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Another Army-Navy Game, Another Perspective

By       Message Curt Day       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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The Army-Navy game was played this past Saturday. Navy won again and, as could be predicted from the past couple of games, Army failed to score a touchdown. When I was a kid, it was a golden time to watch the Army-Navy game, especially if one grew up in the Philadelphia area. For whatever reason, I grew up a Navy football fan. As a very young boy, I cried after seeing Joe Bellino's Navy team lose to Missouri in a bowl game. But not long after, I was thrilled when watching Roger Staubach lead Navy to one victory after another. My first major sporting event was the '63 Army-Navy game as #2 Navy beat Army in one of the most thrilling games in the series, 21-15. I went to 3 other Army-Navy games with my dad. I also had distant relatives attend the Naval Academy.

As in the past, during the game we were constantly told to respect those who play in the game as well as the students at both academies. Why? That is because graduates of both academies will soon be joining each other as brothers in arms defending our nation in a time of war. Our freedoms, we are told, will be defended by the students at both academies as they put themselves into the position of making the ultimate sacrifice.

Certainly the willingness of the Cadets and Midshipmen to risk their lives should be respected. But what we should vehemently oppose is using the valor of these academy students and that of all servicemen as a moral shield for our foreign wars. That is what is being done when we are redirected from examining reasons for why the President sent our troops to war to admiring the qualities of our servicemen. We are told that the honor of our troops implies that whatever war they are fighting in is just. It is as if we had forgotten the lessons from the Vietnam War.

What were the lessons of that war? One obvious lesson was that despite the sincerity of our troops, those fighting in Vietnam were not defending our freedoms. This was proven when losing the war did not cost us any freedoms--though the human costs were horrific. The question that should be asked is whether our troops are defending our freedoms in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan?

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A brief history can help answer that question. That history includes our installation of the B'aath Party as the ruling party in Iraq, our support for Saddamn Hussein including our provision of materials for the making of WMDs during the 80s, our creation of the Taliban and what was to become the Warlords of the Northern Alliance during the 80's to draw the Soviet Union into a Vietnam type war in Afghanistan, and our pre-9/11 courting of the Taliban for access to energy. Our government's Standard Operating (SOP) in fighting wars is to build up and pay unsavory characters to fight the wars for us until they either disobey orders or become too embarrassing. It is at that time, we call on our troops to risk their lives to put out the fires that we started. It is as if our government has a Department of Arson and a Department of Fire Fighting. As one department starts a fire, another department is called on to put it out.

To defend our freedoms, we invaded Afghanistan after we played a major role in creating the monsters who attacked us. They attacked us because of U.S. policies that killed hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq and our support for a brutal occupation against the Palestinians. Before we invaded, we asked the Taliban to hand over Bin Ladin. The Taliban requested evidence that linked Bin Ladin to the 9/11 attacks. We responded with a partial proxy invasion. This invasion was partly proxy because we employed the Northern Alliance, a group of warlords, to do most of the fighting for us. And while we secured Afghanistan's capital city, these warlords used murder and terror to rule over the rest of the country. In the meantime, we have installed a President with ties to our energy companies in order to secure access to energy resources. Afghanistan's latest election was easily shown to be fraudulent. What we should note is that Afghanistan is called the "good" war.

We should also note that it was not the surge that was successful in Iraq, it was the paying off of our enemies that brought peace. In other words, we followed SOP. How long can this bought peace last? While we wait for an answer, American and British Oil companies are securing contracts to Iraqi oil fields. So who are our troops fighting for?

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For most Americans, the above brief histories of Afghanistan and Iraq are too long to read. That is because their Genesis account of our War on Terror starts with "In the beginning was 9/11," or "In the beginning was the bombing of the Twin Towers," or "In the beginning was the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon." In other words, for most Americans, the beginning of the War on Terror starts with what others do to us, not what we have done to others.

We could paraphrase St. Augustine as he described the importance of justice to a nation in "The City Of God." He said that without justice, a nation is nothing more than a gang. It would follow then that its battles and wars are relegated to being gang wars and battles over turf to see which gang can enrich itself with the most income and power. Is having wealth and power worth enough so that we are willing to become a gang?

Back to football and the 2009 Army-Navy game, the game and the academies are currently being used to win over our hearts and make us mindless. The fine qualities of the Midshipmen and Cadets are being used to sell and secure support for the wars. This occurs when we praise their willingness to fight and put their lives on the line. However, both the Midshipmen and the Cadets also provide examples of how automatic obedience to authority is highly praised. Their knee-jerk reaction to uncritically follow orders is neither a useful nor honorable.

 

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Curt Day is a religious flaming fundamentalist and a political extreme moderate. Curt's blogs are at http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ and http://violenceorsurvival.blogspot.com/

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