries dedicate energy to developing jobs programs for its citizens. In the US, the military is our jobs program.

As I’ve said repeatedly in recent years, the best way to honor the fallen isn’t to have a nice spring barbecue holiday. The best way is to stop creating new and improved ways of sending more people off to die for nothing. And – this is key – to hold the corrupt sociopaths responsible for it all accountable for their crimes.

Barely a month after S&R launched in 2007 I wrote the first of what would be several articles on the subject. Along the way some of colleagues have weighed in, as well. Today, instead of ranting afresh, I’d simply like to share these pieces with you and encourage you to read one or two. Perhaps maybe share them.

It would be nice if one day those of us living with conscience and a vision for a better nation could feel free to reflect on those who sacrificed for what was important without being tormented by the memory of those forced to sacrifice for nothing at all.

For Memorial Day – The Promise

He was a surprise, actually, or “unplanned,” as they call such things, but in the coming years, no one ever really remembered that part. She read Doctor Spock, just to get ready, […]