On Their Tab

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IMG_4878 (Photo credit: joelogon)

Can you hear that? In the distance? Can you feel the drumbeat in the ground? Is it coming from Iran? Maybe it’s Syria. For a while I thought it was North Korea, but I don’t think so. Can you hear the drums of war getting louder and louder? I can. I can hear it in the rhetoric of our leaders. I can hear it in the facile rationalizations of our “liberal” media. I can hear it in the militaristic cheer leading of family members’ Facebook posts. I hope I am wrong, but it seems inevitable that some time soon we will be sending our troops across the sea, again, despite the fact that we still have not paid for our last two adventures, both of which we have not finished. Indeed, the fear created by our debt hawks here probably has so many Americans eager for the release of bloodshed.

Once again we will have so many rallying around the battle flag. At least so long as they get to do it from home. They are desperate to see America flex its muscles, lest the rest of the world think we are pussies. They will eat every lie up, like a shark gorging itself, even when they know it is a lie. These hawks will bend over backwards, twist logic like taffy, and do everything they can to show they are “real” Americans, because “real” Americans love their military oh-so-much. It has become a cult, one unworthy of the service and sacrifices these soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen actually make.

That is what we have to remember too. It is not the people rattling the saber who will be paying the price. It is not the fat, lazy, Fox news fan, beer in hand and fried chicken on the TV tray, who will be on the front lines. It is our dedicated military personnel, who (usually correctly) do not question their orders. It is our young, our future, who are sacrificed on the altar of our national pride to line the pockets of greedy old men sitting on the boards of Halliburton and Lockheed-Martin. They stand ready to serve, and we should admire them for that, but we should also honor them by making sure the conflicts we send them to are justified.

I am tired of people my age and older willing to spend young people’s blood to assuage their need for national identity. The cold bastards in those board rooms, selfish and monstrous though they may be, at least have something resembling a logical reason for their motives. What is yours though, oh armchair warrior? You who may never have served. You who will never have to serve again. What could move you to call peace activists cowards, though they stand, unarmed, in front of people who have shown a willingness to turn weapons, both lethal and non-lethal on them? Peace activists who, by and large, love our service men and women and want to make sure they are never asked to make their sacrifice for shallow reasons.

You are like that one friend who always insists on going to the expensive restaurant, and then “realizes” he left his wallet at home. You get to enjoy the satisfaction of watching our military used to terrorize brown people on the other side of the world to make you feel like a tough guy (or girl, I am often shocked by how many “ladies” of the older generations are hawks.) You will find some excuse, just like the wallet-less friend, why we had to go there, and why you can’t pay. Well it isn’t your blood, it isn’t your future, it isn’t your peace of mind being offered up. Until it is, if you can’t commit the time to learn the background information of why we go to war, you should maybe shut up. If you can’t pay, then don’t play, because I am sick of it being put on their tab.

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