Magnetic yellow ribbons don the back of a high percentage of cars in my new neighborhood, along with “W” stickers. I am being told to support the troops and that I am a traitor if I don’t. I have been called worse.
The last time I can recall ANY dialogue regarding each soldier’s responsibility in perpetuating war was in the 8th grade while reading Richard Bach. I recall him speaking of personal responsibility and consequence, even in times of war. Of each human being having an obligation to make choices based on their personal belief system. That murder is not suddenly nor easily rationalized by claiming one country’s morality over another’s. That was over 20 years ago, and I am hard pressed for any new honest and critical thought regarding each soldier’s responsibility and hand in war.
Please understand. I feel great sadness and compassion for the group of soldiers who are having to fight our War of Greed. I abhor the exploitation of each soldier. I wish for them to come home to their families and live a life without having to murder on behalf of the state. I wish for our war veterans to try and explain to these soldiers how their lives have been bettered by their agreement to kill for the state. To explain to us all how this war is defending our country and democracy itself. It is not. I support the five-thousand soldiers who are reportedly AWOL, and am not puzzled by their decision.
I myself forget that we are at war. I am sure the families of slain soldiers do not forget. Our access to the realities of everyday killing and death are clouded by our administration’s ability to act as if we have spread democracy across the land like some peach preserves across needy toast. Why are we at war? Who will benefit the most from this war? Not the soldiers or their loved ones.
Some things, I suppose, are worth killing for. Fattening the coffers of a select and despicable minority is not one of them.