Yesterday was Memorial Day. The mainstream media (local and national) as well as social media was filled with wreaths, parades, flags and cemeteries. Lots of interviews with veterans and the widows, widowers and children of “our fallen heroes.” I’m a veteran. I know the patriotic mindset. And I know that much of what I saw yesterday was an attempt at justifying that which has no justification.
War is stupid. There’s no reason at all that those young men and women shouldn’t be living their long, productive lives with their families instad of getting blown apart and killed on foreign soil.
In WWII, the Germans were the enemy. They’re our friends now. Also, in WWII, the Japanese were the ones to kill. Now they’re our friends and allies. We waged a horrible war in Vietnam, but now, Vietnamese are very welcome here and Vietnam has now become a popular U.S. tourism destination. We take horrific delight in murdering our enemies, but then when it’s over, it’s over, and the Department of Defense (notice that this is not the Department of Offense) starts looking around for some new place to validate its existence and job security. War is stupid.
The United States could take the position that it stands for Peace and refuse to engage. For those sad countries that continue their war-like behavior, we could just pull back our aid. If they’re going to act like children, we can treat them like children. Let them know there are consequences for their actions. If they behave, they can play on the world stage. If not, they’re shunned. And if they want to retaliate: well, that’s why we have a Department of Defense.
Not only are the costs of war horrendously high for our service members, but all that cash could be redirected to support schools, our failing infrastructure, provide clean energy, economical health services and figure out a more honorable way of electing our officials.
I’m not the first one to say this. It’s been said many times before. But now, for me, it has become a spiritual issue. Are we going to actively engage the “family values” that everybody talks about? Don’t forget that the men and women who sign the papers that send our kids off to war die of old age. They, and and for the most part, their children, don’t die on battlefields.
This election cycle, ask your candidates to itemize and explain not only the current issues, but the underlying values they hold and by which they will make decisions on your behalf.
There are no spiritual values that include war.
War is stupid.