"Just think about it...where would we be?"
My Memorial Day Reflections
As if one could escape the pervasive jingoism of Empire, I am freshly assaulted by every church on every corner and reminded that this weekend is Memorial weekend while cycling across the country with Tour de Peace,
Since 2004, Memorial Weekend has held special hell for me. My son, Casey, who was needlessly murdered in Iraq because of the lies of his government and the greed of corporations, was born on Memorial Day, so I have double sorrow this weekend.
Being here in the Bible Belt of the nation, we cannot pass a church or synagogue that doesn't grossly glorify the horrifically deadly sin of war. There are obviously glaring exceptions like Unitarians, Quakers, Catholic Workers and Mennonites, but those sects are definitely far outside the pale of extremist US Christianity.
I am never surprised by the warmongering of some purported followers of Christ, but I can still get mad-sad at the "Yea, war!" messages on the garishly lighted signs at these pseudo-religious appendages of the Pentagon. What will these places of mammon worship do when warfare is fully robotic? Will the billboards and the yellow magnetic ribbons of parishioners read: "Support the Drones?"
One such piece of crapaganda in front of a "Christian" church in St. Louis read: "Think about it"where would we be without the sacrifices of our troops?"
My first knee-jerk, selfish reaction was: "Well, instead of putting my life on hold for three months and biking across the country for peace and justice, I would be home playing with my grandbabies and Casey would be there, too." Maybe, just maybe, he would be married with children, himself.
Then, of course, I immediately went to the macro-analysis of that wonderful, "Christ-like" statement. MILLIONS of people would still be alive, and that's just from this young century! Just think about it...looking back over the life of this war-loving Empire that we live in, the loss of life is practically incalculable and then there's the loss of limb, sanity, home, security, and reputation that cannot in anyway be quantified. The hearts of millions upon millions of mothers who rarely raise their children to be tools, or victims, of Empire would still be whole and not broken into a million tiny pieces.
Where would we be? Hmmm"the US wouldn't be trillions of dollars in debt and perhaps bridges wouldn't be collapsing and the money we would save on the expansion of Empire could be used to invest in education, infrastructure, healthcare and environmental sustainability, among other things. Just think of an economy based on creating art, literature and manufacturing life affirming and positive products only for consumption and not obscene profit. The war economy the US currently dis-enjoys literally sucks the life out of not just this country, but also the planet.
Just think about it...women and girls in other countries wouldn't be raped and female troops would not be sexually assaulted at the rate of about one out of three. Just think about it...the snake oil salesmen, oops, I mean military recruiters would thankfully be put out of the Murderers for Hire business.
Just think about it...the stains of places like Gitmo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib would have never been opened and countless "terrorists" would have never been illegally detained, tortured or murdered.
Just think about it"a world without the destructive nature of the US Military Empire. Like sociologist, Robert Jay Lifton said, "War is an atrocity producing event," and when some smarmy coward of a politician or slimy representative of god on earth starts spewing crap about "freedom," "democracy," "national security threat," "evil dictator," "weapons of mass destruction" "humanitarian intervention," or any number of other lies: RUN THE OTHER WAY.
Just think about it. Think about it carefully, I have and have come to the only conclusion there can be: this planet would be a vastly different and wonderful place.
SUPPORT THE TROOPS?
HOW ABOUT NO WARS, NO TROOPS?