As my dear, departed Father used to intone, “I used to be young and foolish – I’m not young anymore!”
When I was younger, I supported The
War Police Action in Vietnam. The rationale seemed simple. Our allies (the South Vietnamese) were under attack by the (Soviet Russian and Red Chinese communist supported) North Vietnamese.
It seemed to be a way to make The Cold War hot, without actually fighting Russia and China directly.
And we must not only defend out allies, but oppose communism wherever it rears it ugly head.
This was similar to the Korean
War Police Action Conflict a few years earlier.
(And we know how well THAT worked out!)
And I was prepared to voluntarily go and fight for my Country.
Except, with a fused hip, the military changed my draft status to IV-F. And I sat on the sidelines.
And we saw how well Vietnam worked out…
Since that time, there was Lebanon, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada, Panama, the Balkans, then Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan (in part).
And there was always a rationale proposed by the government regarding why we needed to go to war. You may agree with some. You may disagree with some.
But, as I age, I am beginning to question governmental motives more.
YES, I do believe it was appropriate for us to fight the Nazis and the Japanese Empire in WWII. And I am still an anti-communist.
Vietnam, Germany, Italy and Japan are now trade partners.
And Red China rules our financial future. Whether we like it or not.
War for petroleum? Or to stop WsMD? That debate will probably continue.
We should defend our national interests. But, if we are being played by government (or corporate interests) to leap to that defense…(?)
The military-industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about does exist. The question is how much of government is enmeshed in it?
Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintances sneered and slanged, I wept:
For I had longed to see him hanged.
War is a Racket by Smedley Butler is a famous speech denouncing the military industrial complex. This speech by two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient exposes war profits that benefit few at the expense of many. Throughout his distinguished career in the Marines, Smedley Darlington Butler demonstrated that true patriotism does not mean blind allegiance to government policies with which one does not agree. To Hell with war.*********
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed ” The Fighting Quaker “and ” Old Gimlet Eye “, was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death,the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.
During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Butler was awarded numerous medals for hero ism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.
In addition to his military career, Smedley Butler was noted for his outspoken anti- interventionistviews, and his book War is a Racket. His book was one of the first works describing the workings ofthe military-industrial complex and after retiring from service, he became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.