From the October 2007 Idaho Observer:

Making the world safe for tyranny

"War is a racket. It always has been."

~Major General Smedley Butler, USMC (ret) (1935)

Every soldier that has taken up arms for the U.S. government has advanced the cause of global tyranny and corporate exploitation. Though the truth of that statement is self-evident, most Americans recite the "making-the-world-safe-for-democracy-defenders-of-freedom mantra as if on cue. We are "cued" any time we are supposed to hail our commander-in-chief as the "leader of the free world" or we are being asked to "support our troops."

War is an even deadlier and more profitable racket today than it was 70 years ago. Revisionist historians have proven that every U.S. war since the so-called "Civil War" has been fought to advance global corporate tyranny, promote vice and install totalitarian governments; they were not fought, as popularly understood, to end slavery, stop the Nazis, halt the spread of communism or oust despots. So why is it that our countrymen (and women) keep volunteering to fight and die for racketeers? Why are civilians who oppose the criminal enterprises of U.S. warmongers and the special interests who own them viciously attacked as being treasonously unsupportive of "our" troops?

America’s sons and daughters keep volunteering for military service—oblivious to the true purposes of the wars for which they are trained to fight and die—because the rest of us openly support them or risk being socially branded as traitors. With two special days each year, war memorials and a relentless barrage of TV shows, movies, documentaries, books, history classes, parades, newspaper articles and magazine features glorifying false interpretations of U.S. military history, we are encouraged to pretend that going to war after war is just "Yankee Doodle dandy." The obligation we feel culturally to remember those killed in combat and honor the veterans who survived their tours of wartime duty insures that each new generation of Americans will offer their sons and daughters up as pawns on the global fascists’ chessboard.

The fruit of this culture-wide insanity is the world of today. The cycle will continue to deepen so long as mythical pretexts for war guide our national conscience, we willingly raise dupes to take up arms for the U.S. government and dupe each other into supporting them. To check the truth of that seemingly un-American comment, just ask yourself: "If the pretext for the current wars are lies and we refused to send our sons and daughters to fight and die for lies, who would fight these wars?"

Though I was never in the military, family members and friends throughout my life to present have "served." Most of them "honorably." Some have never overcome the physical and emotional injuries incurred while "serving." The vast majority, however, project themselves as proud of their "service." Even if they have since learned that the conflicts in which they "served" were conducted under false pretenses, they still claim they volunteered for the love of their country as "defenders of freedom" who were "making the world safe for democracy."

But it’s a lie. As a nation it is time we stopped lying to ourselves and to each other. Today’s soldiers volunteer because murderous, lying bastards offer them one-way tickets out of their dead-end hometowns with promises of adventure, paychecks, job training, education and nice cars; today’s soldiers swallow the bait—that they will be appreciated for defending America’s freedom and honor while making a self-interested career move. And now, because millions of guys have been making the same decision for decades and hundreds of millions of Americans have duplicitously supported the on-going capital crimes of corporately-induced military conflict, the world is war torn, politically unstable, chemically contaminated, chronically ill, economically collapsing and freedom, at home and abroad, is being systematically exterminated.

The only legitimate use of military force is in defense of one’s community or to repel invasion. Therefore, we can only lawfully support those who are prepared to defend their communities and repel invasions. For this reason alone, our nation must stop supporting illegitimate wars and illegitimate warriors. The blood of every dupe we send off to fight these wars and the blood of every innocent victim of these wars is on our hands.

War is a racket. Ignorance is no excuse of the law. Participation is complicity. Silence is misprision. Going to war and supporting war, by any measure grounded in law, are criminal acts. Every injury to life, limb or property is a felony and most legal codes recognize "death" as the prescribed punishment for murder. (DWH)

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