but behold the pen,
for most gunshots are fired by signatures.
By Camillo Mac Bica
First off, it brings to mind my wasted youth and lost innocence, and the horrible and unnecessary deaths of good friends and comrades.Second, it reminds me of my responsibility and culpability for the pain and suffering I caused innocent people, again something I would rather forget, but cannot.Third, it reinforces my belief that you have absolutely no idea about the nature and reality of the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, because if you did, you would understand that thanks are inappropriate.Fourth, it reminds me that many of those who feel the need to offer thanks were apathetic about ~ or even supportive of ~ the war, while they refuse to participate themselves or did little or nothing to end it.And lastly, I have to admit that I doubt the sincerity of these expressions of supposed gratitude, as "Thank you for your service" is just something to say not because you care about what I did or sacrificed, but only to demonstrate your supposed good character, or patriotism and/or "support" for members of the military and veterans.
Those veterans, however, who may not agree, who cling to the mythology of heroism, glory, honor and nobility of war, do so in large measure from fear that acknowledging war's reality would somehow diminish their sacrifice and the sacrifices of those whose lives were lost.
First, what was accomplished by your sacrifice and by the waste of lives and treasure in Vietnam, in Iraq and in Afghanistan?Where is the honor, glory and nobility in killing and dying for greed, incompetence, and paranoia?Second, the mythology you cling to for comfort is a tool of political leaders to make war palatable, to garner support for their militarism and abandonment of diplomacy. It is what motivates future idealistic, perhaps naive, young people to "heed the call," to seek honor and glory, by enlisting in the military to fight for a cause they have been deceived into believing is right, just and necessary, but which is, in reality, a string of wars for corporate greed, power and hegemony.
Demand, for example, an immediate end to the corporate takeover of our "democracy" and to the undue influence of the military-industrial-Congressional complex.Demand sanity in Pentagon spending and a reallocation of finite resources to people-focused programs such as health care, education and jobs rather than to killing and destruction.Demand an immediate end to wars for corporate profit, greed, power and hegemony.Demand that we adhere to the Constitution and to international law.Demand accountability for those who make war easily and care more for wealth, profit and power than for national interest or for the welfare of their fellow human beings.And finally, demand the troops be brought home now, and that they be adequately treated and cared for when they return.