Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 93 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/30/17

Wars Are Not Fought to 'Protect Your Freedoms'

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   7 comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Chris Ernesto
Become a Fan
  (8 fans)

US Marine Corps Marching Band
US Marine Corps Marching Band
(Image by Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view)
  Details   DMCA

A number of years ago I was at an antiwar protest in St. Petersburg, FL where one of my fellow protesters was holding a sign that said, "The U.S. military is killing innocent people in Iraq."

Within moments, a person who said he was in the Army began screaming at the protester saying, "I just came back from Iraq where I was fighting for your freedom. Without the military you wouldn't have the right to protest." The protester, himself an Army veteran, replied, "you look good for someone who is over 200 years old, because that was the last time the U.S. fought a war for freedom."

The returning soldier tried to argue that the attacks on 9/11 were a threat to the Constitution, but his argument was weak and he eventually scurried off. I don't know if he really felt he went to Iraq to protect free speech, or he was just angry that we were protesting something he believed in (which would have been ironic), but he wasn't the first or last person I've heard claim that the U.S. fights wars overseas to protect the rights of U.S. citizens.

In fact, I'm hearing it a lot today in the context of players in the NFL taking a knee while the National Anthem is played before games. "You're disrespecting the military -- the men and women who are fighting for your right to protest" is the ultimate rationale offered by those who disagree with the players peaceful protest. Sadly, many in the NFL take the bait and say, "I thank the military for their service and for giving me the right to protest." The U.S. war machine couldn't hear sweeter words as NFL players are unwittingly being used by the war machine to glorify the military, thus normalizing U.S. wars abroad. (As a side note, NFL players' protest is not actually covered by the First Amendment -- it only applies to public space, not privately-owned spaces such as NFL stadiums.)

In the first eight months of his presidency, Donald Trump's military has dropped bombs in seven countries . Can anyone explain to me how any of those bombs were dropped to protect American's First Amendment rights? (Note: Barack Obama's military also dropped bombs in the same seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Libya.) Does anyone really think that Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Kony, al-Shabab, Muammar Gaddafi or even ISIS had/have the intention, let alone the ability to invade the United States, take over the government and shred the Bill of Rights? If so, I'm open to listening to the reasoning.

Yet somehow to this day it appears that this misguided believe remains the norm. It can be argued that the U.S. military fights overseas for empire, for oil, or for corporations. But I'm still waiting for a logical argument that the U.S military fights wars in foreign lands to protect the rights given to Americans in 1791.

Must Read 6   Well Said 4   Valuable 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Chris Ernesto Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages and

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A Terrorist Endorses Hillary Clinton

Assad Had the Upper Hand So Why Would He Gas His Own People?

Bernie Hysteria & Liberal Hypocrisy

Trump has killed 'beautiful little babies' in four countries

Wars Are Not Fought to 'Protect Your Freedoms'

Saudi Atrocities Go Unnoticed

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend